ENTREVISTA: The Obsessed


(crédito: Marcio Alvarenga)

O canal Stoned Union Doomed é intrinsseco e inerente à publicação October Doom Zine, que é a principal do tipo na América do Sul. Canais parceiros, coligados e focados na divulgação e repercussão de conteudos atrelados e inerentes.

Dito isso, fica aqui um espaço para que a Stoned Union Doomed complemente a revista virtual October Doom. Dando suporte à divulgação das recente entrevista com a banda, contamos aqui com uma versão em inglês (paralela à versão em Portugues original, único idioma suportado na publicação October Doom) para a matéria com a banda americana de doom metal The Obsessed!


(credits: Susie Costantino)

INTERVIEW: Scott Wino and Brian Costantino, from The Obsessed

THE OBSESSED “officially” ended in 1995, correct? Despite this a few meeting show times have taken place, such as at the Roadburn Festival (2012) and Maryland Death Fest (2013). But now is “for real” with a new concrete lineup, more shows going on, tours and a new album called “Sacred” scheduled for 2017. What has happened since then for this decision to re-activate THE OBSESSED was taken?

WINO: Yes, that’s pretty much correct. People had proposed a few reunions over the years and I did a couple, but it never felt right and I was ready to stop The Obsessed completely until I had a chance jam with drummer Brian Costantino, who had worked with The Obsessed in our early years. Through that jam, I realized there was a magic chemistry between us and we developed an intense camaraderie. Brian’s favorite band was The Obsessed and over the years it had been his guiding light. He had actually stopped playing drums for several years due to his boredom and frustration with the run-of-the-mill R&B bands he had been a part of. Once we jammed, we both knew that The Obsessed was reborn. Personally, I feel completely re-energized and this musical alchemy has empowered me to make much needed lifestyle changes, and inspired me greatly to continue creating.

Man you’ve never been out of the game, stopped properly. You are one of the most prolific and productive guys of the scene, always with some new work, some partnership, some nice project in execution. Anyway, can you say that you always had some kind of special affection for OBSESSED and that’s why we’re watching the band active again in 2016? How excited are you with this?

WINO: As mentioned earlier, it has never felt right since the early days until it crystallized again with Brian. Obviously, I am very excited. The Obsessed was my baby from inception, and this is my guitar band. As much as I enjoy participating in other bands such as Shrinebuilder, Vitus, etc, this brings it all home. I am always learning, and what I have taken away from my other musical endeavors is the fact that 2 guitar is where it’s at for power and structure.

The first new firepower samples “Be The Night” and the re-recording of “Sodden Jackal” are beasts! Heavy and Doom Metal in primitive, raw, visceral shape. Will the tone of this new work follow this old school and traditional line or did you also going try to print other nuances in “Sacred”?

WINO:The only formula that I use is the one of musical beauty. You can expect the highest quality production and playing as possible in my realm, which thankfully has been widened and enabled by the fact that we now have a strong label, Relapse Records.

 Is there anything else you can or would like to let us know in advance about “Sacred”, as a approximate release date or something like that?

WINO: Spring 2017 is when you will see the album.

I suppose the band intend to do some tour in 2017 in support of the new album, correct? Do you intend to play only in USA territory and some of the nearest places too or are you guys preparing a more extensive, more “global” tour?

WINO: We will be taking care of our countrymen first, and then moving on to the rest of the world. South America is top priority, as over the years I have been approached by many gracious and enthusiastic South American supporters. Your pleas have not fallen on deaf ears.

You have made a few acoustic albums: two solo (Punctuated Equilibrium and Adrift), three with the gifted German musician Conny Ochs (Heavy Kingdom and Labor of Love from 2012 and the latest Freedom Conspiracy from 2015) as well a work with the musicians Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till. On this more soft and introspective side of music, who are the people who inspired you the most?

WINO: Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Roky Erickson, Townes Van Zandt, and life.


Talking about impressions: through several things that I read about you from several people the image i made is a really cool guy, truly respected by the fans, musicians and other people involved in the music scene. And I think that sort of thing comes when you’re completely honest: if you throw the truth to the people you’ll almost certainly have the truth back. Do you think that being completely honest (even if it´s sometimes means be harsh and bother some people) is what makes the difference?

WINO: Absolutely. Your perception is accurate and excellent. One of the most important things is paying attention to politics, and I dont mean worldly, I mean the inner intrigue of the music industry. But just to clarify, Yes, honesty is always the best policy, and, Nobody tells me what to do.

