The basics – who is everyone/what do they play? How/when did
the band get together? Anyone in bands prior to Soulless that people
might have heard of? Other than the new CD, what recorded material
has the band released?
Jim Lippucci: Soulless arose from the ashes that our drummer Chris
and I were in called Bloodsick. Once were the only two original members
remaining in the band we decided to move in a slightly different direction
and get a new name. We have a self released CD, “The Darkening
of Days” and appear on a whole bunch of tribute compilations.
Soulless members have been or are in bands such as Integrity, Ringworm,
Domestic Crisis, Nunslaughter, Holy Ghost, Schnauzer, The Spawn of
Satan, Ascension, All that is Evil, Caveman, Descension, Decimation,
and Goosebread and the Hydrogen Jukebox
Wayne Richards: Soulless formed in autumn 1996. I was jamming in Spawn
of Satan (a thrash band which still thrashes with Dora on drums),
a couple rooms down from where Chris, Jim and Jerry (original Soulless
guitarist) were working out some songs. I was asked to join (which
I did immediately after hearing a 5 song rehearsal tape) and we worked
shit out from there. First show for Soulless was January 1997.
Although there are certainly extreme/death metal elements to your
sound, there’s also a bit of melody, and the vocals are more
prominent than in a lot of the typical extreme bands. How would you
describe your sound? What artists have influenced you the most?
JL: I would say we are basically a thrash band and are very much influenced
by early thrash – Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, Exodus and such but
definitely show some influence from bands like At The Gates, Arch
Enemy and such
WR: Soulless is a thrash band that combines elements of early 80s
Bay Area and German Thrash with early 90s Swedish Death Metal. Primary
legends responsible for the Soulless sound: Slayer, Kreator, Iron
Maiden, Metallica, Sodom, Exodus, Celtic Frost, Forbidden, Voivod,
Entombed, Dismember, At the Gates…
On a related not to the previous question, do you think metal has
become too compartmentalized into sub genres and confined by arbitrary
JL: At times I feel metal has lost some of its freedom and nonconformist
attitude. People are becoming too concerned with trends and fashion.
All that matters is the metal and the individual expression.
WR: The reason metal exists is because bands wanted to break the mold
of mediocrity and normalcy, break all the rules to create something
new and original and not be confined to anything. Metal has always
been about being faster, heavier and louder than anything else. Sabbath
to Priest to Motorhead to Maiden to Venom to Slayer and Metallica
to Kreator to Entombed to At the Gates. These are metal bands. The
shit that you hear on the big radio stations is known as “gay
metal” to the people who know what metal really is. I do not
know if Metal has become too compartmentalized (if this is a word),
but it certainly has become diluted and reduced to talent less chug
riffs and rappers. Rap/Metal (which is now the biggest genre) is the
gayest shit I have ever heard, and now it’s pop culture. When
you here something that is metal, you know it’s metal…It
should not have to be grouped into certain categories…If its
metal; it’s good…If there’s a fag rapping on it…it’s
not metal, but it is gay.
Maybe I’m exaggerating because I live here, but it seems like
Cleveland is a major metal city. Aside from you guys, Breaker, Somnus,
Abdullah, Boulder, and others all have national distribution and play
out of state shows. Is Cleveland where the next big metal movement
will come from?
JL: It does seem we have a wealth of metal…as far as the next
big metal movement coming from here it’s hard to say and depends
on whose standards it is judged by. Bands like Mushroomhead, Switched,
and Chimaira all have major deals while many underground bands like
Keelhaul, Nunslaughter and others have a very loyal underground audience
worldwide. Perhaps we are in the midst of the next big metal movement.
WR: Cleveland is a great city for Metal; that is for sure. But I do
not see a metal movement coming from this city. If there is to be
a metal movement, it would have to be a nationwide reckoning. The
good metal bands from Cleveland are talented old school thrashers,
but if there is going to be a metal movement, that would mean there
would have to be a mainstream revival of old Thrash and Heavy Metal
music, which unfortunately will never happen.
Rather than try to pretend I have no morbid curiosity, I’m just
going to ask about the leg straight out. If I’m being an insensitive
prick, just say so, but how did it happen? I noticed at the Studio
A Rama show you were jumping around as much as any front man. Is the
prosthetic designed to take the abuse? Are you the “Six Million
Dollar Man” of metal?
