Interview with Deron Miller of CKY

May 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm (Essays, Interviews) (, , , , )

Carver City

Carver City

What do a tide-soaked corpse, a roller rink, a rat-infested infirmary and a shipwrecked crew have in common? They’re all a part of the story of Carver City, a resort-town-turned-hellhole that has its very own soundtrack from CKY. But it’s not a concept album, said guitarist and singer Deron Miller in a recent phone interview.

“I guess it was an accidental thing,” Miller said, “(The album) gave us the same vibe even though the songs were completely different. It wasn’t something that we preconceived, it kind of happened after the fact.”

There are songs that seem lyrically related (perhaps the girl who disappears in “…And She Never Returned,” resurfaces as “The Boardwalk Body,”) but Miller wouldn’t explicitly state any connections. “It was our idea to leave it open to interpretation, rather than put it in your face,” Miller said, “We wanted to make it vague—not so vague that it was pretentious—but vague, so that it fits together but it’s all up to your own imagination and how you view it.”

One difference that fans are sure to notice is the album’s production. Mixed and produced by lead guitarist Chad Ginsburg and Miller, it is more uniform track-to-track than earlier works like “Volume 1” or “I.D.R.” And For a CKY album, the drum sound in particular is remarkably consistent.

“What people are recognizing as a similar drum sound is that the drums are sound-replaced. All rock and metal records are done that way now,” Miller said. “‘Woe Is Me’ had a really cool organic drum sound that we didn’t want to replace. This is our first record where we went for a little more, we used technology a little more to our advantage and got a thicker, fatter sound.”

Deron Miller

Deron Miller

The thick sound comes from layer upon layer of tracks. How many guitar and vocal tracks does it take to make a CKY song? “You lose track. . . .” he said, “We like to build vocals. Some are really low, some are in the background. We definitely don’t limit ourselves and say ok enough is enough.” This leads to a cascade of harmonies piled upon harmonies, which is closer to CKY’s earlier albums than riff orienteed 2005 release “An Answer Can Be Found.”

“Some people might say in their heads ‘This is overproduced,’” Miller said. “I think music could use more overproduction, actually. Two guitars, bass and drums is dull. I think 99% of bands could be doing more with their songs on their albums, aside from getting basic tracks down. We like to hear more creativity. We enjoy layering, we enjoy putting sounds on, I guess, ‘overproducing’”.

The thickly layered and harmonized vocal harmonies are at odds with garage-rock minimalist conventions, but that’s not the only remarkable thing about Miller’s singing. Even more striking is the seeming change in his vocal range in comparison with CKY’s older albums. “These sessions for vocals were probably my first sober vocal sessions,” explained Miller, “I never used to go into the vocal booth without some kind of buzz on. It was nerves, I wanted to loosen up. On AACBF the vocals were so straight and so aimed at perfection that I think they, not to take anything away from that record cause I love that album, but they came out a little too straight and too perfected. They lacked personality. There wasn’t that many dynamics to it. These vocals have a lot of dynamics.”

CKY are going on tour this summer in support of “Carver City,” and with an ever-expanding list of fan-favorites to pick from, they could easily settle in to a setlist that remains the same from night to night. But CKY isn’t a band to fall into a rut. “We never stick with a setlist,” Miller said, “We’re happy to have more songs to pick from. There isn’t a song that I wouldn’t want to try. I love all the songs I think they’re all amazing, I think they’re all equal. I wouldn’t even mind playing instrumentals. But it’s up to us as a band to decide.”

Asked if he was nervous about trying to recreate the density of the album live, Miller said “I think the bands that have any substance and try to recreate their record live, it’s boring.” But he added, “We were talking about hiring a synth player. . .We wont know until we start rehearsing.”

It’s no secret that people have already heard “Carver City.” Message boards have been alight with discussion and analysis of pirated digital copies of the album. “All bands can do is sit helplessly,” lamented Miller. “(Fans) have been listening to the record, probably a lot. It’s very valuable to them, and us, that they go out and they get a physical copy.”

So on May 19 head out to a record store and show Roadrunner how badly music fans are craving original—and “overproduced”—rock.

Take a trip to Carver City.

Just don’t look under the boardwalk.


