A public war of words has erupted between NAPALM DEATH and BOLT THROWER over what is being perceived as a mutual lack of respect and behind-the-scenes bickering that has apparently been going on for years.
Although personal issues between the two camps have been brewing for quite some time now, the tension between the pioneering extreme metal acts had up until recently kept private, with neither side going public with their differences. However, that all changed recently when NAPALM DEATH frontman and freelance music journalist Mark “Barney” Greenway wrote up a less-than-stellar review of BOLT THROWER's latest CD, Honour Valour Pride for Britain's Kerrang! magazine, upon the publication of which BOLT THROWER guitarist Gavin “Gaz” Ward responded bitterly as part of an on-the-record interview, thus escalating the feud into the public arena.
“As far as Barney is concerned, the kid's a c.nt,” Gaz told Digital Metal when reminded of Barney's Kerrang! review. “No sh.t. I wouldn't say that, and I don't mean to slag NAPALM, 'cause I think they're a chicken-sh.t band. Enemy of the Music Business? My god, they are the music business. [laughs] As a personal point, I wouldn't review another band. I see that as low — bands reviewing bands. Does it really get any worse? We just have no respect for NAPALM. They're a poser band. Quite honestly, it's BOLT THROWER and NAPALM are the only bands from the old U.K. scene. Strange, isn't it?
“As far as we're concerned [NAPALM DEATH are] gone. I think they pull a few people in England, but in Europe they're gone. I heard [NAPALM DEATH's] last small club tour was a flopper.”
Barney, for his part, wasted little time in responding to Gaz's disparaging remarks, issuing the following statement via the message board of NAPALM DEATH's official web site:
“I've been loathe to break my silence on this cause I've got more worthwhile things to worry about. But it's getting so ridiculous that I feel I should at least try and address the issue.
As anyone in the scene will testify, certain members within BOLT THROWER are among THE biggest sh.t-talkers against other bands etc. I've been hearing this for years through pretty reliable people, and it's really f.cking tedious.
“Gavin, in particular, is a really f.cking bitter and twisted individual — although I was good friends with him back in the day. Yes, there is some personal history between me and him, but that's the way it's going to stay: personal. Baz, the other guitarist, is actually a really nice bloke. [Bassist] Jo I always got along with. But now [vocalist Dave] Ingram is getting involved, through such scary terror tactics as informing me in so many words through a London radio station that NAPALM had better watch out because BOLT THROWER had sold out a venue in Germany that somehow made them top dogs in the NAPALM vs. BOLT THROWER war that's kicking off only in their own heads. Dave, if you ever get to read this, grow up you f.cking baby and come back to me when you've got a vocal identity of your own and a bit of presence in your voice (OWCH! couldn't resist that. Sorry people.)
“One of the biggest sticking points was a review I did of their latest album in Kerrang magazine. Now, yeah, maybe I did feel a bit uncomfortable about doing it at first. But I get asked opinions about lots of bands, am always honest and feel that if you can't speak openly about music, then something's wrong. I mean, look at all the sh.te NAPALM has had to weather down the years. Like, just deal with it. Whatever you feeelings about Kerrang, i try and give honest opinions for the benefit of the people who are going spend 10 quid plus on albums.
“Actually, if you read the review, I feel it's pretty balanced. BOLT THROWER are stuck for bloody riffs, but there's still a certain something about them that makes for a decent listen. Terrorizer, it seems, thought the same, and another reviewer on Kerrang might have kicked it to pieces. Swings and roundabouts and all that.
“There are PLENTY of people who'll testify to the arsehole nature of some BOLT THROWER members ([NAPALM DEATH bassist] Shane being one of them), but I don't want to go into it any more for now. Just to say that if they consider it the lowest of the low for another band person to judge their band, they should look in the mirror and cease with the volume of sh.t-talking that they've been indulging in for many years.”