Formed in 1989, the journey of Philadelphia metallers Lesch-Nyhan has been one of two halves, their first coming rich with potent horizons ahead but derailed before their realisation could be smelt. The return of the band in 2012 though looks like being a different matter. Returning with all the potential and inspiring qualities of before but honed into an even more rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of an encounter, as evidenced by their new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, the quartet has emerged again as the ravenous and inventively savage proposition their fans always declared them to be. The new album is a wake up swipe to extreme metal so we called on the time and kindness of band founder and vocalist Gary ‘Throat’ Hadden to take us into the heart and creativity of Lesch-Nyhan. We get the frontman to talk about the two different periods of the band, reasons for its break up and resurrection, the band’s take on the current metal scene and plenty more…
Hi Throat and many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.
Before we talk about the new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, can we look at the beginnings of the band back in 1989? What was the spark to its birth and intent to its heart?
In 1989 it was a time in metal where Thrash ruled, and Death Metal and Grindcore were not heard of that much… I was asked by Mark and Anthony Delacandro if I’d like to form a band, Hell Yeah, I said. We then asked Greg Oreski RIP to join the band and it was rounded out by adding Mike Carr; we started to form and create the sound of Lesch nyhan… The intent was to have fun, we never expected what was about to happen…. It was a great time…
It is fair to say that the band was moving and brewing up a strong and potentially potent future with its unique sound and presence, but some of its members were not ready or were unprepared for that step? What was the core reason for that do you feel and the halt to the band’s progress?
Yes there could have been a chance Lesch nyhan would have had an opportunity to get signed and be a part of the start of what was still a growing scene, changing a lot, but still growing. The demise of the band; first off we had a lot of attention from Peaceville Records, with that came parents who disagreed with their sons’ decision to continue to play in the band due to its possible signing. As I mentioned previously, Thrash Metal was popular and the musicians were far and few between… I did find several musicians one being Dan Kamp who moved onto Incantation. The other members in the band just couldn’t create what we previously were and it was not working out… So that was it…
Was this a slow turn or a swift punch into the heart of the band as members realised the possible future of Lesch-Nyhan?
It was quick; we were active playing with today’s Legendary Bands in Suffocation, and Incantation, amongst others… So with all that was going on it seemed clear we had a chance to make a name for ourselves.
I know the band went through a few members at this point, what was the final straw which brought the band to an end back then?
Overall lack of interest…. or skill to play our form of music…again Death Metal or Extreme Metal was really at its birth so it was hard to find the right people to carry on… I also got involved in drugs that messed me up for a few years… Hope that answers that….
It was not until 2012 that the beast rose again, what did the interim years hold for you musically etc.
Envy… My best friend Kevin McLintock played in Mortal Decay and also had and still has his band Polterchrist, so during the last 22 years I’ve been a huge fan of Death and Black Metal, it has kept the spirit in me and the desire to once again create something unique, even though so much has been done and tried. I went to a lot of shows and remained a big fan of music.
Was there a trigger to the band’s return in 2012 or was it something brewing in thoughts and emotions for a while?
It happened real sudden, I was approached by a former member in Rob Vandeerveer to see if I’d be interested it trying to get back to making music. I asked around, Chris Miller previously of Crucifier and Afterbirth joined forces and brought in his friend and drummer Mark Vizza; Jimmy Dabatista was also in the reformed band at first. So now Chris and I have parted ways with all those guys. Jack Carmichael formerly of Afterbirth was long time friends with Chris so he joined and we found Mark Stanthorpe Jr to round out this line up…Which is finally solid and steadily progressing.
How did you approach things this time around, musically and just in the process of being a band?
Very seriously, we know we aren’t a group of young guys; we are doing what we know to do to spread out our music. We are grateful to be where we are today, being ready to record our first full length CD. The music is written by the band, I write the lyrics. One important thing with the band is Chris and Jack were fans of Lesch nyhan back in 89/92 so that helps keep the vibes alive.
Did it feel any different as Lesch-Nyhan rose again other than what maturity and experience brings?
Yes, we are proud of what we are doing and have done so far… It’s an awesome feeling to see some old heads that used to come to our shows back in the day and for some new young and old people to find interest in our music is a great feeling.