CKY Myspace

CKY Official Website

Roadrunner Records Homepage


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Interview with Defeated Sanity’s Lille Gruber

October 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm (Interviews) (, , , , )

Defeated Sanity have been making waves in the metal community for a few years now, though they remain surprisingly underground. Even so, backed by a rabid diehard fanbase they were able to recently tour the United States and even played a slot at the famous Maryland Death Fest in May of 2008. I had the pleasure of meeting the band at MDF and their set was far and away one of the heaviest live sets I’ve ever seen. I thought it’d be a good idea to check in with Lille, the band’s drummer (though he composes on guitar as well), about the status of the new album, his experience in the United States, and more.

First of all, thanks a lot for doing this interview. How’s it going?

I am doing fine here, we are writing new material for the next album and we will be ready soon.

How is the search for a new vocalist coming along? Are you trying out all styles, or are you aiming for one particular sound?

It is very hard ’cause we wanna find the perfect guy this time around. We need someone who is extremely deep and powerful, and at the same time able to understand the really complex material with all its time signature changes and stuff. Also, we definitely wanna keep singing lyrics.

We don’t want screams in our music anymore, just guttural vox!

Realistically, when do you expect to release a new album?

We hope to be done with the songwriting process in January. Then begin finishing the lyrics and everything. If everything goes right, we can use the summer holidays for our studio sessions and release the album in late ’09.

How many new songs do you have written for the new album? Will the Promo 2007 tracks be on it?

The promo tracks will of course be part of the album. We have about 4 more songs finished or in the stage of being 95% finished right now. Just gotta show them to all the band members still. Other than those 7, we have beginnings for 2 more songs, one of them being the first one that Chris wrote mainly and the other one is the first that Jacob contributed to.

Do you have any new merchandise plans? What are you selling right now?

We wanna probably let fans on our forum vote for the next design we wanna print. This way we can make sure to satisfy most of our fans. Right now we’ve only got our Exorcised to Death hoodies left. We will soon print new stuff, though.

Lille Gruber

Lille Gruber

You toured the USA in early summer. Was that your first time in the States? What did you like? What did you dislike?

This was our first tour in the USA. I loved the hospitality from all the bands and fans that we met, as well as the many many great acts we got to play with. If there would be something I disliked, I gotta say it was all the violence and cop bullshit at MDF. We don’t have that much of that here in Europe. Here people can even drink on the streets and no one cares about it. (Defeated Sanity, and other bands, got a hard time on several occasions from Baltimore police about open container laws, and had their belongings searched -Transient)
By the way, you guys don’t know what bread is…..period! Haha.

Do you enjoy touring? Do you have plans to tour the USA or Europe again at any point?

We love touring and we feel that we haven’t even started with this stuff. To be honest, this was our first tour that was longer than 4 dates in a row. Right now nothing is planned but we would love to tour in the both continents, especially if the financial thing would go better than last time. Right now we are losing a lot of money through touring because we can’t make the money that we normally make at home at the same time.

What is the writing process like for Defeated Sanity? What instruments do you compose fastest on?

Every song is written on the guitar of course. Sometimes I come up with a rhythm and we transfer it to the guitar. Our songs are written with more care than 95% of the other bands around. We combine a shitload of riffs with each other before we actually decide on one connection of riffs. If that one part fits jut “ok” to the other one, we will look for something else. Sometimes I think that I am going insane doubting myself. It is really torturous sometimes. You walk through the streets and think through songs and try to find a solution. Then sometimes you think you have one but one day later you get disappointed again. Everywhere I go I’ve got those songs in my head.

What song was the hardest to learn yourself, or instruct the other band members?

I have a feeling with each song it’s getting harder. “Salacious Affinity” was a pain in the ass to write. Luckily, I got Chris to help me with riffs and inspiration. Hmmmm, one song I am thinking about being a pain in the ass to instruct was “Butchered Identity.” There is a hilarious tape of me and Wolfgang bitching at each other and trying to play the song for the first time that’s 45 minutes long.

Will the new album have any changes in direction? An acoustic intro, longer songs, anything we don’t expect?

