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Bone Gnawer interview with Kam Lee | FESTIVALPHOTO

Bone Gnawer interview with Kam Lee



Death metal is a watered out genre. There is preciously few pure death metal bands around, most of them are mixes of death and Black or thrash metal. But in the flood of metal in 2009 one band sticks to the roots of what´s best for you; Good ole Florida death and the sound of Sweden in the early nineties. It is, not surprisingly an amalgam of Swedish musicians; Rogga Johansson (RIBSPREADER, DEMIURG etc.), Morgan Lie (NAGLFAR) and Ronnie Björnström (RIBSPREADER) and the famous US musician Kam Lee (ex. MASSACRE, ex. MANTAS/DEATH, ex. DENIAL FIEND). But to describe things properly I need the assistance of Mr. Kam Lee, who will also speak out on the issue of horror films! Hi Kam, please respond to the following questions!

How would you describe the album; the lyrics, the themes and the love of metal that made you do it? This album has a retro feel, but which modern bands and movies are you inspired by?

- Pure old school cannibalistic Death Metal madness! A sinister cross between 90's style Swedish Buzzsaw Guitar Death and Floridian Lyrical Groove Gore Metal!
The lyrics and themes of BONE GNAWER are based in and around horror ~ cannibals ~ serial killers and human butchery! All the things that make slaughtering humans so much fun!

- We´re not really inspired by any modern bands... but go for the style and sound of those late 80's early 90's death metal bands. Esp. the ones from Sweden -ENTOMBED, GRAVE, DISMEMBER...
Movies that influence BONE GNAWER is horror/gore/grind-house stuff like: (the original) TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, CANNIBAL FEROX, ANTHROPOPHAGUS, BLOOD FEAST, WRONG TURN... but also influenced from "real life" serial killers cannibals like: Ed Gein, Albert Fish, and Jeffery Dahmer.

How did the band happen, are there not enough musicians in the US? What do you think are the advantages of a blend of the US and Sweden? Are there any downsides?
I met Rogga Johansson online to do project called REVOLTING, but things didn't work out for that band... and so I did not become involved. Later Rogga and I still wanted to work together on a band, and so we created BONE GNAWER to do just that.

- I've worked with musicians in the US in the past - only to get disappointed and let down time after time. The ones in my area (Central FL/Tampa area) they have too many issues... Either they are egotistical "rock star" types, too pretentious and too "high on the horse" for their own good, or they are posers and they really do not like death metal music (but only play it to be in a band). I got sick and tired of dealing with these kinds of "megalo-maniacs" and "back stabbing/two-faced" and "fake" types.

-I need to work with musicians that love playing and creating DEATH METAL music... and that didn't have an issue with a swelled head and bloated ego!
Rogga is just that kind of person.
He is a maniac musician with the right kind of attitude, passion, and drive to create fantastic death metal! And he has no "ego" to get in the way... he is a very great person to collaborate with.

The downside... is the geographic distance. I can't get together with the fellows to have a proper rehearsal and kick back and drink a few beers together. We can't go out and play a "local" show together.

Yet... I know an international band can work. For example ~ my best buddy Killjoy and his band NECROPHAGIA.
NECROPHAGIA is an international band - with members from all over... Norway, Italy, Japan and the US, and they make it work very well.
So I look to NECROPHAGIA for inspiration on that matter.

How would you compare 20 years ago and MASSACRE to today and BONE GNAWER?

- 20 years ago was a struggle in one way... keeping MASSACRE together has always been a struggle... it was a lot harder to "break" into the music industry back then, and bands had to really really work hard to get noticed.
MASSACRE was always full of problems... internal issues that basically always had to do with distrust issues...liars... and cheating back stabbers and posers in the band.

I personally have burnt the bridges with those ex-members; MASSACRE is DEAD because of them!!
All of them have drawn the line in the dirt with me, and we will never work together again EVER! I can't trust them... every one of them is a lying back stabbing thief, and I had to learn the hard way how fucking bad these guys really are. See - I gave each of them several different opportunities to work together with me - to reconcile with me - on several occasions, and every time they went right back to their back stabbing ways. I guess the old saying is true ` A tiger can't change its stripes... once a lying cheat - always a lying cheat!
But enough of that "bad blood stuff".

