No Apologies

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I first saw Pyrexia live, at a small Long Island, NY club in 1992, called Sparks. Their demo, Liturgy of Impurity had just been released and they opened for Suffocation that night, Human Remains were also on the bill-it was insane, so was Immolation. Damn talk about a line-up! I was blown away by Pyrexia and picked up the demo and shirt. To this day this is one of my all time favorite demos and live the place went nuts and I was in the pit doing wind mills like a bastard! The band had a knack for creating brutal NYDM that was so catchy that the songs attached to your brain instantly upon hearing them for the first time. Back then, man I would sing the title track all the time, Virgin Mary violated, conceived you, a son of Satan, crucified for your denial, where is he who art in heaven? Then BOOM-it goes into that crucial slam part that you just wanted to punch holes in walls-live this part was one of the most vicious live experiences you would encounter.

Hey, I even almost got into a fight with Chris Basile back in the day when my moron brother was heckling them while they were playing and I was in the crowd wearing a Pyrexia shirt.  Then I joined Internal Bleeding and playing shows with Pyrexia, in NY, was amazing!  Fun times, as I digress.  Pyrexia put out the stunning Sermon of Mockery album in ’93 and this album still crushes to this day.  The band then moved away from the guttural vocals, bringing in the talented Keith DeVito to sing on the ep, Hatredangerandisgust. They continued with this sound, that had more hardcore influences, on the outstanding System of the Animal in ’97.  It took a while for the the band to put out Age of the Wicked, which arrived to the scene in 2007; another real killer album which also saw another new vocalist, Eric Shute, enter the fold.

Now, the band has just unleashed upon mankind their best sounding album to date, Feast of Iniquity, which is nothing short of exceptional.  This is like a more brutal version of System of the Animal, in terms of the strong slam parts and the songs are super catchy, as well as the vocal patterns. This is one brutal album and one of the finest for 2013.  The man responsible for keeping this band together, through all its incarnations, guitarist/bassist, Chris Basile, has been perfecting the Pyrexia sound over the years and it shows on the amazing Feast of Iniquity, which you need to own now.  Order in some pizza, crack open a cold one and read this interview with Chris Basile.

Ok, Chris, so how do you feel the new album, Feast of Iniquity, stacks up against prior Pyrexia recordings?

I can honestly say Frank, that this is the first Pyrexia album that actually came out sounding as we wanted. For the first time we actually succeeded in doing what we set out to do.

What is the official lineup as a band for touring, practice and who was on the new cd, too-how did the 2 drummers come to be for the recording?

The concrete meat and potatoes of Pyrexia right now playing shows and practicing daily are myself on guitar, Mr. Doug Bohnz on drums, the unstoppable Erick Shute on vocals and the newest and truest member Shaun Kennedy on Bass. As you mentioned there’s 2 incredible drummers on this album. As if having Bohnz play drums on the album wasn’t enough….my good friend Dr. David Culross destroys four songs on the album as well.

What are the touring plans for the new album, will it be more like a few dates here and there and maybe some overseas festivals?

We headlined a 3 week tour overseas with our brothers in arms Beheaded and Unfathomable Ruination this past March. Unfortunately we were just about to embark on another 3 week tour Nov 2-18, only in America this time supporting Six feet Under and Jungle Rot on the East coast. Something happened in the Six feet camps, an illness or something, and he tour got cancelled last min. We are gonna tour for this album big time. We are already booked to play the next Brutal Assault coming up and are building a 3-5 week Euro run around that and a bunch of other festivals starting in July.

We both go back a ways, how has the scene, in general, changed over the last 2 decades and how strong is the NY scene now?

I guess there’s the music side and the show side. Music…yeah there’s a lot coming out of New York right now….but shows…..still pales compared to overseas, Indonesia, and even Midwest or southern states like Texas.

Being the family man that you are, how do you balance family time, work and band time?