I think one thing people didn’t expect was a song like “Engulfed in Excruciation.” That is like the one extreme of the record and there will be another extreme on the contrary side. There will probably be one thing that is not really common for brutal death which will have something in common with Malevolent Creation’s Ten Commandments and Megadeth’s So Far, So Good, So What?. You guess what it is…

(I’m not sure myself, my guess is a slow intro song? Or a singer with a real drug problem? -Transient)

How do you plan on recording the new album, live-in-the-studio ala Psalms… or more deliberate and clean ala Prelude…?

We have not decided yet, but we will definitely need a more clean production again. I am sick of no one being able to to hear what we really write. Guitar sound wise we wanna get maybe a mix of Prelude to the Tragedy and the Promo 07.

Do you have artwork for the new album? New song titles?

We don’t have artwork yet, but an idea and concept for the whole album. Don’t wanna reveal more song titles yet.

How important are lessons to someone learning an instrument?

Hmmm some people may not need them. When I see what a piece of cake it is to show Jacob a song in like two rehearsals, I gotta say it can’t harm anyone to know about theory. And now that we are trying out singers that mostly have little or no theoretical knowledge….it is hard to show those vocal lines to someone without the language of counting 1-2-3-4 or 12345671234567, etc. . .it’s hard to find words for that. On the contrary side there is Chris who doesn’t know shit about theory and he certainly gets the music. Passion is the most important thing, if you wanna understand something you will eventually.

When you’re on stage its great to see people moshing and enjoying the show, but when you’re in the audience do moshers bug you?

Moshers bugged the shit out of me when I wanted to see Disgorge one time. I was in the first row and every 2 seconds someone wanted to stagedive and put his combat boots in my face! I don’t mind headbanging though, it rules!

What’s more painful to watch, someone trying to air drum to your songs or those guys in the front row that wiggle their fingers in the air when a guitarist plays a lead?

Haha, you mean the Frank Mullen thing? I don’t care, I don’t look into the audience a lot anyways. I care more for good applause/screaming.


Erosion of Sanity or Retribution?


Would you rather have your next album sound like Stillborn or Breeding the Spawn?

Tough one. Stillborn has at least some punch to it but it’s too trebly. Since I love dark sounding shit, I gotta go with Breeding then.

Alex Marquez or Alex Hernandez?

Marquez is the lord! Fallen Christ ruled though.

Gebäck or Strudel?


Copremesis or Immolation? Remember…Paulo‘s reading this….

Old Immolation wins, new Immolation loses…

Desert island top 3 picks:

Disgorge – Consume the Forsaken
Bach stuff
Confessor – Condemned
…Too hard though!

Fearless Vampire Killers
The Shining

Haha I don’t ever read

Thanks for the interview!


Official Myspace (with merchandise!)

Official Website

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Interview with Mike Majewski of Devourment

July 9, 2008 at 9:33 pm (Interviews) (, , , , , )

Mike Majewski live

Mike Majewski

Devourment vocalist Mike Majewski is an easy guy to find. He’s frequently on different death metal discussion boards, chatting about old school death metal, women, and a whole lot of video games. Despite his presence online, he rarely discusses his band, so I decided to get some info about the band’s next album, artwork, merch, and those crazy horse photos on the band’s Myspace.

First off thanks for the interview.

Any time.

Biggest question first: Give us an update on Devourment. Do you have a studio picked out yet? Realistically would you be able to give a time estimate?

Pretty much. We always recorded with Braxton Henry and the one time we strayed from him, we regretted the shit out of it. Not gonna make that mistake again, he is an amazing engineer and producer. We aren’t as far along as we’d hoped, but realistically we are looking at late 08, early 09.

Speaking of art, I know Seagrave re-did the maggot for you, are you pleased with that? Are you yourself going to do any other art for the album?

Yes, its absolutely amazing. He just re-imagined the design while staying true to the concept, the man is brilliant. We are going to make the next album layout a who’s who of underground artists. Seagrave is already known, and I won’t spoil any of the others, but lets just say there is gonna be art from several major underground artists, some already in our possession, some in progress. I’m stoked

Describe some of the new songs.

What we are really shooting for on the new one is variation. We want each song to have more of an identity than that of Molesting and Butcher. We will stay true to our style, but we are going to expand as well. We don’t want to continue with the same formulas that we, and a lot of other similar bands are currently doing. We are focusing a lot more on intensity. There will be a couple of trademark groovier songs, there is one that is pretty much straight grind. We are losing a bit of convention to keep things interesting. Are we gonna piss off some of our old fans? I hope not. Are we looking to make new fans? Not really. We just want to be smart about what we are doing and surprise some people.

