Onslaught was a classic thrash metal band back in the day that released a few albums and then broke up. A few years back the band got back together and with a new CD coming out I sent an email interview the band and this interview was done by band member Nige:
MC: How did the recording go for the new Cd and now that it is done and out what putting this new Cd out harder or easier than you thought it was going to be?
NIGE: The recording for the new album ‘Sounds of Violence’ went real smooth, we took 17 days in total making the record, we recorded the guitars in the UK and then went to Jacob Hansens studio in Denmark to record the drums & vocals and do the final mix.. It was a very relaxed process this time around.
Well, we’re signed to a new label in the German based ‘AFM Records‘, they really know their business and all the reports so far are leading to a very successful album, so yeah it’s been real easy for the band with minimal stress involved ha ha ha.
MC: Did you think when the band first put out a demo and then a debut release many moons ago that the band would still be around?
NIGE:I guess not, we would have never imagined we’d still be going strong in 2011 and releasing a new album… Its seems like only yesterday we were writing the Power From Hell album…
MC: What is the current line-up and how many members are from the old days and how does the band as a whole get along?
NIGE: The current line up is:
Nige Rockett - Guitar / Andy Rosser-Davies - Guitar / Sy Keeler - Vocals / Jeff Williams - Bass / Steve Grice - Drums…
The 2 founding members are still in the band, Nige Rockett & Steve Grice, also Sy Keeler was the vocalist on the 2nd Onslaught album ‘The Force’ . I think this is definitely the best Onslaught line up we’ve had on all levels, we all get on well and we all know when to respect each others space, there’s a lot of laughs going on in the Onslaught camp these days….
MC: What are your plans as far as touring goes and can we expect some US dates at all in 2011?
NIGE: We start off the first leg of the ‘Scream for Violence’ Tours in April, we’re playing all the Northern European countries for a month into May, before the European Festival Season kicks in… We’ll be hitting lots of the festivals over the summer before heading off to Japan / South America and then back to do the remainder of Europe.. Our agent is currently looking at the touring situation in the US for Onslaught, so hopefully something’s gonna be confirmed for later this year. It’s most definitely high priority for the promotion of SOV…
MC: When your putting together a set list how does that come about and can we expect any surprises in the set list?
NIGE:The set list is always a team effort and generally we decide on it about 10 minutes before we hit the stage.. What we play generally depends on what type of show we’re playing and what type of audience is in attendance… Horses for courses ya know..!
There’s always a surprise or 2 in the set, we definitely try to add something old and totally unexpected in to the proceedings…
MC: How did you come up the band name?
NIGE: Honestly..? Straight out of the dictionary, I thought it was the best place to start…!!!! I went right thru from A, writing down any words that sounded cool and that could possibly be matched with others.. When I eventually hit the O’s and Onslaught and read the description (Furious Attack) I knew this was the perfect name for the band and didn’t bother going any further..
MC: What are your thoughts on your early releases and is there any old stuff whether in demo form or a good live recording that might see the light of day one day?
NIGE: We’re kinda proud of the early releases, although they are very raw and a little rough around the edges, they really captured a unique energy at the time and have gone on to become real popular albums.. An album of early demo recordings pre - Power From Hell was actually released a few years back, entitled ‘The Shadow of Death’… we had so many requests from fans wanting to have the early demos we thought why not, even tho its technically a different band…
MC: Has any fans posted any live clips from back in the day on You Tube or what not and if you have seen any of them, what goes through your mind watching them?
NIGE:Yeah there’s been a few old live clips to appear on You Tube etc, although filming shows was not so regular back then… It’s pretty cool seeing them, apart from the strange hairstyles ha ha, there’s been some real good ones especially Dynamo Festival 86.…
MC: Tell me a bit about the recording of the new CD? Did you guys enter the studio with all the songs and lyrics pretty much done or did you have to tinker with a few things here and there?
NIGE: For Onslaught it was a totally different way of working this time around as we wrote everything in our own studio before the recording started.. It was a much faster way of doing things as we demoed every track every step of the way, that way we instantly knew what was right or wrong. All the arrangements / music was nailed 110%, I still had a few lyrics to finish off when we were in Denmark but musically we changed nothing at all during the sessions…. The recording was as with KP, a very fast and spontaneous process… again we did things in an unconventional way. We actually recorded the guitar tracks first, we pushed tempos to the max to get as much adrenaline and energy in the recordings as possible and then got Steve in to record the drums. Our thinking was that he would now be playing to perfect brutal rhythm tracks instead of a shitty sounding guide guitar and it would drive him to his best performance, it really worked great and it’s definitely something we’ll do again…The whole thing took around 17 days from start to finish..
