The following Gehenna interview was conducted by Rob Nabbe from Insult/Skulhog a while ago, originally for his own printzine that hasn't quite eventuated as of yet. Needless to say I was more than happy to take it off his hands! Big thanks for this interview, and your generous donation to Vomitose 3 Rob!

Being one of my all-time favourite bands for about 11 years now, I’m very pleased to introduce you guys to Orange’s GEHENNA.
Rabid HC/Thrash with a violent and commanding live-presence.
Bow down before the seven crowns as vocalist Mike Cheese and I discuss nun-whores, hovercrafts and Turbojugend amongst other things.

Where to fucking start? How are you doing? If I had to believe all the rumours and gossip out there, you guys would either be dead or in jail somewhere. As a band and especially as a vocalist, GEHENNA has a violent reputation. Fights, stabbings…etc…
Would you like to comment on this subject-matter?

Fuck! Where do I start?!? I guess I'm doing alright. I've been staying high (from one thing or another) and managing to survive without too much along the lines of a job. So all in all I guess that's pretty good. I've been able to stay away from cops and out of jail. Most of the rest of the band has been doing the same. All of us have been working on other project bands, recording and stuff too. As far as the reputation and rumours about GEHENNA being a violent band...
The only thing I'll say about that is that life is violent. GEHENNA is just a direct representation of the violence in life. We don’t make music about "The Good Times" or the days that were the "Best of Times" or any of that stuff because those things in life are temporary. They are distractions from reality. And while everybody likes to feel good there are plenty of things that a person could take to distract them from life. Our music is based on the belief that violence and anger are far from being a rare phenomenon. They are the central and unavoidable parts of human nature and key pieces of human survival and existence.

I witnessed you guys play in Europe about 10 years ago and I can understand where those rumours are coming from. In a scene filled with spineless, wannabe thugs and tree-hugging hippies exchanging poetry and walking barefoot, a raw-ass Punk/Metal-band Like yourselves stands out musically and attitude-wise. Stuff like HELLHAMMER and GG ALLIN bizarrely come to mind when listening to GEHENNA.
Of course HELLHAMMER and G.G. ALLIN are huge influences!! So are bands like SARCOFAGO, INFEST, FU'S, and G.I.S.M.! All of those bands were devastating in every aspect. They all have had a huge impact on every member of GEHENNA and they still influence the music we write today.

GEHENNA shares it’s name with a bunch of Scandinavian Metal-bands.The overall grim vibe of your music can be compared to early ‘90s Black Metal stuff like DARKTHRONE and BURZUM. Do you think those bands have things in common with you guys?
It's funny that you say we "share" our name. We had it first and like I already told them, they are welcome to fight us for the name if they have the balls to. They wear dresses! What are they gonna do to us? Fuck them. I'll piss in their fucking faces.
We are the only GEHENNA that ever existed. Those fucking pussies are lame. As far as what we share with DARKTHRONE it is probably in the sound and feel because we listen to the same stuff. I'm sure Fenriz and Noturno Culto have really similar record collections. They also seem to write music the same way we do and have similar end results. I think they play live as much as we do too.

Wehehehe!! I recently read this book dealing with that whole scene (‘Lords of Chaos’) and that BURZUM-clown is definitely fucked in the brain. Believing there’s some sort of connection between aliens and the Aryan race. What about the link between nun-whores and hovercrafts? Do you think they are as menacing as the media wants us to believe?
I think Varg Vikernes wrote some great music at one time. I think his big mistake though was that he believes that one race of people is better than another which is ridiculous. All people are shit. For him to make the weakest electronic shit music now as a reaction to how much he hates "Non-White Music" proves he is fucking confused. It is kind of funny though. It's like he realized how many dorks and losers liked his band and he did everything he could to insult them. That is funny as fuck. I kind of like him a lot for that, but the new music does suck. But the thought of making the worst shit records to make money of off idiots is funny.
It's like Seth from ANAL CUNT's band VAGINAL JESUS. Funny shit. As far as the link between aliens and Aryans go, I think they are quite similar in the fact that neither of them exist. There is no such thing as a human of pure Aryan bloodline. And there is no such thing as alien life. Which is the same as nun-whores and Hovercraft. They both exist and are key pieces to the sexual dreams of every man and woman on the planet. But that is because the media makes nun-whores out to be much more slutty than they really are in day to day life.

