Avenger of Blood are based in Las Vegas, Nevada and play an old style of thrash metal. They have been around for about four and a half years. They are signed to Heavy Artillery records and have been featured on the “Speed Kills…again” compilation. I recently interviewed their drummer Shannon to find out more about them and what they are working on.
MM-What should people know about your band?
Shannon-Well we are a German Thrash influenced band located in Las Vegas NV. The band is a 4 piece consisting of Eric on vocals and guitar, Shawn on bass and backing vocals, Marc on guitar, and myself Shannon on drums. We formed in early 2003 and continue on to this day.
MM-Who are your influences?
Shannon-Well the main influences are Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, and Slayer. It's not only music, its a certain feeling and aggression that also influences us.
MM-How is it that you are so influenced by bands whose real prime was twenty years ago?
Shannon-Well, Eric and I have been thrash fans for a long time. We were both there at that time 20 years ago and listening to those bands, going to the shows, buying the tapes/vinyl, and etc. When the whole industry changed, all the thrash bands broke up or changed sounds. It was hard to get a thrash band even started for a long time. When we formed the band, it was with the sole intention of playing thrash. It just so happened that people liked it. Those old thrash bands that inspired us had reformed or come back to playing thrash. With Sodom, they never stopped. All these bands had fire in them again and the feeling they gave off that we got 20 years ago was there. That really helped to push us.
MM-What’s the first thrash album that you really got into?
Shannon-"Reign In Blood" by Slayer. That album still rules!
MM-You originally started out in the San Francisco area, but then moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. Why the move?
Shannon-At the time, it was still not long after the big layoff period that was happening up in the Bay. It was still difficult to find a decent paying job at the time to even survive. It is very expensive to live there. Vegas didn't really have a metal scene here. There was one, but it was really small! Vegas needed more metal and we needed somewhere to establish ourselves further as a band. So we moved here to Las Vegas. We also have family here and that’s a cool thing about it as well.
MM-What’s the metal scene like in Las Vegas? Are there any other old-style thrash bands there?
Shannon-The metal scene in Vegas is small but it's growing. We have some death metal bands here like Guttural Secrete, Kinam, and State of War. There’s an awesome classic style metal band here named Pancho Villa. The other old school style thrash bands here are Ablivion, Postmortom, Shredmill, and a new band that is just starting up called Tyrant Attack. There is a band here that also does a lot of metal covers from the 80’s called Highwire. Vegas is mostly a mallcore and hip hop city.
MM-What bands have you opened for?
Shannon-This list is long! Rigor Mortis, Destruction, Tankard, Raven, Agent Steel, Helstar, Usurper, Cannibal Corpse, Sadus, Incantation, Hirax, Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Satyricon, Dekapitator, Exhumed, Heathen, Into Eternity, Dew-Scented, Novembers Doom, and more.
MM-What are the inspirations for the topics of your songs?
Shannon-Just real life I guess, anger as well are what inspires topics. A lot of it is stuff that has happened in the past personally to us or to others. Other subjects are like war and horror. We take scenarios and write a story out of things and its portrayed in different ways. It works well because the songs can be whatever the listener makes them out to be.
MM-Tell us about your album and why people should buy it?
Shannon-Its true to the art thrash metal! The cover for “Death Brigade” was painted by Petagno (Motorhead), and it looks phenomenal! The songs are excellent. It’s fast with great midsections and has a great vibe. Everything about this new album is as metal as it gets!
MM-I know you toured some in the summer. Do you have any upcoming tour plans? Any chance you will make it to the East Coast?
Shannon-No plans as of right now. But there will be a tour put together real soon. Definitely planning to go out to the East Coast! I’m looking forward to playing everywhere.
MM-Where do you hope to be in five years?
Shannon-Still playing in this band, just being more established.
MM-Any last words about your band, your music or anything else you want to promote?
Shannon-Thanks for the interview! Be sure to check out “Death Brigade” when it’s released. I’m sure you all will dig it! We’ll be out on the road to support it soon. Keep flying the flag of metal!
Thanks to Shannon for being interviewed. Their album is due December 23rd.http://www.myspace.com/avengerofblood