Interview by Dale Roy with Steve Murray December 1997…

I think this must be one of the first interviews I ever did for Canadian Assault (though I had done a handful prior to starting the Assault for zines like The Sepulchral Voice, Devourment of Souls, Growling Brutality etc...). Just good fucking American brutal death metal to kick your ass!!  *As a side note I believe Fleshgrind are defunct as of 2005-ish RIP...



Can you introduce the band and give a quick history, to those not yet turned onto the ‘Grind!??.

Okay.  Well, I, Steve Murray, play guitar; Rich Lipscomb - vocals/guitar; Dave Barbolla – drums; and Ray Vazquez - bass.  We formed in March of ’93.  In November of ’93, we recorded our “Holy Pedophile” demo. We played lots of shows, did lots of mail, and then in April of ’95, we recorded our “Sorrow Breeds Hatred(Bleed On Me)” demo.  In January of ’96, we replaced our original bass player, Casey Ryba, with our current bass player, Ray Vazquez. We then signed to Pulverizer Records; and, in August of ’97, we put out our debut album, “Destined For Defilement”. 

How is the scene in Illinois? The death metal scene there seems fertile.  Are there a lot of death metal bills?  How are the crowd sizes and reactions at the gigs???.

The death scene in Illinois is pretty killer right now.  Lots of good bands, such as: Opressor, Jungle Rot, Lividity, Sapphist, Euphoric Evisceration, Deaden, Broken Hope, Gorgasm, Hot Stove, Disinter, Sarcophagus, Num Skull, Artic Symphony, and others.  The shows are usually pretty killer - good turn outs and crowd reactions.  The major tours just started coming back here, cuz there was no where to play for a bit.  But, it is back on track. 

Describe the differences of recording your demos, as opposed to having a label budget for the album!?.  Are you happy with the sound and production job by Brian Griffin (Guitarist of Broken Hope)???.

Well, we felt a little bit more pressure with us not paying for it.  We had a very low budget to record our album.  Brian Griffin went beyond the call of duty.  He is amazing in the studio.  I think it sounds great for a rushed low budget album.  It was recorded and mixed in less then a week. 

Do you like the recording process?  Describe a day in the life of recording your debut album “Destined For Defilement”!?  Do you have all the songs completely finished and fleshed out (pun intended) before going into the studio???

I hate the recording process.  Actually, it is tedious - rewarding, but tedious. We did the drums first, then bass, then guitars, then vox.  When we recorded the drums (which were all done in one day) our drummer just played while I played the scratch tracks. It was quite the long day I must say.  We have everything down before we go into the studio.  The only thing that really changed was some harmonizing parts that were not planned out before we went into the studio. 

What do you know about Canada?  Your opinions on the Canadian scene and some bands you dig from here?  Do you find there is a ‘Canadian sound’???.

We have played in Canada a few times.  We have played London, Ontario (once), Montreal (twice), Quebec City (3 times), and Rimouski (once) (all in the province of Quebec -Dale).  We love it up there!  The shows, when promoted right, are very good.  Some killer bands are: Blood Of Christ, Rotting, Obscene Crisis, Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, Necrotic Mutation, Gorelust R.I.P.) were killer, Summertime Daises.  I guess Canada has that hyper blast sound. 

Now onto one of my fave questions.  What do you think about the album “Black Metal” by the almighty Venom!??.

Sorry, I am not a Venom fan (gasp -Dale).  Our drummer and bass player love them and that album though (Your drummer and bass player have good taste! -Dale). 

Have you or would you like to do any out of state/country shows?  At most shows do you at least break even or maybe make a couple bucks, to put back into the band or future show promotion???.

Like I mentioned, we have played Canada a few times, and love to play out of state shows.  The only time we make money is if we play around here.   Otherwise, we usually lose or break even.  But, as long as we have fun that is all that matters. 

What is the sickest thing you have ever seen or witnessed?  Any funny or weird shit happen at gigs to tell us about!??.

I knew theses medical students, and they took me into a room full of cadavers that they work on.  It was great!  A funny thing…  Let’s see.  When we played Montreal this year, Rich was stomping on the stage and the stage broke and he fell in.  That was quite hilarious! 

Your lyrics obviously dwell in the gore field.  That said, what are some of the sorted tales the lyrics go into?  Are you of the opinion, that the vocalist should write the lyrics he sings???.

I wouldn’t call the lyrics that I write gory.  But, our bass players lyrics are on the gory side.  My lyrics are based on true stories, usually about the Mafia or sex crimes.  I don’t think it matters who writes the lyrics. 

What age/year did you discover metal and, then later, the underground scene?  What were some of the first demos/’zines you ordered or came across?  Do any of the members do any activities in the underground outside of the band???.

I was 16 years old, it was 1990 when I bought Death - “Scream Bloody Gore” (album).  Before that, I was really into Slayer.  My first demos were from local bands, such as Broken Hope.  They turned me onto the underground.  The band takes up a lot of our free time. 

How does the writing process go?  Does each member contribute, or does one person do the lion’s share of writing and arranging the songs!??.  Any new material written for the next LP; and, will it be on Pulverizer!??.

I guess I do the lion’s share of the writing process.  I write the majority of the riffs and lyrics.  And me and the drummer work it all out.  The other guys throw in occasional riffs and opinions.  Currently, we have 2 songs written for the next album.  We are taking it one album at a time with Pulverizer. 

Do you see underground ‘zines as a useful tool for labels and bands alike?  Are they a vital part of keeping the scene alive and well!??

Zine’s are an integral part of the underground.  They let everybody know what is going on with little bands like us.  Without them, promotion would be VERY hard. 

Last comments, future plans and merchandise available to the Canadian Assault readers!??.

Thanks, to all our existing Canadian fans.  You guys are great!!.  Our two demos are still available.  But, we are on our last pressing of them, so hurry up if you want them.  Check out our new album, “Destined For Defilement” on Pulverizer Records.  We also have breast logo shirt available with the saying “THE FEW THE PROUD THE BRUTAL” on back and sleeve prints. Thanks for everything!  STAY METAL!!!!!!. (Thanks to you Steve, for the words of wisdom.  You rule, brother!! -Dale).

Fleshgrind, c/o Steve Murray, 755 Merrill Ln., Grayslake, IL. 60030, USA.

Pulverizer Records, P.O. Box 946, Dixon, IL. 61021, USA.

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The Complete Fleshgrind Discography 

Holy Pedophile Demo, 1993

Sorrow Breeds Hatred (Bleed on me) Demo, 1995

Destined For Defilement Full-length, 1997

The Seeds Of Abysmal Torment Full-length, 2000

Live in Germany Live album, 2002

Living Dead EP, 2003

Murder Without End Full-length, 2003

Living Dead Split, 2004



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