Interview with Trey Azagthoth (1996)
By Bill Zebub
from The Grimoire n°6
The Grimoire : Thy attitude, as a band, has come under a
lot of scrutiny. Dave Vincent has made some bold comments when asked
about how involved he is in thy local scene. He responded with,
What scene? There is no scene. Theres only Morbid
Angel! Dost thou think that such assertions hinder thee?
Trey : Um ... Not really.
But how canst thou say that? A lot of bands have taken
tremendous offense to that.
Really? Like who?
I am not at liberty to mention. But let us step away from
thy peers. Fans have found the arrogant statements to be distasteful. It
is not really an attitude that they admire. But then there are those who
worship thee and praise thy airs.
Well, let me put it this way - we just feel that what we say is accurate to whats going on as far as fact. When you blow all the smoke away, were talking about whats standing - a secure thing thats real. Theres a lot of hype and stuff like that surrounding a lot of bands. Were just talking about actually whats the music all about - whats going into it, you know, without any extra fluff n stuff that people would talk about that really has nothing to do with music. We only just talk about our music and how powerful it is and how we feel that its the most powerful music there is. Its just what we feel. It goes beyond just music. It goes in just about everything. Theres a lot of people who. . . their whole career is just based on hype and fluff talk and all that kind of stuff, and fronts. Our career is based on serious material that we put a lot of time and effort into. So we just believe in ourselves and believe in our stuff.
Didst thou find it to be humiliating to be dropped from
What is the next step?
As far as labels, we dont know. Were just gonna see who gives us the best offer. As far as music, I dont see us changing really, anymore than its changed with all the previous records.
Thou art very proud of incorporating certain extreme tempo
notes in thy arrangements. I have heard thee say that not many musicians
are capable of such feats. Dost thou care to expound?
What is it about the Morbid Angel guitar that cannot be
Well, I think really its not the playing - its the creativity. Thats really what its all about. Its the vision that is behind the riffing. Im not saying that people cant figure out our stuff, or be shown and mechanically pla it. But what Im saying is that I dont see any other band coming up with as many different types of rhythms and song structures as we have on our records, and covered as much ground. Thats what I think is the difference. This band has a little bit more creativity, imagination, and we create so much new stuff in this type of music as far as all the different songs. . . when you take them and dissect them for what they are, theres a lot coming from one band. The two videos that we put on MTV, like, Rapture and God of Emptiness - those two songs are, like, totally different from one another. One is, like, really fast and brutal, and hyper speed. The other is , like, down-tuned and slow and really heavy and all that. Theyre totally different. But theyre from the same band. I dont see any other band that is producing such a broad range of music. I havent heard it.
Thou art heavily into the Sumerian gods?
Is that because of what thou hast read of Lovecrafts
fiction, or is it because thou dost possess an actual anthropological
Well, I havent really read any H.P. Lovecraft. David has. Fiction... you know, fact... I pretty much study the actual books that are translations from the old. . . uh. . . I can say scriptures and stuff like that, in those areas. Its like, you know, fiction or . . . myth. Myths are, like, based on what people believed You could say, or I could say, that all religion is fiction because theres nothing really physically factual about it. Its just all belief. Belief is the power. You can invent your own kind of religion, and if you believe in it strong enough and anchor in a reality to it, then you give it power, and it is powerful. So its kind of a question between, like, something being all fiction, and then something being, like, factual religion. I mean, all religion is basically, you know, peoples ideas and what they would say about a belief about some kind of power or something thats beyond the physical realm. Its all intangible. Its not really something like a car or, like, food, or something that you can see and hold and touch. Its something that you believe in. Its something that gets your spiritual powers going. Myself, the stuff that Ive read, that was, like, very interesting to me. Thats the way I live my life. I choose things that I like myself . . . what do I feel a part of or what can I feel a part of.
Vincent says that his interest is pure belief. Is that the
same with thee? Or is it just an area of study?
Um. . . I dont know. Maybe both.
Dost thou think that it is absurd to adopt a culture that
is not thine? How canst thou be seen as authentic in thy belief if it is
not only a foreign civilization, but a civilization long dead?
Well, when you say, to be seen. . . to be seen by who? By myself?
By others, of course.
Well, see, I dont care what other people think. I dont base anything on what other people say is cool or what other people say is norm because I create my own cool and my own standards. I really dont base any- thing by other peoples ideas of whats right and wrong.
But if thou truly did not care what other people thought,
thou wouldst not profess thy unusual tastes to the world. Thou wouldst
just dismiss prying questions with no comment or this
is not appropriate for discussion. Thou calls thyself by a
pseudonym that is from that culture. So that would lead people to ask
thee about it. Dost thou not think that thou art baiting people?
I just think that Im living my life the way I choose, which is Satanism. See, I dont think of it like that. I just do whatever I feel is best for myself. When I get the opportunity to say what I got to say, I say it. People listen to it. Great if they dont. Big Deal! It doesnt affect me much either way.
