Jessie David, of Metal Wani, had a chance to chat with Phil Demmel of the Bay Area Thrash Band ‘VIO-LENCE.’
VIO-LENCE are gearing up to release their first album in almost 30 years, titled ‘Let The World Burn’ set to drop March 4. This will be a 5 song EP, off of Metal Blade Records.
As Phil explained, this all formed back in 2013 when the band got together to play a few shows, which would turn into festivals, which became offers. Phil said, “It got to the point where we had to ask ourselves, do we like each other enough to maybe write some music? And we deemed ourselves worth doing that.”
The upcoming album came together pretty easily, and they are super excited about it. During the interview, Phil talked about the experience of not only being back in a studio with his old bandmates, (along with new ones), but also the feeling of writing thrash songs again. Phil had been in MACHINEHEAD for quite some time but when it came to the feeling of being able to write a thrash song this is what he had to say, “When we first started writing, it was almost this freedom of ‘Holy F*ck’ I can write a thrash record again, this is pretty liberating.” Phil didn’t want to amerce himself but he did want to get back in the thrash metal mindset. He did this by listening back on ‘ETERNAL NIGHTMARE’ and used his 35 years of experience on guitar, songwriting, and musicianship to meld an updated version of that record. He wanted to be able to infuse his new abilities and knowledge into a stronger album.
Phil talked about some of the songs off the upcoming EP in detail, he touched on songs such as, ‘Flesh and Bone’ and “Screaming Always.’ One of which has a riff that was inspired by Exodus. Phil even sent the song to Gary. He says he wears his influence with pride and he wanted the song “Flesh and Bone’ to be the burner song and super aggressive. A talking point was Sean’s vocals and how people either love or hate them, but a major takeaway was Sean’s out-of-the-box mentality with his lyrics, and you can really hear that on this EP. A moment Phil prided himself with this album, was that no song is redundant.
The drums on the ‘ LET THE WORLD BURN’ is done by Perry Strickland, and during the interview Phil discussed how he really put him throw the ringer to get the perfect sound, saying that he had to teach Perry his musical language.
Another major highlight from their chat was Phil and Gary Holt’s relationship, and Phil filling in and playing with Slayer. It’s an honor when you can play with a band you love and musicians who you not only respect but also inspire you. They also talked about his time in Machine Head and touched briefly on Rob Flynn.