Bryan Natusch used to be the drummer of cult NJ death metal band Torture Krypt back in the 90's and I thought it would make for a fun chat so I sent him off some questions and here is what he said to them.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Jersey City, NJ and grew up in Sayreville NJ until I was about 15 and then moved to Atlantic Highlands NJ.
What sort of kid were you growing up?
I was adventurous and used to go venturing in the woods around Sayreville. I was also in the paper once when i was about 11 for getting stuck in the clay pits that were in Sayreville. I friend and I were playing around the waters there and I started sinking. Luckily my friend got help and they pulled me out.
Did you spend many summers down at the Jersey shore when you were growing up?
Yes, many summer were spent at Sandy Hook beach or fishing out in the bay. I have a lot of fond memories of those times.
When did you start to get into listening to music? What were some of the early bands or musical styles you heard?
When I was real young, I actually listened to rap on my clock radio, and then bands like Kiss and Motley Crue. I was really big on Iron Maiden during my High School years and then I discovered the "At Deaths Door" comp with bands like Deicide, Obituary, Morgorth and Pestilence and I was hooked.
What made you decide to take up playing drums and not say guitar or even bass?
My Dad was a drummer, so I was kind of inspired to play the drums from him.
Were you self-taught or did you have someone teach you? Who are some of your favorite drummers?
I took lessons from Joe Nevolo and Bob Butterfield who are amazing drummers and teachers. I recently took lessons from Adolfo Torres who is just an all-around amazing drummer and musician. He has opened a whole new perspective of drumming to me. Alot of the local guys were big influences like Brandon Thomas from Ripping Corpse/Dim Mak, Dave Witte from Human Remains, Bill from Internal Bleeding, Erik from Nokturnel, Anthony Ipri from Mortal Decay, Jason Corr from Damonacy and Will from Revenant who just recently passed. RIP Will.
Did you end up discovering underground metal? What were some of the 1st bands that you heard? Did you get into it right away?
From the comp I mentioned earlier and going to see Ripping Corpse at faces in Keansburg really made me an instant fan. I met Mike Klose from Damonacy pushing carts at the Middletown Pathmark and he brought me to one of the practices.
Back in the 80's you had lots of great clubs and places to pick up underground metal. Did you ever get a chance to visit Rock n Roll Heaven or Vintage Vinyl back in the day?
I did visit Vintage Vinyl because it was not too far from me. I loved how it had so much underground music.
How about clubs. Did you see many shows back in the day at such clubs as Lamour's, City Gardens, Club Pizazz, Club Bene, The Fast Lane, or any of the other clubs up in Northern Jersey at the time?
Yes, I saw Deicide during the Legion tour at Lamour's. My girlfriend at the time was huge into them and had red paint on her face to be like the photo when they had blood on their faces and some girl asked her in the bathroom "OH my God are you ok!?" lol I did catch a few shows at Club Bene, I think Dim Mak played a show there. The Fast Lane I played there myself with Cannibal Corpse
How did you come to join Torture Krypt who were based in Brick, NJ if I'm not mistaken? I'm sure you were familiar with the band, how long did it take you to say "yes" ha ha?
A friend of mine knew them and they were looking for a drummer because the original drummer Paul Wyman was in and out of Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital. So, I tried out and then started playing with them.
Were you in any other bands prior to joining them and how long had you been playing drums prior to joining them? Was it a natural fir for you ince you got a few practices under your belt so to speak?
Nothing really of significance that did anything, just jam bands. At the time I was listening to the material and hoping I could pull it off because it was pretty intense stuff for the time.
I know you don't play on their debut demo, which came out in 1993. What did you think of the band at the time that demo came out?
I remember listening and thinking damn thats heavy and it had its own weird groove to it.
I became familiar with the band with their 1994 demo called "Bestial Mutation". Did you see them play many live shows around this time?
I remember checking them out when they played Brighton Bar around that time.
Around 1994 were you reading any fanzines and checking out mags like Kerrang, Metal Forces and being really into the scene?
Yes, anything that had to do with metal I was into. If it had a cool band, I wanted to read about it.
Prior to joining T.K., did any other bands every ask you to join them? If they do who were the bands? Around this time, who were some of your favorite local bands you liked?
No other bands really ask me to join. I was still working on getting my skills up and learning before I joined TK. My favorite local bands were Ripping Corpse/Dim Mak, Latshaw, Human Remains, Mortal Decay, Gaffed, Damonacy and Nokturnel to name a few off the top of my head.
How long were you in the band before you as a band went in the studio to record your EP for Wild Rags called "Rotted Remnants"? Was the deal already worked out prior to you joining the band?