When thou did say Satanism, Didst thou refer
to the Anton LaVey school of Satanism? Or is it what occultists call
Im talking about my interpretation of Satanism.
Wouldst thou care to share a couple of things about that
Well, to me, Satanism is believing in yourself and making your own decisions, and pretty much controlling the way you live your life and what you do and what you think... you know, doing it for yourself and doing things because you want to and not because other people expect it out of you or other people are gonna think its gonna be cool or whatever. But really, actually, you can do that too if thats important to you. The bottom line is, doing whats important to you.
Is there anything evil about Satanism?
Evil? How do you describe evil? Is that just the opposite of holiness?
No. Evil as in hatred, acts that hurt others. . . perhaps
it is the common idea of evil than thy own. I know evil is a relative
term. But understand that I will always use common conventions, as I am
not aware of thy own definitions.
...probably. Im full of hatred. But I dont live my life trying to hurt other people.
How about horrific? Is there anything horrifying about thy
version of Satanism?
To me, or to other people?
To others, obviously.
I would say that Christians would. Average people, you know, maybe not. It depends on the individual, really, because, see, Im beyond that. I think of people as Individuals, and maybe sometimes theyre a little more sheep-ish than others because they wanna follow the leader or follow and be part of something as opposed to, you know, letting themselves be by themselves iin a decision or idea. I would say that it depends. You take a group of people and you might have out of ten, 3 people are saying one thing and the rest are saying something else. Its hard to say. I didnt really spend my time thinking about what other people think that much because thats their job. Im more concerned with what I think and what I do. I just do what I feel is best for myself.
Is there rivalry between Glen Benton and Dave Vincent?
Well, I dont think theres any really from David. See, what it is, is, I mean, it all boils down to people and the way they are and their values and what they think. See, us. . .were always asked questions about that band and other bands and whatever. Oh. What do you think about their latest record? See, part of Satanism too, by our definition, is to speak what you feel is the truth for you. What is your reality? Say it boldly. Dont kiss ass and say, Theyre cool. and then by yourself youre thinking , Oh they really suck. Oh I dont really like them. But Im gonna say theyre coot because I wanna be cool I dont care about being cool. That doesnt mean anything to me. So we just say what we think, and people dont like that. So. . . whatever. But see, I know also that they say what they think, and they say things about our band, and you know, to me, when you look at the music, I dont really see that it can be compared. I think theres a big difference between our records and their records as far as accomplishments and as far as creativity and, you know, you throw away all the hype and you get to the music and you just listen to it and what it does it do... I just feel that our music does a lot more.
But philosophically, are they opposed diametrically, Glen
I dont know. I guess you have to ask him. I know, myself, Im actually very supportive of Deicide these days because I personally think that the drummer and Glen... I think they do a great job, you know, what they do. I think the vocals are really very creative and I think the drummins really solid. But you know, for me, I just always kind of felt that the music was lacking something. I just didnt really get much out of the actual songs from one song to the next. But I really hope Deicide stays around because I think that the scene or whatever needs more bands right now, it seems like its just us that is really doing something and selling records and making things happen. But I really hope that Deicide stays around. I dont have any beef with them at all. I just think that besides maybe talking and making all this hype up or whatever, they should maybe think about their music a little bit more. But whatever. I mean, theyre doin what they wanna do.
With regard to the Satanic element, it has been observed
that most people who are very loud about proclaiming themselves as
Satanic are often of puny stature and that they only pretend that they
are Satanists to compensate for their physical weakness. Wouldst thou
say that this applies to thee?
As far as proclaiming that Im a Satanist?
It has been suggested that thou and Tommy from Motley Crue
are the same person, making fun of thy skinny arms, and stating that the
only reason thou art in the occult is to create some sort of macho image
because thy physical presence cannot possibly do so.
Well, I can tell you one thing. Im not, like, in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or some kind of prize boxer. So Im certainly not trying to be some kind of massive macho fighter or whatever. Im a guitar player. Thats what I do. Thats what Im offering these people. . . is my guitar playing. I put a lot of time and effort into that, and I think that in that Im very powerful and Ive accomplished a lot. I dont really know what thats supposed to mean.
Has anyone ever hugged thee and loved the and called the
Has anyone done what now?
Has anyone hugged thee and loved thee and called the
Not that I remember.
If thou ever played baseball, wouldst thou be pitcher or
I dont know.
If thou wert having gay sex with thy manager, wouldst thou
be pitcher or catcher?
Well, I dont know. That sounds petty weak to me.
Thy hecklers are may.
Thats the thing. Why arent these people who are saying all this stuff. . . how come theyre not, like, writing music thats gonna just make our band nothing? I dont get that. Its easy to say a mouthful of nothing. But its a lot more work to create music and product, because thats what a band is. A band is music. Thats what its all about. Its about making music and creating a statement, and devastating with chord structures and timing sequences and things like that. All this other stuff.. It means nothing.