2010. szeptember 10., péntek
Onslaught - Paul Mahoney
The interview was done ca. for five years or so, so it isn't a new one, but it worth to read.
Hi Paul! I found your e-mail address in the Snakepit #14, where you've done an interview with Laurent Ramadier. Due to I’m a huge ONSLAUGHT-Fan I’ve thought about doing an own interview with you. I hope, I don’t disturb you with my questions.
As far as the Snakepit, did you get a copy from the #14 from Laurent? Do you consider Snakepit a good fanzine? Which fanzines are/were your favourite ones? Do you read willingly them?
I HAVEN'T RECIEVED A COPY OF SNAKEPIT SO I COULDN'T COMMENT ON IT THOUGH IT DOES SEEM PROBABLY THE MOST POPULAR ZINE ACROSS EUROPE, I DON'T REALLY MOVE IN CIRLCLES WHERE ZINES ARE READILY AVAILABLE AND THERE ISN'T A ZINE THAT COVERS MY PARTICULAR INTEREST IN MUSIC.
I think that Fanzines are very important for the underground scene? What's your opinion concerning fanzines in general?
THEY PLAY A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE TO ANY BAND,THERES A LOT OF GOOD AND CLASSY BANDS GETTING NO PUBLICITY THROUGH THE NATIONAL PRESS BECAUSE THAT BAND DOESN'T HAPPEN TO BE FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH, ZINES ARE DONE BY FANS AND ITS ALWAYS THE FANS THAT KNOW WHATS HAPPENING IN THEIR PARTICULAR SCENE MORE SO THATN THE MUSIC PRESS.
Do you also read Webzines or do you prefer it to have the things you're reading in a printed manner ocularly in your hands?
NO, I'M SOMETIMES LOOK AT BAND SITES IF I'M DOING SOME RESEARCH BUT I DON'T HAVE THE PATIENCE TO READ THROUGH WEBZINES.
Let we start then from the very beginnings. The band was formed in 1983 in Bristol. How old were you at that time? Did you play earlier in several bands? Did you know each other before you've founded ONSLAUGHT?
THE BAND WAS FORMED IN 1983 BY NIGE AND STEVE, I BELIEVE THEY WENT TO SCHOOL TOGETHER, I CAME ALONG A BIT LATER.WE WERE ALL PRETTY MUCH IN OUR LATE TEENS AT THAT TIME. I HAD NEVER BEEN IN A BAND BEFORE, NOT SURE ABOUT THE OTHERS.
How often did you rehearsed a week and how were your rehearsals like? Which bands had have the most influences on ONSLAUGHT?
WE REHEARSED ONCE A WEEK IN A CHURCH HALL (OF ALL PLACES), ALWAYS EXCITING TO GET TOGETHER TO MAKE SOME NOISE AND GET SOME NEW MATERIAL WRITTEN. THE MAIN BAND THAT WERE AN INFLUENCE ON US IN THOSE EARLY DAYS WAS DISCHARGE, THERE WERE QUITE A LOT OF BANDS DOING SIMILAR THINGS BUT DISCHARGE WERE THE ORIGINALS.
At that time, NWOBHM and punk music had have a strong musical background, Bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON etc climbed the metal-pinnacle. Was it conscious for you to found a more brutal, a more aggressive, a rawer and faster kind of metal?
I, PERSONALLY, HAVE NO CONNECTION WITH NWOBHM, IT DIDN'T INTEREST ME, IT DID NOTHING FOR ME ,I WENT FROM DISCHARGE TO SLAYER, I LIKED IT BRUTAL AND NWOBHM JUST WASN'T BRUTAL.
Can we say, that ONSLAUGHT was the first English (Britain) thrash band? Did you realize that you were playing Death-/Thrashmetal in your early days, or was it just your personal style to express yourselfe in making own music?
YOU CAN SAY WE WERE THE FIRST BUT WE WEREN'T, I BELIEVE THAT HONOUR GOES TO WARHAMMER. WE CONSIDERED OURSELVES PUNK/METAL, THE THRASH DEATH SPEED TAG DIDN'T COME ALONG UNTIL THE 1ST LP WAS MADE WHERE WE HAD A SONG CALLED DEATH METAL.
ONSLAUGHT recorded 4 demos till the first full-length album ("Power From Hell") was released. The first two demos were non-titled once, “What Lies Ahead” (1983) and “Foxhole” (1984). How was the feedback through the fans and the resonance by the metal magazines? Which songs were on them and how was responible for writing the songs?
