1.- Hail!!!!!!! From the ashes of Bloodsick, Decrepit and Decimation emerge Soulless. Tell us how you evolved from this dawn trinity and the sound you performed nowadays.

Jim Lippucci (V): Well, as various projects disintegrated for all of us, we found ourselves together, with a love for thrash and armed with many beers. We brought with us Different tastes of what we love…Death, Thrash, ‘70’s and ‘80’s hard rock and metal…

Wayne Richards (Guitar): We didn’t really evolve from these bands, these were all just other great metal bands thriving in the same scene and everyone knew each other…this eventually led to Soulless hooking up when these other bands dissolved. We are influenced by 80s Bay Area and German Thrash and early 90s Swedish Death Metal, throw some harmony action (Maiden and Priest) and a pissed singer and you have Soulless!

2.- We can see the Swedish influence (At the Gates, The Haunted) in your tracks, with great doses of corrosion and anger. Was the path to the American underground difficult? I ask you this because I have talked to some bangers of your country and they always see the melodic Swedish Thrash in a bad way. Against what or who did Soulless have to fight in order to be renown in the underground?

WR: Are we renowned? I wasn’t aware. I guess you’re automatically an underground band when you play only East Coast (but mainly Cleveland) shows and the band is unsigned with only a self financed/self released CD. We still really aren’t that well known in the States (or anywhere for that matter). I don’t know how anyone who claims to be metal can shun the Swedish scene. It has been without a doubt the greatest source of excellent metal since the early 90s. Horru din javla fitta! Skal! We had (and still do have) many battles with our ultimate foe: lack of money!

JL: It was less of a fight than it was an upward climb, and we still have very far to go. It seems thrash has been looked down upon by people…which is very gay.

3.- Tell us about your demo CD "The Darkening of Days", the recording details, artwork, tracks, lyrics, etc. Who was the first one in supporting you? Was any of these tracks recorded again in your "Agony's Lament"? Could it be re edited in next productions as a bonus?

JL: We recorded it in a little digital garage studio very cheaply. The songs hint at what was to come. We were a different band then, just starting to come together. The lyrics were pissed. We did not re-record any tracks from the first disk…but who knows…in the future…

WR: Shortly after we released the demo, we received great support from the Cleveland metal scene. We recorded “The Darkening of Days” at Spider Studio in Cleveland, which was more than adequate for what we wanted to do with the demo, and were pleased with the outcome. Canadian powerhouse metal mag Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles named it the best demo of 1999. Pretty much every review of the demo was a positive one. We had an overused local Cleveland artist do the artwork, which again was more than adequate for what we wanted to achieve for the look of the demo cover. We won’t re-record any of the demo tracks.

4.- It is strange that an American band plays in an European style and works in a Japanese label. How did World Chaos Production come to you? What make you accept their proposal? When I see their catalog, I realized that they specialized in melodic Thrash bands. Can you tell us something about your label fellows?

JL: They were the only label interested!!! Well, seriously interested at least. They made us a great offer combined with what we had seen of their great promotion. Terror Squad was the first release. They’re thrash raving terrorists!!! Once I started seeing and hearing their other releases like King’s-Evil, Grimforce, Manipulated Slaves etc., I wanted to be on that label!! King’s-Evil plays Flesh scorching thrash. Grimforce is more of a pummeling assault. I will stop now before I sound more stupid.,

WR: Worldchaos was the only label that allowed us to negotiate a contract feasible enough for the band to accept. Jim was trading some stuff with Worldchaos and sent them some songs that we were planning on being on another self financed release. They loved it and signed us, and we are stoked to be on WORLDCHAOS PRODUCTION!

5.- All the production of Agony's Lament is A-1!!!!!!! Tell us something about the recording in The Mars Recording. Was the recording of this album complicated? How long did you take to record it? On the other hand, lyrics keep the tradition of occult death-themes that I really like!!! How do you do them and what do you think of social lyrics or the ones with positive messages?

JL: I usually smoke lots of pot and then eat some chips. Then I’m ready to write. I’m inspired by the events in and around my life and driven by my hatred of religion, stupidity, apathy, deceit, etc…I like all sorts of lyrics, as long as they contain some thought and emotion.

WR: Bill Korecky (Mushroomhead, Incantation) is a damned genius when it comes to engineering a metal record! He is a blast to work with and we pound beers and metal the whole time we’re there. MARS is probably the greatest place on earth! It probably took about 2 ½ weeks altogether to record and mix. There will always be rough spots in the recording process, which can be a nightmare at times, but in the end the band pulls through on its way to a glorious release! Oh…I don’t write lyrics.

6.- The artwork of Agony's Lament is spectacular, it seems to be created just for you. Is it possible? How did you find artist Matt Cavotta and what can you tell us about him.

