Old School Music

dealing with punk rock, speed/thrash and other music styles of the 80ies and beyond, a webpage connected to Red, Black & Green

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Et oui, une interview du groupe heavy metal STONE VENGEANCE, en anglais please..ils viennent de San Francisco...lisez la suite

1) Did you hear about the Cleveland area band Black Death (Black people playing heavy metal and signed on Auburn records in the 80s?)

Yes, I saw the LP years ago at the legendary RECORD VAULT store, back in the early 80s when it came out. The friends of mine that owned the store played a song for me. That band did not impress any Metalheads in San Francisco at all, from what I remember. SAN FRANCISCO was way too hard-core for that band, they were considered to be a joke in this town. You had to come harder than that in FRISCO.

2) How come you're far less known (at least by me) than Hirax or Sound Barrier?

I think, those bands had more exposure to the masses than us, in that, they were both on Record labels, with worldwide distribution. We have always been independent and underground for 30 years now.

3) Could you relate Stone Vengeance story from 1978 (members, releases, whatever)?

Well, I started the band in 1977, but it was under a different name. So, I say we started in 1978, with the name change to STONE VENGEANCE. In the earliest days, we had five members. We were a four piece for a while, but I could not keep another guitar player that was serious enough to want to stay in the band. My Bass player ANTHONY STARKS, suggested that we continue as a 3 piece. It wasn't hard to convince me of that, as I was already entertaining the idea of being a 3 piece myself, at the time. Drummer DARREN TOMPKINS was hired by me in 1983, after four previous drummers. This band has had the same lineup since 1983. Our releases include; two full-length CDs "TO KILL EVIL" and "THE ANGEL", Doomed Planet Records "HERE LIES STONE VENGEANCE" collectors LP, Compilations (that I can think of right now) "Eastern front live at Ruthies Inn 1985" "U.S. speedcore invasion" released in Germany 1986, various demos, live bootlegs and more.

4) I suppose you were there when Bay Area Thrash wave started (acts like Death Angel, Exodus, Possessed, Mordred, even Anvil Chorus, Forbidden, Trauma (with Cliff Burton), Blind Illusion...venues like the Keystone, Ruthies's Inn...KUSF radio broadcast and so on), how was it ? Did you attend shows or even play with some of the acts quoted above?

Yes, we were here before the Thrash Metal wave started. We helped to build and support the scene here. Some of the bands we have played shows with include FANG, VERBAL ABUSE, MDC, RAVEN, DENNIS STRATTON (formerly with IRON MAIDEN), AL ATKINS (formerly with JUDAS PRIEST), ROB ROCK, ANVIL, POSSESSED, BLUE CHEER, SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, DEATH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, TROUBLE, LIZZY BORDEN, ICE-T & BODYCOUNT, VICIOUS RUMORS, DEATH ANGEL, GBH, DRI, HIRAX, to LAAZ ROCKIT and FORBIDDEN! Plus many more! Cliff Burton of Metallica was a fan of our music also. I loved that guy, he was very cool and down to earth, as were all the guys in METALLICA when I met them in 1983. KUSF's RON QUINTANA was the very first DJ brave enough to play us on the radio back then. I LOVE THAT GUY!

5) There also was a strong punk/hardcore scene ( Dead Kennedys, Crucifix, former Texas bands MDC, DRI, Verbal Abuse, and more punk oriented The Avengers, The Dils...)did you get in touch with them?

Yes, we have played with many great Punk bands. We have always been respected by the hard-core Punk bands, even more so, than a lot of the other Metal bands from here. The Punk bands would say to me "You guys are a more REAL Rock & Roll band!" We have always had a cross mix of Metal and Punk fans since the very start.

6) San Francisco is also "Dirty Harry"'s town ( at least that's what I perceive from the 2 first movies), what do you think about the character, and Clint Eastwood' career as actor and movie maker?

I like those movies, but I don't know much about the man.

7) How many Black rock acts in San Francisco could you quote besides you?

The only one that comes to mind in the Bay Area, is a group called A BAND CALLED PAIN. They seem to me, to be serious about the music.

8) Where does the name "Stone Vengeance" come from? How did you choose it?