I THINK YOU'LL FIND THAT THROUGH OUT ONSLAUGHTS CAREER ITS NIGE WHO WROTE A VAST MAJORITY OF THE MATERIAL. THE DEMOS SOLD PRETTY WELL THROUGH ZINES AND ALL THAT BUT THIS WAS STILL THE PUNK DAYS, METAL MAGS HAD NO IDEA ABOUT US SIMPLY BECAUSE WE WEREN'T PLAYING ANYTHING APPROACHING METAL AT THAT TIME.
DEMO 1:THERMONUCLEAR DEVASTATION/BLACK HORSE OF FAMINE/OVERTHROW OF THE SYSTEM/RAPE
DEMO 2:TOMORROWS ZERO/DEATHMONGER/STONE DIVIDER/CANIBALS SURVIVED/INSECTS AND GRASS.
FOXHOLE:PROTEST/VISIONS OF THE FUTURE/TREADING A PATH TOWARDS DEATH/INNOCENT MAN.
THE "WHAT LIES AHEAD" DEMO WAS A COMPILATION OF LIVE, PRACTISE STUDIO STUFF.
Have ONSLAUGHT ever used compilation albums for advertising the band’s name?
2 TRACKS WERE ON A COMPILATION CALLED "DAFFODILS TO THE DAFFODILS",THIS DID HELP TO GET OUR NAME AROUND AND THE SELL OF DEMOS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY.
Did you send any copies to various labels? How did you get in touch with C.O.R. Records, which released your first full-length album "Power From Hell"?
WE HAVE NEVER SENT ANY MATERIAL TO ANY RECORD LABEL, THEY CAME TO US. COR WAS BASED IN BRISTOL ANYWAY SO THEY HAD SEEN US PLAY LIVE A FEW TIMES, GUESS THEY LIKED US, THEY WERE THE ONLY ONES TO OFFER US ANYTHING SO WOULD OF BEEN STUPID TO TURN THEM DOWN.
In that time you were participated in the Band, ONSLAUGHT released two records... so I'd like to request you to speak detailed and separately about those albums. About the sound, about the songs, about the cover, how the songs had been composed, etc.!
Your debut was “Power from hell” (1985) - an increadible prehistoric rock in the history of metal.
"POWER FROM HELL" WAS RECORDED IN STOKE ON TRENT USING THE SAME STUDIO THAT DISCHARGE HAD USED,WE WANTED THAT HARD SOUND THAT THEY HAD,WE DIDN'T GET IT BUT AT LEAST WE TRIED.WE HAD NO FOOD,MONEY OR ANYWHERE TO STAY AND THEY WAS SNOW ON THE GROUND SO WE HAD TO SLEEP IN THE STUDIO FOR A WEEK, NOT THE BEST WAY TO RECORD YOUR FIRST LP BUT WE DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER. WE GOT BY ON TEA AND BISCUITS REALLY. WE JUST TOLD THE ENGINEER THAT WE WANTED IT TOO SOUND HEAVY THOUGH ALL HE DID WAS ADD BASS FREQUENCIES TO EVERYTHING WHICH MADE IT SOUND MUGGY, WE WEREN'T HAPPY WITH THE FINISHED PRODUCT BUT IT WAS A LEARNING PROCESS. STRANGELY, IT SOLD LOADS, NO IDEA WHY.
THE FORCE WAS A DIFFERENT PROSPECT, WE HAD ALL IMPROVED AS MUSICIANS, WE NOW HAD 2 GUITARISTS, WE HAD SY KEELER ON VOCALS, THE SONGS WERE BETTER, THE WRITING WAS BETTER, WE WERE IN A MUCH BETTER STUDIO IN LONDON AND WE HAD THE LUXURY OF STAYING IN AN HOTEL, WE STILL HAD NO MONEY THOUGH. WE HAD A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF STUDIO'S AS WELL AND FOR WHAT SOUND WE WERE AFTER, I REMEMBER ME AND STEVE LAYING DOWN THE BACKING TRACK IN ONE GO THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE ALBUM, BECAUSE WE HAD INCREASED PRACTISE SESSIONS BEFOREHAND WE WERE NOW RIGHT ON TOP OF OUR MUSIC SO THERE WERE VERY FEW MISTAKES,IT ALSO GAVE US MORE TIME TO LAYER THE GUITAR TRACKS TO BUILD UP A NICE BEEFY SOUND AND ALSO CHANGE AMPS. GUITARS AND MIC TECHNIQUES AND ALSO TO GET THE VOCALS SPOT ON,I THINK WE DID ALLRIGHT, ITS STILL AN LP I CAN LISTEN TO FOR A BRUTAL EXPERIENCE.
