generally don't like writing introductions. And here in this case it's luckily
absolutley not neccessary to write down anything, because I know EVERYONE out
there already acknowledges and
worships the undying
and eternal CULT-Status of CIRITH UNGOL,
the definite Masters of the Pit, who's music will even
survive the Death of the Sun... / And when Chaos Decends on our
Doomed Planet and we will drown in Frost and Fire, Blood &
Iron and the Black Machine will with some 100MPH spread the
War Eternal and many will think we're ballancing on the Edge of a
Knife and are Better off Dead and already with One Foot in Hell,
even then from some cellar you'll hear the sounds of Cirith Ungol and
yell I'm Alive and win the fight!!!!
If someone out there really should NOT know CIRITH UNGOL by now, he MUST get the CDs immediatley. They are offered for mid-price and are easy to find (with expection of "Paradise Lost", their 4th) so go and get it!! Not to be misunderstood: This is not a recommendation, it's an ORDER!!!
FORGOTTEN STEEL has the great honor to present here the answers to our questions from C.U. founding members Greg Lindstrom (git) and Robert W. Garven (dr)! Enjoy!
Which year you got infected with the METAL-virus and what was the release?
GREG: My Monkees infatuation (see #2) didn't last too long before I started getting into the Yardbirds, Jefferson Airplane, and Cream. Rob and I met in 7th grade and instantly became friends. He and Jerry Fogle and Pat Galligan (who later joined punk band The Angry Samoans) decided to start a band to play Beatles songs, and I think the only reason they got me was that I had an amp. We called ourselves Titanic. Three guitars plugged into one 15 watt amp and Rob with just a snare drum and hi-hat trying to play Beatles songs...I wish I had a tape! Anyway, Rob and Jerry and I wanted to play heavier stuff like Cream and Mountain, so we left Titanic to sink, and the three of us formed Cirith Ungol in 1972.
With what age did you start singing/playing an instrument and what was the reason
to do so?
GREG: I started taking piano lessons when I was around seven or eight due to parental pressure. Then I saw the Monkees (!) on TV and I knew I had to play guitar. Either that or tambourine! I got the tambourine first………………..
What are your five alltime-favorite records?
Tell us the three last records/CDs you bought, that really thrilled you!
GREG: I've been buying a lot of stoner/doom type stuff lately, like the new Nebula and Roachpowder albums. My favorite new CDs are Pete Way's (UFO bassist) solo album, which is like a harder, punkier UFO. Pete can't sing his way out of a paper bag, but he's got attitude! I also like The Quill, a Swedish band who sound like Badlands with Jon Lord on organ, and the new Cult album is great, much to my surprise.
ROB: I actually don't buy records or CD's but Greg and the record company send me some from time to time. I really liked Riots last album.
CIRITH UNGOL circa 1981 "Frost And Fire"
give us a discography of all bands you played with and all releases and
about how many copies each title were sold!
Looking back: Which of your releases do you like the most and why?
7) And which
GREG: Looking at the album as an outsider, I think Paradise Lost is a very inconsistent album. It has got some of the best stuff CU has ever done (The Chaos trilogy) and the worst (The Troll and the truly vile Go It Alone). Even though Jimmy Barraza is a fantastic guitar player, I feel that he lacks a certain spark of uniqueness that made Jerry so great. And I really prefer Tim's higher pitched vocals on the earlier albums.
ROB: I have to agree with Greg, although he was luckily not in the band "Paradise Lost" was like a nightmare I have never awaken from. We were totally screwed by the record company and the producer took away all of the control and I think destroyed the entire project. If you listen to the version we did of "Fallen Idols" on the new CD I think you can get a feel for what the entire Paradise Lost CD should have sounded like. The sad part of the whole sordid affair is that Restless never meant to do anything to promote the record at all, so I think if we could have made the CD the way we wanted it probably would have been more successful and we would still be together today. Restless to this day refuses to license the record for who knows what reaseon even though at least 3 different companies have shown an interest in re-releasing it!
8) Did your band
(any of your bans) record songs that have never been released? Please give us
the song-titles and a short description!
GREG: I don't know where to start! We have at least 20 songs that have never been properly recorded. Route 666, Flesh Dart, Brutish Manchild and Shelob's Lair come to mind, all typical Ungol songs with odd riffs, plodding rythmns, pretentious lyrics, and over-long solos (ha!).
ROB: How about "Show You All", Tight Teen", "Half Past Human, a Quarter to Ape", "Crack of Dawn"
9) What was the
highlight of your carreer?
GREG: I can't remember the highlights! The best things were coming up with a new song and playing it together for the first time, playing on stage for an appreciative crowd, and meeting our fans. The worst things were dealing with greedy promoters, club owners, and some of our rival bands.
ROB: My highlight was opening up for well known bands and blowing them off the stage with our incredible wall of sound.
10) Tell us a
funny story around your band from the past!
GREG: There was the time Richie Blackmore came to see us play at the Starwood club in L.A., and one of our roadies spilled his beer on Richie's head and all over his nice velvet jacket. Richie wasn't too pleased!
you a metal-collector? If yes:
big is your collection (LPs, CDs, Demos)?
are your ten most valuable records from a collectors view?
Cirith Ungol 1991 "Paradise Lost"
11.3) Vinyl or
CD: what do you prefer and why?
GREG: I like the convenience and capacity of CDs, but I really miss the artwork on LPs.
12) What indescribable
great question have you never been asked yet? And what would your answer have
Q: Would CU like to be the warmup act for Black Sabbath's next world tour?
A: Sure, why not!
Q: Would CU like to be the warmup act for Metallica's next world tour?
A: F**k Off!!!!
13) What is the
current status of the band and what is planned next?
GREG: We are downhearted and our ranks have been decimated but our spirits will not despair! With Jerry Fogle gone we have lost one of the greatest unheralded guitarists ever to walk the earth. But between Rob and Tim and I there is still enough chemistry to forge new metal.
We have just released "Servants Of Chaos" on Metal Blade, 2 CDs with 31 tracks spanning 1978 to 1991, almost all of them never previously released, and are busy promoting that. If "Servants Of Chaos" generates enough interest, you could hear from us again… (note: all you metalheadz out there know what to do now!!)
The being called Ungol is dead, its resurrection is doubtful. But heed it's teachings oh faithful, for on these memoratic disks contain, the wisdom of the ages, and by your iron fists, the horror, of false metal be extinguished.
As you now join the swelling ranks of the Legions of Chaos, together we will drive before us, the cringing herd of False Metal, crush their spineless lackeys, and purge the world of their mutant plague!!!
Email Robert W. Garven: firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos by Greg Hazard ©