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Deliverance

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One of the legendary bands of the so-called Christian metal movement, is Deliverance. This Californian band was started around 1985 by Jimmy P. Brown II. It was their first album (produced by metal veteran Bill Metoyer) that caught the attention of metal fans worldwide. The titleless effort was followed by six other studio albums, some of which were major successes like Weapons Of Our Warfare and Learn. Each album marked a new development in the songwriting of Brown and companions. Unfortunately, the band came to an end. Now, in the year 2000, Brown is back with Deliverance. Read here what he has to say about the past, present and future.

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Discography: Selftitled album (1989), Weapons Of Our Warfare (1990), What A Joke (1991), Stay Of Execution (1992), Recorded Live EP (1993), Learn (1993), River Disturbance (1994), A Decade Of...(1995), Camelot-In-Smithereens (1995), Back In The Day-The First Four Years (2000). Available through: Deliverance  Official website: Deliverance Interview by:  mpo Date: 11-14 November 2000

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Word came that you will restart Deliverance. Before we talk about the new Deliverance I want to look back first. Deliverance was started by you in 1985 and you pushed the cart until late 1996/early 1997. What were the reasons for Deliverance's demise?

Actually, I broke the group up in January 1996. There could be a whole lot of reasons but what it all boils down to was that I was burned out. I needed a break and so did the other guys (Manny & Jeff). They both had seen that I was becoming extremely bitter and things weren’t going right any more. I vowed never to do music again and broke up the band.

I remember reading in HM Magazine that you went through a "terrible time of disillusionment and backsliding the last two years". When I interviewed Marcus Colon (who was part of Deliverance twice) earlier this year, he also spoke about you not
wanting to do Deliverance again. There's also something about a German promoter I heard. So, what circumstances made you feel burned out? What did you go through?

I would just like to say that it was a terrible time for me, let's call it a valley for me. That's as far as I will go into it because as far as the east is from the west, those days are long behind me and I do not wish to remember them. As far as a German promoter, you'd have to be more specific and where you heard your info from. And life in general with finances, lousy management, lying promoters that were leaving my family starving, you name it, I could go on, but that is not important now. For every lousy promoter, there were 10 good ones, but in life somehow the bad outweighs the good unfortunately if you let it. As far as what I went through, I do not wish to remember that part of my life.

Aha, so there were matters of business. Considering your experiences with the whole
business side of being an artist, what would you like to say to young, starting bands? What are the pitfalls to be aware of?

I would say, know that this is what you want to do. A calling as it were.  There are many pitfalls as you call them. I would say just don't trust anyone who says they are a brother. Some are, and some aren't, but either way brother or not, they could not be to bright on the biz side of things and knowingly or unknowingly mess things up.

Speaking of backsliding, Deliverance once broke from the scene along with Vengeance Rising. Roger Martinez from VR lost his faith after many disillusionments. Now he's basically trying to provocate people and trying to break down what he once tried to build up. How do you feel about this situation? Is it something that touches you personally?

I've known Rog for some 13 years now and also knowing George Ochoa who was very close to him at one time and my wife having worked with Roger's ex wife, all I can say is that there were no disillusionments for him. He did what he did from the beginning. The scripture says "they went out from us, because they were never part of us". That might seem harsh, but look at his actions and tell me they are not harsh. I pray for his soul, but he has made his own choice. There is no comparison between him and I.

If you look back to the Deliverance era, what emotions come up in your heart? How do you feel about it and what are the things that made you feel happy back then and now?

For quite a long time and still even now to this day I always look at our first four years together as being the best years of our history. The core nucleus did not change of myself, Chris Hyde, and Brian Khairullah for a full 5 solid years. We were more than just a band. We were a ministry and we were like family. Then we got signed and new members were added and things literally changed overnight. After the second record
things were never the same between myself, Chris and Brian and that is when the magic was lost.  I wouldn’t gain it back until 3 years later with Manny, a solid member who would stick by me.

In a lot of ways I dug what was going on musically, and I loved touring and making records but what was happening internally with the band was disheartening. Then came the endless revolving door of band members, which to this day leaves me a bit dismayed. But with the change of styles and the release of three very introspective records (Stay, Learn and River) it brought back a reason to keep moving on. So if I had to pick any era that brings me joy to think of it was the days of me, Chris and Brian.


