Monday, December 19, 2011

My Interview with Troy Fullerton ( Drummer of Severed Savior )

This time, We have special interview with Troy Fullerton. He is drummer from Severed Savior and I bet metalheads here knows about his killer band. And  besides that he had project band and its called Carnivorous band… was really great band too. We talking about his band and also his career / experience as drummer. And now, he is decide to focus playing for Severed Savior. He started to play drums since 1990 ….wow that’s very long time ago lol.
Well, I think …. Its would be nice I let you all read our special interview. And we did this interview by online.  Lets check it out …….. \m/

JY : : If you dont mind, can you tell me a briefly about your band 'Severed Savior'. When did you start to form SS and who is current member now ? I know its boring question hahaha….

Troy : So, technically SS started in 1999.  Murray had a band that a couple members left so he recuited Mike and then Mike recruited me, etc. Over the last 12 years we have had several line up changes but now since 2007 we still have Murray, Mike, Myself, and now Anthony Trapani from Carnivorous and Odious Mortem on Vocals.

JY : I want talking about your last album. How would you describe the sound of the last album ‘Servile Insurrection’ ?

Troy : I think the sound, as in the production value of the album, is better than anything else we have ever done.

JY : Because it was different sound like your previous albums ?

Troy : I think, it is the best production with best guitar tone and most captures the notes of the riffs etc. The feel of the album is definitely more structured and technical as well, mostly due to Mike's writing style and dedication to making each composition (song) as complete as possible. Also, it is really just better because Mike, Murray, and Myself had grown and become better players with more, varied influences, to color the songs, etc.

JY : And what are some of your favorite tracks off from your last album ? Why do you like those songs ?

Troy : Hmmm, wow picking favorites huh? Hahaha. : I think my most favorite song is Inverted and Inserted. i can't say why exactly but I just love that song, both to play and to listen to. Next I would probably say Acts of Sedition because it had some very interesting parts that challenged me and my ability to play them. Next would probably be Question because that is a song that Mike and I wrote a long time ago before SS and we finally decided to re-write it for SS and the new version was better than ever.
Really though, each one of the new songs is great in my opinion and challenged me in different ways. for example, Spoils of war was one of the first songs we wrote for Servile Insurrection but it was the last song to be finished because I could not play all the parts without Lots and lots of practice hahaha

JY : I know it’s not easy to find band name, sometimes we can see same band name although they living in another country with different or same music concept such as : Disgorge (USA and Mexico), also others name: Vile (USA and Indonesia (RIP) ), Trauma and etc. What do you think about this ?  For your band, Where did the band name come from and does it have any particular meaning? Who’s made the sick band logo ?

Troy : Well, the original name of the band when I joined was ‘Christ Denied’ but there was also a ‘christ denied’ from Europe and we did not want to have any confusion because the two bands were very different in our opinion.  We tried many many names before Severed Savior and it was either Murray or Dusty that came up with it. Mike and I were not too fond of it because we don't feel that we need to worry about religious meanings but as we were a 5 piece band and we voted as a democracy, Severed Savior became the name in a vote of 3/2 hahaha
As for the meaning, there is no particular meaning really. I think that initially is was to mean that we felt people should remove themselves from their old outdated religious beliefs and "wake up" to the present condition/situation of the world and act accordingly, etc. There are far too many stars in the universe and way too many unexplainable phenomina (sp) to try to explain them all with one meaning. We felt that people should be open to experiences and have an awareness of interpretation and the effects is has on our reality and the world as a whole, etc.
As for the Sick logo that we have kept to this day, we did have several in the begininng but once we got one made by the incredible Jon Zig, we knew that was the right one.

JY : There was a five year gap between the release of ‘Brutality Is Law’ and ‘Servile Inssurection ’. What did you do during this time? How come it has taken so long ?

Troy Fullerton: Hmm, well, the 5 year gap can be attributed to a few different things. First, we had several changes in the band members and it is very hard to write when you have turmoil in the band and new members every year haha. Secondly, there were some changes in some member's focus from the band to their careers, and third, we wanted to take our time, get better as musicians and write better music that would be worth listening to for the fans.
Plus, it did take almost 1 year to record the cd due to our jobs, member changes and Mike's computer crash where we lost all of the guitar and bass tracks and he had to record them again, and some other issues with tracking the vocals.

