Asschapel is a cult underground band whose legacy has survived and endured. The members are scattered across the country so a reunion seems unlikely, but anything could happen. While the band is currently doing the press round for the reissue of their discography through Southern Lord, I chatted to guitarist Dallas Thomas about the history of Asschapel and the songs themselves!
Jack: Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Dallas Thomas (Guitar): Doing good. No problem.
Jack: I want to talk about your history first. How did you all meet?
Dallas: We all met through punk shows around the Nashville, TN area.
Jack: Asschapel were part of the Nashville punk scene. What was the scene like back in the day?
Dallas: It was pretty small for the most part with the biggest shows being around 100 – 200 people unless Fugazi played [Laughs]. But in Nashville it could be pretty tough to get people out to shows back then.
Jack: Do you still follow the Nashville punk scene?
Dallas: Only via social media [Laughs]. I have been living in Chicago for eight years so I am pretty much out of the loop as far as Nashville goes.
Jack: What was the main goal with Asschapel when you formed?
Dallas: To have a rippin’ good time!
Jack: What were the main influences of Asschapel?
Dallas: Old-School Thrash, Hardcore Punk and 70s Prog.
Jack: What was your fondest memory of your time with Asschapel?
Dallas: It is all a blur at this point… but for me Asschapel was the first band I actually got to go on multiple tours overseas and put out CDs and LPs.
Jack: What do you think was the best show you played?
Dallas: Hard to say. I am going to say Athens, Greece on our last tour in 2006.
Jack: Why did you decide to call it a day in 2006?
Dallas: We were broke and burned out.
Jack: A lot of bands have been reforming lately, would you ever consider reuniting at all?
Dallas: We are all scattered across the country now. So to do it right would take some serious dollar. Never know…
Jack: Your latest release Total Destruction: 1996-2006 has been recently released. Why have you decide to release this?
Dallas: Putting our demo on Bandcamp is what got us talking about doing a discography.
Jack: Do you have fond memories recording the material?
Dallas: Yeah I do. It was pretty awesome because our original bass player Jrob worked at a small project studio so we got to spend as much time as we wanted recording that stuff. Which in turn is why I feel the performances hold up 10+ years later even though it was all recorded on Tascam DA-88s [Laughs] Remember those? [Laughs]
Jack: What was your favourite Asschapel song?
Dallas: I don’t know, they are all hits [Laughs]!
Jack: What’s it been like working with Southern Lord to release the material?
Dallas: Totally awesome! I could not have imagined a better way for us to preserve our legacy of ASS…
Jack: What bands are you currently in and what are the upcoming plans for Asschapel?
Dallas: Currently I play in the Chicago band Pelican and as far as Asschapel goes there are no plans at the moment…
Jack: Finally, Slayer’s Reign in Blood will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. What does this album mean to you?
Dallas: Jeff Hanneman Rest in Peace…
Jack: Thank you for your time, have a good day!
Dallas: Thank you!