Matt Phelps of Über Röck recently conducted an interview with guitarst Nige Rockett of British thrashers ONSLAUGHT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Über Röck: Your lyrics. Many a religious topic over the years. What drives you to write like that?
Nige: Um… My hatred for religion, I guess. I’m from a religious kind of family — not super religious, but they are religious. Some of them used to go to church a lot and would drag me along when I was a kid. Regardless of whether I wanted to go or not, I got taken there, and it just made me despise the whole thing. Listening to people talk about it… I don’t know it just really got to me. It’s stuck with me since I was about 5 years old all the way through my life and when you see all the things that are going on in the world today in the name of religion, it just does my head in.
Über Röck: Why do you think it is then that in England, or rather the youth of England, don’t really seem to be that extreme when it comes to embracing real heavy metal. Just lapping up the type of weak shit that Kerrang! push?
Nige: Yeah, I don’t really get all that kind of stuff, really. I don’t know why it’s changed here. I mean, you go to Europe, or anywhere else in the world probably, and it’s OK but it seems England’s just not buying it for some reason. We know we’re good for a few hundred people a night, so we just keep doing the best we can.
Über Röck: Still, I bet 26 years ago when you were recording “The Force”, you wouldn’t have imagined you’d still be performing it in 2012 and still playing in new territories. You finally made it to America?
Nige: No, I certainly wouldn’t have thought that, and enjoying it more than ever. Yeah, last April was the first American tour we’ve ever done. Kind of surprising after all these years, because we have sold a lot of records in America, but the right offers have never come along. We’ve been offered loads of tours, loads of supports but you’ve got to be careful with America because it costs us about 6 or 7 grand just to get there with work permits, visas and your travel. You’re 7 grand down before you even start, so you’ve gotta make sure your deals are good when you’re there and make sure you’re working with reliable people. We know a lot of bands that have been over there, even recently, and come back with debts of 40 or 50 grand. There’s no way we’re going to enter into anything like that, it’s just suicide. But the tour we did do was fantastic and the next one’s being booked right now, the package is put together already, so we’re looking at May next year for that.
Über Röck: Looking to the new album then. You said with “Sounds Of Violence” that you went all out to make the ultimate ONSLAUGHT album, both lyrically and musically. Do you think you’ll be able to top it?
Nige: We have. [laughs] I think so, well, nearly — we’re not completely finished yet. It’s musically written now, but me and Andy [Rosser-Davies] just sit there sometimes and think, where the fuck did that come from or how did we write that? I don’t know. The gap from this one to “Sounds Of Violence” is the gap from “Sounds Of Violence” to “Killing Peace”, I think. The new album’s more extreme, it’s more aggressive, it’s heavier than “Sounds Of Violence” was.
Read the entire interview from Über Röck.