JY : I’ve seen you had recording your all album with different labels/records. for first album by Disfigured Rec, second album by Unique Leader Rec. and third album by Willow Tip Rec. Can you tell us a bit about this ? and What kind of label would you consider signing with ?

Troy : Well, we respect and wanted to be on Unique Leader from the begining but we were not a very popular band and needed to get more exposure before Unique Leader would sign us so, (long story short) we released our first cd on Disfigured Records to get our first cd made and distributed so that we could Sign with UL. But, later after ‘Brutality is Law’ was released and some time passed and we did some tours, we felt that we needed to have a better quality for ‘Servile Insurrection’, which also required a larger recording budget, etc and Unique Leader did not agree so we looked for another Label to release the cd and WillowTip records was interested. Of course, in hind sight, we probably should have stayed with UL hahaha

JY : Tell me a brief about your project band ‘Carnivorous’ ?

Troy : Hmmm, briefly? Well… Anthony and Dan Kenny approached me to record drums for them in 2003 and after hearing their demo with just guitars I accepted
but they only had 3 songs and needed to write more and asked me to help them so I did, and it became more of a side project / second band for me because I had a lot of fun playing things with them that I couldn't do in Severed Savior, etc.
So, when SS got the Bloodletting North America 4 tour in 2003 we decided to record the first 3 song demo and make about 200 copies for me to take on tour and give to people to let them know about Carnivorous, etc.
then we got offered to do the 3 way split with vomit remnants and Godless Truth and we recored 3 more songs for that in....2004/2005. sorry I'm bad with dates hahaha.

JY: So do you decided to focus playing for Severed Savior / SS until now ?

Troy : Yeah, I re-focused on SS since we were working to write the new cd ‘Serville
Insurrection and etc.

JY : How does the creative process usually start for SS. Do the whole band arrange the tunes ?

Troy : Hmm, well the creative process has changed over the years and with the different members but mostly it does start with Mike showing us a riff or progression he came up with on guitar and then he tells us what he "hears" for the bass and drums and we try his ideas and then go from there. Sometimes they are immediately awesome and sometimes we decide to refine or change them, etc.  Occasionally, myself or other members come up with ideas but mostly Mike writes the best stuff.

JY : But for ‘Brutality Is Law’ album, Mike left the band right ? and then back again for SS new album 'Serville...' ?

Troy : Yes, Mike left right after we recorded ‘Forced to Bleed’ and he was gone for about 1 1/2 - 2 years. Mike did come up with several parts of the song One by One and a few others that we used but mostly duuring that time, when we were writing Brutality is Law, jared and Murray came up with riffs and I helped to arrange them, etc.

JY : Ah ok. Well I want to talking about your personally now. When do you started or choose to play death metal? Which bands inspired you back in the day to start playing death metal?

Troy : The very first Death Metal bands I heard were Carcass and Cannibal Corpse. Shortly after that I was introduced to Suffocation and that was it, I was hooked...

JY : For you personally, who are the major influences on you as a drummer ? Which kind of drumming do you prefer ?

Troy : Wow, that is a tough one hahaha. I would say my tastes and influences have changed a lot over the years. Early on, I was inspired most by drummers like Nick menza, Dave Lombardo before i got into death metal.Once i got into death metal I think that Pete Sandoval and Mike Smith inspired me for a while until I moved up to Sean Reinert and Gene Hoglan next I think it was Tony Laurano when he was with Nile and for a while after that I didn't listen to death metal and was inpired by players from other genres like Carter Beauford from Dave Mathews Band, etc. From there it has been a combination of awesome drummers that I have had the pleasure to meet and see live like Reno killereich, John Longstreth, Derrek Roddy, etc. oh yeah and definitely Tim Alexander from Primus when I was not listening to Death metal. There are so many awesome drummers now it is hard to think of them all haha….

JY : I understand you live a far distance from others. How does this affect you, for practice new song from Severed Savior ?

