I had a marvelous opportunity to interview Don Gates from Brutality! Hailing from the Death Metal Capital (Tampa, Florida), they formed in 1986. Brutality released their first demo titled "Abomination". They released their second demo self-titled: "Brutality". The band continued to make more demo’s including “Dimension Demented” and “Hell On Earth” with Gore Records. The band had worldwide distribution on Wild Rags Records with the fourth album "Metamorphosis". Throughout making brutal death metal music, they were soon signed to Nuclear Blast Record Label! Afterwards, Brutality released a 7" EP entitled "Sadistic", and recorded their full length album “Screams of Anguish”. The band went on a European tour with Hypocrisy and then released their second full length album “When The Sky Turns Black”, following their third full length album “In Mourning”. They toured in support with Bolt Thrower for another European date in 1995. In 1997, Brutality split up after releasing their third full length album “In Mourning”. All three albums were re-mastered and released on “Metal Mind Productions”. They also released a box set in 2011 enclosing three CD’s with rare material (as well as their previously record demo tapes from 1986-1992 with a poster and a live DVD included as well). Brutality renewed in the year 2012 with the comprehensive group of "Screams of Anguish"! They also released an EP titled “Ruins of Humans” and now on “Ceremonial Records!
Q & A interview with Don Gates of Brutality:
Q: Brutality has been MIA for a while when the band broke up in 1997. What were the reasoning’s on decided to start up again?
A: After the bands demise in 97 there was always a feeling of unfinished business, mainly by the Screams lineup. The Sky’s and In Mourning albums were great follow ups to Screams but it was this lineup that had a connection that just couldn’t compare with anything that followed. Jay and I started getting together to work on a guitar project and found ourselves writing music that would naturally be fit for a Brutality album. After a series of lengthy phone calls to Jeff and Scott we collectively decided that now was the time to give it our best shot.
Q: How has it been restarting up Brutality?
A: It’s been a very rewarding feeling. The past two years have been extremely busy with the startup of our own Ceremonial Records and the release of our comeback EP “Ruins of Humans”. We decided that if we’re going to come back we had no choice but to do it right. The future for Brutality as captain of its own ship couldn’t look brighter.
Q: Where does the band go to record the music?
A: We have always gone to Morrisound here in Tampa with Jim Morris at the helm. This past year we did build our own studio that we use for preproduction purposes and band rehearsals as well as a home base for Ceremonial Records. Modern technology has made it easier for bands to record and we plan to use this benefit to its fullest extent. This allows us the ability to spend more time on the music without being under the microscope of a recording budget.
Q: There were speculations around the topic of breaking up. There will always be rumors circulating people and bands/musicians. Would you mind clearing the air of why there was a break for fifteen years?
A: In a nut shell? The label we were signed to gave little to no support which for the most part caused huge amounts of stress on the band members. There was never any real feuding in the band until a label was pushing for new material every 9 months without providing any support. Tensions built up and in the end it caused severe lineup changes. The musicians were absolutely phenomenal players but things just didn’t click anymore. It was a mutual agreement to call it quits.
Q: What have been the highlights of getting back together?
A: Now that we run our own show we feel like we’re 20 all over again. The music is flowing and everybody is friends. We knew the first time we all walked into the jam room and fired the gear up that we were back where we belonged.
Q: Brutality has an upcoming show soon in Tampa at The Brass Mug. Can you shed some insight and information about it for your fans?
A: We are Co headlining with Master on their first and only Florida show. We also plan to play a few songs that we haven’t played since the 90’s as well as some brand new material.
Q: The band was under the record label “Nuclear Blast” and now under “Ceremonial Records”, can you tell me about Ceremonial Records?
A: We try not to talk about the NB days any more than we have to (haha). Ceremonial Records was formed by members of Brutality as a way to not only put our own stuff out but to hopefully help some the up and coming bands in the future. It’s been a very busy process getting all I’s dotted and T’s crossed but we are well on our way. It’s very rewarding being the captain of your own ship.
Q: Can you tell us about Ruins of Humans EP? The information and background behind it (including the songs and the titles)?
A: Ruins of Humans was pretty much just a way to let the fans know that we are back. The title track is about the destruction we as humans have caused on the planet. It’s our way of promoting awareness of the things that are killing Earth. Irreversibly Broken is about a relationship gone badly. Mental abuse in a relationship is no different than physical abuse. If someone has lived through it than the song should speak volumes to them.
Q: Are there any future full length album’s you are planning on recording and producing to your fans?
A: Our 4th album will be self-titled “BRUTALITY “and we hope to have it out by the years end. Expect the same Brutality sound but pumped on steroids. We are taking our time and refuse to rush it just to get a product out. Patience is the key.
Q: I noticed there have been a lot promotion for Brutal Merchandising and your attire, any plans with it?
A: We started “BRUTAL STUFF“ as our own Merchandise Company and plan to have other bands and products in the future as we grow. We have been asked about a street team and spokes models for our merchandise and as we grow that is certainly an option to look into.
Q: Are there any future tour dates and big festivals Brutality is booked for?
A: As of right now all we have is the Master show booked. Our main focus right now is getting the new album done and in the fans hands. As for festivals and touring goes? It just has to fit into everyone’s schedules and feel right for us.
Q: Anything else you would like to share to your fans?
A: We just want to thank everyone for supporting us and keeping the name alive. We do this for YOU!! We also want to thank you, Lisa for giving us the opportunity to tell a little piece of the Brutality plans.
Special thank you to Don Gates of Brutality for letting me interview him and don't forget the upcoming show with headlining band Master and co-headliner band Brutality, featuring: Nervo Chaos, Hate Storm Annihilator, and, Age of Ares on May 7th, 2014 at The Brass Mug!
- Scott Reigel - Vocals
- Jeff Acres - Vocals, Bass
- Don Gates - Lead Guitar
- Jay Fernandez - Lead Guitar
- Jim Coker - Drums