Interview with Trey Azagthoth (1995)
By Neil Haldis
from Metal Hammer
So says Morbid Angel's Trey Azagthoth, Once possessed by blinding hatred, the reclusive guitarist breaks his silence to Neil Aldis about control, creativity and Satanism.
Since Morbid Angel's inception. Trey Azagthoth has been in them mystery man. David Vincent band's frontman and bassist, has always been in the limelight due to his beliefs whether be it for his Nazi at Satanic ones, but Trey has remained a mystery Now, however, Trey is taking up the Interview mantle and stepping out from behind his shroud of secrecy.
"I just decided it was really good to be able to communicate with people," says Trey, speaking of his reasons for coming out of his shell "I've got a lot to say now and I've found out how to control and concentrate my hate, because my hate was taking me and tearing me up, making me hate everybody. I was hating them because my hate had no boundaries. But you see that's pathetic, because hate is an emotion. It's just like I've learnt how to constrain it and to balance it with caring and seeing people for being the wonderful things that they are, and pretty much overlooking their actions that might tell me different about them."
It's a very strange experience talking to Trey mainly because you expect him to be at least a little nasty. But on the contrary, Trey does not hide behind his hair. Nor does he feed you with short, one-sentence answers. In fact he talks so fast and so excitedly that, although you hear every word he says. It's almost impossible to keep up with the train of thought. Its like he's grown up, and abandoned the more childish aspects of satanic imagery.
"Grown up? That's kinda funny' I feel 16! But I have opened my mind and taken a second look at things and tried to broaden the way that I look at things. I can still tell you that my hate has no boundaries I am capable at the most hate on the planet but I'm not gonna live by that standard all the lime because that's something that's used at a certain time. Now it's more like joy and pleasure that are more important for me. I found that my creativity is much more inspired when I feel good inside, I don't mean holy, that has nothing So do with holy' good Is something that's empowering to me, something that makes me feel inspired."
Consider that it's the word 'good' he uses - one that you wouldn't expect to find a Satanist using in such a context. But Trey has more revelations.
"I'm not really a big Satanist I'm a Satanist if it's between Satanism and Christianity, but I see things as way broader than that. I am loyal to myself and loyal to me. My self likes to be open to everything that I can use. There are certain things in Satanism that don't appeal to me. The whole thing about Christianity is the thought of being a sheep and needing a shepherd: I feel I don't need that, I can make my own decisions. My message to people is that my part of Morbid Angel, what I feel, it used to be simply a weapon against Christianity, but now it's more than that. It's more of a weapon against some kind at organization or group that would try to step on people's potential and steal their dreams. To me, people are incredible and have so much potential. Every single body of the planet, if they are not born with some kind of crazy handicap that's really hindering their brain, then they can have absolute potential. When they are born they have unlimited potential, that's the way I look at it. You take that child and you either enhance them at you hinder them."
"When people think, "Wow I can do just about anything" that's great. People are unique, let the uniqueness shine. The world's a big place, let these people be their way and do their things. There's plenty of room in the world for people to be themselves The only rules to me would be do what you think is best for yourself but don't infringe on someone else. And when someone comes up in your face and tries to stop you doing your thing, then try to negotiate, work around them. But if it's a question of you or them, then you should have the right to continue your path. That poses the question: 'Do I have the right to be myself?' I think you do."
It's obvious that Trey has been thinking; though there are a few flows in his beliefs. If everyone were to become successful, become what they want to be, then who would clean the streets? Who would work in the factories building microchips? The fact is that not everyone can be a "someone". When you put this to Trey, however, he disagrees and does not accept the theory.
"The main thing when I was young was Christianity. I saw
that Christianity was the opposite of people being themselves. They were
saying you must accept the blood of Jesus Christ and if you don't you're
damned. To me, that's very limiting. I think it would be fair enough to
say. If you wanna be a part of your heaven, then you have to do this.
"But how can they say that Is the only heaven? How can they say
that's the only good? I don't feet that's
"I think everyone should question everything for themselves You shouldn't go with "that's just the way it is", you have a choice - you can go along with it or you can make a change. Maybe you've got the guts to get up and say something and start a chain reaction. I think a lot of people are so worried about acceptance that they would go against their own morals or beliefs to fit In with something."
The main thing about Trey is his obsession with his guitar. It's widely known that at home Trey spends nearly all his time playing. He's so obsessed that he's even brought a guitar with him to the interview, and afterwards gives me a demonstration of a few of his licks. When he's playing guitar, he's totally at home, running through a repertoire of sweeps and tapping.
"The music is always so important. It's art; it's an expression. When I write Some riffs and stuff, I'm thinking I'm making a difference; I'm trying to add something that maybe will fuel other People In the some way that I was fueled and fed by Eddie Van Halen when he first appeared. To me he is the most Important living guitar player there 's, at least In America, because he changed so much.
I would like to change things. Maybe not on that scale, but I do have a lot of ideas, I am a paradigm shifter - In other words, I like to go out and try to build something from in here (taps chest). It doesn't matter what's cool today, it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit in. I write a song because ultimately I wanna press this song on CD with a great sound and be able to Sit down and enjoy it. That is a total self-indulgence. I wrote the riff for "where the slime" and to me that had to be built. When I listen to it I think it's a wonderful thing. The next step is when I can share that with others."
The one thing that Trey has introduced to the world of guitar playing is his off-the-wall style. Described by many as the sound at someone playing a guitar backwards.
"I'm not the only one that ran do it. Everyone can do it if they just tap into themselves. As long as they are thinking the way they chose to think they can do it."
Trey Azagthoth -not so scary after all.