Hi Kelly! How's it goin' on and what are the news on the Pessimist side?
Hails Orthodox! The latest news with PESSIMIST is that we've just returned from
playing New England Deathfest in Providence, R.I. with the re-united original
lineup, and we've just released a new CD, "Evolution Unto Evil" on Pathos
And Congratulations for re-united and new stuff of you. From begining to Year
'02 you lived some line-up changes but in the '03 you left the band and
Pessimist lived a break time for 2 years. Why did you break to Pessimist? And
What do you say about your backin' again and your break? you had a different
project with the former Diabolic members but it has finished and you back again
for Pessimist aren't you?
In 2002, PESSIMIST had released our 3rd CD, "Slaughtering the Faithful", and had
played several shows and fests in support of the album, including NJ "Metal
Meltdown", New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, and played a few gigs with
MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DARK FUNERAL, and INCANTATION - and the band was
taking a break from playing shows to write for the next PESSIMIST CD. In reality,
we had been through some lineup changes, and after 3 CDs and all we had done, it
was time for a break. At the same time, I was going through some events in my
personal life and by 2003, I had moved to Tampa, FL and along with other former
DIABOLIC members we formed a new band, UNHOLY GHOST!! So I decided to put
PESSIMIST on hold for a while. UNHOLY GHOST was taking off really fast - we
recorded a 3-song demo, and immediately signed to Century Media/Olympic Recs.,
who released our debut CD "Torrential Reign"! We got a ton of positive reviews,
radio airplay and dozens of interviews in magazines worldwide - we even self-produced
a video for a song that I co-wrote, "Under Existence", which was released on DVD
through Century Media (Germany)! We played several hi-profile fests, including
Snakenet Metalfest, Las Vegas Metalfest, Sun'n'Steel Metalfest in Tampa, and "Gathering
of the Bestial Legions" in L.A.! Things were going great with this band, but I
eventually parted ways from UNHOLY GHOST in 2005, originally to continue on with
writing for the new PESSIMIST release - but instead found an opportunity to join
DIABOLIC, which was re-forming at the time with original members Paul Ouellette
and drummer Aantar Coates (who had also played in UNHOLY GHOST)! Since 2006, I
have been playing full-time in DIABOLIC (except for a short break in 2007), so
for the last couple of years DIABOLIC has been my main focus and priority. We've
played several fests, including "Gathering of the Bestial Legions" in L.A. (with
POSSESSED!) and just opened for SIX FEET UNDER on Halloween! I played lead
guitar on the 2007 DIABOLIC EP, "Possessed by Death", which was just co-released
as a split CD with 2008's "Chaos in Hell" EP on Deathgasm Recs. We are currently
writing for the new DIABOLIC full-length CD, which should be out sometime next
year!! I have also been playing in other bands - filling in on live guitar
('06/'07) with FL Black/Death Metal band EQUINOX, as well as live touring
guitarist for ANGELCORPSE on their "Lightning Death Descends" West Coast Tour in
July 2008!! I also spent some time earlier this year learning songs and got the
chance to audition for MORBID ANGEL!! So, I have been keeping very busy with
other projects! It was not until earlier this year, after getting back in touch
with original PESSIMIST vocalist Rob Kline, that we discussed doing an actual
reunion of the original PESSIMIST lineup!!
And talk about your history. You're the 15 year-old band of course but you
have 3 Full-length and one more demo And your last stuff about your unreleased
songs. What was the reasons about the long career and a few album and demo? I
think you must to use your talent and endless inspiration to make one more album
Well, PESSIMIST was active from 1993 (when we first formed) to about 2003. So
altogether, the band was only active for about 10 years, until now. We had a
couple of demos, including "Dark Reality" in 1993 and then our 1995 demo/EP, "Absence
of Light" - which really got us noticed before signing to Lost Disciple Records
in 1997. In addition to releasing the 3 full-length CDs, we also recorded a
previously unreleased track for "Visionaries of the Macabre" Comp CD on Lost
Disciple Recs, and recorded for CD Tributes to legends KREATOR (Full Moon
Productions), DEATH and MEGADETH (Dwell Recs), and also POSSESSED!! There were
also songs/intros that we had recorded for "Cult of the Inititated", and were
never released on CD. So, this was a main reason for wanting to release "Evolution
Unto Evil" - to give the fans a chance to hear some of the other recordings we
had done - the cover songs, plus rare/demo material and unreleased songs which
had never made it to CD until now! Also, the title "Evolution Unto Evil"
represents some sort of history of the band, which is why the CD has some demo
stuff from the early days on there as well!
