Saturday, October 02, 2004

Michael D. Williams of EYEHATEGOD.

Ok, let's get into some history. You do vocals for a band called EYEHATEGOD. How long have you been together, and what was the premise behind it (what were you trying to do)?

MDW -- Well, EHG has been around since 1988 officially, I guess - there was actually a singer before me, but we started taking it really seriously about then. As a group, we were heavy into Melvins, Confessor, Carnivore, Black Flag, C.O.C., St. Vitus, Obsessed, Celtic Frost and we all (it was basically a revolving door back then, as far as members go) had played in fast bands, hardcore, punk, speed metal, what have you… and we also shared a common interest in pissing people off, so EyehateGod was born. We wanted to be slow and menacing and get on bills w/ local thrash bands like Exhorder (who rule by the way) and watch the sad, close-minded crowds freak out. Kind of a psychology experiment. People hated it. Massively. We were more than pleased. Things started getting broken, fights etc. We loved it. Violence became part of our atmosphere. We sent a couple demos to Chris Dodge, he gave it a great review and we started getting lots of orders from that write-up and the rest is a history lesson in how to ruin your life in 13 years.

How did you come up with the name?

MDW -- I didn’t come up with it, the 1st singer did . We just built a further concept on what he started, with the whole "Your vices are God and what you 'see' is your God, and it can be drugs, money, sex, cigarettes..." He had some bizarre theories about self-hate, death, sex... we once took that kid to a mental center after he started hallucinating (and not on LSD) and punched our old drummer. True story, I swear. It’s a long weird story. It ended up that guy became a born again Christian and left N.O. All this is no joke! Totally true. Jim once gave him our CD and he threw it out of the window, he could not believe he helped create this bad, evil thing.

That's crazy. So how did you end up getting involved with the band?

MDW -- We were all friends before, practicing at the same warehouse, living together, etc. I'd been in a band at the same time of EHG's conception called Crawlspace (later Stress Ball), with Joe and Kevin now in Superjoint Ritual, and Craig - ex-Razor White (Phil Anselmos early 80's glam band, pre-Pantera), and we played shows with Jimmy Bower's group Shell Shock (who I was a roadie for and who turned into CrowBar much later). But I really knew Jim Bower first from his old band Blatant Frustration, who did shows with my old band Suffocation By Filth.

Did you ever get into any of these other slow bands, such as Corrupted or Grief? I know that you're down with Alicia from the Doom band 13.

MDW -- Oh hell yeah! Those bands were some of the forerunners of this type of music along with us, and are all great! It seemed like a global consciousness at one time, and those usually are the most vital of The Scenes, when the music is just fuckin' COOKING!! -- Grief, Cavity, 13, Buzzoven, Floor, Winter, Asbestos Death, Paradise Lost --- all super amazing! All of us came together due to common interests in music. And yes, Alicia 13 is my soul mate for eternity.

You write all of the lyrics. Tell me about your style and what influences you (you seem to employ a 'stream of consciousness' style of writing)?

MDW -- I don’t know what kind of style I have, and I wouldn’t know what to call it. Maybe "confessional"...? Stream of consciousness writing is really writing off the top of your head, which I have done sometimes, but I also put things together that I like, purposefully, and w/ reasoning. I love language and words, and the way they look on paper.

So you do edit your writing…

MDW -- Sure, yeah, some of the lyrics on the older LPs isn't really edited, but nowadays, I spend a lot more time doing it. You can thank the geniuses at Century Media for fucking up a lot of the original writing on a couple records, like chopping it up and editing, changing words, titles of songs, misspellings etc. Just stupid idiot shit they are known for. I have TONS of stuff written. It'll find its way out and on to paper possibly, eventually, maybe. My second book is getting put together as we speak, I dunno who will publish it yet though.

Did Century Media really did that to your shit? That's unbelievable... what did you do about it?

MDW -- Ahh you know just a lot of typos and shit mainly. On 'Take as Needed..', the noise piece at the end had no title (that's the way we wanted it), and they called it 'Laugh it off'. On Dopesick, they put all these slashes in my words, separating them where I DIDN'T want them. Also on Dopesick, they put the digital silence for the song coding/tracking in the MIDDLE of a song, the one before 'Methamphetamine' I believe... I mean stupidity to the max, but mainly they show that all they care about is throwing the product out to sell, while not giving a fuck about the band or the music. They do, or DID this to a lot of bands. It's run a bit better nowadays. But then there wasn't much to be done about it but complain. The new vinyl versions are corrected in some places thanks to Emetic Records, no thanks to Century Media.

