Interview with Amon guitarist, Eric Hoffman22nd November 2013
Amon originally formed in ’87 and then became Deicide. One of my highlights back in the 90’s was seeing Deicide live, on their Legion tour. Also when I was singing for Internal Bleeding we opened for Deicide, in NY, on their Once Upon the Cross tour and this was mind blowing for me. Glen Benton and Eric Hoffman were standing to the left of me, off stage, headbanging to our live set. This was an incredible moment for me and IB. Tensions culminated within Deicide to the point that they parted ways with guitar duo and brother’s Eric and Brian Hoffman, 6 years ago. The brothers went about putting the pieces of what had just happened to them together and took ownership of the Amon name again and stated they were going forward with Amon and would put out some lethal music. Their debut album, Liar in Wait, came out in 2012, self financed by the band and many of us were able to finally get our hands on this in 2013. I purchased directly from Eric and he sent me a poster and guitar picks. I reviewed the album here a while ago, giving it 9/10 and I gotta say it’s one evil sounding album. With songs like the title track, Among Us and Semblance of Man you will hear not only brutal viciousness, but the best soloing of Eric and Brian’s career, thus far, I kid you not. The music conjuring up the anger and brutality of the first 3 Deicide albums, however still sounding fresh, by today’s standards and I love the album. If you have ignored this album, for whatever reason, than you need to redeem your soul now by picking it up. Eric is a man of few words; however, I do appreciate the time he took in answering my questions. He spends a lot of his time keeping in touch with fans and since they are without a label, he sends out the cds and this can be rather time consuming. So give it up for Amon and pick up the scorching, Liar in Wait!
Interview with Amon guitarist, Eric Hoffman
By Frank Rini
1. Ok Eric, I wanted to congratulate you and the band on an amazing album, Liar in Wait fuckin slays from beginning to end! How has the response been to it and what was the delay in the album getting released?
The response has been awesome there was no delay in the album, it takes time my friend.
2. Are you happy with the album and the recording? I noticed some production issues with the lack of bass guitar and cymbals sounding a little strange in certain places. Care to comment?
Yes; It all sounds awesome.
3. Explain to us the 2 different album covers? Amazon has the demonic priest presiding over the masses, with God looking down through clouds and then the physical cd copy with the tentacled demon. Who did the covers and explain the concepts of each?
Two different versions for the fans makes more cool merch. The priest was done by a friend in Canada and the tentacled demon was done by a friend of Brian’s; the concepts are mine.
4. So has the band explored options for distribution for the cd through labels and are you shopping the album to record labels, currently? Do you like having 100% control over everything, since there is no record label meddling? Do you like the fact that you’re in contact more with the underground death metal community?
Yes and it is a challenge. It is a great thing to talk to the fans.
5. What surrounded the circumstances of you and your brother, Brian, being told your services in Deicide were no longer needed in 2005? Do you think that their will ever come a time where you guys will mend fences with Glen Benton and Steve Asheim, from Deicide? Do you care to? Do you feel you and Brian are better off without Deicide?
We left due to legal issues of Glen collecting all the royalties when he does write nothing musically. No. No. WE are DEICIDE and now we are AMON.
6. Obviously yer past albums, that you 2 were on in Deicide, still sell. How do the royalties get distributed to you guys, since you’re no longer in the band? Does everything go through legal processes-like lawyers?
Roadrunner split it 4 ways like it should be, and there would be no problem. No.
7. What are some of your musical accomplishments that you are most proud of and why? Would you change anything that you have done over the years?
All of it. Yes. I would have read the contract more carefully that said in c/o Glen Benton for all Scars royalties, we have not received any royalties for Scars…
8. How does Amon differ from Deicide? Has Deicide changed since you and Brian are longer in the band? How so? Do you like any of their music they have put out since?
More brutal. Yes. They are simple and lame. No.
9. Was Deicide your main source of income years ago? How did you manage bills, once no longer in the band? Did you go out and get a job, are you working now? Do you teach guitar lessons?
Yes. Work. Yes. Yes
10. How difficult was it to put Amon back together and is this a 100% commitment from you and the rest of the band? Where would you like to see the band in 5 years time?
They can jam with whoever they want; they are not tied to no one. Retired.
11. Are their currently any shows planned, tours? Have you guys been playing live at all and how has the live crowd response been?
No, not until next year. We play live in the garage every weekend, and the crowd is great!!!
12. How has the scene changed, from let’s say the late 80’s/90’s? Do you still go to shows to see local/national acts?
Yes, the scene is still awesome. I have not been out in a while to check out some local acts.
13. Seeing that some of the Amon material on your debut is over a year old, have you guys begun writing any new music, for a sophomore release next yr, possibly? How does the new material sound as compared to Liar in Wait?
Yes; many riffs are ready for more albums. It is something to bang your head to.
14. Given the symbols/lyrics etc were you and Brian ever practicing Satanists? If so how did you get into that way of life, so to speak? Are you more anti-religion, than anything else? I ask this only because I also remember in the 90’s you adorning inverted crosses in pictures, which does not necessarily mean Satanism-more anti-god/religion and was just wondering your belief system and how it impacts your music/life approach?
We practice every day. Life. No; It is just some anger music for the fans.
15. I notice, among the vicious brutality, on yer debut, some of the best soloing of you and Brian’s career. Really outstanding, sometimes melodic, other times just wild and frenzied-the solos are spectacular on your debut. What has influenced you over the years? Is it important, as a musician, to become better at your craft and how do you feel you have improved over the years?
Lots of bands. Lots of hours of practice.
16. Any final comments/thoughts for our readers?
Get Liar In Wait on iTunes, Amazon and others, thank you fans for your support, see you on the road soon.