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A Dirty Dozen with NIGE ROCKETT from ONSLAUGHT – June 2020

| 12 June 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “UK-based thrashers ONSLAUGHT have unleashed the first single and lyric video, “Religiousuicide,” from the upcoming Generation Antichrist album, due out August 7 via AFM Records. With the video featuring imagery as intense as the music and lyrics, “Religiousuicide” makes clear the band’s stance on organized religion and is certain to raise more than a few eyebrows. ONSLAUGHT was formed in Bristol, England, in 1983 by guitarist Nige Rockett and bassist Paul Hill. Influenced by second-generation hardcore punk bands, the group was also shaped by a desire to incorporate a more metallic sound, quickly developing ONSLAUGHT’s own defined and original style..” We get Nige to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well our latest release is track called “Religiousuicide” a video / single taken from our upcoming album Generation Antichrist scheduled for release on August 7th. It’s a totally no frills track, a full on Thrasher with a stripped back production to maximize the energy, so there ain’t a lot of room to hide shit. haha. What I will say is that this track is a real grower, after you give it a few listens and take in the lyrics then it becomes a whole different beast. Once you get to hear the entire album that’s when you will begin to find the hidden nuggets. We got some orchestration going on which is real subtle and dark and then there’s the Morse code section haha. It sounds awesome, I won’t tell ya what it says though! There’s a lot of layers on Generation Antichrist that create some great effects.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

We used to follow our favourite bands all over the UK watching their shows, we would sleep rough wherever we could and always managed to get ourselves onto their guest lists somehow. Every time we traveled we ended up getting ourselves in some kinda crazy shit, it was pretty insane at times. Eventually it got to the point where it was like, ‘if we love live shows and travelling this much why don’t we make our own band.’ So that’s exactly we did, in true punk attitude we couldn’t play but that wasn’t gonna stop us, we worried about that slight problem later on!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Discharge is my favourite band and the band we used to follow most of all, so they were really the ones who inspired me to become a musician. Their album Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing has been my go to record forever, it’s just so angry and intense.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Discharge – Motörhead – Black Sabbath – GBH – Sex Pistols, what great combination!

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I think it would have to have been Lemmy, I’d have loved to have got together with him and wrote a real full on Thrash Metal / Punk style track with him doing the vocals. Motörhead were a major influence for me because they were so raw, but it would have been very cool to push the limits much further.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Hmmmnn ok, Aggressive, Dark, Intense, Thrash Metal with a new level of brutality! Onslaught are a very riff based, guitar heavy band with lots of vocal hooks, big choruses and thought provoking lyrics. You’ll like it I’m sure, please go check it out! 🙂 Yeah, there’s one review that really sticks in my mind and gets me super pissed whenever I think about it. We wrote and recorded the In Search of Sanity album in 1987/88 ready for release in the same year, but due label interference (sacking our vocalist) the album vocals need re-recording (once we had found a new singer) and then we had a full album remix, so everything got rescheduled for a 1989 release. In the meantime Metallica brought out …And Justice For All late 1988 featuring “One.” When the reviews began for In Search of Sanity some asshole wrote that the Onslaught track “Welcome To Dying” was massively and clearly influenced by Metallica’s “One.” Arrggggghh we were fucking raging! The fucking song was written in 1987, 2 years before its actual release and certainly before “One.”

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Cool question! Well myself or Jeff would usually take care of the cooking duties and also the bar tendering I guess, It would get messy for sure though, as we definitely like to mix things up with lots of Tequila and Jägermeister. Wayne will have the acoustic guitar out within minutes I can guarantee that, playing a ton of cheesy songs!

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I don’t do all that stardom bullshit, if anyone famous is around and giving it ‘The Big I Am’ then they will get brought back down earth very quickly. It’s all very unnecessary, we’re all human beings, and just because you play an instrument for example it don’t make you a better person than a guy who fixes a car. I’ve met many uber-famous people over the years and 95% have been real cool and normal so to speak, but it’s the ones who ‘think’ that they are famous are the ones who have the issues. We were recording in New York one time and I was in the chill room checking some mixes and Keith Richards walked in and said “Hi, do you mind if I come in and listen?” Super polite and genuine, No superstar nonsense. We had a short chat, he listened to a track, and said “It’s very cool, thanks for letting me in.” Just how it should be.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is without doubt getting to travel the world, play shows and meet so many really amazing people. Unfortunately we don’t get to do too much sightseeing because the schedules are so busy, but we always get to hang out with the fans & local people and eat and drink where the real people go. However wealthy you are you cannot buy that experience, it’s a real privilege. If I didn’t become a musician I think I would have liked to be a Professional Footballer, whether I would have been good enough though is a different question.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Haha that’s an easy one! Hypothetically I’d love to be asked “What is it like to be in the most successful Thrash Metal band on the planet?” My answer would be “Fucking Cool.” The one question I get tired of / dislike answering is “What is your favourite country in the world to play shows?” I find it awkward and disrespectful of other countries and fans to ever give an answer, so I always have to try and dodge the bullet somehow. Haha.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yeah for sure. We made a real bad career decision and it’s haunted us forever since. Before we released the In Search of Sanity album we had a choice of signing to 3 different major record labels and of course we chose the wrong one, all very good to say in hindsight! We followed the bucks and the bullshit instead of thinking about the choice very carefully. We sold a lot of albums and hit the charts etc., but it was all a fast bang for the label, they weren’t thinking of our long term future or the bands credibility, Onslaught was just a trophy signing. It killed our career first time around, they were expecting us to be a UK Metallica with immediate effect, there was no long term planning beyond that record, it was simply a corporate pop mentality that didn’t work for them nor us. We split as a band because of all the politics and our potentially great career was ended as fast as it started.

12. If you could magically go back in :me and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to have been involved in the recording of Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols, I totally love the guitar tone and there are some very cool guitar parts and clever layering going on. It’s way ahead of its time, it was such a groundbreaking album and very much the backdrop to my early teenage years. The record certainly helped to shape me into the person I am today, it was the beginning of the punk movement here in the UK and that set me on an extremely alternative path through life.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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