Entrevistas a músicos que ayudaron a forjar al metal extremo/Interviews with musicians that helped to build the extreme metal

domingo, 2 de noviembre de 2008

Interview with Bod (ANIHILATED)

(Interviewer: Martín)

I have contacted with Bod, the drummer of this british cult thrash band, who kindly answered me these questions about the past, and actual reuion of the band.

Martín: Bod, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. To start the interview, let’s talk about the present. How did become the idea of reunite the band?

Bod: Well firstly I would like to thank you for asking me to do this interview, it's always good to be able keep in touch with our fans in Argentina. We had been getting loads of mail asking if a reunion was likely and we also had the re-releases on the cards. Si had been hinting to Mark that he was up for seeing if we could get back together, then when I became available too, it kind of just fell into place. What started out as “lets get together for a jam” ended up as a song writing session and the old chemistry came flooding back.

Martín: Anihilated was and is a “cult band” in the thrash scene. As a musician of that scene that during those years was plenty of bands, could you tell me how was the underground thrash scene in England in terms of bands, zines, shows?

Bod: In the beginning there were a relatively small number of bands who were all developing and shaping the scene. It was an exciting time and there was a great output of superb material and also a great comeraderie between the bands, but within a few years, the scene became too flooded and certain major record labels began to take control which had a huge effect on the way the music evolved. They dictated which bands became successfull and who failed, Many good bands were signed and went on to release superb albums, but the labels often got it terribly wrong, signing vastly inferior bands who released utter garbage. Many ended up being rejected and resented by the crowds (you can't fool the fans). Many new ususpecting bands were signed because of their big fan bases and then shelved, so the labels could expose their more favoured artists to their crowds. Too many great bands disappeared into obscurity as a result of this practice. It is widely known that so many bands were completely ripped off in the eighties and became so frustrated they disbanded. I hope I don´t sound too negative, but this is actually what went on back then and is something that never seems to be discussed in interviews. There were of course, massive successes but it wasnt all rosey and fun for those who suffered and dissapeared and we knew many of those. There were some great zines at the time such as “final curtain” and “problem child” that really got deep into the scene. They were the life blood in the early years and spread the word about the up and coming bands and where the best gigs were. There were also some great shows too such as the thrash metal festival we played in Bradford which had about 12 bands on and some of the early Slayer, celtic frost and death angel shows were awesome.

Martín: Reading the booklet of the re release of “Created In Hate”, I have noticed that in the beginning, Anihilated participated in Punk compilations. How do you believe that this style influenced your earlier sound?

Bod: We are very proud of our early punk roots and even now I would say there is a splash of punk in what we do, the aggression and the lyrical side of things are still there. Although i love metal, I was, and still am, a punk at heart.

Between “Path To Destruction” and “Created In Hate” the thrash metal sound was more remarkable in the band. Could you tell me if it was a natural progress or it was an influence of the american thrash scene?

Bod: It was a natural progression, we became more confident to express ourselves musically and break away from certain constrictions that existed in the punk scene at that time. Thrash Metal evolved from a mixture of Hardcore punk and Metal and our part in that evolution has been well documented. I would be lying if I said that Slayer’s early works didn’t influence us (laughs).

Martín: I consider Anihilated an “Old School Thrash Band”. Does this term represent something special to you?. I like the rawness and aggression of your works, and it is a trademark of this kind of style.

Bod: We are proud to be considered an old school band and also believe that our new material will cross over to people who like a more modern sound as well. It’s definitely old school but has some new dynamics.

Martín: The lyric of “Chase The Dragon” talks about people that abused with heroin, it has an interesting point of view. What was your idea when you’ve put it on the song?. Give a message of the danger of hard drugs to the fans?.

Bod: We had some close friends who had become hooked on heroin and we saw the way they spent all their money on it and how their lives revolved around getting their next hit. There was a period when heroin was riff in our community, it was not a good time to say the least, some did not make it. And a message? well i called Si to ask him as he does a lot of social work with very vunerable people and he said this..."I won’t tell you what to do guys, but I have worked with people whose lives have been destroyed by using drugs, I hope none of you have to go through that, when you have prostituted yourself to some filthy pervert who has raped you for enough money for a hit then the highs that drugs bring just aren’t enough compensation for the degradation you have put yourself through". ..... I think that says it all really

Martín: Did you tour with another thrash metal bands in the past? Feel free to comment whatever you like to say.

Bod:We played with many iconic bands of the time, Death Angel, Onslaught, Acid Reign, Sabbat, English Dogs, Doom and so, so many more. We had a great time on the road, made loads of friends and always did our best to put on a good show.

Martín: You have self-financed your EP “Path To Destruction”. Was it a decision forced by a lack of interest of labels in this kind of music or a way of doing yourself the entire release and recording process?

Bod: It was very early days in the scene, we had a product that no one really knew what to do with and to get it out we had to do it ourselves! It did the job and sold out fast and was a great experience. It even knocked Madonna off the top of the charts in our part of the country. In fact the Japaneese re-issues have all sold out too and we are now re-negotiating another deal.

Martín: You have re released the first two albums in Marquee Records. How did became the idea of bring back on CD this old stuff?

Bod: Public demand, we had so many people asking if there was a posibility of us reforming. Also people wanted the albums and couldn’t get them. Marquee approached us, they are a highly respected label who have great expertise in eighties re-issues, they have described The Ultimate Desecration album as "One of the finest UK Thrash Metal releases ever". How could we resist that? May I also mention that we now have T-shirts available from www.myspace.com/anihilated as so many people have been asking about them.

Being a member of a band that started in the eighties, are you interested in actual and more modern bands like Lamb Of God, Mastodon, or you prefer more traditional thrash bands?

Bod: Si and Mark like many of the modern bands, I prefere listening to new unsigned bands as i get so many coming through our myspace page but i think it would be fair to say that we are all mainly fans of older style metal.

Martín: What is you opinion about using the computers or tools to achieve a better performance for a record?. I think that the final result is a less genuine product.

Bod: There are very few studios that use good old tape these days. I love the warm sound of tape but I can also fully appreciate the advantages of digital media. I suppose it depends on how you use the computer. To clean up a recording or to sharpen up the sound of an old LP is a good thing. However altering speed or pitch or doing something to the music that absolutely changes it can mask it’s intrinsic honesty. Modern technology is a fine thing but there is no point if you cannot genuinly perform to begin with. Thats why so many bands fall down with their live shows, they just can't cut it live.

Martín: Do you have any hobbie in special that you like to mention?

Bod: Apart from the band, Si is well into playing World of Warcraft when he has the time (he has five children with another due in December), Mark loves to work on music and writing new songs which is also my thing and I also run the MySpace site.

Martín: What is your opinion about this massive tendency of downloading albums and mp3 sharing?

Bod: I am not too sure about all this yet, there are winners and losers, I guess as long as the artist is not being exploited and is happy with their music being used in this way its fine. I guess you have to move with the times but I don´t think you can beat having a CD or Vinyl copy of an album.
Martín: OK Bod, thats all. Would you like to say something to Argentinian thrash fans to finish this interview?

Bod: Well I have to say that we have always been so proud to have such a strong and loyal following in Argentina and the South Americas. Thanks to each and every one of you for your fantastic support, we take nothing for granted and know that many of you have stood by us for years. We hope you enjoy the re-issues and are sure you will approve of the new album which will be out in 2009. Keep in touch - all the very best to you from all of us at Anihilated.

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