One thing that is apparent about you guys, you're nothing pretty. Sound, lyrics or themes. You deal with some pretty harsh topics like depression, drug addiction, poverty, and you bring it to a level that people like myself can relate to. How have these things affected your lyrics/music?

MDW-The world is nothing pretty. And of course I only can write what I've actually felt. I guess some people can pretend their feelings, but I wouldn't feel right doing that. Anyway, I couldn't do it if I wanted to. All things affect my writing, I get inspiration from vacant lots & empty rooms, bus fumes, the sidewalk, crowded rooms & old people, a closed door, Mardi Gras, Indians, abandoned scrap yards, violence, drugs, staring at the sky, and on and on… Confusion. Past, present and future. It may be conveyed in a cryptic and/or existential way for some people to understand, but it’s all true and raw. I like when people get their own meanings from my words, that way it’s enjoyed on a bunch of levels. Kind of like an ink-blot test, different people see different things. They get different meanings and feelings, although the basic ideas are there.

And you come up with the song titles as well? You got some of the most expressive song tittles in the industry...

MDW -- Of course.

When you do the vocals, do you ever say any of your lyrics?

MDW --Yeah. Sometimes, depends. I look at it as speaking in tongues. If you can't understand the words, people, don't you worry your little heads off, and don't complain. There’s no preaching, so when you listen and read the words, it portrays a feeling. Its just language, language can be a barrier sometimes, and also its really just a passion. The graphics/recorded music and live settings are equally deep to me. I usually learn the lyrics after we record the albums and vice-versa, I've spit things up live that I wrote down immediately after, that ended up as lyrics/writing. Sometimes I'm just too drunk to remember.

How do you think people respond to that kind of vocal execution?

MDW -- What, me slurring words or singing stuff I make up on the spot? Well first of all I don't care. Second, they should be glad they are witnessing something fresh with no rules, something improvised and pure evil from my heart. Playing live for me is an exorcism, as corny as it all sounds. Pour the booze in and puke the noise out. I get wired naturally from hearing loud feedback and drums ...and for the record I don’t HAVE to be drunk, but it helps sometimes. All in all, this is a GROUP, not a forum for me to preach, we are what we are.

The one person you remind me of, in terms of the way you lay down your ideas is M. Gira from the band SWANS. Is he an influence to you at all?

MDW -- Michael Gira was definitely an influence as far as his obsessive and wicked deliverance of sado-masochistic feeling goes. The whole Swans package beat me over the head when I first heard it. I believe I think differently. Some of my writing is more confusing and convoluted, I guess because I'm usually feeling confused and convoluted. Besides M. Gira, Nick Cave is brilliant, Darby Crash of the Germs was a total undiscovered, overlooked poet. Charles Bukowski is great 'cause I can relate to almost everything he speaks of. His stories are so easy to get involved in. Others are Kerouac, Burroughs, Jeff Van der Meer, Vollman, Miller, Fante, Bataille, Sartre, Barker, Lovecraft, Thompson, and tons more.

I'm always am interested in the ideology behind a band; so let me ask some questions about that. What is Nihilism?

MDW --There are many ways of thinking under the title banner of Nihilism. I come more from the old school definition, where Nihilism is the first step in the destruction of social and political structures that already exist (and have proved to be flawed), in order to start fresh and try to rebuild and have a proper future for our children and humanity. It can be a very a hopeless thought process. I try to put a future and a cause to it since most nihilists have a very cynical view of things because they have no plan for what to do after they've destroyed these shit institutions. I'm guilty of being cynical as well, but I do think that after the Great Class War, there will be ways to bring things back to normal and to a NEW level of sincerity. Possibly by leaning towards some form of communism to even things out. So in other words, there is an inkling of HOPE involved in nihilism if you want there to be. We HAVE to do away w/ Right AND Left Wing, which are in my eyes, both TOTAL and utter garbage, and develop some new forms of democracy. Think of the different political parties we have now, and how long most of them have been around. Too long. They are antiquated, most all of them, and none of them have proved to work perfectly. Almost anything that was created that long ago should be renovated. We’ve got Democrats, and Republicans, and then we have Libertarians, The Green Party, The Reform party. Also the Socialist Workers, The Constitutionalist and the Natural Law parties + a bunch more that are equally useless. I announce my platform here for Ninth Position Ideology. Its roots lie in Nihilism, but also reach further than just the basics. I am writing a manifesto that will explain this platform in more detail.