Whatever… Can we expect GEHENNA to release any new shit or Tour Europe soon? It’s been way too long.

Touring won’t happen, cause we are only in the same city to practice and record for about 2 weeks one time every two years. One member of the band lives in Reno Nevada, another in Phoenix Arizona, another in Portland, Oregon, On in Santa Cruz, California, and I live in the city of Orange, California. So the shortest distance between any of us is a 5 hour car ride. So we never practice unless we are going to record. And playing live sucks too. I hate going to places and sitting around hearing stupid bands and hearing stupid kids talk about stupid things. I hate trying to get paid after the show. I hate all of that shit. I'd rather just record music and release records. Then I don’t have to deal with that shit. We are working on some new stuff right now. I got a tape in the mail of 3 new songs recently so we should have something on the way pretty soon.

Talking about Europe. You’ve recently made a trip overseas involving the WELTTURBOJUGENDTAGE, am I correct? I found out by accident that you’re a member of the Jugend-chapter of Orange County. Tell us about that and why people should give one flying fuck about TURBONEGRO (besides the fact that ‘ASSCOBRA’ and ‘APOCALYPSE DUDES’ are briliant).
Yeah, I've spent about 4 months on and off in Europe between March 2004 and May 2005. I spent most of my time in Madrid, Spain. But I also went to both WELTTURBOJUGENDTAGE ..1 and WELTTURBOJUGENDTAGE ..2.
I'm in TURBOJUGEND ORANGE. I'm not in that bullshit-assed ORANGE COUNTY shit club. ORANGE COUNTY is a fake chapter full of Christian wimps and Jesus freak- nerds. TURBOJUGEND ORANGE is all guys who hate the fuck out of religion.
Fuck the county! The city of ORANGE is all that will ever matter!! Let those county sissies go to church and suck shit for a living. TJ ORANGE will be at the bar, or the record shop!!! Personally I don’t care if people like TURBONEGRO or not.
I like them because they are great people and great musicians (yes even Hank) who seem to get better with every record. Have you heard the new one (at that time), PARTY ANIMALS? Just a bunch of songs.
It’s fucking flawless!! They mix a ton of great stuff together and come out with one of the best records of the year! Any band that can do that and still stay true to themselves are inspiring to me. Like NIFELHEIM for example. I've always thought they were the best Metal band because every one of their records is increasingly devastating! When I saw them live at the Sweden Rock-fest in 2004, I was completely fucking blown away! Now I'm positive and will say without a question that in my opinion NIFELHEIM are the best Metal band playing music right now!

That’s cool…Never really looked into NIFELHEIM, but than again I’m not into Black metal. Who seems to be into Black metal, is Hank von Helvete. What the fuck is up with his make-up?? Kinda looks like Alice Cooper wearing a couple of widespread assholes around the eyes!!
I'm not too sure what's up with Hank’s make-up, you'll have to ask him.
I like those guys a lot though. They are all really good guys to hang out with and they all like great music. Just ask Tom about the GETO BOYS. Or talk with Chris about THE CRO-MAGS ‘Age Of Quarrel’ LP, or with Knut about AGENT ORANGE. Those guys are all fun guys to drink with too. And they didn't even give me any static about smoking crack either. You can’t beat that

Can we ever expect GEHENNA to perform live completely denim-clad with sailor-hats and shit? That would be good for a giggle!!
No!! That will never happen. I'm the only guy in the band that is in the TURBOJUGEND. I think everybody in the band likes the music, but I'm the only JUGEND member. I know for a fact that everybody in the band enjoys rock and roll.

