Soulless interview for Mighty Magazine # 16

Journalist: Michael H. Andersen

Dec. 2002.

Answers by band member: Jim Lippucci, Vocals and Wayne Richards, Guitar

1. I have been familiar with Soulless for a few years through some reviews I read in American magazines, but you never made much notice of yourself in Europe? Howcome?

JL: We sent a good number of CD’s to distros and zines worldwide and got some good responses from all corners of the globe. It becomes very difficult and expensive to promote heavily outside the U.S., but we do what we can.
WR: We only pressed 1000 discs, we are an underground thrash band who isn’t well known even in the U.S., underground U.S. bands are not normally noticed in Europe.

2. Now you signed with a Japanese record company, World Chaos Productions. What made you sign with them? Weren’t there any American companies interested?

JL: We had a couple of offers from some American labels, unfortunately those people decided not to follow through with us for whatever reasons they may have had. WorldChaos expressed their interest in us and then quickly followed through with a tremendous amount of support and enthusiasm, no bullshit, or hesitation.
WR: Soulless had a few companies that expressed interest in the band, one even sent us a negotiable contract which we tried to negotiate with but received no reply from…Worldchaos is a label that is totally into doing the same things we want to do with Soulless, Worldchaos is into our music and has done everything for us that they said they would do…they are METAL.

3. Who will handle the distribution and promotion of your album in the US? I suppose your home market is the most important for you?

JL: Right now we’re unsure as to who will be distributing the album in the US. Once the album is released WorldChaos will license the album in different territories, so it’s sort of up to them. The US market is not really all that important to us. Obviously we’d love to see the release well received and distributed throughout the US, but unfortunately I don’t feel our home market is all that receptive to our style.
WR: Most of the promotion and distribution duties fall into Worldchaos’ hands. They have already established several licensing deals in Europe, where metal is truly appreciated, and where we expect our music to be appreciated the most.

4. I noticed you have participated on no less than 6 tribute albums (all on Dwell)!!! Howcome? What have been the benefits and disadvantages of this? In my ears it doesn’t ring a positive bell. Which is the best from the cover songs you have recorded, in your opinion?

JL: I don’t understand why this doesn’t ring a positive bell to your ears. The tributes allowed us to have a budget to work in the studio and even allowed us to record our newer material at no personal expense. We were able to hammer out the promo that eventually helped us sign to WCP at the same time we recorded the tributes. It was also a chance to play songs that we love and grew up on, and have these recordings nationally released! Overall it was a great experience. I love the Ozzy tribute song. I grew up on Sabbath and Ozzy so it was very cool to have someone allow us to do something like that.
WR: Reasons to do a tribute record: 1. You get a chance record a song of a band that you love and have it on a release 2. You get paid to record this song and have money left over to record your own material 3. If you do a good version of the song and people dig it, they will see your band’s name and want to hear your original stuff. We have sold CDs just because someone heard our Twisted Sister and Destruction covers (which are my 2 favorites).

5. Your new album “Agony’s Lament” is practically your debut album, since “The Darkening Of Days” was released by yourself. Howcome it took so long for you to get a deal?

WR: I would like to think of “Agony’s Lament” as our first record because this is what Soulless is now…the material is definitely the strongest we have ever written. As the band has evolved from the loss of our original guitarist and bassist, so has the sound of the band (for the better, I might add). It took a while for the band to get where it is now; for the band to be tight enough and have a lineup of 5 people all going in the same direction… which brings us to today…we sent out hundreds of promos to labels, zines, radio stations, you name it. It takes time to find the right person to see what your doing with your music and be willing to spend thousands of dollars to release promote your product.
JL: We really wanted to find someone that would get behind us and help us make an album we could be proud of. As to why it took so long, I’m not sure. Maybe we don’t play the right shows or kiss ass to the right people, or maybe everyone just thought we plain suck, but we always stayed patient and focused and tried to do things on our terms.

6. I am quite amazed about the energy you display on “Agony’s Lament” and the style you are playing. To me you don’t sound very American, but more like the new breed of the Scandinavian/European thrash/death scene. Which are your main inspirations and which bands are an honour for you to be compared with?

JL: My inspiration lies mainly in the bands that really defined the genre early on: bands like Sodom, Kreator and Destruction. I am always honored to be compared to these bands, as they are truly legends and pioneers of true thrashing death metal.
WR: Personally I just see Soulless as a thrash band. I was always influenced by early Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Kreator, Entombed, At the Gates, etc…Being compared to any good thrash band is an honor…

7. Do you see Soulless competing with the biggest bands in the genre you play (The Haunted etc.), do you have what it takes? Are you ready to take out two months in your calendar, leave your jobs and family and go on tour?

JL: I hate to apply the term “compete” to metal. I’m sure we can thrash and rage and drink as much as any band, and look forward to the opportunity to do so. My job sucks and my family finds me highly disgraceful and disgusting... I have no problem leaving either behind for an extended period of time.
WR: This release will be a turning point in the history of Soulless…I am not sure what will happen, but I am positive there will be tours in the future, when and with whom I do not know, but we are not playing in a band because we want to compete, music is not about competing…We are doing what we love doing, we get out there and thrash…sure we would love to go out and tour all the time, that is our fucking dream! But we shall see what fate holds in store for us…

8. Which other American bands playing more or less the same genre as Soulless would you recommend? Do you have any soul mates musically from the States?

JL: I can think of no one outside of our circle playing our type of metal, there are very few bands that come to mind. I dare say that Americans are afraid of thrash.
WR: Deceased is definitely the greatest metal band in the U.S. They consistently put out great metal records and their live shows are fantastic. No other bands come to mind. The period of good U.S. metal bands was in the early eighties, unfortunately.

9. I also feel you have some inspiration from the early thrash metal scene, both the European (Kreator, Destruction) and the American (especially Sadus and Athiest (vocalwise). Please comment on this.

JL: Again I will say that Kreator and Destruction are very influential to me. Early thrash is what I love. It is the greatest music on this planet.
WR: I can see the comparison to Kelly Shaffer with Jim, but I think Jim’s voice is extremely unique…Kreator and Destruction are definitely 2 of our all-time favorites!

10. Do you know anything about Denmark and the Danish metal scene?

WR: Illdisposed? I have not been to Denmark in a while.
JL: I must admit my ignorance in this department, perhaps you will educate me?

11. Last words!

WR: If you like thrash check us out at Keep an eye out for Soulless’ “Agony’s Lament” on Worldchaos Production. Let Metal be your guide and keep a Beer at your side.
JL: Check out in addition to our site for mp3’s and news, also feel free to contact us at or write us at PO box 7417, Cleveland Ohio 44134-7417 USA. Thanks and horns up!!!!