Saturday, May 3, 2014

Interview with Ohio's Ton done by Patrick

We have a new interview with Dan of the ohio based Death Metal band Ton who Reformed a few moths back.If you remember them defintly get ready for some new music soon.
keep it brutal

Interview  with  Dan Gates   guitarist  for  Ton   Done by  Patrick 

1.Metal hails Dan how  are thing s going with you  these  days? Please introduce yourself to  the  readers.

 My name is Dan Gates and I play guitar in TON and also Fully Consumed. Everything is going great! Glad to have TON back together and Fully Consumed is releasing a full length CD Soon.

2.You  all started Ton  back in 1993 when did you get  the idea to form Ton?How did you all come up with the name for the band? Who were some of the  bands biggest influences?

 Jeff Shepler TON bass player and I had been jamming together for probably a couple of years. We played without a drummer for a while and then started playing with a drummer for a little while. It was nothing real serious but we did start to write some songs and we knew that we wanted to form a more serious band. Eventually we hooked up with Kevin Kraft TON drummer. Kevin and I had known each other for quite a while but had never played together. One day Kevin called me and asked if I wanted to get together. Jeff and I jumped on the opportunity and things started to come together. We added guitar player Paul Bennett who Jeff and I had played with before and we started writing, recording and playing shows.
The name TON came about because we just couldnt come up with a cool band name but all of our friends kept telling us how heavy the music was. We thought TON sounded heavy.
We didnt set out to be a death metal band. When we started we were listening to alot of thrash. I was very into 80's thrash when I was in high school. I loved early Metallica and when I heard Slayer for the first time it forever changed my idea of heavy music what I listened to and what I eventually played. I was also into Testament, D.R.I, Nuclear Assault, Death Angel, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Sacred Reich I could go on all day. If it was heavy fast and angry I liked it. Shortly after we started TON we discovered death metal. Once we started listening to death metal we wanted to step up our playing and become heavier. Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Fleshgrind, Dying Fetus, Internal Bleeding were amazing to us and we wanted to play like them.

3.Your demos Point Of View and  Blind Follower  were two of the best  demo's to come out  in the ninetyshow long did  it take to write and record these  demo's?

 I'm not sure how long they took to write but the music was written and they were released probably between 94 and 98. Both demos were released separately and eventually together on CD by Pathos productions.

4.your  debut cd "Plague"  was  originally released by  United Gutteral   how did you all come to work with this label? What was the  response from  the fans and the press that heard your debut cd?

 I traded TON demos with Rich Lipscomb from Fleshgrind and had seen Fleshgrind live a couple of times. Thats how I got to know him. When Rich started United Guttural he contacted me and was interested in releasing Plague for us. We were really excited to work with him because we all loved Fleshgrind and Rich had big plans for his label. Rich is a very cool guy and we talked on the phone during this time period many times. I felt like we established a friendship and I always liked him alot.
The response was great. We got alot of positive reviews. There were also alot of people that liked the Blind Follower stuff better. Our writing style had changed and we were trying to achieve a more brutal sound. Some people thought we achieved that and others preferred the older stuff.

5.What were/are some of the subjects you  all  write about?

 I dont write the lyrics Jeff does but I would say he tries to write about real things. Things that have happened in his life or things he reads about or hears about in the media. We dont really write about gore or fantasy stuff. Gone from the Blind Follower release is about Jeffs wifes grandfather being murdered by Some scumbag that was robbing him. 13-13-89 is about a guy that wrote us from prison. He said he was in prison for executing a guy that molested his young niece. Brutal topics but real life stuff.

6.Ton recently  reformed  in  2014  why did you guys decide to  reform  after so many  years? How would you  say the newer songs are different then the older ones?

 Kevin and I have been talking about the possibility of reforming the band for a long time. There were many years that I was convinced it would never happen. Kevin and I have been playing together in various bands pretty much non stop since the breakup of TON. Jeff formed a band called Fully Consumed and thats has been his primary focus musically. About a year and a half ago I joined Fully Consumed with Jeff. Kevin, Jeff and I also were playing together in a band called National Collapse. After the re-release of our Blind Follower/Point of View CD on Fresh Blood Management we started to talk about the possibility of bringing TON back. With the response we got from people about the release and people asking us if we were going to write new music we decided to do it. I was really surprised the amount of support we got cosidering we had been inactive for about 13 years.
I would say the new songs are a mix of Blind Follower and Plague. We want to keep the groove, mosh, slam parts but we are going to challenge ouselves with some fast and more complex riffs too though. We are real excited about the new stuff. I think whether its a groove riff or a fast riff it will all be intense but easy for the listener to pick up on.

