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Monstrosity Interview


Monstrosity: Words from a Metal Legend

Pit Goddess - Hey Lee. Thanks for this interview. What projects are you currently working on?

LEE: Actually I just ordered a bunch of gear to get my home studio up and running again so I'm really getting ready to kick in on writing this new Monstrosity record. I have a bunch of ideas and now I'll have the vehicle to properly capture them so I'm actually pretty psyched at the moment.... Things will be able to move a lot quicker. It was the same process we used when we were writing Rise To Power and it just makes it easy when we can record all the practices and just capture everything.

PG - How was your European tour? Which country was your favorite?

LEE: It was really cool. I had a good time and it amazes me now looking back at how quickly time flew by and how much ground we actually covered in a relatively short amount of time. I would say the highlights for me were London, Zurich, Milan, Paris, and Eindhoven Holland. We played some really cool venues and met a lot of really cool people as well.

PG - Out of everyone in the band, who got the most groupies?

LEE: I can't tell you or I'd have to kill you. Unfortunately, this is death metal and its not like LA metal back in the 80s or something. Most girls who come to death metal shows are already with a guy so usually its slim pickin's. Every once in awhile you meet a nice single girl you might bring home to 'Mama' but its pretty rare. It just depends.....

PG - You have a crushing sound established. What can we expect on this new cd?
What will make this CD stand out from previous releases and from other bands releases?

LEE: Hopefully we can further cement our sound. The last album was killer but the final mix probably could have been better. We were a little rushed with the final mix because we had our release date already set so in hindsight although not horrible I just think it could have been better. So the production on this one I hope will be better. The songwriting more focused and just more, more, more..... more of everything ...slow parts, faster songs, catchier, and hopefully a perfect blend of technical and brutal.

PG - How has the metal scene evolved (or devolved?) since Monstrosity began?

LEE: The scene was real trendy in the early 90s when metal was getting all this press and attention. Then it was like there was a big "metals over" campaign and everyone was trying to fit into the next thing. Black metal kind of took over for awhile and it was super trendy to be into black metal or grunge rock ....now it?s just kind of stagnate. We always just do our thing and not worry about it.

PG - How has drumming progressed since you first started drumming?

LEE: Like I said before when I first started it was all rock beats and image conscious bands. Then you had Tommy Lee doing "Red Hot" and that was like 'serious' double bass for the time. It was like "dude but can you play 'Red Hot'??" That was like a serious goal. Another one was "dude but can you play the solo in Tom Sawyer" Playing "quads" was a big deal back then for drummers who were just starting out. haha

PG - Who?s your favorite drummer?

LEE: For just regular drumming I would say Virgil Donati. He does some killer stuff. I just like solid players. There are so many out there these days its hard to keep up. You have guys out there that just practice day and night that are just monsters. To me I've always been more concerned with the song as a whole rather than just filling up time with as many blast beat double bass parts. There is a time for that but it has to be within the context of the song. A lot of players forget that....

PG - When did you first get into metal? What were your first favorite bands?

LEE: When I was a kid getting into music there really wasn't heavy metal like there is today. It was all 'rock'. Then along came the LA thing in the 80s and it just seemed with time music got heavier and heavier. Then it became like 'whats next...how can you get heavier than this?' type of thing back when Slayer was the heaviest thing possible. Then along came bands who actually did take it to the next level and it was like 'wow...there are boundaries to be crossed' so we just took it to another level. Now you've got kids starting out trying to reach new levels so I can't imagine 'metal' 15 years from now cause there?s going to be some serious mutating speed demons out there.

PG - Lee, we were talking about rockstar status a while back. Do you have said status? How do you earn it?

LEE: To me you are either born with it or not. You either got it or you don't. To me, it?s all attitude and walking the walk instead of talking the talk. Some people earn it but it's rare haha!!

PG - I know you're a KISS fan. How much of an influence did/does KISS play on your music?

LEE: When I was younger I had a huge fascination with KISS but musically I outgrew them in the early 80s. I just got into more technical music but I always enjoyed the imagery and the whole KISS thing... If you grew up in the 70s you couldn't escape it and it was a very magical thing wondering "wow who are these guys wearing this make up" and it was just good for the imagination.

PG - Finally, Lavoizen is your stadium rock project, which happens to rock. When is that getting kicked into full gear?

LEE: I spent a lot of time writing songs this past year. I have about 30 songs written and I would say half of them are strong enough as they are. The other half will either get re-worked or thrown out totally. I can get in a groove and songs just start coming out. Sometimes they are keepers and sometimes they are lemons. I'm finding the songs turn out better when I just go for it instead of over thinking everything. It's different for Monstrosity because it seems I overthink everything 40 times before settling and it seems to work. They are two completely different animals and they coincide with each other without canceling out the other. Originally I was worried because a lot of people probably heard Lavoizen and were like "Oh no he is selling out" but really its just a totally different animal because I'm playing guitar and singing in Lavoizen so its like a completely different challenge.

PG - Thanks for all your time! Stay brutal.

Hails from The PitGoddess.

Scrapyard Magazine

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