What kind of production are you going for on the new album? Would you be happy if it sounded like Butcher the Weak?

Butcher is a chapter for us and I love the production on it. The next one for me has to have a much beefier guitar tone, perhaps a bit less bass distortion. Ruben upgraded his rig quite a bit since then, so its pretty much taken care of. I’d like the vox slightly louder in the mix as well.

Any chance of the recording sessions being filmed? You could be 3:3 for CDs/DVDs…

For sure. We did that for Butcher the Weak which is on our second DVD. The studio experience for us is as good as playing live. We all get along great, we have a blast and documenting it is pretty much essential.

Is Ruben going to do vocals on this album? Would guitar solos ever fit in Devourment?

I want him to. I think I could probably convince him. I have a lethal weapon at my disposal so it would be a shame not to utilize it. Solo’s? Nah, not us. I’m not opposed to some leads though if it feels right.

What kind of misogynist slogans are you cooking up for the next line of Devourment shirts?

Haha. Actually you’ll probably be seeing less and less of that, even in the lyrics. Again, trying to expand and not repeat ourselves. Not entirely though, you’ll definitely see some whore bashing lyrics. I had some girl troubles since Butcher came out so I gotta vent a little at least.

If you had to choose only one, would you rather continue being a vocalist for Devourment or continue to create images and logos for other bands?

That’s actually a tough one because my first passion is art. But I’d choose vox. There is no better feeling than knowing you will have an insane crowd no matter when and where you play. That’s the dream man.

What was the deal with the horsehead photos on your myspace?

The captain

The Captain

HAHAHAHA. That’s the Captain. He found this place in Tokyo that sold masks and he said it was instant, he had to have it. His theory is that all woman are whores and need horse cock, so he shall now be known as Captain Horse. The Horse may be making some live appearances from what I hear.

What was Japan like? What were some of your impressions?

Dude, there is no words. It’s the best place I have ever been. I have never witnessed a friendlier, more organized civilization than I saw there.

Did you do anything differently after the UK customs fiasco?

We just try to find out the stipulations of getting into the country trouble free. We weren’t properly informed about the UK’s requirements, so we paid the price. Live and learn.

Do you think Brutal Bands will help you finance a US tour after the new album?

Hmmm. If it happens, I’d like to think so. Seriously they are a great label but I’m not sure that we would ever do a major tour. We have to break it up because of our jerbs.

What merch do you have right now, what’re you doing in the near future? Who should be contacted, and how?

It would do you no good to contact anyone else in the band, as they have an aversion to fan mail. I do not however. At the moment we have 2 new cool maggot designs, by myself and Mark Riddick, so we’ll push those for a while.

If you could remix 1.3.8. and make it sound like any Roadrunner death metal album, what would you choose?

Cause of Death

You have legions of fans who buy any shirt you do art for, but do you ever feel held back? Have you ever explored painting? Would you ever try a non-violent piece?

At times a bit. The reason I haven’t been doing color lately is because I have been trying to improve my skills there. I have gotten better at that though and did some recent color pieces that I feel are my best. As for non violent stuff, I have a whole portfolio of fine art, pastels, figure drawing, airbrush, pencil, you name it. I went to art school for 2 and a half years.

OK, now for the fun. One or the other?

Here in After or XBOX 360?

Son of a bitch.

SMN or your own forum?

Can’t decide. I go to both for different reasons and I like them and the members equally.

Your mother’s love or the breakdown in “No Jesus, No Beast”?

Pssh, sorry ma.

If you were forced to switch vocal cords with King Diamond or Varg who would you choose? By the way, Devourment is headlining Wacken the next day…

Haha. Gotta be the King, I worshipped him throughout highschool and still do.

Ask yourself a question I didn’t…

Hey Mike, what would you change about the current metal scene?

More Unity!

And thank you!

