|Maximum Metal and Jackie Slaughter Get "Heavier Than Metal"!! An interview with Skull Fist guitarist/vocalist Jackie Slaughter by EC|
EC - So Jackie, your band Skull Fist is fresh out of the gate this year with debut recording "Heavier Than Metal". Now before this release and before Skull Fist you were involved in some other projects. What band were you in prior to and was that in the same style?
Well brother, back home me and Shred had this band called 30 years Too Late. We started it around age 16-17. It was a heavy metal band and we actually used lots of stuff from that old band for some Skull Fist stuff. The tune "Sign of The Warrior" was taken from an old tune called "Do The Disco" (haha). Yes we didn't care much for naming songs...the thing about that old band though was that well... we kinda sucked. couldn't play very well. I had no idea how to sing! But we tried, we definetly terrorized our homeland with that band. I heard lots of guys spray painted our old logo on stuff all over the town. Never found out who it was though.
EC - How did Skull Fist start?
Me and sir Shred decided to leave the Northern lands and migrate to Toronto, Ontario. We brought nothing other than our guitars and some toy dolls of the Beatles which I ended up losing at some point. I used to use them as G.I. Joes...they weren't as flexible though. So we moved to Toronto. Lived in the scuzziest roach ratt infested place ever--one room apartment with 5 guys, my share of rent was like a hundred bucks or something. We knew we needed to start a new band and end the 30 Years Too Late saga (genesis). We were drunk, watching the movie "Black Roses". I seen the album cover and it has a picture of a skull on it. I was drunk and said man if that were my album cover I would have nothing but a clenched skull fist on it!! Skull fist meaning skeleton fist but my vocabulary isn't very extensive and of course gets cut in half when I'm drunk. I thought it was the coolest cover in the world in my head and I grabbed a marker and wrote it onto a yellow blank shirt I had. Almost exactly how the logo is now hahahah. And thus the band was born. It took a few days to get Shred to agree and thus beginning the saga (genesis).
EC - So far how has the response been from the labels and metal community? Are you getting some great feedback thus far?
The response from the world's heavy metal brothers has been ultra rad! We've definetly been scanning the world for a while searching for the truest of the true to see what they think of the fist E.P. and so far we've only been told we suck just a few times. The response is totally awesome though. We have gotten a few offers from some great labels but we are holding out until the end of the year to make any moves.
EC - You and I have talked numerous times regarding the amount of time you spend online doing promotion and research to get Skull Fist the most exposure as possible. I know that some bands feel that label support is tremendous. Do you think that you could make Skull Fist work on a long term basis without a label? Basically just running everything on your own and self-releasing material or is a label mandatory for success?
|Every band I've ever listened to I think, has an effect on our sound.|
We work like donkeys man. Donkeys are the hardest workin' animals I think...not that I know for a fact. But I go on all nighter marathons drinking Red Bull just to stay awake sending emails for Skull Fist and such. I hook Alison up with gigantor lists of magazines in which she calls me a son of a bitch and a week later sends me back the list with email addresses and such. I know for sure that we could make Skull Fist a self sustaining heavy metal machine. But the thing is...the work cut out for us right now is almost unbareable, answering emails and Myspace stuff and shit. But we have to do it of course no matter what. But I think the work is only gonna pile up more and more and there is only so much we can do. But then again, we are damned damned picky. Extremely picky. If we signed to label we would have to know whoever we were working with truly believes in the Fist you know? Not some geek spending twenty minutes a day on behalf of the fist. We want a full timer. Someone with a kricket bat and a comb over. Someone willing to book us at Army reserves and when angry could use a good sturdy piece of wood, you know?
EC - Jackie, there are some other popular bands that are starting to round out this traditional metal comeback. We've seen groups like Enforcer, Cauldron, Steelwing and White Wizzard hitting the streets with this retro new wave feel. What has inspired these bands to play traditional old school metal? I've heard it referred to as New Wave Of Classic Heavy Metal...what do you call it and does it need a name?
Those guys all rip major rippage. I'm assuming they're doing it for the same reason we are. The simple fact that most music blows. Music musicians suck ass. Most songs suck nowadays and heavy metal music is totally kick ass! You love it. You learn it. Then you do it in your own way! Passion rules the game dude! I don't know. I think its all Heavy Metal to me; doesnt matter. Death metal. Thrash metal. Black metal...except those wrong doer other sub genre majiggies.
EC - In regards to that sound, what do you say to the detractors who feel that bands like Skull Fist and White Wizzard are just ripping off the 80s bands and recycling or rehashing the sound? How do you measure an "ode to metal" as compared to something that is meant to be original and innovative? In other words would your band be considered fresh and innovative or simply a fun tribute to the 80s with the same spirit and passion injected by masters like Priest, Maiden and Saxon?