7.I know you are working on new  songs to go on  the new cd  do you all plan to work with a label for the new cd or self-release  it? 

 We have had a couple of people express interest in releasing it for us. We have not had a specific offer and have not committed to anyone yet. We would love to put it out on a reputable label. But at the end of the day if we have to do it ourselves we will. These songs will be made available one way or another.
8.In your  opinion what is the best and worst  thing  about the  metal  underground  today? And what does the term  Metal Underground  mean to you?

 The internet. Its the best thing because its very easy to get your music out to the world very quickly. You can connect with friends and fans very easily. Its also the worst thing because its so easy to to just slap something together and post it up. Its also easy for people to hide behind their computers and talk shit about bands or people. Part of me misses the old days trading tapes through the mail. Even being an adult I was excited to go to the mailbox after work and see what showed up that day. I was like a kid at Christmas. But the internet does make things alot easier. I spent a shitload of money at the post office in the 90's and early 2000's.
To me the underground is about people supporting the metal scene. Everyone has their own taste and not everyone likes all styles of metal. But at the end of the day its about supporting metal. I dont like every band I see or hear but if it appears to me they are good musicians or seem genuine in what they do then I have to respect that.

9.I remember back in the the mid to late 90"s Ohio   had a great  death,grind  scene. what was your  opinion of that time period in Ohio's scene?

It was a great time back then. We were young and we were determined to play some heavy ass death metal. There were alot of great bands in the scene and they were determined to do the same thing. I am most familiar with the bands from northeast Ohio because those were the bands we were playing with. But there were great bands from all over the state. All those bands together made a name for Ohio death metal and the Ohio metal scene got some recognition because of that.

10.What is Ohio's  scene  like today?Who are some of your all-time favorite  Ohio bands?Are their any new bands you think  the readers  should check out soon?

 Ohio's metal scene is very much alive. There are some very good bands. I have been playing out with Fully Consumed for a little over a year now and i have seen some really good Ohio bands.
Great Ohio bands from the past and some are still active: Drogheda, Blood Coven, Decay, Solidification, Regurgitation, Necrotic Disgorgement
Not necessarily new but from Ohio: Fully Consumed, Dissevered, Entity Of Extinction, Merciless Reign, Foul Spirits, Limbsplitter, Innoculation, Forged in Gore.

11.When did you first become interested in playing the guitars?Are you self taught or did you  take lessons when first learning?

 When I was about 17 a couple of my friends had guitars. They would let me try to play and they would show me some simple riffs. From the first time I hit the strings on an electric guitar I knew I had to have one. I am self taught. I learned by using tablature to learn Metallica and Slayer riffs. After I started to play with Jeff Shepler my playing started to get alot better. He had been playing different instruments as a kid and had played with other people before I met him. I hadn't really played with anyone else before I met him. We played a few cover tunes but started writing our own stuff very quickly. His musical abilities challenged me and my lack of music understanding challenged him. Some of my riffs were a little unorthodox because I had no music background at all.

13.Who are some of your influences/favorite guitarists? Do you play any other instruments?

 I am influenced by metal. I can listen to other forms of music but I usually get bored pretty quickly and put some metal back on. Once I discovered death metal in the early 90's I was influenced by Suffocation, Death, Obituary, Disincarnate and many others. Bands like that were a big influence because of the great guitar playing.
I really dont play any other instruments. I did record bass on a demo I did with a band that Kevin and I were in called National Collapse. I did what I had to do to get the recording done nothing fancy.

14.Well Dan we have come to the  end of the interview  thank you  for  taking the time to fill this out.Do you have anything you would like to add before we finish?

Thank you for the interview and the support. You and I go way back and you have always supported TON. Thank you. Look out for a new release probably next year. We are writing new songs and are very excited to be doing it again. We guarantee some brutal but catchy tunes. We will be playing live this year also. Keep your eyes and ears open for TON.

Interview with Mike and Paragon Records done by Patrick

Here is a new interview with the great label Paragon Records. hope you will check out his releases and also they have a ALOT of great releases in their,death,thrash/heavy metal and some doom as well
Enjoy and spread the word

Interview with Mike Z. owner of Paragon Rec and Hel's Trash done by Patrick

1.Metal hails Mike how is the world treating you? When did you first discover metal

1 Hey brother i am doing ok. Hating everything as always but not doing bad heh heh. I discovered metal when i was kid in middle school and when i discovered King Diamond on Head Bangers Ball watching the Family Ghost video it was all downhill and time to invert the crosses for life after that heh heh!!! Though i was already heading that way before i discovered metal that's for sure. However up to that point i never knew music could have such strong appearance and musicianship like that!!!

