Interview with Danny Nelson

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Please give us the history of Malignancy. Well, a high school buddy Javier Velez and I decided to try and start a death metal band back in 1992. Our first official rehearsal was on Valentine’s Day in 92, it was total shit and I have the recording to prove it. Toward the end of 92 we got more serious and wrote the “Eaten Out From Within” demo. Nothing that exciting on the demo, it was pretty generic death metal. Roger recorded the demo for us too, before he joined the band. To make a long story short, after a ton of line-up changes and bullshit the real Malignancy was born. So I would say about 96-97 were the true malignant years. Ever since that line-up we have been releasing CDs, touring and playing out religiously. What are your musical and non-musical influences? Shit my influences range from classic rock to thrash to death metal. I grew up on good ole’ classic rock, than the mutation started with early metal. My non-musical influences, as far as song writing, all the shit I see and experience. Some songs have a deeper meaning for me than others. Life can be fucked up and at least I have a vessel to release my frustrations. What have been the reactions to "Promo 2005"? We have gotten a positive response to the promo. I mean shit it secured a deal with Willowtip, that’s gotta say something about it. There are roughly 400 copies out there right now. The material is to the point. Three songs in five minutes. Quickie. Still it flows with Malignancy blood. Yeah, the newer material is short but to the point, that’s how I like it. Malignancy will never have a 10 minute anthem, it’s not our style. Some people dig that long, drawn out, repeat shit a million times but not us. I promise the material that we wrote after the promo tunes completely destroy the other stuff. This is your first recording with Mike Heller. How did you get a hold of him? What is it like working with him? Lance met Mike at Sam Ash and we needed a drummer and Mike agreed to do it. With all new band members it takes time to really feel them out. It took awhile with Mike, he is a young guy and never really worked with a serious band before. He is really into his instrument and is constantly revising his playing and sharpening his skills. Is the split with Roger J. Beaujard amicable? This is a question we get a lot. Yeah, it was the right thing to do at the time. Roger is still our best friend and that will never change. It’s weird for him being on the sidelines, and even weirder for us seeing him in the audience. Will the full length feature entirely new material or there will be reworked ones? No more of that reworked shit. The split with Intervalle was a mistake for us, we never should have done it. It was rushed and we didn’t have time to write new tunes. We usually take our time with writing. Will this be independently released or there are label interests? Well, I got an email from Willowtip requesting a promo before we even recorded it. Once they got it, we were asked to join the label. So “Inhuman Grotesqueries” will be released on Willowtip sometime at the end of the summer. How do you go about writing? How long does it take you to work on the music and the lyrics? It depends on the groove of the sound. “Indigenous Pathogen” took almost no time to write. It came together quick and it seemed to work. Sometimes we talk about how we think the new song should go. I suggested we pack “Indigenous Pathogen” with all the elements I think a good death metal song should have. And that was the end result. Sometimes I can pump out the lyrics in a couple of days, depending on the subject and the research. Tell us more about "Indigenous Pathogen", "Embryological Teratomas", and "Genital Hemangioma." I hope none of the Malignancy lyrics are personal, ha! Well, not much to tell about them, just ideas I got from The Discovery Channel specials. “Indigenous…” is straight forward lyric wise just like the music. “Embryological…”, well I always have a song about pregnancy and the complications that go with it. “Genital…” is weird because I was watching something about hemangiomas and they always seem to be on the face. So I turned it around wrote about what it might be like to have one on your genital area! Are you going to work with Toshihiro Egawa again for the cover art? The artwork of "Cross Species Transmutation" is killer. It sets the atmosphere of the CD. He is good with life like art. We really wanted to work with him again but unfortunately he is not do digital art for CD covers anymore. He plans to pursue more in the fine arts field and good luck to him. The cover took about five months to get to the point it is now, a lot of emails back and forth. We are going to work with Tony Koehl on the new one, he just did the latest Internal Suffering CD. Once we get some good sketches together, they will be posted. Malignancy tours a lot. What do you like most and like least about touring? I wished we could tour more but jobs prevent us from touring more. Lets see, the best thing about touring is touring. The worst thing about touring is touring. It’s a give and take situation. One thing that pisses me off more than anything is zero promotion for a show. We get there and there are no flyers made and no one shows up. There are a lot of promoters out there but it doesn’t mean they are good at what they do. It ultimately comes down to the fans, we could play for 40 people or 400, as long as the energy is there the show will be sick. Is there a particular tour that stands out the most to you? The last tour we did in Europe with Despondency and Wormed was incredible. Both bands were killer dudes and the organizer Thorston was awesome. We traveled in two Eurovans hooked up with TVs and PS2. We were stylin’. The NRW fest was the first stop in Germany and what a sick fest it was, plus the beer was good too. Are you looking forward to the The Central Illinois Metalfest? The line up is killer! Damn, I wish I could go. Of course, last time we played Chicago was back in 2003 with Exhumed and Kataklysm. We have friends out there we have not seen in awhile. How would you describe Malignancy live? Probably the best way to describe us live is, in your face whether you like us or not. The crowd energy is everything, if we give you our energy you better pay us back with yours. Playing for people that enjoy the music is definitely the best. A lot of death metal fans don’t really get our sound but that’s cool. Sometimes it takes a few listens, we are not a “run of the mill” death metal band. Some argue we are generic, but I don’t hear it. You always comment that New Yorkers don't move at gigs. Well, they move now for in NYC. It took us a long time to get New Yorkers respect. Being in a scene where Suffocation rules with an iron fist, it’s hard to establish your own sound. That was a huge concern for me once we got more serious about song writing. I have been told we have our own sound and I am relieved. We get a pretty brutal crowd nowadays. They say you are a stand up comedian in between songs. Will you consider this as a career option? Ha! Hahaha! I thought about it but I enjoy making my friends laugh at the stupid shit I come up with. As a profession, I don’t have the balls to do it in front non-death metal personnel. Hahaha! It seems that you are passionate about the Transformers. How is your collection? Do you have a favorite Transformer? Oh yeah, I have an addiction for Transformers and all 80’s related toys! It’s the era I grew up in so I can’t get enough. My collection is fairly impressive I think. My Star Wars collection is bigger. I love Bruticus, Alpha Trion, Prime and a million others. The one Transformer I want is Fortress Maximus, he is the biggest transformer ever made. (Next to the Unicron toy) But he is way too expensive these days, so I may never get him. If there is anyone out there that wants to give him to me… Hahaha… Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme! Horns up! Thanks Alex for supporting us all these years! The fans make it all worth it for us and I can’t wait to unleash the new CD for all you nuggets! Stay Malignant! Malignancy c/o Danny Nelson Danny Nelson 86 Ridge Road Apt. 2 Yonkers, NY 10705 USA Willowtip 134 South Main St. Suite A Zelienople, PA 16063 USA