And back to your first time. How did you set the Pessimist? How was the first
In the very earliest days, PESSIMIST was always a live band!! We started off
playing lots of shows locally at first, then out of state. When the band first
formed back in 1993 we actually used to play some cover songs - from OBITUARY "Killing
Time", SEPULTURA "Desperate Cries", FEAR FACTORY "Scapegoat", etc.!! Eventually
we started getting gigs opening for more and more national bands, and it grew
from there. We used to hand-make our first PESSIMIST T-shirts, and copy all our
demo tapes by hand. Back then, it was the underground - and so we did a lot of
mail - writing to bands and zines all over the world and trading tapes, flyers,
etc. It was after we recorded our 1995 EP/Demo "Absence of Light" that we really
started getting some reviews in magazines like Metal Maniacs and Wild Rag, and
opening for bigger bands, that we started to get some label interest.
And you're of courselly a different band in unholy death metal because of
your brutality. Because we always see the brutal death metal band in the gore,
death, surgery or torture. But you choose to use unholy lyrics in your songs.
What're the causes of this? What's the basic components of your music?
Well, we all grew up listening to evil bands like SLAYER, POSSESSED, etc.!! And
of course there are also other Death Metal bands with evil lyrics, such as
MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, and IMMOLATION, and so we were heavily influenced by
those bands early on as well. Also the lyrics - our vocalist Rob Kline is
actually a Doctor in Forensic Psychology, and so he is able to draw on his
experiences and studies for dark matters and song subjects. And then our drummer,
Chris Pernia, who has more of a technical Death Metal and jazz-influenced
playing style, makes our music even more unique. The end result is brutal and
technical Death Metal, with evil songs and lyrics!
In your first shows you were the opening band of Incantation, Deicide,
Suffocation etc. Were you influenced from these bands in your music?
Of course! Getting the opportunity to play shows with these bands in the early
days was a huge deal for us - especially since the style of our music and that
we are huge fans of that early 90's Death Metal!! Those bands are some of the
true pioneers of Death Metal, so it was a great honor to share the stage with
these bands, and I'm sure that you can hear some of their influences in our
And When I every listen to your album I heard so much different good riffs
solos or different guitar technics. And I compare you to Immolation. 'cause of
your variable and high speed riff technics, solos or drums. do you so any
similarities between of you and Immolation?
Thanks, that's a huge compliment! Of course IMMOLATION are an incredible band
and one of my favorites because of their guitar techniques and songwriting style!
But no, I really don't see any musical similarities, at least not on our first
two CDs… I guess maybe our 3rd CD "Slaughtering the Faithful" has some
similarities because of the blasting drums and the fast, technical and chaotic
sound of the riffs…
From your first to last full-length albums, I heard always differences and
when I every listenin' to your album I always say "YES This is the sickness" How
did you find this musicality? Is this the advantage or disadvantage for a band
when you produced new stuffs'?
PESSIMIST is a band that never wanted to put out the same album twice -
hopefully you notice some similarities and a natural progression of the musical
style with each release. I think it's just by staying true to our roots in Black/Death/Thrash
Metal and to our musical influences that this is attained.
Your '97 '99 full-lengths have recorded by your first line-up and we feel
lots of black influences next on brutal death metal, in vocals or samples. But
you had a line-up changes in 2000. And in the year '02 your 3rd full-length
released which named "Slaughtering the Faithful" with new members and you. And
in this album I heard more brutalities and death metal elements without black
influences. What do you want to say about this? What's the causes of changin' ?
