– Hello and first off thanks for taking the time.
Hey, it’s a pleasure my friend, thank you..!!
– To start, how have been the recordings for the new album?
Awesome, we worked with producer Jacob Hansen for the first time on the ‘Sounds of Violence’ album and he was a real genius.. Jacob got some great performances from the band during recording especially the vocals and drums and the guitars sound killer.
It was a real fast album to make, we only took 13 days from start to finish, I think we really captured a lot of aggression and spontaneous energy in the process, we’ll definitely be working with Jacob next time around…
– It surprised me a lot a so clean but heavy production in the album; is that the xact sound you were looking for?
Yeah we knew exactly how we wanted the album to sound.. We told Jacob it had to be crushingly ‘heavy’ and as ‘brutal’ as he could make it, but it had to be clear.. The music is very fast and quite complex at times so everything needed to be heard in its own space, we didn’t want a muddy sounding record.
– In the album we can find certain touches of Metal quite modern, from this century, but you’re still keeping some old school and tradicional elements. What’s your opinion on this?
Definitely.. This is 2011 and Onslaught have to be credible and competitive against all the major bands around today.. The new generation of metal heads expect great productions and great sounding albums and that’s exactly what we want to give the fans.. We play ‘Thrash Metal’ how it should be played in the traditional way, but we give it a modern vibe, we have to expand our fan-base and we feel is right way forward for us…
– Have been 4 years between studio album and studio album; how has been this new era?
Its been a fantastic 4 years.. We have played so many shows / festivals and been to so many amazing countries since the release of Killing Peace, its been a real rollercoaster ride.. And of course we have been writing and recording the SOV album also..
For me its been the best 4 years in Onslaughts history so far.. If the next 2 years are as cool I’ll be a very happy metalhead…!!!
– What about the curent line-up? Do you all work in the composition process?
No, we wrote the SOV album in a different way to past albums.. Me and Andy Rosser -Davies wrote all the new songs in our own studio. Things can get a little chaotic with 5 different people trying to have their say and its not always productive, writing in the studio is very controlled and we recorded every idea we had, it was a very cool way of working because we could hear everything so clearly..
– Looking a bit into the past; you come from the British scene, the same as bands like SABBAT, XENTRIX, DAM, SLAMMER or ANNIHILATED. How was that scene in a place where it seems only happened the NWOBHM?
The thrash metal scene was huge in the UK during the 80’s, but it strangely did not produce very many good bands. There were thousands of Fans but nobody was really interested in forming a band, there was also many cool clubs and record stores but all that has sadly changed in 2011.. The scene here now is not great and all the great hang-outs are now gone…
– Years ago you covered AC/DC and now MOTÖRHEAD; what bands marked you during your beginnings? Did you follow the NWOBHM?
Not me personally, I was never really into the NWOBHM, I came from more of a hardcore Punk background and was listening to bands like Discharge etc… Sy was the man into the NWOBHM scene, he loves all that kind of thing, it just wasn’t heavy and aggressive enough for me..
– In your first 3 albums you had 3 singers; what was happening during that period? Why such changes?
It was kind of annoying in a way to keep changing singers.. Our first singer Paul Mahoney stepped down from vocals when he heard Sy Keeler singing one of the Onslaught songs at rehearsal. Sy had come along to rehearsal with one of our road crew and asked if he could jam with us, as soon as he sang ‘Metal Forces’ it was like ‘fuck’, this guy is awesome and I think we asked him to join there and then… it was a great move for the band..
The next change was when Sy Keeler was actually fired by the record label because they wanted to bring in Steve Grimmett.. We had just signed to a major label (Polygram) and they took control of the whole band and demanded lots of changes because they had invested lots of money into Onslaught and thought they knew best.. We had no say in their decision and it caused many problems..
Steve Grimmett was not a popular singer with the fans and only stayed for one album before we split.. Luckily we now have Sy Keeler back in the band and he is sounding better than ever..
– And, overall, the change between the first two to “In Search of Sanity” was quite notorious. How did the idea arise of doing a more “elitist” (so to speak) album? Had Grimmet’s voice anything to do on this?
As i said before the ‘In Search of Sanity’ album was controlled completely by the record label, they wanted a more mainstream / polished sounding album with a ‘Rock Singer’, this was a misguided attempt to break the American market…
The whole ’ISOS’ album was too smooth and nice sounding, we wanted a more technical Thrash album with aggressive vocals but they refused to release it this way… it was insane..!!!
– What happened between 1997 and 2007? What was going on with your lifes and how did the
I left music completely in 1994, I got so fucked off with all the shit and politics involved, that I didn’t wanna be a part of it any longer.. I just slipped back into ‘normal life’ and got into managing football teams, which was kinda cool..
In 2005 we heard that the first 2 albums ‘Power From Hell & The Force’ had been re-released and were selling real well… Steve did some internet research and discovered that there was a lot of interest in Onslaught once again, so he called a meeting and asked the question ‘do we wanna do this again and finish the unfinished business..?’ Everyone said ‘fuck Yeah’ and here we are today, stronger than ever before…!!!
– Coming back to the present, do you have any plans for this year?
Yeah for sure, the new album has only been out for 2 weeks and things are going great.. We start a Northern European tour on March 31st where we will be playing Germany / Sweden / Denmark / Latvia / Estonia / Finland / Belgium / Czech rep /Austria / Poland and Holland, which then takes us into festival season.. We are playing on the touring festival shows ‘Metalfest’ in May, and of course ‘Wacken’ among many others… We then take in Japan / South & North America before returning to Europe to play the Southern half which will include some Spain shows for sure….
– And, in a future, what are your goals? Will you stay in your style or would you like to try something you haven’t done yet?
We try not to set ourselves goals because if they do not happen it can le
ad to disappointment, we just take each day as it comes…
Onslaught will always stay true to our roots, that is what our success is based upon and we love playing this style of music… Of course we will introduce different influences into our sound as we have on the SOV album, but Onslaught will always be a Thrash Metal band..
– That’s all, thank you once more for your time. If you now want to add any last words feel free to do it.
Thank you Paco, its been a pleasure… yeah I’d just like to say a big Thank you to all the Onslaught fans and press who have supported the band so loyally and helped us come back in such a cool way… It really means so much to us and we will repay you with some great music and some kicking live shows….
See you all on the road… \m/