2010. október 8., péntek

Virus - Ian Coke McFinlay

The interview was done some years ago. This is/was my tribute to the legendary British thrash band, that reunited for two years ago.

So Coke, how, under which circumstances did you discover metal and what did you find so amazing in this music?
Well now thats an interesting question my friend, ive always loved metal from its very beginnings with bands like Black Sabbath, Motörhead,Iron Maiden..etc but my main turning point came when i heard Rush...this type of Music just bowled me over completely..it was refreshing,technical & completely different to anything else i had ever heard before.
Do you consider yourself a metal head or did you prefer punk?
I was into metal before punk i used to listen to early Judas Priest albums & wishing i could play guitar like Glen Tipton & K K Downing...but i consider myself to be a Thrasher!!!
The great English metal boom started around '79/'80, the new Wave Of British Heavy Metal came into being, would you say that time of the punk scene was up or did they exist next to each other?
Many NWOBHM bands were influenced by the punk bands & they lived a happy existence along side them, you see back then you would see punks running around with Iron Maiden & Judas priest patches on their jackets & Metalheads with Sex Pistols on their Jackets
How do you remember those times? Did you like bands, such as SAXON, MOTÖRHEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, GIRLSCHOOL, GRIM REAPER, BLITZKRIEG etc.?
Yeh all those bands i really liked,but Priest really stood out above the rest for me,becos of their musicianship...they had a harder edge to their music & this got me into bands like Diamond Head & Saxon.
At which point did you pick up guitar and how did your choice fall on this instrument?
I started playing guitar when i was 18...yeah i know i was a late starter,but i was playing bagpipes since i was 12 &was prepared to give that up just yet,but when my father died i couldn't play anymore so for a couple of years i was in the wilderness so to speak..then i heard a friend of my brothers play some Ozzy& Van Halen covers & i was sold...& ive never looked back
What were your influences to become musician? Were you self taught or…?
Yeah im very self taught as i used to listen to Van Halen & play theyre tracks by ear which were totally shit renditions..& i apologize to Eddie in advance ..lol,then i heard Randy Rhodes & thot man!!if only i could play like that guy i could really show people i could rocket up that fretboard..so i practiced 12 hours a day,i was 18 & a punk & everyone thot i was shit but it didnt put me off...i lost a lot of drinkin time coz i used to hibernate. I bought the tabulature book for the album 'Powerslave' by Maiden before i bought the album so i could work out the piece before i heard it
What about your musical past before you were involved in VIRUS?
I played 2 bands before Virus....one was a very mediocre punk band called Urban Decay & the other was a French punk band called Crash C13 who needed a guitarist before that i was a piper in the Mckenzie Calidonian PipeBand in Dundee in Scotland for 6 glorious years.
The band was formed in 1986 by vocalist Henry Heston and drummer Terry Kaylor –both of them played in punk/oi band CRIMINAL DAMAGE- and the brought Damien Hess on bass, do you still remember how did you get in the picture exactly? Were you the first choice of the band or were there other musicians still in the mind? Did you know them earlier?
The answer to that question is very simple i knew these guys before for a longtime,we met as punks in a venue called The100 Club in central London where i was workin for a while as a glass collector.I was down on my luck in 1986 & sleeping rough & they found me sleeping under a flyover next to the Hammersmith Odeon.in London,they bought me lunch & asked what i was doin for money & i said i was buskin Clash songs in soho.Now they had heard me play a few years before this in a Squat in South london & i entertained them back then but they never asked me to join Criminal Damage.They offered me a lifeline to join Virus,apprantley someone told them i was a shit hot guitarist
What about the musical background of Damien Hess?
Damien again was a big punk fan but was heavily influenced by trippy bands like Pink Floyd & Hawkwind,which is where i think he got his individual style which added that dimension to Virus that was taking them to new heights
Would you say that VIRUS were one of the pioneers of British thrash metal? Did the British thrash scene started with bands, such as VIRUS, SABBAT, ONSLAUGHT?
Yeh i would say so....weve influenced a shitload of bands thru the years not just in the UK but all over.Yes bands like DeathWish, Acid Reign, Deliverance, Cathedral & the ones you mentioned above & to name but a few all contributed to the start of British Thrash.
