Sam Biles at A Day of Death 2011 (photo - Maga Sanchez)
Some thoughts on the Glorious Times era by none other than the hoochimomma himself, Mr Sam Biles (Hideous Mangleus/Goblin/Tejas Death Squad).
The first thing I would say about the “Glorious Times” is that if you didn’t live through them, you can never truly understand what it was to be a part of them or to have witnessed them. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all, but I am just stating a fact. And the reason being is that so many things have changed since then. The advent of the internet, the ever growing phenomena that is Heavy Metal, Thrash and Grind music that now has spawned thousands of bands where there used to be few; the merging and popularization of many of the cultures that spawned these types of music like Punk, Rock, Thrash, etc.
Sam Biles & the Tejas Death Squad at A Day of Death 2011 (photo - Maga Sanchez)
When Hideous Mangleus started we were just playing music in the style of our heroes like The Accused, The Misfits, Cryptic Slaughter, Slayer, Death, etc and locally bands like Doomwatch, Necropolis, Eviction, Dream Death, etc. But soon after our inception, once we started recording some stuff and playing shows we met local bands like Chaotic Plague, who were also somewhat new, but had already recorded their “Bloodslime” demo and were actively tape trading and sharing ads with people and bands from all over, like Deceased, Revenant, Immolation, Exmortis, etc. So once we got our demo recorded they started distributing our ads in their mail, and next thing we knew fellow music fans and bands were writing us from all over the world.
Gig flyers of course were the standard stationary most people used in a time when typewriter and audio cassettes ruled mightier than the computer and mediafire.
Although the internet is an amazing tool, which surely has made it possible for bands to be heard all over the world, and for information to pass seamlessly across international boundaries within minutes; I will say I, like many older members of the underground family, really miss the intimacy of snail mail. I mean, I cannot tell you how amazing some of the little pictures were that were scrawled all over these letters. Decapitated heads, Dismembered Carnage, Zombie Nightmares; People really took their time, and their appreciation and adoration for underground music just bled from every orifice. Surely, these feelings are still very much alive today, but the tactile abrasiveness is somehow missing.
When I think of how much great music came out towards the end of the eighties and the beginning of the nineties, it boggles the mind. I mean, I am not sure even where to start. Of course labels like Earache, Peaceville, Nuclear Blast, Roadrunner, etc were putting out records that are regarded now as timeless classics, but beyond that there was a barrage of demos from the four corners of the world through tape trading which introduced new styles of music to the largely late-teens newly formed network of music maniacs that now called itself “The Underground.”
Sam introducing Derketa at their first ever gig on Jan. 15, 2011 (photo - Brian Pattison)
It was all brand new. And it wasn’t sure where it was heading, but it didn’t care because it lived in the moment. As for Hideous (Mangleus), we didn’t have a clue we were playing “Grindcore” at first. We were just playing the style of music we loved. We called ourselves “Horror-Core” which has since taken on a “Rap” connotation. All we did was skateboard, watch horror films and play/listen to music. For us there just wasn’t anything else. And as I started to mention earlier, we soon got to play and meet other music fanatics turned musicians like Exit-13, Chaotic Plague, Bathym, Rottevore, NunSlaughter, Deceased, Phlegm, Incantation, Mortician, Baphomet, etc. Each band had a very unique sound and was doing something very original, sure we all had some of the same influences, but we had different ones too and it spelled for an avalanche of creativity.
Sam and friends at A Day of Death 2011 (photo - Maga Sanchez)
I do not have words to say how special this time was or how special the friendships are that came from it; but I can say twenty years now removed, that these friendships and feelings are still strong. And as I meet the younger members of the Underground and feel their passion and excitement for the music, I can assure you it will never die! Hail Underground! Hail Death Metal! Hail Grindcore!
Hail Old Skool!