The year was 1996 when EIGHTBALL CHOLOS stormed onto the scene with their extremely controversial album “Satan’s Whore“. Nobody was safe from EIGHTBALL CHOLOS with their brutal and up front lyrics. “Satan’s Whore” quickly became banned at Christian Retailers across the United States. Finally 14 years later the band’s debut album sees an official rerelease from the folks at Divine Metal Distro. Pick up the limited edition CD now here. Read on for an interview with EIGHTBALL CHOLOS founder Burrito:
1. Can you describe your sound for those who have never heard you before and your influences?
The best way to describe our sound is straight up metal. What is interesting with our project is that Tracy G. handles all the music and I handle all the lyrics. Tracy will ask me about a vibe of each song or an idea and then he begins the writing process. Since he lives on the opposite side of the USA from me (I live in Virginia and Tracy G. lives in California), we communicate via e-mail and text messages. Tracy’s influences are so deep – Jeff Beck / Angus Young / and a slew of others. My lyrical influences are pretty much based on my life experiences / beliefs.
2. I believe 8 Ball Cholos recently reformed, how did this come about and also can you share some things about the history of the band?
I have known Tracy G. for over 25 years. We were introduced at a local concert by a mutual friend. We hit it off really quick. Tracy is such a humble and passionate guy and is a guy of very few words. We started talking and he told me he had written some fast metal music and wanted to know if I wanted to throw some vocals down. We did 3 releases under the name The Warning and we released Repent or Die, A Virgin In The Midst Of Whores and Cut The Crap. Our releases really caused a lot of controversies due to my straight forward lyrics. The music was brutal and the lyrics were just as brutal as was some of our cover artwork. I had death threats and a lot of hate mail. I moved back east in 1989 and still kept in touch with Tracy.
In 1996 we recorded a project that would pretty much piss off the CCM. I decided to change the name to 8-Ball Cholos and that release was Satan’s Whore. That release really struck a nerve in the CCM vein. People didn’t know what to think. Fast forward to 2009. I know that I wanted to do another release and I had contacted James @ Divine Metal Distro and we talked about doing an 8-Ball Cholos reunion release. James was into it and I texted Tracy G and now we are working on the new release.
3. Divine Metal Distro is about to be reissuing “Satan’s Whore”, right ?, why do you think that album really struck a nerve with the contemporary Christian music scene in 1996 and also what were the death threats fueled about?
Yes Divine Metal Distro will be issuing the re-issue of Satan’s Whore which will have a real bonus to collectors, the re-issue with have the complete library of the pre- 8 ball project – the warning. This will be the first time any of the warning releases will be on cd.
What struck a nerve were my straight forward lyrics that were geared toward the church and religion. I wrote about it from personal dealings, and a lot of people were pissed I had called out the Promise Keepers Movement and the Catholic Church, and how some of my lyrics were deemed vulgar. You didn’t question the church …but I had seen the politics and crap that man can do in church and wasn’t going to sit back and say nothing. I received a lot of angry hate mail and had a few “I pray for you demise “voice mails, but it comes with taking a stand.
4. Does Tracy G play a real drum kit when recording the music and how is the new material shaping up, is there a change in style?
I can’t divulge Tracy’s musical magic making LOL… the music is coming along well. It’s very heavy and is straight forward brutal metal. We have some stuff planned that will add to the style and we hope people like it. What is different is that I haven’t written one lyric yet for the album, what I am planning on doing is getting all the songs together and lay out the cd and then I will begin to write. I have ideas and song titles but I want to make sure when I write it’s going to be the best thing I have done. I will be seeking God’s direction in my lyrics and I want him to be glorified in this release and people to be touched and ministered to.
5. What is it about the Promise Keepers movement your suspect about and addressed in the lyrics?
Back in ’95 / ’96 PK was booming, in fact I was asked to lead a PK bible study. I thought the concept was cool, but the more I looked into it, it was a lot of fluff and not a lot of meat. I mean we should use the bible as a base in our lives. Now you don’t hear much about the whole PK movement anymore.
6. With the new album already being called “ObamaChrist 666”, that is sure too strike up some controversy and maybe misunderstandings. You must have a grand issue confronting concept behind this, rather than a political agenda?
The original title was “Church of Whores”, but I felt “ObamaChrist666” would really make a statement. Of course there are people who are saying I think Obama is the Anti-Christ, which I do not. However the reason for the title is based on how people today worship a person based on their charm / charisma. Obama is that person who the whole world fell in love with and pretty much hung on his every word. Same as how the Anti-Christ will be received with open arms and how he will be the person to bring peace. Obama has in a way opened a door to how the world will be blinded by the deceit of the Anti-Christ, because people are easily fooled because they walk by sight and not by faith. Even though I am a very political person, the concept of the CD is to lay down the false idols and to worship the one true God.
7. Have you received a lot of interesting feedback and talks about the music and lyrics in the metal world over the years?
Well we have been known as a band you either love or hate. I know a lot of Tracy G’s friends in the metal scene liked our stuff and thought it was cool. Most of the “dislike” comes from the Christian metal scene and some publications that won’t give us any press or even do an interview. We are labeled “too controversial” which to me is a joke because we are only speaking from our hearts. I would say for every one person who likes us there are 10 who don’t. They are easily offended and I guess we offend them.
8. Something I find extremely lacking in Christian metal is a believable righteous anger expressed by vocalists when addressing many important issues that call for it. I think there are many more important issues that Christians could express with much more passion, and often the vocalist does not really come off with any righteous anger at all, it just sounds brutal, monotone, emotionless or dark. What do you think about this?
For a long time I felt the CCM was a joke, all fluff no meat. Guys dressing like girls and their music and lyrics were lame. There were very few bands that had a real passion for their faith. I was considered the godfather of the Christian hardcore movement and have been involved since 1984. I have seen a lot. But I feel passion fuels desire; your passion should come through your music. I was once told I sounded like a “pissed off preacher”, well to me that was a compliment. It’s cool to have a righteous anger, we should take a stand for our faith and we should not back down.
9. What would be the main issues that tick you off about the CCM industry and what advice would you give to young Christian metal bands?
Wow, where do I start? LOL … I don’t want to bore anyone so I will make this short. I have been involved since the early ’80s. I think CCM has moved away from being a tool to evangelize the world to just being a 2nd rate music scene. I know it sounds harsh, but the vision was to bring the Gospel to those that are lost, now it seems it’s about being a rock star.
10. I believe you used to run Morphine Records, releasing Crimson Thorn and Erase etc, around 1995 or 96 when metal in the Christian scene had become more underground. What became of it?
Morphine Records is a bittersweet subject. I was able to help some bands but at the time I had so much going on in my personal life I didn’t give the label the priority I should have and made some poor business decisions which resulted in having to fold the label.
11. Tell us some more about The Warning days, did you ever play live?
The Warning never played live, we had offers but with Tracy doing all the music in the studio it wasn’t possible to duplicate that sound live. The Warning caused a lot of controversy and brought the whole speed metal / hardcore to the underground scene.
12. Thanks Burrito for the interview. Will be looking out for the new releases. Any final comments?
In closing I would like to encourage people not to get caught up in the title of the new release, and to listen to it with an open mind. We would like to thank you for taking time to do this interview and to James @ Divine Metal Distro. You can keep tabs on us by visiting the following links… http://www.myspace.com/8ballcholosmetal http://www.tracyg.com http://mindofburrito.blogspot.com
Interview Conducted by: Drawnsword