Joe/Tony - Whiplash
New Jersey's Whiplash are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. They have just released their thrashback attack in the form of - 'Unborn Again' - an all out insult to injury, rife with powerful melodies and painful shredding. They stick it to mayhem based thrash reunions with more well-penned messages in blood...."Even in your sleep you would never dream it!"
If my memory serves, they had a killer comeback release with the '98 album 'Thrashback' on Massacre Records, a far cry from the experimental 'Sit Stand Kneel Prey', or ultra-modern 'Cult Of One'. With 'Unborn Again', battle scarred Tony Portaro and Joe Cangelosi take another stab at the perpetual warfare and spiral of violence which they have created, showcasing an essence of evolution, maturity, and honesty. Prepare to thrash 'til death!
MettleAngel: Hello there Tony, I am so pleased to make your acquaintance.
MettleAngel: Get out! The two masters from 'Ticket To Mayhem' and 'Insult To Injury' - my absolutely favourite Whiplash album!
MettleAngel: I know that was the return of the "Three Tony's" with Tony Scaglione on drums. I guess he is with Deathrash currently.
MettleAngel: I would also add that I am sure that the late Tony Bono is with us tonight in spirit.
MettleAngel: I find it hard to believe that he died in 2002, over seven years ago. Man, that was before the birth of my son. I saw that Whiplash recently played a show with Deathrash, and At War. It was a free show, and you were joined by Enforcer from Sweden and Cauldron from Canada. I reviewed both of their CDs.
MettleAngel: Their new album - 'Infidel' - is another killer thrash comeback. Wow! I am stoked to be speaking to both of you, because I am a big fan. I have all your CDs, originals, and the Displeased Records re-issues. I even have a cool bootleg 'Power And Pain' T-shirt, that I bought at a US festival.
MettleAngel: No, it is just like the album cover, and really well done.
MettleAngel: So congratulations on celebrating 25 years. I know you have a new album out, and this is why you are here, so let us discuss this.
MettleAngel: As well you should be. I really dig it. It took a few listens, but it really grew on me. There is something different about it. I mean it is thrashing like 'Ticket To Mayhem', it has melodic elements like 'Insult To Injury', and even 'Sit Stand Kneel Prey'. There is just something different, and more mature about it. The Harris Johns production values truly shine.
MettleAngel: I really do, and I would almost suggest that you are incorporating your '70s influences.
MettleAngel: Take for example a song like "Hook In Mouth". I clearly detect a similarity with "Hiroshima", but I also hear a Sabbathy "Sweat Leaf" vibe present.
MettleAngel: Then you chose to do the first Whiplash cover ever in the form of "I've Got The Fire". Are you both big fans of Montrose?
MettleAngel: Nor did I, and Maiden was my first experience, as well. I did not even know that Sammy Hagar had sung with them. I really like the mean version the proto-metal '80s act Axe from Florida did of that song too. I have been playing my Axe albums all week. I just found a used copy of 'Offering' on vinyl for a buck! "Rock 'N' Roll Part In The Streets" is a classic! I have also been jamming on Sweet's anthology! Both were bands waaay ahead of their time!
MettleAngel: I remember hearing Anthrax
do that. Did you know they just released a killer double disc remaster
for Among The Living. It now includes the bonus live DVD - 'OIDIVNIKUFESIN
(N.F.V.)', and six unreleased bonus tracks.
MettleAngel: I wonder who they will get
for a vocalist? John Bush is only doing live shows.
MettleAngel: I was not a big fan of the recent Cheap Trick effort - 'The Latest'. It was not as classic as their '70s albums. I could tell that they are way too much into the Beatles; especially after doing that whole - "Sgt. Pepper Live: A Fortieth Anniversary Celebration Tribute To The Beatles". They should jam on some Beatallica.
MettleAngel: Was that to promote your new Whiplash Hot Sauce set? I am sure both Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey would have had issues with that! I recently saw some live footage of Whiplash playing a show with Deceased.
MettleAngel: I saw a YouTube clip on Bravewords website. You were performing "I've Got The Fire", but who was the fourth member?
MettleAngel: I love Carnivore, another awesome '80s era Roadrunner act. I prefer Pete Steele's work in Carnivore to Type O Negative, anyday!
MettleAngel: Awesome, I will definitely look into checking that out. Do you have any current plans for touring the US; especially, the Midwest?
MettleAngel: Exactly, or even what Brad Youngblood attempted with Classic Metalfest 2001.
MettleAngel: Ah yes another incredible Danish band once on Roadrunner Records, like yourselves. They too have an excellent comeback release called 'When Death Comes'.
MettleAngel: I assume you are referring to the first 'Speed Metal Hell' compilation on New Renaissance Records? You had the song "Thrash 'Til Death" on there. 'Speed Metal Hell II' later featured Deathrash doing "Buried Alive". I love those first three Speed Metal Hell comps. I discovered so many thrash acts from playing those.
MettleAngel: I found it difficult to get the first one on vinyl, but I got the other two on cassette. I still have them to this day. Hell, the third one had Prong, Bloodfeast, Wehrmacht, Dream Death, Necrophagia, Papsmear, and some other rare acts like The Kill and Metal Onslaught.
