Dave/Matt - Destructor
Even though it has been more than 20 years since the tragic death of Dave "Holocaust" Iannicca the bassist of Destructor, the remaining members still continue to bring down the hammer as the True Gods of Cleveland Thrash. Having just released their latest album - Forever In Leather - after being together for 25 years, these pounding warriors take command, sending poseurs straight to hell.
Dave "Overkill" Just is the skullsplitter, whose precision devastation guitar/vocal storm of steel will tear down the heavens. Matt "Flammable" Schindelar will smash your skulls in the same sonic bullet manner in which he pounds the skins. Pat "Rabid" Wolowiecki & Jamie "Boulder" Walters show power and aggression while they unearth the dearth, and maintain damage control. Destructor still write amazing music, which is very enjoyable and a blast to hear. They are ready to strike, amped with a steel vengeance; their own heavy artillery, an iron courage which always sates. Old and new school thrashers should defer to their talent and poise.
I spoke with Dave & Matt after they had just unleashed their maximum destruction on stage, opening for Trouble. Enjoy the overdose of memories, and word war of decibal casualities.
MettleAngel: I have been listening to Destructor for 20 years. I'm thankful to have seen you many times in the last year. Unfortunately, when I was going to interview you last October, at your album release party, my voice was completely gone. I am so glad that we finally get a chance to speak. I have tried to review the new CD: Forever In Leather several times, and I always run into opposition. Whether it is a crashed computer from a storm, or any other of a number of frustrating incidents, I finally plan to review your new album favorably, very soon. They say timing is everything. Now that Testament and Death Angel have just released true thrash classics, it is time for the world to rediscover Destructor.
MettleAngel: Yes you do, every song on Forever
In Leather is well-written. Most metal fans should find it truly enjoyable.
You still kick ass live every time I witness your mayhem. Matt your drumming
tonight was tight.
MettleAngel: You are no spring chicken, but you can contend with the best of them. I'm just grateful that Destructor have unleashed a new album, which I can whole-heartedly promote. I know the band has been together for over two decades. This is surprising given that Forever In Leather is your second full length release after Maximum Destruction.
MettleAngel: Well, two and one-half; from what I understand, Sonic Bullet was only an EP.
MettleAngel: Fair enough, Sonic Bullet saw the debut of Jamie "Boulder" Walters on Bass. So, given your longevity, this is still a small number of CD releases. I know about the personal tragedy with your bassist Dave "Holocaust" Iannicca, who was stabbed to death. Now, I imagine the hiatus between albums is due to personal obligations like work and family.
MettleAngel: That is true (laughing), yet due to the success of Forever In Leather, your appearance at Keep It True, and Destructor's reputation for being Cleveland Gods of Thrash, I'm sure you are excited about playing Wacken for the first time in your career.
MettleAngel: Yes I know, that will be an awesome show, as a host of other recently reformed thrash acts will also participate. Many New Renaissance bands will perform like Amulance & At War; Detente is also doing that. I want your Keep It True hoodie that you are now wearing. I'm envious that you were able to share the stage with Sabbat. Did you know they are playing only four dates in the states in April? They will play in Chicago, Ney York, California and at Jaxx In Virginia, and that is it. I know many metal heads who will make the pilgrimage to witness Martin Walkyier & Andy Sneap bring about a History Of A Time To Come. Wendy & I plan to be two of these soul devotees. Did you know that Wacken has already sold out?
MettleAngel: This also gives you a chance to enjoy the show for yourselves. Does Destructor have any plans to tour in the off season?
MettleAngel: Destructor will definitely appeal to the HOA crowd. Thrashers will celebrate your appearance. Are you familiar with the Battle Cry band Solitaire from Finland, they are total Destructor clones. Matt, they even named their second album Extremely Flammable. Their fanbase will identify with you immediately. With such a major thrash resurgence in play, Destructor have chosen the perfect time to play new material.
MettleAngel: As far as I am concerned, there is no thrash act quite like Destructor. You are originators. You were essentially the primary thrash band on Auburn Records. Before that Bill Peters was working with mostly Classic Metal bands like Shok Paris and Breaker, who also recently reformed. I'll never forget when I first purchased Maximum Destruction on cassette. I still have this, I was a senior in High School, and I loved the fact that on the cover Matt was wearing glasses, while the band was adorned in studs and leather. It appealed to the metal geek inside me.
