As I am pretty sure you can already see from the image above, this guy is one hell of a bad ass. His name is Fate Fatal and he is the lead singer of Los Angeles based band ”The Deep Eynde”. But don’t let the rotting flesh and spiked clothing fool you, this guy is incredibly deep and beautiful. I had the pleasure of interviewing him this week and what I found was that he is a much more complex person than I could have ever imagined with millions of wonderful qualities to mention. He is now retiring from the band in hopes of starting some new musical endeavors that will more than likely be just as fantastic as his run with The Deep Eynde has been over the years. So, without further ado, here is our exclusive interview with the one and only Fate Fatal. Unedited, uncut and completely amazing.
Samantha Lee Donaldson: When did you guys get together as a band and why? Were you all friends before Deep Eynde?
Fate Fatal: The band started with two close friends of mine I knew from a Gothic club called Helter Skelter around 1991. The club was one of a kind; it was half dance club and live venue. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Shadow Project and many others played there so being around live music was a big inspiration. At that time in Los Angeles we were taking loads of LSD among other drugs, which was probably the most we had in common. I think it’s really incredible we actually got things done!
SLD: Did any of you play music before Deep Eynde? If so, what?
FF: We all had some projects going on, all of which were deeply gothic sounding. There was a first project that I had, Kittens For Christian, who eventually signed to a record label owned by the singer of System of a Down. But the band I have never talked about before was one called Nineteen Nun Massacre. The band was short lived as the keyboardist, Daniel Hazelton, and I had a falling out. He had this tendency to annoy me by showing up to Deep Eynde gigs with his entourage and gawking. One night he showed up to a show we played at the Whiskey and I was so pissed, I jumped onto the roof of the car and completely destroyed the roof. In the end, he struggled with alcoholism and eventually drank himself to the grave, so I guess that whole aspect of talking about that first band never really sat well with me.
SLD: Did the band ever have creative differences?
FF: We argued because we cared, but maybe the biggest issue I had was being contrived. I think if anything got in the way of the band, it was pride. Some guys thought they were rock stars and wouldn’t do anything other than playing music. I really honestly tried to the best of my abilities for it to not go to my head. I would carry the amps in, sell merch, clean the stage, drive the car…that is what having a band is.
The bullshit the media wants people to believe in every rockumentary is that having a band is all drugs and no work. It’s quite disturbing that the media would rather focus on an artist’s “fuck ups” rather than what they have to creatively deliver.
SLD: Who are your main inspirations?
FF:The biggest inspirations for me are those who don’t give up. I was in the closet for a long time when it came to telling people I liked Johnny Cash, but he is one of the biggest inspirations for me, not only for his music, but for his ability to persevere through hard times. What inspires me are heroes of all sorts, not only musicians. People who are inspired by only the “art” and not the artist are really missing out on the true value of what a hero’s journey is.
In some strange way suicide has been a big influence. I have always struggled with suicidal thoughts, maybe that’s why I was looking for answers in music. In no means am I insinuating I want to take the role of the victim, I can only speak for myself through the situations that have happened. Those that have been that close to their own death can understand that they are given a choice. I treasure the choice I have made, and it is my biggest hope not to lose that vision. There is nothing wrong with singing about death, because it helped me understand the fantastic complexity of my own mortality.
SLD:What were the best and worst venues you have played in your opinion and why?
FF:The best venues I would have to say are house parties. I think that is where the new sounds will always come from. The worst venues are The Whiskey, The Roxy and any other venue that makes bands pay to play.
SLD:Who motivated you to play music and how?
FF:I think I was motivated most by people who thought I could not do it. This might sound strange, but I have such a vengeful Scorpio personality. But it was not all about revenge, I do believe that music is sound of the universe. It could be punk, classical, jazz, whatever. It is this human expression, this human cry I think we all can identify with as humans.
SLD:Did you immediately gain popularity as a band , or did it take time?
FF:No one knew who I was, only maybe by that “guy in plastic wrap”, or “the guy wearing live worms”. I was probably known by the things I had done rather than the music I was playing. It was completely backward. Our music was really not that great at the beginning, but through time we got better and I have to say it was a big relief that we were getting signed for the music we were playing rather than what “act” I was doing on stage.
SLD:What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened at one of your shows?
FF:So many stories, I just have to pick off the top of my head. At one show in Downtown Los Angeles, the promoters filled four adjoining rooms with four feet of water and made a boat ride. It was fantastic. I remember playing that show in the loft, only thinking that I really want to ride that boat. Finally, after the show we got in the boat and someone released the water. It was a mess you can only appreciate when you’re young.
SLD:How long have you been playing together as a band now?
FF:With this line up, it will be roughly 20 years. There are many songs we have not recorded. I’m not sure if that will be done for the last album, but I’m attempting to choose the songs that identify not with what the band is now, but what the band has always been: diverse and unpredictable.
SLD: What is your favorite song to play?
FF: Playing live, I would have to say “Nuthing to Do”. Yes, it’s a sloppy rock song, but it’s my chance to be like Iggy Pop and get fucking nuts.
SLD:Tell me about the video for “Love In Shadows”, what was your
inspiration for that super cool video?