Who came up with the name of the band?
Henry did altho they werent all in agreement at first, i think they rowed quite a bit about it .
What about your rehearsals? Did you start writing originals right from the start or were you jamming mostly on punk/oi materials?
We rehearsed only our own material right from the get go,we werent interested in tryin to copy anyone,we wanted to bring the two musical styles of Oi/punk & metal together to create a whole new genre that would let punks listen to thrash & metalheads listen to more punk stuff & i think we accomplished this with PREY FOR WAR altho it wasn't greatly appreciated in metal circles unlike POWER FROM HELL by Onslaught but we were more original than them & took more risks musically.
How many demos did you record? Were these materials your first studio experiences?
The demos would feature session guitar solos of Yaasin Hanif of TARGA, why did you take his services on the demos?

Yaasin was a very good friend of Henry's,they got him to do the solo's on PREY FOR WAR as Henry cudnt solo...i wasn't in the band at this time but i don't think they wanted him in band becos he didnt fit in visually.What i mean by that is he wudnt dress in the style of a hardcore thrasher,they needed someone who looked the part aswell as being a decent musician,he was too glam to be in a thrash band even although he was an exeptional guitarist.
Did you shop around the demos to attract label interests?
Not really we were picked up pretty quickly by METALWORKS,they were one of the first we saw & they immediately thought we could make them money,but we were naive coz they fucked us over good & proper in the end & they baffeled us with theyre bullshit..they were 2 PR men from Bronze Records so they new the buisness very well.
Finally you got signed by Metal Works, did you choose them because they offered you a good contract or because there weren't other label interests?
They chose us!! they already had Bernie Torme on their books & a few other up & coming bands but we were theyre first thrash band
As far as the label, what about their releases? I know, they released the power metal classic „Ample destruction" of JAG PANZER.
Well like i said they had Bernie Torme who was huge in the 80's but we thot he was cock rock frankly & a bit of a tosser also they had Deliverance,Deathwish,Skinny Puppy,Mystic & a few others i can't remember about but not worth talkin abt anyway..we ended up being their main interst & they dropped several bands to concentrate on us
What about the recording sessions of the first record „Pray for war", which saw the light in 1987?
That was really recorded in 86 to be honest & wasnt released till 87 but i can tell you this, it was recorded in Brighton & it took 3 hours to record & it was gonna be scrapped & redone untill one of our m8s heard it & let certain people in Brighton hear it.We were advised to keep it so we did!!
The record was completely funded by yourself, which didn't make many waves in the press, does it mean that you didn't have a decent budget to record the album?
Thats correct!! the guys were practically peniless &it wasn't the grarest of recording facilities...in actual fact it was done in Yassin's garage that he had converted into a recording studio,but at the time it was the only thing that was available & cheap!
How much time did the recordings sessions take?
Like i said 3 hours!!!!!!
Yaasin Hanif would also be on hand to produce the first album, didn't you think about to admit him as a permanent member in the band?
Yeah its true Yaasin did play a big part in the recording but like i said he just didnt fit the style of the band & he wasnt interested in playing that kind of music full-time.
Were you satisfied with the end result?
When they let me hear the demo i wasnt that impressed in fact i thought it was pretty dull lacklustre & lacked imagination but i thought to myself,i could do something with this sound...so when we eventually played live these tracks were more heavier &technical than they were on vinyl.
This album represents the underground scene in its most undeveloped form, do you agree with it?
Yeh totally!! it was grass roots thrash, i think THERMO-NUCLEAR THRASH was the only decent track on the album,but youve got to remember that we had a big ex-punk following,who were listening to the likes of DISCHARGE, BROKEN BONES & GBH.so technically we were the most advanced post punk band out of them all& this was evident in our music, as at the time we were being compared to these bands.
In 1987 was released The Force by Onslaught, what I name the best British thrash metal record…
Yeh your probably right it was the best that Britain had to offer at the time, but if you had seen us live in the 80's we were visually far superior to Onslaught, we had an energy & a presence onstage that no thrash band in Britain could equal, Onslaught were boring to watch but i agree their studio opus THE FORCE was excellent.
