For this new interview, I decided to have a talk with Mike Cheese, the singer from the Infamous Gehenna. There is not a lot I want to add to the questions, as I think it is an intriguing, self-explanatory interview about Holy Terror and Mike and his role in Gehenna. The latest releases from them can be found on A389 Records. Crush all fakes.
I know you are careful with your explanations, so feel free to spread the knowledge freely, it will not be censored or whatever.
I’m actually not that careful with things like this. I just kind of shoot it all out there and let the person writing the article or interview become responsible. I feel like is somebody wants to ask me a question, they should think about the question they’re going ask. They shouldn’t concentrate on what I’m going to tell them before I’ve said a word. So as long as your questions are well thought, or as long as you want to have a discussion, and think about my words after I say them, everything will turn out just fine.
I used to work for Terrorizer magazine and apparently you and your associates had words put in your mouths (Readers might want to read this to know more about what happened). What are you thoughts on that? Appropriate punishment for those guys?
I’m guessing you quit working for them because you wanted to pursue writing and journalism rather than advertising. The folks over there were interested in selling the product of the advertisers in their magazine. They’re collecting check man. That is really what ties me in a knot. How the fuck are they gonna sit there asking me questions then tell people that I’m from Cleveland. We’re not from Ohio. I don’t listen to the bullshit he equated me with. GEHENNA is a band that makes music for us. Not for labels. Not for magazines. Not for advertising executives. You smell me?
When the whores at Terrorizer are told by their pimps at the labels “you idiots find something REAL and bring it down to a level that’s fake to help us sell our shit to those idiots looking at all the pretty pictures in the magazine” they do it. They used an article that was supposed to be about something else and threw in their little advertising.
An appropriate punishment. They gotta wake up everyday and live with what they are. I think that’s good enough, ya dig?
How did you first become interested in the Holy Terror? What is the importance of religion in your life?
It’s strange that you ask me what my interest in Holy Terror is cause I’ve never been interested in anything but me. My whole life I’ve been interested in what I am, and what I do. When Brian D put those two words next to one another, (Holy and Terror) to describe the music of GEHENNA, the words became interested in us. Jack made a call and negotiated a deal for the words and told me those were his now. I don’t really know one way or another but when something is “Holy” it’s revered by the world and worthy of worship. A Terror is someone who creates over unimaginable fear in others. I’ve done nothing my whole life but raise myself as a god on earth, and scare the life out of people. Those words are more a natural part of me than I am interested in them. We were born like this and people will either get it or they wont. Are we pastors? Maybe. Am I god? Without question. Am I a liar and a the Devil? That’s the only truth you’ll ever get from me.
How important is religion? It is all we are to ourselves.
You mentioned the surveillance by authorities of your activities, how careful do you have to be and what is the impact of that in your life?
Nothing has any impact on my life if I don’t let it. You know the way it goes man, if you don’t get caught doing anything you never get in trouble for anything. Unless it’s your time to get caught. Sometimes you gotta weigh it all out and decide on if you need to be out here or in there. I mean we’re all trapped in prisons anyway. Wether you’re going into a factory every morning or you wake up in a cage every morning, you’re stuck.
How is the Holy Terror organized? Is it just individuals working through a communal goal or is comprised of totally unorganized sets of actions?
I don't really talk about that stuff too much.
I guess one of the things that interests me is due to my inability to put Gehenna and Holy Terror in the context of a 21st century life or in relation to the The Process. Would you care to shed some light on that?
There are a whole lot of time periods I could see this band existing in but I don't think we would be a band. Not long ago people like us were able to "move through time" and "shape shift" drifting in and out of towns all over the world working shit jobs as a cover. We could take what we needed from it then leave. So guys like Charlie were helping us paint pictures and teaching us how to build homes outta nothing but dirt. Jack showed us how to put the lights on and keep 'em on. Any of that clear it up for you? If it doesn't let me try this another way...
We play this music cause we need to. We don't have choices other people have. GEHENNA are the conduit for this, and if you call it music, or Holy Terror, or art or violence, or love, I'm cool with that. It's the same way an animal hunts. It stalks prey because that is its survival instinct. Most humans lost that some time ago, but we haven't. So when it's time to do it we do it. When it's time to sit we wait. No matter what happens, beasts like us are here in nature to hunt. We also sing a song and paint a picture of the hunt.
Is is fair to say that Gehenna is your personal life project?
Everybody has some sort of project but this isn't a project. For everybody in the band this is our life. Our projects are things like fixing our guitars, or finding a way to get to a show. This shit is more like an instinct. Recording music for ourselves, releasing music, getting something to eat, drink and take, are all just instinctive compulsions.
Any upcoming things you want to share? Euro tour?
We have a bunch of stuff we just recorded coming out sometime this year. Some split records with CALIFORNIA LOVE, INTEGRITY, BLIND TO FAITH, and a collaboration wit VVEGAS. A live GEHENNA record. We got the new SANGRAAL 7". New WITCH LORD stuff on the way. The DEVIL 12" (the DEVIL 7" just came out and it's already out of print), the PENETRATION PANTHERS recordings, the PARALLEL HELLS record is in the works, some cassette reissues were working on, some new DISCREET DOLL BAND music. Some different bands that we've all been writing music for and working on. Some writing and painting. A few shows in the U.S. and we hope to book some stuff in Europe.
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