Since R’N’R is all about sex, drugs and violence. You seem to be the party-type. Alcohol, weed and cigarettes are my weapons of choice. Rumour has it you guys had a bit of a rumble at a show in Belgium with some Hardline Straight edge-crew, because you guys broke ‘The Edge’.
Yeah!! Drugs, booze, and cigarettes are some of the best things that ever happened to me too!! A lot of sXe kids took that shit personally though, but I don’t give a shit. Kids make up bullshit stories all of the time. Nothing really bad ever happened at all in the U.S. or Europe. Sure, I bashed in some kid’s face or a guitar hit a guy or whatever, but most of that shit is all rumours... I guess in all of those rumours there is some truth in them. No one has ever tested GEHENNA without getting fucked up. So to all of the "chat room historians" talking about how they're "gonna shoot me for beating their friend’s brother", think about it first before you try to test my knuckle-game. I've never really cared about going to jail or if the planet has one more newly maimed, or crippled or scarred up motherfucker on it. I don’t care about sexism, so I WILL beat your girlfriend or sister up too. Think about it. What is a computer-geek gonna do to a guy who is wired on speed and numbed up on PCP, that has no reason to live??? Nothing! Stay at home or in your seat in the restaurant or on the other side of the club.
You don’t want to get hurt or fucked up!!

Settle down, homeboy!! Wehehehehe!! Punk rock is getting way too fucking soft these days. The element of fear is totally missing at shows. As a young kid it was fucking exciting and scary to go to Punkrock-shows.
The big Skinhead and scary Punk-types are replaced by Spock-haircuts, sandals, backpacks and rich-kid gangster clowns practising the latest Mosh moves in front of their whore-mom’s mirror. Do you still feel related to this scene at all?

Without a question Punkrock has gotten too soft. But fuck, Metal is too soft now. Rap is too soft now. Everything is too safe. All of the bands look the same and sound the same. It's so safe and contrived it is fucking pathetic. That is why I don’t even want to play live. People don’t even deserve the pleasure of seeing GEHENNA. Bands don’t even get the chance to hear our shit and try to understand it any more. So that is why I can’t relate to almost anything anymore. I think anyone that likes GEHENNA will understand that.
If not then fuck them!!

Years ago you were doing this little record-label called REVOLUTIONARY POWER TOOLS. Are you still involved in releasing new talent? And more importantly…Is there any talent left out there? Any cool bands we should know about?
I'm not releasing records on the label anymore, but if I were there are only a few records I would want to do. Bands like CITY SCUM, the ORPHANS, VAGRANT VINNIE AND THE INSTIGATORS, are all great Punk rock bands. TAFKATA, LANDMINE MARATHON, BEYOND THE GRAVE, are all really ugly violent sounding bands. And the PLAYERS CLUB is the best classic Rock and roll band I've seen in a long time. The BINDLE STIFFS are a great Country and western band, I loved seeing them live. My friend Flo from Austria and I went to go see a surf band called the DUO TONES that were fucking amazing!!!
I like checking out new bands but I hate scenes and shows, cause most of the bands out there suck.

Right, get ready for this one. If you would be a fucking superhero Mexican wrestler fighting prehistoric Japanese beasts and ex-girlfriends. Who would you be and what special powers/weapons would you benefit from in battle?
Don’t give me that crap about leather moustaches or sailor-hats!!

That is a tough question!! I guess I'd have some magic dust I would inhale through my nose to turn me into a tireless fighting machine. Or alcohol-acid vomit and blinding clouds of menthol smoke. I guess I'd be called something like THE SUBSTANCE ABUSER.

Right, good answer. Mike, I would like to thank you for your time.
Is there anything you would like to add here? Any diseases we should definitely catch? Declarations of war, love or any bogus religion you’d like to promote?

Get fucked up, and show no remorse!!
Cheers, man. Take it sleazy and catch ya later.

Since this interview took place a while ago, I can inform you guys that GEHENNA has started playing shows again. They’ve already done an American tour about a month ago and is about to release splits with the likes of REPROACH and CALIFORNIA LOVE.

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