Is it about line-up changin', want to make different things or other etc.?
Yes, well it was a combination of several factors - most importantly, I wanted
to take the band in a faster, more brutal and extreme direction than on previous
albums - but also having different members in the band, and their contributions
toward the songwriting process. We had a new drummer who was really into playing
faster, and more blast beats throughout the songs - plus vocally, we weren't
really doing as much of the high, raspy black metal-type vocals on "Slaughtering"…
I think that's probably the main difference you will hear. Guitar-wise, "Slaughtering"
was our most advanced - I had spent a lot of time crafting the riffs and
arrangements, and in my opinion some of the coolest and sickest guitar riffs I
had ever written… unfortunately, most of the details of the riffs were kind of
lost in the mix so to speak, when it came to recording the album.
And Erik Rutan was the producer of this album. And engineered by Erik Rutan,
Derek Roddy and you. Was your music in this album influenced by these 2 big
Well it did not affect the songwriting or the music itself, but it definitely
affected the recording and production. We had flown the whole band down to Tampa,
FL to record in Erik's studio, which was a pretty big deal for us. Since Erik
was playing in MORBID ANGEL at the time, and they were on tour with PANTERA and
then with SLAYER, so we recorded all the drums, vocals and scratch tracks with
Derek Roddy [drummer for HATE ETERNAL]. Later, when Erik got back from tour, I
flew back down to FL two more times and recorded all the rhythm guitars with
Erik, and I engineered all my own lead guitars in the studio - meaning that I
would have to set up the tracks to record, play my solos, then stop/edit or
punch in wherever I could, then forward the tape to the next song section and
set up the tracks and do it all over again. After recording rhythm tracks all
day, Erik would go home for the evening and literally lock me in his studio
overnight!! It was a lot of work that I had to do myself, rather than just
playing the solos and having an engineer recording the tracks. So in that regard,
it was definitely challenging, and a learning experience. Also, Erik insisted
that I play his Yamaha guitar (that he played during "Gateways" Tour) through
his Marshall amps to record - it seemed like a good idea but it was kind of
strange playing a guitar that I had never played before, and it didn't have a
tremolo bar for my solos or anything. And the amps didn't really have my guitar
sound that I was used to recording with, like on the first two PESSIMIST CDs, so
that was different too. When it came to mixdown, that is entirely Erik's mix and
production. There were several things I would have done differently in the mix,
so that it would sound more like our first two CDs - and I tried to make
suggestions - but I think Erik had in his mind how he wanted the record to sound,
and what you hear is the end result.
How would you personally describe the musical differences between old and new
Pessimist? Are you still happy with the old releases? Or do you want to use new
Well of course I want our music to continue to evolve, and improve with each CD
- better production, etc. - and still retain that catchy songwriting style that
PESSIMIST is known for. I don't see any reason to try and change our musical
style or songwriting approach, and so the new music we are writing for the next
CD is of course similar to our previous CDs, but it will also have its own
identity. I am really excited to be working with the original lineup again! I
would describe our new material as a combination of our first 2 CDs, "Cult of
the Initiated" and "Blood For the Gods", plus some of the speed and technicality
of our 3rd CD as well.
In '05 you entered the re-united process with main first member of Pessimist
without Tony. And it was the first sight of apocalypse. You, Chris and Rob met
again and Kelly Conlon joined the band on bass guitar. How did this meeting
become? And Are you glad to meet your old friend again?
