Shane Embury Interview

Shane Embury is a man who can rightly claim to have seen it all - an instrumental part of Napalm Death's continued success and noted fan of all things Metal, he has recently come through a period of illness which has seen him reflect on where he's headed and where he's been.
The interview below is a kind of life story in a way detailing Shane's experiences outside Napalm Death and is also a useful reminder that no matter how long you've been around, enthusiam is the key to continuing to enjoy and discover new bands and sounds.

Can you put your finger on why was the Midlands and Birmingham in particular was such a hotbed for the early grind scene, and indeed Metal before that - the area has a long and important Metal tradition
Well i think perhaps that because the area'a involved were more working class,times were/still hard maybe - but thats the easy answer that everyone says isnt it,as for the early metal scene if you look at bands like sabbath and priest theye were doing something totally new,where they got there original influences from is anyones guess.For me places like london never seemed to have as much of a scen except for maiden and a few bands, sorry if i have offended anyone, when we play there now - and it was probably simmilar back then most of the people there are not even from the city,i think birmingham just had a different way of looking at music and was perhaps not so dominated by what was supposedly the trendy thing to play or listen to so there was genuine urge to be different and inventive,the harder the times the harder your listening tastes become maybe.

It's a hard one to put your finger on but for me coming from a small village with a few friends what we were into considering where we came from was pretty bizzare as it was totally extreme and our interests musically were the same,you tend to get that in small places i think,you want to get away from the daily grind and music is an escapist form so the more extreme the better.
In the early days of the punk/hardcore/grind scene a lot of the bands that played were from small towns and all got together in birmingham as that had the happening clubs to play at the time.there was a real sense of a comunity that wanted to make a point but was at the same time wrapped up in it's own idea.

You're a big NWOBHM fan right? - was that the stuff that got you into Metal originally?
Well i guess i go way back when i was about 6 or 7 and i heard bands like slade and the sweet for the first time - for me that was heavy and my mom bought me all the singles, then i got in to judas priest around the age of 9 or 10 actually a little later. The thing you have to remember was back then a lot of the metal bands were in the top ten UK charts so it was common place to hear these bands on the radio(a little like today i suppose) and i dont think it was really looked down on,it was definatley seen as rebellious though, but priest, sabbath, thin lizzy, Tygers of pan tang, and of course saxon i was a fan of the early maiden but not so much the dickinson stuff, also raven, hellanbach and tokyo bladed were some of my favourites but venom were the band that opened up my world for things more extreme ! and in turn led me to discharge which was the more punk thing.

Did you follow things like the Radio One Rockshow or back then were you 100% underground ha ha - where were you sourcing your early listening from?
Yeah i listened to the radio 1 rock show religiousley i used to tape it all every week and then me and my mates would sit on my back door step on a saturday morning freaking out as we heard advance tracks from saxon,accept and raven albums and of course there was the famous radio sessions...the mercyfull fate one being one of the finest - Satans Fall all 11 minutes of it - superb.
We were also lucky as we had a record shop called langlands in a place called wellington which surprisinlgy for the time used to get the new releases in especially the newer stuff like venom etc so we were well sussed surpisingly,but you still had to get off your arse to find the stuff in the first place.

How did you get into the early scene, via tape trading, zine writing?
Well as i said we were pretty lucky and by being into all the heavy stuff we could find we eventually formed a band,recording a couple of rehearsal tapes and all that.We used to read a magazine called Metal forces and in the back they had a penpal section,thats where we found Bill Steers name and ken owens (from carcass) so me and my friend mitch wrote to them telling them about our band and sent them a copy bill at the time had a fanzine called pheonix millitia which featured a lot of the new underground bands like Repulsion, Insanity, Possessed and Death so to us this was the next step up the ladder so to speak as we were hungry for anything - the more crazier the better.
At first we used to but tapes off them untill we got a decent list up and running then we made our own contacts and it went from there.I remember at one point i was getting like 30 - 40 90 minute cassette's every week with all kinds of bands from all over the place,it was great as for me and my friend it was the next step as all we cared about was the faster the better no compromise at this point.We had heard venom we had heard metallica then slayer and now wanted something crazier - tape trading was where it was at for me..i virtually lived in front of a tape deck for about three years.