My second favorite era is from Learn on. They both represent something in my life, the first representing innocence and friendship, the second representing artistry and heartbreak.

You also worked together with Gene Eugene on River Disturbance and perhaps other releases too. Sadly though, he passed away this year. How do you look back to the time when you hung out with him?

Actually, Gene Eugene engineered Stay Of Execution, Learn and River Disturbance. Christian music and the world in general lost a man who was beyond genius behind the mixing board. He was an amazing songwriter and a loved friend, and I will miss him dearly.

Before the break up of the band you had talked about doing a solo album under the moniker Peter Braun. As I understand it you recorded a tape at the time. What happened with that?

Nothing unfortunately. I could never find anybody that believed enough in my solo stuff, so consequently nothing ever became of it. I did do a CD and 1,000 or so were released in Europe of which I’m horribly embarrassed because it just wasn’t me. But hey, live and learn, lol…

One of the things I did hear from you is the Fearful Symmetry project you are still doing. I understand this is totally different from anything you did with Deliverance. Can you explain what FS is about?

Fearful Symmetry is a project I began in late 1998. It was merely going to be a project and then YHVH (GOD) brought me a wonderful writing partner named David Gilbreath, whom I enjoy writing with. He compliments my writing style very well. It is a way for me to release songs I had written and continue to write with subject matters that would never fit Deliverance, i.e.love songs, poetry that I write, etc…Every time I tried releasing a song that even came close to just being a poem put to music, not having any meaning at all or being that which the hearer and reader would have to lend their own interpretation. I always received letters asking "What does that song have to do with Jesus?", or "How does that song fit in the gospel plan?". I mean, YHVH (GOD) gave us brains, emotions and souls to savor a host of things that happen in this life. I think Song of Solomon proves that point very well.

Christians can become very narrow minded and trap themselves in a world where they can only see Christian dentists, shop at the Christian market, go to the Christian optometrist, only buy Christian gasoline for their Christian car that was purchased with Christian money from the Christian car salesman. Do you get the picture? We rob ourselves of so many wonderful experiences and opportunities all in the name of pursuing holiness and what we end up doing is locking ourselves and our God in a box. Fearful Symmetry was and is a way for me to express other thoughts and feelings I have without having to answer questions like, "Is that song about Jesus or your wife?" or "Where is that in the Bible?" It’s just music, it's just thoughts…

And how would you describe Fearful Symmetry's sound?

Electronica. (William Orbit/Erasure/David Bowie/etc...)

Last year there was a letter posted in HM Magazine that seemed to come from George Ochoa, former guitarist for Deliverance. In this letter he announced the come-back of Deliverance and the recording of the follow up album to Weapons Of Our Warfare, tentatively called The Pulling Down Of Strongholds. You were involved as well as others from the old Deliverance line-up of the Weapons days. This letter struck me because in interviews in years after the Weapons-era you indicated you were going for the experiment and not artistic stagnation. Recording a follow-up seemed to me as a surrender to the old fans and therefore the letter looked like a spoof. So, can you throw some light into this matter?

This letter did come from George after he and I had talked briefly about how fun it would be to record an album together again. Weapons was our biggest seller and I am very proud of that having written 80% of that record. This was a few years after Deliverance had broken up and it was simply me reminiscing and having fun thoughts about doing a follow up to stir up that success once again. But after a few months I realized that, as your question points out, I would be betraying myself as an artist to do such a thing and decided against doing it.

Another thing that attracted my attention was the announcement for the Sanctuary Reunion show featuring Deliverance among other classic bands. The line-up for Deliverance was supposed to be you, Ochoa, Mike Grato and Jim Chaffin. However, the band wasn't playing that show. What's the story?

This could take up a whole page but I will condense it as best as possible. When I agreed to the reunion I had completely forgotten that I was booked that month to fly back to Ohio to record the Fearful Symmetry record. I did try to make plans with Fearful Symmetry’s record label, Silent Recordings, to make arrangements for me to fly back and do the show, but, and I know this sounds bad, I just completely forgot to do so. In looking back on the whole situation I think subconsciously I wanted to forget because after agreeing to do the reunion I regretted it. A real Deliverance reunion would consist of me, Chris and Brian. And nothing against George, I probably would
have preferred Glenn Rogers on guitar only for the reason that Glenn was part of the original Deliverance. He jammed with me, Chris and Brian the longest so that would have been a real reunion. Not what was going to take place at the Sanctuary thing.

