Alex Perekrest and Red Giant – 2

a1674294140_10Fuck dude, that’s intense! The mother of your children stabbed you?

Yeppers… crazy days. And all of Cleveland knew it.

After the smoke cleared on that deal, Damien approached us about doing Red Giant again. Chris, our original drummer, Cooter from Bongzilla and I were jamming and between my injury and the fact that half of us were jamming anyway, it just seemed right to strike again.

We brought in Eric Matthews from Propain to take over for Chris, the family guy, and we were off to the races. We took several months to learn the songs without vocals or leads, went to Mad Oak studios in Boston, Mass. and recorded the meat and bones for Dysfunctional Majesty.

I moved to Raleigh N.C. shortly after, maybe a month…. Damien did the leads at his home studio, where we recorded Devil Child Blues, and a few months later I drove up and spent a long week doing the vocals.

I moved to North Carolina in February 2010. Melida’s [my wife’s] family lives here and the weather here is more conducive to the kind of work I do. Like I mentioned, Damien had been tracking leads in my absence, but I still needed to do the vocals. So we set up a time in early May for the wife and I to drive up and finish.

We arrive, and Damien catches me up on what he’s done by playing the record for me. It was one of the greatest moments ever. We pretty much got to work right away, doing a few songs each night. We had booked a show for later in that week and while waiting to play our set, some punks started talking shit out on the smoking patio.

I’d had enough of it and told one of them that it was time to shut the “f” up. Next thing I know I’m getting sucker punched from one of the others. Violence erupts. I get my attacker into a headlock, by God’s grace, and pin him against some outdoor seating while punching his head.

Anyway, the fight gets broken up and we play. However, Damien got it in his head that the fight was my fault and so on. He pulls a classic Damien and leaves after the show, without helping to load the gear. Eric and I get back to Damien’s house where I start throwing punches at him. Mind you, I’m staying at his house. And I’m kinda drunk…

Blah, blah, blah, so I’m kicked out, bloody and bruised with my shirt torn off in the pouring rain in the middle of the night. We still had a few songs to do, but Damien’s all mad at me and I was sure that this journey would end before it was completed.

After the dust settled, we patched it up and finished the vocals, but you can hear, particularly on ‘These Satisfactions are Permanent’, that my voice was battle hardened.

…So Dysfunctional Majesty was almost a casualty of band war. Fortunately, it survived. I recall hearing it later that summer and a black snake crossed my path, for what it’s worth.

What’s with the cover art? Tell us about the welder.

Glad you asked… the year was 1981. I was in the second grade and my Classmate, Ron Norris, told us that his Dad was bringing a Darth Vader helmet to show and tell. I was beyond stoked. I couldn’t wait, man – it was literally the raddest thing I could think of another kid’s Dad owning and bringing to class.

Finally, the day comes and Ron’s Dad, who was an engineer if I remember correctly, brings a freaking welders mask. I have no idea if Ron’s Dad knew his kid was going around telling other kids that he was gonna be busting out a DARTH VADER HELMET, but this welder mask was what he produced on that day.

Needless to say, I kinda wanted to pummel Ron for building me up for this massive let down but as a result, I’ve always held this association with welders and the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Fast-forward ten or so years and we’re trying to come up with a cover for ‘Psychoblaster’. At that time, we were spending most of our time at our buddy’s farm. We had a 69 International school bus that we converted to a “magic” bus and just outside the bus doors was this little outhouse thing.

We painted the words ‘Psychoblaster and the Misuse of Power’ on the door of the outhouse, and had Damien wearing a robe fashioned out of an old 70’s orange sliding glass door curtain and a welder mask, the busted imposter of Vader, coming out of the outhouse, split-panel style. Like a comic book. We just decided to keep that theme.

What inspired the ‘Dysfunctional Majesty’ cover as a take on Kiss’ ‘Love Gun’ album?

While we were putting the final touches on the record, I floated the idea of the Welder (someone dubbed him the Cosmic Welder, so I guess that’s his name. Not sure who. No one in the band, that much I know,) sitting on a throne as a king, with lady ‘worshippers’, or subjects, grovelling at his feet.

Kinda like Love Gun, by KISS. That idea made its way to Scott Hamilton from Small Stone Records and he decided, or maybe it was Alex (Von Weiding, the artist) decided it should be EXACTLY like Love Gun by KISS. And that was just fine by us. To be honest, I’m not that big of a KISS fan.

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