EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Six Feet Under – The Legacy of Repulsion

Interview by Katie Doherty
Photographs by Alyssa Lorenzon

Repulsion. The name brings a smile to your face. This band may have only released one album with plenty of demos behind them but they have a sea of fans and have been quoted as the most influential grindcore / death metal band of all time.  Mixing insane drum beats, a guitar sound that would make your brain leak out of your nose and lyrics so vile and horrifying it makes Cannibal Holocaust look like an episode of Beverley Hills 90210 (ok maybe that is a little far fetched). I was lucky enough to catch up with Matt and Scott and ask them a few questions…

So, you played your first UK headline show in London recently. How was that for you?

Matt and I started playing together when we were in our early teens listening to Sabbath, Priest, early Maiden and any NWOBHM that I could get my hands on. Then, when we started listening to hardcore punk, we were mostly impressed by English bands like Discharge and GBH. So, needless to say, we always wanted to play in the UK and especially London. To finally get the opportunity to play a headline show at a great venue in central London was a dream come true for us! Thanks again, Lee!

Is there a future in Repulsion or have you laid it to rest now?

Repulsion’s future is just to maintain the legacy that was bestowed on us by music fans. Considering we only recorded one posthumously released album, we feel very grateful to be remembered at all and we have no plans to tarnish that legacy by releasing an album just for the sake of it. It would be easy enough to do but unless it stood up to the old stuff it would be a shame. We will be releasing a DVD in a special, limited repackaging of Horrified soon. We just have to get the artwork and a few other minor details worked out first. We’ll play live for a bit longer but we’re determined to hang it up before we start to lose the motivation and voracity required to put on a great Repulsion gig.

Tell us more…
It’s just an archival collection of footage culled from over the years. Some of it has been seen before on YouTube and various VHS bootlegs and a lot of it hasn’t been seen. We have the best quality sources available so the stuff that has been seen before probably hasn’t looked this good unless you’re the person who shot it!
What can we expect from Repulsion on tour?

We perform with a lot of energy and we put everything we have into each performance. We don’t play a lot so there’s no excuse to take a night off. You can expect us to play the songs with conviction and for us to be having a good time and interacting with the audience. Repulsion have never been a very serious band. We like to have fun with the music and we still have the same sense of humor that you find in our recordings and old live footage you see on the internet. The only difference is that we are much tighter musically than we were back in the day.

Will we ever hear any new music from you in the future?

If you hear new music from Matt and/or I it is very unlikely to be under the Repulsion moniker. We are big fans of music ourselves and we are very much aware of the high regard that people have for Repulsion. We feel the same way about it that they do and we will not use the name to cash in with any potentially subpar recordings just because there is a demand for it. We do love playing the songs live though!

Septic Tank – a very exciting project with Lee Dorrian and yourself Scott – are you going to do some more shows together?

Septic tank is something that Lee, Gaz and myself have been talking since my first stint in Cathedral back in the early 90s. We even wrote a bunch of songs back then with the late, great Barry Stern of Trouble on drums. Unfortunately, the rehearsal tape was lost and the project was iced for 20 years! Anyway, Septic Tank activity has been very spontaneous. The EP was recorded simply because we had an extra day at the studio after Gaz and I finished tracking guitars and bass for The Last Spire. Gomez, our engineer, is also a killer drummer and someone we get on with so we were able to write and record four songs with him in a matter of a few hours. The gig we played was because we needed an opening act for the Repulsion headline show in London. So, we thought, “why not just keep it in the family?” No one is quite sure what the future holds for Septic Tank but as we’re all friends I’m sure we’ll end up doing something again at some point. It wasn’t meant to be the next big step from ex-Cathedral members or anything like that. Thankfully, I don’t think most people are perceiving it that way either. Having said that, it is a helluva lot of fun!

You are going to be playing at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Festival this year. How did you get on the bill for this monster of a line up?

I was DJing with my friend J Bennett one night at our weekly Heavy Tuesday night at Footsie’s bar in Los Angeles. He was talking about an interview he was to do with Phil Anselmo the next morning. I half jokingly said “tell Phil we want to play his film fest”. Well, J mentioned it to Phil the next day and within a couple hours we were booked to play! I’ve only met Phil once very briefly . But, one of the things I’ve always liked about him is his passion for underground music and art. When I heard he was doing a film and music festival I figured it would be something special and lo and behold, he’s bringing in Jorg Buttgereit, Coffin Joe and Goblin just for starters! Before Matt and I started Repulsion we used to make our own 8mm horror films and Repulsion’s lyrics are heavily inspired by horror fiction, comics and films so we are extremely excited to be a part of something like this!