However, Deliverance is coming back together as you have made clear. What are the reasons to restart the band?

Timing I guess. It just seemed right. Manny and I knew that this day was inevitable and that we would jam together again. But it was going to have to take an act of God, and believe me it did. There was a lot of unfinished business for us and I don’t feel His
Majesty was done using us yet.

What's the line-up of the new Deliverance?

Jimmy P. Brown II, vocals and guitar, Manny Morales, bass guitar, David Gilbreath, keys and programming. This is the new nucleus for the big "D".

Currently there are two official Deliverance Internet sites: One for the US and one for Europe. There might also be a third for the Latin American world, I believe. Why three Deliverance sites? Is that workable and how 'official' are they?

At this time the "official" site is dualedge.com which will move to DeliveranceLives.com possibly by the time this interview is released. The ScreamsOfAbel site is an official fan site and the Latin American site will all be done in Spanish. There are as well talks of a German site. But the true official site that is in constant touch with our management is dualedge.com, soon to be DeliveranceLives.com

Someone asked me to ask you if you will make tabs available on the site, like tabs for
classics as Jehovah Jireh. Any chance of this happening?

It is not in my agenda to do so at this time, but who knows?

The band will record an album called Assimilation in February. This will be released through Indie Dreams Records. I visited the labels website where the Deliverance is described as Thick Industrial Electronica. That doesn't sound anything like Deliverance. So, how's the new Deliverance gonna be?

The reason you saw the description "thick industrial Electronica" is that you popped in while the site was still under construction. The web master just inserted that description to have a finished page to submit for general approval, not an authorized description of what the new album will sound like. The most I will tell you is that it will be the heaviest Deliverance album since the first 2 releases minus the speed metal of course. The new project wont be Weapons part II. There is going to be a definite electronic influence but I think to call it industrial is overstating. It's heavy organic groove with industrial or electronic layers.

Those terms like industrial and electronic make me think of Marcus Colon's return with
Betrayal. You also once said you were going to do an industrial project with Marcus and David Lavaggi called Fear The Killer. At least, that's what I grasped from HM Magazine. Have you heard what Marcus Colon is doing on the Leaving Nevermore album?

Marc, David and I did do a demo and we worked for a while on the project, but never had the time to see it through. Pity, they are both extremely talented individuals and it was a pleasure to work with them not only with Fear The Killer, but the Camelot CD as well. I have heard Marcus's new stuff, IT ROCKS!!! If you haven't bought it, BUY IT! Marcus is extraordinary...

I asked you this with a next question in my head. Your description of the new Deliverance made me somehow think of the new Betrayal. Is Assimilation anyhow comparable to Leaving Nevermore? And do you have worked out songs or is it still a concept in your head?

No, it is not comparable. Marcus, David Lavaggi, and myself have always been fans of industrial/electronica music. David and Marcus being more of the industrial side where I like more techno type of stuff. So, it is only natural that we are going to have similarities seeing that we did work together many times, but there is going to be a vast difference. Marc is a huge fan of like Nine Inch Nails, where I am a fan of Bowie, William Orbit, and Brian Eno. All the artists mentioned are in the electronic vein, but very different from each other. And songs are written and being written as we speak.

One of the plans is the release of an album called Back In The Day - The First Four Years. What will this album contain and how will it be presented?

Honestly, this is a disc for the true hard core, gotta have everything, toothbrush, and hair follicle, collecting fan. It is a collection of old, terrible, disgusting sounding demos that were in my closet of doom for all these years. More than anything it’s a fond tribute to the pre-industry years that I will cherish and hold forever. But do not be looking for glitz and glamour here, it is pure filth at it’s best, and I mean that lovingly.

So, it's basically  a record for historic documentation of the pre-recording era, I
guess. I always loved that very simple yet beautiful song called A Space Called You which was on the first California Metal Compilation in 1987. Any chance of resurfacing this song?

We might work up a version for live, but that's it.

With those new CD's coming out, are you planning to come back with Deliverance full force? I mean, touring again and making records on a regular basis?

For now yes, but we will see what the future holds. There is nothing sure in life except 3 things: The love of YHVH, death, and taxes...

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