2.Who were some of the early bands that caught your attention? Who are some of the newer bands that have gotten your attention?

2 Well King Diamond as i mentioned before , Mercyful Fate, Metallica, Megadeth, etc... however it really was King Diamond/Mercyful Fate that got in my blood. That was really all i listened to for a few years with only listening to a few other bands albums and songs here and there and then i got really into the 80's early 90's death metal scene Death, Deicide, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Cannibal Corpse, Pestilence, Dismemeber, Tiamat, Asphyx, Cemetary, Malevolent Creation, Broken Hope, Baphomet, Grave, Unleashed, Sinister, Morgoth, Gorguts, Suffocation etc... and from there it just got worse heh heh. There are always bands both new an also old who i have just heard or maybe have just gotten more into and of course just spinning the bands i have enjoyed for years. Always got metal spinning so i am going to just list some from both the old and new that i have been listening to as of late. Hope that is ok. Here goes... Blodsrit, October 31, Nocturnal Breed, Mondstille, Gloria Morti, In Slumber, Old Dark Angel, Slaughter, Sinister, Bestiar, Underdark [POLAND], Dig Me No Grave, Trojan [R.I.P.], Order Of Tepes, Fantom Warrior, Satan, Obliteration, Penetagram Chile, Goat Penis, Gorefest [R.I.P.], Incubus[UNITED KINGDOM R.I.P.], Code, Desolator[USA], Kampfar,, Enthroned, Legion Of The Damned, Sodamned, Hokedun, Carcass, Heathen, Incantation, Fleshcrawl, Nosvrolk, Agrypnie, Christicide, Agent Steel, Excel, Judas Iscariot, Cannibal Corpse, Dark Celebration, Iconoclasm, Mercyless, Artificial Brain, Root, Bloodshed Walhalla, Aura Negativ, Morbid Sin, Hell, Mongrel's Cross, Crashdiet, Stormlord, Below, Murder Rape, Darkflight, Embalmer, Elffor, Judas Priest, Vultyr, King Diamond [OF COURSE], Lake Of Tears, Manowar, Bullet, Sadus, Candelmass, Bolt Thrower, Malevolent Creation, Immortal, Demolition Hammer, Gwar, Dominus Morti, Gramary, Ierichon, Frost[HUNGARY,] Equinox, Devastation [Texas R.I.P.], Marduk, My Silent Wake, Portrait, Tiamat, Swallow The Sun, Wildfire [R.I.P.], Witchkiller, etc... Also some now mental stuff would be Love Spirals Downward "Ever" CD and Neverland "The Night Shadows" CD. And of course my label release are always spinning at some point!!! That is why i signed them in the first place.

3.When did you get the idea to start up Paragon Records? How did you come up with the name of the label?

3 This was my old partner Jim Mroz idea. The idea came from us putting out our first cd ourselves. Jim came up with the name of the label and i have no idea where it came from. Possible horror influenced as Jim is a big fan of this genre.

4.Paragon had some great releases in 2013 from Storm Breeder,Fornace and Elderblood just to name a few.can you please tell the readers about these and any other releases you have available?

4 Thanx for the nice words i agree completely. Here is info on all our 2013 releases. Starting from the last and leading down to our first release of 2013.

Fornace [Italy[ - Pregnant is the Night CD Traditional Black/Death Metal with a touch of 80's metal influences, also inspired by old Rotting Christ, Varathron, Denial Of God, and Mystifier!!! A band that has had several line-up changes over the years and has been honing it's craft since 2000! This a masterful piece of vicious Black/Death with killer atmosphere and some really nice bass work as well which adds to the overall spirit of the album .. This band is truly devoted to the root of Black/Death Metal.

Elderblood [Ukraine] - Son Of The Morning CD. Symphonic Black Metal. Majestic and truly unique Black Metal band from the Ukraine. Think of mid Emperor and mid Dimmu Borgir however with a classic approach and much more organic sounding. Their are hints that the band is from the Ukraine however they have their own sound and feel and offer up a truly masterful dose of heavy melodic black metal with excellent keyboards to add that extra touch that will lead you to the outer realms. Features former members of Nokturnal Mortumn. ALMOST SOLD OUT!!!