THE COVERS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ME THE "POWER"-COVER IS MY FAVOURITE, IT JUST LETS YOU KNOW WHAT WE WERE ON ABOUT AT THAT TIME. THE FORCE COVER WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A RAISED PENTAGRAM BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE SO WE ENDED UP WITH A PRETTY BORING COVER REALLY, NICE PICS THOUGH. MOST OF THE PICS ARE ONES THAT WE TOOK WHILE RECORDING THE LP.
Track #5 on the "Power..."-LP was called 'Death metal'... did you know that the POSSESSED had also written a song called 'Death Metal', at that time?
I NEITHER WROTE IT OR SANG IT (THAT WAS NIGE) SO IT COULD BE ABOUT ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE.I THOUGHT 7 CHURCHES WAS SOME TIME AFTER "POWER FROM HELL" BUT TO TELL THE TRUTH I DIDN'T REALLY LISTEN TO MANY METAL BANDS, MAYBE METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, etc. BUT I WAS MORE INTO WHAT WE WERE DOING AS OPPOSED ANYBODY ELSE.
In the course of time, DEATH METAL became a regularly movement... and it's home moved to Florida, as well as Sweden, where it has created lot's of various subcultures of the Genre, and each got it's own characteristic. What were your thought like about this evolution?
I WASN'T TOO AWARE OF THE DIFFERENT SEGMENTS OF METAL LIKE DEATH/THRASH/SPEED ETC AND AT THE TIME IT WAS AL MUCH THE SAME THING,IT WASN'T UNTIL LATER THAT EACH SEGMENT STARTED DIVERSIFYING WHICH STARTED TO WEAKEN THE WHOLE MOVEMENT,THE SAME THING HAPPENED WITH PUNK AND WHILE BOTH MOVEMENTS STILL EXIST THEY'RE NOT AS STRONG AS THEY COULD BE.
As already mentioned above... the album was released by C.O.R.... What other stuff did they release beside ONSLAUGHT?
COR WERE A VERY SMALL INDEPENDENT PUNK LABEL RELEASING STUFF BY LUNATIC FRINGE + OTHERS, I THINK THEY MAYBE ONLY RELEASED 10 RECORDS IN TOTAL.THEY WERE BASED IN BRISTOL AND I THINK ONSLAUGHT WERE THEIR BIGGEST SELLERS, I REALLY DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE LABEL.
Did ONSLAUGHT get well suppoered under C.O.R. and did you get well with that Label? Do you know if the distribiution took place wold wide, just in Europe or maybe only in the UK?
THEY RELEASED OUR 1st ALBUM, AS A RECORD COMPANY THAT WOULD BE ALL I EXPECT THEM TO DO, I DON'T REMEMBER ANY ADVERTISING, THEIR CERTAINLY WASN'T ANY MONEY AND I'VE NO IDEA WHICH COUNTRIES SOLD OUR RECORDS, I BELIEVE 'COR' SET UP A DEAL WITH PUSMORT IN THE USA AND IT WAS AVAILABLE THERE BUT ONSLAUGHT HAVE NEVER PLAYED IN AMERICA SO I DON'T KNOW HOW WELL IT SOLD.
After "Power from..." followed the 2nd full-length onslaugt, viz “The Force” in 1986, when 'Sy Keeler' joined the band. How did he contract in ONSLAUGHT and why did he take over your job on the mic? Was he also involved in creating the 'Force'-songs or did he stand in front of accomplished facts?
SY SAW US AT A LOCAL GIG AND TURNED UP AT A PRACTISE SESSION SHORTLY AFTERWARDS, IT WAS A FAR BETTER SINGER THAN ME, I WAS MORE A GROWLER, THIS SUITED THE MATERIAL ON THE FIRST LP BUT WE HAD DEVELOPED AS MUSICIANS AND WE NEEDED A SINGER TO MATCH THAT, SY WAS THE ANSWER.WE HAD SOME SONGS ALREADY WRITTEN AND I HAD TO SHOW SY HOW THEY WENT, AT FIRST HE TRIED GROWLING BUT IT SOUNDED FALSE SO HE HAD TO DEVELOPE TO HIS OWN STYLE, NIGE WAS GOOD AT SHOWING HIM HOW A SONG WENT AND IT BASICALLY BUILT FROM THERE, HE HAD A GOOD SCREAM AS WELL. NIGE WAS PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS THE MAIN WRITER, I HELPED HERE AND THERE BUT HE PUT THE SONGS TOGETHER.
Would you say that there was a hugh progress muscially and in writing lyrics compared to the first album? Are there significant differences and similarities between both records in your opinion?