VIRUS hit the stage for the very first time supporting SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and punk outfit CHELSEA at the Clarendon in London, how do you remember that show?
The Suicidal show was just an amazing memory for me, i got to meet my favourite band of all time & we really kicked ass that night..our very first show so we had to create a good impression...we practiced every day as we had our own rehearsal room & for this gig it was important that we got it spot on...I remember there was famous skaters from the USA who turned up that nite...Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero & Nicky Guerro all told me they loved the show!
Would you say, that VIRUS were clearly below the average of the British thrash metal genre in the beginning?
I have to agree with you in one respect as PREY FOR WAR could have been the 'kiss of death' for us,but in another,i have to say we didnt pack out venues in the South of England if we were below average at the start!!Granted it was a large Punk audience but we wanted to gain a more metal one!!!
After the releasing of the record you toured as support to the KREATOR and CELTIC FROST UK tour of October 1987 respectively you put in shows opening for DEATH ANGEL and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, what do you recall of all of these tours?
Absolutely fantastic time of my life, met some lifelong friends played hard, partyed hard & was totally in the zone throughout that touring time..altho there were some serious issues with band members at this point,they were overshadowed by the good times.
Around this time started popping up more and more British thrash bands, such as D. A. M., DEATHWISH, ACID REIGN, XENTRIX, ANNIHILATED to what could thank thrash metal its popularity?
I think we all owe a debt of thanks to VENOM coz they were the forefathers of thrash metal in Britain & broke the mould for other bands like us to push the scene forward to another level
Do the British bands play an important role in the forming of the European thrash scene?
I don't think so & i will tell you why! The metallers in Europe were swallowed up by the big hitters of the genre from the U.S.A i.e. metallica, Slayer & Megadeth & the British bands didnt really get the exposure they deserved in Europe,due to lack of interest from the European media.Now this was at the beginning of the scene in Europe & of course they had an abundance of homegrown talent of their own that they were promoting to a U.S audience.
Did the English thrash bands get all of the respect, what the German thrash bands got back then?
It was hard back then, as Helloween, Tankard, Sodom, Kreator & the likes were gathering a huge following in Britain &trying to compete with these bands was near impossible for us,but musically we gained their respect as they could see that British Thrash wasnt goin to be pushed aside by the public in favour of the more accomplished German thrash outfits.
Parallel with the thrash scene appeared some death metal/grindcore outfits as well, such as CARCASS, BOLT THROWER, CANCER, PARADISE LOST, BENEDICTION etc., were you close to this brutal, uncompromising music?
I remember in early 88, we did a headline gig in the Walthamstowe greyhound it was near Shepherds Bush in London, Annihilated were on the bill so we knew them & it was their 2nd gig with us. One of the bands that night turned up with no equipment& our manager refused to let them use our gear,so we told our manager to fuck off & let them use it!he was furious but we said 'hey you old fucker their only kids give them a chance you dick!!'the average age was about 16 & it was their first gig, they couldnt even get served at the bar!I wish we hadn't now coz they blew us off the stage(completely),they were technically perfect & very aggressive riffs which i loved..that band was CARCASS & i really liked this new powerful grindcore/Death Metal sound so i started listening to bands like Death & Obituary!!
In 1988 Metal Works released the „Metalworks personal sampler" featuring LORD CRUCIFIER, DELIVERANCE, VIRUS and ANNIHILATED, what kind of purposes did this material serve, what was released only on cassette?
It was all released on cassette & vinyl & it was to promote each of our albums releases that year.
You were featured with the tracks „Testify to me" and „Force Recon", were they the very first written songs to the second album?
Yeh Testify To Me was the first track written for the 2nd album we wanted to keep the speed metal thing goin coz it seemed to be what everyone wanted & we didnt want to disappoint our fans,but i wanted to put loads of short changes & little bridge parts in the song to show some diversity & to fuck the media off by showing them we could play as we got really bad reviews for the first album in Kerrang!
Did you immediately start writing new material after the releasing of the first album? How did the recordings sessions go with this material?
No not exactly,we wanted to see what impact it would have in the press,but it bombed badly as i thought it would,so i got all my influences together &shut myself away in the band room(as the others gave me carte blanche to do what the fuck i wanted musically)!personally i think they ran out of ideas & needed something much better!