Well, I had stayed in touch with original PESSIMIST drummer Chris Pernia over
the years... we had gotten together briefly in 2005 (after I had parted ways
with UNHOLY GHOST) and jammed some of the old tunes, and we were working on some
new riffs, but nothing was really happening at that point. Chris had been in
touch with Rob, who had also moved to FL a few years ago. In fact, as it turns
out, we both live in FL now - and only a couple hours away from each other! So,
I had gotten in touch with Rob earlier this year, and soon we spoke by phone for
the first time in about 8 years!! We had a lot of catching up to do. Before long,
we arranged a meeting together. It was great to be friends again, as when Rob
parted ways with the band back in 2000 there were a lot of bitter feelings. It
could not be helped, since at the time his career was holding back the band from
touring so we had asked him to leave and believe me, it wasn't an easy decision
to make. But now, we were able to work past all of that, and so we started
talking about doing a reunion of the original PESSIMIST lineup! The only problem
was with our original bassist, Chris' brother Tony Pernia, who is no longer
involved in playing music at all. So we would need a replacement. Coincidentally,
I was in touch with my good friend Kelly Conlon, (who also plays in MONSTROSITY,
and played on DEATH's "Symbolic" CD) - and he had offered to help us out if we
ever needed a bassist! So, I called him up and told him what we were doing, and
he was immediately interested! Kelly's playing style is a perfect fit for the
band too, since our original bassist Tony already played a similar style! Soon
after making the announcement of the re-united PESSIMIST lineup, we got invited
to play New England Deathfest 2008!! So, it was with this lineup that we played
our first reunion gig together last August, in Providence RI at the NE Deathfest,
headlining the stage in Club HELL, and it was killer!! And we are currently
writing together towards the next release.
And I want to ask something about band. Who is the frontman in the band?
Of course our singer, Rob Kline, is the frontman for the band! And anyone who
has seen PESSIMIST live (with Rob in the band) will tell you that he is a killer
frontman! He really knows how to get the audience into the show. People in the
crowd seem to relate to Rob, which is perfect for a singer who is fronting a
live band. We really couldn't ask for a better frontman.
In your first albums. Lyrics have written by Rob and have composed by you. In
the last album You write the lyrics and compose them generally. How do you write
and compose the songs. And what kind of feelings you're in when you're writing
Well, to be clear, most of the lyrics on "Slaughtering the Faithful" were
written by Reaper, our bassist/vox at the time. But there were songs that I
wrote and also helped co-write. At the time I was writing for "Slaughtering" I
was going through a lot of anger and hatred in my personal life, and so I think
that comes through both musically and lyrically. Also on "Slaughtering", we
wrote some of the music around the drums, which was kind of a new and different
approach to songwriting for this band - on all of our other CDs we have usually
started off with some guitar riffs that I wrote, and I would work out the
arrangements with Chris on drums, until we have sort of a skeleton of the song
arrangement. Then usually I might have a song title, or Rob would have an idea
for the song, and we would just track the guitars and drums, and Rob usually
writes the lyrics around that. But there's really no strict guidelines about it
- I mean, if one of us has a song idea, or an intro or a riff that we can work
around and sort of start the song from there, we will try that… it really
depends on the song!
Which bands did influence Pessimist's or your music?
We are mostly influenced by early 90's Death Metal, and that is what we are all
fans of - bands like DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY,
SUFFOCATION… but also Thrash legends (of course!) such as SLAYER, POSSESSED,
KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, SODOM, etc. etc.! Our drummer Chris is heavily influenced
by more technical Death Metal bands like ATHEIST, DEATH, CYNIC, and stuff like
that. We also have some Black Metal influences - I think that adds a lot to the
way PESSIMIST's music sounds.
And I askin' to something about your new release. How did you decide to
gather your old unreleased stuffs in a comp.? And you released this Comp. with
your new label. Did the Comp. release for restartin' or you continue to your
career with your new label and it was the offer of the Label?