YES, I THINK WE PROGRESSED AT A FAST RATE ESPECIALLY WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF SY ON VOCALS AND THEN HAVING 2 GUITARS INSTEAD OF 1, WE ALSO DEVELOPED AS MUSICIANS BECAUSE WE FED OFF EACH OTHER, YOU COULDN'T AFFORD TO BE LEFT BEHIND. THE DIFFERENCES ARE PRETTY OBVIOUS, THE STANDARD OF PLAYING IMPROVED AS DID THE PRODUCTION OF THE RECORD, THE SONGS WERE MORE COMPLEX AND THE LYRICS HAD IMPROVED IMMENSELY.SIMILARITIES?I THINK SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS PROBABLY 2 DIFFERENT BANDS, THERES NOT A LOT THATS SIMILAR.
I’d say that the song-structure of the 'Force'-Tracks became more complex..., the album can definitely be compared to the old EXODUS-Stuff. What would you say about that?
THE STRUCTURE DID BECOME MORE COMPLEX BUT I DIDN'T REALLY LISTEN TO EXODUS, SO CAN'T SAY IF WE WERE ANYTHING LIKE THEM. WE LIKED THE COMPLEXITY OF METALLICA BUT ALSO THE SPEED AND POWER OF SLAYER, I THINK WE HIT THE SLAYER VIBE MORE SO THAN METALLICA BUT THEN AGAIN, WHO COULD TOUCH METALLICA AT THAT POINT IN TIME?
Although I like “Power From Hell”, but 'The Force' belongs in my opinion to one of the biggest all-time thrash albums, ever. Without a doubt... it's a masterpiece through and through. Do you agree with me?
THE GENERAL OPINION SEEMS TO BE THAT THE FORCE IS A SUPERIOR LP TO POWER FROM HELL, I'D AGREE WITH THAT, RIGHT SOUND, RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME. A MASTERPIECE WOULD HAVE NO "LESSER"-TRACKS ON IT AND I THINK MAYBE 1 OR 2 SONGS AREN'T UP TO THE STANDARD OF THE REST OF THE LP, "CONTRACT IN BLOOD" BEING THE ONE SONG THAT I DIDN'T REALLY LIKE, IT WAS BORING TO PLAY AS WELL.
Which are your favourite songs from that album? I love each one of them.
"LET THERE BE DEATH" IS AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC, GREAT INTRO, IT JUST KEEPS BUILDING AND BUILDING, GREAT TO PLAY LIVE AS WELL, "METAL FORCES" AND "FLAME OF THE ANTICHRIST" ARE ALSO FAV'S.
There was a fanzine called METAL FORCES around that time... do you know if they chose that name due to of the same ONSLAUGHT song?
QUITE THE OPPOSITE, WE HAD ABOUT 1 WEEK UNTIL WE WERE GOING TO RECORD THE FORCE AND WE STILL NEEDED 1 MORE SONG AND WE WERE STUCK FOR IDEAS AND I CAME UP WITH METAL FORCES AS A TRIBUTE TO THE MAGAZINE, THEY HAD BEEN PROMOTING US FOR A WHILE AND IT SEEMED A DECENT THING TO HAVE A SONG THAT WAS A DEDICATION TO THEM
Did you like the voice of 'Sy' and have you been satisfied with his achievment? I mean, his voice was at least more energic and higher, than your one... .
I LIKED SY'S VOICE BECAUSE IT DID FIT THE MUSIC, CLEANER SOUND AND POWERFUL AND, LIKE YOU SAY,MORE ENERGY AND A HIGHER PITCH THAN MINE, IT WAS A GOOD MAN TO HAVE ON STAGE WITH YOU THOUGH I FELT HE FALTERED WITH THE BETWEEN SONG..ER? TALKS!
How was the resonance by fans and the metal-press concerning your albums? Did they like 'em and do you remember about any opinions as well as any ratings?
WHEN WE RELEASED POWER FROM HELL, PUNK WAS PRETTY MUCH DYING AND IT NEEDED A FRESH INJECTION, SO, OUR LP GOT GOOD REVIEWS IN PUNK ZINES EVEN THOUGH THE LYRICAL CONTENT WAS FAIR REMOVED FROM PUNK, A LOT OF PUNKS GOT INTO THRASH AS A RESULT OF THE ENERGY OF THE MUSIC AND A LOT OF ZINE WRITERS FOLLOWED THE MOVEMENT.THE FORCE WAS GENERALLY LIKED ACROSS THE BOARD, ESPECIALLY IN THE UK WHERE THE MOVEMENT WAS GROWING BUT THERE WEREN'T MANY BANDS FROM THE UK SO ALL THE REPORTS WERE ABOUT AMERICAN OR EUROPEAN BANDS, WE FILLED A EVER GROWING HOLE AT THE RIGHT TIME AND AS A RESULT WE GOT GOOD PRESS.
