'A New World Order created by the government. An unimaginable force of their mindless soldiers. Their primary objective has now been put in place. A movement to eliminate every creative thinking mind. As every nation is beaten down and tamed... There may be a solution., it's our one glimmer of hope. True patriots must find the strength within themselves to fight.'-The Cloning from Loathing

      The following is an interview with lead guitarist Brian Griffin.

Tell us the history behind Broken Hope (who founded it, when, release history, etc.). Broken Hope was started by Jeremy Wagner (guitar), Joe Ptacek (vocals), and Ryan Stanek (drums) back in 1988 under the name Crypt. After adding another guitarist and a bass player they changed the name to Broken Hope, played a few local shows, and decided to record their first demo which was circulated through the underground and soon after they started to receive recognition as an up and coming band in the Death Metal genre. After various problems with their recently added guitarist they decided to make a change which brought me (Brian Griffin) into the group and soon after we recorded another demo which got noticed by Grindcore Records, a division of the now defunct Red Light Records. "Swamped in Gore" was never paid for by Grindcore and we never received any money from the label so they did not contest. In a nutshell, they screwed us, but yet they continue to do business under a new name today. During all of this we were lucky enough to get some attention from Metal Blade Records and signed with them to release "The Bowels of Repugnance." Soon after this release we decided to make a change in the bassist department because of what we called a lack of dedication to the band, among other things. A friend of the band and former bassist of Sindrome, Shaun Glass was recruited about a couple of weeks before a tour of the States and Canada supporting Unleashed. Shaun became a permanent replacement and contributed to the next release entitled "Repulsive Conception." We toured with Deicide and Six Feet Under to support that album. Our latest release, "Loathing," came out back in January.

So many bands today stray from who they are in the pursuit of 'experimentation' in the process totally destroying their original sound...There are many times we've been disappointed after buying a new CD of a band only to listen to it an find it totally different than the last release! This was not the case with "Loathing," however. How do you feel about bands changing their styles like this? What comments do you offer on this? Do you foresee Broken Hope changing their style drastically in the future? We feel it is our strongest an most progressed release to date, as well it should be. Which brings us to my comments on bands changing styles. It is simple, musicians progress as players, therefore their writing styles change as well. I feel experimentation is good as long as you can incorporate it into the style that the fans have come to expect from your band. If you change from Death to Rock and Roll, that is a different story. Obviously people are gonna say "What the fuck happened?!" I personally respect a musician's choice to make changes to benefit himself, but that is because I am one. I am sure that when these choices are made, they know full well what the fans are going to say. We have in fact changed over the years and progressed as players and improved song structuring but have always remained true to the speed and aggression as well as putting together more catchy riffing. I don't foresee Broken Hope changing anything in a drastic way as far as direction, but their will always be a constant improvement in musicianship and quality.

The song "The Cloning" off of "Loathing"...could you explain it more deeply to us? "The Cloning" mentions The New World Order. A very complicated and rather dangerous subject. It's something that not may people understand or care to. How did you find out about it and could you sum it up to our readers? How do you believe this New World Order can be stopped? In the lyrics of the song you say "...There may be a solution, it's our one glimmer of hope. True patriots must find the strength within themselves to fight..." Explain how you think one can go about fighting this. [This question is answered by rhythm guitarist and lyricist Jeremy Wagner.] I was just thinking about how much the government has everyone by the balls not only in this country but worldwide. It occurred to me that a new world order could happen easily if superpowers united and decided to make the Earth a one world nation of slaves oppressed by a new tyrannical regime. The song suggests that our only hope is to fight our nations leaders kind of like a big civil war where everyone takes arms and kills all authoritarian figures in our society. Also, the actual thought of cloning the masses into human, unthinking clones was ironically thought of by myself way before cloning became from page news. Scary how real life can evolve into exactly what I wrote about. This song is merely fiction, but it sure as hell is worth thinking about seriously and I think that all citizens should be wary of our government because it is, in fact, very, very evil.

Back to the music...You were just on tour with Vader and Monstrosity. The "Extremities Tour." How was it? Was there a good number of people who showed up? How did you like touring with Vader and Monstrosity? The "Extremities Tour" was amazing for us. It was our first time going out as a headliner and we were very happy to see all of the support around the country and in Canada. I can only recall two or three shows on the entire six week tour where there was a bad turnout and that was mainly due to lack of promotion. Vader and Monstrosity are both incredible bands and having them both as support acts definitely make the package a must see! I support these bands fully and recommend everyone get copies of their latest albums now out on Conquest Records. We are really hoping to get together with both bands in the future for an "Extremities Part II!!" I can't really put it into words other than "they crush!!"