Root [Czech Republic] - Kargeras CD. Epic Dark Metal. Truly one of the most innovative bands to ever exist in the underground metal scene and in the metal genre as well!!!!! This also has to be one of their most diverse works to date with a unique feel that only Root can deliver! This is extremely hard to find in it's original format and a proper re-release for this is well overdue. If ever a band and a release truly deserved the word "CULT". This is it!!! FEATURES 11 MINUTES OF BONUS MATERIAL!!! NOT FOR TRENDIES AND NOTHING MORE NEEDS TO BE SAID!!!!!!

Permanent Midnight [USA] - Under The Blood Moon CD. Black/Death metal done in truly a unique way. It has the traditional black and death voice however done with real sincerity and very extreme. This also manages to blend both styles in a way not often heard. You will hear influences raging from Early Cradle Of Filth , American Death Metal, Swedish death metal guitar tone and riffing, and a touch of Doom/Death Metal. The songs are simple, well crafted, and played with great intensity!!! BANG YOUR FUCKING HEAD, SOAK UP THE KEYBOARD MOMENTS, AND GET IN THE PIT!!! Raw, and in your face!!!! The best comparison i can make is early Thou Shalt Suffer as both bands are dark as hell, HOWEVER THIS RELEASE CLEARLY STANDS ON ITS OWN! Features a member of Funeral Dust. ALMOST UNDER 100 COPIES LEFT!!!

Storm Breeder [Australia] - The Knave CD Speed/Thrash/Heavy Metal. Truly a unique blend of these styles that features everything from blast beasts to female vocals with a very unique lead male vocal. You will hear influences from Death, old Metallica, Dawnbringer, Arghoslent, and even 90's Black Metal. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT THOUGH THIS IS PURE METAL!!!! Some say the band reminds them of Sabbat from the UK!!!! FEATURES A FORMER MEMBER OF MOURNFUL CONGREGATION. ALMOST UNDER 100 COPIES LEFT!!!

Kozeljnik [Serbia] Null: The Acheron Of Mutiform Negation MCD WHICH INCLUDES 2 BONUS TRACKS FROM 2007 EP "WRECKED IN RUINS OF SOLITUDE". Once again Kozeljnik delivers some of the bleakest black metal to express just how void and shallow are existence truly is. This is a natural progression from "Deeper The Fall" and also retains the bands trademark style.Features Niklas Kvarforth of Shining as guest. This release is over 35 minutes long so i trade it as a cd since it can be sold for the price of one. ALMOST SOLD OUT!!!!

5.What do you have in store for the Paragon Rec. fans and supporters in 2014 any upcoming releases to tell the readers about?

5 Here is the info starting from our latest to our first at the bottom so far for 2014 and there should be more surprises coming from Paragon Records coming in 2014!!!

Grey Skies Fallen [USA] - The Many Sides Of Truth CD. Melodic Doom/Death Metal with Progressive Elements. Originally known as Eve Of Mourning in 1996 and quickly changing their name to Grey Skies Fallen in 1997. This is another band that has been dwelling in the deepest catacombs of the underground honing their craft. With already 2 demos, 1 single, 2 eps, & 3 albums under their belt Grey Skies Fallen deliver a truly thought provoking and masterful piece of work that has a primal and organic feel!!! The band is influenced by such metal acts as Opeth, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, & Anathema,... however truly have a sound and approach that is all their own with many non-metal influences. I personally feel anybody who enjoys almost any form of metal or listens to music with an open mind will find this album not only enjoyable but thought provoking and truly challenging to the listener. Most impressive!!!!! WELCOME TO THE MANY SIDES OF TRUTH! Features members of Buckshot Facelift!!!! OUT MAY 6TH!!!!! SO IT SHOULD BE OUT BY THE TIME PEOPLE ARE READING THIS.

Heretical [Italy] - "Daemonarchrist "Daemon Est Devs Inversvs" CD. Originally known as Immolator and after 3 demos changing their name to Heretical they have been lurking and refining their dark craft since 1993!!! This being the bands third full length once again shows how the old mixed with the new can be such a brutal and destructive combination. This also is another prime example of how symphonic black metal can be creative and yet devastating!! You will hear hints of mid era Marduk in some of the riffing however other then that the band has an approach though not overly original is all their own as they incorporate their own dose of occult sounds and ambiance that will bring to mind other Italian greats as Evol [R.I.P.], Mortuary Drape, Necromass, Opera IX etc.... . They even incorporate the old school gang Thrash vocals, some nice lead guitar work, as well as Death Metal Influences!!! There is some violin and piano on a couple of tracks to add to the overall atmosphere to. A band that has resided for far to long in the deepest pits of the underground and mostly unknown until now will leave it's mark with this Epic Modern Black Metal masterpiece!!!! THE SECOND COMING OF DARKNESS IS HERE!!!!

