Friday, 24 August 2012

INTERVIEW - John Bosman


John "Thorous" Bosman is an American musician best known for his time as a member of the early 90s death metal band Deteriorate. He has also played with Silveth, Live Suffer Die, Random Draw and is currently active with T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) and Treading On Divine. John was kind enough to answer some questions for Chamber Of Ages.

COA: At what age did you start getting into music and who were the artists that inspired you the most?

JB: I was given my first guitar by my dad when I was around 12 but didn't take it serious until I was probably 14. I was influenced by rock 'n' roll from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and my father's classical training alongside honky tonk and old school country. My fondest memory of musical influence was of my father, my brother and I sitting on the piano bench watching him play for hours, "Moonlight Sonata" being the highlight, it was probably my most influential song of all time. Few of my main influences would be: Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Hank Williams, Black Sabbath, Wagner, Beethoven, Bach, The Beatles, Entombed, CArcass, Death, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Malmsteen, Deicide, Burzum, Venom, Bathory, Watain, Satyricon...

COA: How did you joining Deteriorate come about?

JB: I joined in late '92 prior to the recording of "Rotting In Hell". I was friends with Mike Trush. I had met him through a college friend in Bucks County, PA. I went to a couple practices and helped them out doing lights and sound shit like that. Then one practice I was chilling out during the writing of "A Thousand Years Of Anguish" and played the bass (first time I ever played bass with anyone) and I guess the guys liked what they heard. Next thing you know I'm learning the set and it worked out really well. As a 5 piece Mike could do more vocals and have more freedom to do what he wanted to. The potential for this band was so much and we were on top of our game by May 1993.

COA: As far as I know, you didn't actually play on the debut album 'Rotting In Hell' but were you around during any of the recording process? Who was the producer for that record?

JB: No I didn't play on the record but I was asked to and I declined. I kind of didn't feel good about playing on songs that I didn't help write. I was there the whole time and did some backing vocals on "Cannibal Autopsy" and on the intro to "Agonized Display". The producing was done by John Lovrich of Snugfit Studios, myself and Deteriorate.

COA: Are there any special memories you have from being on the road or of sharing the stage with other bands?

JB: Every show we ever did was a blast. We were always booked on alot of high quality tour packages (courtesy of John Finberg). For instance my first show with Deteriorate was in May of 1993, it was with Obituary, FearFactory. The show was filled beyond capacity. 500+ . We played Knoxville TN Deathfest ' 95(?) and Ancient was the headlining act, talk about an embarassment for them, they were burning a bible on stage when the singer tried to put it out he must have kicked it on to Azazels guitar cable which killed his sound completely, then the singer got out a club with real nails and was swinging it around wildly and someone through a blown up condom onstage and the dude swung at it missed and hit the bass player in the head with it then the bass player got pissed tried to kick the condom balloon and missed and fell on his ass! Man we were laughing our asses off. Later that night we were all chillin out in Ancients room and Azazel basically fired everyone. Another night in Chicago opening for Master we sort of incited a riot. We had a big Deteriorate fan come up to us and ask us if he wanted to hit someone over the head with a bottle and i guess he was serious because he ran behind the bar and hit this dude hard, next thing we know the whole place emptied out into the street and the whole place is fighting out there, cops everywhere, the whole bit, meanwhile we sat at the table pounding our beers on the table chanting Master! Master! Master! Crickets chirping and shit. Fun times!

COA: After 'Rotting In Hell', Deteriorate went through some line-up changes. What led to the shift toward a black metal sound on the band's second album 'The Senectuous Entrance'?

JB: Yeah we had some changes, we brought in Jack Gannon during the recording of the Gather the Nebbish Ep. I was the singer after Mike split and I felt like I couldn't perform the way I liked to doing both bass and vocals. I sang 3 songs on the "Gather The Nebbish" Ep and I was cool with that but we needed the 5 piece. The shift of music wasn't really any different other than the vocals. You can interpret "Senectuous' as black metal only because of the vocals. Honestly I think it was a little misinterpreted, we were doing what we did best and the riffs were very personal and full of feeling. The emotion we brought with those songs was insane. The mix on the CD wasn't quite right so it took away from the true feeling we were putting into the music. I thought of this transition as a natural one, especially from my writing stand point it just felt right, had I done the vocals it would have still sounded like black death metal instead of the stamp we had acquired by the media. To me this wasn't done purposely to jump on any band wagon or any thing it was just our emotions shining through.

COA: What led to Deteriorate's break-up and are you still in touch with any of your former bandmates?