I think it was a year or two before we did Rotted Remnants, my only regret is that we didn't do a studio recording of songs like Cadaverous Fragrance.
How was it for you going into the studio for the 1st time recording drum tracks for that Wild Rags EP? Looking back do you think you did a good job?
It was quite the learning experience and I think I did a good job. They were all one takes but I think now if I were to re-record them, I could do them much better after playing all these years.
Did you get to play many live shows with the band at this point? What were some of the bands you shared the stage with and clubs that you played at?
We played Brighton Bar, The Saint and the Stone Pony a lot. We shared the stage with Human Remains, Mortal Decay, Damonacy, Nokturnel, Internal Bleeding
How was it working with Richard C and Wild Rags?
I was working with Symphony of Grief at the time and we had no problems with him. It seemed like a pretty smooth process if I remember correctly. I don't' recall any issues.
How were any of the shows you played back then? Were any crazy and out of control?
One that comes to mind is the Ground Hog Day Massacre show. We had a paper mache ground hog that was cut open and made quite the mess lol.
I know that is the only release you played on. How long after the release did the band end up breaking up?
I think it was about a year after the release. Mike and Dennis wanted to try something different and wanted different vocals than what John did. We put together a few songs but then Dennis had the opportunity to join Dim Mak and I encouraged him to take advantage of the opportunity to play with legends.
Were you sad to see this happen seeing you weren't in the band that long?
Yea, I was kind of sad to see it end because I think there is more we could have done.
Did you do anything as far as joining another band or did you hang up the drumsticks so to speak?
I joined a band called Verdilak which had Ben from Latshaw, Rich from Gaffed and Mike from Inebriation. All from local bands. One of the highlights was playing near Woodstock NY.
After the band broke up, did you stay in touch with any of the other band members or was it a bad break-up of the band?
Not really until Facebook and I reconnected with them.
In 2010, a comp came out with the band's 2 demos and the Wild Rags release called "Resurrecting the Crypts" on Pathologically Explicit Recordings, who have almost 300 releases and are still in business. Are you aware of this comp and did you or any of the other band members have a hand in it? Were there any other songs from the Wild Rags lying around?
Yeah, that was me, I was approached with the idea of a re-release and thought it would be cool to put everything out together and thought of that title.
Are there many live clips or shows on You Tube at all?
No, but I have the tapes of live shows that I want to get transferred and put up.
I know your still in NJ, heck your a hop, skip, and a jump from me. Do you still talk to any of the former members at all say on Facebook?
John and Dennis here and there, Mike I have tried, but he is unresponsive.
I know you have a Facebook page how has it been going so far with that?
It was actually started by a fan and then handed off to me a few years ago.
Now do tell me about this project you have going on called "Ectothermic" with yourself, Scott Ruth, Shaune Kelley, and Dennis Carroll?
Yeah, this is going to be the final project that Scott Ruth will sing on. The songs are heavy with a mix of interesting twists and turns. Shaune really got a great sound from the drums I recorded with the Zoom H5 and two external mics in my basement.
So what are your plans in 2022 and beyond? What are some Torture Krypt goodies you have kept over the years? Do you have a copy of the Wild Rags release?
John sent me a box of some old merch but everything got bought up. I still have a copy of the few zines we were in. As for plans after 2022 and beyond, I do have another project going on called The Sphere with my local friend Giovanni.
What are some of your favorite shows you have seen over the years?
So many good shows, but I really enjoyed seeing my bros in Mortal Decay and Internal Bleeding again after so many years. I'm glad to see they are still going and kicking ass and still writing killer material. It was cool to catch up with Erik Rutan and Hate Eternal in Philly after 20 years.
You were around when there was no internet, there was indie labels, still some tape trading and fanzines and some big mags like Metal Maniacs and Metal Mania and before that Metal Forces. How weird is it to 1st see My Space and then that went in the toilet and now we have Facebook, Bandcamp, Spotify, You Tube, etc. What are your thoughts on the way the underground has changed over the years?
Yeah a lot has changed since the days before the internet. It seemed like there were a lot less people doing it and felt like a tighter knit community. Now with the internet there are so many drummers hating on one another about their techniques and use of triggers. I think that's stupid. Music is an art form-there are no rules.
Please post any social media sites either band has at this time.
Just the Torture Krypt Facebook page Torture Krypt | Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/torturekrypt
Bryan. thanks for the trip down memory lane, any last words to wrap this up?
Thanks for the interview, Chris. I appreciate being able to do this after so many years. Keep it metal!
Interview by Chris Forbes / Answers by Bryan Natusch (drums)