- So much has changed in 20 years ~ today we have internet, and MP3s and technology that allows everyone from all over the globe to get together and work together which is the upside to things. The down side is there are too many bands now... even just "one guy" now can say he is a band... because of 'home studio/computer recording' and he can play all the bass and drums in a computer program, just grab a guitar - go on stage and perform.
I never thought I would see the day of "one man" death metal performers... but that day has come, and this is getting to be a huge thing here in the US.
BONE GNAWER is a band and a unit - that I feel very comfortable with... it's a band of like minds and like attitudes.

Rogga and I especially have an understanding that - he is the master musician and I the master lyricist - and we both respect and understand each other skills. And BONE GNAWER works because we discuss things openly and directly.

What do you think of today´s metal scene?

- I think it's dying - or even dead. To me the word "scene" implies a certain unity - a brotherhood of sorts where you somewhat still have that brotherhood and unity in Europe, but in the US it's dead! There is no unity - no one in the US is proud's just a plethora of mindless clones being lead by the greedy media, consuming themselves on whatever garbage the media force feeds down their throats!

The media and cooperate record labels make bands that are the furthest thing from being "death metal" into death metal bands.
Slam-core/death-core/rap-core/screamo bands are now being called "death metal"???
Sorry - I don't mean to imply it's dead everywhere in the US - some "true brothers and sister" of "pure death and black metal pride" still carry the torch flaming and burning bright high in their hearts. But the simple fact is the mass market/media and trends in the US always seem to "overshadow" the real metal scene. It's not about integrity anymore – it´s about the dollar sign $$$ - how much money can some label/promoter or band can make by "posing out" and jumping right into the next "trend". It sickens me - it's disgusting how many people bend over and take in the ass by corporate media bullshit - and it amazes me how many more are willing to swallow a load of jizz and follow the trends. Most people in America are sheep - lambs being lead to the slaughter - it's as if no one here has an original thought anymore!

How long have you been a horror fan? Which are your favorite movies/actors/directors, and why?

- I've been a fan of monster movies/horror films about since I was 6 years old. When my dad would let me watch old Universal Monster films like the original DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, WOLFMAN, THE MUMMY, & CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. I grew up on horror - Halloween is still my favorite holiday and it's my birthday celebration as well.

I love everything horror - from the classic black & white films of the 30s/40s/50/60s, to the exploitation grind-house/giallo sleaze of the 70s, the slasher films of the 80s - the Asian invasion of the 90's - to modern horror.
It's hard to pick a favorite - some of my all time favorite horror films would have to be: The original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (parts 1 and 2), EVIL DEAD (parts 1 and 2), DEAD ALIVE, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, ZOMBI, CITY OF THE WALKING DEAD (GATES OF HELL), TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, CANNIBAL FEROX {MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY}, DEMONS, PIECES, THE BEYOND, THE EXCORCIST, the original FRIDAY THE 13th (parts 1 - 4), the original HALLOWEEN (part 1 and 2), CREEPSHOW, The original THE HILLS HAVE EYES, The original MY BLOODY VALENTINE, MOTHER's DAY, CREEP, RAW MEAT, WRONG TURN, HATCHET, INSIDE... so many films!
Really there are just too many films to pick from - let's just say I like a lot a lot a lot of horror films - for many different reasons!

What happens next with BONE GNAWER? Will you do PR, more albums, live shows etc?

- We have a split with the band BONESAW coming up for a Halloween release. 3 new tracks to sink your teeth into! We are trying still to get a tour, but it's hard with today’s economy - and we still have no tour support from our label. We are currently working on new material now!

Cheers for your time Mr. Lee and best of luck with the band! I must say the state of metal in the US seems to be going downhill; Kam is not the first musician to hover on the subject. AND, if you have not heard BONE GNAWER yet, check them out. I am quite old school when it comes top death metal and this is the real thing.

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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