Vincent Crowley founded Acheron back in 1988 after leaving the Tampa death metal band Nocturnus. Looking to create a vehicle for a darker and more satanic approach to the genre, he’s since relocated through Pennsylvania and Ohio where he has forged on with a revolving door of members covering 26 years of extremism.
A powerhouse of the underground metal scene, Acheron’s brief respite came in 2010 due to internal differences, but as Crowley explains to us, it was a premature split. Towing their best album to date, 2014’s Kult des Hasses, Crowley and the current incarnation of Acheron are back in South Florida headlining Black Kult Fest 3 at Churchill’s. We caught up with Crowley before the band comes to town to find out what fans can expect tomorrow.
New Times: Let’s start with metal in the late '80’s compared to metal now. As a touring musician and having relocated numerous times from Florida to the rust belt, what have been your experiences like throughout the years and scenes?
Vincent Crowley: Many things have changed. The scene in the late '80’s and early '90’s was indeed more personal. People went to stores to discover their music. And many people wrote each other via snail mail to learn about new bands, buy demos and make other metal pen pal friends. It was a great experience finding bands that you enjoyed. And it took a little work to do so, which made it a little more special.
Nowadays everything is at the fans’ fingertips. Information and music is only a click away. There is no real challenge to find new bands. But Acheron has always been a part of the underground metal movement and that has never gone away. People will always want something more extreme, dark and aggressive. But you will always have your ups and downs when it comes to this type of music. It isn’t some big radio hit bands filling mainstream venues.
How has technology helped bridge or popularize metal and more specifically, how has it helped you and your band?
Say I’m set in my old ways but I think technology has spoiled everyone. People seem to think they are entitled to everything for free. Only the die-hard fans are buying CDs and other band merchandise. Most just download everything for free and watch concerts on YouTube rather than go to a show. The only positive thing I think we have gotten from it is getting more personal with the fans and making more worldwide contacts that we can correspond with within seconds.
My hatred for religion and my Satanic lifestyle is the main influence of Acheron. The demented deeds of many religions are poisoning the world we live in. They are very dangerous! I vent my frustration through my art.
You guys took a short break in 2010 – tell us why and why were you back at it by that year’s end? What fuels you and how is it working out with the current lineup?
That was due to a personal issue within the band. I reacted too hastily when I broke the band up. It was due to anger and band conflicts. After the smoke cleared I realized I made a big mistake. So I sorted out the problems and got back to business. I’ll always do Acheron. I hope to be writing unholy songs till I’m on my death bed [Laughs].
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Kult des Hasses was the first album after coming back, how was that process different from when you recorded The Final Conflict in 2009?
Kult des Hasses to me is our best album. The sound, songwriting and production came together great on that album. But the recording process was very stressful and very pieced together. Traveling to Cleveland every weekend for over a month was annoying. We didn’t record that album as a whole band. There was never a point where all of us were there at the same time. But for some reason it worked. And when Dan Swanö from Unisound in Sweden mixed and mastered the album it gave it the final icing on the cake. As for The Final Conflict, we recorded like a band and that was most likely the best studio experience I ever dealt with. We all worked together and kicked ass. We recorded it at Mars Studio like we did our previous album Rebirth: Metamorphosing into Godhood. I am also very proud of that album, but Kult des Hasses was a much heavier album.
What’s next for the band and where do you see yourself going musically for the next 20-odd years?
We are playing some select shows in the USA and in Central/South America. Then we will begin recording our new mini-release The Awakening for Funeral Industries in Germany, which will be a limited vinyl and CD release. And we hope to fill 2016 with lots of shows and a new album by the end of the year.
I have no idea what the future holds, but when it comes to Acheron, it will always be a dark musical war machine. I’ll only get older, uglier and angrier!
Black Kult Fest 3 featuring Acheron,