Bill Steer
A lot of people seem to want a return to those days but surely that's just a process of getting older and nostalgia seeking? - what values from the early days of the scene do you feel are missing the Metal scene of today?
I dont know if could sit in front of a tape deck for hours again as i probably wouldnt be able to move for hours after - but there are somethings i miss about those days.
I think now every thing musically is handed to you on a plate,there is no fun in searching out a new band(or there doesent seem to be), it seems to be all to easy and half of these bands are up there - Massive before their time,different times i guess. There still exists an underground scene(and a thriving one at that) but whats percieved metal nowadays to me really isn't and i dont think that's me getting old.
With a lot of the older bands you knew where you stood - most of the bands today seem to denounce being influenced by metal when it's plainly obvious thats that what they grew up with(some sort of record company ploy no doubt) lots of marketing on how crazy the band or members are - when if you put them in a room with lemmy or ozzy you know who would come out crying first, i think a lot of the old(er) bands did there talking with the music and the image came later - as i said different times and i am not gonna slag it i just question the passion - i wonder has the nu metal scene become to maufactured?,but saying that you have 11 year old kids getting into guitar music over manufactured pop so it cant be a bad thing - as these kids get older perhaps they will want to check out the bands that were doing the heavy stuff before - who knows.

Do you think there really is apathy in the general Metal scene these days - aren't the older generation of bands sometimes guilty of adopting a holier than thou, 'I was there in the good old days when Metal meant Metal' kind of attitude to younger bands and fans?
Possibly - i am sure and i know i heard this when i was younger being into slayer and venom a lot of the older people telling me how bollox it was and how classic zepelin or sabbath was and i used to say "Bollox to you i like those bands as well to but this is the shit right now".
So there is that argument and there are a couple of bands i like nowadys like fear factory, tool the odd slipknot track and stuff,but i think that structually the newer bands be it death or thrash took the influences through to a logical end and some of the stuff now is to be honest fuckin hip hop,which i have nothing against but come on wheres the individuality - all i hear is how good it is to be new and different (with the emphasis on just those themes) but most of the bands you hear on a staurday night sound all the fuckin same - heavy intro mellow out for a bit then bang back in for the grand chorus (smells like teen spirit version #112).

Now i seem to remember hearing that about the death metal scene how it was all the same and sure there were some bands but there was a lot of individuality as well and if you go way back to the older bands - venom, priest, saxon, maiden, slayer, metallica, sabbath, raven all very different and back again to the newer death metal bands like Origin, Nile.
Decapitated and such totally pushing the envelop on progressing the formula - but still what i would call metal am i making any sense? answers on a postcard to.....

After going through you Metal initiation where you one of those guys who turned his back on Metal to be more Hardcore? Metal was quite a dirty word in the late 80's, early 90's............

Correction - i never turned my back on metal, i went through a phase of mailny listening to hardcore that's for sure but during my earlier years with napalm one of my favourite records i was listening to was operation mindcrime by queensryche (wahtever you may think of them) and i always championed saxon to the anoyance of certain people, i think my main hardcore stage was probably 86 -88 that ws the main point for me but still istening to slayer and such i loved both on an equal level though that has changed recently,i dont know if metal was a dirty word or not.

I think it was towards the late 90's all the early kerrangs and such you look at from the early 90's had quite a lot of heavy stuff in and that was right about the time of the death metal explosion,metal has always had that attitude from some people most mags only deal with what sells - but still now it's avoided but every now and then a band like emperor gets the front cover and you go WOW it's atill here and alive - but turming my back on metal - never !

