The Soundtrack To Your Demise – A Interview With Jerry From Lazarus Complex …   Leave a comment

Jerry Wilde is the very talented man behind the Lazarus Complex project who has produced the excellent The Cleansing album. When it comes to DIY recordings, it is by far the best I have heard in the last few years, with exceptionally good production and mesmerizing atmosphere and a song-for-song track-list that is flawless. You could say it is a ‘jewel in the rough’ in the doom-metal underground. Despite some heavy promotion by yours-truly, the sales have been slow but I feel when the underground doom fans catch on, it will sell very well. You know doom-fans like to do things slowly, just like the music they listen to but if Lazarus Complex doesn’t get at least some medium-sized success, then we all might as well give up. What you are about to read here is an interview that Aleks put together (at my request) as I wanted the questions to be from somebody elses perspective and I wanted some unique questions asked and as usual Aleks delivered. Thanks to Aleks and Jerry for sitting down to do this and most important of all – BUY THE LAZARUS COMPLEX CD – CHECK THE LINKS BELOW………..

Q: Salute Jerry! How are you? Let me start our interview with simple questions about the origin of Lazarus Complex – when and why did you started your project?

-Hello! Thank you for your interest in Lazarus Complex. I started recording the music that was to become Lazarus Complex in 2004. I started to write songs and record them because I absolutely love doom metal. I crave it so much I wanted to create some of it myself. That was really my only intention at first. I wanted to write and record some songs I could be proud of.

Q: And what is it in the end? Are you proud of what Lazarus Complex became?

-I am proud of the music I’ve created. I was doing the final mix on a new song today and for about 3 hours I’ve been humming the melody of the song. When I listen to the Lazarus Complex CDs I feel like I’ve grown as a songwriter. I’m happy with the way Lazarus Complex has developed. More importantly, I feel like the best is yet to come.

Q: Lazarus Complex always was your solo-project, didn’t you ever want to invite at least some guest-musicians to write a song or two?

-Lazarus Complex has always been a solo project but I’d love to add some musicians. There have been a few people over the years that I’ve thought about working with. In fact I stumbled upon a drummer just a couple of weeks ago. He’s a college student here in Richmond, Indiana and he’s an amazing drummer. I’d love to work with him on this project or something new at some point.

Q: There’s not too much information in metal-archives, your MySpace blog looks like diary now, it seems that Lazarus Complex always was in a real underground. You produced both albums “The Cleansing” and “Soundtrack to My Demise” by yourself, did you try to promote them or search for labels to release CDs?

-I did send around demos when the CDs came out. I got lots of great feedback and really positive reviews. There were even people who wrote, “Somebody just give this guy a contract” but in the end, I had no offers. For the past couple of years I just stopped trying to get any recognition. I decided that I’d just continue to write and record music for my own enjoyment. But then, on a whim, I sent a CD to Ed from Doomantia.com and Doom Metal Alliance Records. He absolutely loved my music. Ed said, “If nobody else realizes how great this is, I’ll offer him a contract myself” which is exactly what happened. My CD “The Cleansing” is available through Doom Metal Alliance Records. Here’s a link to Ed’s site.

Doommantia Webstore

Q: Jerry, was “The Cleansing” your first musical experience or did you play in bands before it? Though the album sounds enough professional to make a conclusion that you played somewhere else earlier…

-I played in bands for years through high school and college. The band that had the most success was “The Cause.” We played the clubs and bars in our area around 1988-1990. The Cause wasn’t a doom metal band. We were more of a 80s band and got comparisons to bands like Dokken and Metallica. We recorded at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa which is where Stone Sour recorded their first album. Great studio for a young band. We did two separate sessions and Catamount and I can remember them like they happened yesterday.

Q: So you released “The Cleansing” in 2006 and what kind of reaction did you get from critics and listeners? Did you feel that it was necessary to go on with the project and write songs for a new album?

-Like I said earlier, the reaction was very positive. The master of doom, John Perez, from Solitude Aeturnus was very complimentary which meant a lot to me because I think Solitude Aeturnus is such a great band. I love everything about SA so for John to be so supportive meant a lot of me. I knew I was on the right track.

