12 QUESTIONS FOR CHRIS GAMBLE OF GOREAPHOBIA
Chris Gamble (also known as “Mezzadurus” in some circles) has been going at the metal game for many years now. He writes and plays with a passion only so few can truly harness and his occult sciences knowledge is most likely second to none. I had the pleasure of asking this soothsayer a dozen questions, per my usual routine.
Let’s go back several aeons to the origin of the band; tell us how it all came to be.
Alex and I created the band in the summer of 1988 out of the mutual love and dedication to the extreme metal underground. Alex and I both equally loved demo/tape trading so much, and out of that we found some underground bands back then which caught our serious interest and excitement! They were Necrovore, Pentagram(Chile), Incubus(Florida), Nocturnus, Atrocity(Connecticut), Nuclear Death, Necrophagia, Repulsion, Fatal, Hellwitch, Samhain/Desexult (Denmark), Napalm Death, and also a lot of the South American deathrashers like Sepultura, Mutilator, Volcano, Sarcofago. Also, Alex and I were both heavily into Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Death, Possessed, Razor, Sacrifice, Voivod, Sodom, Venom, Carnivore, Mercyful Fate, Exciter, Dark Angel, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera……. Alex wrote all the music, and I wrote all the lyrics/concepts. At first I only played bass. Our good old friend Kevin Brennan had the voice/screams. By 1989 Kevin could not continue, and then I moved to doing vocals and bass. Alex and I were born and raised from the same neighborhood here in Philadelphia. We knew mutual people from there that liked metal music too. We met one day and then here we are still today! I appreciate my friendship with him. We both met Craig through our old manager Anne working at Rock N’ Roll Plus. Alex and I also introduced Anne to the extreme metal underground that we’ve been involved in. Alex and I convinced Anne to listen to some of the bands that we had already been in contact with. We wanted to see the underground scene come to life in our hometown! Meeting Craig was really cool. He was hungry to play aggressive metal music, and he took great interest in the ideas that Alex and I had for doing Goreaphobia! Craig finally made us both feel complete! With Craig behind the drums of thunder & doom, Goreaphobia became very serious! Anne knew people that booked shows at a club in New Jersey (called G’ Wilikers), and she was looking to book metal shows of her own. So with the connections that Alex and I already had we got Anne in contact with the bands we knew, and she booked the shows! It was a real ground breaking era for all of us together on this! Philadelphia was a city with almost no metal scene at all anymore until everyone came together for the same purpose! It was a special time, and I for one appreciate it all!
Has it been a long hard road out of hell? The line-up changes seem to almost rival Incantation!
Nah! No where near Incantation’s line up changes!!! Incan has had close to 235 members!!! Ha!!! Goreaphobia has had 11 others excluding Alex and myself of course. Through all the years of not doing Goreaphobia and not working with Alex, there was a better understanding of what we had envisioned for Goreaphobia when we got back together. We just didn’t have good people helping us early on and no one else in the band was stable at the time. Now that all the toxic relationships are gone, personal and business-wise, what’s in our hearts and souls to do with Goreaphobia from the beginning is still there, it was just unfinished. Our influences are the same as always. So now we can make something wrong, right. And the timing is right now. It took alot of pain to get back where we belong. We’re the same people that we were in 1988, so the music we’re making now is the same as what it would have been like back in the early 90s.
Does the band’s name literally allude to “fear of gore”? Is it a legitimate vocabulary word?
No, it’s a common question asked too. When I originally came up with the band name, I was heavily influenced lyrically by Necrophagia and Carnivore and that’s just how it turned out.
Is Goreaphobia now going to be your main focus out of the projects you’re involved with?
Equal. It’s equal to Blood Storm for me. Nothing takes preference because I’m always writing lyrics and music. So whatever band I’m working with at the time is what it gets used for. I’m 100% into music and all the subjects lyrically and conceptually have to do with the occult and everything involved. The myths, theories, practices, civilizations that are influenced by the occult and how it shapes the world. I’m fascinated by it. This is a huge part of my life as is music. The music style is all extreme occult heavy metal.
Why was there such a long, drawn-out Goreaphobia hiatus a while back?
After 1992, when the band fell apart and the other members at the time wanted to be commercial, I quit Goreaphobia. I was the last remaining original member, Alex had already left, so I decided to create Blood Storm and I continued to make music under Blood Storm. As time went by Alex and I started to feel better about taking Goreaphobia back on and now we can do things the way we always wanted to.
Many of your lyrics make both blow minds and make heads spin. What “sacred” texts inspire you the most?
Everything I’ve ever read, there’s really too many to mention because from week to week, year to year, events around me change and I always become re-inspired by things I had done before so I just express them the way that I see things now in life. For some main influences, the work of Kenneth Grant, Alice A. Bailey, Michael Bertiaux, Robert Temple, Linda Florio, and Peter J. Carroll have been the most profound blueprints of my lyrical concepts. (Editor: Pursue them all. Just do it!)
What has changed from “Omen of Masochism” until today with Goreaphobia?
The fact that Alex and I have the right people in the band with us now. Jim Roe and VJS have heightened the band and created a high energy musical channel to create our style of extreme occult heavy metal music. This is what made Goreaphobia alive again, we have the right people and everyone is together and enjoying the band and the music. No more toxic people, no more bad business. That’s the difference.
And what has changed within the underground in general?
Technology. Fast and easy access around the world with downloading, which leads to no authentic or organic communication. Hand-written letters and tape trading and paper fanzines appear to be a thing of the past. I feel that technology in music versus organic person-to-person interaction has made people more distant from the underground music scene. Why go out to shows and put a little more work into writing to bands you like when you can just hop on the internet for an hour or so and blend in with Facebook or Twitter? It gets lost in the mix.
How is the relationship with your new home, Dark Descent Records, working out?
So far 100% great. Easy, quick, and honest. We certainly hope to keep doing business with them.
The band sure is hard to pigeonhole, which is often a good thing. How about you describe its sound in the best possible terms.
As I said before, extreme occult heavy metal nihilism. It’s pure, raw, and high energy. Dark and obscure occult subject matter blended into its own world. It’s really for people to decide what they would choose to call it.
Any plans to tour across the (nether)world?
It’s always talked about, but that’s all it is so far, just talk. I hope that sometime we can get outside the US and tour. We’re always open for the option, but it’s got to be within reason.
If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do in you 23rd hour and to whom would you pray to last second?
I would spend it with my girlfriend, Jessica, and my cats. That’s what I’d prefer. As far as praying goes, I’d probably turn to Tibetan mantras and hope that in my afterlife I can see all the people that matter to me, remember their faces and feel their energy and roam as pure free energy in the universe like a transplutonic current.