Bastardizer is just a wicked black/thrash band and here is an interview with guitar player Bill Morgan I did.
Where did you grow up and what sort of kid were you?
I grew up, like the rest of the band members, in Sydney, Australia. I like to think I was a fairly normal kid, just with an increased interest in rock n roll compared to other kids.
What sort of bands were you a fan of in your teenage years?
I was a fan of AC/DC, Faith No More, Slayer and stuff like that when I was young.
At what time led to you picking up and deciding to play guitar? Was the bass or drums ever considered?
I first started fiddling around with the guitar at around 16 or 17. It wasn’t long before I got serious about it. I didn’t really consider taking up another instrument at the time.
In 2013, Bastardizer put out your first release a demo, which you also play bass on. Why was that and how was it going into the studio for the first time to record as a band?
When we recorded the demo, we had no bass player! This was shortly after forming the band. We recorded the songs live (as a three piece) in the rehearsal studio, then I just played the bass over it in one take afterwards. That time was really easy as we just hit record and played. Nowhere near as stressful as recording an album.
Did you send the demo out to anyone to get some feedback? Were you playing live much back then? How serious was the band at this time?
We recorded the rehearsal demo before we started playing live. We didn't even have a full band to play live at that point. However, we played our first gigs soon after when we got a mate to join on bass for the first live lineup. The demo sold out really quick and it spread far and wide. We got an offer to record our debut LP shortly after the demo came out and the rest was history. We have been serious since the band's inception.
In 2014 your debut release comes out called “Enforcers of Evil” on Vomit Hell Productions. How did you hook up with them? Did they give you any kind of budget to record with? Any idea of sales figures? How did things go in the studio with this release, being it is a full length?
It was Heavy Forces Records who reached out to us about recording a full length LP (on vinyl). We liked the label and they had released plenty of cool albums so it was a no-brainer to say yes. At that point, we reached out to New Zealand label Hells Vomit who were keen to release it on CD. We were under a pretty tight timeline to both write the songs, and then record them. We did everything in the studio in under 4 days. And then Joel Grind and Brad Boatwright looked after mixing and mastering over in the USA. Not sure how the sales figures are from the labels' point of view but we sold out very quickly. It was a fun and exciting time recording a full-length for the first time. I'd not done something like that before.
How does a song musically and lyric wise come together? Music wise is it a band effort or only certain members? Same with the lyrics and what are some things the band writes about?
We write the music before the lyrics. I generally write all the music on my own. Occasionally someone else might have an idea then we nut it all out in the rehearsal room. We will think of a lyrical idea and or song title and then the vocalist will work on lyrics on his own usually. Sometimes he and I will work on lyrics together. That's generally how it's done.
What themes or subjects to you guys write about?
We touch on a variety of themes and topics. Hellish themes are predominant in our music, but a lot of this is a reflection of life on Earth. We talk about fucked-up stuff in society and some sick historical figures. But we've also written a tribute to Lemmy. Our scope is wider than one may initially inspect, but Hell and Damnation make up a proportion of our lyrics.
Good enough for me. In 2015 you did a split with Whipstriker on Hell Vomit Productions. You did 3 tunes, including a Bathory cover. Why did you pick Bathory and the particular song by him?
It was a song we had wanted to cover live for a certain gig around that time. We originally were only supposed to record two tracks for the split, but at the last minute got word that Whipstriker were doing three so we scratched our heads and said let's record 'Sacrifice' as well! It turned out pretty good and we still play it live on occasion. Of course we hail Bathory, as his music is a big influence on our style, so we just wanted to pay homage to the legend.
I am on board with ya there. In 2016, you did a one song split a “Skyhooks” cover tune. Who are “Skyhooks” and how did you end up working with Slime Pit Records?
Skyhooks are a legendary Australian band who were most famous in the 70s. They have been covered by no less than Iron Maiden themselves with their take on ‘Women In Uniform’ back when Dianno was on vocals. Anyway for this release we and New Zealand band Bulletbelt decided to do a 7”. They would cover a New Zealand band, and we would cover an Australian. It wasn’t easy to pick an artist we’d want to cover but Skyhooks were a pretty badarse band back in the day and I felt we could really make the song ‘black thrash’ and I’m pretty happy with the result! The album cover is great too. Our mate from Sydney runs Slime Pit so that was an easy choice.
In 2018 came your latest release, Dawn of Domination. How did the recording for this go? What has been the response to it so far? Looking back, what are your thoughts on it these days?
