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Exclusive interview: Deceased’s King Fowley resurrects ‘Luck of the Corpse'

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21 years ago, Relapse Records unleashed an album that instantly redefined death metal, despite the genre still being in a fledgling state. Although the death metal realm had been slowly congealing into a concrete musical entity, thanks to the ingenuity of bands around the world, it was the release of Deceased’s debut, “Luck of the Corpse” that exposed the dark purity of death metal. It was muddy, grimy, evil, tasteless, frightening, and undeniably American. If the term “true death metal” ever existed, “Luck of the Corpse” would be its definition. And now, in 2012, HPGD (Horror Pain Gore Death) Productions has made available a special edition remaster of one of metal’s most horrifying releases.

Read on, as we spend some time with Deceased drummer/vocalist King Fowley and dig up the past.

Why are we getting this reissue of “Luck of the Corpse” on its 21st anniversary rather than the traditional 20th?

Simply because it is out of print again now; it wasn’t then.

Would you say that this is THE definitive edition of “Luck of the Corpse”?

Sorta; they all are. It varies each time. This has new bonus material and all. It’s the best one yet.

How long did the remastering take, and how involved was the process?

I just EQ'ed it up a bit and put in a bit more low end that Relapse lost in their mastering eons ago.

How did you come to hook up with HPGD for this release, rather than using Patac, which released “Surreal Overdose”?

Mike from HPGD is a good guy and we've talked of putting out a release together for ages, so we made it this one. Dan at Patac still rules too!!!

Did Relapse have anything to say or try to get in the way of this release?

Nope. They know how I feel about our past together and have stayed aside on what Deceased does these days.

Do you have any regrets about being out of the Relapse fold?

Not in the least!!! Bullsh***ers and liars are not my cup of tea.

Do you find it odd that Relapse hasn’t attempted to continue to make money off of the Deceased brand? The only item in their online store is the “Supernatural Addiction” CD.

Nope; it is because they know how much I despise them now. They have pretty much stopped most Deceased products, though a “Fearless Undead Machines” baseball jersey was just put out that I okayed, just so folks that previously didn’t have the opportunity could now get one. It was for the folks that support us, not Relapse.

Before releasing “Luck of the Corpse”, you had been demoing material since ‘86. Do you remember how it felt to finally have a full-length album in your hands?

Yeah, it was whacky. We had worked so hard for a few years preparing for it. We had the CD first, but didn't see the complete package until we had the vinyl in our hands. It felt good to have taken that next step.

Performance-wise, was there anything about “Luck of the Corpse” that you wish you could have gone back and re-recorded?

It is always looking back what it is. It’s sloppy, rushed and poorly mixed, but it was us then and that's how it should be.

Are there songs on “Luck of the Corpse” that still give you a charge when you hear them or perform them?

I really like the songs on “Luck…”; always thought they were all good. 'Fading Survival' seems to be the best of those we play on the live front.

In the liner notes, you mention that you wished ‘Immune to Burial’ was included on the original release of Luck. What happened that it wasn’t included, and why did you not just remedy the situation and put it on this version?

Well, we had to narrow down for record and 'Immune..,' ended up being the one dropped. I love that tune for that era of Deceased and just wish that it had made it on. It is hard to put it on now as it wasn't done then; there were no outtakes or “left off” songs recorded.

What was this 1998 release that “never surfaced” that the re-recording of ‘Feasting on Skulls’ was supposed to be on, and what happened to that?

"Death Metal From the Grave 2" - a label from Poland called Still Dead Productions was to put it out, but they paid the recording and just disappeared. So we put the song on this. It was recorded 14 years ago.

Another thing I really enjoy about this new version of “Luck…” is that you went the extra mile to “remaster” the cover art. Why did you choose to do that instead of giving it new artwork (as many reissues tend to do)?

Mike cleaned it up at HPGD Records. It was a picture originally taken from a TV. DVDs didn’t exist then. Now, we got same shot from a digital transfer to work with. I always loved the image and thought it fit us perfectly. I hate new artwork on re-released records; leave that alone already. It is what it is, and that's how it should stand.

“The 13 Frightened Souls” is having its 20th anniversary next year. Any plans to resurrect it?

It is supposed to see a new vinyl release via Hell's Headbangers Records. The CD is currently out of print; I’m sure it'll surface again at some point.

You seem to have a good handle on either retaining or obtaining pretty much everything Deceased has ever recorded. When are we going to see a Deceased box set?

The “Worship the Coffin” 2-CD from China is the closest to date for music. It contains all the demos and pre-Deceased tunes. A DVD has been in the works forever, and you never know what else is next!

Catch Deceased “live” on the following dates:

  • June 16 at Championships in Trenton, NJ
  • July 13 at Smiling Moose in Pittsburgh, PA
  • July 14 at The Funeral Home in Buffalo, NY
  • August 3 at Walter’s in Houston, TX
  • August 4 at Smiley’s Ballroom in Harlingen, TX

The remastered “Luck of the Corpse” is available now at HPGD Productions.

Keep up with Deceased on Facebook and at the official website!

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