As far as myself, you turned into a more complex direction, the structures of the songs became more varied, such as „Testify to me", the instrumental „Viral warfare", the title track or „Hungry for blood", what do you think about it?
Yeh your dead right!! up till then they didnt have a songwriter in the band & i remember havin a conversation with Henry i said....'hey man we seriously need to reshape the sound & the structure of our songs, PREY FOR WAR is fuckin neanderthal man,we need to reconstruct a new sound or were gonna get swallowed up by new bands comin into this genre. So i did i was listenin to EXODUS & SUICIDAL TENDENCIES a lot at this time so i drew from them little passages i thot that might elevate us a band,i didnt copy!! no no no i would never do that(like a lot of Brit bands were doin!!mentioning no names!!)lol. I merely took their stylings & mixed them up a bit.this was probably the benchmark set for the next album LUNACY.
What made you to put an instrumental title on the record?
Oh thats easy to answer!!I didnt want Henry's vocals spoilin a really gr8 track...hahahahahaaha!!
Would you say, that people really started to take notice of the true potential of the band, which was enforced by the thrash stylings of you, which took the band to new heights in the genre?
Yeh would say that, without tryin to sound like a bighead, coz to be honest i didnt see a future for the band if they were to continue down the punk/metal crossover thing!Youve got to remember these guys were listening to thrash or punk bands only whereas i would listen thrash & punk as well as to stuff that was totally free of metal i.e JAZZ, SKA, REGGAE, BLUES, FUNK & CLASSICAL.
Why did you change your logo as well?
Again we needed a fresh more professional sound so we needed to have a fresh new professional lookin logo,the old one was too punky to ragged & didnt suit our sound so it got binned!! We were all in agreement of that
You gained a slot at the prestigious Leeds thrash festival alongside MEGADETH, what about this show?
When we got news we were to be on the bill we were totally dumbfucked we couldnt believe we were goin to be rubbin shoulders with the mighty MEGADETH & all those others on the bill. We had just come to the end date of the Cro-mags tour & we it was Xmas 89 i think & things were goin really well for us the tour was a gr8 success & our manager was finalizing things on the tour bus. Onslaught were due to play it too but as soon as they found out we were on the bill they pulled out coz we were bitter rivals & we'd had a punch up with them that year. They said somethin bad about us in press & we took great offense to it so we went lookin for them (wankers). The gig was a huge affair with about 7000 people turnin up we were first on & becos we were extremely hungover,we were in a right state we could have died on our feet up there coz everything that could have gone wrong,did go wrong, Damien stood on Henry's lead & broke it i stood on Damiens lead & it broke too, it was just me & Tez playin. Our roadies just froze, didnt do a fuckin thing to help (useless cunts) & we went from bad to worse we started to throw cans of beer & T-shirts to gain audience approval but they got thrown back,henry asked me to do a solo while the roadies at last fixed the problem (that went down like a pair of lead socks attached to an anvil & thrown in a river & expected to float) lol. By the time everything got sorted out we could only do one more number! so we did 'THE MUNSTER MOSH the hidden track on FORCE RECON. The crowed went absolutely mental for 7 rows back they were bouncin up & down & moshin like fuck, i couldnt believe my eyes but it fuckin saved us that nite!!
The press always dogged you because of your strong punk roots and you often had to defense yourselves in the media for your pro-punk leanings, why did it happen? It didn't help you when you punched out Xavier Russell of Kerrangg in the Kit Kat club in London in 1988,who was reviewing your album that year. I suppose, you didn't like his review, do you?
Yeah we never escaped that proclamation from the British press & Xavier Russel was the biggest dickhead in metal at that time,unfortunately he was the most important metal journalist in the media too.I met this Italian chick in The Interpid Fox(famous metal pub in London)she was fuckin georgeous & she was all over me like a rash,she asked us to join her at the famous Kit Kat Club in Soho so we did unfortunately for me she forgot to tell me she was Xaviers girlfriend so when he showed up there he was arguin with her & he starts slapping her so i headbutted him & punched him over a table,i was busy layin into him when someone told me who he was!! I didnt give a fuck!!Rule number 1 i said you don't hit women!!! We got one K for our album which was grossley unfair coz Metal Hammer gave us 5 stars.