 

Very difficult but I’m passionate about all of them. I find that if u love and enjoy something enough you can always find quality time to do it. I don’t agree with people who say I can’t do this or that because of work or any other excuse. If you don’t do something it’s because you don’t want to, or you would rather be doing something else.

What is the meaning of the new album name and how it ties in with the album concept?

It’s kind of a follow up title to the last album Age of the Wicked. That cover and this cover were both done by Toshi Eregawa ….and the older cover depicting Evil or the Wicked coming of Age…winning and thriving if you will. Iniquity can be another word for Wicked…so this is The Iniquitous or Wicked ones….Feasting and bloated…in full dominance of all beings, using them for pleasure and excess.

What kinds of equipment did you use for the recording and how have you developed as a guitarist over the years?

For this album I took no chances. I built a complete studio from the ground up. Pitch Black Audio/Sound, www.facebook.com/pitchblackaudio, full HD3 set up, drum rooms packed with 421s and SM57s…arsenal of guitar and Bass heads and cabs and went to work for 2 years recording re-recording, re- writing and re-recording again till we got it right. Then again taking no chances, sent it over to the Mixing God Zeuss

How was the transition from bass to guitarist many years ago for you and why did you go this route?

Back in the day when I was writing and jamming with Hobbs and we met up with Cerrito…there was a need for someone to play bass for the material that we were all writing….unable to find that bassist in 1988…I switched over to Bass….but always wrote on guitar so was never an issue to do both. I recorded all the Bass tracks on Feast of Iniquity as well as guitar so it’s never an issue.

Pyrexia has influenced countless bands over the years, how does it feel to be part of something, including yourself, as an underground legend?

That word legend is thrown around way too much….but it does feel good to know we were doing something as kids that people still care about and talk about today.

What is the hardest part about trying to maintain originality in an already overcrowded scene?

I write from my stomach, from my heart, I think music works when the emotions you feel are  transformed into rhythms. If u write a song …I don’t care how heavy that “part” is or how heavy a “slam” is. If it’s not conveying a genuine feeling and just written because you want to write a heavy part or fast part….it’s gonna come across as generic and forced and unoriginal. Feelings are original, they are yours, u can’t copy them.

I noticed with the new album it’s extremely powerful and in your face, what went into the overall writing of the album and what was your main goal when writing this album?

A lot of what I said earlier went into this record…gut felt emotion, and the execution musically and vocally of those emotions. Not letting any time or equipment restraints stop us from the vision.

What went into the remastering of System of the Animal-how did you go about doing it and are there plans to remaster your back catalog?

That was fun to do and we did that at Pitch Black Audio as well. Great to see that come out on Vinyl 15 years after I wrote it. And brother yes….the entire back catalog…including Sermon of Mockery is getting repressed on CD and Vinyl by Century Media in early 2014.

Do you have any contact with former Pyrexia band members?  

Only the ones that matter. There’s only been maybe 6 real past member….all the rest were fill in musicians that in the end couldn’t hack it musically or couldn’t come up with the fortitude it takes to be in a Death Metal Band

Whatever happened with original vocalist, Darryl Wagner?-is he still into the scene?

Daryl’s good people….but no he retired a long time ago.

After playing shows, going on late, etc.. still is your recovery rate a little longer, since you’re not in your early 20’s anymore?  How do you manage to stay on top of your game if you’re playing live and you’re tired? Any final comments/thoughts for our readers?

Hahaha… I gotta be honest; tired is never an issue. I have no idea where the energy comes from but I’m grateful for it…..That dude Mic Jagger pretty much does back flips on stage and he’s got me by 30 years. I think I can do this Death Metal thing at least that much longer. Really like to see everyone give this album an honest un-jaded listen. This is def Pyrexia at its best….we can’t wait to play this album live for everyone in 2014. Thanks for the interview Frank!- Look forward to seeing you again sometime soon brother! Cheers! Check our NEW video on YouTube; for “Infliction”!!

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