Panychida [Czech Republic] - Grief For An Idol CD. With already 2 demos,, 2 dvds, 1 ep, and 2 albums released the band has struck with their most professional and most complex work!!! The album features bagpipes, choirs, clean vocals, and even a guest appearance from Vganor [of HELHEIM/TAAKE]!!! With mixtures of raw melodic death metal to black n' roll all on one album this is the bands strongest and most focused song writing to date along with their most powerful production to really make the material hit hard...!!!! Panychida easily stakes their claim for their own brand of Pagan/Black Metal!!! NOT TO BE MISSED!!!! This is a split release with Werewolf Productions & Cursed Records.

6.Are you currently looking to add any new bands to the Paragon family? What are some things you look for when signing and releasing a band?

6 Always but only as i am able to. Our funds are limited. We have to like the music first and foremost. The band has to be professional, a good attitude, and we can stand behind what they are doing. Also almost all of them have to agree to a simple but honest underground deal.

7.Mike you have been running Paragon Rec for many years now what keeps you motiviated for keeping the label going for so long?

7 It's just something i want to do. I always wanted to be a part of doing a label and also a band back when i was just ordering releases for myself so i could make my mark in the scene. And i got what i wanted. It also remains home for my band Dimentianon. I am just driven to do it. And no matter how crazy or not in the mood i am to do the work sometimes there is always something that draws me back almost daily. It's beyond me and not something i am in control of that's for sure. Rather be involved in life then just watching it pass me by.

8.What do you feel makes a successful label? Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking about starting a label?

8 I really do not know the answer to this as Paragon Records is not what i would call a successful label. PARAGON RECORDS SURVIVES! Big difference. My advice is if you are coming here to make money then you have come to the wrong place. However if you are coming here for the passion of doing this and really live for metal then do your label your way and put out the bands you want [not what is trendy] and also do not put out to many releases a year. This has been a problem with the scene for years and continues to be a problem with why the scene gets saturated with so many bands that all sound the same or are not really that good.

9.What is your opinion on digital releases and downloads etc. are any of the Paragon releases on any download sites?

9 It's a new age we are in and i do sell our releases digitally through metal hits. It's of no personal interest of mine though however i do what i can to keep up with the times.

10.Each band on the Paragon roster is metal but with their own unique style and sound.So I was wondering would you consider yourself an open-minded towards metal and music in general?

10 Thank you for the nice words and for noticing that i could not agree more. I consider myself a very open minded person regarding metal and music in general. And our bands being very different to one another even if they are in the same genre is no accident. We are very picky with what we will sign and we want our bands to be different to one another. This is somersetting we are proud of. It keeps it fresh and interesting.

11.Coming back to the subject of labels you opened a sub-label Hel's Trash when did you decide to open a second label?

11 This was not my decision but my good friend Brian Varney of Graeskul/Weird And Pissed Off. He really wanted to do a tape label and asked me if it's ok if we made it a part of Paragon Records and i thought it was a great idea.Tapes are Brian and my personal favorite format. The label will also branch out to other things in the future.

12.How did you come up with the name for this sub-label? What have you released so far? Are their any new Releases coming soon?

12 Brian came up with the name so you would have to ask him. He has informed me it is quite complicated how he came up with it though. These are the releases thus far.






Their are 3 more tape releases planned for the future. Thy are as follows -

Sacrificial Blood - Dual Cassette Title to be announced.
Funeral Dust - Dual Cassette Title to be announced. Features a member of Permanent Midnight.
Aldaaron - Supreme Silence

However for right now the label is on hold.

13.When not working on label business what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

13 Sex, sleep, half hour comedy shows [I am a junkie] detective shows [real not acted], cartoons, Simpsons, Star Wars, hanging with my girl, my friends, family, being alone most of the time.

14.Well Mike thank you for taking the time to do this interview with you have any final words for the readers and supporters of Paragon and Hel's trash ?

14 Thanx for all the support you have shown me over the years brother i greatly appreciate it!!! Good luck with your web zine. Anybody looking to get in touch please do not hesitate i answer all my mail whether it be snail mail or email. All my contact info is below.Thanx to everyone for any support they have shown Paragon Records, Dimentianon, and Sectioned. Remember to keep metal sick and never loose heart!!!

PO BOX 879
11953 USA
email -