How have record sales been? Are they increasing? Record sales have been very good so far for "Loathing." The tour helped out a lot. Metal Blade is working hard to help us out and we are very happy with the airplay we have been getting as far as radio goes. Thank you to all of the stations playing Broken Hope.

There seems to be a lull in interest of Death Metal these days. A lot of one time "big" bands have been dropped from their labels in the past few years. Do you think the scene is dying? What would you say might be the cause of this decline in popularity recently? Do you see a hope for a resurgence of interest in Death Metal? There are many reasons bands have been dropped. One being record labels are downsizing. Record sales, as a whole, are dropping as compared to five or ten years ago, therefore if the band is not making the label money they get dropped. Breaking even doesn't even count in that scenario. Labels lay-off their personnel which leads to less promotion going into the bands and ultimately makes it look like the scene is dying because you can't find albums. When the kids can't find your records or read about you, they lose interest. The scene is not dead!! We proved that on the tour, and there are plenty of bands out there putting out some brutal music. It is just getting harder to get a hold of it. There are bands like us that will always be there, like Deicide, Monstrosity, Vader, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, and countless others. If the fans continue to support the scene, buy CDs, and go to shows it will never go away.

What do you think of Black Metal? Do you listen to any? I am not really qualified to make comments on Black Metal. I have listened to it and it doesn't do much for me. I am sure the live shows are something to see, though. Everyone has different tastes. I respect the good Black Metal bands who take it seriously and don't spend all of their time taking evil photos and slamming other bands. Sarcophagus is a Black Metal band from Chicago who are good friends of ours.

What are you personal music favorites? Are there any new bands in the scene that you've taken interest in? My personal favorites go across the board. I won't try to be cool and say that all I listen to is Death Metal. I listen to everything from Tori Amos to Deicide to Nevermore. It depends on the mood I am in. As far as the new bands in the scene that I like, it depends on what you consider new. Bands that deserve more attention would be Dying Fetus, Internal Bleeding, Infamy, Vital Remains, Pessimist and many others. I support any band that steps up to the plate an makes an effort.

What's the scene like where you live? We have a great scene here. When the tour came through Chicago, nearly a thousand people showed up on a Sunday night. There are many bands here to keep the scene going–Oppressor, Fleshgrind, Sarcophagus, Disinter, and others. And on top of that we have a killer radio station here, WKTA "Rebel Radio" which supports all the local bands as well as playing all styles of music.

What do you think about religion? Foremost, Christianity? I don't! It doesn't fit into my schedule.

Do you or any of the other band members practice any sort of religion? Do you have any sort of beliefs beyond the flesh? Afterlife? I can't really speak for the band members. Let's just say religion doesn't ever come up in conversation. Some of the new lyrics on "Loathing" such as the song "He Was Raped" may make some people think we have certain religious views but I can assure you that we don't.

What inspires you both musically and non-musically? Musically, I am inspired by watching other great players and bands. It makes me work harder. Non-musically, I am inspired by technology.

On the album "Swamped in Gore," the first song is supposed to be called "Borivoj's Demise," however, its not on the CD. Could you explain this and the meaning behind this? Didn't Borivoj talk bad about Broken Hope in the early days? Borivoj is just a guy who pissed us off at the time. He is a well known critic in the industry who wrote a piece on us that went beyond criticism and got personal. He has done it with other band I am sure. "Borivoj's Demise" was meant to be funny and he knows it because we have met him in person before and he got a kick out of it. Not everyone likes Death Metal.

What are your personal thoughts on the world in general? Do you see things improving or getting worse? Where do you feel civilization went wrong? People should learn to get along and worry more about themselves instead of everyone else. Things will get worse, and a serious threat to existence will have to come about before people wake up and realize they are only bringing about their own demise quicker by being so combatant. Civilization went wrong when people who had a little bit of power decided they could impose their views on others who didn't need or want them.

Your lyrics deal a lot with death and dying. When your time comes, is there any particular way you'd like to go? In my sleep, after sex with my future wife.

Alas, we thank you for your time an thoughts! Any closing comments? Thank you, Mourning the Ancient, for the interview and the support. I hope everyone gets a chance to hear "Loathing." See ya on the next tour!

Broken Hope fan club:
P.O. Box 445,
Gurnee IL 60031-04445

BrokinHope@aol.com (Brian)
JWagner426@aol.com (Jeremy)

Back to Interviews