Destructor - Interview


During the early to mid 80's, the US metal scene was practically dominated by numerous heavy, speed, thrash and power metal bands, especially in the underground where it was growing in large numbers. Despite how many bands come and go, there is no denying that there will always be oldschool enthusiasts who will keep on digging and supporting so many underground gems to preserve their everlasting flame. There is one of those oldschool gems that had a successful comeback to the scene and still goes on to work on new material, perform live, dominate and cause maximum destruction. The band I am referring to is the Ohio based thrash/heavy/power metal band Destructor. Destructor had returned to the scene back in 1999, and has since released 4 full-length albums, including the recent one "Blood, Bone And Fire". Still to this day, they are still causing "maximum destruction" like they did in their prime youth and there is nothing stopping them, especially since their new album was met with a positive feedback from fans. For this occasion, I had the pleasure to exchange words with the band's founding member, vocalist and guitarist Dave Overkill. Please join us as we speak about Destructor's new album, their everlasting legacy, his new band Vulgar Devils and many other things along the way.

Vladimir

Greetings Dave! First of all, wishing you a warm welcome on behalf of MetalBite. How are you doing brother?

Hello Vladimir, I'm doing well thank you.

I have recently heard your new album "Blood, Bone And Fire" and I think that it is perhaps one of the heaviest albums that have come out this year and also a nice comeback six years after "Decibel Casualties". How was the overall work on this album? Were there any fun moments during the making of Blood, Bone and Fire?

We appreciate your kind words.We started writing for Blood, Bone And Fire pre-pandemic so I took a little longer than we planned but we are very happy with the end results. We worked hard on making this the best record we could possibly make but you never know how it will be received by the time it's finished. We found the recording process to be very easy. It was recorded at Mercinary recording studio just outside of Cleveland. Shaun Vanik, guitarist of MIDNIGHT, recorded some of the tracks. The Vanik brothers own the studio and the bulk of the recording production mixing and mastering was done by Noah Buchanan. Noah is the guitarist for the band Nunslaughter. Noah is a great producer and knows how to get the best out of each player. Overall it was more fun than work for us since our friends made the atmosphere so relaxed.

Like I said before, the album is quite heavy indeed and I believe that many fans will agree that this is definitely the classic Destructor that we all know and love. However it seems that for this album you guys decided to raise the bar even higher and go absolutely berserk with the music, especially on the opening title track which is not only a great introduction but probably one of the heaviest tracks on the album. What were the primary goals for this album? Was the band set to make the songs for this album sound like classic Destructor but still sound fresh with the element of surprise?

As always, we aren't trying to reinvent Destructor. The main goal is to make the best songs we can write so it's very comforting to know that the record is being received so well. As a songwriter I am always trying to be better. I don't want to just make another Destructor album, I want to make the best one yet. We are in the process of writing another one now so we can keep some momentum going.

I'd like to ask you a bit about the phenomenal cover art that you guys used for this album, which is very eye-catching and I believe successful in representing exactly what the album sounds and feels like. Who came up with the idea for the album cover and what was the inspiration behind it?

A guy named Diego Garza did the art for the cover. Matt Flammable came up with the 4 armed Destructor character and Diego ran with it combined with the theme of the title Blood, Bone And Fire. We are very happy with the cover as it's designed to be "eye catching".

Destructor is probably one of the very few old school metal bands from the 80's that are still rocking out in all their glory with metal and violence, while many other bands from the same period tend to show their age and don't quite manage to deliver like they used to. Tell me, how does Destructor compare to other oldschool heavy and thrash metal bands in this world? What is it that still fuels your creativity and overall productivity as musicians?

That's a hard question to answer but I think we have had a long and not very easy career and that has kept us hungry. Who knows how much longer this ride will last for us so it's important for this band to stay focused and on top of our game. There's more bands out there than ever so that in itself is fire enough to make sure we don't come across as an older band who can't hold their own in the world of heavy metal. Matt Flammable is 67 years young and his drumming has only gotten better over the years. Tim Hammer is an amazing bassist and Mark Hellhound is a perfect new fit for this band. We all understand what it means to be a member of Destructor and don't want to change what our fans have come to expect from us.

