JANUARY 13th, 2014
ONSLAUGHT INTERVIEW

 


1: Hi Nige, first of all thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for MetalTitans.

Hi, How you doing?  Thank you the pleasure is all mine!

2: This year Onslaught released a new album "VI". Can you tell us a bit about the writing process for this album? I notice recurring anti-religious, war-themed lyrics and then a bit of a Middle-eastern feel on a few songs, what were some of your specific influences?

Myself and Andy composed / demoed & pre produced all the music in our own studio over a period of about 6 months, the general process for writing the ‘VI’ album was really quite simple and  the songs came very easily this time round. Every session was  positive / and we just seemed to have a ton inspiration each day we entered the studio, it was a real smooth record to make. Yeah, all pretty standard Onslaught lyric themes, but as each album comes along I try to make the words more reality based and harder hitting than the last.. All the subject matters are very relevant to our world in 2013, especially the religious, war and middle eastern stuff. This world can be a very brutal and violent place so that gives me all the lyrical inspiration I will ever need.

 3: There's a more aggressive, darker tone to this album compared to the previous albums. Was it a conscious effort or did it happen naturally in the writing process?

Most definitely, It was a very conscious decision to try and make our darkest / most aggressive album to date. Before we started the writing sessions, we sat down and kinda set out a game plan for where we wanted to go with ‘VI’. The criteria we laid down was “more aggression, more darkness and an overall more technical sounding record than ever before. We pushed ourselves to the limits in terms of our own personal performances and I really think that helped with ramping up the violence.

 4: The album got lots of good reviews and you mentioned that you feel this is your best effort so far. How challenging was it to create something that would live up to the (fans’) expectations or you don't really consider that when writing new music?

Yeah, At the beginning of the sessions there was a lot of pressure on to follow up and better the ‘SoV  & Killing  Peace’ albums. Whenever we make a new album the fans considerations are always priority for Onslaught, after all that’s who we are making our music for. The fans put us where we are and without their amazing support we couldn’t continue to keep moving forwards year after year.
 
5: Looking back at how “The Force” has become such an iconic album for many metal fans over time, do you think “VI” has the chance of becoming such an album within a few years?

I would really like to think so. The reaction from a majority of press and fans, is that ‘VI’ is our best ever record, so given a few years I truly hope it becomes another classic ‘Onslaught’ album that will stand the test of time.
 
6: Why the title “VI” and not a regular title like you had for all the previous releases, and why now? How did you come up with the name, does it carry a specific meaning, beyond the obvious?

Yeah it does, but it still has an association to this being our 6th studio album, but there’s more to the title than meets the eye. When we came to name the album none of the included song titles really worked for the bigger picture of the overall album, so we decided to look a little outside the box while trying to keep everything true to the bands identity. On many occasions we have been accused of playing the ‘Devils music’ - incorporating  the ‘Tri Tone’ which we have used in several tracks over the years, the Tri-tone consists of ‘6’ semi-tones and is said to be the personification of evil in music, which i think kinda sums up the overall vibe of the ‘VI’  record. Also each of the 3 skulls on the cover art each bare the number ‘VI’ on the helmets, so there you can see a subliminal  ‘666’ maintaining strong ties with early Onslaught history. There’s seems to be a lot of all round connections to the number 6 on this record, it just felt right to keep it simple but relative..

7: Naturally, since you've just released an album, I have to ask: are you planning a tour, specifically in North America? This year marked the band’s 30 yr anniversary, you will be touring Mexico with Artillery soon, and many fans keep hoping to see Onslaught on a few North American dates again.


Yeah we’re off to South America and Mexico at the end of January with our friends Artillery as guests which is gonna be a real blast.. and there’s more good news in the fact that we are also planning a US / Canada tour with Artillery for later in 2014. I think we make a great touring team and the fans really dig the package too, we’re gonna add some new blood Thrash bands to the line up and then hit the road to cause some serious chaos..!

8: For the past two albums you've had almost the same lineup (minus Steve Grice) and both have been great records. Do you feel this is the strongest lineup Onslaught has ever had? And where do you see the band in 5 years?

Oh yeah for sure, I have no doubts about that, the skills of the guys in this band are second to none, there are no limitations to what we can write and perform with Onslaught any longer, it’s a really great feeling.
5 years..?? Well I truly believe there’s a fuckload of life left in this band yet, I feel we are still growing and have a lot to offer to the world of Metal in the coming years. Personally I still got the fires burning and the passion to make a lot more angry dark music, so in 5 years time I think album No8 should be somewhere in the Onslaught mix.
 
9: Do you feel Onslaught is enjoying more popularity nowadays than in the 80s? Does internet help with promotion more than touring?

Yeah definitely, we are constantly being offered shows in all corners of the globe so I guess that’s a good marker, unfortunately you cant gauge band popularity by album sales any longer but I definitely feel we are in a better place than ever before. Internet does help a lot but it’s also responsible for putting the music industry in the very fragile state that it is in nowadays. Onslaught are a band that likes and needs to tour hard on a regular basis so the net is very useful for reaching out to promoters and then advertising your shows, the one problem I do find is that too many promoters rely solely on ‘Social media’ to promote shows, it never works, the real hard work has to be done on the streets with flyers and posters with the net as reinforcement.
 
10: Since we're at the end of the year and everyone's listing their favorites, which are some of your top favorite new albums this year  - except “VI” of course! :) - anything worth mentioning?

That’s a real  tough one because 2013 was an album release year for Onslaught, which means I deliberately steer clear of listening to a lot of metal. I really don’t want to take in any subliminal influences or musical ideas from the outside when writing and recording new Slaught music, so I tend to go very retro by listening to my old favourite punk stuff. I did take time to listen to the new Sabbath album of course, which I liked a lot and Carcass and Sepultura  made  pretty solid records too but I sadly have to admit to being a little ignorant to a lot of 2013 releases. Sorry ;)

11: Thank you, any final words for the Canadian fans?


Of course, we so wanna thank you all for your amazing support and making us feel so welcome on our first visit to Canada in 2011, we really had such an awesome time in your wonderful country and we cannot wait to return once again. You fucking rocked..!!