Obliteration Interview (NeuFutur Vintage Pieces)

1)Who are the members of the band and what do they play?:

Eric Stitnum (Vocals), John Reyna (guitar), Billy Flint (guitar), Vince Zenobi (bass), Michael DeAntonio (drums)

2) How old are each of you?

16, 16, 16, and 17. Michael’s the youngest and Billy’s the oldest.

3)When was the band formed?

As far as the band (Obliteration) with our current style and sound, about 1 1/2 years ago. We’ve been at it for about 4 though just with a thrash metal style instead of the Hypocrisy meets Cannibal Corpse sound we have now.

4)In your opinions what genre of music are you?

No doubt, it’s death metal, but instead of doing the gore thing like so many other bands (many great bands) do, our lyrical ideas is more on the “thinking man’s” side. Such bands like Hypocrisy (Final Chapter!!!), Amon Amarth, and Death have a way of creating a darker, more introspective mood with the lyrics and that’s what we try to go for. I will add though, that bands like Cannibal Corpse, Mortician, and Malevolent Creation practically invented the genre of death metal and happen to be some of our favorite bands. Billy and Vince are about as pure death as it comes while Michael and I (John) try to keep some melody intact. It’s a good mix.

5)In which city are you currently residing?

Charleston, SC! The biggest hokey town on the planet. We stick out like Cannibal Corpse in a room of politians!! Our earliest shows were with punk bands, hardcore bands, and whatever other variations those two genres make. We hated it. We’d have go on right after a pop/punk band playing “Punk Rock Girl” and do our cover of “Hammer Smashed Face”. Most of the hardcore guys would be like, “pretty cool, but they keep changing riffs all the time!!” and the punks would just stand there and say, “What the fuck is this…?” But other times, we actually loved it. I mean, none of us are huge punk fans at all so getting to blast some of these egotistical three chord bands was kinda fun. We do have some good friends that play punk with no egos, so nothing against punk music in general. We’d come offstage and get remarks like, “very cool, but where was the melody?” Man, if it drilled you into the wall, that’s melody!!!!

6)What label are you on currently, and which labels have you been on?

Currently, we are on a Charleston based “heavy” label called Unit One Records. It’s just getting started and a compilation CD is coming out by the end of this summer. Bands like Contagion (NC), Brides of Christ (AZ, formarly of Repulse Records), Incarrion, and other death bands will be featured. If you go to the Milwalkee Metal Fest this year, check out Incarrion! These guys are kickass. As for other labels, we released a thrash metal demo EP on a (now defunct) label called Dusk Records. We will be releasing a full-length CD entitled “The Wasteland” on Unit One by the end of this summer.

7)Have any of you played in another band?

Billy and I played in the pure thrash metal band Hostage for a while but drummer (Brandon Kunka) left to join another band called Edgewise in Savannah. Then, Billy and I started listening to the extreme heavy shit and I asked him to join my other band (Michael, Vince, Brett). Brett (then the other guitarist) got booted and here we are today.

8)Are you all in the process of recording an album or touring?

Right now, we are about to enter the studio to record our first full length release “The Wasteland”. Then we plan to set out on a regional or east coast tour probobly playing with some bands like Contagion, Incarrion, Children’s Choir, etc. The disc will be out in about 5 or 6 months.

9)What is your favorite touring experience?

I think that all of us would have to agree on this one. The girlies after the shows. Why the hell did we get into this in the first place? Anyone who says that he got into it purely and solely for the music is either gay, high, or really has nothing else to do. With us, we agree that our musical dedication came after the female factor. Both Eric and I are involved in great (somewhat confusing) relationships right now (Judy and Rachel) but yeah, what can we say…?

10)Which bands have you toured with?

We’ve played shows with some hardcore majors such as Quench, Hoss, and Unjust but actually never any other metal bands in the area. There are none except for Shaman Mary who seemed to have left us behind when they left for tour! Oh well… Watch for us coming up the coast early next year.

11)What are each of your favourite bands?

Eric: John and I like a lot of the same stuff including Iced Earth all the way to Emperor. Of course, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Incantation, Deicide, Internal Bleeding, and of course Hypocrisy! The new Hypocrisy CD is incredible. They develop even more with every album.

John: I like alot of different stuff from Iced Earth, Metallica (and damn proud of it), Steel Prophet, and Pantera all the way to Amon Amarth, Hypocrisy, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Incantation, Suffocation and Emperor. As far as the melodic stuff, I’m really into Hypocrisy and Iced Earth. But when it comes to plain brutality, I think my favorite is Deicide. Monstrosity is a close second though. I love the album Serpents of the Light and Glenn Benton’s vocals are absolutely horrifying (in a good way). I really don’t like much black metal except for Emporer. I got the new Emperor CD and it’s amazing. Eric and I are going to a couple of Emperor shows on their North American tour this year. Probobly the one at Ground Zero in Spartanburg, SC. I think that the black metal genre is extreemly intresting though.

