Interview with Doomsday Refreshment Committee
Doomsday Refreshment Committee is no stangers to VampireFreaks, and neither is the man behind the mask, Jerry. However it is amazing to say that a man with no major label is turning heads with his honest, bruising, and chaotic brand of music. Growing through some of music's most inspirational times, he has managed to forge with his own vision the lessons of the past into a monstrosity I doubt you will ignore. So without further adieu I give you Jerry:
DeathWish: I have to wonder, so many artists talk about the moment in their lives (i.e. shows, albums, etc.) that influenced them to pursue music. What moment stirred those emotions for you?
Jerry: I remember the first music I ever heard was Black Sabbath. That was without a doubt the band that got me into music. The guitars were so huge and tuned low... very dark and brooding. After that I would have to say KISS. They were HUGE in the mid 70’s when I was a kid and they led the way to almost everything we have today as far as stage shows
DeathWish: Your music has an eerie resemblance to the old days of Wax Trax and roots of experimental music. Would it be fair to say the old school mentality inspired you? And how have you used it in your own studio?
Jerry: I grew up and cut my teeth in that time line so hell yeah it had a major influence on me. Back then bands had to actually PLAY instruments and did not have the tools we have today that make so much of this a lot easier. Hell... anyone with FL Studio can paste a bunch of pre-recorded loops together these days and call that “song writing”. You and I both know that is FAR from it.
That old school mentality is something you just cannot buy... it’s LEARNED over time. I play every instrument you hear except for the drums... and even the drums are not loops. Every single drum hit and cymbal crash is done one note at a time. I think it gives it a much more human “feel” that way. I have also always believed in the old saying... “less is more” in music. If it’s too busy sounding... you are only speaking to other musicians... not the public in general. Those are some of the things I keep in mind when I make noise.
DeathWish: You just completed your new album “Crown of Thorns”; I would have to say it seems like the more dark of your compositions. Where was your mind when carving out this creation?
Jerry: Things have been a mess on my side of the fence for a bit. My mother was not doing well for quite a while and she passed away January 15th this year. My father just passed away May 15th as well. Things have been a bit dark in my life for a while now and I guess it showed in what I was making music wise. The other part of that would be relationships HAHA! I have been lured into some really bad things relationship wise over the past year... and yeah... you can hear LOTS of that in there!
DeathWish: On the topic of your new work, the album cover features what I am sure is an image that many in the right wing would call “offensive”. Where did the concept come from and who is the mind behind the design?
Jerry: Quite a while back I was chatting with a friend that does graphics and he showed me a thing he drew of this spikey, thorn like thing sort of like a crown and I really liked it so the idea “Crown Of Thorns” was born there. When the CD was close to being done, I spoke with my friend Daniel here on VF who had done other pieces of art over last year. You guys would know him as “cloning_souls”. Daniel is nothing short of AMAZING in what he does... so I asked him if he would mind working on the CD art for Crown Of Thorns. He agreed and we talked about a few vague ideas and a few days later... BAM... there it was! He hit it right on the head the first time! I was in total awe of what he just “came up with” and it fit perfectly. PLEASE guys... head over to his profile and check out what this man does.
DeathWish: Now I have to touch on this issue, these days it would seem artists and labels are stuck in the mindset of bickering over the whole internet piracy deal. Yet with even the following you have you have almost given a great deal of your music away. What influenced you to do this? Is it your middle finger to the industry gone bad?
Jerry: I think a lot of what is “wrong” in music today is it IS a business and so much just gets lost along the way because of money and cost factors. To give you an idea of how this works... most labels actually have people that will go hear a band that is doing well... sign them... then pay someone to tell the band HOW TO SOUND? This is so dumb and that’s why most of today’s music all sound alike.
Don’t get me wrong... I like cash flow as much as the next guy but I have to LIKE what I am doing. My heart would not be into it if other people were going to take the end product and strip it down and chop it all up and make into something totally different... ummm... you signed me WHY?
Getting your stuff out there is the best selling tool in the world. I sell enough to get back what I put into it because it all comes out of my own pocket. After that... have at it. If I give a CD away to one person... then you can bet that’s 10 more people he will play it for and it grows like wildfire. In short... stop worrying about filling your pockets and get yourself out there... the rest will find its own way.
DeathWish: Staying in the same vein of an industry gone bad, you have seen so much of the industry (some aspects that most kids today only read in books) what is your personal feeling on where the industry has been and going?
Jerry: For a long time it was not going in a good direction at all. Again... all about money but the internet made a good thing in the end. It gave us all the perfect tool to get your stuff worldwide with the simple click of a mouse. I can’t give enough praise to people like Jet who take the time out of their lives to give us things like this very site right here. The web alone has enabled me to do things that were just not possible not that long ago. With that in mind... I think the industry has had to rethink a few things as to how this all works. Shaking things up a bit is never a bad thing.
DeathWish: Let’s go a bit back in time. Before DRC were you involved in other bands? If so what insight can you give us on your evolution?
Jerry: I was a product of the 80’s music wise. My fist big thing was a band called “Leather Nunn” that released an album in 1986. It never really did too much then but funny how time bites you in the ass... 20 years later that album is a HUGE collector’s item for vintage 80’s metal as it was a very limited release. Copies have sold for as much as $1200 EACH! I have a few copies stuck back for my kids... but the temptation to sell them is hard! Google that name and get a giggle...
After that... bands like Pantera were really big in the 90’s metal scene. I was in a project like that called “Cronic Reality” (yes... misspelled on purpose) and that later turned into just “Cronic”. That was more of a death metal type band and we toured as the opener of bands like Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, and Napalm Death. I stopped music for about 8 years to be a dad and then... D.R.C.
DeathWish: You have made it public about you being a proud father of two lovely ladies, how has being a father affected you in your writing? Does it make you bite your tongue or set you loose?
Jerry: Me and my ex-wife raise our kids in the real world. They know what’s out there both good and bad and are both VERY smart and do well in school. To them I am just daddy so I pretty much just be myself
DeathWish: I am very anxious to know as I am sure your fans are on VampireFreaks, when will we get a chance to see DRC live?
Jerry: Without a doubt. As soon as all is done with the CD part... the process of getting a few live people together for a string of shows. Ya know? There is this sexy ass bass player that does reviews on some Vampire website that would be great for D.R.C. ~ponders~
DeathWish: hahahaha…. Thanks Jerry I am packing the bags now and coming to Florida, an honor indeed!
DeathWish: When taking a band into a live realm it seems every artist has a different concept of how they want to see their music represented, how about you?
Jerry: Again... old school. I love the straight up “band with a wall of amps” just beating your face in approach
DeathWish: You have experimented with videos and have three already in your cellar. Has it made you see your music differently in a visual aspect?
Jerry: The 3 that I have are all fan done. People make these themselves and it is flattering beyond words. D.R.C. is something that would have a big visual appeal I do believe so I would love to make some sort of “real” video.
DeathWish: For several years now you have been one of the most popular bands on VampireFreaks, and out of the most popular bands you are the only one who truly lives D.I.Y. (do it yourself), what do you think separates you from the rest?
Jerry: Doing it all on my own removes the “changing your vision” factor. It’s all my idea from start to finish with no one changing things up somewhere along the way but on the down side... there is never anyone to blame but myself when things don’t quite turn out as planned.
DeathWish: The core of this popularity is of course the fans, what would you like to say to all of them?
Jerry: You guys fucking rock my world! It is YOU that makes ALL of this happen for every artist and that is something I have NEVER lost sight of. Without YOU... there would be no ME. I love you all and thank you for allowing me to entertain you with the noise I make