Where did Swans, Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins etc fit in with you general listening habits - they all came later on I suppose?
All during my earlier years with napalm - we were all big john peel fans - i think he became as important to me as the rock show did in my early teens,,, we used to liten to cocteau twins or killing joke coming back in the van after a show somewhere - i think that somepeople fail to realise that we listened to a whole lot of stuff before it became cool to do so,i think even around the time of the menatally murdered recording we were listening to some pretty wacked out stuff,we had at that point been listening to loads of extreme stuff and those bands opened new area's for us to get into,we were starting to grow up a bit and wanted something that refelected the emotions we were going through - as you can imagine we would play for an hour and go mental - there is nothing better after that than chilling out to cocteau's victoria land on the way home - to me grind and melow anbient music are equally as imprtant - they reflect different moods for sure.

Tell me about Azagthoth - did that band record any recorded material and was that a mock Satanic act in the vein that Warhammer later became?
Azagthoth was much later than warhammer, we did one demo(with me anyway) which we recorded around mid ' 87 - ahead of its time i think,the guitarist was a guy called wayne aston (who was also from Warhammer) who at the time had a really original style and on the bass and vocals was a guy caled pete giles who was in the unseen terror picture on the album but never actually played on the record, he now plays in scalplock.
Weird stuff very fast but technical i believe some japanese record company wants tom put the demo out which would be fun(though to honest the drumming isnt the greatest)..As for being satanic not really the name was decieving..
Dead Can Dance Swans

Warhammer was you first 'proper' band(?) - what was the original reason for putting that band together and did it ever make it out of the rehersal room in terms of playing live etc?
We formed in early 1984 as far as i remember,as you would expect we were totally into the thrash scene and we wanted to make the same music.There was only four of us and we lived in a small village in shropshire so at the time it was fairly unheard of to be doing something like this,we had just been influenced by the usual aray of heavy metal bands but had goten into the faster stuff and wanted to do something extreme.We used to rehearse every week in this local club for i think the bargain price of £4,and just used to piss off the locals with the noise we were making and we did a couple of gigs which were pretty classic in there own way as well - did a slayer cover and i believe a hirax(from california cover)as well - i mean all i wanted to do was be in a band like venom as they were gods to me and it was about that time that me and mitch(dickinson) got in to tape trading as well so that influenced it massiveley as well. We recorded one demo "Abbattoir of Death" around 1985 and on of the tracks is on the britannia infernus compilation album that came out last year - on the same cd as sabbath awsome!.

When you look back on Warhammer does it make you more proud to think of the music you made or of the fact that you were there when it all started?
No-one was doing what Warhammer was doing back then (at least in the UK).........
I am still very proud - obvioulsy when you look back at what we did(the demo and such) somtimes it can raise a smile,and to be honest,at least to my knowledge anyway there wasnt really any other bands like us in the country - there was onslaught at the time but we were heading towards the sounds of possessed and early death,bathory and such and no one in the uk was doing that,i remember a band form scotland called Rais who sounded like celtic frost but that was it - so i am still really proud of what we did especially when you consider where we came froem as back then music was not that easy to obtain you had to really look for the extreme stuff and there was always the constant pressure to take the easy path.
Warhammer was just Venom worship, right? All that cod-Satanic stuff
Where there any other influence at this time?
We we wre all really into venom,but the band as i said sounded more like Bathory and possessed we had a ton of songs that never really made it past the rehearsal stage and before we split up we were onto something killer but there you go all history.We never got in to the wearing te gear to much though - well at least me and mitch didnt were just about to go through our "let wear the punk shirt thing" so i had my broken bones shirt and mitch had his multi death corporations shirt..though there may have been a few bullet belts but fuck it nothing to be ashamed about and if anyone can find me a bullet belt now i'll still wear the fucker - Destruction - Sentence of death album cover - superb !.

It must have been a shock for the studio guys when you turned up to record 'Abbatoir of Death'?!
Yeah the guy's at the studio didnt have a clue what we were about, and were sort of sneering a bit at first but when we started playing there was silence and a look of "lets get this done quick or they might kill us" which was pretty funny - recorded it in one day for £50 bargain.

The term death metal was mainly one used by us bands like Possessed and Mantas, Master right? Did you consider Warhammer to be in league with those bands?
I dont know wether we considerd ourselves in league with them as they were massive influences but we did consider ourselves death metal as well that term was fairly new - i wonder who can claim to be the first to use that term as didnt hellhammer use that term as well,i know that mantas did before they changed there name to death....

