Few reunions were met with more excitement than Cleveland’s own, Terror. After over twenty years on hiatus, the band conglomerated once again in late 2015 to re-release a classic single and give jaded metal heads the blistering assault they’ve been aching for for too long. The band has been making waves in the underground elite since they were confirmed to open Cleveland’s up and coming festival, Hells Headbash. I spoke to singer/guitarist, Brian Sekula about the future of the band, his thoughts on metal’s current state, and upcoming shows. Here’s what he had to say……
Underworld- Hello. Hows things? So Terror’s reunion is really exciting for fans because it’s been a long time coming. What was it like recording with the guys after over twenty years? Did it feel like a reunion, or just like old friends jamming?
Brian- Things are well thanks. We are happy to have a release out after many years the songs we rerecorded versions of older songs written in the late 80s and with the help of my longtime friend ex-Incantation drummer, Jim Roe, we were able to give these songs the little extra they deserved. Over all the years, I still love the original versions, but as my own worse critic, it was nice to go through and do them again, especially with Jim.
I have long been a fan of his style of drumming and was lucky he was able to lend a hand with this project. Replacing my brother on guitar after his passing, is my son Alex. He has come along way as a guitar player after being spoon-fed these songs over the years by both of us, and at one point played bass guitar in another version of the band when he was 16. It’s in his DNA and I think he’s a perfect fit to fill in after his uncle’s passing. So to answer the second half of your question, it didn’t feel like anything beside family. I consider all the members family past and present.
Underworld- On the latest single, you guys played new renditions of two of your classic songs, Legion of Gore and Carving Techniques. What made you guys decide on those two songs?
Brian- The choice behind choosing those songs was just luck of the draw. They are old fan favorites and they were good choices, but there was nothing behind the choices besides the ones I chose to ask Jim to learn and record. We plan on choosing other old songs to re-record from other demos and will try to make them as close to the original’s as possible but with a better production value.
Underworld- Since you guys have reunited, I’m assuming, better yet hoping, that you’re planning on writing new material. Is that the case? If so, are you guys planning on keeping in tandem with that old school, primitive sound that you guys are so known for?
Brian- We have a few things in the works. The first one is a release on Stormspell Records of all the demos back to back with amazing new artwork and classic photos titled “DECADES OF TERROR. I believe it will be a twelve page booklet with lyrics. That has always been a request to have the lyrics printed on a release, so it’s going to take time to get it done right. The songs are also being remastered, so they will be the best quality we can salvage because most of the original analog reels that the old demos were on have long been destroyed in a fire. The studio we used to record in burned down shortly after the second demo.
As far as new material goes, only time will tell. It’s something I would like to do and keeping it in the vein of the old material shouldn’t be a problem because the guys are amazing and about as old school as it gets, so as long as we can concentrate on the shows we have coming up and the new release and promoting the current release on Hells Headbangers, we should be able to be inspired to write some new material.
Underworld- Speaking of old school, you guys have been around the metal scene for a long time. How do you feel about metal’s current state in comparison with back in the day?
Brian- There is no comparison. I’m sure new bands feel the way we did when they create music and enjoy playing shows but Cleveland has had its ups and downs over the years. A lot of tours pass us up as a market because of low attendance and local shows are even harder. The great attended local fest or show has become a thing of the past and that sucks.
We have always been known for great talent and great collage radio support, but it’s just hard to get the people in this town to support anything that’s not on a trendy, national level. You’ll have a great local show with 60 to 100 people in attendance the national comes through and all the people come out of the woodwork makes you think “what the fuck”? It would be so much better if people would just give some of these bands a shot.
Underworld- Yeah, it’s unfortunate that local shows don’t get the support they deserve, considering the caliber of music Cleveland has to offer. Luckily, I’ve found Hells Headbash is drawing necessary attention to Cleveland as a mecca for metal. Anyhow, I’m curious, tell me a little about your decision to release the latest single on a 7 inch rather an MP3 or even a CD. Did you have a specific reason for doing so?
Brian- No reason. I wanted to have it on all formats and intend to do so eventually. The guys at Hells Headbangers said doing a 7 inch was the right thing to do considering it just two songs. With the collectability of vinyl these days, I agreed. I wanted to release a 7 inch for quite some time and those guys do such nice work and truly support the local scene. And if people are into the MP3 thing, rather than physical copies, check out the Hells Headbangers bandcamp page. All digital formats are available there as well as quality, two sided, limited run shirts…
Underworld- Speaking of Hells Headbangers, you guys were recently signed to that label. How are things going with them? Do you feel like signing with them was a good decision overall?
Brian- Were just friends in metal. We have no commitment in writing with Hells, it’s just the right fit for us and we trust them. They are men of there word, they do what they say they will, and we will continue to work with them if they show interest in where this band is going. They are great scene supporters.
Underworld- Are you pretty excited to play the big stage at Hells Headbash in September?
Brian- Headbash III is going to be fun. We have decided to open the event so if you are wanting to see us play live with the mighty Jim Roe of Incantation, who’s coming in all the way from New Jersey and playing drums for us, get there on time and get your money’s worth. The last thing I want to hear from everyone is I didn’t know you guys were playing so early. Well, here’s your notice. We are going to be the first band on Friday night, so get there early and don’t miss it! We’re performing a special, never played before set. I mean never!! There is a lot of talent joining us and we plan on delivering the goods, so support the scene get there on time and have a great weekend. If it’s better than last year, then you’re all in for a great weekend of classic rare performances.
Underworld- Terror was also recently confirmed to play the late Jim Konya’s (former drummer for Nunslaughter, Schnauzer etc.) Life Celebration Show. Is that going to be difficult for you guys considering the circumstances?
Brian- Konya Fest is also going to be a great show. He was always one of the band’s biggest supporters and we are going to give it all for our fallen comrade. We have special friends filling in to make the show happen, such as Chris Dora (Decrepit /Soulless) taking care of the drums and Duane Morris, from Decrepit as well, filling in on the other guitar for all our show commitments throughout the rest of the year. This will be an important show in Cleveland many people plan to travel to attend. It’s a worthy cause as well. They will be starting a scholarship in Jim’s memory at Kent State for music to pass the metal torch to another musician. Be there!
Underworld- Oh, I plan on it!! Finally, what can fans expect for the future of the band? Is this reunion intended to be long lasting or short lived?
Brian- We are going to continue to record and play select shows and do it as long as it’s fun. I know many other musicians have said the same thing but you have to be passionate about music to make it work because there is no money in it! So as long as we are doing the right thing and recording great music, we will continue to do so, maybe at a slower pace than the old days because we all have to make a living and cannot make our music our number one priority but it is definitely our number one passion. As long as people are into what were doing, we will continue to play. We have always been a fan friendly band and have always appreciated the support we have received over the years, so with that being said, everyone try and make it to the up and coming shows. Say hello, pick up some new merchandise, or a copy of the new release if you don’t have it yet, and support the scene. Thanks for the interview and the support.
To purchase a physical or digital copy of Carving Techniques, as well as rare merchandise from Terror, visit Hells Headbangers official website at the following link http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/terror-legion-of-gore-vinyl.asp. Don’t be a cheap fuck! Buy shit!