Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It is with great excitement and anticipation GLORIOUS TIMES can confirm the following: 

New York underground thrash metal legends PRIME EVIL have reunited with all original members and will be taking part in some epic showcase packages in the Northeast U.S. by late summer/early fall. 

Vocalist, Andy Eichhorn, Guitarists Mike Usifer and Gary Day, Drummer Todd Gukelberger and bassist Mary Ciullo have been hard at work on rehearsing the classic material as well as writing absolutely crushing new songs. The band has plans to record and release these songs in late 2011 or early 2012. 

PRIME EVIL was formed in New York in 1986 and was a major player in the early days of the underground death/thrash metal scene. We are beyond stoked at the resurrection of
PRIME EVIL and plan to explode back on the scene with increased focus and determination. More details will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead.
-- Andy Eichhorn, May 17, 2011

Prime Evil, photo: Ed Farshtey

Interview with Andy Eichhorn

GT: Can you give us a little background info on how Prime Evil first came to be?

Andy:  The band formed in late 1985 early 1986 when Mike Usifer & Gary Day had a newly formed band of high school friends  who wanted to play extreme metal in the vein of early Slayer/Metallica. They were looking for a singer because they had a show booked and had yet to settle on a vocalist.  I auditioned and played our first show (under a different/temporary name) in front a few hundred people  opening for a power metal band Savage Choir. The reaction was huge and after that we were determined to start  writing originals and play every show possible.         

GT:  How long after you first formed did you start playing live gigs and how long before the first demo was released?

Andy: After our first show we officially changed the name to PRIME EVIL which completely fit our developing style and attitude. We played some local shows and the scene was just starting to get a buzz. Thrash was still pretty much underground in New York and clubs weren't really booking too much. We resorted to playing illegal clubs setup in old factories packed with kegs and metalheads!! Soon we were refining our originals and making plans to record our first demo in early 1987. 

We recorded at Electric Reels studios near Poughkeepsie NY with original drummer Tad Leger (who later joined Toxik)and we couldn't wait to get it out. The reaction was very positive and we started getting reviews and interview requests from all the fanzines that were popping up at the time. The scene was growing exponentially and we really believed in what we were doing. Soon we were sharing the stage with the likes of DEATH, SUFFOCATION, CARCASS, IMMOLATION, WHIPLASH, DEATH ANGEL, FORBIDDEN etc.

it was a glorious time indeed....

GT:  Women in thrash and death metal were exceptionally rare in the late 1980's, how was Mary accepted within the band and by fans?

Andy:  Early on we were looking for a new bass player without much success. Through a girl I was dating at the time I became aware of this female bass player who was into metal exclusively! Seemed like a no brainer to me....however to be honest the initial reaction from the rest of the band was a little skeptical at first. I pushed hard for her to audition and soon she was an integral part of the band and exceeded our expectations. Mary is an awesome person and really provided balance within the band with her great sensibility. She also became our "PR Firm" handling a majority of the merchandising and correspondence across the globe. She personally dubbed hundreds, if not thousands of copies of our demo tapes and manually mailed them out.

As far as the fans, she really kept up with her correspondence and has friends and supporters from around the world. Everyone always asks about her and I am absolutely thrilled she is on board for the reunion and upcoming studio recording sessions. Mary RULES!! I'm her biggest fan....

Mary Ciullo; photo: Ed Farshtey

GT: 20+ years after its release "The Manifestation" has stood the test of time and is still as pleasurable to listen to today as it was when it was first released. How well did that demo sell back then?

Andy: Hard to say really....we did sell hundreds of demos and received tons of letters from hardcore metalheads all over the globe. I still have boxes and boxes of old letters. I'm very humbled at the comments about our past recordings and can enthusiastically say at this point...the best is yet to come!

GT: Thankfully Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) was a big fan of Prime Evil and brought you to Buffalo a couple of times, did you play many out of town gigs in those years (1989/1990)?

Andy:  Those shows with Cannibal were insane back in the day. We were so stoked to be invited to play and really didn't know what to expect. Alex and the guys were fucking awesome to hang with and were great hosts. Each show was packed and I can remember looking down at the front row and seeing everyone singing the lyrics as we were playing....fucking mind blowing at the time.

