Ralph Santolla Interview
Post by mam on Aug 10, 2006, 9:02pm
DEICIDE Guitarist: 'I'm Not Going To Pretend To Be Some Dark And Angry And Evil Person' - Aug. 10, 2006
Jackie Smit of Chronicles of Chaos recently conducted an interview with DEICIDE guitarist Ralph Santolla. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Chronicles of Chaos: As far as your arrest [in Texas for allegedly assaulting a police officer] is concerned, have any formal charges been made against you, and are there going to be long-term ramifications for this?
Santolla: "I got charged with a felony, assault on a police officer, so it's a big deal. I predict, and my lawyer predicts, that in the end I probably won't even have to go back to Texas and that the charge will just get dropped, because there are so many witness statements backing me up. So I seriously doubt that it will even go to trial, but if it does I'm perfectly confident that nothing will come of it — besides me losing money, which is going to be a pain in the ass. I won't make any sort of plea bargain or anything like that. I did absolutely nothing wrong, and that's just the way it's going to have to be."
Chronicles of Chaos: All the reports I read about the evening mentioned that it had been riddled with problems since the start, but were you surprised when the cops showed up as well?
Santolla: "I was absolutely surprised. [laughs] Thing is though, that I only really even figured out that there were cops in the place when I turned around and one of them pepper-sprayed me in the face. I didn't even know that they were in the building before that. I still don't know why they were in the building."
Chronicles of Chaos: One of the hot-button topics with DEICIDE came right after you joined, when it became apparent that you don't share many of Glen's [Benton] views on religion, which seemed to be a problem for some fans. Internally, has this ever been an issue?
Santolla: "The thing is, I hardly know anyone that I share a view about religion on. Every person's different, and Glen absolutely fucking hates Christianity. Who am I to tell him what to think and what to do? I'm just as fucked up as anybody else. The thing with the death threats starting was because of this: when we were supposed to play in Chile, the fucking douchebags that worked for the promoter plastered the poster — the one that had a picture of Jesus with a bullet-hole in his head — all over the city when they had specifically been told not to do that. They put it on churches and everywhere else and so the mayor got pissed off and he had the show cancelled. Then in the hotel, some girl came up to me and asked me for an interview. I asked her who it was for and she told met that it was for some webzine, which later turned out to be a major newspaper. She asked me how I felt about that, and what I said was that I was pissed off that those idiots did that and got our show cancelled. Not that they made the flyer look like that. And in the article, they twisted it around and misquoted me. She also asked me what I thought about some fan who had murdered a priest in Chile last year. Now, I'm not a very patient person, and I have a really low tolerance for stupidity. I was like: 'What the fuck kind of question is that?' Of course I don't condone some asshole murdering a priest. Then suddenly a bunch of people started sending me all sorts of messages on MySpace, threatening to kill me, and a lot of those people are probably pretty serious. Personally I'm not afraid and I'm not intimidated, and all those people can fuck off. I'll tell you this though, a couple of months ago we were playing with VITAL REMAINS and [Dave] Suzuki came running up to me on stage and grabbed me, just to kind of fuck with me. I didn't see who it was at first, and when it happened, I thought it was some guy who was coming up to stab me. So that was funny, but it freaked me out. Then when the cops pepper-sprayed me in Texas, the first thing I saw was someone holding something to my face and I thought I was about to get shot. That freaked me out a little bit. But, you know, I'm not worried about those people. If somebody wants to shoot me, they can shoot me."
Chronicles of Chaos: I think the irony in all of this is that it highlights one of the dichotomies in a genre that hammers forth the ideal of thinking for yourself and having your own ideas, yet for some when the ideas differ from their own, the way that they respond is no different to some of the politicians and the religious nuts that they are supposed to be rebelling against.
Santolla: "Exactly. I'm not going to tell people that what they believe is wrong at all. I'll drink and I'll party more than ten fucking black metal bands put together. I'm definitely not a choir-boy. I have my own thoughts on religion, but at the end of the day, I just want to play my guitar and play metal and have a good time. The rest of that shit is none of anybody's business. What I'll never do though — I'll work at McDonald's before I pretend to be someone I'm not just so that people accept me. I guess that attitude is what's caused a lot of the problems in my life. But there are two kinds of people in this world. One kind — and Glen is one of them — aren't afraid to be themselves. There's another kind that, for some reason, that offends them, and that pisses me off. I will be myself, and I don't really give a fuck what anyone says. I know who my friends are, and that's all I need. The funny thing is that these metal kids are constantly ripping on me on Blabbermouth, and I'm really close friends with a lot of the bands whose T-shirts they're wearing. I'm not going to pretend to be some dark and angry and evil person so that people think I'm metal. I have all of that in me, but the most important thing is that I play my guitar, and you either like it or you don't. I really don't care one way or another."
Read the entire interview at www.chroniclesofchaos.com.