FF: When we toured in the states, some of the most colorful images that stood out were taken in the Southern states. One time, just outside of New Orleans we had a chance to tour the swamps and it was one of the most magical experiences. The song and the video play with the idea of lost souls who could never be together and the fantastic world created within the swamps. I felt the veil between our world and this magical one was thin enough that I could feel it.
SLD:Why do you wear makeup on stage? Is it just part of the act or do
you actually prefer to sing with the dark, gothic, “undead” look?
FF: Might be that I did not want my face to influence the music I was creating, might be the expression could be whatever I wanted. Becoming a different person has always been one of the biggest aspects of my persona. I suppose if I had a true “fetish”, it would be to shape shift and makeup is maybe a cheap way of giving that effect.
SLD: What would you consider yourself musically? A lot of people say you are gothic rock or horror punk, do you agree?
FF: An old friend told me recently that he never thought I was Gothic, that he knew me as always being an artist. As much as I do hold Gothic music and style close, that was the biggest complement I have received in a long time. I don’t think there is a day where any of us humans don’t think about death. We all come in different colors, and yet we all have our mortality in common. We all have the ability to ponder our mortality; it might come in different forms or different arts, but truly people are really missing out if they don’t search for this ideology in things they would otherwise not pay attention to.
SLD:What new projects have you been working on?
FF:There is a side project we are currently working on called “Deathstrip” here in Los Angeles. I think the idea behind the band is to release the reigns and let it take us in whatever direction comes naturally. Many bands can tell you that when they first start, they want to sound like this or that. But over the years doing music, we discovered we want the music to direct us. Some of these new works like the song “Bleed With Me” have become their own entities. We make sure to follow the direction the songs naturally move toward and let them direct us as opposed to trying to fit them in a specific genre.
SLD: Tell me a bit about this final CD, what can we expect to see on
it? When will it be finished?
FF: The thousand dollar question. Most of what I want to accomplish is sort of insane. I wanted to have this last album to tell a story. After we recorded five songs, I wanted to take a step back and start over. I needed a story to go behind it. So, the plan is that there will be a small novel released first, and this novel will be a young adult story which the last Deep Eynde album will be going with. Strange, yes, but I wanted this last album to be fantastic, not only one sided, because that is not who I am. I have always been a strange boy looking for a strange land, always on the search for some adventure. The young adult story is kind of the story of my life put into a different format. I got to the point of where I was wondering if this was the right thing to do, but that thought process is not what got me here to begin with. I never succeeded in music by asking “if this is good”, I always just did it. So, the book is written for young adults, while the album will be its soundtrack.
SLD: Why are you guys separating as a band?
FF: Putting it bluntly, I suppose I felt I had nothing more to say. Maybe the aspect of having Deep Eynde was to cure this unfinished part of myself. As everyone does, I had issues growing up that I wanted answers to. I don’t think my story is any more important than anyone else’s, but I can say I felt controlled by my past. I was molested twice, I saw my mother die and I felt violated. I felt I needed to figure out why people hold onto this life when it continuously throws shit back in their faces.
SLD: Do you think you will miss The Deep Eynde?
FF: Incredibly. I have these flashes in my head of these fantastic times we had. I did think on and off if I was doing the right thing. Somewhere deep inside there was a voice that said yes. The importance of ending this project might have signaled to me that I conquered my demons. Art is an amazing avenue to sponge out those toxins. Most might only get that from religion, but for me it will never be that way. I have given my troubled past something to be buffered by, a foundation for it to sit on away from me. This might be the house I built for my Demons, and for that I will miss The Deep Eynde, but it will always be on a hill in my soul for me to see it.
SLD:What do you want to achieve with your music before you die?
FF: My main objective is not to be contrived. As I mentioned before, there are times I felt I compromised my art because I listened to people around me too much. Duane Peters wanted me to be punk, Bomp Records wanted me to be Rock, German labels wanted me to be Gothic. I admit I struggled, but I learned to be true to myself and whatever the music was becoming. Is being Gothic more important than being a voice that truly needs to be heard? Because that voice isn’t Gothic all the time, it is multidimensional as we are multidimensional. It takes shits, it fucks and it transforms as we transform, but it can always be real if I truly want it to be. I have that final control, I just have always struggled with the confidence. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of my music, I would have told you it all sucked and I’m a “sucky” musician. I realized to not torture myself so much with the past but wear that scar and continue forward.
SLD: If you could say one thing to up and coming artists and bands,
what would it be?
FF: I don’t want this to sound like a religious bullshit sermon, but truth is transcendent. If your art is important to you, be true to it and people will be attracted to it no matter who they are, or where they come from.
SLD: If you could say one thing to all of your fans out there, what would it be?
FF: I would really like to thank everyone who supported the band over the years: photographers, promoters, and above all, those who came to our shows.
So as you can see, a singer can be so much more than just a good voice holding a microphone. From humor and wisdom, to pain and regret, they are just human like all of us. Though Fate Fatal may pretend to be the ” living dead” on stage, I know that he is more alive than most of us and has a bigger heart than the ones his persona might sing about eating on stage any day.
Here is a video for The Deep Eynde’s song, “Devil Child”. Check it out!
Also,make sure to check out his new band’s Facebook today to find out about upcoming shows, videos and albums!
Here is one final video of Fate’s new band Death Strip. For all of you “The Holy Mountain” fans, I can say you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!