"I Still Have a Knife to Kill": Tom Blood Spills His Guts About Catasexual Urge Motivation
I first discovered Catasexual Urge Motivation (CUM - how great is that acronym?) when I was constantly lurking about the old Razorback Records forums. Looking back, accessing their forums on our old 56k modem was one of the primary influences in my initial in depth exploration of the succinct and beautiful brutality of Grindcore and especially Goregrind. Here was where I first discovered, among others, CUM. I picked up their full length The Encyclopedia of Serial Murders. The term Cybergrind was a sort of catchword and mainly seemed to refer to Hardcore Gore Techno projects like Libido Airbag or any Grind project that made extensive use of a drum machine. Nowadays, the label is applied to sub-genres such as Casiocore and Nintendocore as well.
All well and good of course, but to my developing teenage brain, CUM was a “true” Cybergrind band. Industrial style percussion keeping pace for the Deathgrind (Or as Tom Blood refers to it as, Grind Gore) style guitar work. The vocal work is absolutely brutal. Have you ever heard a velociraptor do Gore vocals? Well it’s kind of like that at times, vicious and unrelenting. Other times they're throaty, like gravel scrapping across the windpipe. And in Goregrind fashion, a lot of the songs are pretty damn catchy and will get stuck in your head for days.
CUM was quiet for a long time, but Bizarre Leprous Productions recently started to release the Nekronicle Continues 5-disc discography in their store and Bandcamp. I decided to start putting my feelers out to see if I could get in touch with them, and it was easier than expected. I reached out to Tom Blood, the sole remaining member (originally his brother was a member of CUM as well), through their Facebook page, and he agreed to do a short form interview. So without further ado, check it out!
The legendary and mysterious Catasexual Urge Motivation. You’ve recently put out Necronicle Continues Volumes 1 and 2, with 3 more volumes set to be released on Bizarre Leprous (Note: Volume 3 was released before this interview was published). I remember when the first Necronicle was released on Razorback Records. Why did you decide to put out a larger discography collection?
Oh yes, the Nekronicle Continues is basically a box set collection that consists of 5 CD’s. I have been thinking of releasing a Nekronicle part 2 thing, and I started working towards a compilation of old materials which could be released in digital format like CDs, that was around 2007 or something. It has slowly progressed.
In the meantime, a couple of years ago, my long time friend in Bizarre Leprous (Czech), Roman asked me to release CUM’s discography collection CD’s on his label. Like I said I have been in work of remastering our old materials to be released on CD someday somehow, and I decided to move forward the band with new songs. To get back in the scene, I think it’s good to release old materials remastered before CUM releases new material to show what we did in the past to newer fans. Roman just asked me to do a double CD discography collection, but we have a lot more than two, so I told him we have at least 4 or 5 CDs worth of material and we want to release everything, and he said yes.
Speaking of Necronicle Continues, can we expect some new material as well on the forthcoming volumes? Are there any plans to write new material in general?
There aren’t any newly written song but lots of unreleased materials in there. For instance, They Made Us Sick (cover songs from Autopsy, Pungent Stench, Gore Beyond Necropsy, etc.) is a part of volume 3 and it hasn’t been released on any format before. Volume 4 will be entirely never-released material, which contains very old songs, but they all were Industrialized from Grind Gore versions.
I am writing new songs, yes. We have many songs ready for an album, which were written in the old days, and my goal was to release that album somehow for the last CUM release. But at the time I had a mental health illness. I am getting a lot better now, and all the new bands that are very brutal, heavy and sick encourage me to write new songs. Their influences are huge on me to move forward the band.
CUM was the first band I listened to that, at least to me, defined the “Cybergrind” genre with The Encyclopedia of Serial Murders. What were your influences during the creative process?
That album was a massive result of bands that are influenced on us. Namely just a few, Impetigo, Carcass, Xysma, Disgrace, Gore Beyond Necropsy, and some industrial bands like Ministry, Dead World, Fudge Tunnel, etc. Of course there are elements of Terrorizer, Repulsion, Brutal Truth, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, etc, old school but all time favorite bands. I was a huge Thrash/Power Metal fan since the beginning, but after I got into the Death/Grind scene, I discarded the old Thrash/Power Metal influence on purpose. My age is the same as the first generation of Grind Core, so I have been listening to huge amounts of that kind of music most of my life. But Death/Grind was to me, at that time, far different than other music genres like 70’s rock, 80’s Metal, 90’s Alternative, and Thrash/Power Metal (a few of them have origins in Death Metal for sure). We wanted a more extreme kind of sound for making our own music, which I have never heard. Simply, we wanted to join together the beat of Industrial to the sound of Death Metal. The use of a drum machine at that time was a disadvantageous condition for a band, but we wanted to use it to be a more favorable aspect for us. Earlier demos weren’t effective with use of the drum machine to get the “Cyber” feeling and atmosphere, but the second demo (split tape with Goropsy 1996) was quite satisfactory for us. So we brought it to the first album recording and the result was a more advanced achievement.
You’re well known for some humorously long song titles such as, ‘“He Shot Her Down And Ate Her Flesh, and She Said: “Excuse Me For Living But I preferred To Be Eaten Rather Than To Eat”’. Was this intentional? And what specific serial killers/murders inspired the titles, if any?
Yes, it is, intentional. It’s way easier to figure out how and what we wanted to talk about with a song about a murderer, don’t you think? The mentioned title is about Issei Sagawa, who killed and ate Dutch exchange student (and then raped her corpse) in France in 1981.
Most of our song tiles are from real serial murderers like Henry Lee Lucas, Richard Ramirez, Richard Chase, Manson, Gacy, Pogo the Crown, Chikatilo, Dahmer, Fish etc. We just modified a bit for a better title than the killer’s original behaviors.
Who are your favorite bands in Japan at the moment?
Final Exit, Self Deconstruction, Anatomia, Coffins, Su19b, just name a few. Also Oniku, 注射針混入豚 (Needle Contaminated Pork), Viscera Infest, Sete Star Sept, are cool. Newer bands always inspired me a lot to become a more powerful and intense Grind Gore band. They really influenced and inspired me to move forward with the band more than before.
Have you been involved in any other projects recently?
I did a bit of guest vocals on one of the split LPs of Disrotted, a Chicago Doom/Sludge band. And this one is not involving any outside members, but my solo Crust-Core band Disorganized, has just released a 3 song cassette called Hardcore Vengeance on World Suicide Products. Which was recorded in 1996, but finally saw the light of day.
What can we expect in the future for either you or CUM?
Currently I am writing new songs for CUM. Songs for splits, possibly for next album, and a bunch of work on remastering old materials. CUM is much more stronger and sicker than ever. You will receive small surprise from us when all Nekronicle Continues volumes are released. Also I am planning to set up complete remaster of Encyclopedia album in the future. I am doing this all alone now. My younger brother left the band since our father passed away two years ago. So my work will be much slower, but I am trying the best I can.
I’ve said this somewhere, but I am saying this again “I still have a knife to kill”.
Any last words?
Thanks so much for your interest. It’s a great honor for me to sharing time with you like this. This was an interesting interview. Stay sick you guys. You can reach me at the CUM Facebook!
Catasexual Urge Motivation’s Nekronicle Continues Discography volumes can be purchased on Bandcamp.