Gore Elohim (p/k/a Goretex) – 7th Boro Interview
I’ve been a fan of Non Phixion since 1996. That’s 20 years (wow, I feel old). A lot has happened to the group in that time. Losing group members, losing major label record deals and eventually an ugly breakup 2006. But what they’ll always have is their debut (and only) album. Considered an underground classic, The Future Is Now was something special. There was no weak link when it came to lyrics. Each mc held their own while providing a sophisticated contrast to each other’s style. All three members (Ill Bill, Sabac, Gortex) went on to release solo albums before, and following, the break up. While some of their solo work stood tall on its own, I always felt there was something missing. Recently, to the elation of many, Non Phixion has decided to give the fans what they’ve been wanting for over a decade. I caught up with Gore Elohim (p/k/a Gortex) to discuss the past and hopefully the future.
Spek27: For those who might not know, tell us who you are.
Gore Elohim: I am an Emcee from Glenwood Projects, in Canarsie Brooklyn. It is an area surrounded by Brownsville and Flatbush. I got into music when I was about 5 years old and started rapping at about 9. Sugarhill Gang was my major influence back then, along with Jimmy Spicer and Cold Crush. My cousin in Long Beach, NY was a DJ back then and I quickly absorbed all of the culture, and studied the past. I became a rapper, the day I took a bus ride with my mom to the mall on Long Island and went to sit in the back of the bus where all these cats were spitting. Huge boombox, fat laces, all that. I stepped in my first cipher at 10. The beat was “Genius Of Love”, by Tom Tom Club. I never looked back….
Spek27: When Non Phixion broke up, there was a lot of negative remarks thrown in your direction. Anything in particular that you could comment on or address?
Gore Elohim: I can write a 600 page book, but I wont…
Spe27: Non Phixion got back together for some reunion shows last year. What lead up to you guys deciding to perform again?
Gore Elohim: A lot of reasons led up to us wanting to reform the group. We wanted to finish what we started, which, realistically, was a whole new genre at the time. As a group we had a certain power. Lyrically, spiritually and musically that we felt we needed to continue. The way it ended, which was not my choice, hurt a lot of fans. Simply put. We aren’t the kind of group you throw a record on and act casually about it. You’re in or out. And when you’re in, it’s a much bigger picture. Personally, I had a lot of unfinished business and wanted to make the fans happy and feel like we care about them. Most groups or rappers don’t give a shit. We actually loved / love our fans. Over the years, the impact of what you do sometimes is unknown until it’s not there anymore. It hurt the fans. Some of these kids were buried with Non Phixion albums, shirts and stuff. Sadly, in Tennessee, a kid hung himself while listening to “The Future Is Now”, trying to get off of drugs and didn’t make it. I can go on about stories. A young couple overdosed while on their way to a NP show. The girl contacted me via Myspace then and told me shed been waiting for years, and how excited she was to see us live finally. That bothered me. They died in the car in front of the venue. I don’t do this for me anymore.
Spek27: Tell us the reason behind the name change from Goretex to Gore Elohim?
Gore Elohim: Around 2006, I get an email from a lawyer from the company stating we had a big problem. I knew something wasn’t right. It was highly improbable this company would know anything about my career. This was right after the breakup, so I knew shit wasn’t right. Or someone was a rat. I was sued, went to court all of that. We worked it out and I became actually cool with Gore-Tex…but it was unpleasant at the time. The name change fucked everything up for a few years. Something which was planned, and I even got their lawyer to admit someone told on me. A rat will die in the street alone. I am still recovering from that now, and mad heads still don’t know what the fuck is up. All good. I had a dream one night and Gore Elohim appeared. I don’t have a permanent name to this day. Does it even matter anymore?
Spek27: If there was anything in your career you could have done different, what would it be?
Gore Elohim: I have a lot of regrets, but I don’t trip on it.
Spek27: On the original pressing of Legacy, it has “David Blaine” etched into the vinyl. What’s the story behind that?
Gore Elohim: The “Legacy” record back in the day, and the inclusion of David Blaine was interesting. MC Serch, who was in the group at this time, told me about this new cat David, who was not just some Copperfield kinda cat. I felt he was a warlock, under extreme magical subjugation. Otherworldly. Serch invited him to see the new group he was in. He came through, I rolled 20 blunts and that was it. He performed his rituals in the studio, and Serch thought it fitting to engrave his name on the wax as a tribute to our beginning and memory. I also got Serch high that night, so that may have been an additive.
Spek27: The Stretch & Bobbito documentary was recently released. You guys were regulars on the show. Any comment on that?
Gore Elohim: We had nothing to do with that documentary, nor asked. Surprising, since I was the one of the first 5 listeners of Bobbito in June of 1991.
Spek27: What’s your connection with heavy metal & rap?