Unseen Terror certainly mixed up that Metal and Hardcore interest to produce what - crossover?
Well we started out as a total metal band into repulsion and insanity and such, but we were into so many different things it just sort of went crazy. We also like the SOD humour type aproach as well thats why we used those short songs about the fuckin cat so it did end up a mad miss match of styles. I think looking back on it though it's an interesting album

Unseen Terror has long achieved cult status - what do you attribute that to? Bands and fans alike from as far apart as Japan and Sweden still hold the band in awe....must be that bumblebee production huh? :-)
Well i heard the entombed boy's modelled there guitar sound on the classic bumble bee sound from the "Human error" but i dont know about that - maybe, it has achieved a cult status which is bizzare.You always meet someone at at festival who comes up to you and says how he loved that album which is flattering to say the least.

Unseen Terror - Human Error

Recently there's been talk of new recordings from Unseen Terror - is that actually likely?
Well i have just demoed a couple of songs on my four track the other day so the answer is yes - maybe.It all depends on mitch really,but we talk about it all the time and recentlly when i was i japan with lock up a few people there were talking about bringin us over for a tour which would be great so i think it's time we did something just for nostalgia if nothing else as we always fell that it ended a little to soon.

How did you hook up with Napalm Death originally - can you remember the first time you heard or saw the band and your reactions?
Well the first time i saw the band was 22/3./1986 at a pub called The mermaid, which is not far from where i live. I was totally blown away and they became one of my favourite bands.I was with them in the studio when they recorded the first side of the scum album, and something a lot of people dont know is that nick (bullen original singer on side A) actually aproached me to play guitar with them on the b side which i originaly l agreed to and then sort of chickened out, Nick left shortly after and they got bill, which kind of worked out better as they asked me to play bass for them in june/july of 1987 after the scum album had come out as i already had some songs for them.

Did you have a job or anything when you first hooked up with Napalm? Was there a sense of rejecting a regualr lifestyle to be in this OTT, outrageous band?
At the time i think i was unemployed, i had various jobs when i had joined but all i wanted to do was be in a band so i was well happy, my parents thought i was mad because i had already gave up a job earlier to follow them around on tour so i was pretty much hooked to the band already you could say, and when you are that young you dont care if thats what you want to do.
Hatred Surge Demo

Reminisce about the Mermaid's early days - apart from Napalm Death who did you see there and what kind of soon-to-be-famous people hung out at the shows?
A lot of the early uk punk bands sacrillege, heresy, extreme noise terror, antisect and such, chumbawamba played there loads of times and lets just say they havent improved with age. DRI played there. and a load of others i can remember... you would see lee from cathedral, bill steer. micky harris a load of people,a lot of people went on to form great bands.

Who was letting these outrageous bands play, who promoted the Mermaid gigs?
I think the main man at the time was a guy called daz russell who i believe is still doing the rounds, though i know a lot of the bands who played gave him a lot of shit.

What the most extreme thing you had heard before Napalm Death? It must have opened up whole new possibilities in your mind........
There was a a band from the us called NYC mayhem which was fast as fuck but Repulsion probably for me theye were the next step they made me want to be in a band that was faster then i heard napalm and it was loke wow it's all coming into place because napalm had the hardcore but it also had a metal influence the perfect hybrid i guess.

Napalm Death could write a book on the extreme metal scene - between all of you the experiences would pretty much cover everything don't you think?
I can see it now - 'Napalm Death - The Movie' :-)
Maybe one day - even though the band has the pollitical image i can tell you there have been some very rock n' roll type experiences over the years on tour and such which when i think back it makes me chuckle, but yeah i guess we have witnessed a lot over the years - weird when you think about it this will be my 15th year with the band.

Or maybe as four fiths of the band live in the same house we could adapt the premise of 'The Osbournes' and have a diary of all the comings and goings in downtown Birmingham?
Well mitch has moved out now but i wouldnt put a camera in here theres to much madness going on all the time,especially on the weekend when the priest and sabbath albums come out - Nasty! - entertaining though i am sure.

