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Written by Fab   
Saturday, 14 July 2012 19:03
1.6/5 (18 votes)

Damn ! I never thought this would be one day possible .. until I saw the news on the net... PRIME EVIL, the mighty Thrash Metal from NYC/Usa that had a huge impact in the underground scene back in the 80's is currently BACK ! I didn't need more to immediately look for more infos & then get in touch with the band for an interview !!! Answers by guitarist & founder Mike USIFER.

- Hey Mike ! Good to see you BACK ! How do you feel being in PRIME EVIL again ???
Thank you Fab! It is great to be back! After all these years, it feels even greater to be in PRIME EVIL!
- How was the reunion possible and why ? What are your current motivations ? I assume being older now makes you see things differently ..
Well, it took 18 years for all of us to be in a position to be able to reform... I think we all reached a point concurrently in our lives where we were able to and wanted to jam together again. We also felt like we had some unfinished business...We never got the chance to record the last 4 songs that we wrote; so we wanted to start there. Now that we are older, we are in control of our own destiny.
- What's the most important thing you want to achieve now with the band ?
Get this Ep done, play some shows, and release a full length before the end of the year.
- I really like the fact that the band is back with the full original line-up... Great ! Do you feel lucky about that ? Were the other band members easy to convince to re-start the band ? Who was the most reluctant member ?
Oh yes! It was awesome to all be together again! We were definitely all on the same page as far as re-starting the band. I don't think any of us were reluctant at first. However, since reforming, PRIME EVIL took off like a rocket, and it was too much for Mary and Todd to handle, so they had to bow out. We recruited another drummer and session bassist, and wrote 5 new songs; but with the demanding recording schedule and shows, and with the drummer living out of state, he could no longer do it. Then we had a falling out with Gary, so he quit. So, what do we do? Are Andy and I supposed to give up too? HELL NO! We are in this for the long haul and have and will do whatever it takes to fullfil our obligations! We had worked hard to get into the studio to record, and we were not about to give up...no matter what! That's when our producer, Dave Powers of Starr Ridge Studios, NY, suggested we use a software program that he uses for other bands and he could program the drums based from our demos. We were extremely skeptical, but after he did 1 song and we heard how realistic and close to the original drums it sounded, we agreed to do it. At this point,we could have scrapped the project we had been working towards for the past 18 months, or we could finish it. Andy & I decided to finish it! So, I recorded all the guitars and bass, Andy did all the vocals, and Dave programmed the drums. The Ep is currently being mastered and will be available by early July. The good news is that we were able to secure other band members because of the new songs!
- What have you been doing after the band broke up in 1992 ... ? Did you all keep in touch & did you keep on playing with other bands ??
At first, me, Gary, and PE's drummer at the time Matt Mayfield kept jamming; but about a month after PE broke up, I joined Demolition Hammer and played on their North American tour with Deicide and Cancer. Next Mary joined Incantation for a while; and Andy jammed with another one of PE's drummers, Tad Leger in a band called Sons of Celluloid. We've all done other smaller projects as well before re-starting PE.
- What are the reasons why the band disbanded in 1992 ? Back in those days, it was a real shock to me when i heard the band had stopped... PRIME EVIL remains for me the best US unsigned Thrash-Metal band together with SINDROME...
Thank you! That is very nice of you to say! We were young, and we were struggling to make a living. Our only objective was to release a full length album in which we retained the rights to our music. When deals kept falling through, we were unable to finance a recording ourselves, so there weren't any means for us to get our music out. It was at that time we decided to call it quits.
- You released three demos & a 7"EP on RAGE Records... a compilation-CD ("Unearthed") was released a bit later after the band broke up... All those releases got very good responses from the scene, the band was getting really popular wordlwide.. Nevertheless you never got a proper deal from a record-label... how do you explain that ? Do you have an idea of the reasons ?? I still myself wonder why... especially when so many crappy bands got signed at that time...
It depends what you think a proper deal is. For us, a proper deal is where we retain the rights to our material, and have decent distribution to start. We did receive 2 such deals; but they fell apart after final negotions. Both companies went bankrupt. We also received some offers that were less than proper. Why didn't we get signed like everyone else? I guess it starts with the rights... We have no regrets, and we still retain all of the rights to all of our material...Without that, there would have been no re-union! So, I guess it worked out in the end!
- 20 years later, the scene has changed alot.. what do you regret from the older days and what do you think is best now ?