Is it true that you were labeled the bad boys of Thrash metal, simply because most of your gigs ended up in fights, drunken brawls and roadie punch ups, but you still maintained a modicum of decorum when you met your fans?
Youve been reading our Myspace profile my friend!! yes it was true we were more infamous than famous...i couldnt write down all the mad punch ups we had with other bands & some Virus Haters, but yeh we were branded as thugs,but we did look after our fans so they appreciated us!! nuff said!!
„Lunacy" was released in 1989, how was the album recorded? Did the label ask you to hear new material or did they still have a complete confidence into it?
The album was recorded in Putney Bridge in London in a place called THE YARD studio, where THE CULT had recorded their album ELECTRIC CIRCUS it was a gr8 place we ate drank slept shat & pissed in that place it was luxurious & our sound engineer had worked with many well known stars such as DEF LEPPARD, SCORPIONS, JESUS & MARY CHAIN, COCTEAU TWINS & CAPTAIN SENSIBLE. Man we were so excited with workin with him,but he just couldnt handle us,i think he had a nervous breakdown after we left. lol. The record company had full confidence in us on the new material they came down to the bandroom to hear the new stuff & loved it.. i could see pound signs formin in their greedy little fuckin eyes!!lol
Compared to the earlier efforts by you, „Lunacy" showed some definite improvement in both production and songwriting, the sound of the album is very heavy and the general feel much more varied than previously, how do you view it?
Yeh i felt it could have been even better if they had only given me a little more time to tweak it. There was one or 2 things i wanted to change but we were on a timeline to get it out & into the shops so i had to settle with what we had..but all in all we did a pretty good job. You won't notice the mistakes but i do & i cringe everytime i hear a certain song where Henry's guitar goes out of time & there is one where i make a blatant drop in mistake...lol
There are a lot of intriguing, genuine touches on the songs, which makes this album on the whole fairly interesting, compared to the first two ones…
I have to laugh...hehehehe when you say 'fairly interesting'it sounds like its not bad but nothing special, but i think if you had heard it at that time it would have been more than fairly interesting..lol
Would you say, that with „Lunacy" you stepped in a higher level, as far as songwriting, playing, sound etc.?
Definitely!!! we had a bigger budget,one of the best recording studio's in Britain & an excellent producer in 'Bernie'. We were evolving as a band & we were getting more into the region of what i wanted us to be as a band!! musically & live sound.
This time the plain vocals are more emphasized and sound quite peculiar yet very original, although they are a bit too weak and unclear and almost get buried under the bass-heavy production, were you dissatisfied with the sound?
I wasn't dissatisfied with the music or lyrics what really pissed me off was Henry's lack of enthusiasm to project his voice & his inability to do his vocals properly,he really thought he was a fuckin rock star,he'd turn up to practice once or twice a week & sometimes drunk & i wanted to just knock him out sometimes.While we were tryin to make this a really gr8 album he was out with his mates pissin it up.He really was one talentless prick!! We needed it to be base heavy to cover up his shit vocals!!
Is „Lunacy" a fairly nice recording from the heydays of British thrash metal?
It could have been so much more than fairly nice!!!!!!
What were the shows to support the record?
We toured with Death Angel in Britain & France, Acid Reign again in Britain a double headliner with Sabbat in London. Lawnmower Deth in North of England tour, Motorhead ADX (french metal band) & Loudblast (also from France) in the Zenith in Paris. Kreator in Germany & Poland & Christmas on earth in Leeds.
You were due to tour North America with DEATH, but this was cancelled, what happened exactly?
There was a bitter disagreement between me & Henry at home he threatened to walk out on the band & i said 'well fuck off then youve got the least talent anyway' he left for about a week, meanwhile we were busy writing new material for a fourth album 2 new songs for the tour, he turns up one night & say's he's splitting the band up, i thought he was jokin..the fucker had just walked out on us then he makes this ludicrious fuckin statement, i was livid & said we have a 4 month tour in America scheduled & you tell us that now..but i was to find out later that there was an alterior motive for this!!!