Thank you man


Devourment Myspace

Mike Majewski’s Art Myspace (logos, shirt art, etc)

Devourment homepage

Brutal Bands (Devourment’s label)

Video of Devourment playing “Babykiller” live

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Interview with Paulo (Guitar) of Copremesis

June 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm (Interviews) (, , , , )


I’ve known Paulo for more than a year now from a forum we both post at. He would talk about his band pretty often, mostly about how lousy they are. Well, in May he sent me a few tracks off of Copremesis’ Muay Thai Ladyboys album, and I was really, genuinely impressed. Yes, the band doesn’t take itself very seriously, but there’s a level of technicality and brutality that serious bands don’t always achieve. I was really excited to hear that Copremesis would be going on tour with Defeated Sanity and Mucopus up and down the east coast in May before playing Maryland Death Fest 2008. I met Paulo in person at MDF, and he was as friendly and entertaining as he is online. I sent him an e-mail to get his thoughts on his new album, label, and tour experience. I threw in some extra questions to make it a bit more fun. Enjoy, and I wish Paulo the best of luck in the future!

P.S. I’ve been cruising the ‘net for more than 5 years, and rarely have I seen anything more horrific than the layout for Muay Thai Ladyboys. Look at it only if you have a strong stomach, or a penchant for shemales. Salamat, Paulo!

Copremesis formed in 2001 and you just released your first full length. What took so long?

One word: Procrastination. Besides that, we had a couple of line up changes. When Wilson left, first we had to look for drummers. Everyone just thought we were just a joke and no one took us seriously then we remembered Daniel originally played drums for us. So he switched back from Bass/Vocal duties to Drum duties. Another thing was that we had to BUY a drum set. So whatever money we made from the split with Pustulated split and colored logo shirts we had all went to buying the set.

By the time we recorded the drums, Daniel was well on his way to leave for the USMC. There was no pressure from anyone because at the time a lot of people thought we broke up or simply suck. The only label that showed interest of putting out our album at this time was Paragon. All other label interest before the split basically either flaked or lost interest. So we [Alex and I] took our sweet-ass time and just recorded the guitars whenever we have the chance to see each other.

Sad thing is that we did NOT take advantage of this opportunity. The album could’ve sounded much better but at the end result we’re pretty much satisfied with it. There are things that I would like to change but what done is done.

How often did Copremesis play gigs before going on tour? Did you feel adequately prepared for touring?

Prior to the tour, we’ve only played 19 shows in our existence as a band and I think 2 of them wouldn’t be really considered a “show.” Besides being lazy and procrastinating we had a very busy personal schedule from work/school/internship/going to jail/kicked out of the house/etc. We also thought that playing too many shows sucks. We don’t have enough funds/time to do that and people that genuinely like us will eventually get tired seeing us.

Somehow I felt we were pretty adequate for it. The short 4 day mini-tour was PERFECT for a band like us. I know a lot of bands out there are into hardcore touring, for us we just want to tread on this as carefully as possible and lessen as much losses; especially with the rising gas prices/recessions. It’s tvff.

I remember talking to you on the phone two days in to your tour, and you told me someone in the touring package had had an accident with an ambulance. What happened?

HAHAHAHAHA, yeah that was us! And during that day it was Jacob’s (Defeated Sanity) birthday too! Yeah, we were on the Bronx going to the highway for our FIRST DATE of the tour. It was raining cats and dogs. There was this NYFD Ambulance van in front of us, they had a car pulled over because of some accident and in front of that car was a NYPD car! Somehow our driver didn’t notice how wide both our van and the NYFD van was and our side mirror annihilated theirs. At that moment, we just looked each other trying to decide if we should jet it. Alex said that a Cop saw us so we just played it safe and parked. The NYFD and the NYPD took their sweet time. We had to deal with BOTH of them, both had to get the license and insurance and at times looked like they were playing Tug-O-War with the papers. Load in time at the Allston show was 6:00 pm, we got there at 9:45 pm.

Bless Dysentary, Sexcrement, Mucopus and the whole entire time for being patient with us. I remember when we finally got to the highway we were hauling 90+ mph, while it was raining. NEVER AGAIN!

Oh yeah while waiting for the cops and the firemen to come get our info, I went across the street to buy Jacob’s bday cake. I totally forgot to buy plates and utensils. We had to eat it by hand. HAHAHAHA!

How do you feel about the final product of Muay Thai Ladyboys? Are you satisfied with the production? Layout? Performances?