“The Force” was released by FOR NATION Rec. - a much bigger label than C.O.R... how did you get to them? Were you dissatisfied with C.O.R. or was there just a more attractive offer?
WELL, "MUSIC FOR NATIONS" WAS THE MAJOR METAL LABEL IN THE UK SO WE COULDN'T TURN THEM DOWN AND, UNLIKE MANY LABELS, THEY WERE ACTUALLY INTO THE MUSIC THEY WERE RELEASING. THEY BECAME AWARE OF US BECAUSE OF METAL FORCES MAGAZINE. LIKE A SAID, 'COR' WAS A SMALL LABEL AND COULDN'T REALLY COMPETE WITH 'MFN' FOR MONEY AND ADVERTISING.I THINK COR DID ALLRIGHT OUT OF US THOUGH,WE HAD SOLD QUITE A LOT OF RECORDS AND THEY SOLD THE RIGHTS TO 'MFN'.
In 1986 you played at the first of the legendary DYNAMO Festival in Eindhoven, NL. Do you remember which bandes played beside ONSLAUGHT and what can you tell me about your Gig there in general? How was the feedback of the crowd? Have they had enough bollocks for ONSLAUGHT?
YES, WE PLAYED THE DYNAMO FESTIVAL IN 1986, I'M NOT SURE IF IT WAS THE FIRST ONE THOUGH, IT MAY OF BEEN THE FIRST OUTDOOR ONE. I REALLY CAN'T REMEMBER WHO ELSE PLAYED, I THINK 'SABBAT' WERE ON THE BILL, OR SATAN!! WE HAD PLAYED A FESTIVAL IN BELGIUM THE NIGHT BEFORE THAT WENT REALLY WELL AND I DIDN'T THINK THIS ONE COULD BE ANY BETTER, WE GOT THERE EARLY, REALLY NICE SUNNY DAY, BIG STAGE IN A CAR PARK, I REMEMBER GETTING ON STAGE THINKING PEOPLE WERE WAITING FOR ANOTHER BAND BUT JUST CHECKING US OUT, I WAS SO WRONG, THE CROWD WENT NUTS, A SUPERB SHOW,GREAT MEMORY. WE PLAYED A LOT OF THE FORCE AND I DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS AVAILABLE IN HOLLAND AT THAT TIME BUT IT DIDN'T SEEM TO MATTER. THRASH PLAYED IN GLORIOUS SUNSHINE SHOULDN'T WORK, BUT IT DID, AMAZING DAY.
Did you play a lot of shows?
I DIDN'T DO ANY TOURS WITH ONSLAUGHT (EXCEPT SHORT UK ONE IN 1985) AND I DIDN'T DO MANY SHOWS AFTER THE DYNAMO FESTIVAL, I THINK MAYBE ONE SUPPORTING GIRLSCHOOL IN LONDON, THAT WAS MY LAST GIG IN NOVEMBER 1986.
In the middle of the ’80-s the underground scene was ruled by thrash metal. How was the British scene? I think so you have had great bands, like D.A.M., SABBAT, DEATHWISH, but the best British thrash act were undoubtedly ONSLAUGHT.
I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THE UK THRASH SCENE AT THAT TIME, WHEN I WAS IN ONSLAUGHT, I WAS TOO BUSY AND WHEN I LEFT ONSLAUGHT I HAD NO INTEREST IN ANY MUSIC AT ALL UNTIL THE 90'S WHEN I BECAME A SOUND ENGINEER.
Why was thrash metal as popular as it was? Do you haven an idea where the differences and the similarities between the British and the German thrash bands were?
NO IDEA! HIGH ENERGY... MUSIC IS ALWAYS POPULAR BUT THIS WENT BEYOND JUST BEING POPULAR, I SUPPOSE METALLICA LED THE WAY AND PEOPLE WERE JUST LOOKING FOR MORE OF THE SAME STUFF.AGAIN, NOT HAVING LISTENED TO MUCH THRASH MUSIC I COULDN'T COMMENT ON UK/GERMAN THRASH.
How would you define the essence of thrash metal and what does/has it mean/meant for you?