MettleAngel: I'll never forget when I put the tape in my car deck, as I began driving home the opener: Prelude In Sledge Minor, Opus 7, 1st Movement made me almost crash. There was all this smashing of glass, loud inchoate chanting, and then that shrill scream, I had never heard anything like this, I was astounded. After this caustic violent intro, it lead into the song Maximum Destruction, and I was hooked. What in the world were you shattering?
MettleAngel: You mean like one of those Curtis Mathis or Magnavox units from the late 60's early 70's? It sounds like you were imitating Nasty Ronnie of Nasty Savage?
MettleAngel: It sure sounds like you had some serious fun. I have always wanted to get the Maximum Destruction album on CD. I paid through the nose just to get the version on Listenable Records. I was gratful for those bonus demo tracks that came with it.
MettleAngel: Bill Peters expressed his desire to properly re-release Maximum Destruction in the way it was originally recorded, and of course, include a bunch of goodies to go with it. This is what he is currently doing with Black Death; especially after the recent death of drummer Phil Bullard who passed away in February from colon cancer.
MettleAngel: I want that, as well as a vinyl version of Maximum Destruction, if I can find it. I want as much Destructor as I can collect. This is why I bought Wendy a shirt. I want everyone to know that Destructor is still ragin'! She ran into a gas station employee who recognized the name, but did not know you had 're-united', even though I know you never disbanded.
MettleAngel: Oh I agree, and several great musicians like Jeff Hatrix from Purgatory, now sing as the Doctor Butcher character in the annoying Mushroomhead. Destructor are still so vibrant, so full of life, and your live theatrics only serve to exemplify this notion. Other thrash reformations by the likes of Hallow's Eve, Wrath, and Bloodfeast are really unneccesary, as they just can't recapture their trademark sound anymore.
MettleAngel: Yes, I know I have that and it sounds great. I respect the band's attitude. I know how frustrating it is when I go to review a CD loaded with a bunch of mediocre material. I must say that 45 minutes seems to be a common mean used by many thrash acts today, as it was two decades ago. Kai Hansen suggests that any album over 50 minutes is just too much for a new release.
MettleAngel: We all appreciate you doing this. Destructor were a real groundbreaking band back in the day, when you signed with Auburn Records. Many of Bill's bands had aggression and intensity, but noone could compare to the mighty Destructor. I'm surprised you never journeyed to Cincinnati to play with the likes of Thruster, Chastain, or CJSS.
MettleAngel: In the late 80's I witnessed Shok Paris opening for Nasty Savage and even Savatage at Bogarts, in Cincinnati.
MettleAngel: Don't bother, they just closed two major metal/rock bars: Sudsie Malones (which was also a laundrymat), and Top Cats. There is no metal scene. Transfusion Productions booked Joey Belladonna, but they don't expect a big crowd, which is so sad, but true. The great news, is that Destructor have a loyal following in Cleveland, and you will be so succesful in Europe. Tell me about this Torch cover of Watcher Of the Night which you did as a 7" split with Nunslaughter. I know you like those early Swedish acts like Torch, Heavy Load, Overdrive, etc. do you have any plans to release this cool cover on CD? I enjoyed it when you played it live at your album release party.
MettleAngel: I look forward to hearing that, as I don't have the vinyl yet. I'll have to bug Jim from Nunslaughter. I'm also enthused about the re-release of Maximum Destruction & Decibel Casualities, done right. As you know Destructor are still my favorite Cleveland band of all time; just as Thruster is my favorite Cincinnati act, and I am continually bugging them to finish their new album. They also have a number of personal issues with which to contend, like work and family. Dave & Matt, Jamie (who is present but did not contribute), and Pat (who had to leave early), I congratulate you on yet another excellent show and a killer CD. Iron Curtain is still my favorite song, after all these years, I love the bass parts. Thank you so much from all my heart for creating the time to finally indulge me. Now let's all go check out the amazing Gods - Trouble!