Just as a
small introduction here. I asked my metal brother and life long comrade
Clayton Shaver to write an article on our mutually worshipped legendary
gore band Impetigo. I asked Clayton for an important reason and that is /
was that Clay and front man Stevo Dobbins of Impetigo were very good friends
for the duration of the bands existence. I wanted him to tell the story of
their friendship to illustrate how deeply the band were dedicated to what
they were doing and give a different perspective in honour of Impetigo that
other tributes and articles could not. Read on the for the confessions of a
follower and friend of the of the mighty IMPETIGO!!
"Your Gory Pal", is how STEVO DOBBINS (MAINMAN,
LYRICS, VOCALS, BASS) always referred too me by letter or phone as. For
those not in the know, IMPETIGO were the Gods of GORE metal, and they were
before their time, including CANNIBAL CORPSE and the now laughable 6 FEET
UNDER types. Ask anyone. As for me, I was asked "Check out IMPETIGO, they're
awesome, I'll send it (the flyer) along with the SAMAEL 7" flyer and the
BEHERIT when I send out the tee-shirt." Black Winds of BLASPHEMY confided
too me on the telephone during the late Winter of early 1991. I dashed to my
ever-ready Metal Disc Catalogue and there it was; IMPETIGO, the album was
entitled 'Ultimo Mundo Cannibale', which wasn't released until October 1990
due too the explicit cover artwork that STEVO did himself. The original had
a man roped up to two tree's, crucifix style, surrounded by cannibals, and
one of them was feasting on his torn off prick!
When I finally received my ordered tape, too
be honest, I really didn't know what too expect...that is until I popped it
in! This was no ordinary Death/Gore/Grind. It had the old-school flavor
musically, with maniacal speeds and doomy lows. STEVO possessed the greatest
pipes of regurgitation's that no-one could defy or ever has, yet it was all
natural. "I was disappointed with my vocal's", Stevo once told me, "so I
drank down 2 Gallons of Chocolate milk. I was doing a verse and I felt this
bile creeping up on me, no way too stop this mess! I covered my mouth
because I couldn't do damage in the vocal box. I swallowed the acidic wash
of gastric juice, Ugh! I took a small break, but was fine after that!".
"Band's like this write the same old
shit...cannibal's rule, a man eating
another man. That [was] something too think about!", and how right the man
was! He didn't take from ordinary movies either like everyone else does.
There was "Jungle Halocaust (A.K.A. Cannibal, The Last Survivor)", Trap them
and kill them" (a.k.a. Emmanueu E Gli Ultimo Cannibal), his fave, "Cannibal
Halocaust", "Cannibal Ferox" (a.k.a. Make Them Die Slowly), and "Rawhead
Rex",just to name a few.
By June 1991, we we're like Brothers, an
instant friendship formed, just from sending back and forth two letters from
Illinois, in-which they came. At the same time I purchased their split 7"
with German Death Metaller's BLOOD. The idea was to show the fan's how much
brutaller STEVO became, and the now classic song 'Boneyard' proved that (It
was re-done on "Horror of the Zombies").'Zombie Apocalypse’ though, the
other song on the "Antefatto" split however, never was re-done. This 7"
oddly enough, never was available on his 'Lesions Of Impetigo" Distribution.
"With the Blood split I wanted to show a heavier approach rather than total
blasting", this will continue with the new album.", the man convinced me. No
I'm not going too waste space on the band bio or earlier bands.
Unless you need psychiatric help, no-one
could go through all the Intro's without bursting out in laughter, because
he took from insanity as well. He also took from very old B&W films,
underground, or really rare and usually unknown films. To me, he referred it
too a Dear Uncle Creepy. "The show's in the last decade, and this one, SUCK!
The oldies rule though!" The comic edges in part we're maniacally
intentional. Another original aspect of IMPETIGO.
All of the attributes from the above-writ
made the band so respectful, so much so in fact, the Underground made them
instant classics. He gave me all the details on what IMPETIGO meant, like he
enjoyed it, which was fine, it intrigued me further into this incredible
band. "It's an
skin disease of postulating skin boils, that in the advance stages become
large, scab like running sore's that begin too bleed, a process of infected
rotting flesh and mass scar abrasion; turns into fucking meat, man! It falls
and rots off, Yummy!"
I pushed further about the origin's of the
Intro's in late summer 1991, and he said that was the fun part, he loved too
torment the fan's that way. Yet if we could figure out all of them (or at
least most), then we'd receive a special gift from the scabby man; a boxful
of maggot's to dine on! For a man that liked happy faces and slobbering
while having to regurgitate or do artwork was due too prior drug problem's
from the mid-80's, he'd later confess to me, he was the first real
Underground warrior I ever knew! The song 'Harbinger of death' was a true
tale Stevo witnessed firsthand." I'd be going to work and at this overpass
this unshaven wild looking man would pick up and throw these huge rocks on
the cars below, causing accident's all the time."