THATS A GOOD QUESTION BUT YOU'RE ASKING THE WRONG PERSON. TO DEFINE THE ESSENCE OF THRASH IS A QUESTION THAT ONLY SOMEBODY TOTALLY INTO THE MUSIC CAN ANSWER. I COULD GIVE MY OPINION OF THE ESSENCE OF PUNK BECAUSE THATS WHAT I AM AND THATS WHAT I'M INTO, IF I WAS HONEST, AND I AM, THRASH MEANS PRETTY MUCH NOTHING TO ME. THAT MAY SOUND NEGATIVE BUT TO ANSWER SUCH A QUESTION WOULD BE EQUALLY NEGATIVE AS I WOULD BE ALIENATING THE PEOPLE THAT ARE TRUELY INTO THRASH METAL AND I'M NOT GOING TO PISS THEM OFF JUST TO FEED MY OWN EGO, I THINK THATS FAIR, DON'T YOU?
Former DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin said: “thrash is the music of the outcasts”. Do you agree with his statement?
HE MAY BE IN A BETTER POSITION THAN ME TO ANSWER THAT, ITS A MUSIC THAT CERTAINLY ATTRACTS PEOPLE WITH A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT ON SOCIETY, I KNOW THAT I'M AN OUTCAST BUT I'M NOT DRAWN TO THRASH.ITS A GOOD STATEMENT THOUGH.
After releasing “The Force", you left the band... what was the reason for that? Were there any personal and/or musical conflicts among the band?
I LEFT BECAUSE I GOT BORED WITH IT, I HAD NO INCOME AND I REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY "LET THERE BE ROCK" BUT THE INITIAL REASON WAS THAT I JUST GOT BORED,THE OTHER REASONS CAME ABOUT TO CONVINCE MYSELF THAT I HAD MADE THE RIGHT DECISION, WHICH I STILL THINK I DID. THERE WERE NO PERSONAL OR MUSICAL CONFLICTS, I LIKED THE STUFF WE WERE DOING FOR THE 3RD LP BUT I JUST GOT BORED WITH TRAVELLING TO REHERSHALS AND HAVING NO MONEY AND LACK OF GIGS, I COULDN'T REALLY DO IT IF MY HEART WASN'T IN IT.
What have you done after leavig the band? Did you stay in touch with 'Steve Grice', 'Jason Stallard' and 'Nige Rockett' and have you ever followed the career of ONSLAUGHT with attention?
I DID MY OWN THING, WENT MAD, GOT A JOB, WENT MAD,YOU KNOW ,THE USUAL. DIDN'T KEEP IN TOUCH, DIDN'T SEE THE POINT. DIDN'T REALLY FOLLOW WHAT THEY DID AFTERWARDS BUT HAVE SINCE BACKTRACKED, IT SLOWLY FELL APART FROM WHAT I CAN TELL, AS SOON AS THEY GOT RID OF 'SY' I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS PROBABLY THE END, HE WAS TOO POPULAR.
Instead of 'Sy Keeler' became Steve Grimmet the new vocalist of ONSLAUGHT. Was it a good choice to have him in the band? In my opinion, he haven't had a thrash voice.
STEVE HAS AN ASTOUNDING VOICE, ONE OF THE BEST REALLY BUT HE WASN'T FOR THIS GROUP WAS HE? HE CERTAINLY DOESN'T HAVE A THRASH VOICE BUT BY THEN ONSLAUGHT WEREN'T A THRASH BAND. SEEMS STRANGE THAT AT THE TIME ONSLAUGHT DIDN'T HAVE A SINGER AND STEVE DIDN'T HAVE A BAND BUT THEY BOTH HAD THE SAME MANAGER, MANAGERS SHOULD MANAGE NOT DICTATE, STRANGELY, I ALSO BELIEVE THE MANAGER DIDN'T GET ON WITH 'SY', BIT OF A COINCEDENCE THAT!!!
With 'Steve' behind the mic., ONSLAUGHT has released three EPs and it's 3rd full-length album “IN SEARCH OF SANITY”. What do you think about it and what's your opinion regarding those EPs?
I KIND OF LIKED THE LP BUT I'VE THE SAME OPINION AS MANY FANS, IT WAS TOO POLISHED, IT GOT GOOD REVIEWS BUT IT DIDN'T REALLY MOVE ME, THE SONGS WERE GOOD, THE LYRICAL CONTENT WAS MUCH IMPROVED, THE MUSICIANSHIP WAS PRETTY SPECTACULAR BUT IT DIDN'T GRAB ME THE EPS? TRACKS OFF THE LP WITH DODGY B SIDES, NOT IMPRESSED WITH ANY OF THAT CRAP.
“In Search...” was mroe a melodic heavy metal album, than a thrash metal one, do you agree with me? Did you like the songs of the album?
