Paul "Bod" Rodwell - Anihilated
I have always supported authentic '80s era UK Thrash acts. Recently, I have become very good friends with the members of Anihilated, who have now reformed, and are hard at work on a brand new album.
It was an honour to enter the realm of dynamic interchange, and thus engage in the ultimate discussion with drummer Paul "Bod" Rodwell. Our cheerful dose of enthusiasm, led to a lengthy conversation, revealing many wonderful realities. On the path to reconstructive dialogue, we each learned a great deal about one another, and our united Mettle Hearts - created in fate.
MettleAngel: Greetings Mate, I am ever so grateful that we were able to conduct this long distance phone conversation. Thank you for you earnest generosity, and willingness to make this happen. I always find it to be more interpersonal, and enjoyable, when an interview is organized in this fashion; especially, since we both did it on our own accord.
MettleAngel: Trust me, Brother, it is an honour to be speaking with you. Anihilated are truly members of the old school UK Thrash revolution of the early '80s. Last spring when I saw Sabbat, I spoke with Graham "Gizz" Butt all about English Dogs, and the early bands like Onslaught, Venom, Atomkraft, Warfare, etc. We waxed on all about the UK Punk Crossover movement. I suggested that Venom were instrumental in creating the rubrics for thrash, but he argued that it was really Motörhead. I have since recanted my former view, and now I agree with him. Venom were too tongue in cheek, but, Motörhead appealed to Metal and Punk fans, alike.
MettleAngel: Anihilated stem from a more Punk background though, correct? You were in the band Prospex. You guys sure do like to deliberately misspell terms, don't you?
MettleAngel: I can see why! I played Show No Mercy last week, and this is an absolute masterpiece! Jeff Hanneman was quite influential in introducing me to many unknown Punk bands. When I was in college, even though I was totally into Metal and Thrash. I began to experience Discharge, G.B.H., Broken Bones, The Exploited, etc. Anihilated were right there when this crossover movement was happening. In England, Punk was still more popular than Metal. This is one reason why Steve Harris invited Bod Di' Anno into Maiden, as he came from a Punk inspired background; although, Maiden resisted becoming classified as Punk. Surprisingly, many Punk fans attended their shows.
MettleAngel: It is like the character Adrian on "The Young Ones" TV program from that era. He was clearly a Punk Rocker, but he wore Kiss, Saxon, and Motörhead shirts.
MettleAngel: Yes, this aspect of Punk has always appealed to me, as well. I guess, you could call it the mettle in Punk: the attitude of gratitude and interdependence, alive and ever present in us all. The spirit of the movement was represented by many American acts from D.C. like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and M.D.C., or from New York with The Ramones, Fear, Agnostic Front, & Cro-Mags. Of course, one cannot forget D.R.I., and their Think For Yourself crossover mentality.
MettleAngel: Yes, I always admired Anihilated for your honest lyrical stance. You dealt with subject matter, before it became commonplace. Your music and message are instrumental in creating awareness and a greater understanding about how things really are. Hell, you were discussing animal rights, even before Carcass came to the spotlight. To a certain degree, you inspired Grindcore for Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror.
MettleAngel: This is another reason I have such admiration for you. Anihilated declared openly Man's inhumanity to Mankind, and all of creation. An album like Created In Hate, is often misunderstood, based on it's title, and artwork. This was the same with Carcass fans, who really had no idea they were vegetarians. Are you, yourself also a vegetarian?
MettleAngel: You remind me of Uli Jon Roth, he too prefers to keep it low profile.
MettleAngel: If one is not sincere, it will not work. Fanatics of any cause never prosper. One has to have a strong connection to nature to be an honest vegetarian. I should know, as I was one for over a decade. I still heavily honour all the Animal Kingdom, every time I eat. I always bless my food, and give appropriate thanks for all parties who brought this food to me. This includes the slaughtered animal, or dairy product, the meat / dairy workers, the grocery store attendants / chefs, etc.
MettleAngel: I know, somehow, we have lost touch with our animal instinct and essence. When I first heard the lyrics to Skinned Alive, I assumed it was another typical song about horror, and death. I did not have any lyrics with my Ultimate Desecration cassette, so, I was ignorant. I had not really taken the time to read the lyrics to my vinyl copy of Created In Hate, either. I was floored, once I finally sat down and read through all your lyrics, with concentrated intent. You were way ahead of your time! By the late '80s all major thrash bands were singing about environmental issues, corrupt politicians, misguided religious leaders; especially, the heresy and graft of the televangelists, and of course, animal injustice.
MettleAngel: Yeah, no doubt, like Rush sings in the song Circumstances...the more things changs...the more they remain the same. This is sad, but true, because, we still feel separate from nature and her circumstances. The fact is that we are all one, and more people, everyday, are realizing that we all rely upon one another, even the Plant and Animal Kingdoms. By killing any being, we kill, and destroy ourselves. Fast Food Nation & "Supersize Me" both made a strong point about this. Mankind is more about survival, than revival. We all feel we need to be on our guard, and on the offense.