You think of yourself as a nihilist?

MDW --Yes.100%. But its hard to break down the idea that destruction can bring peace in a way people can understand, and not think it's complete crazy talk. It would obviously be a long drawn out process, and like true anarchism, may only exist hypothetically. So we come to the point of my ideas as just theories. Humans as a whole want things NOW, as we have all been so adamantly conditioned. As far as being a nihilist and actually practicing these thoughts, I do as much as I can and still survive in today’s climate. I can't change a whole lot by myself, so until then, I'm living in THEIR world. I also can't help getting a bit apathetic, because I'm flustered at the MESS things are in and sometimes just feel like living out my days in hiding, just staying to and by myself. But, by further developing the thoughts I spoke of above, I have a bit of hope... Nihilism doesn't always mean negativity.

How did you come to that, originally?

MDW -- I suppose a total lack of trust in a bullshit society full of wrongs, growing up not believing a word I hear from anybody, growing up in the shadow of nuclear threat -- and now dealing day to day with terrorism. Gotta adapt to the stress.

There is no doubt that you guys are considered a metal band, but I know that you have deep roots in Punk. How has the punk movement influenced you?

MDW -- Punk was the first thing I could call my own and have a sense of belonging, while at the same time being a complete outcast, in school, in my neighborhood, in my family. I got into punk in 1979, when I used to buy magazines w/ Kiss and Alice Cooper in them, and then that's where I saw the Sex Pistols, Ramones, Iggy, Cramps and bought LPs from those bands. Then Hard-Core formed, and I got into Bad Brains, Discharge, Black Flag, Fear, Circle Jerks, Misfits, Void, MDC, Jerry's Kids, Negative Approach; and masses of bands cropped up everyday that ruled. It was almost completely underground; you had to search for fanzines and records. That was an exciting time for me, I feel sorry for today’s "punks". Most of the music coming out is so weak and useless, just embarrassing. I mean you can turn on MTV and see that horrid shit. When I was a teenager you'd get your ass kicked for having a Mohawk or spiked hair, now the fuckin' jocks are the ones with the spiked hair. I'm proud to be a punk rock Old-timer. I do like some contemporary underground music coming out today, just not too into the crap 'emo-pop' trash bin filler.

Did you ever get into Hip Hop and other kinds of music besides metal or punk?

MDW -- I totally dig a lot of Hip Hop. Wu-tang, Guru, Gang Starr, The Roots, Public Enemy, Krs-1, Schooly D, Ice-T. New Orleans has a HUGE hip hop scene that’s influenced and spread across the world; Juvenile, UNLV, all the Cash Money & No Limit artists... I could go on, man, that’s all killer shit. On tour and at home I might on any given day be listening to Bathory or Augustus Pablo or Slayer or Brighter Death Now or Disrupt or Atari Teenage Riot or Charlie Parker or Waylon Jennings or Mississippi John Hurt or Guns And Roses... I don't label my interests, nor do I care what other people listen to. AT ALL. I like art and music that is passionate and threatening with heavy feeling and emotion -- AND I like stuff that just exists for the sake of having a good goddamn time! So at the end of the day a good adrenalin surge wins the prize! Did you know that hip hop and punk rock basically evolved at the same time, in the 70's in urban areas of America (PUNK is not from the UK), the climate in that time period spawned both of these raw forms of expression, the same way the blues and jazz erupted because of their environments in their respective time periods. There are so many similarities, only the cultures are different---each stamped w/its own identity.The Street, my man, the Street ---- my Biggest Fuckin’ Inspiration!

I know that people (primarily PC punks) have labeled your band as sexist (Hit a Girl) or racist (Probably because of the confederate flag you used to rock on the back of your jacket). It's easy to put these kinds of labels on people. How would you respond to these viewpoints?