In all seriousness the band members have 'seen it, done it, got the T-shirt' - that's a wealth of experience there
Well i guess when we started it was perhaps harder in the fact that there wasnt many labels out there who wanted to release extreme music,and with us as people it could have gone either way band or record label it just so happened that we took the band route but things have definateley opened up a lot since those times.We have been to russia before the whole communist thing fell through,south africa played in berlin before the wall came down and i can tell you that was something the crowds there at the time were electric it felt special,the kind of buzz you get is hard to describe really i mean when we played in belgrade in 1996 you got the sense that people there had never seen anything like this before so we have defiantley seen a lot it's hard to take it al in sometimes.

How do you justify the need for Lock Up when you're already active in Napalm Death? The two could be considered similar styles
Wll i dont like having to justify anything really, i do what i want and if people like it cool if not whatever i'll live,but the way we put the band together was really to have a little release from stuff we do in our other bands...sure there is a simmilarity musically but in some way's it's also pushing me harder,and in turn is making me demand more from napalm now musicaly so it's a great devils advocate. Lyrically it's a lot more removed from napalm as well as i am personally not to much into the political side of things lyrically i like to go more personal and deep as i think people can maybe relate more and also i dont like to write about subjects that i have little knowledge about,In some ways lock up is our alter ego it's a band where our personalities fit more comfortably and we can be who we want as we all share the same vision - more or less anyway.

Lock Up is often seen as a continuation of Terrorizer yet its you not Jesse that writes most of the material - if its not Terrorizer reborn then what is the philosphy behind the band?
Well to me it wasnt a case of trying to reinvent the terrorizer thing or whatever,perhaps people got the wrong idea i dont know it may have came from some of our interviews though and jess has a distinct style but musicsally - especially the stuff i do it isnt the same.What is simmilar though is the way re record the albums as we dont like to fuck about,we want to capture the energy that some of the earlier grind albums had and i think that comes from one takes in the studio and stuff like that,personlities in the band are usually hyped to the max in the studio and that helps to get what we want - i have always said that lock up consists of the worse of the worse regarding it's band members - we are very intense people and lock up is the end result - our philosphy is everything to the max !!

Lock Up seems to regenerate the basics of Napalm Death - speed, blasts, chops but is more retro based would you say, whereas Napalm is always trying to push the envelope perhaps?
As regards to the first 2 albums yes it's more retro,but i think with the next album we are gonna push the envelope a bit - the emphasis to be faster than the previous albums will still be there but we have been working more as a band recently and that is helping us with some idea's so the new songs i hope will have a different feel - weider more sinister riffs as well as the is becoming more and more serious.

Do you think that there is an over proliferation of side project bands these days? It seems like musicians are no longer content to follow one path, but several.......
Well sometimes you reach a block within your main band and it's better to to something else as well to get it out of your system,in my case it has helped me progress musically and in turn down the line helped me with writing songs.
Lock Up
I mean from my point of view i am into so many different things so in some ways it's nice to set up other things,in years to come i dont know what kind of music i will be playing - but also if you enjoy being in the studio and recording and playing live if other projects give you that chance then why not - sometimes one band isnt enough.

Do you think that the grind scene is still relevant these days, and who do you consider, alongside Lock Up, the flagbearers today?
Yeah i think it's still relevant and if anything is having a resurgence...bands nasum for sure as they kicked my ass back into gear i guess Hate plow would be another theres a bunch

Grindcore has long been in the shadows of black metal for a long time in terms of the extreme scene - do appreciate any of the black metal bands out there
I got into the newer black metal bands later than a lot of pepole as i was out there on my alternative noise trip for a while i dont listen to a lot of the bands but i love Emperor, Immortal, Dimmu, Dark barker keeps me up to date on whats up and coming.