It took a lot of time and research to chose the right name that I wanted for the band. It means "the Despised, Outcast, Unloved, the Stone that the builders rejected (the builders represent the other civilized nations of the earth). This is indeed a fitting name for us and I might add, that we have lived up to it! This band has survived by the force of my will.

9) Where can people find your records or merchandise related to SV? They can buy our CDs at CDBABY. COM or visit the band at STONEVENGEANCE. COM

10) Does Stone Vengeance do DIY, or did you get signed on indie labels, or did you "fly" on a major record label ( like Sound Barrier)?

We are a DIY band. True Metal Mavericks, OUTLAWS! I learned, a long time ago, that a label would not sign a band like this without us having to compromise. Let me be honest, "STONE VENGEANCE are not some fucking uncle toms!" That has a lot to do with us being independent. I won't kiss ass to reach my goals, we have been at this for a long time. I will say this, also, we are not a band for everyone. I know that a lot of Black people claim to like Metal, but won't get behind us. I think about this and say to myself "if great bands like METALLICA, RAVEN, EXODUS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, MOTORHEAD, GBH, and more, have shown respect for our music, and we have been representing as the "longest existing Black metal band" where is the support from these so called "Black" Metalheads? i.e.- BLACK ROCK COALITION?

11) North California to me, is BPP, Mobb sound ( E 40 &Sickwidit records), Mac Dre, Spice 1, Digital Underground, Paris, The Coup, Luniz...does the Bay Area still "feel the (P)funk"?

Yes, we still feel it. PARIS and the COUP are favorites of mine. I've met BOOTS he's cool! That reminds me check out a very talented friend of mine from SAN FRANCISCO, his name is MARTIN LUTHER of the MARTIN LUTHER EXPERIENCE! Yeah, he is the real deal!

12) If I had to spend some time there (in North California) what would you advise me about music related magazines, fanzines, radio stations or broadcasts, TV programs dealing with San Francisco musical scenes?

KUSF RADIO, PIRATE CAT RADIO, REALITY CHECK TV!

13) Did you play outside North California, and even overseas?

YES, and we are right now planning to perform in CANADA, GERMANY, JAPAN, BRAZIL and more.

14)You started in 1978, like Bad Brains, what made you choose heavy metal, and not punk rock, or reggae/ska, or funk or even new wave?

I started a Rock band and being fascinated by the sound of Rock guitar, it was just natural for me, because at the time I preferred the way Rock and Metal used the guitar. It was just much more interesting and creative to me.

15) According to you did (or do) Living Colour and Black Rock Coalition have the means to be influent/influential in rock business?

I don't know what they are doing these days, but let me say this, in the 1980s I called GREG TATE on the East coast, him being a founder of the Black Rock Coalition along with Living Colour's VERNON REID. I was following up on the cassette I had sent to him of our music. He said "man, this is some APOCALYPTIC music you got here brother!" I asked him what type of services he could help us with, and he said "well, I can give you the names of all the people that said NO to us already! A while later, I sent a cassette tape to the BRC, asking about membership. The response letter I received said "I would have to send in $50 and then wait to see if their board would approve of us. Ain't that a Bitch? I'm sitting there looking at their roster of groups and the only "black" group that I saw at that time was LIVING COLOUR. The rest of the groups were mixed, both Black and White members. How would you feel? Here I am, my band older than the BRC itself, fighting an uphill battle and representing longer than any of the members in the BRC, my band IS Black and we can't get any recognition or love? I said FUCK IT! I think they can be more influential, but they can't act like they are asking permission to Rock from anybody. Black people have paid there dues a long time ago to ROCK & ROLL! I am PROUD of who and what I am! Being 45 years old, you can imagine that I have very little tolerance for Weak Hearted, Scared to Death, UNCLE TOM ASS NEGROES!

16) Plans for the present and the future/ something to add....

We are planning a new album, and to perform for as many of our fans worldwide, (some who have been waiting for over 20 years to see us)as possible, before we retire. You keep up the good work man, MICHAEL COFFEY. WWW. STONEVENGEANCE. COM

et en plus une itw en vidéo ( pas de moi, je vous rassure !!!) Interview vidéo Stone Vengeance

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