Friday, March 05, 2010
Lawnmower Deth re-union.
Question: You said of Ripping Corpse 'It was the Hardcore look (short hair & baseball cap) of the singer which actually put me off signing them'. So what about Mr. Qualcast Mutilator? Also what did you think of the whole Lawnmower Deth reunion thing? If they ever do anything again, would you work with them again? And what was Petes job at Earache when he worked there? From:
Answer: I was asked in a previous blog how much band image plays a part in getting signed- and I used the Ripping Corpse example to highlight how a cohesive look is just easier on the eye to the fans, than a disjointed image. The band were musically superb, and we ended up working with mainman Erik Rutan a few years later anyway and released countless albums of his work in Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal.So I don't feel too bad about passing on Ripping Corpse now.
I only really mentioned it to show how the mind of an A&R guy works- first impressions matter and the look of a band can influence how fans react to you before they even hear the music. People decide what sort of person you are like by the most fleeting of signals, its simply human nature. Of course, in an ideal world the look of a band should not matter one jot - personally speaking over the years I have had short spikey hair, long hair, really long hair, dreadlocks, buzz cut and now balding/short hair with baseball cap - and I've been the exact same person all that time!
The difference between Ripping Corpse and Lawnmower Deth is that one played deadly serious Death Metal, and the other played madcap, zany Thrash, with bags of crowd participation. Lawnmower Deth could get away with it, plus as you point out, singer Pete Lee (Qualcast Mutilator) was actually working at Earache at the time, doing Press and Promotion.
Pete was responsible for doing the press and promotion during the labels heyday,our Death Metal and grindcore bands rapidly exploded in popularity during the early 90's and Pete was behind a lot of the publicity the bands received. He remains a legend round these parts, and the bulging press-packs of our bands from that era are testament to his powers of persuasion.
As you can see from their Download performance last summer 09 (which this blog predicted a year beforehand) Pete is a commanding frontman, it took a lot of guts and supreme confidence to come out of retirement and play to a packed Download festival crowd, but Pete soon had the crowd eating out of his hand, doing mexican waves, fish dances, the lot. The band's enthusiasm for performing is simply infectious.
This was always Lawnmower Deth's thing- you went to the show knowing that you as the crowd would play a big part in the nights performance. A Nottingham band called Evil Scarecrow are getting popular doing a really similar thing nowadays, its madcap, theatrical black/horror metal with lots of crowd participation.They play theme tunes and silly cover songs aswell- its guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Worth checking out, and if you go, watch the crowd perform 'Robototron' to see what crowd participation means.
Lawnmower Deth- Live at Download festival 2009:
Evil Scarecrow- Final Countdown