Thursday, November 27, 2008

The ultimate turkey: Mordred

Today, in the good ol' US of A, it's Thanksgiving Day. For all of you who live elsewhere and may not know what Thanksgiving is all abut, I'll break it down for you. You are basically forced to go back home to see your family, where incredibly uncomfortable situations will take place due to the fact that you don't really get along with them. You want to get away from them, and go do something else...but your plans are usually stopped short because nearly all commerce is closed, and all your friends are in another city being miserable with their families.It's like christmas, but without the presents. Instead you just eat a whole lot, and often watch what is often refered to as american football.

The food usually consumed during this holiday is turkey, but I should tell you that "turkey" is also slang for a person or thing that is considered a failure, and thus undesirable. Now that we're all on the same page, I will tell you about the ultimate turkey. Mordred.

As soon as I began research for this piece, I realized just how insanely stupid and bizarre Mordred are. Why? Because they are still around, and they have gone from being the only prominent thrash metal/funk act, to being a renaissance festival themed band. I'm not even joking. Look at the photo below. They have managed to start sucking in an entirely different way, and managed to include their attire into their sucking strategy. Apparently they have now taken the name of their band literally, since Mordred is a character from the King Arthur legend. I guess. I'm so confused. If you want to see more, watch a video of them live here, or look at their official site here. Notice anything missing from this current Mordred line-up? Yup, they unloaded their DJ, DJ Pause, like he was dead weight.

Mordred today, after having somehow morphed from horrible pseudo funk, to horrible renaissance-themed metal...or something.

Back to Mordred as we knew them back in the day. Considered revolutionary by no one except themselves, Mordred stretched the bounds of music by managing to suck at two musical styles at the same time, metal AND funk...managing to sell dozens of records. Mordred was one of those exciting mistakes that happened at the Thrash Metal factory. They were an anomaly that should have been corrected, had all six sigma regulations been put into place. They were at best a factory second, a defect, a mutation that should have never seen the light of day, like those babies with eight heads and six eyes that die seconds after they're born. They were horrible at metal, and considered themselves to be a funk band due to occasional slap bass and the fact that they had a black DJ.

This is the cover of Mordred single "Esse Quam Videri", which is Latin for: "We make our DJ pose with malt liquor containers in all photo shoots"

Yes, that's a can of Olde English 800.

Members of the band attempted to seem open minded when it came to issues of race in interviews, I mean...they even wore Bad Brains shirts to prove their point! They also listed Living Colour as one of their favorite bands, so you know they meant business! There is one tourbling aspect about the band though, they always made their DJ pose with a container of Olde English malt liquor in band photos (See above). In doing so, the band single-handedly set back the clock on race relations by 35 years. For those of you outside the US who may not know what malt liquor is, much less Olde English, this is part of their Wikipedia entries:

Like many malt liquors, its relatively high alcohol content and low price make it popular among those on a tight budget wanting to become inebriated quickly. "Pour Some for the Homies" is often spoken during pouring a small amount of the top of a 'forty' on the ground, in recognition of deceased friends or relatives who were close.

As though it weren't bad enough that their DJ and his race were used as a novelty, and perhaps as a way of gaining minimal street cred, in one of their videos, they tastefully made him rap while he was dressed like a pimp. Yes, I get's their amazingly hilarious take on 70's black culture...but god damn, couldn't they let the guy have some dignity? I'm surprised they didn't make him play basketball on film.

Until recently, I believed that Mordred's DJ was merely a prop borrowed from their record company's mail room. He was never interviewed, so I doubted he was even real. Not so. He's real! His name is/was DJ Pause, and wouldn't you know it...he has a Myspace page here. In his page, I found this picture of Mordred today (below). Apparently they've dissolved into what looks like an aging janitorial staff on their day off. Though this is basically the same line-up as the renaissance themed version of the band that is also active right now, this version features DJ Pause and the old singer. Please don't ask me to explain all this, because I have a headache just thinking about it. It's like in Back To The Future, when there's two Marty McFly's at the "Enchantment Under The Sea" dance. I found videos of both versions of the band, one with the old annoying singer and with a DJ, and one with the other singer dressed like a knight of some kind. Both version appear to exist at the same time. Are you confused yet?

