Nige Rockett: Hi Martin, it’s a pleasure, great to talk to you once again my friend.. The response to the SOV album has really been amazing, we could not have wished for a better reaction from the fans and press alike. It has definitely been the best received Onslaught album ever…!!! I can honestly say I have no read one bad review.. As you can guess we are a very happy band right now.
MG: Personally it is one of my favorite albums of the year, I can assure you!. The music is really heavy and aggressive. “Killing Peace” for me was a great welcome back to Onslaught, and this record is much heavier and stronger than “Killing…”. Do you agree with me?
NR: Thank you, that means a lot to us.. Yeah for sure and this was totally our ambition when we started to write ‘Sounds of Violence’ we were determined to make a much heavier, much more brutal record than we had ever recorded before… Onslaught have to push the boundaries with every album we make & this one was a real challenge for us on all levels, there’s some real hard to play shit on SOV, we really captured our live energy this time around… ..
MG: For this record you choose to record in Denmark with Jacob Hansen. Instead that the results were excellent why don’t you work again with Andy Sneap?. Do you try to achieve some different results or textures?
NR: We knew a long time before we made SOV that Andy Sneap was not available to make this record, so we had a lot of time to find the right producer for the job.. Our label AFM recommend that we listen to some of Jacobs Hansens work and make contact with him to discuss ideas… As soon as we listened to some of his work we knew he was the right man for Onslaught, Jacobs productions were so clear but very heavy and with so much energy. When we spoke, we discovered that Jacob was also a huge Onslaught and Thrash metal fan so it was a very easy choice for us to make regarding working with Mr Hansen.
MG: I notice some Slayer influences in certain tracks like in “Code Black” but fits pretty well with the music. Was it unintentional?
NR: Do you think so..??? I cannot really hear it myself.. I guess there could be comparisons with the overall energy and musical / lyrical violence of the 2 bands, but I think we are very different in terms of sound… Slayer are a cool band though..
MG: I know that right now you are touring in England, Scotland, and Ireland with Gamma Bomb supporting. Tell us how are the things working with them and the audience during each night of the tour.
NR: The tour is over now, we just got back home and I must say it was surprisingly great…!! The UK can sometimes be very apathetic but the crowds were awesome everywhere we played.. We went out with ‘Gama Bomb’ and a young UK band ‘Fallen Fate’ as supports, it was a cool bill for the fans and all the reports coming back in have been amazing..!! So it was a big success for everyone involved..
MG: Nige, let’s change a little bit the topic. I would like to know your opinion about the notorious lack of sales of CDs for all kind of bands no matter what genre they are and the constant growing of sharing mp3 archives or digital stores like ITunes. For a band like Onslaught do you think that this situation is positive?. Which is your favorite format to sell your music?
NR: Well, I have to say, I believe all the file sharing and illegal downloading will kill music completely within the next 10 - 15 years… bands sell 90% less albums than they did back in 1990, that’s a fact..!!! If things don’t change very soon, record labels will not exist, magazines will not exist and there will be no outlet for new bands to grow.. The internet is a vast place, it is impossible to promote a new unknown band solely via this media.. I believe the internet is great for exposing bands like ourselves to new fans quickly but people must realise music is our livelyhood, we spend so much time writing and recording music for the pleasure of others, so at least if you like what you hear, then please buy the albums… music need you to do this to survive… support your favourite bands guys / ladies..!! I still love to buy cd’s, its great seeing the artwork, reading the lyrics etc etc, that’s what ya don’t get with I-tunes etc, I’m old school all the way…
MG: As you know, many years ago we saw a lot of young bands bringing back the “old school thrash metal” sound. Some of them mentioned Onslaught as an influence, for example Merciless Death (USA). What are your impressions about this dudes that are bringing back a extremely classical sound of the thrash metal style?
NR: Yeah, I guess it depends on how they go about things… I don’t think any new bands are bringing Thrash Metal back….. Hey - how can they..??? Metallica Anthrax Slayer Megadeth are doing huge stadium tours, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Onslaught, Kreator & Sodom are still making awesome music and playing killer shows, the old school is still here and doing it for real…!! If any of the new bands wanna succeed they will need to develop their style and discover new paths to take thrash metal along, because its gonna be impossible to compete against the originators.. ‘Fallen Fate’ for example, the guys who we took on tour, are trying to do things a little differently and I think they could have a bright future, they don’t wanna copy the old school, they use it as a major influence and give it their own stamp…
MG: Between “Killing Peace” And “Sounds…” the line up of the band has changed. Could you tell me a little bit about this changes?
