Published Sep 18, 2018"I wouldn't say it! You'll curse yourself if you say it forward, man," warns Deicide vocalist-bassist Glen Benton about the backmasked part in "Compliments of Christ" from new album Overtures of Blasphemy. "That song is about certain individuals and I placed a curse on it."
We're not going to include the malicious magic words here for fear of the curse carrying over. He made the comment with a chuckle, though, something seemingly at odds with the Antichrist-esque picture painted of him over the years. Though some of that is indisputable — the permanently indented inverted cross he branded into his forehead years back is there for all to see — it's a façade that has faded over time as he's grown (he's now 51) and clarified the rumours as just that.
Take, for example, the legendary story that posits he stormed into the Roadrunner Records office and barked, "Sign us, you fucking asshole," at A&R guy Monte Conner, who told the story in Albert Mudrian's Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore. Benton calls it "more record company bullshit" and tells the story as he recalls it.
"I went to New York City, took my first wife over there for the weekend, got there I think early Friday or whatever, and I was passing by the Roadrunner office, so I rang the bell, went upstairs and gave Monte a copy of the album. I didn't slam anything on anybody's desk and say, 'Sign us,' or anything; that didn't happen. It wasn't like that. It's somewhat true, but the whole 'Better sign us, asshole' bullshit, that's all a bunch of fucking crap."
When asked if he'd ever mailed bloody scabs picked from his forehead to a record executive who had pissed him off — another rumour heard ages back that's not been substantiated — the musician responded matter-of-factly: "I would eat the scabs; I wouldn't mail them."
The fact that one would consider such antics plausible speaks the black shroud of mystery surrounding Benton. Despite some grey area of half-truths, he's not interested in recalling various tales, like whether he actually killed a squirrel in an interview (he did) or planned to kill himself at age 33 (he didn't). The "Caco-Daemon" says those days are behind him.
"It's like you can't keep walking in the same footsteps. I'm an originator, not an imitator, and if I keep doing things that I've already done, that's just redundant and I'm always looking forward, never behind me. You look at the new record, man. You've got to keep your ideas always flowing forward."
Fortunately, those ideas can keep flowing forward, even in a live setting. Scheduling conflicts shouldn't prevent touring, despite the fact that newest guitarist Mark English's other band Monstrosity also just dropped an album. That band's drummer, Lee Harrison, is keeping busy playing guitar for Terrorizer, who will also be dropping a new album this fall, so Benton says they might take them out on tour.
"We're all just a big ol' happy family down here in Florida, so we'll bring a nice fucking show to everybody."
Well, the happy thing isn't always applicable. Despite saying he's merely an entertainer, the darkness in the lyrics is far from phoned in.
"I've seen every fucked up thing a person could possibly fucking see," says Benton. "I've been through just about every fucking form of heartbreak a person could fucking feel. I've been through just about every emotional fucking thing that a person can go through and I can honestly say the older you get, the more spiteful and bitter you become. I'm not mellowing in what I do. The older I get, the more I want to just shove it up everybody's ass."
In the meantime, just obey Mr. Benton.
"Listen to the Deicide record and enjoy it. Don't think your mom's going to think bad about you because you gave it a ten out of fucking ten, or you gave it five stars. You're not going to go hell if you like the Deicide album."
Pretty sound advice for a dude with an upside-down cross branded into his forehead.
Overtures of Blasphemy is out now on Century Media.