Dobbins and I had a deep connection, like no other. Soon after our first few
letters we already started a trademark to end our letter's with, like a
contest of words. I once wrote, "you infected hospital waste junkie, puke on
your prick, suck the sores of Syphilis and lick the leg's of oozing
mayonnaise of a dying sluts clit!". He'd retort back with, "You
grave-robbing Pedo-necrophile pimp-perverted, shit snot eating ultra-lacerator
of vaginal/labial cancer cyst's ,fucking molester of many aborted fetuses.
Puke on your prick and force an old woman suck it! You deranged homicidal
sick-fuck perverted pussy pulverizer, you fuckin' Gore-consumed Satanist,
fuckin' stick your prick in sick-slick shit, and bleed the asses of
syphlitic nuns! Be sure to use a fresh razor blade when you beat off!!!";
this went on for years and I wasn't going too say why don't you have a cup
of shut the fuck up, either! It was bizarre, but it was us. This is where
the 'puke on your prick' came from that was thrown around on both IMPETIGO
and my band MORBID DARKNESS' Thank lists.
One may not understand now but back in the
early 1990 Underground scene, we treated each other freely and shot the shit
because, simply, there was no competition with one-another. It didn't matter
what extreme music we played, we shared and respected each other's music,
side bands, and that's all that mattered was that we we're enjoying our good
time's together! We were a circle, we were family. It's a fucking shame it
never stayed that way, either!
With a Rehearsal
tape of 3 new IMPETIGO songs for 'H.O.T.Z.', our connection became even
stronger in December 1991, after the release of our first underground ready
demo (November 16th). "I'm glad that you appreciate my support of MORBID
Darkness so much, but really you don't have to. You guy's are for real and I
know that, I can feel it, and your music is very original, yet it (the demo)
show's great respect to the originator's of Black/Death/Doom metal all
combined, and that's very important to feel...I haven't enjoyed something
like this since Hungary's TORMENTOR!". Hearing that from the God Of Gore
himself would keep me Underground forever! It was still December 1991 and I
asked Stevo that because I loved his old-school drawings so much if he could
do one for my band. I said the drawing be of an Incubus rising from the
pit's of Moloch in a nunnery and raping them on an altar. "You Demonic
debaucher of detestable ding bat dykes!, actually, seriously, I've got
Gossbumps; we must have a connection. About your request for the artwork.
This is no fucking coincidence, but two weeks before I got your sadistic
package, I began drawing...you guessed it...an Incubus raping a nun, rising
from hell in a nunnery. It's true! What the fuck, man? We must have a mental
link, our brainwaves must be connected...I suppose it was meant to be?
Someday we will meet, and a huge crack will erupt from that spot!" The
secret is out for the first time, only in this 'zine of how and where the
artwork which gained us even more fans came from and how it came too be! If
only Stevo could of seen the beautiful work DALE ROY put into it for our
record re-issue on AKR, He would of been so proud! "It's no pushead or
Lawrence (Pleasure to kill, Endless pain-Kreator and Celtic
Frost's-Emperor's Return), but it's great!
We soon realized how our incredible
brotherhood shaped by our exact similarities in the same band's, we were the
same. After my hospitalization in 1992 for surgery I wrote Stevo beforehand
as an inspiration for my well being and he couldn't believe that, but sent
me the FACELESS 7"EP. The problem with the Artwork was the over 3 years it
took before I could use it. It tormented Stevo though, in-between because of
the way of which conceived. I knew upon hearing FACELESS that 'H.O.T.Z.'
would be the greatest Gore album ever released (It very well may be! ~
Dale). The Intro on 'Sinister Urge'(On "Faceless")is the voice of Joe
Kallinger, the Shoemaker, a real sick fucker!, and the re-do's on 'Dis-Organ-Ized'
and 'The Bloody Pit Of Horror' ruled as well. By that time STEVO already
started a side band called CHURCH OF MISERY, but that's another
All the members of IMPETIGO were involved in
the making of 'Horrror...' this time; in the songwriting process, hell even
I was after much pushing. Thus,"Horror Of The Zombies" had more grit than
the debut. The Intro's were more vulgar than ever before (see 'Defiling The
Grave' where Heraldo interview's a guy who murdered his own Girlfriend,
washed her bones because they were smelly, letting her decompose in his
apartment for 10 days!)."The pic's shall be in a cemetary, the necropolis is
a cool place to get pic's. Some band's say it's trendy and whatever, I don't
give a shit!", and Stevo was right. Who gave a fuck what everyone say's,
feel free too exploit yourself, as long as it isn’t trendy. "We'll never
sell out or pose out, we'll always be Underground where I feel
comfortable!", Stevo once told me. On 'Horror...' song's ranged from 4 to 7
minutes, maturity had set in this band, they were more Old-School than ever,
and it took until my side-project band before Stevo agreed on my idea. To
create a totally Demonic song that would highlight the regurgitation's even
more. The song was entitled 'Cannibale Ballet', all out effects on vocals
that centered around the band being hunted and eaten alive by cannibals. Dan
(the Drummer) sped up slowly with a ritualistic drumming, pounding faster
and faster till it hit it's blasphemic climax. But before this cd came out
alas in 1994, Wild Rag's kept delay after delay that infuriated the band
which would lead to it's demise. So much for fucking November / December
1991!!! They were consistently adding in material while waiting for the
back, it was now late 1993 when it finally came out. I reviewed every second
of it and Stevo read it to the rest of the band who were very satisfied at
my dedication to the band and for the health of the band, they were part of
the Rhode Island Deathfest (Around 600 maniac's). "My voice is harsh!", "It
was a killer night. VITAL REMAINS and REPULSION didn't play, I fear they
will break up! But we sold more at our tables than Relapse did!!! Fifty
people were at our table at all times, it killed! What a killer show! In
'Red Wigglers' I spit the blood and worms upon the audience, as usual, but I
also vomited during the 'Larvae Possession' part. It was so sick I was
freaking out and getting into it, like I usually do, and the thought passed
through my head, as I was possessed by the larvas that Hmm, I should puke
here. Then I felt my stomach preparing too explode and I somehow willed the
expulsion of chunks, right on cue! I hurled three jumbo jets of vomit into
the sky and all over me and the front row. It was sickening but we won the
crowd!". Stevo, I wish that I was there!