If you would have had the opportunity playing in the States, could you have made a name for the band?
Well put it this way!! Our album Lunacy sold 15000 copies in New York in its first 2 weeks of release over there so i think that speaks for itself.....i still get 100s of myspace messages from fans sayin why didnt we come over to the states & play??
Some problems, troubles and conflicts emerged within the band, what went wrong with you? Can you tell us more about it?
I think i explained that earlier, but i will say one thing Henry had a plan with the record company & the management to go behind our backs & he had already been to the states to promote himself more than anything unbeknown to the rest of us he was plotting our downfall,i think that in my opinion he couldn't keep up with the rest of us musically & was getting tired of me busting his balls every time he decided he was ready to come to band practice.I had threatened him with violence on several ocassions,i just never put up with his crap like the others did!!That was maybe a big mistake coz it was partly the reason for the demise of the band.
Does it mean, that the line up divided into two parts?
Yep!! Fraid so yeh see Henry & Tez were childhood mates,john wasn't in their inner circle & me being scottish & not English with my aggressive attitude& behaviour upset the apple cart so to speak!
What kind of reasons did lead to the splitting up exactly? How and when did end up the whole VIRUS story?
It was when Henry got back from the U.S.he told us he was takin his girlfriend up the coast for a 2 week holiday...but it was a lie he had been in New York with our record company. When he eventually came clean about his trip we had a massive bust up i walked out Damien just kept quiet as he usually did Tez flew off the handle,we wanted to lynch the fucker right there.we didnt speak to each other for about a week i had the management calling me but i ignored the phone, i was having my own breakdown,my wife had left me,taken our 6 week old baby & went back to France, i couldn’t stand to be in the same room as henry or blood would have flown mostly his. I went back to the band room the following Monday coz Damo wanted to see me..when i got there.It was boarded up & he told me that Henry & Tez had gone to the States & with the management & all our royalties & me & Damo were left with fuck all!!
Did you part ways with a friendly term at the end?
No comment( see above)
Would you say that you reached a cult status in the underground scene? A lot of underground maniacs like you these days as well…
Yeh but its funny were more popular these days than we ever were when we were giggin....lol.I think its due to the interest in 80's thrash by this new generation & bands like TESTAMENT, FORBIDDEN, DEATH ANGEL, MUNICIPAL WASTE & others keeping the genre alive!!
After the demise of the band Henry Heston and Terry Kaylor formed SAVAGE CIRCUS, until when did this outfit exist? Did they record any demos, albums etc.?
They started that band in the states after they left me & Damo for dead!!!I have no interest in what they did with this band,nor do i care, you'll have to ask them about that!!!
What about you and Damien Hess after VIRUS?
I believe Damo went to Hawai to start his gardening business, & became very successful at it, as for me i have played in to many thrash bands thru the years to mention them all,but i'll mention the best ones...i spent 5 years in France tryin to make amends with my estranged wife,while i was there i played for MISTER-E great musicians but they had no scope to tour!!After that came ODDMONGERS another french band very technical reminicent of TOXIC CIRCUS & WATCHTOWER i played lead for them! In the summer of 96 i returned to Scotland & formed PRODUCTS OF FEAR i loved the PANTERAesque sound we had & i had never felt more comfortable with a band we lasted 3 years but never played out of Scotland(shame coz we were very good...ive played in several covers bands thru the years but the one that sticks out the most was ZOMBIESTOMP typical classic rock! Iv now have my own band again called SPLATTERHEAD you can check out us out at www.myspace.com/splatterheadspace.com let me know what ye think man!!
Did you follow what's going on in the underground scene?
Yeh iv never stopped checkin man!!
At the late '80s/early '90s thrash metal started going out of fashion, a lot of British thrash bands splitted up, such as DEATHWISH, D. A. M., SABBATH or changed their style, such as ONSLAUGHT, RE-ANIMATOR, how do you remember those times?
Very sad times for British thrash, it all seemed to crash & burn & it was a roller coaster of disaster...all the British thrash bands who were left just ran out of ideas & started to play regurgitated bullshit that no-one wanted to hear.
In 1993 released Mia Records the „Warmonger the compilation" record, what was the goal of the label with this release? Were you aware of this record at all?
