Interview with In Flames from www.overdrive.ie : LINK: https://www.overdrive.ie/feature-interview-this-new-album-is-the-best-that-in-flames-can-offer-right-now-bjorn-gelotte/ FEATURE INTERVIEW – “This new album is the best that In Flames can offer right now.” Björn Gelotte Speaking from the Nuclear Blast offices in London, guitarist Björn Gelotte tells us about the approach to ‘I, The Mask‘ and how the experience was one that has somewhat…
Interview with Cronos from Venom Part 2, Cronos talks about taking Metallica out on tour with Venom in 1984 when they first started and more.
From: “The Consequence Of Sound“:
Venom’s Cronos on Touring with Metallica, Working with Dave Grohl, Modern Metal, and More
The metal veteran also tells stories about the Beastie Boys, Brian Johnson and more
Although Venom are 15 studio albums deep into their career, the band’s longtime singer-bassist Cronos surprisingly admits that he still doesn’t feel like he’s “made it” — despite influencing countless metal acts over the years.
But with the arrival of the group’s latest offering, Storm the Gates, few veteran metal bands have remained as ferocious sounding as Venom this far into their career.
We recently ran Part 1 of our interview with Cronos, where Venom’s long-time leader discussed his band’s influence on other bands, silly record label advice from back in the day, and refusing to embrace the mainstream, among other subjects.
In Part 2 of our interview, Cronos talks about how Venom gave Metallica one of their first big breaks, befriending Brian Johnson before he was even in AC/DC, getting sampled by the Beastie Boys, and why he considers most modern metal bands to be “Crap! Fuckin’ crap!”
ON TAKING METALLICA OUT ON THEIR FIRST-EVER EUROPEAN TOUR
It was a great time. And it was a good time for those guys to actually be able to hit the European shows. We were looking for bands like us, because as we always said, “We have a different crowd. We’re not pulling the same kind of crowd that would go and see… Mötley Crüe or whatever.” A friend of mine used to have a bootleg stall, and he came to me one day with a VHS tape, and said, “I’ve seen this band in San Francisco, and they are just like you guys.” And it was a Metallica show, with Dave Mustaine wearing his Welcome to Hell shirt.
So, when we got the opportunity to get in touch with Jon Zazula and go over there, we said, “There’s a band on the other side of the country…” Now, we traveled 3,000 miles from England to New York, and those guys traveled 3,000 miles from the West Coast to New York, so that’s fair — we’d meet in the middle. And then after that, I remember I told James [Hetfield] that story, and he said, “Oh no, no, no. There is a band that’s really, really like you guys.” And that’s when he told us about Slayer. He said, “There is a band in LA just like you guys.” And then from there on, it went from Exodus and everybody started coming out — it was amazing.
But the Metallica boys, they’re hardworking guys. Fuckin’ hell, I couldn’t take that away from them. We were getting to the end of the 7 Dates of Hell Tour in Europe [in February of 1984], and we were all getting ready to go home and put our feet up and start working on the next record. And I said, “What plans have you guys got?” And I remember Lars said, “We’ve lined up our own tour.” And I was like, “Wow, you guys never stop!” I don’t give a shit if people say, “This album is terrible or that album is terrible.” Every band that has a long career is going to have good and bad releases. And I don’t give a shit about what people say about Metallica’s career as a whole — they were hardworking guys in the early days, and nobody can take that away from them.
ON BEING LONGTIME FRIENDS WITH AC/DC’S BRIAN JOHNSON
He’s a very good friend of mine — he lives up the road from me. He just lives around the corner, really. I remember when I first went to his house with my first single, and he was saying, “Yeah! The apprentice rock star!” [Laughs] Yeah, Brian’s been a good friend. He was in a local band in Newcastle, called Geordie, and they used to do covers by Nazareth. He’s got that kind of a voice, like Dan McCafferty. So, he was perfect for AC/DC. I heard the stories straight away — when he went for the audition, he met the guys in the pool room, had a couple of games of pool and a couple of beers, then went in, went through “Whole Lotta Rosie” and a couple of other tracks, and Angus and the boys looked at each other and said, “We’ve got our man.” That’s so understandable, because Bri is such a down-to-earth guy. He’s a very private guy — he keeps to himself. I haven’t seen him since he’s left the band, unfortunately. He’s off spending time with his family. But I’ll bump into the guy soon, I know I will.