MettleAngel: I told you, I was a fan of that era. I am staring at my Whiplash tapes right now! So get this, I just saw and interviewed Alestorm on Saturday in Cleveland. I am sure you are well aware of the "Pirate Metal" scene now dominating. As for me, the first metal song about piracy that I heard came from your "Walk The Plank".
MettleAngel: I mean other than Stormwitch and Running Wild in Germany, there was only Num Skull and Whiplash even addressing the topic in the US. When I informed my friend - who was given "Ticket To Mayhem" as a Christmas gift from his buddy in college - that I had just booked an interview with Tony, he actually qouted lyrics from this song in an E-mail.
MettleAngel: I am trying to convince him how good the new album is, once you let it really sink in, after a couple of listens.
MettleAngel: I kind of figured that was the case.
MettleAngel: Ha, great reference to yourselves and Wehrmacht! Speaking of the "Ticket" album. I really like how you began to diversify your thrash sound, something that would pay off on "Insult". I really dug the song "Spiral Of Violence".
MettleAngel: Given than Vietnam reference, I kind of assumed that. It was the late '80s, and our fathers were reflecting on their youth when they were once the age of soldiers who fought early on in the war. I assume you were born during that war. One thing I did not like about "Ticket" though, and it really irked me to no end....
MettleAngel: It was not the music at all, it was the damn "Perpetual Warfare" at the beginning and end of the tape. You see I had just purchased an auto-reverse tape deck for my car. Back then, it was all the fashion to have one of those.
MettleAngel: It is just that as soon as the album ended, and "Perpetual Warfare" began, then the tape would switch over, and the damn bellicose ruckus would start over. I was not rich enough at the time to have the auto-fast-forward feature, which would skip to the next track. I had to wait another year before I could get that.
MettleAngel: Really, I do not, and have never played his on vinyl, so I was not aware of this!
MettleAngel: When I was in college, tapes were so much more convenient; especially, for the car. One thing I did notice about the new album, is that you did not seem to rework any of your classic demos. I am still waiting to hear an updated arrangement for "Chained Up, Strapped Down".
MettleAngel: It pays off, and this may be the edge that makes the album so fresh. When I first purchased 'Thrashback', I loved songs like "King With The Axe", and "Murder On Monroe Street". It was not until I got 'Messages In Blood' that I realized that those were older demos.
MettleAngel: When I purchased the Displeased re-issue for "Insult To Injury", I was super psyched about those live tracks from the CBGB's show in '86. I especially wanted to hear "Cyanide Grenade". You know the song about extra, extra, extra strength tylenol? You mention on the live recording that it was on "Ticket", sadly this was never the case!
MettleAngel: When I bought 'Sit Stand Kneel Prey', I saw you had that song on there, but it was so different.
MettleAngel: Well that makes sense. Joe, I know you had the opportunity to play and record with Kreator on the 'Cause For Conflict' album, how was that experience?
MettleAngel: Tony, you say most hardcore old schoolers are not too inclined towards "Insult", but what about the modern guitar tone of 'Cult Of One'? I paid a lot for this import, and it was a real disappointment. It reminded me of Omen's big mistake with 'Reopening The Gates'.
MettleAngel: It just seemed that by this time too many acts were trying to imitate Pantera. Omen and Whiplash are way better than Pantera ever were!
MettleAngel: Back to "Unborn Again" I see you enlisted the artwork of Ed Repka. He is all the rage again. How did you get him?
MettleAngel: I like the intro before "Swallow The Slaughter". What is with "Three Dollars"..."Free Refill"? Is that interchange taken from an actual carnival experience?
MettleAngel: It works quite well and effectively. I also like the instrumental "Parade Of Two Legs", which may allude to the sexy metal chick on the cover. This song kind of reminds me of the "Ticket To Mayhem" instrumental from "Insult To Injury".
MettleAngel: Go for it!
MettleAngel: Today's technology makes something like that so much easier.
MettleAngel: You mean you did not have any original copies to give her?
MettleAngel: So some dude sold his CDs, made a killing, and exploited your own sister. You should have just made her burns.
MettleAngel: Hell yeah! I would definitely recommend adding "Memory Serves" and Stab", as well as "King" & "Monroe Street". Tell me about the Indian chant before "Firewater".
MettleAngel: Did you know Slayer were working on a new song called "Snuff"?
MettleAngel: Yeah, I know...I figured perhaps you might still be in contact with them ever since Tony Scaglione filled in for them when Dave Lombardo left for the first time.
MettleAngel: I feel you have accomplished this quite well. 'Unborn' is a solid blend of the old and the new. Your vocals are less gruff, like the Jackhammer demo days, or early Whiplash style. They are more lucid and distinct.
MettleAngel: Definitely! Now, that I hear your voice, over the phone, for the first time, I understand why it appears to be more caustically pronounced on the album. You both have strong East Coast accents, and I have to listen real carefully to tell you two apart.
MettleAngel: Believe me I sure would love to do that!
MettleAngel: Do tell!
MettleAngel: Let me guess, you were pistolwhipped for your infraction?
MettleAngel: Say what! "Supertroopers" for real! I cannot wait until that sequel comes out!
MettleAngel: That would rule.
MettleAngel: Absolutely! I was only planning to speak with Tony, so Joe thanks for joining in. Yes, let us stay in touch. Congratulations on another killer Whiplash album!