Not surprisingly, Mordred's bass player Art also has a Myspace page. In his page he doesn't list an occupation, probably to keep the entire world from laughing about the fact that the guy who wrote and played on the song with these lyrics:

Go to work? Ha, no way
I see you work so hard
To pay your credit card
I see you bust your ass
To buy a new bus pass
So you can go to work
Like every other jerk

Now works the third shift at a machine shop, and is managed by a teenager half his age. Them's the breaks, as they say in the south. Check out the picture I found on his page, it leads me to believe he has turned into your average angry filipino who wears a see through shirts while suffering from late stage alcoholism.

Lastly, let's all enjoy the seminal moment in Mordred's career, documented in video format for all of us to enjoy. Listen to the depth of their comentary on music and culture. Turkey's served. Dig in!


  1. I used to work with Art years ago at a (semi) legitimate office job. He's actually a really cool guy, despite Mordred's "music".

  2. poor mordred, they are the rodney dangerfield of thrash metal... can't get no respect! I dig that esse quam veri-whatever it is though, stereotypes are fun!

  3. and i thought celtic frosts "into the pandemonium" was embarassing

  4. into the pandemonium? you probaly like or have never heard cold lake? haha; again brilliant article bye the way!

  5. You can never attack this band enough. The "editor" of a zine I wrote for was infatuated with these idiots and "funk metal" in general and would try to inflict them on anyone who stood still long enough for him to slap their tape in the stereo. (Fuck you, Jerry.)

    Let the funk be funk, let the metal be metal and never the twain shall motherfucking meet.

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  7. Of course DJ Pause was always drinking—it's probably how he got through all those damn photo shoots with the crackers.

    PS: I want to marry Metal Inquisition just a little.

  8. they sound really cheesy now, but ive got to confess Ive got "In this life" in vinyl, and My brother and I used to love that record when we were in our funk metal phase(living colour,rhcp,faith no more, Mindfunk....)
    good times anyway
    btw, you can avoid the turkey, go veg!!

  9. Canada really sucks. I mean that. WTF have they ever produced that is worth a shit? Ok, maybe Rush, but Celine Dion cancels that out. Or should I say "ohoot"?
    Before anyone brings it up: Voivod blows.


  10. I totally agree: funk and metal weren't supposed to be mixed. Happy rhythms for shitty music, not for metal!

  11. zena, you're right about his drinking. i nearly had to drink just to get through looking at those pictures.

    to the person who wrote the first comment, about working with the bass player Art. Please tell us more! What type of job did he have? I'm dying to know more! I thought everyday was a holiday for him!

  12. Lucho,
    You are vicious and totally hilarious! A post about Mordred on Thanksgiving and referring to them as a "Turkey"!? I near shat myself when I read that! From time to time, I will peruse Myspace music to see what bands from the "pre-internet" era who no longer exist may have a page of some sort whether Official or a fan page! And strangeley enough I found their Myspace this week too and wondered WHAT THE FUCK? I couldn't believe my eyes at first and had to see if THIS was the same band with this horrible Omen/Cirith Ungol, Dungeons & Dragons fucking image, so I took a good look and recognised Art Luboon! HOW do you go from a pseudo rap/thrash band to this? Not to mention its been HOW MANY years and your still beating the same dead horse? Shameless fucking shit! Never thought much of these guys back in the day, remember my brother bought Fools Game on cassette after see the "Every Days A Holiday" video, that was when he bought anything that came from the Bay Area scene circa '89! Total sham, I always thought the singer was a Mike Patton wanna-be! Talk about bucking the trends, and the best you could do was a record deal with Noise Records!? HA HA!! Though I will admit, a friend had In This Life upon its release and I did like the track "Falling Away" which was a great song, did they have to fuck it up by including a "novelty" song to show how "fun" they could be? Fuck em, they were supposed to play Ft Lauderdale in 1991 with the Cyclone Temple (aka Znowhite) and these pussies cancelled! Scott the singer wanted to be Mike Patton so bad, and I remember owning that volume of Hard & Heavy along with the "Grindcore" edition (which had some CLASSIC footage btw...)! Anyways, drummer Gannon Hall came off so intellectual and full of shit, trying to validate whatever the fuck this band was trying to do, that I just thought "dude your so fucking pretentious"! Wonder what HES doing now!? And before you ask, HOW one can remember the band members, names, etc... Dude I was metal to the fucking 9's and I like Lucho, I absorbed all I would see or read... Metal was my life... NOW? Not so much, unless its the days of yore... Another fucking classic post! Which is why I come here 3-4 times a day, hoping for another classic post!!!!