ON WHEN THE BEASTIE BOYS SAMPLED PART OF A VENOM STAGE RAP FOR THEIR SONG “MARK ON THE BUS”
That was great. The Beastie Boys are the Beastie Boys — they’re just trying to have fun. A lot of people get offended by them, but I don’t see how you can get offended by those guys. They came and did some shows here in England, and when they got to Newcastle, they couldn’t stop talking about Newcastle Brown Ale — the beer. And all night onstage, “Cronos lives in Newcastle! Yeah!” Those guys don’t mean any harm. If people take them wrong… then get a sense of humor guys, come on.
ON WHY HE THINKS CERTAIN GROUPS LIKE THE PMRC MADE SUCH A BIG DEAL OUT OF THE CONTENT OF ROCK LYRICS, INCLUDING VENOM’S “POSSESSED”, IN THE 1980s
Bored politicians’ housewives with nothing better to do. Trying to please their friends in their communities. It was all based on nothing — it’s ridiculous. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Look, the only the way trends can develop and change is with freedom of speech, and trying out new ideas. And as we know, many bands come and go and they never make it. And for all the bands out there, it’s a small percentage that really do make it at the end of the day. But when you start curbing what you can and can’t say, well, for fuck’s sake.
Yes, people do cross the line, but that’s in the name of freedom of speech. There was some American comedian that wanted to come here to the UK, and he had a really sexist show, and he got stopped and they wouldn’t give him the visa. And everybody in England was ticked off, because we were like, “No, no, no. Let him come. Let him face his critics. Because if he is up on stage saying racist and anti-feminist things and all the rest of it, well then, let’s hear it — it’s his point of view.” But I don’t think you should ever stop this sort of thing — unless somebody is breaking the law, well then, you should let people have freedom of speech. It’s the same thing, really.
ON APPEARING ON THE SONG “CENTURIES OF SIN” ON DAVE GROHL’S PROBOT PROJECT
Come on, Dave is such a fuckin’ nice guy. He’s such a professional. And there’s just no ego or airs and graces about the guy — he’s just so flat down-to-earth and straightforward. And also, an absolutely amazing musician. Working with him was such a great thing, that there were no industry people involved. Me and Dave spoke to each other — we did the deal together. We didn’t have to have big lawyers fighting over paperwork. When Dave actually sent me the music, he sent me the music for the whole album, and said, “Track #7 or whatever it was is what I was thinking of for you. But to get a feel of the album, here is the rest of the music.”
I took the song that he had for me and basically wrote three separate sets of lyrics, and I sent him a rough mix of the three different ideas. One of the versions was a bit like, “Hanging out with the guys, going for a beer, rock n’ roll,” and another was a bit sleazy — prostitutes and bars. And then the third one was kind of the Satanic element. And Dave came back, and said, “I want the Satanic element!” So, I put the bass on and did the vocals. It never was really intended to use the bass, because he’d only asked us to do the vocal. But I put the bass on anyway, and said, “Look, use it if you think it adds to the track. If not, then I’m happy for you to just use the vocal.” But he also used the bass, which I was really proud of. But Dave is Dave — he’s fuckin’ great.
ON MODERN-DAY METAL
Crap! Fuckin’ crap! Honestly, I’ve been saying this for so long now. The thing is, you’ve got a lot of people who are now just taking other people’s music on the internet, instead of creating their own. The creative side of the world seems to have hit a brick wall. Now, we haven’t had any new music or fashion explosions at all now — for at least the last 20 years. When you think back to the rock n’ roll thing of the ‘50s, the peace and love thing and Hendrix in the ‘60s, the glam stuff that came out in the ‘70s, punk, and then hip-hop… but then it stopped.
