Exclusive Interview with Kelly McLauchlin From Pessimist


For the last couple of years, Pessimist has been trying to find the right guys to take the band to the next level. What is the status of the band today?

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. For the last few years I had put Pessimist on hiatus, and I was busy touring in Possessed. We had done some reunion shows in 2008, and a European Tour in 2009, and just recently re-formed, in 2013. The lineup is mostly the same, as before: myself on lead guitars and backing vocals, Chris Pernia on Drums, Kelly Conlon on Bass, plus Guitarist Bill Hayden (from our 2001 CD, “Slaughtering the Faithful”) has re-joined the band, and we have added a new vocalist, Ivan “The Evil One” of Black Mass.

The band headlined opening night at the Las Vegas Death Fest 666 on June 12th, tells us about the event.

It went great! It was a huge success, and a great way to make our live debut back on the scene. We got a lot of support from our fans, old and new, and it was great to share the stage again with our friends Mortal Decay, Lust of Decay, and others. We played mostly stuff from our “Blood for the Gods” CD, as well as our new song “Keys to the Underworld”, and closed our set with a Slayer classic, “Die By the Sword”. It was a total blast!!

Las Vegas Death Fest

Before a show what is your ritual you do to get ready?

We don’t really have any “ritual” to get ready for a show. I like to make sure I’m warmed up on guitar, tuned up, and all my equipment is ready. If possible a sound check and be sure we have a good monitor mix, to hear everyone onstage. That’s it, really.

What is your favorite song(s) to play live?

I like playing “Wretched of the Earth” live. It’s a slower song, and heavy. It just has so much emotion, that’s what makes it fun to play.

If you could do a show with any band, who would it be?

Well I’ve already played with most of my favorite bands over the years. I guess on a personal level I’d really like to play a show with Motörhead, or Ozzy Osbourne. That would be a lot of fun.

Pessimist has done some great covers to Megadeth, Kreator and Death. Tell us about the process you go through when covering some of these iconic bands.

There’s no process really, just everyone learns their parts, the songs, and then we go and record it. In some cases, like the Megadeth tribute – the record label had encouraged us to sort of do our own thing, so we did more like a Death Metal version of the song – the guitars are tuned down, and with growly vocals. On some of the others, like Kreator and Death – we stayed more closely to the original version.

What are some bands that have influenced you/and your members?

We have a wide range of influence, ranging from mostly 90’s Death Metal to earlier stuff.. the obvious influences are Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Suffocation.. our drummer Chris is more into the technical side of things, bands Like Atheist, Cynic, and Death.

What music/band have you been currently jamming?

Lately I’ve been into all kinds of early stuff.. King Diamond, Testament, Fear Factory.

What is in store for the future for Pessimist?

Right now we are just focused on writing our new CD, “Keys to the Underworld”. After that we’ll record, and see what happens. We’re not really worried about being signed to any label or anything, we are just working at our own pace nowadays.

What is some advice that you would give new musicians trying to make it?

Yeah, don’t quit your day job! Other than that, it is what you make of it. I’d say go all in, be prepared to sacrifice everything, and there are no guarantees that anyone will ever make it.

We would like to thank Kelly for sitting down and doing this interview for us.  Watch for Pessimist's new album 'Keys To The Underworld' and connect with them at their [Website], [Facebook page] and [ReverbNation].

Pessimist - Keys To The Underworld

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About Cody Sparks

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Writer and Developer for Metal CallOut.  Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Melodic Death, Thrash and Traditional. Sparks can be found at @SparksFury or at Google+.

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