1. For those who are still clueless, could you tell us how Usurper was formed? And why did you choose the name Usurper?
The history of USURPER starts back in 1987 when Sythe (lead axe attack) and Diabolical Slaughter (vokills) first joined forces in a rough metal project called ARMAGEDDON. They jammed together for many years in different projects with several line-ups. By 1992 the two were burnt out on their musical situation and decided to get back to their roots. They formed a two-piece side project and began writing new material. In 1993 Apocalyptic Warlord (drums and bongs) joined the project, which they now decided to make their full time band. USURPER WAS BORN!!
During the summer of 1994 the 3 of them entered the studio to record Usurper's first demo entitled Visions from the Gods. The demo did quite well, selling out at over 1300 copies, and lead to Usurper being picked up by the Norwegian label HEAD NOT FOUND which was headed by scene veteran Metalion. Our debut album for HnF, entitled Diabolosis...also did extremely well, picking up where the Visions demo left off. As time went on, we were ready to release something new. The answer was our latest med Threshold of the Usurper, which is our first release on NECROPOLIS RECORDS.
It is a compilation of previously recorded, yet never released material, and it has already surpassed the legacy left by Diabolosis.... The name USURPER means someone who seizes or takes power form a leader or king by force, and then reigns in their place. Its a powerful word, and we chose it because not only does it represent the power of the music, but also our personal attitudes.
2.Now that you've seen a bit of NYC, is it anything like you expected it to be?
What places did you visit that you found interesting or bizarre? What differences did you note between the scene in NYC and that of Chicago?
New York was absolutely killer. It was everything that we expected it to be and more. That was the 1st (and only) show on the tour where we were actually treated really well by the club, promoters, etc. Ant the city itself kills. We thought it would be just like Chicago, only bigger. NY is every sleazy aspect of Chicago times 10, so we were naturally impressed with it. The only real tourist; area we saw was when we took the Staten Island ferry by the Statue of Liberty the day after the show. After that we were just basically bar hopping. We met up with the singer of a band and partied all night, we went to all different kinds of strip joints, peep shows, weird dominatrix shows, etc. Plus we went to a bunch of record stores in the Village like Bleeker Bob's etc. It was a blast.
3. Could you tell us about the tour with Dark Funeral, Destroyer 666, Acheron and yourselves? Why didn't Acheron and Destroyer 666 come to NYC with you?
The whole tour didn't exactly turn out as planned. All the bands were supposed to meet in Chicago for this huge Expo of the Extreme show . Dark Funeral showed up, but there were apparently problems with the other bands. Acheron supposedly broke up right before the tour was supposed to start, so they were out of the picture, which led to MORIBUND RECORDS backing out of setting up the tour like they had originally stated to. I guess their attitude was that if their band wasnt going to play, then they wanted no part of it. We still don't know the real story behind DESTROYER 666 not coming out.
We heard a bunch of rumors, but no fact. Its too bad because we wanted to tour with them. Anyway, Moribund backed out days before the tour was scheduled to start, and everything was falling apart. Basically, we wound up setting up all the transportation ourselves, along with all the other bullshit that comes along with going on a tour. We had to act as our own road managers, roadies, drivers, merchandisers, etc., etc.
Luckily NECROPOLIS and METALBLADE joined forces and kicked in some money to help us get started. We salvaged as many shows as we could. Most of the shows we couldn't play because the clubs had already paid on of the promoters for the show, and all the promoters were now suddenly nowhere to be found now that they had all the money. We only wound up playing five shows in all, and besides all the bullshit, it was fantastic. We were made to be on the road. Well take any opportunity to play live on tour, or even just return to NY.
4.How did your record label treat you on this tour? Did you like the Endemoniada zines we gave you and that lovely bottle of Jack Daniels to boost your evil spirits?
Necropolis were great. They knew we got fucked, and did everything they could do for us. Its good to finally work with a label that not only know what they're doing, but are actually behind their bands as well. Thanks again for the bottle of Jack. Yes, it most definitely parched our thirst, and the zines naturally killed.
5.How did your merchandise sell at the show in NYC and what do you have available for the readers who couldn't make it to The SataniK Crusade in NYC?
The merchandise sold really well at the show. The merchandise we have available is: 2 different styles of short sleeve T-shirts. One with the cover of Threshold of the Usurper on the front & one featuring the horned god on the front. We also have vinyls available of Diabolosis.. which feature a gatefold, plus new artwork, a bonus track, and a color lyric sheet/poster. Write the band for prices and details.
