I caught up with Krullenzith of Ripsaw, a death metal band from Houston. This is how the short interview went down.
SUM: So first off, are you all from Houston or is there like a mixture going on here?
Krullenzith: Yes, we're all from Houston and actually grew up around the same neighborhood.
SUM: Now, I personally know of the trials and errors of getting a band together, did you guys just get together and decide
to form a band or was it more of a search by one or two of ya?
Krullenzith: Well, Dustin and I actually started looking for band members back in 1994. I was in highschool at the time and
this is where we first came in contact with Mario. I was on drums, Dustin was on guitar, with Mario on bass. We found more
members and started our first band playing covers. As the years went by we went our separate ways and were involved in different
projects. It wasn't until around April 2001 when we decided to get a serious metal project started. It just seemed like the
right time since metal is at a peak right now and bands getting signed by major record labels.
SUM: The metal music scene has gotten alot of bad publicity for the last like 20 years or so, do you think you fit into the
stereotype or are you on the outside of this rush?
Krullenzith: People are afraid of what they don't understand and try to destroy it out of fear. The reactions to metal is
a great example of the ignorance infested on this dying world. The metal genre is no doubt the most extreme type of music
and artists choose to express their feelings and image in various directions. People react to this in many ways. The fans
can relate to the music and the media tries to blame violent crimes on music just because it's so extreme compared to anything
in the mainstream. No metal band can be outside this rush... the media don't see past the image and extreme sound so no matter
what a band's message is, they will fall into the same stereotype until the masses opens their eyes.
SUM: Do you think that sometime in the future, near or far, society will ever allow pure metal bands into a pseudo-mainstream?
Or would you rather stay
on an underground level?
Krullenzith: Metal has always had it's mainstream bands and it's underground bands and always will. Just as in the early to
mid 90s bands like Pantera and Sepultura were really noticed in the mainstream. Before this, heavy metal bands played in clubs
and small venues but now were selling out arenas and having almbums go gold and platinum. It died down for awhile but history
repeats itself. I see it happening again with the growing interest in bands like Slipknot, Mudvayne, Kittie, etc... These
are no doubt the "mainstream" metal bands but they're opening gates for heavier, more underground bands to actually get noticed.
I see it happening and so do the record labels. I mean, fuck, Sony signed England's black metal act Cradle of Filth! This
is a perfect example of what's going to happen in the future. Black metal and death metal have been underground since the
80s. Now it looks like some of these bands are going to get signed and be intoduced as "new metal" to the public, even though
the genre has been around for years. Personally, I favor underground metal and the atmosphere of club shows but as a band
we want to make money and eventually give up our 40hr/week dayjobs and make money doing what we enjoy most in life signed
on a label.
SUM: What, in your own words, do you think is the definition of metal music? Is it simply a style of music or is it a way
Krullenzith: It's different for everyone, but to me it's a way of life. As a vocalist I write the lyrics and they're based
in my feelings, theories, or just something that's on my mind. I guess you can say any music genre is a way of life...it's
just according to perception.
SUM: So, what's in your CD player right now? Any bands you have as role models or heroes?
Krullenzith: Lemme see...I have some Emperor, Morbid Angel, Limbonic Art, Chimaira, Mortiis, and Dimmu Borgir in my player
right now. As a kid I listened to my brother's AC/DC and Motley Crue tapes and other pop rock bands suck as Def Leppard, Ratt
and Quiet Riot. My influences in metal started with Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth when I was 12 years old or so. From
there I discovered Pantera, Sepultura, Slayer and other bands gaining recognition in the 90s. in 1993 I discovered the underground
music scene. I was surprised to find out there were bands heavier than Pantera and Slayer at this point.
I was only 15 at the time and didn't realize there was an underground metal scene with extremely talented bands. Since then
I've focused on these bands I have been influenced more by the underground scene than any other subgenre of metal. As for
the other Ripsaw members, I can say they had many different influences than I have had. Less involved in the underground,
but influenced in music I overlooked since I was so focused on non-mainstream music. That's what makes Ripsaw a unique band.
With our new lineup with more influences and writing new material, you can expect an evolved sound in the upcoming Ripsaw
SUM: Ok, well we're coming to the end of this short interview, I'd like to thank you for taking the time out of your life
for it and the best of luck to you guys in the future.
Krullenzith: Ok, thank you for your support and giving us the opportunity to gain exposure in your zine.
Check out their website