JB: We broke up because of one fight between 2 of us. No names. But the argument was really stupid. We were on a gig in NYC (one of the first live online gigs of that sort) and we couldn't agree on the set list of all things. It is very unfortunate because Deteriorate never got to release the greatest shit we ever wrote. It's truly a loss. You can listen to some of those tracks on my myspace page or on youtube. I'm in touch with Mike, Joe (who is in the band Beyond The Lies), and Jack.

COA: Can you tell me about the possible re-issue of 'Rotting In Hell'? Will it feature any bonus material or new cover artwork?

JB: We have had many offers on this and we're not sure which one we are choosing yet but it will have the Rotting in Hell version that was recorded some months before at a different studio. This version has Mike playing Bass and singing his ass off. It is much darker and more time was spent on it. And now we will have a better production value due to modern technology. IT WILL CRUSH! The art work will be quite disturbing and have a photo montage of shows and band photos flyers and shit.

COA: You have a new band, Treading On Divine. Can you tell me about the band and any future plans or other side-projects you are involved in?

JB: Treading On Divine was started by me and Joe Gorski when we left Deteriorate and relocated to Florida. This project has been through many member changes throughout the last 15 years and very recently I lost my drummer. But i'm searching for the right person to fill the spot (anyone interested hit my email). This project has a lot of riffs that were intended for Deteriorate through the 90's but we either chose differently or never finished those songs but I have plenty of other material ready to roll. I do vocals and guitar and write the material. The first release is still being recorded and i hope to tour in the future. I was in a couple bands through the years such as SILVETH, LIVE SUFFER DIE, RANDOM DRAW to name a  couple. I am in the Black noise band T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) which is beyond most peoples vision of sick. Check us out we are on the label "CRUCIAL BLAST RECORDS" and have several releases. we just released U.A.G. also some youtube stuff out there...

COA: What is your opinion of the current death and black metal scenes?

JB: This scene is just so giant its really hard to keep up on it all. Trueness has seemed to disappear I feel like I concentrate on the European bands mostly they just seem more real to me, the structure and heart that they put into the music is always right on. America seems to have dropped the ball for what ever reason. Bands that rule right now for me are; WATAIN, SATYRICON, BURZUM, MARDUK, BELPHEGOR, BEHEMOTH, DARK FUNERAL, CHELSEA WOLFE, SUNN O, FUNERARY CALL, IMMOLATION, GNAW THEIR TONGUES, ABSURD, DEPRESSIVE SUICIDAL BLACK METAL, ENTRAILS. My tastes range from all the old Swedish Death Metal, German Death/Black/Thrash metal,Grindcore,Sludge,DOOM, and hybrid forms of all of these.

COA:What is your opinion on file-sharing/downloading?

JB: I myself have been somewhat of a victim of this. When Deteriorate signed with the labels we were on we were promised such and such money for each unit sold. We were always told approximately how many sold quarterly. We were totally ripped off. All the units sold out over 10 if not 15 years ago. I barely recouped on my investments for recording touring and such. Now I see "new" copies of our CDs all over the place for some outragous prices, who's getting that $15, $20 a CD? Not me or Deteriorate. Now with file-sharing and downloading, thats a whole new level of piracy. The units aren't being sold, no body's getting paid and it seems that the industry has changed ways to still make money. Before you had to sell merch to get to tour now I think they put you on tour to make a profit and then proceed from there. It's hard to really put a opinion on something that has so many variables. You have technology moving blazing fast, where before we tape traded now its online at a click of the mouse. So maybe they still make out because the exposure is so much higher at a lighting speed. No more waiting for a reply in the mail or review of your CD. It's instant. No matter how much I agree or disagree it's going to tread on. I myself watch alot of Youtube so I'm doing the same thing just in a different way. And even that is downloadable through a ton of Realplayer-esque deals.

COA: Any final words/thoughts?

JB: I've seen many bands crash and burn due to in-fighting, arguments, girlfriends etc... It was a real tragedy that it happened to us because we were all great friends. When we played shows 99% of the time it was so tight and crushing where the energy was incredible and you could look over at each other and know this was something special, that we felt like this is where we belong. As much as I was angry over the breakup, I can honestly say I had the best time of my life doing something that made me and our fans feel powerful about even if it was only a second or a blink of an eye, you never forget that sound, that taste in your mouth, the sweat in your eyes and definitely the women...Thanks Chris for the interview it was my pleasure any one interested in TREADING ON DIVINE, T.O.M.B. please feel free to e-mail me at: www.thoroustreads@yahoo.com

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