MELODIC HEAVY METAL? MIGHT BE GOING A BIT FAR WITH THAT BECAUSE THEY HAD A BIT MORE ENERGY TO THEM WHICH SUGGESTS A THRASH BACKGROUND, THE PRODUCTION WAS CERTAINLY MORE SUITED TO A MELODIC LP THOUGH.I DID LIKE THE SONGS BUT IT WASN'T SOMETHING YOU COULD VENT YOUR SPLEEN TOO SO IT DOESN'T GET PLAYED TO OFTEN.
Why did ONSLAUGHT change their style and music such enormously? Maybe forced changing the music or did they sell their souls to the label?
I THINK THEY JUST GOT BETTER AT BEING MUSICIANS BUT PERHAPS WENT TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE BRUTAL SOUND THEY USED TO MAKE, I DON'T THINK THEY WERE FORCED TO CHANGE I JUST THINK THEY ALWAYS WANTED TO BETTER THEMSELVES.SOLD THEIR SOULS, WELL, I BELIEVE THEY WERE CHUCKED OFF THE RECORD LABEL FOR NOT WANTING TO BE THE CARTOON CHARACTERS THAT THE RECORD COMPANY WANTED THEM TO BE,I THINK THE COMPANY WAS ALSO ASKING FOR 3 MINUTE HIT SINGLES AND ONSLAUGHT WOULDN'T/COULDN'T DO THAT SO,NO,I DON'T THINK THEY SOLD THEIR SOULS.
Why did thrash run out of fashion at the late ‘80s/early ‘90s? Did thrash become boring or what would you name as a possible reason?
WELL, I WAS LONG GONE BY THEN BATTLING MY OWN DEMONS. THE TROUBLE WITH A SCENE THAT BURNS SO BRIGHT IS THAT IT ALSO BURNS QUICKLY.
What's your point of view about the scene of the ‘90s... about the various musical movements like f.ex. death metal, grunge, pop/punk and at the late ‘90s the mass of band-reunion or at least the renewed rise of heavy metal?
WELL, NIRVANA WERE A VERY EXCITING BAND AND SOME POP PUNK BANDS WERE MAKING GOOD NOISES( BUT MISSING THE POINT OF PUNK), NOT SURE ABOUT ALL THESE REUNIONS THOUGH, ITS LIKE PEOPLE HAVE RUN OUT OF IDEAS OF WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES SO THEY GET BACK TO WHEN THEY LAST HAD SOME MEANING IN THEIR LIFES, I COULD BE WRONG BUT FOR ME THERE IS NO WAY I'D GO BACK TO ALL THAT, I'VE GOT A LIFE, MY EGO DON'T NEED MASSAGING AND IF ANY BAND ARE DOING IT FOR THE LOVE OF THE MUSIC THEN WHY DID THEY SPLIT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE? I'M SURE EVERYONES GOT THEIR REASONS.
Would you say, that ONSLAUGHT was quite a popular or more an underground band? Even a cult band? How are you defining 'underground', respectively being underground?
I'D BE MUCH HAPPIER WITH THE CULT STATUS AND I THINK THE FIRST 2 LP'S GAVE THEM THAT STATUS, RECKON THEY BLEW IT WITH THE 3RD LP AND WENT FOR THE POPULARITY VOTE, CAN'T BLAME THEM MIND, YOU GOT TO TAKE SOME RISKS IN LIFE HAVEN'T YOU? UNDERGROUND? I SUPPOSE ITS NOT LOSING SIGHT OF WHY YOU STARTED A BAND IN THE FIRST PLACE, ME, ITS BECAUSE I LIKED THE MUSIC.
Have you never thought about recording an ONSLAUGHT-video - or are there any done? If yes, were they're shot during your time with ONSLAUGHT?
VIDEOS CAME LATER IN THE BANDS CAREER, I THINK THEY DID ONE FOR "LET THERE BE ROCK" WITH STEVE GRIMMETT. THERE ARE CLIPS OF ONSLAUGHT BUT NOT MANY, SOME MTV THING AND A VIDEO OF THE DYNAMO '86 GIG. I DON'T THINK VIDEOS PLAY A BIG ROLE BUT I DO PREFER BOOTLEGS, IT JUST SEEMS A MORE HONEST RECORDING OF A GIG THAN A MULTI CAMERA THING.
Nowadays, band-clips are playing a very improtant role... what do you think about such MTV-clips, etc.
MTV IS FOR THE POPULAR MASSES....OF WHICH, I AM NOT A PART OF. NEVER WATCHED IT.
Lots of bands are covering ONSLAUGHT-songs these days, especially “Death Metal,... have you ever heard any of those cover-versions (e.g. RITUAL CARNAGE)? If so, do you like it and is it an appreciation if anyone's covering your songs? At least it's a kind of tribute to the old metal gods.
