Quite personally, I’ve never really met a more fiery metal personality when it comes to Glenn of Australian based death metal band, Destruktor. He, however, really knows how to speak his mind. The man doesn’t let shit get in his way when it comes to his band, and lets his philosophy about ‘true, extreme metal’ outweigh the temptation of corporate whoring that so many metal bands succumb to. He gave me some great insight to his inspirations and takes on metal while talking about Destruktor’s latest release, ‘Nailed.’
Hello. First off let me say that “Nailed” is killer. It’s a lot more brutal and in the death metal vein than your EP, “Nuclear Storm,” which was more black metal. Care to discuss the switch?
Glad you get into “Nailed”. We were certainly satisfied with the outcome. “Nailed” is certainly more Death Metal sounding than Nuclear Storm, but it is totally within the realm of DESTRUKTOR if you consider anything other than “Nuclear Storm”. Listen to “Embrace the Fire” or “Endless Reign of Terror” for instance. There is still a distinct black metal touch to “Nailed”. The split 10” and even our 7” from 10 years ago still has a strong Death Metal influence. “Nuclear Storm” has a black/thrash feel partly due to Jarros influence whilst in the band, but I have always preferred darker and/or heavier stuff, and Jahred is much the same, so it was a much more focused release. We work very well with each other, and with Brad joining on bass, we have a totally unified force to move on to the next album with. You will probably notice some black elements in the next album, but it will still be totally DESTRUKTOR. There has been no sudden switch with DESTRUKTOR, except maybe the change from higher pitched vocals from the mid-90’s to the lower stuff I have commonly done for many years now. We are not limited to one style, and are not out to fit into any particular genre/scene. All you can be sure of is non-experimental, relatively straight forward, punishing metal without modern influence.
Destruktor began in 1995. What inspired the band’s beginning?
I was in high school when I started APHASIA with Jarro. In the years leading up to the formation, I was in garage/high school bands with mates. I was more interested in playing original stuff instead of hard rock/alternative/metal covers, but there were no like-minded people in my hometown. Jarro contacted me at the radio station I was doing an extreme metal program on, APHASIA was formed, and for me, that was the end of covers and piss-weak bullshit. The discovery of the metal underground was a great thing for me, it changed my thinking. It was more of a self-reliant scene. It was a much more personal thing for me to do, and it suited me fine. I was not interested in playing other peoples music. I wanted to write my own extreme stuff. There was no scene from where I came from. For me, it was the perfect release for me as I did not fit in with the mainstream crowd. Black/death metal was my calling, and I heard it clearly.
For you, personally, what got you into metal music? When did you know that blackened death metal was what you wanted to perform?
Well this goes back to my very young days. My parents were both very much into music, and Dad played in a few cover bands while I was growing up. Bands like PINK FLOYD, QUEEN, SKYHOOKS, SUPERTRAMP, THE BEATLES, JETHRO TULL and ALICE COOPER were on steady rotation on their stereo. I recall many years ago, Mum had AC/DC -Rock’ n Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” on 7”, with Hells bells as the B-Side. Hells Bells was one of my personal favorites, but ultimately, I was into KISS more than anything else, this would be from about the age of 4. I will love ‘em till the day I die!! I recall WASP from when I was 7, but at that point, it was a bit too extreme for me. It would only take another 3 years before I got into POISON, GUNS N ROSES, SKID ROW and the like. The rebellious nature of this stuff appealed to me as an impressionable 10 year old, and it had some elements of the music I grew up with, and enjoyed. A year or so later I discovered Metallica with ONE and I had a copy on tape of Master of Puppets. I guess I was about 11, and from there until about 15/16 (early-mid 90’s), I discovered more and more metal, and my taste got gradually more extreme until I discovered MORBID ANGEL, EMPEROR, DARKTHRONE amongst others. That was it for me! I knew that this was my path. Extreme metal had all the attributes to appease my musical taste/expression and all that shit.
“Nailed” is very straightforward, old school death metal album. Care to name any influences or acts you appreciate that follow your direction?
Yeah, that is a reasonable description, though it still cannot be compared to any particular band. My influences are wide and varied, from Ace Frehley, to Kirk Hammet, to Trey Azagthoth, and their respective bands. When APHASIA started, the influence was more Black Metal, but I have always loved death metal also, so it was only a matter of time before we found our own way of unleashing the fury!!! I won’t name drop any further because it means very little as far as DESTRUKTOR is concerned. No particular band would be a fitting description comparatively.
Where do you guys come up with the lyrical concepts?
Different sources, but generally it’s the imagination, combined with thought. Part fantasy, part reality… “Meccademon” was basically put into my head when watching the news, and seeing the footage of Muslims trampling themselves to death at the holy Mecca! The idea for “Nailed” was realized partly through the movie The Passion of the Christ. But other stuff is based on my own personal distaste and contempt for religion. I practically write all the lyrics, and really, a majority of it is conceived in my own head, but occasionally, and outside source can have some bearing on the lyrical structure, concept etc .
