RETALIATION Retaliation, a band consisting entirely out of incarcerated Metalheads, was formed with it's current line up in late 1994. Their first gig was played within the confines of N.C.C.I Gardner (state prison) in front of 250 convicts and 50 prison staff, absolute chaos ensued and with the help of a prison music development program an 8-track studio demo was recorded. despite the quality of the recording equipment, which pales in comparison to that which is available to those of us on the outside, Retaliation recorded a demo "Death from the Inside". Brutal death Metal in the finest sense of the word. Completed on October 31 1995, the night of the dead, and released on the hungry Death Metal World. Here follows an interview completed by mail in January 1998 with Rick, the throat abuser of the band. CRUSADER: Being a band stuck in prison must be pretty difficult on the creative process. One thing that is evident though is the violent effect it has on your music. Do you think that being in prison has had any effect on the music you write/play? RICK: Most definitely, it has proven difficult to release this music from behind the prison walls, limited time to work together as a band was the biggest problem we faced at that time. Since our pro-cassettes have been released around the world, another problem faced us. The administrators discovered our accomplishment and banned Retaliation from participating in the Prison music program. As for the recognition of our songs being quite violent, what we intend to do through our songs is exactly represent the truth of our daily lives in this place. We harboured the emotions we feel and see, taking the energy and engraving it into our music, listening to our songs you get to feel how it would be to reside here! It isn't a stroll through the family neighbourhood... CRUSADER: What crimes did you and the other band members commit, to be put in prison? Do you feel justice was served and how long are your sentences? Any other comments. RICK: First off... I don't believe that anyone feels justice was served who ended up coming to prison as a result of the courts... I (Rick) was convicted of second degree murder which is life imprisonment. I came to prison in 1990 and have been dealing with the courts to attain my freedom, it's a long process, though it appears I should get my new trial in 1998... If unsuccessful I become eligible for a parole in 2005, but they can keep me until I die. Sebran (Mike) was convicted of second degree murder in 1980, still he sits in prison. They would not give him a parole in 1995!... PJ was convicted of several armed robberies amongst other criminal acts in 1985. He received a 25 year prison term. Though he has now been released into society on parole... As for Gerald, he was given a 9-15 year term back in 1992. In November 1997 he got out on intense parole supervision because his crimes were night time armed robberies. CRUSADER: My favourite track on the demo is "The Enemy". I love the Guitar playing on the song, but the lyrics show a definite disdain for the judicial system, a case of "Am I my brothers' keeper". The spoken interlude in the song goes: At any particular time, in everyone's life We are subjected to be in the presence, of odious or downright ignorant individuals. Society tells us, that we cannot do anything detrimental to abolish their mere existence. Yet, some of us make it our duty, to surpass guidelines narrated by insane judicial laws. Righteously, in our own hearts, we choose to massacre them, in whatever manner needed to rectify our discordance. Creating a result, that all would commend, if cause was known for the actions. Still, people walk today, with knowledge of eventual devastation for themselves. They are aware, but when does their encounter befall. All that needs to be said is: We are the jury; I am your judge! What was your purpose with this track? Describe "The Enemy". RICK: I am the vocalist and lyricist of our songs, this one you chose is the most personal to me. Though if you can sit back and ponder the idea, anyone can claim it's intention... Each human in prison has a directive of anger towards another person who was influential in their being convicted. The "want" of revenge against them for the assumed wrongdoing. Everyone has someone who has done wrong by them and want to get back! Read it, listen to it, feel it, you want it! RETALIATION...It is written for the states key witness in my conviction - Tim Mosher... CRUSADER: Judging by the quality of the playing on the demo "Death from the Inside", all the musicians in Retaliation know what they are doing. This is not a band formed by bored inmates. What did the band members do before their incarceration? RICK: I (Rick) have done vocals in a variety of bands since age 17. Now I'm 30. Also I've screwed around with Guitar for a few years, But on "Death from..." I only do Vocals... PJ Fredricks was raised with a Guitar in his hands, his family is all musically inclined. He is also 30, been in bands since before he had hair on his testicles! He is left-handed, though he plays a right-hand Guitar. Also he is avid with bass and plays drums when they are set up for a left-handed person (toms reversed). He is the sole Guitar player on our studio recording. Also doing backup vocals as all members did! Gerald is now 27 and has been playing drums since he was 11, though his first band was also my first, also back in early 1985. We've known each other for many years prior to that too. He also is very good with Guitar and has another band playing more of a punk/alternative style music, experience with many bands... Sebran (Mike) the bassist is the only guy to actually have learned to play while in prison. He has now got 10 years experience with many bands in various facilities across the state. He is now 36 years old... You are correct to say that we aren't just bored inmates. What we have accomplished is very serious. CRUSADER: According to your biography you are currently receiving airplay on 69 stations in 22 countries, very impressive, as well as appearances in plenty of 'zines. How do you feel about the growth of the underground in recent years? RICK: The numbers have increased all around and they continue to as time passes. We are getting radio airplay now on at least 75 stations in 23 countries... Plus over 350 promotional copies have gone out to 'zines for review inclusion. I currently have the number of completed interviews at over 110 now... I believe the underground has always been there, since the late '70's as heavier and heavier Metal bands were nurturing in garages and basements... People have created the outlets to come together through the development of more 'zines and actually the internet, though there always has been the few bands who jammed in each of our cities in the USA. Just now the guys in California know who the guys in Massachusetts are, I think the underground should continue to swell, but the people who are there for the wrong reasons, get the fuck out. We don't need any rip-offs and don't want any sell-outs. CRUSADER: What are your musical influences? Why did you decide to pursue true Death Metal instead of the more popular Black Metal or "nineties" style thrash (ala Pantera/Sepultura/ Machine Head)? RICK: Each member of Retaliation has slightly different preferences in music. Surely you can notice that classifying Retaliation exactly, is difficult. You called us "true Death Metal". We certainly are Death Metal. Though listen and you'll hear foundations of Hardcore, Metal, Jazz, Punk, Death amongst other styles. We like to think of our influences as the bands who were big in the 60's, up through every band that will be big in the year 2000. Think about it, we are influenced by all sounds around us daily. From Animals, to wind, to music anywhere we may go. As for pursuing Death Metal as a generalized foundation, what other music could properly express the concentrated amount of killing, hatred, evil, violence, dying and other morbid shit which exists in a small community of prison than Death Metal! It is perfect. Black Metal couldn't cover it all, nor could the '90's thrash clones... If you want to hear THRASH, get your hands on the band KRANK who released an album on Metal Blade in the mid 80's. CRUSADER: What are your future plans for Retaliation? Are you thinking of recording anything else? Will you be given the chance to record in better facilities? RICK: Retaliation is far from over. Though it will be impossible for us to even consider a follow-up release right now. However, if all my legal endeavours pull through... It could be very soon that our second recording is done. It will be in the free world and in a full pro-studio! Probably a full length and on CD. Though right now our Pro-cassette is still available through the band address and we encourage people to get in touch. It's $5 in USA/ $6 (USA $) World. All orders sent by air post. All letters are forwarded to us by my family, so don't hesitate... Contact: Retaliation, c/o Rick Desrosier, P.O.Box 661, W.Side Station, Worcester, MA 01602-0661, U.S.A.