Gore Elohim: The connection is not so much Metal and Hip Hop, more like music in general. Around 5, I started studying every album cover, producer credits, musicians…all of that was of the same level of interest I have now. I zoned into extreme music around the first grade. My older cousin was a Hip Hop DJ, from Long Beach, NY. He schooled me on all the original records, and breaks..Jimmy Castor, Apache, Bob James. Three foot boomboxes with straps. For sure a huge influence. A couple years later I was heavily involved in the early Death Metal scene. I was a tape trader, mostly cassettes and vhs. Demos and stuff. Pre-internet meant you sat and wrote letters, and bought postage and went to the post office. You traded lists of all the newest and rarest hot shit. Accept then, it was for the love, and it wasn’t that many involved. A lot of those dudes went on to be respectable holders of underground hierarchy. Editors at magazines or book writers or agents. Then I decided to start my own zine, called Graphic Violence. I was 13. I was calling record labels like Noise and Roadrunner, hooking up interviews, writing to bands doing all the legwork. No computers just an electric typewriter and a cut and paste / xerox layout. I was doing phone interviews using some cheap rigged phone-to tape recorder thing that sounded amazing actually. Long distance bills were crazy. I started cutting out of school more to concentrate on the zine. A nice layout and X amount of copies was like $700 back then. Unobtainable to get that then. I was 13. I couldn’t flip pounds of weed. Though I was bummed it never came to fruition, the first issue featured Testament, Nuclear Assault, Kreator, Piranha, Obituary, Prong, Immolation, Destruction, Forbidden, Atheist… A lot of similarities in both though. I understand why it’s not for everyone. Through the internet young cats now listen to everything now from doom metal to Japanese grindcore to whatever. Most rap cats don’t give a shit about Pentagram or Morbid Angel. I get it. I always thought I was too advanced as far as knowing how similar both are. But it’s not for everyone. I never tried to force it on anyone. I’ve used subtle hints and obscure, and some not so obscure, references on everything I’ve ever done. Keeps it interesting for me. If I wanted to repeat myself like everyone else maybe I’d have 8 albums out. It has to feel right for me.
Spek27: How do you feel about metal band t-shirts now being a “hip hop trend”?
Gore Elohim: Funny thing is a lot of rappers you wouldn’t suspect, like metal. It,s just not always talked about. Supposedly, Smoothe Da Hustler and those guys would listen to Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” every night, with candles lit. That’s what I heard. Prodigy was known to tweet Iron Maiden songs, proclaiming “His favorite band in the world”, raving how “Bruce is the best singer ever”. It was surreal reading that, but made all the sense in the world. Geto Boys listened to Kiss. Scarface is perhaps the most skilled metal guy. I’ve seen him talk about Paul Dianno, Iron Maiden’s first singer from 1981. He talked about Ozzy and Randy Rhoads. Scarface is an animal. Godfather Don was also a huge metal head, into extreme shit. He knew his shit. I wish he’d make a comeback. I hear he’s a jazz musician, and happy, so more power to him. He is a talented guy. A lot of times metal and hip hop should not be combined, it don’t sound right and very rare is it done right. It’s limited as to what flows you can use as well. We attempted it, but didn’t want to go in that direction. At the time a lot of awful takes on that style were coming out, and we didn’t want to be lumped up with a lot of that crap. We weren’t Crazy Town. We preferred Celtic Frost. Yeah, it’s annoying to see a lot of shit, but depends if they even know who the band is. Wear what you like, but you better know who the fuck the band is on your shirt. It’s trendy, but I don’t see Lil Wayne wearing Pig Destroyer or Nails shirt or Drake wearing an Eyehategod shirt. It will happen, trust me. Just not yet. I don’t know, I been wearing metal shirts for 30 years. Back then it was dangerous to wear certain shirts. I’m sure Kardashian will have a Napalm Death hoodie next week.
Spek27: In 2013, you released Electric Lucifer on Supercoven Records. How was that received?
Gore Elohim: Electric Lucifer took years to make, off and on, due to a lot of behind the scenes shit no one cares about. Lots of things transpired…files lost, an engineer died in the middle of recording. So I went to Texas, stayed with some OG’s out there and did it there. I love the material on it, just not the mixing or mastering. That was out of my hands. It’s a piece of art, like my first album, that will be rediscovered and appreciated later. I’m ok with that, I’ve always danced to a different drummer. For better or worse. My problem has always been I’m too ahead of the times. I pay for it. Only now, do people understand a lot of what I was talking about on the Non Phixion albums. Most still haven’t woken up.
Spek27: What’s next?
Gore Elohim: Understand that we are in the end times, and look at the bigger picture. Wildlife is dying by the thousands every day, our air is designed to kill you and food to destroy your inner organs. Technology has streaming airs that are cancerous. Don’t use your laptop on your chest laying down Keep it as far away from your heart as possible. Learn how to assemble rifles and other weapons. Learn how to grow foods and what nutrients do. You are a victim as long as you are on the grid. There’s no way off of it. They want you to kill yourself. Study what they drop into your foods and don’t think Whole Foods will save you.
Spek27: Last words?
Gore Elohim: We are touring this summer, come smoke some weed with us. We love you.