Billy: Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel (Covenant!!), Deicide, Internal Bleeding, Hypocrisy, and Incantation.

12)What was the last album each of you bought?

Eric: Hypocrisy’s latest
John: Emperor’s latest
Billy: Hypocrisy’s “The Fourth Demension”
Vince: Cannibal Corpse’s “Butchered at Birth”

13)What is the weirest sex dream have each of you had?

Eric: What the hell does this have to do with heavy metal, anyway? Trust me, though my wierdest sex dream is way out there! Far beyond ye mortals comprehesion. And besides, i wouldn’t want to offend any readers with this interview. Buy the CD if you want to be offended.

Billy: My dream is my reality!! yeah right. I don’t think any of us really wants to answer this.

John: I think it involved one of my high school teachers (who happens to be really hot), but man, it was a really screwed up dream. Trust me, you and your readers don’t want me to go into it! Besides, Rachel’s gonna end up reading this!!

Michael: No comment

14)Which independent label do you think helps the bands in their roster the most?

We’d all have to agree that other than Unit One (of course…), from what we’ve heard, Century Media is really a good one. We don’t know how they make their deals, but they seem to manage a bunch of great bands. That must say something about the environment over that way. And they also distribute many other releases along with their bands. They’re in it for the bands and they do a good job. Great releases.

15)Which zine is your favorite?

We used to read PITT Magazine, but I think it was discontinued? I really don’t know. Haven’t picked one up in a while. It had some really cool stuff about all kinds of metal in there.

16)Where can people contact the band at?

We really like to hear from other metalheads. Please send mail to: Obliteration
1861 Omni Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
or The band email is Ruff925@aol.com

17)What places do each of you work in your spare time?

Eric works at Subway, I work at Gilligan’s (local seafood resteraunt), Michael works at the Charleston Riverdog’s stadium (minor league baseball) and Vince just kinda does his own thing. We gotta have money to support the band, so most of us are working our ass’s off!

18)For all of our readers, are any of you single?

Eric and I seem to be preoccupied with relationships at the moment, but Michael, Vince, and Billy are single for now. All the girls want a piece of them!

19)Are you sXe or normal people?

Who the hell ever heard of straight edge metal! Isn’t that somewhat of an oxymoron? We all think the whole straight edge thing is kind of silly. I mean, people are gonna smoke pot and do shit no matter how bad you beat em up. We’ve done our share in the past too but now we think drugs are kind of stupid. Truthfully, we think that if the other guys want to smoke, drink, or whatever (although we havn’t binged in a while) we don’t care as long as it doesn’t effect the band, our lives, or our performance. They can do it on their own time.

20)In your concerts, which songs by which bands do you cover?

We don’t play many covers anymore except for Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse. As a thrash band, we used to play Fade to Black (Metallica) but the two don’t seem to flow back to back so we do Fade to Black as a practice warmup now. Our live setlist consists of all origionals except for one cover that we decide about a week in advance. Usually Hammer Smashed Face.

21)If you had the chance, would you sign on to a major label,or stay independant?

If a major wanted our band, we’d sure as hell go. All this crap about bands selling out because they’re not independent or whatever is stupid. Monstrosity is on Mercury and they haven’t lost touch with the fans. Which brings up a good point: Listen to the music. If the music is good, its a good band. If the music is bad, it may be a bad band or you may just have a different taste than the next person. Billy and I openly admit that Metallica has been (since Justice-era) one of our favorite bands. Sure, they may have changed and developed, but what are you supposed to expect from a band that’s been around since the early 80’s? If you stay the same and never move forward or in different directions, you’re missing the point of music. Metallica is the biggest band in the world. If that means they’ve sold out, we sure as hell want to sell out on a major label, have millions and millions of fans worldwide, sell out stadium venues and release multi-platnum records. Some people go and say that a band has sold out when they’ve become popular. What the hell is that, ya know? In the back of everybody’s mind, every musician wants to go to sleep on a bed of $1,000 dollar bills. But yeah, we’d sign with a major. If we really wanted to sell out, we’d pick a different kind of music!

22)Which Sesame Street Character is the best-looking?

We all say Elmo is number 1

Billy: The Cookie Monster has pretty eyes though

Michael: Big Bird

23)Does the band have a webpage?
The Obliteration Webpage is: http://listen.to/obliteration
Also, visit our label at: http://listen.to/unitone

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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