But that came with the birth of the internet and all these people making these YouTube channels. I was sitting and watching this one guy, and he said, “I started a band. I tried to make it with the band for a couple of years, but I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I put a YouTube channel together, and just used other people’s music and other people’s ideas, and now, I’m able to get the YouTube royalty.” And I’m going, “Wow. Two years… that’s all you’ve spent? Two fuckin’ years? I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and I still don’t really feel like I’ve made it! Come on, two years?! You fuckin’ wimp!”
But I think it’s what’s affecting music is the lack of originality and the lack of purpose and the lack of conviction. I think people need to look at themselves and reevaluate. Because without new ideas, this whole scene is just going to get stale. But I don’t know, I’m looking at these magazines now, and looking at these young bands, and I’m thinking, “They all look the same. They all sound the same.” To me, the only bands worth going to see are all the established bands – the Metallicas, the Megadeths, the Slayers, the Venoms, the Dimmu Borgirs, the Immortals, the Behemoths. These are the bands that are still doing something up onstage that is exciting and good to watch and listen to. But these newer bands, you could swap members, and you wouldn’t even know there was any changes. Name the drummer — nobody knows. Name the guitarist — nobody knows. Which band is this? Who does he play drums for? Nobody knows. The whole thing appears to have been watered down.
Our thanks to Cronos for taking the time to speak with us. Pick up Venom’s latest album, Storm the Gates, via various outlets at this location.
Radio interview with Dee Snider from 94.9 “The Rock” from Toronto, Canada.
Audio interview with Dimmu Borgir:
Radio interview with Barney Greenway of Napalm Death from No Name Radio.
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Generation Kill is the band fronted by former Exodus Vocalist Rob Dukes who appeared on albums like “Exhibit A- The Atrocity Exhibition” and “Exhibit B – The Human Condition” , “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” and “Let Their Be Blood” which is a re-recording of their classic album “Bonded by Blood”.
Dukes recently appeared on the Jim Norton & Sam Roberts New York based Radio show, which is a comedy based radio show on the Faction Talk Station on Sirius XM Radio which has featured guests like Nancy Grace.
You can listen to the audio interview below and Dukes discusses his hobby of Antique Car Restoration, premiers a new Generation Kill song during the interview, you can hear the new Generation KIll song by listening to the audio interview from Sirius XM Radio which they premiered on the show.
He also discussed his split with Exodus and claimed that they were all drunks that drank before playing shows and were ruining the opening songs when playing live, while he wasn’t drinking. They also said that being in a band some members can be like a “cancer” ruining the band by thinking they are the king and getting everyone to go along with them and lying.
He he also said that the truth always rises to the surface and when karma catches up it can be a “motherfucker” and you have to say they deserve it.
He also said he is still friends with Exodus and had played a concert with them last year.
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Audio Interview with Venom Inc discussing the departure of original Venom drummer Abaddon from their lineup:
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Link: Interview With At The Gates from www.whatculture.com
On October 3rd, 1995, the face of extreme music was transformed forever. That was the day that, from the beating heart of the then-burgeoning Gothenburg metal scene, the anarchic aggressors At the Gates unveiled their lauded fourth disc, Slaughter of the Soul.
Packing eleven tightknit anthems into only 34 minutes, the magnum opus quickly became the new standard-bearer for contemporary heaviness with its succinct brutality, totally opposing the more pop- and punk-inclined angst of grunge and nu metal on the other side of the Atlantic. It also marked the first of many head-turning bullseyes for the Swedish melodic death metal movement, soon to be joined by Dark Tranquillity’s The Gallery and In Flames’ The Jester Race.
23 years later, the furious methodology that spawned Slaughter of the Soul is still bringing At the Gates to new heights. Despite a lengthy hiatus during the 2000s, the quintet are currently flying high off of consecutive successes with 2014’s At War with Reality and the brand new To Drink from the Night Itself.
To try and explore the Swedish mavens’ continuingly destructive yet hook-laden mastery, I sat down with frontman Tomas Lindberg before his band’s ferocious set at Derbyshire’s Bloodstock Festival.