We are not a rip off band. You can hear elements of old bands of course because thats what we usually listen to aside from the occasional Smurfs or Village People album. We play music. We love heavy metal of course but we just write music and it comes out the way it does. We don't rip anyone off. We have our own sound. Yes, that sound belongs to the 80's but I dont think we're doing the same old melody. No fuckin' way! So to those hosers that would like to throw us in a boat back to the 80's I'll drown the sons of bitches! hahahah I'm sure White Wizzard feels the same. There are bands out there that may take a little too much from a certain band or image; that is for sure true. I never think of anything like an "ode to metal" though. I think it might be a fine line for some who write and play though? These guys should definitely remember. dont just rip off the 80's man. You gotta stay creative at all times you know. You can use elements of the old for your sound but you always gotta keep moving forward. I dont wish to be back in the 80's. I think were doing damn fine here 30 years A.D. and every other fist pounder should feel the same way!
EC - Along those same lines, do you see this genre comparable to what is happening in the thrash scene? Lately hundreds of bands have come out with a retro thrash sound...bands like Municipal Waste, Bonded By Blood, Evile, Blood Tsunami just to name a few. Those bands have gone as far as creating the spirit of 80s thrash through music, appearance and album covers. Do you think that scene has been done to death or can it still offer something new and fresh?
I think music is always fresh. There are definetly levels of freshness though. Old salad vs new salad. I can say there are definitely a hell of a lot of thrash and death metal bands out there that's for sure. Overdoing it though? Haha I've never heard anyone complaining! Unless they were going through a list of all the bands that start with A like I did. That shit took months! New bands come and go. It's a recycling process I guess? I'm not complaining. I don't know anyone else that is.
EC - I've seen some tour dates noted on the site, with you guys participating in the "Chariots Rippin' Through The Great Lakes" tour. Who's on board with that trek?
Well the thing is about that is our first tour is actually called the "Ride the East" tour. I'm not sure where the Chariots Great Lakes thing came to be aside from being somewhere on our nerdspace. We've got next the "Wild Wild West" tour. We take pride in the tour names...after that we are trying to get a USA tour for october and as well as the Europe tour. Haven't given them names yet though. Black Moor is on the East Coast tour with us. Those brothers are from Halifax and they rip hard enough to join us on the road. As for West Coast we are doing the tour by ourselves. The U.S.A. we may look for someone to join us on the tour. May not. Same with Europe but we'll see how it all goes down
EC - With only five songs on the EP are you going to break out any new material for the road show?
We do have a new tune for the road yep. It's one we wrote for the ladies. Its called "Get Fisted"...haha. We have a pile of shit in the heavy metal vault though.
EC - What is next for the band? A new record, a trip overseas to see the European crowd?
This year is just for promoting and touring. That is all. We will go to Europe and play the Metal Assault Festival and some other dates in December. Next year we will do the album and by then I hope to sign to a label maybe?
EC - I've seen some You Tube footage of the band playing at live...the Sound Factory or something like that...any chance of releasing that live video? Do you have a recording of the whole show? If so, send me a copy Jackie!
Haha! Yeah that was us opening for Summer Slaughter in Toronto. It was our first "Big" gig and I thought for sure some of those death metal brothers wouldn't be very "brotherly" at all. But it was sick and worked out well. The thing with that show is that two of the guys on stage didn't last very long in the fist. Couldn't handle the amount of jamming I guess so we can't really use any of the footage from that show.
EC - With your young age, what is the earliest "metal moment" you can remember? For example listening to a record or seeing a show or video?
Playing "Tony Hawk Pro Skate" when I was a kid. Was bored earlier looking through my Dad's CDs and found one with a sweet crazy looking evil dude coming out of a tree. Brought it upstairs and started playing my video game with that in the background. I was about 13 at the time. By the time track three came on two minutes in it was a guitar lead. I was so goddamned dumbfounded at how amazing it sounded. Right there. No bullshit. I said to myself I have to get a guitar, learn it and start a band. So I did. That simple. I picked up one of my Dad's guitars. He looked at me and said, "Ahh shit you little bastard. You play left handed!". So he restrung it for me and taught me "Smoke On The Water" and I took it from there. After I was good enough (so I thought) I started "30 Years Too Late" and so forth the saga (genesis) began. I'm sure you can figure out what album I heard in my bedroom and what song it was.
EC- Obviously I can hear Maiden and Priest and the like in the Skull Fist sound, what bands were a big inspiration?
All of them. Every band I've ever listened to I think, has an effect on our sound. Even the old punk bands I used to like as a kid.
EC - What was your favorite albums from 2009? Any favorites thus far for 2010?
Cauldron "Chained Up In Chains" album. The Michael Kiske song off the Avantasia album "Scarecrow" was sweet. Stormhunters new album! "Revenge" from Greece. Enforcer's "Diamonds" album and lately I've been cranking Obsession's "Methods Of Madness"...Loudness' "The Birthday Eve"...Lee Aaron "Body Rock"...Jason Becker's "Perspective" which I've had for a long time but been listening to again lately. The newest Hammerfall album was pretty badass. That is all I can think of right now. Oh! And the second Dokken album, the one that has "Live To Rock, Rock To Live". That one.
EC - Alright Jackie, thanks for your time. Tell the world where they can get "Heavier Than Metal" and which sites to frequent for more info.
You can buy it off us online at www.skullfist.bigcartel.com or for more region-oriented orders just check out our nerdspace and you'll find a list of all the places in which countries you can get fisted!!! Or you can download it in mp3 form or something if you are into that! Fuckin' ehh brother! Thanks a lot man! Party on Wayne!