NR: The line up for the ‘Killing Peace’ album was very experimental and unstable, nobody really knew how things were gonna go for Onslaught when we returned and this soon became evident as Jim Hinder left the band even before ‘KP’ was released and Al Jordan left shortly after its release.. The almost immediate success of the album opened the band up for a great deal of touring opportunities and certain people within the band were not able to commit to such a high level of demand, meaning we had to make changes… fortunately for Onslaught, the additions of Andy Rosser Davies (guitar) Jeff Williams (Bass) dramatically improved the band on all fronts and we created a whole new beast to make the SOV album possible.. Drummer Steve Grice then quit Onslaught back in March this year, due to a lack of commitment to the band in general as touring / physical demands grew once again.. Grice has now been replaced by an awesome Sticksman ‘Mic Hourihan’ (Extreme Noise Terror / Desecration) who has taken the band to another level completely… this line up is undoubtedly the best Onslaught has ever seen… we cannot wait to make the next record…!!!!
MG: A new generation of thrash fans has grown discovering Onslaught when you reformed the band. I’m a little bit curious about if they go and took an eye to the past and check your first three albums.
NR: Oh yes, 100% certain they go and check out the early albums, the back catalogue is selling sooo fucking well its outrageous… The first 2 albums Power From Hell & The Force have just been re-mastered by Jacob Hansen and are being re-released by AFM this year with some bonus stuff added which is cool… you can tell the new generation of Thrashers are picking up this shit cos they know all the fucking words to every track we play live… and we still play lots of early stuff….!!!
MG: Let’s go back to “Sounds Of Violence”. For me it was an awesome surprise the cover of Motörhead’s “Bomber” that you’ve recorded. It is a real bomb. I know that you’ve invited some well know musicians for the recording… Tell us more about this.
NR: Thanks, it was a lot of fun making this recording… We had Phil Campbell (Motorhead) & Tom Angel ripper (Sodom) as special guests on the track.. We have been friends with Phil for many years since we toured with Motorhead in 87 so when we decided to record ‘Bomber’ we thought, who better to ask than our old friend Phil to come and play that awesome riff.. It was kinda the same thing with Tom, we have played many shows recently with Sodom and become good friends, I knew they were in recording their new album at the same time as Onslaught, so I thought Sy and Tom would sound awesome sharing vocals, we asked Tom and he loved the idea, so it all came together very easily.. And sounded great too..!!
MG: During our last interview, you’ve told me that you had in mind to re-record some songs of “In Search Of Sanity” with Sy singing of course, to have a more heavier result. Will be it possible in the future?
NR: Definitely, we are planning this right now.. We have recently added ‘Shellshock’ to our live set and this will be one of the songs that we will re-record sometime soon, Its sounding real real good.. We also have plans to record ‘Lightning War’ both tracks will become bonuses for the next album… We’re really gonna try to recapture the feel that the early demos of these songs had before it all became polished and souless, its gonna be Heavy and angry and Sy is gonna really tear these songs a new asshole..!! hahaha
MG: Well, you will tour here in South America for second time. Do you have any special remember of the first tour in Argentina?.
NR: Of course, but unfortunately we did not have very much free time to really appreciate your country. We met some very wonderful people, ate some great Argentinian food and played a cool show in a kinda strange venue.. I just wish we had more time to explore and take in the sights… maybe we will try again this time it’s a fantastic country with great history that I really want to discover.
MG: One question out of music. Do you like football. Which team of England do you support?
NR: FOOTBALL..!!!! Of course my friend, it’s the greatest thing in the world J, football is my life outside of music. ‘CHELSEA’ are my team at home, I am a season ticket holder there and have been for many years.. Last time we came to Argentina we were given a guided tour of the ‘River Plate Stadium’ and had photos taken on the pitch, it was real cool. I do not follow Argentina club soccer, but I have always loved your national team, Argentina has had so many amazing players in the past and has so many great ones now.
MG: Nige, choose ten personal favorite albums of all times, no matter what genre they are.
1. Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing - Discharge
2. Never Mind The Bollocks - Sex Pistols
3. Ride the Lightning - Metallica
4. Reign In Blood - Slayer
5. Troops of Tomorrow - The Exploited
6. The Clash - The Clash
7. Spreading the Disease - Anthrax
8. Fat of the Land - The Prodigy
9. Another Perfect Day - Motorhead
10. Dirt - Alice in Chains
MG: Well, this is it. Hope that I can see you on the venue and before the show invite you a beer. Would you like to say some final words to the readers of this interview?
NR: For sure, we must meet and have some beers definitely, I would like that… I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all our South American / Argentinian friends for your amazing support of Onslaught over many years, you are very very special to us and we are honoured to be able to come and play for you in your wonderful countries..
Thank you all… Respect..!!!!!
Nige & Onslaught