Any tracks on “Nailed” you feel deserve special mention to the fans and readers?
Unusual question, but a good one! I have not thought about it, but I guess I don’t really have a favorite, and it seems as though different people have a different favorite as such. I think “Embrace the Fire” is the perfect mix of black and death metal, and “Forwards we March” I think came up very fucking well, and has something a little different to offer. Maybe as a third track of note, “Spawning the Immortal” is a perfect way to end the album. Mentioning songs is a dis-service to the un-mentioned tracks because I don’t believe any track to be a weak, or filler track. Maybe I am biased, but I am satisfied with every song.
Some people feel that Satanism, Death, and Armageddon themes are overused these days in death metal. What have you to say to that?
Fuck ‘em. It has been a theme in metal for a long time, and it will continue to be. Overused? Overused is fuckin’ PC, hippy, political fuckin’ shit. Gothic fucking sweetness, I mean what angle are these people coming from if that is what is felt by some people? Fuck em.’ I don’t even take notice of them. DESTRUKTOR is not aimed at fucking weak individuals with such stupid ideas!!! Metal is not about flowers and love and acceptance. Metal is a statement of rebellion. A statement of extremity! Lyrics that are rebellious and/or extreme are a fundamental! Fuck those that say otherwise.
Do you feel that death metal needs certain trends to be considered ‘death metal,’ or is there no real restriction to the genre? What sets apart Destruktor from other bands out there?
I don’t follow the scenes, and I don’t know what the trends are. I hear of terms such as “Goat metal” these days, and I know there are a lot more “commercial death metal” bands these days, with break downs, and shit vocals which I don’t consider death metal at all. I guess there is no restriction to what bands are doing, but for me it is not “death metal” if it is saturated with non-metal elements, niceness, progressive, jazz, folk, fusion etc. It is a hybrid form of metal.
What sets us apart? Well we aren’t re-inventing the wheel, but we have a history that pre-dates nearly all active bands from the Aussie scene. We have never changed our way to impress more people, and have not kissed arse to get anywhere, and no doubt, there are many arse kissers in the scene. We don’t proclaim ourselves as Death Metal, and it seems we will never be pigeon holed, as descriptions have been wide and varied. We do not sound like any particular band, except maybe on the 7”, which has its share of Blasphemy influence.
Speaking of other bands, I’m sure there’s a well deserved tour coming up (or just happened) in promotion of the new album. Who are the fellow honors who get to share the stage… or that you would like to share the stage?
The album was released in late 2009, and was followed up with just a few gigs. But just recently, we have been very busy. I wouldn’t say it is in promotion of the album, it is more a case of having a solid line-up and set-list, and offers for good gigs at the right time. We have not played in some cities for a few years, and now the time is right. We played our first gig in 6 months in Melbourne in Jan 2011 with Emodied and a couple others, really a warm up gig for us, but it was a decent night. Last month Feb 2011 we played in Sydney for the first time in 5 years, at the Armageddon fest, featuring 6 bands, including Nazxul and Astriaal. This was one of our biggest gigs ever, was 43 degrees C during the day, fucking ridiculous!! It was a great night regardless. Next week, Mar 2011, we are heading to New Zealand for the first time. We are playing two gigs on the north island with NZ legions Heresiarch and Exordium Mors. Next stop will be Adelaide (first time in 8 years!), for the “Black Conjuration” fest, featuring us Cauldron Black Ram, Ignivomous, Tsun Tzu, Grave Upheaval and Impetuous Ritual, it promises to be a night of fucking death and darkness!!!! That brings us to Brisbane in May. We were up there about 2 years ago, and had a great time. They are very well organized up there with Geeks running the “Monstrothic” nights regularly. After all this touring, we will stay in our home state, play some local gigs in Melbourne/Geelong/Bendigo, and work on the next album, which promises to be more raging than NAILED! We got to share the stage with DISMEMBER and KRISIUN, which was great. I would love to share the stage with KISS!!!! Being more realistic, I am not too fussed about playing with particular bands, but I guess to play with bands I have been in contact with overseas would be the best, such as Throneum from Poland, Demonic Rage from Chile, and all the other killer bands I have gotten to know over the years. I would rather play with these bands, not the more popular bands. I love the spirit and integrity of the true underground, and would rather play with the extreme death/black hordes that smash it out with fury like Kartharsis, Proclamation, Necros Christos. I don’t keep up with the current scene, so I also like playing with bands I don’t know, who are killer!!
Being around for so long touring shouldn’t be a strange thing. Any crazy stories from the road you’d like to share?