MDW -- I am speaking only for myself here, so... I can see how people would react to those things, but sometimes it seems the PC crowd has nothing better to do with their time. I admit, I DO like to provoke 'em, give them something to do. So that having been said, lets face it, Humankind is complete Garbage, They/We are the worst thing to happen to this planet EVER! I am 1000% Misanthropic. I trust NO ONE. People pre-judge others all the time, usually not even knowing it. And I have since stopped wearing the red, white, and blue confederate flag due to learning a lot more about what it actually stood for. I am definitely NOT a racist, and do not agree w/groups of people being slaughtered because of the color of their skin. We could talk about what has happened in the past that caused this mess, for hours & hours. Its what’s under the skin that is ugly, skin color has nothing to do with inner feelings. But there is some reality in stereotypes. It's just a fact that some cultures harvest hostile routines amongst themselves that have created these stereotypes in the first place. And it is also such an unfortunate thing for white males to inherit and get blamed, in this day and age, for what was caused by, and what happened to, our ancestors. Our current generation (black and white) had nothing to do with that tragedy, but yet we all still carry the weight. I wore that flag as a symbol of pride of the South. I have one now, that is camouflage army green, and to me it symbolizes southern heritage, for what its worth, but is washed clean of the red blood of the racist one. People have no problem with OTHER flags that carry stigmas of all kinds of wars and destruction. Why is this? The media doesn't jack up the other incidences, I guess. Think of the USA, the stars and stripes. The American flag represents the murder of hundreds of thousands of native americans who were here when white men supposedly "discovered" this country. It's fucking illegal to even disrespect that flag! What a joke. The American Indian's blood isn't the only blood wiped on Old Glory either. People who didn't believe in God were massacred back then (still are, come to think of it) as well... Besides that, do people who wear the African pride pendants know of the massacres that take place on that continent? Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, Rhodesia all has seen awful murder and genetic and ethnic cleansing in the VERY recent past. Not all of it is White oppression either. These dictatorships kill their own brothers’ everyday. Slavery exists even today in the diamond mines in Africa. People need to educate themselves more on these things. But most likely, it won't happen because they don’t care. It's easier to say "Confederate flag = slavery". Do people know the north had slaves as well? Probably not. The Civil war happened for more reasons than just that one. So people will still attack me for the confederate flag, no matter what colors it is designed with. The strangest thing I've seen was a confederate flag in red, green and yellow, which are African colors. I dunno what the reasoning was behind that, but anyway…I do want to add that living in the south is different than when I lived in NYC. Down here there’s a lot more reverse racism I think. I don’t wanna propagate any negative ideas about race, nor do I want to generalize about a culture, I just call it as I see it. Our current generations seem totally screwed, but education could help people get along better in the future.As far as "Hit a girl", that song title was written by a friend of the band a long time back, and meant absolutely nothing except to piss off people. It's in the third person, past tense. That's how I pictured it, as in 'someone had' hit a girl. I mean it's a fact, it happens in this sick world. If people think we are misogynist, for calling a song something that you can also read about in the news, they're wrong. This band just represents all that is fucked and horrible in humanity, to make people never forget about it. They should go attack the actual killers and beaters of women. It's just easy, I guess, to jab at a rock band. Especially ones that are Supposedly "rednecks" and "metal". But I obviously realize it will provoke, because shock value has its merits. Not everything is so serious as most people make it, we all like tasteless humor and ain’t afraid of the backlash.

Since day one, you have represented New Orleans (which has a huge musical history). How has the environment down there affected your music?

MDW -- In a big time way. I really couldn't explain it, but the atmosphere here is something I haven't experienced anywhere else I've lived. Most folks think N.O. is a small swamp town, which is ridiculous; it's a fairly large city and is miles from swampland. You can drive out there in a short time, but the city is as urban as it gets. It's just a feeling I get, something to do w/ it being so old and decrepit. A lot of history just permeates up from the below sea-level graves -- plus the Blues, the alcohol 24-7, a lot of criminal legends. I dunno, but more than one person has told me as miserable as it can be in the humidity and filth here, it's hard to leave and stay left. I'm also into the territorial aspect of claiming your home base and representing it gang-style.

Ok, let's get into some of your other projects and EHG related groups.What is the NAG?

MDW -- Negative Action Group , an organization put together by me and Joey to terrorize the public thru noise and pranks. now it's the flag flown by the fans of EHG and 00% and includes any and every one, truly devoted to EHG.

What is the Southern Nihilist Front?

MDW -- The overall banner of all of my projects-books, writing, music, art, etc.

There used to be an ambient project called Transaxis Oracle attached to the band, is that still alive?

MDW -- that was Joeys project, he did a good number of shows with that and released a couple of tracks on comps and such, and then it fizzled. He's got a new thing going now called Hypo-Stigmata. (‘The Wounds of the Chemical Christ’) which is ambient/harsh, noise assaults.

Did you have anything to do with that project?

MDW -- Not Tranaxis, but me and Joe did some NAG tapes and a split cassette once under the name of Whore/SickBoy on PressPause cassettes around 92-93.

I heard a rumor that you are going to be doing some vocals for the Power Electronics outfit, Bloody Minded. How did you hook up with those guys?