A lot of the early black metal bands, Mayhem for instance, criticised bands like Napalm Death (at least in public) for 'commercialising' grind core
Now i am not an expert on the whole black metal thing, but what i do remember is back in the old napalm days playing a few shows in london and so on, one time i remember a very young Mayhem sitting in the back of our van alongside metallion (who i am sure people are familliar with) and they were all very quiet and shy and were i believe fans of what we were doing - obviously that line up was with a couple of the guy's that are no longer here.
Why they would critiscise napalm is weird as we just played what we wanted ...we couldn't help it if people got into what we were doing and to be honest why should we care - sometimes you cant help that and from my point of view i was chuffed because it meant i didn't have to get a job and i could do what i loved and could kind of survive - nothing wrong with that in my book and anybody who says different is a fuckin hipocrite - it's not like we were millionaires or anything far from it, there is too much of that shit around and in my opinion some of the bands that spout that sort of stuff are way wrong. To me now the black metal scene has become way more commercial than the grindcore scene ever was and some of the people who are involved know it - but whatever, things like that you can't help when a new music comes along that is different and challenging people latch on to it and thats a good thing, and some peple get into to be seen as cool but at the same times it opens new doors - and there are a lot of bands out there playing fast who wouldnt be here if it wasnt for napalm death opening those very doors including some black metal bands i can tell you but thats just my opinion.

How did you react to that criticism then, and what are your feelings now of the way the grind scene exploded in the early 90's with Napalm Death at the helm - were you even aware of the fact that it was happening at the time?
As i said i was chuffed that people took notice of what we were doing because i did and thats why i joined the band.there was way to much of that sellout shit in the old days,a lot of it from other bands who werent doing as well - jealousy and you are always going to get it.Some of the other guy's in the band took it more seriousley and in some ways that old punk style ethic can scar you as you go through life - all this "Cant do this Cant do that", but i never came from that background so i didnt see the harm in breaking boundaries and pushing the music further, yes we were definatley aware of it..but at the same time we were pretty grounded people and so it was a bit surreal as well,also we were young and you dont tend to analyse things such as that in such detail.

Tell me about the influence that Tomas Lindberg and Nick Barker have had on you - they're both passionate musical people....
Well Tomas and me have been friends since we toured with At the Gates in 1996, and we have remained in contact over the years.,he is very passionate about his music and is always telling me about some new 7" record that just came out which i admire, it's great to be around someone who is that into it still, as for nick i have known him for ages but we only started hangin out again when cradle were recording the cruelty album in Birmingham around 98,he has been a massive influence on me and i think i have on him,in some ways we are simmilar, and no i dont just mean because we like to eat,he made me realise what i was good at and has introduced me to a lot of new bands and again it's great to see that much passion in music and thats why we have lock up

What do you get out of Lock Up that you can't get out of Napalm Death?
Well i can totally be myself which is one thing and i guess all of us in the band are pretty much on the same wave length, some of the things we are into wouldnt necessarily work with napalm,it's eird there is a certain mind set that i get into with lock up which is different from napalm.

You seem to get a lot of fun and enjoyment out of Lock Up - is the pressure less than being in Napalm Death, where with respect you're expected to deliver something different every time? Maybe - with napalm there are more people involved in what direction we go in,where as in lock up at the moment we are pulling in the same direction(for now anyway) and thats good for me,but also it's something fresh (different people etc) and i just get a chance to write about the stuff that interests me more - i mean i am more in to the music than the lyrics that to me is probably more important,and so lyrically you can go off a little bit more as well - the emphasis with the band is definatley more on the regards to pressure i guess there is less,but as we do more albums i think there will be more perhaps.

What if Lock Up took off and became more popular than Napalm Death - that would present quite a conflict wouldn't it?
There would be a conflict yes, something i dont want to think about really not yet anyway.

Napalm Death
The Lock Up bio states that 'its not to be taken to seriously' - by that are you inferring that Napalm Death can't be anything other than deadly serious?
Well that refers in part to some of my lyrics...the music yes is serious but some of the lyrics deal with personal extremity and what we as people get up to in our spare time which some people,asuming they have understood what i am talking about may find offensive or be shocked, i guess for me there is a whole other side that people havent seen of us and they perhaps ahouldnt get so wrapped up in what we are.