6.How do you feel about the death of Anton LaVey? What is your definition of satanism? Do you consider the music you put out to be of a satanik nature?
Its a shame that he died. He was one of the only living true philosophers of our time. Maybe the publicity of his death will lead to his ultimate cause. To me satanism is simply an anti-christian way of thinking. Basically the worship of the self, which is the last thing the christians want you to recognize. I don't think that we're necessarily a satanic band. We subscribe to no form of religion, and do everything to simply suit ourselves, without thought to others. Our music and lyrics revolve around topics that we're interested in, all religions being one of them, but we also write about the undead, wars and warriors, armageddon, paranormal experiences, etc, etc.
7.Tell us a little about your latest album?
The Threshold of the Usurper is a collection of never released material that was originally recorded for 2 separate 7 deals that fell through for various reasons. The songs were all recorded at different times, but were put together for this release. It is an excellent representation of Usurper. All of our songwriting elements are represented, form the fast and chaotically demonic, to the more experimental saga style songwriting, to the simple heavy more rockintunes that were made to just bang your head to. It contains four originals, plus a cover of MERCYFUL FATE's BLACK FUNERAL. We're very proud of it. It also marks our 1st release through Necropolis Records.
8.What do you guys do aside from Usurper?
Usurper occupies most of our lives, but when we're not playing or recording, we're usually in bars getting trashed, indulging in whatever drugs we can get our hands on, fucking whores, getting tattooed, etc.
9.Do you listen to any other black metal bands? If so, who do you enjoy listening to?
We listen to mostly older bands from the 80's and always have, but there are a few of the newer black metal bands that we enjoy such as NIFILHEIM, DISSECTION, ABSU, DARKTHRONE, etc.
10.What is the next step in the battle against x-tianity for USURPER?
We'll probably hang the pope next.
11. Let's say you find the scene in the United States sucks like many people say, what do you recommend be done about this? How can all of us strengthen our scene?
We have! Not to be afraid to do our thing again. Most bands from here seem to want to mimic whatever the latest trend out of Europe is. Sure, European bands throughout the history of metal have made some amazing contributions, but that doesn't mean that American bands have to sound just starting, and your trying to decide what your sound is going to be, do yourself a favor and just do your own thing. If you have to consciously decide that you are going to sound black metal or old-school or whatever, then it's already going to suck. Just play what you feel. If you just jump on the trend now, by the time you get any recognition that trend will be old news anyway.
12.Where do you guys spend your time hanging out in Chicago? Do people approach you who disagree with what you're all about and how do you handle these situations?
We usually hang out in bars, or at the loft we practice at. We also go to shows whenever someone good comes through Chicago. People approach us constantly who have some kind of problem with us. It's fuckin' hilarious. We've never met so many babies than we have in the last few years. Everyone's from another band though. There are very few regular metalheads who say anything to us. But these girls (Hey why do they have to be girls?-L) from other bands are always trying to start some shit. They complain that we're either black metal, or that we slagged them in some interview.
We actually go out of our way not to mention anyone else in an interview, but whatever. It's a fucking joke. When someone does confront us though, we don't back down at all. If someone wants to get in our face, we'll rip theirs off. Now we're starting to get confronted by groups of people at once, instead of one at a time. I guess everyone's too afraid to say something to our face when they're alone, I don't know. We just try to keep to ourselves. We have no interest whatsoever in being affiliated with the big baby scene in Chicago.
13.What is next for Usurper?
Next is recording our next full length effort for Necropolis entitled Usurper II-Skeletal Season. Its going to contain about 10 songs, nine of which are completed. This album is definitely going to be the heaviest thing we've ever released. We've had over 2 years now to work on this album, and not one minute of it has been wasted. All the classic Usurper elements are there, but there is new element of hate, a new element of fear & new element of diabolical evil added to this recording.
It should be recorded in May of 1998 & will hopefully be out by this Halloween. After that we will be embarking on another tour. First the U.S. again, only this time we'll do it right even if we have to set it up ourselves. After that hopefully we'll be able to cross the Atlantic & finally play in Europe.
14.Is there anything more you wish I had asked you that you may feel a need to elaborate upon?
Look fro our contribution on the soon to be released Necropolis video compilation.
15.Any last diabolik words?
And with this, he choose to leave us in silence. lol-L