ANIHILATED is a classic British thrash metal band that has had its share of turmoil but now seem to be back for good. There’s always place for the good guys and Anihilated are certainly worth of any praise given. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
What kind of metal scene do we speak of back in 1981 when Anihilated formed? How did you fit into that scene?
-1981 was dominated in the uk by a lot of “hair/glam metal” there wasn’t much else but that, and the classics like Motorhead, Iron Maiden AC/DC etc. A lot of classic rock but no real thrash. We were firmly a punk band at that stage learning our craft and trying to morph our anger and fear into music that conveyed that sense of frustration.
When did Anihilated become a thrash metal band? What was it that steered you in that direction?
-We had been ebbing toward a heavier fast sound for some time and began the transformation in late 1983, Mark joined us on lead guitar and Si took over on vocals, it became grittier, riffier and darker. Fuelled by Marks riffing and Si’s love of really nasty metal like early Metallica, Venom, Slayer etc that was slowly dribbling into the country. Bod was fascinated by this new sound and was soon a convert to the cause. We wanted to play something more technical than the punk rock we were producing, something nastier, dirtier more dynamic and flexible
I remember you guys from the 80s. I thought you were one of the better bands from the British Iles. What was that went wrong and prevented you from hitting the big scenes?
-Thanks for that we appreciate that comment BUT we usually try to avoid this subject as we do not want to come across as whining and blaming everyone else but to put it simply, we felt exceptionally let down by those who promised us a lot but delivered very little. Possibly our own undisputed commitment to not becoming the co-operate metal whores that record companies wanted, we refused to be “styled” we refused to compromise on our lyrics and wouldn’t do the whole Satanic thing. Also the UK scene was swamped by the USA scene and UK bands were really pushed aside by that.
When you disband/take a break with what feelings do you do so? Where do you direct you anger and disappointment; at the band members, the fans or the general music climate?
-We needed a break we had spent many years together and the disappointment of our plans not being fulfilled was crushing. Mark wanted to try something else and Lee quit entirely. It was a sad time, but we all remained very good friends throughout the following years which helped us to overcome the disappointment. We remember all the fun we had more than the shit.
When you decide to start up again 20 odd years later do you have an agenda? What is it that brings back the flame to play in a band again?
-The fans relit the flame, we read so much online about ourselves and how people still loved the music, the time was right, Bod had finished his own band after returning from a US tour, Si had recovered from spinal surgery and other health issues, Mark was at a loose end and a possibility of recording a new EP was suggested. From there it snowballed, the first rehearsal ended with songs being completed. There was no agenda, it was definitely a case of seeing what happened. As soon as we did the live shows in 2010 we knew this was it and the universally positive reception to the “Scorched Earth Policy” album has justified everything.
Having been both on the inside as well as on the outside with what accumulated knowledge do you enter the music scene as Anihilated again?
-We learned never rely on anyone else; always do everything you can yourself. Don’t ever look at this as a “job”, you are just blessed that at this particular time, people want to hear what you are playing so be happy with that, everything else is a bonus. We realized that you can still make your point and still stand for your beliefs and that maybe that might mean you have to work harder or maybe you don’t get the “big break” but after all, life isn’t about money and fame it’s about what you bring in your heart and soul and what makes you happy. If you don’t enjoy it don’t do it, if it got to the point where this became a drag or we didn’t want to hang with our band mates then we would walk away. We also learned that you need to choose your allies carefully, don’t trust anyone completely, there are some unscrupulous and deceitful bastards out there who will try and take you for everything..businessmen…not my kind of people
When you have a back catalogue how irritating is it that there are people out there that makes money on your hard earned work without you getting your share of it?
-Anihilated became known throughout the world from the illegal bootlegging markets that went on 30 years ago, that’s how our music became global so it’s a kind of double edged sword for us. It is
irritating and frustrating to know about illegal downloads we know have been made on “Scorched Earth”. It is frustrating that we worked hard and someone else gets the profits but that unfortunately is business. We are resilient and you get over it and on with it. At least our music is still being spreading around the world and being heard.
Can we expect a real re-release of the old albums and not just on some hard to find Brazilian label? How would you like to see the old albums re-released correctly, or are you satisfied with the way things are now?
-We have no plans to re-release “Created in Hate” or “Ultimate Desecration”, the re-release on Marquee was strictly for the fans at a minimum cost/minimal run level. They are often on E-Bay and I suspect thousands of download sites so another re-release would be pointless. “Created in Hate” is not indicative of what we are now, whilst proud of the impact it made upon its release, it has not stood the test of time and releasing such a raw product in the slick polished and powerfully produced market of today would I believe be counterproductive. So all in all, despite the typical problems that occurs when releasing anything as it stands with our OFFICIAL releases we are pretty happy, I would say that the unofficial releases are a different matter entirely.
With a somewhat new album out how do you promote it? How do you feel that the channels of promotion has changed since the 80s? Is it easier to promote your band today?
-It is so much easier to get yourself out there and heard now, the internet, despite the whole illegal download stuff, has been a godsend. Unfortunately it does also mean that any performance can be recorded and put up for the world to see so it does keep you on your best game. Our label, Killer Metal has been excellent and promoted “Scorched Earth Policy” really well for a relatively small label.
What would you like to see in the future for Anihilated?
-We have almost completed writing for the next album, it has been a long process but we wanted to get it right. We hope to record in the early spring before playing a few select dates. We have had discussions with various European venues and promoters and will reveal dates as soon as we know them. We want as many people as possible to hear us, hear our message and maybe get a little proactive in changing the world for the better. Don’t be fooled, don’t be told what to do by cooperate whoremasters, don’t let the media decide what you believe and what you want!! We would just like to say. Thank you to all our loyal fans all over the world for sticking by us for all these years – we hope to see many of you in the coming years 🙂