With napalm i sometimes feel like there is this secret eye watching,waiting for you to fuck up and i guess thats why lock up makes so much sense to me as really i am a metal fan and i love the music i sometimes wany to say to people just enjoy the fuckin music..i dont know if i am coming across correctly...i think a lot of people take napalm way serious, and to a point it is but there are a lot of diiferent angles to the band that i think get over looked

There's rumors that Lock Up will record a bunch of covers versions for release soon - again that's harking back to the old days, how important is it to you to pay homage to your early influences and what is your intention here - presumably to get people to check out these older bands?
Well one of the reasons we got lock up together was from a nostalgic point of view so it's important to us to pay homage to the bands that have inspired us of course it is. There are just certain songs that over the years i have said if i ever had the chance i would love to do a cover and so we have decided to to do so,you get a kick out of playing those riffs and listening back to them in the studio it's a great buzz and well it would be nice if people go out and check out their albums.

There's a certain need to remind the kids of history right?
Well there's always gonna be the history point of view,but some bands got over looked as well it;s nice maybe to do some songs that are not your typical covers, but it's always a hard one as there were so many killer bands.I remeber looking on the back of SOD album at all the bands that they were into at the time and half of them i hadnt heard so i went and checked out there records so hopefully somemof the younger kids will get into some of the stuff that influenced us.

What has age taught you about the way you write songs and the way you can either take on board new trends or discard them?
Well you still make mistakes from time to time,i have been through my progressive period for sure and it was a good thing i did,but musical styles have a way of coming back around and i am focusing on what i feel i am good at now,but all that experimenting has paid off as well and helped me with the way i write.You have to pay attention to whats happening out there to remain current but at the same time there's nothing wrong with sticking to your guns and avoiding the trends - you have to try and find a happy medium,you also hope that you are around long to learn learn from some of the mistakes you may have made but then you are only human.

You've been to South America a fair bit, what do you attribute their rabid appreciation of grind core and Death Metal to?
I think i general they are pretty intense people and there is a lot of poverty down there so death and grind is the perfect release i think for them,they dont seem to be trend obsessed,some of the places i visited were crazy they were into bands that had long since vanished over here - i liked that was good to see that passion,there is a sense of excitement when you go to south america and apreciation..nothing is taken for granted,some of my favourite countries to play

Comment on your experiences in Japan and Eastern Europe too
Again in japan it's amazing, very suportive and enthusiastic - if they like your band they are with you forever which is killer...malaysia was on of the best experiences i have ever had,the kids down there were totally into the underground scene there were band shirts down there i had only seen on old flyers - loved it,there was no manufactured crap going on down there amazing,i think the show we did with napalm was in front of 3000 people i think we have it on video which we will have to release one of these days.

As we've discussed you've been active as a fan and a professional in the Metal scene for a long time....with the benefit of that experience recommend 3 demos from the very earliest days that people should check out, and recommend 3 NWOBHM records that have stood the test of time, and 3 Grindcore essentials

Insanity - fire
fate - demo rehearsal 85
Hatred - Drowning in Afterbirth - demo 86
Archenemy (Los Angeles) - rehearsal demo 11/85
Tygers of Pan Tang - Spellbound
Raven - Wiped out
Satan - Court in the Act
to me they stand the test of time in my opinion anyway.
Tygers of Pan Tang - Spellbound
Repulsion - Horrified
Nasum - Inhale/Exhale
Terrorizer - World Downfall


It's just a question of seeking out the good stuff as its always been, surely?
Well there is loads out there thats for sure - i am not as up on it all as i used to be but i still find the good stuff especially with the friends i have around me ,we tend to look out for each other and we are always finding something new.

Do you have a sense of significance when you view you're career?
You're going down in history.....
I dont really think about it to much - you get times when you look at all the places you have been and it brings a smile to your face for sure,i hope that i have made an impact musically but if someone was to tell me that i would probably become redfaced and look the other way.I hope to be doing what i am dong for a long time to come i have had a scare with my health but that seems to be better now so i hope to be making music for a while hopefully people out there are interested in what we do as for going down in history i definatley dont think about that.

Interview by Dan Tobin
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