The idea for this CD was entirely my idea - I had been thinking about it for a
while, and noticed that PESSIMIST had quite a lot of recorded material that had
either never made it to CD for one reason or another, or was just rare and
unreleased material, plus the cover songs, paying tribute to our early
influences. And so I started gathering the material together - there are even
more songs that I had to cut from this release - some live tracks for example,
and rough 4-track demo stuff from "Blood For the Gods", more early demos such as
"Dark Reality II" (which has never been released) and even a live performance
on-the-air at WNYU "Hellhole" Radio show in NYC!! I wanted to put this realease
together for one reason mainly - for the fans, who had never heard these songs,
and for true PESSIMIST fans who wanted more for their collection! It started off
as a very small project, and I found an artist to work with, Mike Fortier of
Morbid Subculture - and we began working on ideas for the cover art and the
layout. Originally I was going to press this CD myself, and also as a co-release
with Grim Nocturnal Recs, run by my good friend Ivan of BLACK MASS. But as the
release started to come together, I had mentioned the idea to Pathos Productions,
(who was referred by our previous label Lost Disciple Recs), and then eventually
to Deathgasm Recs, who had just released the new DIABOLIC CD, and who could get
us even better promotion and distribution! Finally, now I am happy that this
project I had been working on for over a year has come together, and the
response from the fans has been great!!
And How're the Fans' reacts, rewiews, feedbacks about this comp. or about
The fans have been great! Everyone so far has been real supportive about our
return, and the fans are asking for more new PESSIMIST!! We've gotten some good
radio airplay on college radio here in the US and around the world, even placing
in the Top 10 on the CMJ Loud Rock charts in NY… in the press, we have gotten
mixed reviews on "Evolution Unto Evil" CD, and as I mentioned before, this
release is really just for true PESSIMIST fans! When we finished playing our set
at New England Deathfest in RI last August, the whole crowd started chanting "PESSIMIST!
PESSIMIST! PESSIMIST!" I have never seen anything like it before in the history
of this band!! So yeah, I'd say that the fans are into it, and they want more
You played in a lot of shows and fests with a lot of bands but which band you
played with was unforgettable in your career?
One of the coolest and most unforgettable shows PESSIMIST ever played was in
1996 in Maryland, at Wilmer's Park in Brandywine, MD (near Washington DC) - the
show was outside, an all-day Metalfest called "Noize-Fest" that I actually
booked and promoted!! The headliners were TESTAMENT, FORBIDDEN, SUFFOCATION,
CROWBAR, plus PESSIMIST, HORROR OF HORRORS and others. It was fucking awesome!!
Another show I promoted back in the day was the Extremities Tour - with VADER,
MONSTROSITY, BROKEN HOPE and PESSIMIST!! These were both great gigs that stood
out early in our career, and helped the band get noticed. Other highlights
include our European Tour of Czech Republic and Germany in 1999 with FLESHLESS
and GODLESS TRUTH, opening for MORBID ANGEL and IMMOLATION in NY, opening for
DEICIDE, DARK FUNERAL and CANNIBAL CORPSE at Jaxx in VA, playing "November to
Dismember" in TX and L.A… also Milwaukee Metalfest in 1998 when so many killer
bands played that year: DESTRUCTION, EMPEROR, SUFFOCATION, CRYPTOPSY…
And of coursely you played in the big festivals all across the world but one
of the fest which named Maryland Death Fest and We didn't see you in this very
important festival. By the way you're from Baltimore Maryland and I suppose
you're the only one band which played in your home fest not? Why didn't we see
Well, by the time MD Death Fest started just a few years ago, PESSIMIST was
already taking a break from playing shows - I had moved to FL in 2003 and was
playing full-time in UNHOLY GHOST!! Even if we would have been invited, the band
was not active and not playing shows at that time. However, Rob, Chris and Tony
also had a band called PSYCHOTOGEN, who did play MDF! PESSIMIST has already been
invited to play two other festivals in 2009 - so now that we are back playing
shows, maybe one day we will play MD Death Fest!
What do you think about Death Metal History? From first time to this time How
did the Death Metal changin' in history?
There have been a lot of changes in Death Metal history since the early days -
the bands, the music, so many important albums and so many changes in the way
the music industry works since then. Hell, when we first started there was
really no such thing as the internet… tape trading and distributing flyers in
the undergound was still the way to get into the scene and get the word out
about your band! At the time that PESSIMIST first formed, there were tons of
great albums coming out: CANNIBAL CORPSE "Tomb of the Mutilated", DEICIDE "Legion",
OBITUARY "The End Complete", the list goes on and on. In many ways, most
"modern" Death Metal bands have never really touched on the level of the early
And What's the rank of Pessimist between of other Death Metal bands?