We are not an overly active band and we rarely tour, so I don’t have a lot of stories, and whatever ones I have will not translate so well in words, but of course there is always the after gig shit when every is pissed and getting obnoxious and rowdy. We have played at a gig where one of the other bands frontman pissed in a cup on stage and drank the whole fucking thing. Another gig involved a punter jumping on stage with his pants around his ankles doing push-ups on stage, and another gig, in our hometown, Geelong, which ended up with soft porn mags and blood all over the floor. A fucking ambulance arrived for one of the maniacs up front (wearing open shoes) was going off after cutting himself quite badly on a broken glass and not realizing the damage until after the gig. I guess there are lots of small stories, but that will do for the moment.
Metal has changed a lot since 1995 when you started. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen from then till now that has really stood out to you in this music style… good or bad?
The Internet is the biggest change. All these nobody/nothing bands popping up, spamming you with their shit all the fucking time. It really annoys me. Considering I actually hang out with people, I hear about good bands. I am not limited to being a computer metalhead. No spamming is going to make me listen to your shit! This has led to a serious increase of shit bands out there. Years ago, a lot of bands were good; these days, it’s the other way around, too much quantity, not enough quality. Don’t get me totally wrong though, there are advantages with the Internet, communication is much easier, quicker. It is great when dealing with trades, and labels and all that shit, but it is not the same as receiving a letter, emails are comparatively sterile. It’s a bit like vinyl versus CD, a great promotional tool, but an inferior product as a whole.
The worst things I have noticed in the more modern stuff is the clinical, triggered, click tracked, sterile, no feeling, shit production that so many of the piss-weak modern bands are using. Cleaner is not always better (in particular with extreme metal)! I can’t really say that there is much good that has changed. The internet contributed to postage rates going up, so it costs more to order shit from anywhere, the big shops mostly sell only the most commercial, watered down death/black metal. I think some things like gigs have been consistent and reasonably attended over the last few years, so at least the live scene is still going OK. Not like 20 years ago, but it has been OK. It’s a bit easier to find the shit you are looking for, but maybe that devalues the experience of hunting it down. Even zines are not like they used to be. Most of them are on the web, but not on paper. It has all gotten too easy for some people, the spirit is still amongst the true maniacs, but it has become easy for the “casual death metal fan” to do a radio show, a blog, or a webzine or band. They will come and go just like last seasons’ fashion.
Do you think the metal music world has become more diverse or obsolete?
Absolutely more diverse! There are obviously more metalheads around now than 15-20 years ago, but it has become more diverse, with people into prog, gent, scream-o, nu, gothic etc. Soft metal for all the wanna-be hard cunts. This sheep like mentality of a lot of people jump on the bandwagon of the latest greatest thing then switch to the next great thing. These bands come and go because they are playing for the wrong reasons to make decent music that will stand the test of time. Fashion does not stand up!!! Back 15-20 years ago, “Death Metal” was seriously hard shit, but now 12 year olds are walking around with Slipknot shirts, and referring to it as “Death metal”, this is a fucking joke, and a slight on the mighty underground Death metal scene!!!!!!
Any recent acts that have come out in the last two years you can say you can’t stop listening to?
No. As stated, I do not keep up with the scene. I am not a fanatic of any bands. A lot of the great bands only have two or three really good albums. I don’t really get obsessed with any bands. I gave my Demonic Rage MCD a fair pounding, and funnily enough, and strangely, I got into some Wolves in the Throne Room recently. I did not expect to like it, but I guess it gave me a feeling that I hadn’t had in quite some time. I’m not about to race out and buy all their stuff though. Generally I listen to classic shit from the 80’s, and extreme black and death metal.
The fans have been a big part of keeping Destruktor going. What’s so special about them?
I wouldn’t say they have kept us going as such, but when the band was down to 2 member, or even one, the underground mail, trading, zines, gave me some continuity with the band. Firstly it was my own will that kept the band alive, but without the underground, we may as well have been dead, and risen from the grave more than once. While I worked at DESTRUKTOR on my own, I still had interviews and shit coming through, and I had no plans on stopping the band, so the underground still kept me active with or without a release to promote.
Craziest thing a fan has done for the band, or given to them in the form of a gift?
No crazy gifts. We don’t tend to attract people like that. I can’t think of anything unique that has been given either way.
Advice to bands out there who want to make it?
Don’t play extreme underground metal. Pump lots of money into your band, give up your jobs, play gigs, wimp out, sign to one of the big labels that used to sign killer bands, but are now corporate whores that are not even a reflection of their former selves. Then pull down your pants, and do everything they say. From make-up before photos shoots, to getting your hair exactly right, to posing in the right fashion so as to appeal to the kiddies!!!!
Well Destruktor, that’s about all I got for you. Thanks again for the great information. I’m sure the fans and readers appreciate knowing a bit more about you guys.
Cheers for the support. Maniacs searching for merch can contact us directly, or contact Hells Headbangers. Support the underground!!!!
IN WAR, Glenn