I wasn't aware of that record untill an American friend e-mailed me in 98 & said 'did you know there was a Virus compilation album', which me & Damien received fuck all from.
As far as VIRUS, you are running both a band and an own site on the myspace, when did you start running these sites?
I have been running my own site for the past 2 years & had no intention of starting a VIRUS mypace, but a friend of mine from London H who was the lead Vocalist of ACID REIGN told me that they had a website & got loads of feedback from it so i decided this year to launch it much to my surprise iv had a huge response from all over the globe.
Does internet play an important role in the life of the people these days? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the internet?
1 huge disadvantage is that there are some really fucked up sick individuals out there that access chatrooms to interfere & abuse kids,on the plus side its the gateway to meet new interesting exciting people...especially for me being a musician!Also i hate it that people can hack into our e-mail & retrieve valuable personal infomation from it. I destest that!!
While during the '80s a lot of printed fanzine were released, such as Decibel Of Death, Metal Forces, Thrash and Burn, Ripping Headaches, Violent Noize etc. nowadays are existing a lot of webzines, do you willingly read them?
I dont read a lot of them as some carry viruses & worms attached to advertisment,its not their fault its just the cheap net space that hackers can hack into.
Did the fanzines handle with VIRUS back then? Did they support the band?
Yeh we had a great response from fanzines back then, we used to do interviews over the phone & at gigs i remember a great one that did a piece on me they were called MUTILATED AT BIRTH...it just always stuck out in my mind that name..they were a great bunch of guys & were devoted fans!!
Didn't you think about to run, to do an official VIRUS site?
My web design skills are very limited i couldnt do it justice if i tried !!
How do you view downloading of music, which became a trend these days?
Its ok i guess, i do it myself so i have no room to complain about it...lol
Are you still in touch with the VIRUS members? What's up with them nowadays?
Ive recently got in touch with Damien (aka John D Hesse) after 18 years & he' will always remain one of my dearest friends, he still has a gardening business Tez has a tattoo business in Eastbourne & plays drums in HATEBALL a simple punk band (aww shame) As for Henry i couldnt give a fuck...no love lost there!!
A lot of bands returned these days, such as ONSLAUGHT, SABBAT or earlier, NECRODEATH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DEATH ANGEL, AGENT STEEL, METAL CHURCH etc. how do you view all of these reformations?
I think its fantastic that those guys have done that it shows their commitment & dedication to the genre,good luck to all of them,as i know some of those bands personally i think its really a credit to the music that theyve come out of retirement & i hear ONSLAUGHT are doing very well...i'm happy for them, they deserve it theyre a hardworking band ( i made my peace with them & SABBAT quite recently thru myspace..lol (what a wonderful invention) lol
What do you think about their comeback albums? Do they have to do with their classic records or do you consider them crap?
Ive never considered any of those bands crap & i never will, anyone who plays our type of music deserves the best praise they can get...its the most difficult of music to play & i salute them!!
As far as ONSLAUGHT, „Killing peace" became too modern for me, it hasn't anything to do with „The Force"…
very true i think maybe theyre tryin to keep up with the new bands like LAMB OF GOD & 36 CRAZYFISTS
Didn't you plan to reform VIRUS and hit the road again or record an album?
That may not be so far from the truth....how did you know this???i have told very few people about that!!!lol...all i can say is watch this space;)
Would you say that VIRUS is gone, buried, but not forgotten? Is the spirit of the band still alive, because the fans are keeping it alive?
The spirit of the band will always be alive as long as the fans remember!!gone??i wouldnt quite say that,as ive been in talks with some very old friends of mine my motto is 'never say never!!!
So Coke, thanks a lot for this interview, anything to add what I forgot to cover?
Nah i think you covered everything man!!!just remains for me to say thanx for compling this interview,glad to see there is still some people out there who appreciate us & remember us & are still very passionate about thrash & all its bands Thanx for gettin intouch with me dude let me know what you think of my answers ive been as accurate as i can be..........have you got some webzine or somethin thats gonna print this interview or is this just to satisfy your curiosity of what happened to us?? Keep in touch & let me know if ye need anymore info.

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