About the Band:
Southern Connecticut’s He Was A God formed in 2019 as an amalgamation of veteran rockers Tony Pellino (Transfixed Movement, Adva), Chris Densky (Genitorturers, Deadstar Assembly, Adva), Ray Zvovushe (King Sexy, Adva), and Dan Perrone (Adva, Odessa). The addition of vocalist Benjamin Curns in summer 2021 rounded out the lineup and set the band on a clear musical trajectory. Thanks to a combination of dynamic riffs, cutting vocal melodies and onstage theatrics, He Was A God built a steady regional following, leading to the release of their debut EP The Smile & The Scar in December 2021. The three-track release tells stories of depravity and desperation, with musical and lyrical odes to the triumph of the human spirit.
- What brought the band together?
He Was A God formed in 2019 from longtime friends that had played in bands together previously. We found our missing piece when we met our vocalist, Benjamin Curns, in the summer of 2021 and hit it off with instantaneous musical chemistry.
2. How was the name selected?
The story behind the band name isn’t all that exciting but it has also taken on a deeper personal meaning. The band name was something Tony had in mind for a project and was waiting for the right fit. It actually comes from a lyric of a song by The Red Chord. “He was a God, He was a hitman, He was a henchman. Think of all the silly things that have passed you by. Onto the upper deck as your life has gone away.”
3. What are your musical influences? What albums had the biggest impact on your music and life so far?
I really love and am inspired by lots of different music so a list of influences can get really long really quickly. I’ll try to keep it short: I love Mike Patton for his stunning versatility and his willingness to assume characters as he crafts songs. Jello Biafra is a big influence too not only for his passionate fight against fascism but for his sense of humor and performance-art stage performances. Others include Henry Rollins, Sinatra, James Brown, John Bush, Ice T, Corey Glover, Fat Mike, Louis Prima, and Serj Tankian. – Benjamin
4. What was the first song that you recorded? Why did you choose THAT song? What was the inspiration through mastering experience?
“Two New Stars” was the first song we began tracking. Here is Ben’s explanation of how this deeply personal song came to be:
I think one of the strongest marriages of music and lyrics in our catalogue is on our song, “Two New Stars”. Here is the story behind that song. When I heard the track for the first time, my first impression was that the verse section sounded sinister; it is a truly evil-sounding riff. However, the chorus and bridge sections evoked a certain light, rising energy, and positivity. I wanted to tell a story that contained both the darkness and the light. I wanted some words that would match the two seemingly disparate feelings.
“Two New Stars” is about two young girls who were murdered in upstate New York in the mid-1990s. One of the girls was the sister of a friend of mine, this really chill and funny dude who used to pop by the dorm to jam Alice In Chains covers with me. His girlfriend broke the news (“Terror is screamed down the halls”). I won’t go into the gory details of the whole awful chapter but trust me when I say that they are just that: ‘gory details’. It was a terribly violent and senseless crime and while there was some little solace when an arrest was quickly made, that sense of justice was also stolen when the suspect hanged himself in his holding cell. In the aftermath, my friend and his family moved away from the area and those of us who were his friends were sad to see him go. His sister’s tragedy was bad enough, but I often wondered “How does a person come back from something like that?” I wondered what would happen to him now that this loss was going to forever be part of his life. As it turns out, he returned to town the following semester; he wanted to be with his friends, his chosen family. He and I went on to play more music together and have some great times. He lives in Europe now and has his own beautiful family. I like to think his sister and her friend are looking out for him and always will. I imagine those two innocent girls as stars in the sky, always managing to shine some tiny lights in the midst of vast and infinite darkness. You can even hear them sing together in the dual guitar section that ends the track. Keep on singing, ladies. Keep on shining.
5. Talk about your most recent release: name, style, date, etc.
We just released our debut EP, The Smile & The Scar. We chose to record 3 songs that painted a clear picture of the broad range of music we play. It was a rewarding yet challenging process since we did keep every aspect of this release in-house from writing, recording, to artwork. I think the songs on this EP are heavy yet accessible, dark yet hopeful, aggressive but dynamic.
6. What new bands are you listening to right now? How did you find them (inspire fans to look deeper)?
I’ve really gotten into the band Unto Others recently. They’re a perfect blend of heavy gothic metal with a modern spin.
7. What’s on the horizon?
We’re very eager to continue playing live in support of The Smile & The Scar. We do have dates booked through early summer 2022 yet we have also been writing new music in between show dates and are aiming to begin recording our next release by mid-year.
The Smile & the Scar Track List:
3. Two New Stars