MDW -- I've known Mark Solotroff from New York/Chicago for a long while and we've kept in touch and it’s something I wanted to do, and he asked me if I'd do it. I sent him my track I'm waiting to hear the finished product. He's put out heavy power electronics stuff for years, also as Intrinsic Action, and I really like their harsh, evil, intelligent style. Keep watching my website ( for more info.

You have a new band now, called Outlaw Order. Tell me all about that.

MDW -- well the sound originally was a more Motorhead/Poison Idea (two of the lords most blessed outfits) mix, and it was me and Gary from Hawg Jaw, as we searched and went thru a bunch of members, it came full circle to Brian (Soilent Green) and Joey (EHG) and we melded into this sound we have now, which is southern doom with more a hardcore leaning. It's got new fast crunchy down tuning as well as some slower bashing and the real newer stuff has some odd time changes that differs completely from EHG, so it’s a mix of that. The lyrics are all Crime based as well as the group concept. Crime on every level. There’s a never-ending supply of subjects in this category. Outlaw Order is obviously an extension of EHG, but it does have major differences, the real Heads will love it, and will recognize the nuances and the extremities. And so far they have. On the other hand, I've heard people blindly going "man ya'll sound EXACTLY like EHG". Which is a fuckin' lazy thing to say. Those are the people who don't pay fuckin’ attention at all. For us it’s always been about 'The Riff' and 00% has our recognizable stamp, but we are faster, as I said before, and a lot more hardcore in the overall delivery. It's fuckin ready to kill now... Complete Raw Hatred. I still want to start a more punk rock outfit, older school style with NO slow "sludge" parts, or whatever people call it.

You also have a book of writing coming out, also...

MDW -- the book is called "Cancer as a Social Activity' and should be out by the end of 2004 and its a collection of writings/lyrics from over the years. I'm also almost already finished w/ my second one. Being a 1st book and all, this one took me a while to put together everything, but I think the next one will come together much more smoothly. I can't wait for people to see this one. I hope to tour for it as well; I'd like to have a noise, spoken word tour with power electronic bands and writers. Anybody interested, contact me. Maybe we could set something up.

In 1996, when I saw you guys with Neurosis in Boston, I thought the show was great, but you also looked like you were going to die soon (sorry for being so blunt, but I have to be honest). I thought EHG was over for good. Now here we are in 2004, and you seem to be coming back stronger than ever. You have all of these projects going on, etc. I'm happy for you, and I hope that things keep getting better for you - what do you attribute to this seemingly sudden personal renaissance?

MDW -- That’s fine, be as honest as you can. I guess it seems like a "sudden personal renaissance" because of limited public knowledge, it's not like over night things went from bad to good or something. But yeah, I have felt like I was going to die a few times. More accurately I was told that I would if I didn't take hold of my fuckin’ excesses. EHG took an extended break in 1998-99 because of such problems. I do remember (amazingly) that night in Boston. I helped polished off two bottles of nasty-ass Goldschlager (among some other stuff) So I'm sure I looked like death warmed over. But that was a common occurrence in those days. I've cultivated a death wish from way-the-fuck-back as long as I can recall, and as much as I love living this life, I've not always cared what happened to me. But Now... Now I can say I have a somewhat better attitude towards the future. Getting arrested again and again has obviously played a part in my positive decisions to get wiser. Everyday I decide I do want to hang out a while longer. There’s so much to experience and learn. Clichéd as it may be: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"...that’s what they say... So I am doing better now. As far as EHG and 00%, or whatever project I'm involved in, be it writing or power electronics, it seems to be like a bacteria. It ain't never gonna cease. I'll always do what it takes to keep creative in some form. I've got tons of things coming down the pike. So let's drink to me keeping my shit together! I ain’t gonna speak for the rest of the kids about details, but here’s hoping they stay outta trouble as well.

Is there anything else that you would like to promote in this interview, any last words?

MDW -- EyehateGod is playing a show on October 29th in New Orleans AND my book 'Cancer as a Social Activity' will be out end of 2004, write for more info. Also there are ALOT of rumors out there about us, don't believe everything you see or hear. The questions above about race and sexism are ultimately always gonna piss off SOMEONE. It’s impossible to relay my intimate feelings in a paragraph. So there’s MUCH more to be said on those subjects. Thanks to LPE for the support and this I-View. Buy our records and books, go see 00% /EHG and all related projects, support the S.N.F. and all Hail the Negative Action Group!!Contact: ....Go to:


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