 Much of your lyricism (perhaps for the most part) comes from everyday things: personal issues, conflicts, emotions, relation with drugs. Something palpable, accessible. You’ve lived the best and the worst, you’ve had all kinds of experience. Do you think your music, both composition and the stage performance, would be the same thing if your life had been always peaceful and a constant “ride in the park”? (risos) Do you think viscerality and passion define you?

WINO: My philosophy is: Let the Music Speak. That said, all the experiences of life and love equals learning. So it’s always art in flux. I would say, yes, your words are accurate. You seem very perceptive and knowledgeable, and it is refreshing to have this discourse with you.

You’re 55 years old. Have you thought about slowing down a bit at this point or can you see yourself near 70 years yet travelling many miles and playing like hell on the stage like the Sabbath guys? (laughs)

WINO: Fuck yes. And I’m actually 56…3056, so I have been at it awhile. (laughing)

As a fan this is a question i need to do and I’m sure a lot of people are waiting for something like this: in 2017 can we finally see you playing here on some shows with THE OBSESSED? I imagine it should not be a simple logistic but certainly not impossible!

WINO: That is a dream that I have always entertained, and one that will be realized. So yes. The Obsessed with play South America in 2017, hopefully. Any credible promoters can please feel free to reach out to us via our manager, Paul Schlessinger who can be reached at pschlessinger@yahoo.com.

Just to end I would like to thank you for your attention and ask you to leave a final message there for the people who enjoy your work here in Brazil.

WINO: Thanks to you all for reading this, thanks for your support over the years, and we are looking forward to seeing you live in color as soon as possible.


Man, you initially participated in OBSESSED as a drum tech and then there’s this thing about you being called to be the band’s drummer in this reactivation and being part of a very interesting moment of it all. How did it all go, about the process of you becoming the guy to take the place at the drums in the band?

BRIAN: First of all thanks for doing this interview with us. Where do I start? OK, the beginning……

Back in ’83 I lived a block away from Ed Gulli (The Obsessed Drummer then) and about a 1/2 block away from Joe Lally  (Fugazi Bassist)  and they introduced me to Wino’s music and needless to say I was blown away. When Ed joined The Obsessed then he asked me to be his drum tech which was really killer for a 16 year old kid. I didn’t play drums at the time but Ed showed me how to set up the kit and do basic sound checks so that was my introduction to drums.

Fast forward to now, when Wino and Ed got back together to do the Maryland Doom Fest as Spirit Caravan Ed called me and asked if I would tech for him for the one off show and I said yeah that would be great, like old times. Since the old days I had taught myself to play drums, to The Obsessed music, so I knew a lot more then I did as a kid. I went to most of the rehearsals and mentally learned all the songs to help Ed out getting them down. At one practice I had mentioned to Ed I would love to play a Spirit song “No Hope Goat Farm” so in the middle of rehearsal Ed stood up and said “Hey Wino Brian wants to play a song”. At the time I don’t think Wino knew I could play but said “hell yeah get up here let’s do it.” I do remember both he and Sherman looking back at me like holy shit both not knowing I had been playing for awhile.After the Spirit Caravan tour with Ed, Wino called me and asked if I wanted to do a side project with him and Sara (Now in The Obsessed) and

I was blown away that he called and said Hell Yeah lets do it. After about 2 rehearsals together it was just clicking and he asked me to be in Spirit Caravan which I accepted. We got Sherman over to start rehearsals and while doing some of “The Obsessed” songs it just sounded killer so with a lot people always asking for The Obsessed to tour again Wino made the decision to change our name to The Obsessed and tour and record under that name and play those songs. The great thing is that since I taught myself to play drums to The Obsessed music it didn’t matter what he wanted to play I knew it.

Now to the current line up, since Wino and I have been playing he has always mentioned he wanted another guitar player in the band and I had no problem with that, it would only add power to his already heavy songs. Sara is a incredible guitarist and adds a lot to the songs. Bruce coming in to fill the bass slot is incredible as well, I loved the stuff he did with Hidden Hand and knew we would gel once we played together.

Now I’m just looking forward to he album release, which came out incredible with the help of Frank “The Punisher” Marchand at the helm and Rob Queen  and tour next year hopefully to as many people & places as possible.

Sorry for going on just wanted to fully answer your questions….  Peace.  Brian


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