BOLT THROWER Bassist: 'Touring The U.S. Doesn't Hold Great Memories For Us' recently conducted an interview with BOLT THROWER bassist Jo Bench. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow: How would you say [your new album "Those Once Loyal"] it differs from previous releases?

Jo Bench: "Obviously it's not an experimental album, we're not trying anything groundbreaking, it's another piece of BOLT THROWER. The main difference from the last album is that it's a different vocalist! Also we have new bits of equipment, so our individual sounds have improved and also the production. We just try to edge nearer to the perfect BOLT THROWER sound with each album. We make no apologies for still sounding like BOLT THROWER!" There have been numerous line-up changes; is it hard to keep going sometimes?

Jo Bench: "Very hard! The one thing you can't do is make five people all have the same feeling/decision/time/commitment at the same time. Situations change and when a band member makes the decision to leave it always affects us big time. We've never thought about packing it all in, we just change the strategy. Luckily it's always worked out for us and we've come out the other end stronger. There's always been the three of us — me, Gav and Baz — and I think that has kind of been the ‘glue' in the band. Hopefully the current line-up will be the last; it could also be the best, so we hope to go on as long as we can." Could you explain how it came to be that Karl Willets [vocals] left and then rejoined the band?

Jo Bench: "Karl originally left during a pretty disastrous tour of America in 1994. He'd had enough of touring and wasn't enjoying the band as much as he used to, so he wanted to go off and taste the ‘real world' — he went back to college, got married, had a few crap jobs, etc. He came in to do the vocals on 'Mercenary' but decided he still wasn't ready make a full commitment to the band. But when Dave [Ingram] left we all decided we'd like him to at least do the new album, so Baz phoned him and asked him. He said yes, and that he'd like to re-join as a full member again. His life was becoming dull — he'd got divorced, was sick of the rat-race and was missing the band, so the timing was perfect. It worked out great for all of us." Touring America seems to be the aim for most bands, but I've heard that you're weary of it, is that right?

Jo Bench: "Well we've tried it twice and both times were pretty crap. The organization was rubbish, so that resulted in shit turn-outs, playing in crap venues and losing a lot of money. There's no pleasure in doing that. Also our last outing there we lost two band members, so the U.S. doesn't exactly hold great memories for us. Nowadays we've been inundated with requests to come over, there's a lot of people who wanna see us, so we're prepared to bite the bullet and give it another go. Just hope it works out and we actually get to play to some people this time!"

Read the entire interview at


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