Back to my previous questions, what do you think that other older bands or perhaps new coming bands could learn from Destructor in order to take the proper approach in making their music sound as fresh and relevant? Is there any advice you'd give to help others understand their music better?

The only advice I can offer is to play hard, have fun and stay true to yourselves. I support the new bands and I am a fan of many of them. It's important to me to be a positive voice for heavy metal. Sounding familiar isn't a bad thing but I would say that it's also important to not be clones. That is also subjective as everyone has their own opinions about what they like in music.

Recently your debut album "Maximum Destruction" turned 38 and to this day it is still loved and embraced by many crazed fans of old school metal all over the world. How was the reception from the audience back in the day when the album was released?

When Maximum Destruction first came out we were very young so it's nice to know that it still seems to be timeless. Those were the first songs we ever wrote and we had know idea how well it would stand the test of time.

Also, how do you personally feel about the fact that there are people who think that it still sounds great as it did back then and that there are many metal fans of the new generation who are enjoying it?

That is a gift for us to know that. We are very thankful for all of the fans who are just now discovering that record and I still really enjoy playing those songs and seeing the reaction we get when we play them.

Since we touched on the subject of the old days, have there been any fun memories from that time which represent a really important part of your life and the band as well?

The thing is that those years in the 1980's seem like another lifetime ago. We were just kids having fun and trying to live our dreams.

Have any of them left a big mark on Destructor's history and do you miss anything from that era?

Everything about those years is special. We did have some very hard times after Dave Iannicca was murdered and we lost our record deal with Island Records. There were so many hopes and dreams that were crushed after that but the times we had prior to that were some of the best memories of my youth. Destructor played shows with some of the best bands and hung out and partied with some of the coolest people in my memory and still in my heart. Shows with Metal Church, Anthrax, Megadeth, Nasty Savage and Slayer.. .to only mention a few were great memories. I met Metallica a few times and got Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris to come to our hotel room and we drank beers and listened to bands like More, Saxon and Tygers Of Pan Tang. My world back then was heavy metal...now that I am old my world has changed a lot but that's life. I'm still just a child stuck in an adult's body haha. The one thing that has been constant in my life is music and that keeps us all young at heart.

As veterans of the genre, there has been a large number of underground bands that have been heavily influenced by the likes of bands such as yourselves. Do you manage to follow up with what is going on with the new generation of bands around the world and have there been any new bands that you guys really like?

The band Iron Curtain from Spain are big fans of Destructor and are doing very well. Great people but the music is great as well. Like I mentioned earlier I do support many new bands. If they make good music I seek them out but It's hard to keep up with all of the new bands. I'm a fan but I am a musician and have 2 bands of my own so I spend a lot of time, money and energy on what I am doing. I will mention a few newer bands that I enjoy a lot and have become friends with. High spirits, Savage Master, Lady Beast, Black Mask are some that I recommend and have just listened to recently but the list is far much longer than that.

When this year comes to an end, do you believe that your new album will be giving you guys even ample opportunities to perform live in 2024?

We are hopeful that Blood, Bone And Fire will help to raise us up in the fans minds and help to make new fans and more opportunities to play in countries where we haven't played yet and brings us back to places where we still have dedicated fans.

Are there any plans to play at any festivals or perhaps in any European country?

I'm always trying to get us on Festivals and we are always thankful for these shows that invite us to play. Hopefully 2024 is even better for Destructor than any year past. Onward and up....always.

Thank you so much for doing this interview, Dave! Looking forward to seeing Destructor perform live someday. Are there any final words you'd like to leave to your fans?

I want to thank every person, fan and friends that have shown us so much support and love over the past 40 years. I would also like to take this time for a shameless plug. There is a band I started a while back named VULGAR DEVILS and we have a new record coming out in 2024 on Witches Brew records in Germany. It's Destructor's bastard child and features Matt Flammable on drums and Mark Hellhound as well as Brook Damage who is a Destructor alumni. Brook was also a member of the Cleveland band BREAKER. The music is very hard rocking metal and is a feeling I wanted to capture from days of my youth and what I grew up listening to. Thanks to MetalBite for the time. Metal till death!

Entered: 12/17/2023 12:10:54 AM

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