  13. regarding my post, I meant

    "Dude I was metal to the fucking 9's and like Lucho, I absorbed all I would see or read... Metal was my life..."

    PS. If you really want to rag on some 3rd rate shit, how about Meliah Rage? Or Strip Mind? The band that featured Godsmack frontman Sully on drums... They wanted to be prett version of Metallica for the chicks, after almost being a hardcore band when signed to Taang! Records under the name SEKA! More poofy trendy metal shit! Just like Brian Baker when he tried to cash in with that godawful fucking JUNKYARD! THEY WERE THE WORST!
    I guess someone thought "Hey Guns N Roses is huge, lets pretend were bikers and gypsies too, with a bunch of big fat dudes, so big the guitars looked they were toys in their big fat arms! Just watch that AWFUL "Hollywood" video!

  14. Mordred's site is worse than geocities.

  15. geocities? more like angelfire. fo' reals. the guys from mordered are bascially challenging the hyperlinking abilities of the internet, as well as the freedom of the codex...opting instead to kick it truly old school (like third century BCE) and bascially making the internet behave like a scroll, allowing users to basically only move forward and backward. hot damn.

    I love that Cyclone Temple came up. This blog is like an issue of Metal Maniacs circa 92.

  16. "I'm dying to know more! I thought everyday was a holiday for him!" That was fucking amazing...

  17. why the confusion about the new renaissance mordred? pasty white dude clearly states in the video that "we could go into any kind of other music and branch it into the basic mordred sound." so all they have to do is make terrible music of any genre and they are sticking to the plan.

    basic mordred sound = giant aural turd.

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  19. "I love that Cyclone Temple came up. This blog is like an issue of Metal Maniacs circa 92."

    Classic, but I'm thinking more along the lines of '89 when the magazine was run by that awful Katherine Ludwig chick and Mike Gitter and they had this vendetta against almost all death metal! Especially Deicide, the biggest kooks on the planet! But when keeping circulation of the magazine became an issue years later, they filled it with shit writers like Tomas (i'll lick your anus for underground street cred) Pascual and lots of generic death metal bands... How about a post about Red Light Records, home to some of the worst releases ever, like Oppressor, the fags who jumped the death metal trend and then became Soil years later? HA HA! I could go on forever! -LEE

  20. " This blog is like an issue of Metal Maniacs circa 92."

    Or any dollar bin circa 93.

  21. Mr. Bungle were so much better at this

  22. perhaps it's a sign that we've already discussed just about every shitty band ever, but i have been thinking about posts about Meliah Rage AND Oppressor just this week!!

    anyway, i was seriously shocked to see that Mordred had turned into Renn Faire metal. i mean i wasn't surprised that they were still around and still suck, but when i saw that picture i was like "wat".

    have you ever heard of a little band called RAZOR? try listening to a little song called EVIL INVADERS and tell me that sucks, & Voivod is an incredibly talented technical band, you're missing out metal has no boundaries, but yeah for the most part Canada does suck.

  24. Funk metal...I own that Ignorance first album on garbage.
    Even that guy from Sacred Reich, who wrote "31 flavors", jumped on that damn funk thrash bandwagon, labelling all us stinky thrashers as "ignorant fools", too.
    But funk metal is still better than "groove" metal. Fuck that.

  25. Funk metal (a.k.a. funk punk) is mostly terrible...but I still think Primus's "Frizzle Fry" is a great album.

    Not being able to listen to stuff before you bought it sure made for some bad decision making back in the late 80's early 90's.