I'm not sure how to answer that - I mean, PESSIMIST obviously has our own place
in Death Metal history, and in the underground!! We do have 4 full-length CDs
out as of now, but of course it has always been on independent record labels.
And we have played hundreds of shows, in the US (and in Europe in 1999), and
opened for lots of national bands - but never a huge headlining tour, a video on
MTV or anything like that. So I guess it depends on how you would "rank" a band…
I don't really try to compare us or measure our success by other bands. I know
that I get emails from fans and from kids who have now started their own bands,
who grew up listening to us, who say that PESSIMIST influenced their life or got
them started in Death Metal, and to me that is just fucking awesome!!!
And I askin' some personal questions about you;
What's your top 3 bands?
That's a really hard question, because I have so many favorite bands!! But if I
had to pick just 3, I would have to say SLAYER, DARK ANGEL, and DEVASTATION!!
What's your favorite album have you ever had?
I have lots of all-time favorites, here are a few: SUFFOCATION "Effigy of the
Forgotten", SLAYER "Reign in Blood", "Hell Awaits" and "South of Heaven", DARK
ANGEL "Time Does Not Heal", DEVASTATION "Idolatry", DESTRUCTION "Eternal
Devastation"… and KING DIAMOND "Conspiracy"!
You're of courselly a big guitarist but what's your number one guitarist all
over the World?
Thanks! I have many favorite guitarists but my absolute favorite is Andy LaRoque,
from KING DIAMOND!! Also Ralph Santolla (OBITUARY), James Murphy (DISINCARNATE),
Trey Azagthoth (MORBID ANGEL), Rocky George (SUICIDAL!), Terrence Hobbs (SUFFOCATION),
Robert Vigna (IMMOLATION), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), Eric and Brian Hoffman (DEICIDE),
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing (JUDAS PRIEST!), Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo (SPEED
KILLS!!), Randy Rhoads, The Great Kat, George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Steve Vai,
Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King (SLAYER!!!)
And my last question. What will we wait from Pessimist in near future? How'
the workings about new full-length? Have to we wait differences about music or
We have already started writing together for the new full-length CD! In fact
just last weekend Kelly Conlon and I began laying down some guitar and bass
tracks, at his home studio in AZ… tracking a few demos, just some riffs and drum
beats we have laying around. Kelly C. has some more riffs and arrangements we
are working on, and I have a couple songs worth of riffs also. Next I'll be
tracking some more guitars and sending the demos for Chris to check out, and
we'll start working on the arrangements, and send it to Rob to check out and
start work on some song ideas and lyrics. But there's no rush really, and it's
kind of a slow process since we are all scattered across the country now, and we
are all busy with our lives and other musical projects.
What do you think about new shows, tours, festivals? Have you any plan about
tours? The Dates are declarate about the tours, shows or fests?
PESSIMIST has already been invited to play two festivals next year in 2009: one
in Philadlephia, and an open-air fest in Germany!! There is no additional info
as of now, but stay tuned to our web site for updates!
And my last questions you have really good and one more fans in Turkiye. And do
you know anything about Turkish metal scene and Metal bands from Turkiye?
I don't really know anything about the metal scene in Turkey - but I'd be glad
to check out some bands if you can recommend any! I'm sure that it helps to have
a cool webzine like Extreminal as part of the Turkish metal scene!
Finally! Kelly what would you like to say your fans who read this intie and
your Turkish fans of course?
Thanks to all our fans for your support over the years! Check out our latest CD
"Evolution Unto Evil" OUT NOW on Pathos Prod/Deathgasm Recs! Stay in touch, and
we hope to see you on tour!! And be sure to check our web sites:
www.pessimist.com and on
www.myspace.com/pessimist KEEP MUSIC EVIL!!!!!
(For more info about my other projects check out
Ok I want to say thank you and I glad to make this intie with you. I hope to see
you somewhere on stage. Maybe in Turkiye or other countries.
Good luck always be with you
Stay Dark and Brutal