Guitarist Phil Demmel of reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE spoke to Rock Immortal Productions' "Rock Talk" live interview series about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's new EP, tentatively due in 2021 via Metal Blade Records.
"We just recorded a cover song, and we did a video for it," Phil revealed (see video below). "So we're gonna have the cover song be like a B-side to five songs. So you get five new songs [plus] the cover tune. The video for the cover song will come out pretty soon. It's fun. It came out great. It was just kind of one of those things where it's, like, 'What can we do to kind of fill this gap and release some content?' And I thought it would be a good idea to do this song that we've loved."
According to Demmel, VIO-LENCE will probably enter the studio "within the next couple of months" to record the new EP. "We're finishing up the third song [right now]," he said.
"I'm really excited about the new music. We're pushing each other. I'm writing riffs that I really can't play. I've always been that way, though — I've always written riffs that are kind of above my playing level, like, 'This is what I'm hearing.' But with this, we've been practicing a lot — we've been practicing a whole lot.
"I'm ready to make a statement with these five songs," he added.
This past January, VIO-LENCE parted ways with guitarist Ray Vegas and replaced him with Bobby Gustafson (ex-OVERKILL). The band's current lineup also includes vocalist Sean Killian, drummer Perry Strickland and bassist Christian Olde-Wolbers (ex-FEAR FACTORY).
"We've got quite the lineup," Phil said. "It's pretty exciting. A cool bunch of dudes. Bobby Gustafson, who was in OVERKILL, thrash metal legend, he's playing guitar. He probably won't play rhythms on this; he'll probably play some solos. But he's our live guitar player. Christian Olde Wolbers is in the band now playing bass. He'll play on the record. He recorded us and he mixed this past [cover song] recording."
Demmel said that Killian has contributed "some killer vocals" to the new VIO-LENCE songs. "Man, this current tune that we did, he's got this quality to his vocals now," he said. "I'm super stoked about it. It's just as pissed, but it's like a new, deeper and crazier… I think he's a little bit crazier. Sean's got a new lease on life.
VIO-LENCE released three studio albums between 1988 and 1993. The group reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.
VIO-LENCE performed its first comeback concert in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California and spent the last year playing select shows in the U.S. and Europe.
Although MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE's classic incarnation and played on the band's debut album, "Eternal Nightmare", he wasn't approached about taking part in any of the comeback shows.
Killian underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was caused in part by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.