October 31 – The Hatchet Returns Part II

Tuesday, 23rd September 2014

Dead Rhetoric: You are known as one of the more opinionated and vocal fans of music in general: how do you handle some of the backlash you may receive? I for one appreciate the fact that you stand up for what you believe in…

Fowley: Everyone has their own opinions. We all get our own names. Now, if you love Megadeth and I can’t stand them, I wouldn’t hate you for it. You like what you like, and I like what I like. You get some people that don’t want to hear any of that though, anyone that meets me knows I’ve been nice to every person that I’ve ever met. I do not deliberate go off on anyone unless they have started shit with me or something against what I stand for, then I will speak out. Back when I first got on the internet, people were saying I was jealous of all these bands that got further than Deceased. I went out of my way to not make it by speaking up about Relapse and their label. You like what you like, you don’t have to agree. I appreciate Pat Benatar and Krokus – some people don’t. You don’t have to listen to it, these are my ears. I’ve seen people over time agree with some of what I’ve said. I’ve watched it unfold over the last decade. Some people get their own little angle of it as they get older.

Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the major differences between the United States metal scene and in other parts of the world like Canada, mainland Europe, South America, and the Far East?

Fowley: I’ve always liked people in Canada, they seem very laid back and easy going. Most of the stuff I know is from Germany, like Keep It True festival and the old Wacken before it got wacky. 50,000 headbangers going nuts to Tankard, that’s cool that people really live for music a lot. There are a lot of Nightwish fans over there, and that’s something I’ll never get. I just think in general, we are all in this together, every country has its own culture and its own way of looking at things, you can figure out who is European, who is Canadian, you have the crazy ass Mexicans loving their metal, South Americans. We all have a different approach to it because of our own surroundings. At the end of the day we are all in this together, whether I am loving Iron Maiden, this guy loves Nightwish, another person loves Iced Earth. We need to unify year in and year out.

Dead Rhetoric: How are you balancing your creative and live time between October 31 and Deceased these days?

Fowley: Deceased is crazy, October 31 is a little easier to get things done. Luckily some of the guys when it comes to jobs are a little more lenient than is for the guys in Deceased. Deceased gets a lot of offers to come to Mexico, Canada, South America, and it breaks my heart to turn things down. But to keep this band going, you can’t do this or the guys would have to bail out at some point because they would be losing their jobs, losing their houses and their lives. Jim from October 31 would be happy to jump in the van and go. We are friends, so there are pros and cons as well there because we aren’t 18, 19 and can’t just tour at will.

Dead Rhetoric: Have you started the writing process for the follow up October 31 album? Any idea what other cover tracks you may kick around for this act down the line (as I love your ripping version of “Under My Gun” from Icon on Bury the Hatchet)?

Fowley: Ha ha… I don’t know if you saw but the next October 31 project will be an album called Metal Massacre 31. It’s going to be all covers of Metal Massacre series songs. We are going to be doing that, and I can even give you the track listing, I have it on my (computer) screen here. It’s going to be 10 tracks. Demon Flight – “Dead of the Night”, “Shadows of Steel” – Obsession, “Battle of Armageddon” – Tyrant, “ The Alien” – Sacred Blade, “Cross My Way” – Death Dealer, “Forbidden Evil” – War Cry, “Torture Me” – Omen, “The Warrior” – Final Warning, “Metal Merchants” – Hallows Eve, and “The Awakening” – Titanic. I didn’t want to do all the obvious choices like Voivod or Metal Church, and I know Omen, Tyrant, and Hallows Eve are a little more well-known. I’ve always wanted to do it, and Metal Massacre is the greatest underground series of records, especially the first seven. It will get Sean and Matt more used to the old ways, a stuff little bit before their time. It will help October 31 when we do start writing for the next album down the road. Matt really loved “Under the Gun” when he first heard it, because it’s a real guitar frenzy type of song. That was a cool cover to pull out, we are actually going to be on a Riot tribute album coming up, we are also looking at working on a flexi-disc appearance on Decibel magazine.

I talked about doing a Quarterflash song, “Find Another Fool,” which is of course an odd song but it has a radio metal feel to it. We did “Mean Streak” from Y&T live at a couple of October 31 shows, but we haven’t recorded that in the studio. “Hard Lovin’ Man” from Riot. We’ve even pulled out Mötley Crüe “Red Hot” live. The new October 31 may be a little darker, more melodic, and I’m going to try to sing a little more. Even at the end of recording Bury the Hatchet, I had to rush the vocals as the guitar tracking got a little behind. They went hours and hours past, Matt had to go in on his own money to fix some things. The vocals were laid down in 4 hours, I would sing the songs through… fixed one or two words and that was it. I’d love to be able to spend one day at a time doing one song with double tracking, doubling the choruses, but I think it sounds good.

Dead Rhetoric: If you had the chance to pull together your own ‘dream’ festival lineup in the US, who would you love to see performing with October 31 and Deceased?

Fowley: Wow, alive or dead, or bands that could still possibly do it?

Dead Rhetoric: Let’s go with ones that could still possibly do it, because if we chose the dead lineups I think your list would lean 95% in that direction…

Fowley: You got that right! (laughs) I would have Iron Maiden headline, as they would be the big draw, and everything else underneath it… October 31 and Deceased would be on there somewhere. I’d have Rock Goddess reform and do it. A 10 band thing with free hot dogs and cheeseburgers. Vandenburg with the original lineup from the first album, I’d have Triumph as well. Some of the smaller bands I would have, Y&T would be on there for sure. I’d want a little thrash on there so probably a little Living Death. What’s kind of cool is a lot of the bands I thought I would never get to see I’ve been able to see. I never thought I would get to see Satan live, Oz, stuff like that. You are killing me… there are too many bands I’d want to see.

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