Troy : Ouch, good one hahaha. Yeah, since 3/2008 I have live in Las Vegas – Nevada which is about 600 miles from SS in San Fransisco. So I had to take a leave of absence or ‘hiatus’ from the band when I moved. Eventually SS asked me if I was going to come back or quit so they could decide if they want to find a new drummer or stop the band, and etc. I said that,  I didn’t want to quit but I needed a break and if they wanted to write the songs long distance like Origin does, I would be happy to do that. But they decided to take a break also and said we will figure out what we will do later. Now, it has been 3 ½ years and we are finally in the process of deciding what to do. Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers yet as to what SS will do in 2012 but I am hoping to have those answers soon, etc.

JY : So, how was your feeling when they asked you, they will be find a new drummer ?

Troy : I was a little sad of course but it was my decision to move away and take a break from the band so I cant be mad with them. I only ever wanted SS to be successful, so I was hoping they would take the opportunity to find a better drummer than me and write some very sick music that I know Mike could write with a better drummer, etc.

JY : You are obviously all very proficient with your instruments – what sort of musical backgrounds do you have? Have you had any formal musical training or education?

Troy : Hahaha, thanks.  No unfortunately, most of us have had little to no training. Mike had a couple lessons when he was 16 years old but that is about it. Myself, Murray, Dusty and Anthony have all been self taught.

JY : Ohh…great for you ?

Troy : Yes but I think, I could be much better if I knew what I was doing hahaha.

JY : Yea ic but as I seen so far,  you look like sick drummer for Severed Savior albums ?

Troy : Thanks man, I really do appreciate the compliments, I’m just trying to be as good as the sick drummers than inspire me.

JY : What kits/equipments do you use to record and do you use the same amp/guitars,drums and etc for live shows ?

Troy : hmmm, haha, well, unlike many drummers, I have had the same drum kit for about11-12 years.  Early on, I had a Pearl Export Pro 5 piece that we used to record the original Puddle of Gore Demo cd but shortly after that I bougth a 1982 Pearl Custom Pro 12 piece kit. That is the same kit that I have used for all the Severed Savior Cds, shows and tours.  I have nevered used the entire 12 piece kit and have made changes to the different toms that I have used on the different albums, etc. but Forced to Bleed, Brutality is Law and Servile Insurrection were all record with that drum kit.
As for other equipment, I have always been a big fan of Vic Firth sticks. I have tried many other brands but none have been as good, consistently uniform or reliable. I have mainly used Zildjan cymbals, and Gibralter rack gear and for bass drum pedals, pearl and Axis.  I used the Pearl Eliminators on Forced to Bleed and Brutality is Law and I used the Axis Black Longboards for Servile Insurrection.
" detail to add, the drums are 8 ply maple
Murray mostly used an Ibanez Sr800 bass and Ampeg 6x10 cab but can't remember the amp. he also used a SansAmp for a second signal source for the tight, punchy part of his tone and as a direct box, etc.
Mike uses Jackson guitars with APC pickups, Engl Preamps and power amps, Axe fx 2 Signal processors and Engle and Vader Cabs. Ahh here ya go. Original Kriz Kraft 8 spc shock rack, ISP Decimator ProG prototype, Engl e570 Tube Preamp (with vintage NOS tubes), Engl 850/100 Tube Power Amp. For several years, I used the TC Electronics G-Major effects unit pictured here. It was replaced in 2007 with the Fractal Axe-FX unit.

JY : It sounds so easy when we listening to the album, but I know it takes a lot of practicing to hold this level. How often do you practice ?

Troy : Oh man, hmm...well, after I recorded the drums for Servile Insurection in August/September of 2007 I took a 4+ year break from playing. I have just recently started practicing again and I am still trying to get back to that level of playing. I have been pretty busy with work and the holidays so right now I am only practicing maybe 1-2 times per week but I intend to 'ramp things up" for 2012 and practice at least 3-5 days a week to learn new things and become a better drummer, etc.

JY : When you look back over the career of Severed Saviour to date what have been some of the highpoints and low points? And what hopes or expectations do you have for the years to come?

Troy : Hmmm…..

JY : Hmmm what hahaha….