A new contest began between Stevo and myself,
this time on the phone along with our still 20 page letter's in-between.
Sure we shot the shit, but after that it meant business. A
growling/regurgitation contest! How could I win this? After ten to twenty
minutes of endless growls, screams, and regurgitations, Stevo Dobbins always
came out the victor, and Goddamn, was I so proud of him every time he won.
Of coarse between my mom and his wife who always asked. "What are you two
Psycho's doing?", we never stopped! This, though was short lived.
Sometime before I myself hit the studio in
April 1994 for my band, a part of my world died. It was around then that I
heard Stevo in a way I never heard of him before-hand that crushed not only
me, but the entire Underground. He phoned me and tried too hide the sorrow
he felt, but I knew otherwise. Mark, the guitarist and main song-writer was
fed up with all the Business Bullshit had left IMPETIGO, even selling his
metal collection and leaving the Underground (as a side note here, Mark was
still around or re-entered the scene in the late 90s, Mark organized some
Impetigo re-issues, he also ordered a copy of Canadian Assault and said he
loved it and actually remembered me as the fan boy I was writing him back
then ha ha ~ Dale). IMPETIGO was over, and Mark knew that by betraying the
band. I too fell into a long saddening sorrow. Scheduled for the Milwaukee
Metal-fest that year, Stevo asked me too fill in for Mark which I could do,
easily, as long as I did VITAL REMAINS as well, which would of been quite
the challenge, but I was willing. I learned 'War In Paradise', "Of Pure
Unholiness", and 'Frozen Terror' in a few days. That was a solid 20 minutes
there. I was asked though too late too take the bus, I couldn't afford a
plane, it was the end of IMPETIGO as Blood, who didn't have a fucking clue
what to do, showed up for no reason.
But by April 1994, my band created the best
release ever, and ready to take on the world we had conquered! Little did I
know my own band would die before me, and me with it, but, once again,
that's another story I leave DALE too interview me someday and tell all of
you how and why.
The death of IMPETIGO still breaks my heart
today. A band with such promise, such dedication, the best there ever was in
the genre, we shared his loses together. "I can't go on without Mark, Clay
and that's it!", Stevo Dobbins, told me. Well, thing's were not going well
in my camp either, so I'd take a couple of years off, take Mark's place, and
give IMPETIGO new life. I said I'd be down in Normal, Illinois via bus, and
both Stevo and I will make the goriest and deathliest album in our carrerrrs,
ever. It was all too late by Stevo, who began a doom band, INSOMNIA, and a 'zine
called GLOVES OF METAL. I was sent some question's for an interview, but
Stevo Dobbins had disappeared from the scene forever by then.
This still ache’s my heart today. Come home
Stevo and at least say hello, you don't need an invitation. We don't care
whether your now from Illinois or Antartica. Do you remember my words back
in the day?" Let's get together and see the scabby man tilt his maggot
ridden hat, one last time, And you said, "Your god man, you said the most
incredible thing about IMPETIGO since we've known one-another!" And I
replied back "Let that rim tilt, of corpse, so what do you say?" I never got
This is for you Stevo Dobbins. I Look forward
too May as RAZORBACK RECORDS will be re-issuing both IMPETIGO albums with
lot's of Bonus Tracks, including 7" records as well on CD, this! The problem
with band's like IMPETIGO, BLASPHEMY, and so on wasn't the band's, it was
the fucking label. That being WILD RAGS...even though it is now a label no
more, Richard C. should be hunted, stalked, and slain STILL! Or else
IMPETIGO may just exist till this day. Curse His Blood ~ CLAY.