During a conversation with Heavy Consequence, Venom singer Cronos was asked for his thoughts on modern-day metal music.
The musician replied:
“Crap! F*ckin’ 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 f*ckin’ 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 f*ckin’ w*mp!’
“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.”
Remembering the old days, Cronos talked about taking Metallica on their first-ever European tour back in 1984, saying:
“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. F*ckin’ 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 [Ulrich] said, ‘We’ve lined up our own tour.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, you guys never stop!’
“I don’t give a sh*t 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 sh*t 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.”