An interview with Nige Rockett, from Onslaught, made by our WikiBrother Gilberto Morais ! Confira abaixo:
We in Onslaught are having an amazing time right now, in fact probably the best time of our whole career.”
W: Hi, Nige! First of all, let me thank you very much for taking your time and kindly accepting our request.
N.R: Hi My friend, it’s an absolute pleasure for me to do this interview for you, thank you..!!
W: Well, to start off, could you please tell our readers what you had been doing from 1990 to 2005 while Onslaught has been inactive for that long?
N.R: I basically left the music scene for around 12 years after 1993, I really hated what was going on at the time with all the fucking ‘grunge shit etc’ it was a real bad period for Metal and I became totally disillusioned with music after all the problems we had within the band and the label…
W: Have you often kept in touch with the last lineup members after splitting up?
N.R: No, not really, I seen Sy a few times over the years, but I never kept in touch with Rob Trotman or Hinder. Like I said before, I just completely left the band behind after the split, I held no inspiration for me in the inactive years..
W: Talking about the comeback and especially the very first concert in Bristol, your hometown, did you previously consider bringing all the last band members including the guitarrist Rob Trottman plus Sy Keeler instead of Steve Grimmet back? If so, why did Rob decline this offer?
N.R: We never actually considered asking Rob to come back, we knew he was living away from Bristol and we kinda guessed from past experience that he wouldn’t really be up for it, also the ‘In Search of Sanity’ period wasn’t really where we wanted to return to, it held bad memories for the band and the album never was a 100% true Onslaught record for us or the fans..Sy Keeler is the only genuine Onslaught vocalist in the eyes of the fans and that’s the only way things would work when we came back…
W: Nige, you guys have been playing the album The Force in its entirety as a special set since the last year to celebrate this landmark (25 Years of the release). When you guys put the Force album out, did you have any idea how much this album could be so influential on Thrash/Death Metal music?
N.R: Not at all, we knew it was a very good album when we made it, but we never guessed the influence it would have on the scene over the following years.. It’s a huge honour that people hold ‘The Force’ in such high regard and that many many new fans are still buying the album today.
Metal is back and getting stronger every year”
W: Since the comeback, I noticed two different things in particular I’d like to ask you. First off, why have you quit playing all of our own solos?
N.R: Yeah , good question… After not picking up my guitar for almost 12 years, it was real hard work to get back to the playing standards that I had set myself in previous years.. For me it was more important to work more on my rhythm guitar playing rather than soloing, as this was the basis for the Onslaught sound.. Also I never actually enjoyed playing solos back then, I hate being tied to pedals and I feel far happier just thrashing away and letting someone else do all the widdlys..
W: Second, you have cut the killing riff intro of “Let there be Deat”h as well as the last section of “Metal Forces” out which I think it’s a pity. Personally speaking, I love the way these songs were originally written. Any reason for that you’d like to share with us?
N.R: Yeah, we always thought the intro the ‘LTBD’ just simply went on too long, so we cut it back to try and give it a little more direct impact. Having said that, we have been playing it pretty close to the original on the last tour…. As for ‘Metal Forces’ I really don’t know why we cut that ending, I think I’m gonna look at bringing it back to the original way now that you have mentioned it.
W: Besides the Force, I love so much the “In Search of the Sanity” album, I noticed, you guys have quit playing songs off this album right after the comeback, only Shellshock a couple of times. Nige, looking back then, despite the issues with the major label London which didn’t promote the band properly, weren’t you proud of this release?
N.R: ISOS never sounded like an Onslaught record to me and also a big majority of the fans feel that way too.. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of the album I wrote, but with Grimmett joining in place of Sy and with the over produced mix, the record lost all its energy and aggression.. We are actually going to re-record the whole album when we have some time off just to make it sound how it should have first time around. ISOS will sound like a true Onslaught album someday soon hahaha.. We have started working on the new versions’ right now and 1 or 2 of the songs will appear as bonus tracks on the upcoming album release..
Every band says their new record is the heaviest or the baddest or the fastest they have ever made and 9 times out of 10 its all bullshit”
W: Still talking about In Search of Sanity, the former and longtime member Steve Grice left the band and formed a band featuring several ex-Onslaught members of any time called The Sanity Days, where they play most of the tracks of this album. Honestly speaking, how did you react to his attempt to play these Onslaught tunes?
N.R: Honestly…!! As far as I’m concerned, it really fucking stinks..!!!!! These people never wrote 1 note of music or one single word of lyrics for the ‘ISOS’ album and all of them apart from Grice were short term members, so I don’t see what right they have to go out and cover my songs from this album, they have been together for around 2 years now and I believe they have only attempted to write one song of their own.. it says a lot about them I think..!!