Troy : I would have to say that there have been both many high and low points hahaha.
I'm pretty proud of what SS was able to accomplish but at the same time it took 9 years to reach the pinnacle that was Servile Insurrection due to member changes and careers, etc. I was very happy to Join Mike with Murray and Dusty back in 1999 and I was very Happy to lure Jared Deaver from Deeds of Flesh in 2001 but very un happy to see Mike leave the Band later that year. We tried a few other guitarists but of course as all things that should be, are; Jared left after he got what he wanted and Mike came back to make the band better than ever. I was very happy to get onto the Bloodletting America 4 Tour and suprised and excited when we got to tour with Cannibal Corpse and The Black Dhalia Murder in 2004.  Cannibal Corpse was one of  the first DM bands that I had heard and was my very first DM concert so I was very excited to play with them every night haha

JY : Can you tell me a little bit about your lives away from Severed Savior? Such as work and etc.

Troy Fullerton: Mike has been a Vetrinary Technician for about...12+ years. He works at an emergency animal hospital in San Francisco. Murray and I both went to the same college and took the same courses, just not at the same time haha.  We both started doing technical support, etc.  Murray works for Google now, he got hired at YouTube shortly before they were purchased by Google and he is now a Senior Strategist technical operations manager so don't post any bad videos or he will get you hahaha. I have gone back and fourth with the IT field over the years, I have also been in restaraunt/club management, the insurance industry and even drove a taxi cab for a while haha. I would say that I am a jack of all trades but a master of none.
Anthony works at his family business, which is an auto repair / tire shop.  He started as an alignment technician and has worked his way up, one day he will take over the family business.

JY : And when do you started to playing drums ?

Troy : I started to play in 1990 hahaha a looooong time ago.

JY : Ahh yea very long time. And are there someone teaching you or ?

Troy : I played guitar first and saxophone before that but I’m not good at guitar and the drums were much more fun for me so I changed to drums. No, unfortunately, I was too poor and too stupid to get lessons hahaha. Now, I see a lot of  ‘kids’ only 17-18-19 years old playing since they were 13 and they are already better than me hahaha.

JY : So you learned it by yourself ?

Troy : Yeah I learn by ear. So I have to listen to the songs times hahahaha

JY : Oh my god lol. Yeah same like Derek Hoffman ( ex-drummer Peshmerga,Fleshgrind,Gorgasm). He said to me, before he is playing drums , he was guitarist.

Troy : Yeah that’s true.

JY : What are your thoughts on piracy? Do downloads hurt the band or just the corporations?

Troy : I have mixed feelings on Piracy. I think that in many ways, being able to download music before you purchase it is a better way to find good music and only the good bands will sell cds, etc. but of course I also feel that many people take advantage of it and never actually contribute to supporting the artists that they enjoy. I think that now, today, almost 2012, when you can videos of almost any band's songs on YouTube and listen to them all day long, downloading their songs illegally isn't necessary and if you want to have the music to put on your phone or mp3 player, etc. I think if you like the band, you should support them by downloading from itunes, etc. The bands really don't get much from the cd sales or downloads but it helps the labels, which are very important for distributing the cds to music stores, booking tours, etc.

JY : I was read from one blog about comment from NikFuck and he said like this : ‘Hey man this is Nik from Sikfuk. Just was informed that you have my new cd up for download on your blogspot site. I would appreciate it if you took it down asap ! I know almost all cds can be found for free download but myself and steve green of comatose music have invested a lot of time and money into releasing this cd and for you to posting it up for free not too fuckin cool with me. If you support the underground brutal death metal scene as your site looks like you do why the fuck are you giving away bands and labels music that they have invested much time and money on for free. Do me a favor and take shit down and support your fucking scene and buy a cd’. Well, I think what his said it’s correct and maybe if someone to post a few songs up to help promote, it that would be cool. So what do you think abt this, Troy ?

Troy : Yeah, I think there is a big difference between posting  only a few songs or posting just short versions of the songs to preview, and posting a whole entire cd.  I would have to agree that as a musician, I have spent many thousands of hours and thousdands of $ dollars to make the recordings we have and we still always spend money to travel and play shows because we are not rock stars so every little bit helps us very much.

JY : So do you think…is it okay ?

Troy : I think it would be okay to post a few songs with permision to help promote but not to advertise that you are giving it away for free when it is not your music, etc.  (Yea I agree if they only post a few songs with permission from them…ed)

JY : : I just want to know what do you think about pirated merchandise, because I see a lot of fake t-shirts, etc. ?