JL: Matt is from our native home of Cleveland, Ohio. He makes his living creating characters for a playing card game called Magic: The Gathering and also Illustrates Dungeon and Dragon books. He did covers for fellow Cleveland metal heads Somnus. We originally had Cleveland resident Sean Rodgers slated for the project, He did artwork for Nuclear Assault and Dark Angel back in the day…but he backed out at the last minute. We found Matt and explained our predicament. He liked our rough concept, and then told us he could have it done in a week if we gave him complete freedom. It turned out great.

WR: Jim is a good answerer.

7.- In the photo collage I can see a great performance on the stage. Describe us the best show of Soulless and also your worst one. Do you play your tracks faster in alive? If this is the case, it should be a real carnage!!!! What inspires you once you are at the stage?

WR: Our CD release show in Parma, OH was a rager! A really great time; the band played without any complications and the crowd was thrashing like madmen! On stage we’re very fast! Much faster than we are at practice and it is a true cornucopia of carnage! The worst show was in 95 degree heat last summer at an outdoor show. Not that we played bad, but the heat was so damned spectacular and the crowd was not.

JL: It’s hard for me to come up with a best or worse…I tend to be very critical and think I always suck. I just listen to the people who say it was cool and hope they are not lying. Chris, our drummer is on a constant quest to speed up everything all the time. He seems to get faster every week. We like that.

8.- How do you see the American scene? Are you upset with the fact that some people just supports know acts? In Ohio, which are the bands that deserve real support? You have played together with Nunslaughter. What is your relationship with this horde of Satanic Death Metal?

JL: We are good friends with Nunslaughter. Our scene here is very strange. I went to High School with Jim Sadist. Chris was in Decrepit with Dwaniac, who joined Nunslaughter after Wayne here quit. It only gets worse…I don’t care who people support. Sometimes I get jealous, a big act comes through town and you see all of these people you have never seen before in your life. But fuck them if they don’t care about the scene. I can only support it that much harder.

WR: I don’t really look forward to seeing that many American bands on their way through Cleveland. America has become a haven for terrible radio-friendly garbage called “Nu Metal” which is worse than anything ever. I can’t really think of too many good American metal bands besides the Death Metal Gods Deceased! The real metal scene is in Europe and especially Sweden (the metal headquarters of the world). I played in Nunslaughter for nearly two years. It eventually really started affecting Soulless’ progress, so I quit. I’m still good friends with Don and play in another side project (Spawn of Satan) with Jim. We all practice in the same room (not at the same time, though).

9.- Bands with a similar style of yours as In Flames or Dark Tranquillity are gods in Japan. Have you talked to your label if they are interested in a gig in that country? Knowing In Flames is one of your influences, I ask you if you think they have abandoned their real path. Their last production is too commercial!!! How do you see the story of I. F.?

JL: It is our goal to play in Japan one day soon. It is a complicated and expensive undertaking, but the label is intent on making it happen. As far as In Flames goes, who am I to criticize…I can only make sure that I enjoy what I do. I don’t like the newer stuff as much as the older, but bands always change…

WR: WE WILL PLAY JAPAN (eventually)! We have talked about it, but plane tickets are extremely expensive for poor bastards like us. Whoracle is the last In Flames record I have. They are still a great live band, but where has the thrash gone?!?!?!? If you want to hear what In Flames used to be like listen to Dimension Zero.

10.- Can we talk about new stuff of Soulless? What new tracks have you composed? Tell us some details in advance of your next production. Are you still in World Chaos or is there any new label interested in Soulless?

WR: We have written 3 songs since “Agony’s Lament” came out at the end of November. We do not know what the future has in store for us, but you know we will THRASH!!! Hopefully we’ll land another deal as good as the one with Worldchaos. Right now we’re just playing shows and concentrating on supporting and promoting our first proper release!

JL: WorldChaos deals on a one record basis. That way all parties involved bear responsibility for making the project succeed. No one is guaranteed anything. We have begun writing new material, and hope that when we have enough material for an album, someone will put it out.

11.- Any future gig or actions of the band?

WR: We have a couple shows lined up in February and a few more lined up in March: 2 in Cleveland (one of these with Malevolent Creation), one in Youngstown and one in Akron. We will soon have North and South American distribution!

JL: We’re just doing shows here and there regionally right now. The CD was just Licensed in the US and Canada on Crash Music and in Brazil on Encore Records, which we’re pretty happy about…

12.- That the laments of agony expand to each mortal!!! Your last words to end this interview!!!

WR: Hails Peru’s Metal Freaks! Use good beer to wet your beaks!

JL: Hails! Cheers and horns up!