Josh/Brian/Mike - Toxik
My recent reveiw for Toxik - World Circus has really generated quite an assemblage of positive feedback; especially from the band themselves. With exuberance and zeal, I have begun to develop an awesome friendship with guitarist Josh Christian. I have again become enthralled in the intoxicadence and melody of his music and shocking logic. This all reached its pinnacle of poignancy when the other night we had an excellent phone conversation of engaging social overload. Josh even invited vocalist - Mike Sanders and bassist - Brian Bonini along for the spontaneous spectacle. To hear all their voices for the first time, after timely enjoying their music for two decades, was a true honour; melding my metal heart, attacking my greed. Indeed, this band of mettle brothers signify technical eloquence, and thus encourage you to count your blessings! So, we welcome you to the word circus of "exploratory oratory", and we hope you enjoy the interview and all the promising prospects which it entails.
MettleAngel: Hello Josh, this is Michael Francisco.
MettleAngel: Did you want to proceed with a song by song commentary for World Circus?
MettleAngel: No problem Man, take your time.
We can do that later on.
MettleAngel: Well given, the 24 digital gold disc remastering, I definitely notice a better sound performance, overall; definitely more crisp. Also, it is the first time that the Toxik - World Circus CD comes with lyrics. I had to use my cassette prior to this, you know the version with the lyrics printed inverted? Although, I listened to Think This on tape today and it sounded fine. I don't know why people don't like cassettes.
MettleAngel: So the reissue I have is on Metal Minded Records, a reissue for Roadrunner. Tell me about the Displeased (Holland) reissuses coming out February 28 in Europe. World Circus is going to have an abundance of killer bonus tracks!
MettleAngel: So Europeans will get the better deal. The Metal Minded are only limited to 2000 and have average bonus tracks. How many is Displeased offering?
MettleAngel: I think that it is so sweet that you got to choose the bonus material, that's awesome. Now, I know where to get my remaster copy for Think This. I remember seeing the commercial on You Tube. I probably should have waited on World Circus; but then if I had, this interview would not be taking place: My question is why did Roadrunner not pick Wasteland from Metal Massacre 8 as a bonus track for the US version?
MettleAngel: Hell yeah, that song rules!
This would be a better choice then a radio interview discussing the new
release of Think This, which is the bonus cut put on World Circus.
MettleAngel: That's all good stuff, nonetheless. No wonder you are such a great bass player.
MettleAngel: I'm glad you brought this up, because I've heard you trained with Joe Satriani.
MettleAngel: Yeah, I see you thanked him on Think This. He is credited under the "Unlimited Knowledge" category. You must have learned a great deal from him, and then created your own technique.
MettleAngel: I can only handle so much of those guitar gods. There is way too much fretboard gymnastics going on. I prefer Tipton/Downing, Dave Murray, Dave Mustaine, Michael Schenker, etc. You Josh, really play well, too. The Toxik melodies are timeless!
MettleAngel: That's the difference between the two CDs. Josh you play all the guitars on World Circus, while you share duties with John on Think This. This is why the former is amazing speed metal, while Think This is true technical elegance. You had some groundbreaking potential progressive parts on the Think This album.
MettleAngel: What about the ballad There Stood The Fence off Think This? This is not your ordinary cock-rock fodder. This song still moves me to this day, with its emotional bent.
MettleAngel: What about Charlie's vocal performance on Think This. He was quite different than Mike Sanders.
MettleAngel: Let's discuss the Ed Repka artwork for both albums. Josh, I know you had the concept for World Circus and Think This, and worked very closely with Ed on both covers. I love the television theme on Think This, and the Circus theme on the debut.
MettleAngel: Yeah, and now instead of being hypnotized and spellbound by television, peple today have allowed themselves to become slaves to the internet.
MettleAngel: I'm just amazed how timeless the Toxik Lyrics are - all the issues are really appropriate today!
MettleAngel: Rome is still rome, and religion is herarchial indeed. You can tell that musically you guys were all friends sharing the same interests when you wrote World Circus.
MettleAngel: I do have another question which has spawned serious controversy. I've read that Exodus covered my favourite song - Count Your Blessings, and adopted it for their Force Of Habit CD.
MettleAngel: I mean I can notice certain similarities, myself, I just don't know why people call it a cover, when it is cleary not.
MettleAngel: That definitely happens, but Exodus did not cover Toxik, no matter what certain publications say when they indicate this. Next time I see Gary Holt, I'll ask him about this; but let us welcome Mike Sanders to the conversation...welcome Mike!
MettleAngel: You are such an amazing vocalist, I understand you have not done an interview for 15 years?
MettleAngel: You mean my recent review, thank you! So are you still singing? Can you still hit the World Circus high notes?
MettleAngel: So it seems like you are all great friends and still communicating after all these years.
MettleAngel: So what's new in the Toxik camp?
MettleAngel: Is he himself a Toxik fan, as well?
MettleAngel: Well calling yourself Toxik with a K was sure clever - making google searches much easier. To this day, I don't know any metal albums called World Circus or Think This, other than yours.
MettleAngel: Toxik does not sound like Testament at all - what inane fools! I don't understand how critics can make such naive comparisons.
MettleAngel: Yeah, you are right. Hopefully, when new fans read my review, they will get a better understanding of your overall sound. Toxik, along with Realm, Atrophy, Wrath, and Hades were a significant part of the late '80s 'Thinking Man's Metal' movement.
MettleAngel: That is so cool! That really means a lot to me to hear that you are all together as friends and having fun, again. Joy is a vital ingredient to living life to the fullest. This is why I am wearing my Death - Leprosy T-shirt, while we speak; because something like this brings me such bliss.
MettleAngel: I did not know that, it is probably because of the whole Morrisound thing.
MettleAngel: Wow, imagine that! Did Jeff Waters offer, as he did the first Defiance - Product Of Society album for Roadrunner.
MettleAngel: I think you made the right choice overall for producing. I so love both releases. I so would long to hear any new music which any of you create.
MettleAngel: Oh, I totally agree. Listening to World Circus and Think This almost two decades later still moves me in many wayrs. I get so many promos daily, but I choose the music which shaped my mettle heart back then. I'm so excited about all these awesome '80s bands reuniting and recording new albums like Destructor, Vendetta, Mortal Sin, and Sacred Oath, just to name a few.
MettleAngel: Yes, and like you guys they do it because they want to have fun. So many once stellar acts like Omen, Helstar, Hirax, etc. have all been relegated to smaller, independent labels. They don't care about the money - it's about the music and the fans! This is why I do what I do . I am a fan, and I love music.
MettleAngel: Mike, Brian, Josh, thank you so much, this has meant so much to me, and I know it will mean a great deal for the fans.
MettleAngel: I will, and I look forward to continuing our conversations in the future to come!
See also: review of the album World Circus