An Interview with Jeff Becerra of Possessed
How many times have I listened to Possessed’s 1985 debut, “Seven Churches”? Hundreds? Thousands? And each time I listen to it as just as enjoyable as the last. And of course I can’t listen to “Seven Churches” without following it up with a run through “Beyond the Gates” and “The Eyes of Horror”.
I couldn’t have been more excited when vocalist Jeff Becerra decided to reform the band in 2006, and now comes news that we’ll be getting the first new studio effort from Possessed since 1987! As if all of that wasn’t enough to make my head spin, I actually got to run a few questions by the man, himself.
Derek: Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for granting me an interview! You announced in October of last year that you were beginning work on the first Possessed studio album since 1987’s “The Eyes of Horror”. How is it going? Do you think we might hear new music in 2015?
Jeff: LOL…well, you have to know Possessed to understand that while we are trying to do the whole “album” thing we decided to take some much needed vacation time first. Our break/vacation will end around August of this year and we will then start again in earnest writing the new material.
Derek: You’ve steadily increased your yearly live performances since reforming the band in 2007. Do you feel like you’re firing on all cylinders with this line-up?
Jeff: Yes my current line-up is by far the best sounding Possessed ever. We have gone through a lot to find this line-up and now that we have I am looking forward to playing some really great shows together.
Derek: “Seven Churches” was released thirty years ago. It’s reached a near legendary status among metalheads around the world. I still listen to it regularly and I love it even more now than the first time I heard it. Is it surreal to think that something you created so long ago has had such a huge impact?
Jeff: I think that because Possessed were the very first to intentionally create “Death Metal” it was like an epiphany that true metalheads just couldn’t ignore. Back then there was nothing close to what we did with Seven Churches and I think we opened a lot of eyes to the possibility of doing much, much heavier types of metal.
Derek: The list of musicians who cite Possessed as a major influence is like a who’s who of death metal greats. Who were your biggest influences in the early days?
Jeff: While we have always tried to stay “ourselves” and true to being a truly original band. I have to be honest in saying that bands like Exodus, Mercyful Fate, Motorhead, Ozzy/Sabbath have always really moved me.
Derek: What are you listening to lately? Are there any new bands that have grabbed your attention?
Jeff: Honestly I listen to and love all types of music. And I listen to a LOT of different bands. On tour I love to listen to all of the bands and on the road we constantly have music blasting in the tour-bus or wherever. I think in this way I am like any other real metalhead out there…lol. If it is good I will listen to it. For sure though I still love Black Sabbath, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Exodus, Motorhead and all super heavy and sick metal bands. :)
Derek: Now it’s time for The Marvelous Three Round of Questions! What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Most metalheads have large concert t-shirt collections. What’s your favorite band t-shirt? And last but not least, are you a cat person or a dog person?
Jeff: LOL! I like Cheerios. I have a Black Sabbath Heaven & Hell t-shirt that is older than shit that I love to wear. And I am most definitely both a dog and a cat person. But these days I have two dogs and no cats.
Derek: Thank you so much for speaking with me, Jeff! I hope you’re doing well and I can’t wait to hear new Possessed!
Jeff: Thank you Derek.
Check out Possessed performing “The Exorcist” live in 2013