Matt Mills: “I want to start with a really simple question: why are At the Gates so f—king good?”
Tomas Lindberg: “Ha! I don’t know if we are, we just try hard. What I believe is that we care a lot and everything means a lot to us. We really want people to feel that this is important to us: that’s just our attitude.”
“Obviously you’re playing the Ronnie James Dio stage of Bloodstock later on tonight. To those that haven’t seen an At the Gates show before, what should they expect?”
“Intensity and urgency. And there’s a lot of interaction with the crowd, a lot of closeness to the crowd, and today we’re focusing on probably the last three albums [Slaughter of the Soul, At War with Reality and To Drink from the Night Itself] more. But we’re only playing sixty minutes, so you’ll have to come back for some headline shows to see the full thing.”
“It feels like the modern At the Gates sound was very much refined on Slaughter of the Soul in 1995. Is that the quintessential At the Gates album?”
“For us, that album is actually the most one-dimensional we ever did. All the albums before and after that have a wider emotional palette, whereas Slaughter of the Soul is thirty minutes of just pure anguish and anger. We only did that once. A lot of the sound that we created on that one we went back to a little bit, but we incorporated the emotion of the earlier material. I think tha
t the last two records have the full range of At the Gates, but then all our albums sound different and that’s something we’re proud of.”
“And the new album, To Drink from the Night Itself, came out earlier this year. What does it mean to drink from the night itself?”
“It works on a lot of different levels, that title. The whole album is all about the importance of art in general. The easiest way to describe it is that ‘To Drink from the Night Itself’ is a metaphor for the creative process: channelling very dark and intense emotions through yourself and to the listener. But then it has a lot of sub-levels to it.”
“Would you call To Drink from the Night Itself a concept album?”
“Definitely. It’s based on a novel by Peter Weiss called The Aesthetics of Resistance. I just felt that I wanted to create the same kind of atmosphere and touch on the same kind of emotional subjects that he was in his book. Of course, it’s a thousand pages long and we only have ten songs, but it’s just trying to approach it from the same angle.”
“And this is the first At the Gates album without Anders Björler on guitar. How difficult was it to move on without him?”
“Anders, I don’t want to downplay his importance to the band. Everybody knows how integral a part he’s been. But, for us, after the last show we did with Anders on the At War with Reality tour, he basically said that he wanted to take a break and he asked if we can do that: ‘Can we have a break and then I will see how I feel.’ We were stuck in a vortex: we wanted to do stuff but couldn’t without him. So when he actually said ‘You guys can move on without me,’ that was almost like a relief. It’s not a relief to see Anders go, definitely not, but it’s better than not knowing, so we could actually write the album. Me and Jonas [Björler, bass] started writing the day after.”
“There was a four-year gap between At War with Reality and To Drink from the Night Itself. Will it take another four years for there to be a next album?”
“Hopefully not. We toured the album for almost two years and then we had that gap that we talked about where Anders left, so that’s two-and-a-half years there. The writing and the recording of the album was only one-and-a-half years, so we’re thinking of starting writing earlier for the next one and writing during tours. We already have some ideas of where we wanna take it.”
“So a new concept has been thrown around between the band members?”
“Definitely. Right now, we’re a very excited band.”
“I want to finish off by taking things a little wider and talking about the Swedish death metal scene as a whole. Obviously At the Gates are a cornerstone of that scene…”
“One of them.”
“So what was that scene like when At the Gates were starting out and is there still a scene there today?”
“It was very, very small. You can’t compare it at all as it was pre-internet and everything. Basically you were pen pals with all the other Swedish bands and you met in the summers when you had school holidays. It was very, very small and very intimate, but, nowadays, the possibility for bands is amazingly good. I think it’s a good thing, but they don’t really need that underground thing anymore. Of course people still have scenes in different cities and hang out, but the whole Swedish thing – there’s still an underground but the situation is not as desperate as it was for us.”
To Drink from the Night Itself is out now via Century Media Records. Read more about it in our “Best Metal Albums of May 2018” list.
At the Gates will tour the UK with Behemoth in February.