    "The album cover looks metal/cool, such and such a band mention them in their liner notes and the review/advert in Thrash Metal/Thrasher makes it sound like they're wicked, heavy and crazed. I sure hope Metal Disc (my mailorder catalogue of there-is-no-other choice) carries Beowulf!"

  26. i laugh at some guy who more than likely seriously calls himself "skullkrusher"(since 1992 i bet) can shit talk a whole country. kiss my ass and trade in your empties for your next months rent. turd.

  27. ^^^^^^^^
    I'm thinking Len is either a member of Mordred or has some really close ties to them. Perhaps he is the Mordred love child...

  28. i remeber back in like '92 by a co-worker that ther was gonna be a 'thrash' show at this place called 'Georges'
    and this aweful band showed up
    i left early and told my co-worker that he's an idiot and doesn't know shit about music

  29. This post made my heart tingle.

  30. i saw these guys open up for nuclear assault in '89 and they were funny, but sadly no dj. a friend of mine loved them so much, but for some reason kept thinking their name was More Red. i remember him trying to push their first album on me and all i thought was it was an anthrax knock off with goofy funk metal bits, but the superfreak cover alone made me want to stick pencils in my ears...

  31. "Not being able to listen to stuff before you bought it sure made for some bad decision making back in the late 80's early 90's."

    amen. story of my early 90's.

  32. Somebody was really offended by the article.

  33. Well... Whether you like it or not is your own problem. You know, it is a matter of tastes. But the fact is that the band Mordred you are talking about from your ignorance at first, has nothing to do with the old Mordred.

    In the early days, the "funky" Mordred was actually a medieval-themed band, but later they changed to the style they were known in the 90's.

    So, the band you were talking about at the begining of the post has nothing to do with real Mordred. They are just another guys.

  34. The renfair dude was actually their first singer but left before their first album.

    You make a good point about Pause never getting interviewed, but I still enjoy the band and have fond memories of their live shows.

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  36. Finally the truth. Yes the "Renn Fair" dude, Stephen Scates is the original singer. Mordred was an extremely heavy proto-black metal band from San Francisco. I like all the fun that you have had at the expense of the '90's Mordred whom experienced European success first with their Rick James cover song, then following that rainbow to its end and becoming the joke that this post oh so cleverly describes.
    I grew up with all of these guys and they are all fine humans who are all doing quite well in their chosen endeavors nowadays.
    The original style of Mordred (referred to as Mordred 1.0) has played a show or two in the past year with the addition of a very good guitarist Sven Soderlund and Eric Lannon on drums.
    About Stephen Scates, he has been into metal-smithing since high school and all the gear you see him in is made by him as that is his primary business these days.
    As for DJ Pause, the guy is a living legend in hip hop music. The Mordred gig for him was no big loss or gain, he was happy to be making music with his friends and seeing the world.
    We in the Bay Area music scene are very happy to have Mordred in our history and hopefully in our future. It will be nice to see if the old, old Mordred 1.0 is actually safe enough for today's audiences. I still have the thought of Scates wielding a 48" blade seemingly with reckless abandon in those early years of Mordreds' live shows.
    Rock On.

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  39. Ha ha, funny article, but if you are going to be a writer, I'd concentrate on knowing your facts first.

    The "funk" version of Mordred was preceeded by the ren faire version you are laughing at now. Funk did not show up until Scott Holderby became the singer. Before that Mordred was a thrash metal band like evryone else in the SF scene (except Jetboy).

    So you can laugh, sure, but the reason it looks like two different bands is because it *was* two different bands. No point in saying in makes no sense. It only makes no sense because you're ignorant of the history. The lineup with Steve Scates, Art Liboon, Alex Gerould, et al preceeded the "funk" band.

    How do I know? I have cassette tapes of the practices from their garage on 25th ave, heck, I actually drove their equip to a show at the Mabuhay Gardens across the street from The Stone once.

    Of course, maybe you don't know much about the metal scene at the time, but someone into metal to this degree ought to know a little more about what they are talking about before they spout crap.