JL: I lost my leg to a very rare bone disease at the age of nine.
Fortunately I have had access to some of the most high tech prosthetics
that out country has to offer. These are the limbs that you see people
with actual drive and determination using to run marathons and climb
mountains. I generally use mine to walk into and out of bars and frighten
small children. The leg was actually a lot less then $6 million…I
guess I am the $17,000 man of metal.
WR: Leave him alone.
Tell me a little about your lyrics. Do you have any sort of message,
or do you just try to find something that fits the mood of the music?
Do you approach the songwriting process as a band, or does everyone
WR: From what I gather, all of Jim’s lyrics are centered around
his hot ex-girlfriend and all of their struggles to form a normal,
long-lasting relationship built around a mutual respect for one another
striving to gain peace, love and trust. Usually Corrick or I have
some riffs which are developed into songs for Soulless, and much,
much later Lippucci finally writes lyrics to the song.
* Recording the new album – Where did you do it, and how long
did it take? Was everything written prior to going into the studio?
How much of an impact did the producer/engineer have on the final
JL: We recorded at Mars studio outside of Cleveland with Bill Korecky.
We go into the studio very well prepared. We pretty much produced
the album, but Bill always is there to provide us with a fresh opinion
from outside of the group, which is very helpful.
WR: Overall, the recording process was comprised of approximately
15 full days of work. I am sure we will never, ever record anywhere
but MARS. We have a phenomenal relationship with Bill Korecky (who
is a damn genius when it comes to engineering a metal record), which
will never be severed because Soulless has gained that level of peace,
love and trust with Bill. Bill does have his opinions, which frequently
become the focus of turmoil for the band…but there are those
rare occasions of joy when we get to completely shut him down.
Tell me a little about the label/distribution for the new CD.
JL: The Record will be released by WorldChaos Production, a newer
metal label from Japan specializing in excellent thrash. It will also
be distributed by MNW in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. WorldChaos
generally licenses their releases in different territories throughout
the world. It usually takes a couple of months after the Japanese
release for these deals to get rolling. We hope to have some major
distribution in the US in three to six months
WR: Indeed. We already have good distribution set to pounce on Japan
and Europe, but the distribution in the States will depend on how
well “Agony’s Lament” does overseas. We hope to
have something lined up here shortly after the record is released
What out of state shows/major opening gigs have you played? What was
the show you most enjoyed? Any good humorous anecdotes (yeah, it’s
a pretty broad question, but run with it if you can)?
JL: We’ve opened for bands like Incantation, Nile, Morbid Angel,
and Dismember and done shows in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, but I
don’t really have any good stories. A drunk guy wanted to beat
up one of our friends in Indiana for singing Alice Cooper’s
“I Love the Dead” during karaoke night. He thought that
was a bunch of bullshit
WR: OHH…That show in Indianapolis (The James Murphy Benefit,
which was fantastic) I ate 23 pieces of pizza after we played. Before
the show, a bar across the street had free hot dogs. I had 4 of those.
The local Indiana chicks were all over me. The gas expelled from my
ass in the van was unreal on the way home… One time on the way
home from playing a show, Dora shit his pants in Parsippany, New Jersey…wiped
his ass with a sock and kept the undies (KISS boxers…obviously
are your main goals as a band? Would you be happy with “cult”
status, or do you want to reach a wider audience eventually?
WR: Soulless originally set out to get signed, a goal which we have
finally achieved. Our next goal is to eventually tour Europe (most
importantly) and the United States. Selling thrash records isn’t
our #1 priority, but we will continue to release quality thrash albums
for years to come. In a sense we are just getting started with this
metal entity known as Soulless, so hopefully, we will be around for
quite a while. Personally, I am looking forward to touring Europe
more than anything. It’s important to us to give the European
audience a good dose of Metal…since they still love it and have
been providing us with phenomenal metal for such a long time.
JL: Tour, release albums, drink beer, get some sodomy…as far
as cult status goes, I don’t know…it doesn’t’
fit in with my lifestyle of debauchery and excess. I may actually
start my own cult some day. I’ve always longed to be worshipped…
* Anything I didn’t ask that you want to throw in, feel free.
JL: Check out our website, www.soullessdomain.com and our label at
www.world-chaos.com. Come to our shows and buy us beer and share your
dope and women.
WR: Metal, Beer and Women are the basic needs for Livin’!