MC: Would you still call the music your playing "thrash metal" and is it hard to come with riffs and song ideas these days?
NIGE: Yeah for sure, even tho there are some different influences throughout the album it’s still very much Thrash Metal…!!! Not at all, the ideas were flowing real well during the writing sessions and the whole writing process was very fast, I’m actually really looking forward to start the writing for the next album, we had a real blast making the SOV album…..
MC: Where would you say, besides Poland, do you think you have your biggest fan base and is there any place that you have not played live that you want to one day?
Nige: Hard to say, we have a pretty cool fan base all over really, Germany and the surrounding countries are very strong for Onslaught also Japan and South America are great…. Well we have just been confirmed to play 3 shows in ‘India’ in Feb 2012 which will be real awesome, so we’re gonna try and hit China and some other Asian countries at the same time, it’s always cool to play some very unusual places, I love the mystery and the voyage into the world unknown…
MC: Do you sometimes sit back and look at all this technology at your fingertips these days, as when you first started out there was no My Space, websites, etc and to contact somebody you actually had to write a letter ha ha and I did the same back in the day as well.
NIGE: Ha ha I remember the snail mail interviews and piles of fan mail very well. So yeah, while its amazing in many many ways, especially for communication and promotion, it could also well be the death of the music industry and the end of so many bands futures… The illegal downloading situation will eventually make it impossible for new bands to gain any kind of fan base and bands will not form as there will be no official outlet for their music. I don’t believe for one minute bands can self promote and sell their own music online, I can’t name 1 band who has had any huge success this way… we need labels and labels need bands… it’s a double edged sword..
MC: What is an Onslaught live show like?
NIGE: 99% of the Onslaught shows are pretty crazy we like to get the fans involved as much as we can so we end up with a vicious circle of energy. We give it everything when we’re up there and I guess the fans see that and give it right back to us. It’s fucking heavy and hard..!!!
MC: Have you ever met a fan that got an "Onslaught" tattoo on his body?
NIGE: Yeah quite a few actually, it’s so cool that some fans wanna have something relating to Onslaught permanently inked on themselves… it’s a big commitment.. We had some dude send thru a pic of the new album sleeve design, its fucking awesome…!!!
MC: Has anybody ever bootlegged any of your stuff, cds, shirts, etc and what is your opinion on that?
NIGE: All the time… I don’t have a problem with people recording / filming shows and selling them on etc that’s cool by us.. you’re always gonna get the dodgy bootleg T-shirts outside shows but fans can see they’re not great quality and know that the band merch is the real deal so that’s cool too, but it’s the downloading of albums that really gets me, because its technically stealing from us.. We spend hundreds of hours working hard on album tracks to hopefully present the fans with some great music and then we find people can take them for nothing illegally… it’s kinda tough to take, I always say to these people ‘how would you feel if I came and took your TV or your Games console…’??? I reckon they would 100% call the Police…!!!
MC: How music longer will the band continue or are you guys taking this one release at a time sort of thing?
NIGE: We sure don’t have any plans or even thoughts of ending the Onslaught trip for a long while yet. Things are going too good and we’re having a real blast right now, the new album is doing great so that kinda indicates we have a healthy future for some years to come.. Also we are contracted to AFM Records for at least one more album, so we’re gonna be Thrashin away for the foreseeable…..
MC: When you read that a band such as so and so was influenced by Onslaught, how does that make you feel?
NIGE: It’s always cool to read stuff like that and yeah it does make you feel good. It’s always great to know you have touched somebody’s life in a positive way…
MC: How has the response to the new CD been so far? Do you think they have been fair and I quite like the new release myself?
NIGE: The response to the new album ‘Sounds Of Violence’ has really been quite stunning, the reviews have been the best we have ever received for an album release and the fans are really really digging it too… The album was also ‘most added record to whole of US Radio’ in the week before release, which was a major boost for confidence within the Slaught camp
MC: If you could choose 3 cover tunes to play, what would they be and why?
1. Possibility of Lifes Destruction - Discharge
2. Fight fire With Fire - Metallica
3. I’m Broken - Pantera
Because these are my 3 favourite all time tracks and they are all so fucking aggressive and full of energy
MC: What is the url of the bands website and when fans go visit what stuff is on there and can fans purchases Onslaught cds, shirts, etc there?
MC: I am out of questions Nige, horns up for the interview and any last words the floor is yours.
NIGE: Thanks for the interview buddy, very much appreciated…I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all our fans and press that have been so supportive of Onslaught throughout the years and especially since 2005, its been an amazing time.. We hope you all massively enjoy the new record and we’ll see you all very soon on the ‘Road to Violence’ tours…!!!