Q: Did you ever see Solitude Aeternus live performances? How often did you visit gigs and didn’t you ever think of live shows for Lazarus Complex?

-I never had the opportunity to see Solitude Aeturnus live. They are playing in Las Vegas in June and I’d love to be there but I can’t make it. I don’t go to many shows anymore because there aren’t that many bands I’d be interested in seeing. I’m not being arrogant. It’s just that I’ve seen almost every band I’d care to see. Plus, I’m having some health trouble that would make it difficult to go to shows.

Q: Now the album is re-released by Doom Metal Alliance records with good bonus-section, what are these bonus-tracks? When did you record them?

-The bonus tracks are songs from either the second CD “Soundtrack to My Demise” and also songs that I’ve written and recorded since the release of the CDs. I record songs when they come to me. I was laying down tracks for a new song called “Death’s Valley” earlier today. I might lay down the vocal after I finish with this interview. I record whenever I feel inspired.

Q: How did you get offer to re-release “The Cleansing” from Ed? Did you know him before?

-I didn’t know Ed but I loved his website Doomantia.com. I checked it every day because he’s obviously passionate about the music. He writes great reviews that I trusted. Some sites just write positive stuff about every band. That’s not helpful for the fans at all.

I sent Ed the CD and, like I said earlier, he just loved the music. He just said, “Why isn’t this on a label?” I told him I didn’t get any actual offers from labels. There were places that said, “We really like your music but we’re not signing any new projects right now.” Ed said, “Well, I’d love to put it out.” I liked the idea of having the album through DMA Records because the people who visit Doomantia.com are doom metal fans. That’s the kind of music they love. When they get to the site, they know what to expect.

Q: So the record has a very good production though it was totally DIY release, in which conditions did you record the stuff? Did you have experience of sound recording before?

-I have studio in my home so I can go up there and play around with sounds for hours if I want to. A lot of the recording was “trial and error.” I’d record something and then decide, “I don’t really like the guitar tone” so I’d re-record the part. There’s no pressure because I’m in a very comfortable environment. What I didn’t like about our sessions in Catamount Studio with my band The Cause was the expense. The clock was always ticking and time was money. At home I can relax and I think that brings about better results.

Q: As I see you have a kind of message in your songs, how can you describe it’s main idea?

-My songs are usually about very depressing topics…death, loss, disease, pain. Those are the topics I think about all day. It’s a little bit like the attraction to blues music (which I also love). There’s something therapeutic about expressing what troubles you. By writing about it and singing about it, it makes people feel better. At least it makes me feel better.

Q: What does inspire you besides grim sides of reality?

-My children inspire me. I think we all have a responsibility to try and leave things a little bit better for the next generation. My children inspire me to get up each day and face the world. They are both tremendous musicians themselves so my love of music has certainly rubbed off on them.

I’d also like to point out that just because I’m fascinated by depressing subjects doesn’t mean I’m sad and depressed all the time. I just find those topics interesting to write about. I try to be a positive person but it’s hard sometimes especially when it feels like things just keep getting worse.

Q: Jerry, I’ve read your MySpace blog, I’ve read about your disease and there’s nothing I can add… you know… I’m sorry if this question is too personal but after all how much did it change your world-view?

-I had a cancerous tumor on my transplanted kidney so to save my life, they had to take out my only kidney which meant I had to go back on dialysis to remain alive. In a little while I’ll leave my home to have needles inserted in my arm. I’ll receive treatment for six hours, three times a week. It’s indescribable how much it sucks. It’s changed my world view in a profound way because I may be dead very soon. I’m very, very sick which has made writing and recording very difficult. I do feel lately that some songs are starting to come again. Every song feels like it could be the last one so I try to do my best with everyone one.

Q: And don’t you think in the end that through pain and trials people has a chance to evolve somehow? Or is it just a punishment, an occasion, just fate?