The process of recording the album to releasing it was all a bit frustrating, and it felt a bit cursed to be honest. The initial recording started off ok, but then it turned out the guitars I had already recorded couldn't be used, so we had to do them again, and had to really rush. The vocals needed to be re-recorded later as well as they didn't come out as hoped. It was a long process even though we were only in the studio for a few days to record it. Thankfully, when we got it mixed and mastered by Joel Grind in USA it came back sounding great so we were quite relieved. But then came the process of finding a label to release it which was long and arduous. Thankfully Evil Spell came on board and we could finally give it to the masses in September 2018. If I look back at the process, it frustrates the hell out of me, as it was nowhere near as simple as our first album. But listening to it I'm happy with how it turned out, plus the artwork (from James Campbell) is fantastic and it looks amazing as an LP.
How did come up with the band name?
I was gazing at my record collection one night hovering over the Motorhead albums I own and it hit me. Put 'Bastards' and 'Motorizer' together and what do you get, the perfect band name for what we do!
Do you think your an original band and what would you say the band sounds like?
Of course, we are an original band! I don't think anyone sounds like us specifically although we have a lot of influences. The closest band I think we sound like is probably Gospel of the Horns, whom I love, but not all of our songs do. We're a mix of extreme metal, thrash, and good ol' rock n roll.
If you had to do 3 cover tunes you haven’t done yet, what would they be and why?
We've covered many songs live over the years. We like to give hails to some of our favorite bands and try and give something the punters enjoy. We've covered Manowar, Darkthrone, Destroyer 666, Bathory, Ozzy Osbourne, W.A.S.P., and even bloody “Cherry Pie” (warrant-chris) for a laugh. I'm sure we'll do something else in the future depending on the gig (or who the next famous rocker is to die). I'd like to do some Judas Priest or King Diamond just for something different and put our spin on things.
So far how has it been working with Evil Spell Records and were any other labels interested?
Other labels were interested but their offers weren't that impressive. Evil Spell specialize in black/thrash so they're perfect for the release of 'Dawn of Domination'. It's run by a dedicated champion and I have nothing but respect for the label.
Good to heat. Now what of your material is sold out and what is still available? Will the stuff that is sold out ever be re-released?
I'm sure you can track down our stuff online somehow. From our shop we are sold out of the first album and the splits, and the cassette release of 'Dawn of Domination'. We just received the vinyl so we're hoping to ship a few units of that. We still have CDs. I think it would be a wise idea to re-release some of the sold out stuff, so we'll wait and see about that. No plans as of yet.
Do you feel there is too many generic bands out there playing the same old tired overdone black metal or death and thrash metal with no memorable tunes that is makes bands such as yours for example have a tougher time getting noticed?
I'd agree somewhat. There are a lot of bands in the world. We're still underground. A lot of people, whom I know will love us, simply don't know about us. I went to a European festival last year and it frustrated the hell out of me seeing so many bloody average bands up there doing their thing and we simply aren't in a position to do that yet. Hopefully that will change. The music should speak for itself and hopefully we'll be able to stand out from the others the more people discover us, through listening to us online (or on record) or at a gig.
Trust me I get so much crap to review, but I have no problem trashing it as it should be. Bands, more the death metal and thrash bands need to realize they need to write memorable riffs and songs. Riffs that stick in your head. Speed and intensity as well. You guys certainly fit that bill.
That's nice to hear that. That's certainly our intention, to write cool riffs and match that with soaring vocals and non-stop drumming. I think we're getting better as songwriters too. So how 'Dawn of Domination' was a marked improvement on 'Evil Enfocers', the next release should be even more memorable. We've been working on new songs as well.
Keep up the great work and showing there is still great bands in the underground. Please plug any websites the band has and where you can get your stuff.
Thank you! Sure, we keen our Facebook page pretty up to date: https://www.facebook.com/bastardizer666
Our bandcamp page is where you can listen to our music and buy our merch: https://bastardizer.bandcamp.com/
We're also streamable on spotify, iTunes, and every streaming platform basically.
How serious are you guys as a band? I know it’s not a full time job, but do you get together at least several times a week?
We rehearse every week and play live often. We take it seriously. It's not just a hobby, it is a job. However, we need to work 'day jobs' as well to get through life.
Yeah underground metal doesn’t pay the bills unfortunately. Horns up for doing this interview and any last words to wrap this up?
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, and thanks for checking out Bastardizer! Our fans rule so thanks to all of them, and we're keen to get back on the road and play some shows overseas ASAP!
Interview by Chris Forbes