YES, I'VE HEARD THAT VERSION BY 'RITUAL CARNAGE' ,ITS BETTER THAN OUR VERSION. I DO APPRECIATE THAT BANDS COVER OUR SONGS, I NEVER THOUGHT THAT WOULD HAPPEN, I DIDN'T THINK WE MADE THAT MUCH OF A MARK IN THE METAL FRATERNITY BUT OBVIOUSLY, SOMEONE LIKED THE STUFF. I THINK "METAL GODS" IS MORE SUITED TO MANOWAR THAN ONSLAUGHT. I'VE HEARD THAT SOMEBODY HAS DONE 'POWER FROM HELL', I'D LIKE TO HEAR THAT BECAUSE I THINK ITS ONE OF THE FEW GOOD SONGS FROM THE 1ST LP.
2-3 years ago, a lot of classic ‘80s bands have reunited... like f.ex. METAL CHURCH, HEATHEN DEATH ANGEL, NASTY SAVAGE, NUCLEAR ASSAULT or even a few years before DESTRUCTION, AGENT STEEL and NECRODEATH etc. What do you think coul be a kind of motivations for such reunions? It is worth to return after 15-16 years? Have you listened to their comeback albums?
I SUPPOSE THERE IS A REASON FOR REFORMING BUT I PERSONALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND IT, ITS NOT A THING THAT APPEALS TO ME BUT GOOD LUCK TO ALL THOSE THAT FEEL THE NEED TO. I DIDN'T REALLY LISTEN TO THE ORIGINAL ALBUMS LET ALONE THE COMEBACK ALBUMS THOUGH I WILL SAY THAT THE 'METAL CHURCH' 1ST ALBUM WAS EXCEPTIONAL, THEY WERE A CLASS ABOVE THE REST. MOTIVATION? MONEY, BOREDOM, EGO'S, SOMETHING TO DO, ITS LIKE THEY'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THE AUDIENCE TO COME BACK BUT AS I'VE SAID, IF YOU WERE REALLY INTO THE MUSIC YOU WOULDN'T OF SPLIT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE... EACH TO THEIR OWN.
I'm not sure if you've already heard about it, but also ONSLAUGHT has reformed again... What do you think about this occurence and are you in touch with them therefore?
YES, I'M AWARE THEY'VE REFORMED, AS I UNDERSTAND IT THE GROUPS CONSISTS OF 'SY', 'NIGE', 'STEVE' and 'JAMES'. I'M SURPRISED THAT 'SY' AGREED TO IT WHAT WITH THE SHODDY WAY THEY GOT RID OF HIM. I WAS IN TOUCH WITH 'JASE STALLARD' BUT HE KEEPS TURNING HIS E-MAIL OFF (HE'S MAD) AND I WAS EXCHANGING INSULTS WITH HIM BUT I THINK I MIGHT OF TOUCHED A NERVE, EGO'S ARE SO DELICATE, HA. HE DID INVITE ME TO A PRACTISE SESSION BUT I REALLY WASN'T THAT INTERESTED.
How would you charakterize personally the guys whom you played with? I mean your ONSLAUGHT-mates (Sy, Nige, Jase and Steve)? Are/were you good friends and did you often hang out together?
RATHER NOT COMMENT ON THIS ONE.
Do you still go visiting concerts or festivals?
NO, I WORKED AS A SOUND ENGINEER FOR 12 YEARS AND THE EXCITEMENT OF SEEING A BAND DOESN'T REALLY KICK IN ANYMORE, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING I SUPPOSE.
Unfortunately, David Wayne (METAL CHURCH) and Mike “Yaz” Jestremski (HEATHEN) have passed, in May. Did you know them personally? I think, their death is a very big loss for the scene.
I DIDN'T KNOW THESE PEOPLE HAD PASSED AWAY AND I DIDN'T KNOW THEM PERSONALLY.
Do you still listen to the first two ONSLAUGHT records, nowadays?
DON'T LISTEN TO MUCH NOWADAYS, HAVEN'T GOT THE PATIENCE AND I'M ALWAYS TOO BUSY, RATHER LISTEN TO 'DISCHARGE' ANYWAY.
Ok Paul, let's finish this chat with the "Flames Of The Antichrist"... Thanks for taking time to answer my questens - it was an enormous pleasure getting in touch with you. I wish you all the best and good luck in the name of the Metal Forces. Contract in blood! Cheers: Leslie
THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUESTIONS AND TIME AND PATIENCE, MAY NOT BE THE ANSWERS YOU WERE EXPECTING BUT WHAT THE HELL.
Bejegyezte: Leslie David dátum: 4:28