-That’s a great question and I think the answer depends on the individual. I’d like to think this burden that has been placed upon me has given me the opportunity to become a better person. I watch people around me suffer all the time. How can you look at that and not be changed? It makes me question God. I’m struggling with the same questions philosopher have struggled with for years…why is there all this pain? If there’s a God, why does he allow this to continue? I have no answers…only more questions.

Q: Didn’t you ever think that Job’s Complex (I’m meaning Biblical Job of course) could be more suitable name for the project? Both stories start with hard trials but no one could foretell how they did finish…

-Job’s Complex would be a suitable name but I’ve always been fascinated with Lazarus. There’s something magical about rising from the dead. Jesus wept when he found out Lazarus had died. People tend to want to focus on Jesus’ divinity but I’ve always been interested in his humanity. Lazarus’ condition allowed us to see the Jesus who lived and struggled in this world.

Lazarus died and rose again. In some ways I feel like I am being asked to rise from the grave every day that I am alive. It’s hard to put into words how sick I am on dialysis. Plus, Lazarus Complex has a better ring to it!

Q: Don’t you think that such humanity is – quite the contrary – a trace of divine origin in humankind? What all good that we have in us – it’s not of human nature indeed but of true supernatural that we must to develop through our lives..

-That’s another great question. Over the past 1-2 years I’ve finally reached the point in my life where I am comfortable saying, “I don’t know the answer to those big questions. I haven’t got a clue.” I don’t know and I’m absolutely fine with the fact that I don’t know. Could there be a trace of divinity that accounts for the good in each of us? That’s possible but you could also explain it by saying, “People do good because they get good back.” I get along better with my neighbors if I treat them with respect rather than if I steal from them. Maybe we do good because on some level we realize that acting appropriately will bring about a better world for all of us.

Q: What do you think about future of Lazarus Complex after reissue of “The Cleansing” by DMA? Don’t you feel yourself ready to record some new stuff or do you already have few songs which you may upload at your MySpace profile at least?

-The reissue of “The Cleansing” has inspired me. Like I said earlier, I’ve got a new song almost finished which will be the first recording I’ve done since I’ve was diagnosed with cancer. It sounds killer so far. I go in spurts as a writer. When I’m writing, songs just sort of come to me. I’m about ready to switch into “writers mode” again and write a bunch of new songs. With all the pain and suffering I experience just to stay alive, these songs could be the best I’ve ever done and that excites me.

Q: Oh, I’m glad to hear it! Jerry, you must record at least one more album! How does the new song sound? How long does your “writing mode” last?

-The new song has been running around in my head all day. For me, that’s the ultimate test. Is the song memorable? Does it get under my skin? If I listen to it and forget it, something’s missing.

I am going to record some more music. No doubt about that. It’s hard to say how long it will take. I’m hoping that I get a transplant and return to health. That would help a great deal. I never know how long “writing mode” will last. I have learned over the years that when the songs stop coming, I need to stop for a while. There’s no sense in trying to force it. The songs that don’t come easily are not very good anyway. There’s an old expression in songwriting. “You can’t polish a turd.” I’ve learned to let the songs find me. That’s how the best songs are written. So I play a lot of guitar and try to relax. I never think, “I’ve got to write song.” That wouldn’t work for me.

Q: Let’s hope for the good, man. I’m very grateful to you for this interview – thank you for your answers and patience. I wish you and your family all the best, hold on and don’t give up! We wait for new Lazarus Complex album – don’t forget it!

-I won’t ever give up. I know what it is like to receive a transplant and regain my health. I’ve been through that once already and it is truly amazing. On that day I’ll have a lot in common with Lazarus because it feels like being reborn. A doctor told me, “This is the closest thing we have to a miracle.”

Thank you for an interesting interview. I hope the readers won’t mind us getting all philosophical. I really appreciate the opportunity to spread the word about Lazarus Complex. Ed’s interest in my music means so much to me. He’s given me a chance to get it out there to the doom community. I promise…more music coming! Doom on!
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

Lazarus Complex @ Myspace
Buy The CD From The Doommantia Webstore

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Posted June 5, 2011 by doommantia in Lazarus Complex

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