I think you all know by now I’m a huge fan of the UK thrash scene. I’m beginning to think there’s something in the water that causes people from this relatively tiny island in the northern Atlantic to play gnarly riffs at mind blowing speeds. The reasons for the countries killer scene really aren’t important, what is important is that the UK has one of the most thriving thrash metal scenes in the entire world and from the looks of things it’s here to stay! One of the countries fastest growing bands hail from the Southampton region and go by the name of Desolator. On the brink of releasing their highly anticipated debut album the bands front man, Jamie Brooks, took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding the bands early days, their upcoming album and the UK scene itself. Enjoy!
GLOBAL THRASH ASSAULT: Before we begin I want to thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer a few question. I know things in the Desolator camp have been pretty busy with the new album and all.
JAMIE BROOKS: No problem dude! Cheers for the questions! Yeh, this is the first time any of us have ever recorded an album so it’s a really cool experience. It’s really exciting playing the thrash we want to hear and getting it out as a real release.
Before we talk about the new album let’s talk about the early days of Desolator. You guys formed in 2010, how did it all start?
It sound pretty cliche but just through beer and thrash! With Felix it was like, ‘ah man, sick Tankard shirt! Oh, you play bass? let’s have a jam!’ And with Sam it was the exact same, a few months before but with a Megadeth shirt haha. Neither of us had done anything music related seriously so this is our first band! It’s a pretty cool unique thing you know?
In 2011 Desolator released a 5 track demo. What was the writing process for that release like? Did one person write the music or was the entire band involved?
Most of the time it was either me or Felix would come up with a riff or idea, we’d get a rough idea how it would progress then we just jam it out. It’s been the same with all the writing really, all 3 of us have an equal input into the songs.
Desolator screams old-school thrash metal, what are some of your influences as a band?
Just all the 80’s + early 90’s thrash and speed metal bands! Along with punk and crossover too. Mainly the German thrash bands I reckon, but if it’s fast and loud it’s probably influenced us in some way…
Speaking of the demo, how was the release received by the fans and critics?
Well it was our first release at about 6 months after our first show, so I”m not sure what people were expecting but it seemed to be well received! The main thing is it encapsulates all we love about metal – raw, fast and a bit rough around the edges! We recorded it in about 15 hours, most of it was done in the first take and in a ‘live’ environment. I’m still proud of it, but our album is what we’re really looking forward to releasing! We have 3 tracks rerecorded from the demo but this time it’s a lot faster and much better produced.
Over the last few years Desolator has become one of the more popular bands in the UK thrash scene having played more than 60 shows across the country and opening for bands like DRI, Sacred Reich and Warbringer (to name a few). With that in mind, is there a particular show that stands out? Any crazy stories you want to share?
The Sacred Reich show was amazing, The Underworld (where we played) is regarded as on of the best venues in the UK for metal shows, we’ve all seen loads of our favourite bands play there so it was a dream come true to open a show there. And with Sacred Reich on the bill it was unbelievable! Same with the D.R.I. show too, we as a band really look up to them and was a massive honour for us to play with them. Backstage Harald was showing us photo’s that didn’t get into the first ‘Murder In The Front Row” book, and he was telling us stories of how it was growing up in the Bay Area thrash scene which was very cool.
Speaking of shows Desolator was just announced to play Full Thrash Assault 2014 along side bands like Virus, DAM, Bludvera, Thrashist Regime and Ram Raid. If I’m not mistaken this will be the third time the band has played this show. What has the experience been like in the past? Can you give people who have never attended the show an idea of what it’s like?
It certainly is! Our first show was FTA 2011, which is mental considering we wrote our first song a few months before the gig and it was being filmed for a DVD and broadcast across the internet! It’s a really cool event, thrashers from all over the country come down for the show and it’s almost like an annual meet up for UK thrashers! There’s a hotel nearby that everyone stays at after, and you can imagine what that’s like!
Now for the big question I’m sure fans across the UK and Europe are dying to know the answer to, will there be a Desolator tour anytime soon?
Next weekend we’re playing overseas for the first time in Belgium and Netherlands, sort of like a mini tour. We’ve got no plans yet for anything else, but who knows what will happen!
Desolator are on the verge of releasing a new album. Tell me, what can fans expect to hear on the album?
Old school speed thrash ‘n roll! Heh heh. We’ve got 4 new songs that no one has heard yet that will be playing live from next week that’ll be on the album, plus a few that we’ve written since the demo that are in our usual setlist. These new songs are the strongest thrashers we’ve written so far, we’re really looking forward to getting it out there.
Was the writing process for this release any different then it was on the demo or was it the same?
The way in which we wrote the songs remained the same but we set ourselves a rough finish date so we pushed ourselves to get the riffs nailed down. Other than the fact that compared to 2 years ago we’ve grown musically and as a group it’s been the same, just writing what we want and having a lot of fun while doing it!
Desolator has a CD release show on April 5th, I’m assuming the album will be out by then?
Yes! The CD’s are on the way from the printers as I type! We didn’t make a lot of copies of the demo (most were downloads) so with an album it’s gunna be really cool to get this everywhere we can. Soon we will also be getting new shirts made up, and repressing the album on vinyl too.
What can people expect to see from Desolator at the CD release show?
The usual speed metal mania! We decided to have the show at our usual venue, The Unicorn, in London because it’s our favourite place to play. The bands we’ve picked to support us our some of our favourite bands we’ve played with so the atmosphere is going to be great, and as a whole all 4 bands go together so well – you should all check them out (KEMAKIL, MEANSTEED + TERROR DRONE)!
The Desolator demo featured a cover of (Empty) Tankard, will the new album feature another cover? If so what will it be?
Not this time round unfortunately. There was plans to cover Kreator’s Tormentor but as a debut album we felt it should all be our material.
I gotta ask and I know I’m not the only one who’s curious, what’s the title for the new release?
TOTAL ATTACK! We decided on that as it pretty much sums us up, a relentless thrashing wall of sound. It also helped inspire the album artwork which is absolutely perfect.
Shifting gears now, you guys are apart of the UK thrash scene, what’s it like to be part of such a thriving scene of thrash metal?
It’s such a great feeling. We missed the thrash scene in the 80’s, but there’s so many bands with the old school sound and attitude it’s almost like we didn’t miss anything. Who knows, in 20 or 30 years time if the scene dies and comes back, people might look back at this time and think ‘I wish I was there!’
What are some bands from the UK that people need to be listening too?
There are a lot of insane bands in UK at the moment, but Terror Drone, Seprevation, Necroriser, Crypsis, Kemakil, Mutually Assured Destruction and Bludvera are among the best bands.
Xentrix and Re-Animator have recently reformed. What are your thoughts on this? I imagine you’re quite excited about it.
Yes very! Like I said earlier, we missed them the first time round so seeing them live will be a great experience. I just hope they don’t fuck it up and release a shit album!
What other old-school thrash metal bands from the UK would you like to see reform?
ACID REIGN!!! Everyone does. They won’t though which is a shame. Deathwish would be awesome too.
Thanks for the killer interview man! Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans before we wrap things up?
Nah, thanks to you dude! To everyone: come to our shows, support the underground!
|ALBUM COVER OF TOTAL ATTACK!|