As far as out of town shows We played New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington DC. Plenty of invitations to play all over the US and even overseas back then, but because of work and family circumstances never really feasible.

GT: Prime Evil had a reputation as being an incredible live band, many would say even better live than in studio. Did you feel any pressure to put on a tremendous performance every time?

Andy:   I think we had the attitude (and still do) to put on the best show every single time wherever we played,  whether it was 20, 100 or a thousand people.   I always approached my live performance with a lot of raw determination and intensity as almost a natural reaction to being on stage and hearing  those first notes. The current rehearsals are giving me that same feeling. These upcoming reunion shows should be an absolute blast. We have promoters  working on some killer packages as we speak.

GT:  Did you guys feel any mounting frustration as many lesser bands got signed to bigger and bigger deals and somehow the labels overlooked Prime Evil?

Andy:  Not really...we felt we were making progress and pretty much thought it was a matter of time to find the right deal. But in retrospect some  of the later material around 1992 was in a different direction and by that time a whole new trend was obliterating the scene and labels  were changing their focus.

GT:  How did the CD "Unearthed" come about? Did you feel a great deal of satisfaction to finally have a full length cd out, even though it came 10 yrs after Prime Evil had broken up?

Andy:   The venerable King Fowley from  Deceased approached us and wanted to release the demos on CD through his Battlezone Records label and we were thrilled.  I thought it was great to get the songs out in digital format and I thought the booklet and packaging were top notch. The only regret  are the 4 "distorted rehearsal songs" that were included on there. Our decision, but I cringe when I hear them, those are really unfinished/arranged   works in progress. However with the band now reunited I really think we will release some insane material and the scope and quality will be beyond anything we've ever done.

Ed Farshtey, Gary Day (holding GT) and Mike Usifer
at a Deceased gig in Peekskill on Sept 10, 2010; photo: Brian Pattison

GT:  Are you surprised that nearly a quarter of a century after Prime Evil formed and 18 years after it's break up that Prime Evil still gets mentioned regularly by fans of the old scene?

Andy:    I really am.....fucking awesome yet very humbling.....and it's the frequency and fervor that these inquiries keep coming that is the primary motivation for PRIME EVIL to reunite.   I will go to a show or on vacation and still get recognized or meet someone in the scene who remembers. Remarkable since we  were easily missed in certain circles didn't really get proper exposure.    Myself and the band are beyond excited at this renewed opportunity and plan to take full advantage!

GT:  Is this a reformation or just a short lived reunion?

Andy:  We have been getting asked to reunite at different times over the last 10 years or so. The timing or interest never seemed right and to be honest a lot of us have been through our fair share of surgeries, accidents etc and only recently have all five original members been physically able to participate. I think it's incredible we have all original members on board after 20 years! 

We have been rehearsing I can honestly say there is a spark there that hasn't been since the early days and it's absolutely electric. Going over the classic material quickly expanded into writing new songs and making recording plans. We will have a future announcement regarding the studio and producer we will be working with. So to answer your question this is the REAL DEAL full blown reunion and we plan to unleash some nasty old school tinged thrash! I can't fucking wait! 


GT:   Any thoughts/plans on recording new material or a mixture of old and new songs?

Andy:  I think people will be pleasantly surprised at the new material and we do in fact have plans  to record a few select early tracks the way they were meant to be heard.

Andy, Mike and Gary in the summer of 2010, together for the first time in 20 years discussing the old days with copies of GT on the table; photo courtesy of Todd Gukelberger

GT:   When can we expect a live performance from Prime Evil? Will there be a tour or at least shows outside of the NYC area?

Andy:   We will play some shows late summer early fall and record for release in late 2011 early 2012.  Stay tuned for what will hopefully  be a big show announcement in the coming weeks.

GT:  Any last words?

Andy:    A huge thanks and eternal horns raised to Brian Pattison and Alan Moses for their incredible and unselfish dedication to the underground!    You both did an incredible job with your book GLORIOUS TIMES an it's an honor to be included in the publication. Just another motivating  factor in bringing PRIME EVIL back from ashes!!   See you on stage soon…..   

Time waits for no one, your day is at hand  

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