Guitarist Nige Rockett of British thrashers ONSLAUGHT spoke to The Metal Crypt about the band's latest additions, drummer James Perry and guitarist Wayne Dorman. He said: "James has been waiting in the wings to join the band for many years now. He's a longtime friend and helped us out on a South American tour back in 2013. He really is an incredible drummer. Strangely enough, James had e-mailed me around a month before Mic Hourihan left, saying if we ever needed him, he is ready and waiting, so bang, James was straight in; no drama whatsoever. It was a real easy transition and he already knew 80 percent of the songs. Regarding Wayne, we headhunted him through videos, etc. on YouTube. I really liked his guitar style and he is also an amazing vocalist, which helps massively with backing vocals and with the songwriting."
According to Nige, it was "hugely important" for him and his bandmates to find the right guys to step into the group. "Lineup changes can be a huge pain in the ass, so if and when it happens, you have to make changes that are going to improve the band and take it to another level musically," he said.
"As I said previously, we all knew James and what a great drummer he is so that chemistry was already in place. I had a lot of conversations with Wayne before he joined the band to make sure we were all on the same wavelength. He's very hungry for success and his enthusiasm for moving ONSLAUGHT onwards and upwards was very infectious and it's already paying off greatly as his contributions so far have been very positive."
Asked what the new ONSLAUGHT members have brought to the band, Nige said: "Both guys have brought with them musicianship of the highest order and a very relaxed and chilled attitude into the ONSLAUGHT camp. It's a very happy and cool place to be right now and it feels like there are no limits to what we can achieve with this lineup.
"We have played three festivals/shows so far and the fans have been super amazing as always. The feedback from everyone about James [and] Wayne has been 150 percent positive, which says we totally made the right decisions.
"From a guitar point of view, Wayne is one of the tightest players I've had the pleasure to share a stage with over the years, and we all love his style of soloing — it's pure, full-on metal; no-nonsense, no prisoners taken."
Rockett also confirmed that ONSLAUGHT has begun work on the follow-up to 2013's "VI" album for a 2019 release. "Writing is well underway, and we've already played one of the new songs live a few times," he said. "It's titled 'A Perfect Day To Die' and the response has been mind-blowing. We couldn't have asked for more from the fans. It's always a worry when you air a new track for the first time, but everyone who has heard the song has already taken to it just like one of the older classics."
Nige said that he and his bandmates "always set the bar as high as possible with each and every record we make. I see no point or joy in making a new album that's not as good as your previous releases; that would just be conning ourselves and our fans," he explained. "So yeah, the bar is high and we're up for the challenge. I have a really good feeling about the new recordings."
Fan-filmed video footage of ONSLAUGHT performing "A Perfect Day To Die", on August 10 at the Bloodstock Open Air festival at Catton Park, Derbyshire, United Kingdom can be seen below.
ONSLAUGHT released a concert CD/DVD, "Live At The Slaughterhouse", in February 2016 via AFM. The 13-song set captured two performances in the U.K. (Bristol and London) featuring the lineup of Rockett, Sy Keeler (vocals), Jeff Williams (bass), Leigh Chambers (guitar) and Mic Hourihan (drums).
"VI" was released in September 2013 via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2011's "Sounds Of Violence" was mixed by Thomas "Plec" Johansson (TIAMAT, SCAR SYMMETRY) at Panic Room studios in Skara, Sweden.