Troy : : Yeah, that is not cool in my opinion.  It is one thing to pirate the music which only some people can play live but to pirate the shirts is wrong.  Especially when the quality of the pirate shirts are much less than the quality of the REAL merch.  I would hate to buy a shirt for a band I like, only to get it and the material is paper thin and the artwork is terrible, etc.

JY : Did you still remember, Where and what was the best and worst gig you ever played ?

Troy : yeah, still remember many that were very fun.  If I had to pick just a few to highlight I would say...
Our ‘Forced To Bleed’ cd release show with Deeds of Flesh and Disgorge @ the pound SF (San Fransisco), Maryland Deathfest in 2003 with Suffocation and many many other awesome bands. The whole cannibal corpse tour in 2004 with Black Dahlia Murder, the whole tour was so great but especially in Torronto @ the Opera House with a crowd of almost 1100 people. Of course there were plenty that didn't go too well hahaha. There were a string of shows in 2002 where I kept losing my place in the song "bury the whore" and would sometimes make the whole band "train wreck" haha. Then of course there was the end of the Cannibal tour in 2004 when we were having so many problems with our bus and it caught on fire in Texas and we were stuck there for a couple days and had to rent a car and a u-haul truck to get home lol. (here the link when bus got fire :

JY : Ah yeahh I watch it now. How come it could be got fire ? I think, because of you and too much smoke in the bus lol…joke.

Troy : I think personally it was because we had so much anger towards each other and we had a huge argument just a few hours before...I think we started the fire with our minds hahaha

JY : hahahaha that’s funny

Troy : really though, I think it was a mechanical failure with the engine, transmission or rear axles.  We had problems with getting flat tires from the heat in the rear of the buss just 2 days earlier.

JY : Ahh yea I know….It could be one possibility.

Troy : Yeah, that bus had so many was terrible...we called it the SS titanic, because it had so many problems with the heat n the summer that we decided we were going to hit an iceberg and sink hahaha crazy joke I know lol

JY : Would you like to tell us a bit about 'Worlds Fastest Drummer Competition'  ‘NAMM SHOW 2006 ? I saw your pic and you looks a bit nervous lol ….

Troy : Sure. : I had missed the opportunity to go to NAMM before so I was very happy to go in January 2006.  I had thought about trying the fastest feet competition for a while since Mike Hamilton (Deeds of Flesh) told me about it. We got offered some tickets to go but not everyone could make it so Murray and I decided to go.  Once we got there we found many friends so we got to hang out and have a good time.  I thought at the time that nobody famous was going to enter the fastest feet competition so I entered with Bostic so we would have a good chance to win haha. but at the last minute I found out Tim Yueng was going to compete and I was sad lol because Tim has much faster feet than I do haha. was a very strange thing to compete in front of so many people that didn't know me... and it was a very strange set up to try to play...I didn't think about the fact that it would be much different from my drums in my rehersal space so i  was very suprised at how hard it was to "play" hahaha. Yeah, I was very nervous. I always get nervous for some reason. even though I have played many many shows with many different bands since I was 12 years old, I still get nervous every time lol.

JY : And you were on 2nd place for the compete ?

Troy : Yeah, I did come in 2nd and Bostic came in a Very close 3rd.  it was a very hard set up so even though Tim could easily surpass 1000+bpm he only got 872 on that "set", etc. My score was only about 817 or 819 I forget lol. (Hmm ... thats not bad ...ed)

JY : : Did you know about brutal death metal bands from Indonesia ? It would be fuckin great to see you play live in Indonesia one day. Are there any plans to come over here ?

Troy : Unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with too many bands from other countries, I really should spend more time exploring for good DM bands in the world. As for SS playing in Indonesia, I think it would be great! I would love to travel and play anywhere that people would be happy to see us. We don't have any plans to play any shows right now but I think if we could find some good opportunities, there would be a good chance to get the guys to do it, etc.

JY : : Thank you very much for your time and it was a pleasure to speak to you. Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview ?

Troy : I just want to thank you and everyone that cares about Severed Savior for supporting us all these years. I know it has been a long time since we have been active but I have a strong hope for 2012 and I hope we can make everyone proud to be a fan in the years to come.

Dont forget to visit his pages : 

( Interviewed by John Yoedi, December 18, 2011 )

  Here one video from Troy Fullerton , check it out \m/

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