My friend and wonderful artist "DEFORMER" releases a miraculous record in late January. As usual the sound is violent and highly artistic. And this artwork knocks out all horror movie fans.It's Perfect fusion of sound and artwork. DEFORMER (Mike Redman) is constantly making serious art. So I interviewed him about this wonderful record "The Living Dead Deformed".
How have you been? How was the beginning of 2018?
Hi Ume, I'm great! Thanks for asking. I'm used to having wild NYE parties,
but this time I entered the new year smoothly. 2017 was an amazing year and pretty wild throughout,
so January 1st really felt like a fresh start. My challenge now is to top last year!
I saw Artwork of "The Living Dead Deformed". This was really shocking!
Please tell me the concept of this artwork and Music.
Well, I was thinking of doing a project like this for years, but all kinds of different stuff came in between.
One of them was actually the 'Full Moon Deformed' release. This was a collaboration with Horror icon Charles Band and Hollywood studio Full Moon Features,
famous for its outrageous Horror flicks throughout the years. These films where a huge source of inspiration for me back in the 80's. You can imagine that it was a dream come true to actually work on this project. Charles Band gave permission to use his back catalog and turn it into different Deformer tracks. Each title on the album is actually the title of an existing film previously released by Full Moon Features.
'The Living Dead Deformed' has more or less the same concept. It's based on the horror classic, and one of my favourite horror flicks: 'Night of the living dead' (1968).
Where 'Full Moon Deformed' uses a film title per track, with 'The Living Dead Deformed' I chopped it up into four different titles, all based on the same film.
I usually create all the Deformer artwork myself, but this time I wanted it to be more special and more related to the concept.
It only took a minute to come up with a name, another hero of mine, legendary visual artist Graham Humphreys.
Please tell me about Graham Humphreys.
Do you remember the work of Graham Humphreys you saw first?
Graham is a living legend and an amazing artist. I first came across his work when I watched the first 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' film at a friends place when I was 10 years old. He had it on VHS and not only did I love the film, also the video cover was amazing. I later found out that Graham Humphreys did the artwork and it turned out that I had a lot of his work in my VHS collection already, because he was also responsible for the cover art of The Evil Dead, Basket Case, Return of the living dead and many, many more! So it was only fitting to ask him to do the artwork for my record. Luckily he was interested and I'm forever grateful for his work, because it turned out great!
When did you start making this record?
Have you made any new challenges with this record?
Like I said before, the concept was already a few years old, but I started working on the music last year.
It didn't take long to produce the tracks, but the unfortunate thing was, when I finished the last track, I read the news
that the creator of Night of the living dead, George A. Romero, had just passed away. The living Dead Deformed was already meant to be a tribute to
the film and its creators, but now it became even more serious. I then decided to make it a non-profit release.
Please explain the songs.
Devoured By The Dead
-This was the first track that I did for this release. It has a prominent sample taken from the original film. The things that are said here form the blueprint of modern day zombie flicks. The title suggests what's going on pretty well I think. I did a tryout with this track at Baroeg Open Air 2017, and people went nuts!
-This is based on a character in the movie Chief McClelland, the sheriff who is at that time busy exterminating the living dead with his squad.
The character is portrayed by actor George Kosana. He sadly passed away in 2016.
Feast Upon The Flesh
-This track is more based on soundscapes and develops slowly into a classic Jungle tune. I liked to work on this track very much, because there's a lot of stuff happening. It's a 8 minute track. The best way to experience this one is when you turn off the lights at night, put your headphone on and turn up the volume...
-This track is pretty trashy. It starts off with a music box as seen in the film and it doesn't take long for it to explode into a heavy, and sometimes haunting mess.
The opera vocals by Faranu make it even more creepy I think. Richard Lococo was one of the responsible sound effects creators for the film and they also add much depth to this track. The sounds in Night of the living dead are fantastic.
You have taken horror movies / culture into your own music from long ago.
Why are you attracted to horror movies?
As a kid I was intrigued by the record covers by Iron Maiden. (designed by Derek Riggs) I guess A Nightmare on Elm Street started my interest in horror movies.
I started working as a special make up effects artist early on, so from then on I watched these movies very differently. More technical. Still, the horror stuff kept exciting me, because I noticed that working with horror you can provoke emotions with the people that see or hear it. There are absolutely no bad intentions behind horror in entertainment, so for me it's a great way to make people feel alive. You know, scare them a little or have them talk about it. The same way sex also still seems to provoke. I really don't understand most taboos around horror and erotica. I guess thats why most of the Deformer stuff is considered cult.
You have released records for a long time.
Why do you keep releasing records?
I love vinyl. I have a crazy collection of records. This was the first music medium that I got in contact with and putting on a record felt really special. It was almost like going into another world for an hour when you listen to a whole album. I disagree with people that say that vinyl always sounds better than digital. This depends on what genre you listen to I think and a lot has changed. But the feeling of buying a record hasn't. At least not for me.. I'm not very nostalgic, but I just can't get used to people that say that they have released a record and a record to them means 10 mp3's on some blog. I would also feel quite embarrassed to ask somebody like Graham Humphreys to create cover art for a release and release it online the size of a postage stamp.
You came to Japan twice last year.
Our showcase at DOMMUNE saw more than 11,000 viewers. and had a very interesting experience at the talk show.
What remained the most impression?
Playing at DOMMUNE was very exciting. I'm used to playing before a live audience where you can directly see the response of the crowd, so playing in a studio, but knowing that there are many people listening is quite another experience. The reactions were overwhelming. All impressions in Japan have been golden. The different shows, the talkshow, exploring the country and meeting everyone in Japan is just amazing! As you know I'm hooked now. I can't wait to come back...
Please tell me the schedule of DEFORMER / MIKE REDMAN / REDRUM RECORDZ in 2018.
There's a lot of stuff lined up. The Living Dead Deformed is first up to be released. I did an ep with Mü (a project by Ruby My Dear) entitled: 'Mentalmorphosis'.
This will be out soon as well. I'm designing many record covers for other artists and recording vocals for Hardcore tracks. There will be more releases on Redrum Recordz and I'm working on a new documentary. I'm very excited about a few projects that are coming up and I hate it that I can't reveal too much about those projects at this point! You'll be the first to hear about them :-)
Stay creative and have fun!
EXCLUSIVE Deformer 'The Living Dead Deformed' pre-order pack