I guess I would say the only regret is that the live scene isn't the same now as it was in the old days. Everybody went to shows back in the day. Now, people don't go out. Its too bad, because that's where the music really comes to life (no pun intended). As far as what's better now...its much easier for a band to exist without record label support because of the internet.
- Your view on the "internet" thing... ? Many people think it is killing music because of illegal downloads and some other think it's still the best way for smaller bands to get promoted and known worldwide... in both case, I agree.. there's always two sides to a coin, you know... good & bad... so is internet a "necessary evil" (to quote one of your song-title hehe) ?
Haha! Thanks for the quote Fab! You are exactly right! It is a 2-sided coin! Illegal downloads are killing the music BUSINESS...but not music! The internet is a great way for bands to promote their music! Unfortunately, most people think that everything on the internet should be free! That's what kills the bands. Its expensive to record and market, and with no return on your investment, it is hard to maintain that cycle.
- PRIME EVIL is not the only "old" band to get reformed... What are the ones that recently got reformed that impressed you lately ? And the ones that disappointed you ?
Yeah! Isn't it great! I have to say the music is awesome and endless! I don't know where to begin or end, but definitely Atheist, Autopsy, Goreaphobia, Macabre, Massacre, Destruction, Fear Factory... they ALL kick ass!
- Back to the band.. As far as I know, you already played a couple of shows.. how was it ? What about the response of the audiences ? How
did you feel when you went on stage for the first show after the reunion ?

It was unbelievable! There was so much energy at the first show! We all just let loose like it was 20 years ago! It was an awesome show and a lot of fun to be doing it with PE again!
- I know you're planning a new release soon... You chose to release it yourself ? Why ? Any interested labels ?
We are releasing it ourselves because we can! We are older, smarter, and have more money than we did 20 years ago! So, we decided to just do it ourselves the way we have done everything.
There has been some interest, but nothing solid. We really aren't looking for label support, but if something proper happens to come our way... you never know!
- Can you tell us a bit more about its content ? How many songs ? Where/When will it be recorded ? When can we expect it to be out ?
It is a 3 song Ep of brutal, heavy, fast, EVIL Metal! We recorded it at Starr Ridge Studios in Brewster, NY with a phenomenal engineer named Dave Powers. The title of the Ep is Evilution because it is the evolution of PRIME EVIL 20 years later. Fans should not expect it to sound like Unearthed. It sounds like how we would sound if we hadnt stopped playing. I have never stopped writing, so the songs on the Ep are an Evilution of the past 20 years. We hope to have it released by early July.
- Musically.. In the older days, I think it could be labelled as raw & evil Thrash-Metal with some Death-Metal touches (although the vocals were clear ones and no growls)... Kinda old-SLAYER that sounded rawer... Can you expect new songs in that same old vein or do you think some new influences can be heard through the new material ? How can you qualify the new songs compared to the past ones ?
It has always been hard for me to describe our music...but I think my daughter summed it up best when she said "the new stuff sounds like it would if we had stayed together all these years and continued playing." There have been some newer influences for me since we broke up, from all genres of music, and i have continuously been writing...so I would have to say, in my opinion, it sounds like PRIME EVIL 2012!
- Your drummer Todd used to do all your artworks back in the days... Will he be doing the artwork for the new release ??? I hope so, it was so great !!!! I remember the one for "The Manifestation" Demo and also for a cover of DETHRONER Mag from Poland.. it was really awesome !!!
Todd is an awesome artist, as well as drummer; but he is very busy running his own videography business and raising his family, so we have hired Rodney Githens (aka: vertebrae33) to draw it. He did the artwork for the Metal Suckfest poster that we played on, and he is very talented!
- Ok, besides this new release, what are your other plans ? Lotsa shows I assume ?
The rest of the year will see us playing some festivals including A Day of Death in Buffalo, NY in October. Will also be recording a full length album of all new songs to be released by the end of the year!
- You never played in Europe.. Is it something you'd love to do now that the band is back ??
HELL YEAH! I would love to come to Europe and play! That's where the scene is, and has always ruled!
- Well, back in the days, the NY scene was really great.. killer bands like IMMOLATION, DEMOLITION HAMMER to name a few... How is it now when it comes to Metal ?? Seen from Europe, it seemed to be really huge.. was it really the case in your opinion ? Any NY bands you'd like to recommend to the readers ??
The scene really started to develop in NY in the late '80's, and it was AMAZING! Many bands & venues! Back then you had us and Immolation and Demolition Hammer...then the younger bands started coming out like Suffocation, Incantation, Mortician, Morpheus Descends, Profanatica, Revenant, Winter, Sorrow...it was sick! As for now in NY, there is plenty of music, just not enough Death Metal! I recommend all the bands I listed! They ALL RULE! NYDM!
- Thanks for your time.. last words are yours...
Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about PRIME EVIL here! I hope your readers like it! Look for our new Ep Evilution in early July...long live Metal! \m/\m/



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