MettleAngel: I agree, we will each do our part, without becoming obsessed. The "Fur Is Murder!" mentality, and P.E.T.A. freaks, are being counter productive. Love, and appreciation of everything is the key to longevity, not condemnation, and making others out to be wrong; especially, for doing what we've done for ages. A movie like "Instinct" points out how we have become uncivilized, claiming dominion over the earth. However, to most, dominion is mistaken for domination over all earth's natural resources.
MettleAngel: This is why I admire your fortitude. It's no wonder Ian Glasper is going to promote Anihilated in his new book about British Thrash. I admire Anihilated's alacrity, sincerity, and integrity. I understand, that even when you disbanded, everyone remained close friends, even unto this day, right?
MettleAngel: I know the band split, because of all the corruption with the labels forcing their values upon bands, who desperately tried to remain original, and unique. Explain to me how the band decided to re-unite.
MettleAngel: Those two CD re-issues are awesome, they sound great, and include live bonus tracks. Marquee Records put out quality product. I love the Slaughter & Sacrifice re-issues!
MettleAngel: So how are the new songs coming along?
MettleAngel: Where, what region, would you say you have the strongest following?
MettleAngel: So are there plans to tour? I imagine you would be asked to play several renown festivals.
MettleAngel: That is good to hear. It would be killer to witness you live! With your younger fans, it seems that they all want to get the music on vinyl.
MettleAngel: The production sounds like several other albums from that era, especially, Power From Hell, by Onslaught.
MettleAngel: I totally understand your frustrations. Several bands like Destruction, Tankard, & Exodus have re-recorded their material, expressing dissatisfaction with the original production.
MettleAngel: I respect this attitude. Too many thrash acts have reformed and recorded less than quality new material. Many have seemed to have lost their edge, and the lyrics don't have the same appeal, or meaning. Several just don't seem as sincere or motivated, as they once were.
MettleAngel: I know this all too well. Initially, you were going to work with Peaceville Records, when they were just starting out, right?
MettleAngel: Paul "Hammy" Halmshaw would later would later go on to represent My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia, etc. Early on, though, he was really into Punk, so I can see why he would like Anihilated.
MettleAngel: Simon worked with Robin Graves in his band Nightbreed, right? I heard that Mark also played with Love Lies Bleeding. I had one of their CDs.
MettleAngel: Wow! Anihilated have connections with Cradle! It seems like all the great indy labels began as Record Stores. Megaforce, Metal Blade, Roadrunner. Now, many have given into Major Label dominance, and fallen slave to the corporate machine . Megaforce and Roadrunner are controlled by Atlantic, Metal Blade still answers to Capitol. I respect the smaller labels now, who really care about their bands. Stormspell, Karthago, Farvahar all really celebrate Metal, and not the almighty dollar. Tell me a bit about those cool Anihilated shirts you now have made available at your My Space.
MettleAngel: As you know, I received both shirts with the limited edition box set you offered around Christmas. I was hoping they would be in colour. The Ultimate Desecration was a medium, so Wendy wears that, with pride.
MettleAngel: I understand, I just prefer more colour on my shirts. After all, Created In Hate is so orange, opaque, and gloomy. The Ultimate Desecration is far from being a polychromatic hue. I am very pleased with the patches and pins, though. I am also grateful that the band signed the CDs!
MettleAngel: You mean the Denim & Leather image. Metal may be about Sex, Drugs, & Rock 'N' Roll, of course, but, it is also about artistic expression and inner freedom. Anihilated are Metal. You are awesome mettle punks, because you write about the internal darkness present in the human heart. You never play the victim, or make others out to be the villains.
MettleAngel: Back in the '80s Combat Core Records was vital to keeping this enduring spirit alive. They championed the crossover movement, as did Death Records, a subsidiary of Metal Blade. I never really got into the Sex Pistols until Anthrax and Megadeth covered them; but, I did discover Subhumans, and UK Subs. I did not become a die hard dedicate for the Misfits, but, I do love the splatter antics of The Accüsed. I don't really dig the new Punk acts like Green Day, Rancid, or Good Charlotte. Wendy and I do enjoy The Offspring, though, as they have a great sense of humour. Many straight-edge acts have the right intention, but the wrong delivery. Modern Hardcore music is so boring and limited!
MettleAngel: This mettle attitude, now driven home with poignant consistency, reminds me of the song by Spermbirds, covered by Tankard - on the Chemical Invasion album called - Try Again. In America, Suicidal Tendencies bridged the gap between Punk and Metal. I respect Anihilated for staying true all these years. I'm super excited to hear the new music, but, I am willing to wait. I know you will not disappoint.
MettleAngel: This I know! Bod, thank you so much for opening your heart and mind to me, and all your faithful followers!
See also: review of The Ultimate Desecration