Before the final date of their tour with Obituary, vocalist and guitar Lenny B. and later on bassist Bene M. of German modern thrash metallers Dust Bolt take a few minutes to talk to eGigs about their latest album 'Awake the Riot', long thrash metal songs and being the one of the very few thrashers on the Napalm Records roster.
How are you?
LB: I'm great. The tour has been really great a dream came true for us really, playing with Obituary. We've had lots of shows sold out and packed, great cities we haven't played yet. It's a great tour with a great crew. Everybody's nice.
How do the death metal fans of Obituary react to your thrash metal? Have they been very receptive?
LB: Yeah, totally. I think death metal fans are also thrash metal fans and many of them used to listen to thrash metal bands when they were young and people often come up to us and say: "You remind me of my days when I was younger," and that's really cool to hear. We also have some young thrash metal fans too that visited the Obituary shows.
I guess you get mosh pits easily because these fans are used to moshing.
LB: Yes, of course. We had the chance to get a lot of new fans to listen to us now.
How have fans and critics responded to your second album 'Awake the Riot'?
LB: It was great, it was overwhelming for us. After the release of that album, lots of things changed for us in a positive way because we were able to play headlining shows in Germany and other countries. We just played every weekend and the response from the fans and the media has been great. It has going upwards for us after the release and this tour is the highlight of the last year. 2014 has been a really great year for us and this one has started great.
How would you say this album is different to your debut album 'Violent Demolition'?
LB: I think it's more detailed. You can hear that we grew up. We're only two years older but I think you can hear that. On the first album, every song was naïve. We just made it, played it live, went into the studio and recorded it and on the second one, we went into the studio and took some time to write the songs to think about them, work better on them and longer. I'm really content with the second album.
It's interesting because you've got some seven minute long songs, which isn't common in thrash metal. Was this a conscious decision?
LB: I think so somehow because we're not that thrash metal band who only has three minute songs that are always fast and sing about beer and pizza or something like that. If we have something we want to say with a song, we don't care if it takes five or six minutes to tell it and to make the song the way we want it to be. That's just our way to make music. I don't know what's happening on the third album. Maybe we'll just make shorter songs but for that album, it's the way we want it.
How do these long songs translate live?
LB: It depends; if we play as a support, you only have 30 or 35 minutes and it's difficult to play those songs and we leave that out. If we play headlining shows then people really react good because the song has different parts and aspects it goes slow and then fast again; there's always something going on in the songs.
You did a video for 'Soul Erazor'. Why did you choose this song to make a video for?
LB: Oh, good question! I don't know; it was just something we felt like because it's very fast and without compromise, just like some straight Slayer tunes and stuff like that. We just wanted to show people who we are.
It's a fun song and the video is fun as well.
LB: Yeah, its' a four minute thrash metal song and for the first song to release of the album, I think it's good.
Do you have plans to do another video?
LB: We just released an 'Agent Thrash' video, which was DIY, we did it on our own. We just recorded everything and cut everything; it was just a fun video so nothing special. We'll see I'd like to do another video with big production.
Do you have any particular songs in mind?
LB: Yeah, I think 'Living a Lie' could be a good song for a video. We'll see; I don't know if we'll find time and the budget and stuff but I would love to do it.
Definitely, I think this kind of music lends itself well to music videos. You're signed to Napalm Records who don't really release thrash metal bands. Obviously, you're a very young band and your first album was released through them. How did this partnership come around?
LB: It was something our manager did. We played this Wacken Metal Battle in 2011 and after that, we went into the studio to record our first album, then we were looking for labels and he was looking for labels. It was very good that we could make this statement that we played in Wacken as a very young band. We recorded a completely new debut album, we just needed someone to release it and Napalm Records were interested in signing a new and young thrash metal band because they don't have that many. They just liked the idea. It's really good to work with them, really easy and it's really fun for us.
Do you ever get to tour with many other Napalm Records bands as they're aren't so many thrash metal bands on there?
LB: Um, not yet I think. We're going to tour with Legion of the Damned in May in Spain. They just signed with them but I think that's the only band. I think Evil Invaders are also a thrash metal band who has now signed with Napalm Records so maybe we're going to play with them in the future.
You're in this new generation of thrash metal and probably when you started in 2006, it was really kicking off with bands like Evile, Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste getting big. How would you say the modern thrash metal movement has lasted almost ten years now?
BM: It's hard to say because when we started in 2006, we were 13 years old and we didn't care about thrash metal that much. We just explored Metallica, Slayer, Exodus and all the classic stuff. We were never a band that said: "OK, let's do thrash metal," it just happened, I don't know why. We got faster each year and we realised we were a thrash metal band and listening to other young bands in that scene and realising that there are many young bands out there and it was fashionable again. We really love it, especially in Bavaria for example where we come from, we have so many friends who also play in thrash metal bands and we hang out together, we play shows together and it's really cool.
So you'd say generally, Germany has a really good modern thrash metal scene?
BM: Yeah, especially in the area we come from. There are so many bands from friends of us who do thrash metal and there are many thrash metal concerts and it's cool. We lived in Munich, which is a great town for music in general, for metal especially and also thrash metal so that's cool.
LB: We can't compare to the years before because we just know the present now.
What did you think you did to stand out amongst all these other young thrash metal bands and got you signed quickly?
LB: Our live shows are really special I think and we love to play live. It's the part about making music we're excited mostly about.
BM: We're not a typical thrash metal band. Our lyrics go deeper, our music goes deeper and I think that's something that makes us stand apart from the other bands.
Do you draw influence from the a lot of the newer bands?
LB: Yeah, I think so. Every music you listen to has some impact on you so definitely. Being on tour with Obituary, that's something you learn so much, watching those guys every night and how they feel music, how they play shows and all that stuff you can learn.
BM: I think in our music, there's not only thrash metal elements. There are also those epic traditional bands like Slayer and also modern day thrash metal but also Suicidal Tendencies and hardcore. You can hear that on the record.
What are your future plans after this tour?
BM: This is the last show for the tour and then we go back to Germany and back to reality where we have jobs and stuff. Then as a band, we have two month's break and don't play any shows. In 2014, we were playing a lot of live shows every weekend going through Germany mostly and Europe. This year, there will be not so many live shows and we'll go to the rehearsal room, we'll play some festivals, a small tour with Legion of the Damned as Lenny said and then we'll start thinking about the next record. We've got inspiration on the tour; we'll go to the rehearsal room and be creative.
Do you have any final words for the readers of eGigs.co.uk?
BM: Yeah, we would like to say thank you to everyone who shows up to our shows and listens to our music and joins our parties on stage. That's' what keeps us going.
What more could you ask for? Thanks for your time.
BM: Thank you.