W: One of the highlights of your career is certainly when you played Dynamo Open Air in Holland back in 1986 or 87. There was a sea of headbangers attending the show and besides your set was amazing. Do you think this time is unfortunately gone and there will be no longer huge crowds for metal music compared to that time in history?
N.R: Yeah, it was a highlight for sure, it was one of the very early real Metal festivals and I have so many great memories of that time. But no, not at all, Metal is back and getting stronger every year.. We in Onslaught are having an amazing time right now, in fact probably the best time of our whole career. We are playing so many shows every year, many more than ever before and in every corner of the world, the opportunities are endless… There are so many big and small festivals all across the world taking place, I think the Metal scene is very very healthy in 2013, long may it continue..
W: Let’s talk about the present and future of Onslaught. You’ve got officially a new drummer who is a former Extreme Noise Terror member. Onslaught has been influenced by hardcore and punk bands such as Discharge since the beginning. Do you think Michael Hourihan (being an ex-Extreme Noise Terror) could give you an approach back to the old times or even add new elements on your music?
N.R: Yeah, we’re both in to a lot of hardcore stuff as you say and the influences are always there to be heard on every album… Mic is a totally amazing drummer and such a fantastic guy his playing can be very technical and very aggressive at the same time which is perfect for us… He’s really kicked us on to the next level, especially in live performance, the energy has increased a thousand times over, so i really cant wait to hear his influence on the new record, its gonna add a whole new dynamic to the Onslaught sound..!
W: I’ve read one of your interview recently and you mentioned you would not tell the new material you were recording but that cheesy dialogue: „faster, heavier shit ever written“ and those bullshits. Anyway, could you describe us in advance anything special in particular of these new tunes you are proud of and is worth the mention?
N.R: Haha, yeah every band says their new record is the heaviest or the baddest or the fastest they have ever made and 9 times out of 10 its all bullshit, so I won’t bother saying it..!! The fans can decide..!!! What I can say is that the new album will sound really fresh but still with all the Onslaught trademarks in there… Like we spoke about in the last question, Mic will bring a whole new vibe to this record and he will give us many style variations to incorporate in the music.. We’re very proud of what we have written for this release so far, there’s a real mix of tempos going on and a very dark edge to all the material… The worldwide release date is scheduled for Friday 13th September..
You are truly amazing with your undying support for Onslaught, we will never forget”
W: The lead guitarrist Andy hasn‘t played the last EU tour due to private commitments and we noticed he was also absent from 70.000 Tons of Metal gigs. Is he still a permanent band member and will be back to the front from now on?
N.R: Unfortunately Andy has not been in a position to tour with us over the past 6 months which is a real shame, cause we love having him around, I’m really not sure when or if he will return to the stage, only he can decide that.. Of course myself and Andy have been working hard on the songwriting for the new album over the past 6 months, so he’still a very important and active member of the band right now and were both looking forward to hitting the studio in April/May… In the meantime, we have a fantastic replacement for the live shows in Leigh Chambers who has been doing a really great job to fill Andys shoes..!!
W: You guys are going on tour with the American Death Metal Institution Master in Europe in October. This tour package is called Slaughterfest. As you are putting a new album out, we must expect new tunes on this tour for sure. Does it necessarily mean the Force album set is gone? If not, as Onslaught has already played twice in South America and people hadn’t the chance to enjoy this special celebration set, is there any plan or talks to perform The Force album in its entirety down there too?
N.R: We have a cool package going out on the ‘Slaughterfest’ Europe in October, “ Onslaught / Exhumer / Mpire of Evil / Master” I know it’s gonna be a real blast with all those guys and I think the fans are in for a real treat… In terms of our set list, of course we’re gonna be playing some tracks off the new album, but as it is our 30th anniversary in 2013 we will be performing a special ’30 Years of Violence’ set which will include the best tracks from every album we have made… Then comes South America once again in November, these are the best tours ever without question and this time we are bringing Danish thrashers ‘Artillery’ with us… The whole SA tour experience is awesome, the amazing people/fans, amazing food, the scenery, the whole atmosphere is just perfect… We’re undecided what set list we will have in SA but I do know everyone will have a great time for sure, that is guaranteed.
Final Message to South American/Brazilian fans
N.R: Hi Everyone, we would like to send out a very special thank you to all our fans, friends, Metalheads in Brazil; South America, you are truly amazing with your undying support for Onslaught over so many years, it means so much to us and we will never forget.. We are planning 11 or 12 South America shows in November and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to the shows and join us in our 30th anniversary celebrations.. We look forward to seeing you all soon and drinking some beers after the shows…!!
Love / Respect / Metal \m/