Destruction-The Thrash Class Of '84 Is Back Page 2
by Martin Popoff
Lessons well learned, as All Hell Breaks Loose seethes with the band's canny sense of chaos, also retaining their jagged, melodically complex and non-obvious riffing style, that sense of exploration and speed, all the while producer Peter Tagtgren capturing the band's performances with electric trembling treble. It remains brutal, and grounded in a sense of the band's influences, which would be what? "In the beginning we were inspired on the one side by all the punk stuff from the end of the '70s, beginning of the '80s. And then of course the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was very influential as well. And of course what came after that is what they call thrash metal. Thrash metal really started in our founding year, which was 1984, with the Slayer release, and then us and Sodom and Kreator. Motorhead was also a big influence, as well as the first Venom release and stuff like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, punk stuff like GBH."
"We had quite a strong image at the beginning," reflects Schmier (perhaps thinking about all those weighty bullet belts!), on why the band has been seen as an important part of metal's evolution. "And we were also quite extreme for coming out of the early '80s. Of course there was Slayer and Venom and that's it. And then after that there was Sodom and Kreator. So I think we were one of the first bands to play this really heavy original brutal thrash style. And you know how it always is, the first bands are always the most remarkable ones. So I guess our style was interesting to the young kids and they started playing this music too. So that's really the way thrash metal started, and of course it was very important that there were other bands at the time that also had strong releases. We just tried to be true to ourselves and play heavy music and be extreme."
Talk of Destruction returning to North America leads to discussion about Canada, Schmier having had a Canadian girlfriend for a few years. Frequent forays to Montreal also made the band fast friends of Voivod. "Of course we like Voivod. We all started around the same time and we've known the guys for a long time. I think it's great that those roots will always be there: Voivod, Slayer, Exodus, Testament. I still like their old and their new music and for that reason it inspires you. It's nice that some of those bands are coming back again or are still around."
Destruction-The Thrash Class Of '84 Is Back Page 3