As the artwork, lay out, sound quality [compared to the master] and physical product itself, PARAGON and DGR totally ruled! As for the production of the album, I wish we didn’t procrastinate so much, we could’ve done so much. Lowering my main vocals, fixing the toms [which are barely audible], better kick trigger sample, better compression/mastering. All of these things are learning experiences for us. Now that we have Ian on the boat, I’m sure the future material will sound a lot better.

What are you doing to make that incredibly irritating high pitched vocal for the album’s first song? You pulled it off live, too….

You love that. Yes you do, Sam. HAHAHAHA! I’m speaking “Thai” at that part. On the album we pitch-shifted the vocals up and we did the same for the MDF set but usually we don’t do that. I just go in aZn mode and squint as hard as possible.

Why don’t you wear shoes on stage?

At the Alston show, my shoes were SOAKED. I had to take it off. Personally, I like the feeling of the rug on my feet. Yum! FUNGUS!


I heard if you play the silence after Tetsuo backwards and amplify it 30 dB, you can hear a cover of Iniquity’s “Once Encysted and Dormant”. Is that true?

We do not kiss and tell…yes.

In all seriousness, there IS a bonus track on the album. What’d you cover? Whose choice was that?

ITS CREDITED IN THE LAY OUT!!! ITS THERE! HAHAHAHA! You don’t even have to squint!!! Here’s a clue: JAPAN.

What are the future plans for Copremesis? Do you have any albums left on your deal with Paragon records? Would you ever tour again, or was it too stressful?

We are working on new material for 2 splits. 7″ with Buckshot Facelift [Super pissed off Grindcore from Long Island] and a 3 way split with Cesspool and Gorged Afterbirth. We’re still looking for a label to put these two out. Especially the 7″ with Buckshot. We’re aiming to record this late fall.

We only have a one album deal with Paragon. They’ve been really generous to us and a blessing. Nothing is written in stone yet. Personally, it’s too early to say for now but I could see ourselves releasing a 2nd full-length with them. That also depends if they dig the new material/direction.

Now for the fun part of the interview: One or the other

Iniquity or Malignancy?

This question hurts. IniQuitY does have my favorite album of all time but their later releases aren’t to par with that. In the other hand Malignacy have only gotten better and improved at each releases and has so much riffs that people wouldn’t notice if we stole 40 or 60 of them….so I have to decide…that I hate you, Sam.

Brodequin or Copremesis?

Brodequin, no contest. I get tiny penis rage whenever I listen to this band. We are no where in their league of pure ping-blasting brutality. We are not worthy!

Fry’s persistant unrequited love for Leela or Jurassic Bark?


I’m sorry, Sam but I am a romantic, Fry’s undying love for Leela wins it for me. PLUS, Seymour and Fry got to chill a little longer in the movie! [I know you hate that movie because of that reason hahahaha]

And I’m perpetually in the same state as Fry. I need to move on. I hate women and I can’t stop loving them.

Maryland Death Fest or Wacken Open Air?

I would totally pick WOA. More diversity, awesome beer, OPEN AIR! Plus, EUROPEAN WOMEN!!! Though, it lacks the super awesome death/gore/grind acts that MDF packs.

Tagalog or Human Remains?

“RICH AND CREAMY! JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT!” I would deny my nationality over Human Remains. YES. WONGH.

Bob Vigna or Danny Nelson?

Both awesome dudes. Bob wrote an e-mail one time to my mom trying to convince her to let me go to see an Nile show. It didn’t work but the gesture was awesome. Danny Nelson is more like of a big brother to us. He gives us advice like on Transformers, GI JOE, Star Wars and all the best things in life.

Wicked riffs vs Brutal Howls? Baldy Bob.

Personally: I’ll take Danny, he’s help us a lot. Band wise and personal issues also.

Thanks, Paulo. Now ask yourself a question I didn’t think to ask.

Did you get laid at MDF?

No. *sigh*

Any closing words?

Thank You so much, Sam! This is one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve ever had so far! This rules!

As for closing words for ya’ll out there: Remember, you only have what you have on your hands. Do not let it go because eventually, everything must die, even dreams. Live life happy, it’s too short to be pissed off all the time. Regrets, we all have them, make choices that lessen that.

Come full circle.


Copremesis Myspace

Paragon Records

Return to the Pit photos of the band’s MDF set

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