How different was the death metal scene when the band reformed to when it left it, and did that have any impact on your thoughts in regard to sound, songwriting, and just returning?
No, actually the guys in the band don’t even listen to today’s Death Metal, so they write what they feel. Myself I write about a lot of things from hating life, gore, some political stuff and anti-religious stuff. We don’t care what people think, we’re not trying to impress anyone, and we are doing what we feel and what we want. So trends and popularity isn’t important, being honest to ourselves is more important… Nothing fake here.
You have just released new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. Has its emergence in some ways been unfinished business or more a new chapter looking ahead only?
I think it’s a look ahead; we do have Bathed in Phlegm on the CD that was previously written in 1991, other than that all new material…
How has your sound changed between the new release and Indistinguished Remains of 1991 in your ears and thoughts?
In 1991 we were young; I used a harmonizer on my vocals back then and used it live as well. Over the years I’ve been upset with the decision to use that effect, to us at the time it seemed inventive and different. So in today’s music it is raw, it was recorded that way ‘because we play it live that way. This to me is a dream come true, and don’t think we all don’t put in time, we practice a lot and enjoy creating music. The basic elements of the old music are still alive today… Done with more talent and intent of making unique music, not typical run of the mill…Lesch nyhan
Has your inspirations for songs and the raw passion and craft which breaths in your music and songs still the same which lit up your early compositions or has that also changed and found new seeds over the years?
For me the passion runs deep, I feel my vocals are one of a kind and try to make it that way; creativity is vital to all of us. We keep it in the same vein as early days but much more advanced in writing and song composition…I think…
How did you approach the recording of Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, was there a certain intent with its creation or did it find a more organic evolution once expanding and recording the tracks?
We knew going in what we wanted and were looking for…. we’re not a polished band, we’re a live band, we practice a lot and I think are pretty tight so recording this CD was easy. It actually took us 12 hrs, my vocals 2.5 hrs…We all hammered it out quick and were quite pleased with the results.
Are you someone who likes to have songs predominantly finished one recording starts or likes to give them that freedom to evolve and surprise you in the recording process?
Yes I rehearse a lot, I put together the songs vocally during practice; if you’re familiar with Lesch nyhan there’s a lot of vocal changes and it takes time to work them into the songs, although a lot of Lesch nyhan Syndrome just came out as a surprise… Not all some though…
How does the songwriting primarily emerge in the band?
Chris Miller, Jack Carmichael, Mark Iii as he’s known, write all the music…I basically just listen for it to move me, if it doesn’t than it won’t work …. They have become a machine. I practice mostly at Chris’ with him and Jack with the drums through the Pa, that gives us time to practice often and for me to do my thing… The song writing is going great.
How have responses to the release met with your hopes before its unleashing?
It’s gone well, the intent was to get the music heard; we really didn’t have expectations except enjoy having completed this after all these years. We definitely have sparked a flame here and I hope the next recording takes us to the next level, and see where things go.
What is next for Lesch-Nyhan, in regard to playing live, new songs, and direction?
Live shows is what I live for, in August we are making our way up north to Rhode Island and playing in Pray for Death Fest 2; our next local show is in September at Harpers pub. New music is coming along nicely, we are recording ten tracks at the end of this month, and the direction we are going is our own making music we enjoy and expressing ourselves as we please.
Again many thanks for sparing time for us here. Would you like to leave a final thought or word?
Sure, I have to say thanks to all the people who have checked out our music, came out to our shows; thanks to all the promoters who continue to provide us with good shows…in the Spring of 2015 we are headed to Wisconsin to play apart the Spring Bash, then follow up with a road trip where we will be playing Midwest states and north east. I hope to see some of you out there. If you do coke out always feel free to come up say and say hello… Finally I like to say thanks to you for doing a review of Lesch nyhan Syndrome…. and following it up with this thanks. To anyone who may want to check out our bands page it’s LeschNyhanMetal on Facebook, on YouTube type in Lesch nyhan band, and Google Lesch nyhan band…. Thanks Throat
Read the review for Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/lesch-nyhan-lesch-nyhan-syndrome/
The Ringmaster Review 06/08/2014
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