Interview: Dwid Hellion (Integrity)

By Mike Scott

With the news of a 20th Anniversary edition of Integrity’s legendary third album, the ‘Humanity Is The Devil’ LP, being released in time for Record Store Day next month by Organized Crime Records, Mike fired a few questions over to Dwid Hellion, the mastermind behind the hardcore legends for the best part of the last 30 years.

How does it feel to know two decades have past since the album’s release? And how did you feel when Organized Crime Records approached you about the release?

Twenty years . . . has certainly passed by faster than I would have imagined. Clint from Org Crime is an old friend of mine. Clint has been re-issuing all of the Integrity back catalog on vinyl. Starting with the first 7” ep, ‘In Contrast Of Sin’ and we have currently reached up to ‘Humanity Is The Devil’. I believe that the plan is to release ‘Seasons In The SIze of Days’ next and then ‘Closure’. This should conclude the re-issue cycle.

I’ve read before about how happy you feel working as you do now. How was it back in 1996 and how has the system of writing and playing changed/evolved since?

Song writing, especially over great distances, is much easier nowadays thanks to technology. In the 1990s technology was not what it is today. We would record on reel-to-reel (analog tape) and that was an unforgiving medium. If you made a mistake, it was not something you could simply fix like you can now with a computer based recording setup. Integrity has been going on for almost three decades. The writing evolves and it mutates for Integrity. It has become its own beast. It does not follow the easy path and usually does not coincide with current musical trends.

How does ‘Humanity Is The Devil’ rank in your own estimations of the Integrity back catalogue? Does it have any special significance to you? It seems to resonate with fans as much as anything else you’ve been involved in.

“Humanity . . .” is definitely an important album for the Integrity catalog. It offered a greater depth than our previous releases and allowed the audience to interact with the album. Having Pusheads artwork on the cover was a great honor.

How did your (presumed) fascination with ‘Humanity Is The Devil’ and/or the teachings of Robert DeGrimston begin? I once read someone say that ‘Integrity are responsible for more Processtikas than everyone else combined’ (presumably referring to the ‘4P’s’ symbol of the Process/Holy Terror). Do you relish that thought? Is this album the main cause do you think?

On my first album, ‘Those Who Fear Tomorrow’ it begins with a sample of Henry Lee Lucas alluding to his involvement within the 4P. That would be the starting point for my documentation of the 4P within the Integrity universe. I can not speak on behalf of how the public perceives my work nor their interest in 4P. That could only be speculation on my part. I would suppose that “Humanity . . .” may have been a gateway for some people towards learning more about The Process and 4P. However, I really have no gauge on how to answer that question.

I know that you have lived in Belgium for a while now. Do the notions behind the lyrics i’ve read from ‘Humanity Is The Devil’ resonate strongly right now, knowing the release closely follows the atrocities Belgium has suffered recently? How have you felt about it all as it has unfolded?

Destruction is a very strong force within the humans nature. Some can suppress this, even deny its hunger. While others easily fall prey to its appetite. The human disease has never relented from devouring itself. I do not think that it ever will. These holy wars are nothing new. The old guard wallows in its wealth in the warm southern location of the lavish Vatican city. Exhausted from its two thousand years of insane decadence and debauchery. Now an old competitor for the throne sees itself as the new heir to religious treachery and tries to seize this opportunity. Spreading the message of love through bloodshed and cruelty is a wondrous way for these religions to warp the religions that they hold so dear. Perhaps Vlad Tepes needs to return?

Returning to Integrity – and other Dwid Hellion musical endeavors – what have you got planned for the foreseeable future?

Summer 2016, Integrity will be performing at This Is Hard Core festival in Philadelphia, PA. USA & Amnesia Rock Fest in Montebello, Canada I am often creating, those interested are invited to find my work through the myriad of search engines that reside within their pocket communication devices.

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