Guitarist Phil Demmel of reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE spoke to Metal Master Kingdom about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's new EP, tentatively due in 2021 via Metal Blade Records.
"We've got three originals done," he said (see video below). "We had a cover song that we were working on to play at a local live show, and that got canceled. I wanted to have some content, [so I said], 'Let's just go in and record this song. Let's do a video — just have something to kind of fill this void.' 'Cause we don't write all that fast. This is an important release for us. It's been 30 years since we've put something out. We wanna make a statement, so we want it to be good. In the interim, I spoke with [our record label] Metal Blade, and everybody was on board to do this fun little video. And that should be coming out here pretty soon."
Asked how many songs will be on the EP, Demmel said: "There'll be five originals, and then the cover tune is gonna be like an added B-side. I don't know what we're gonna do material-wise, or product-wise, but there'll be six songs with the cover."
As for which band VIO-LENCE chose to cover, Phil laughed and said: "I'm not gonna say that yet. It's been kind of under wraps, so I'm gonna kind of keep it that way for now. I'll say they're a local band, from the Bay Area here."
Asked if the idea is for VIO-LENCE to release the EP first and then follow it up with a full-length record, Demmel said: "That's what it's looking like. The idea was to get something together quick and capture this snapshot of where we are now. We got back together [and] we've done a year's worth of shows. We had some lineup changes due to the fact that we're stepping up and we're becoming a functioning band and taking up more time. With Ray [Vegas, guitar] and Deen [Dell, bass], they weren't able to participate in that capacity, so we've got Christian Olde Wolbers from FEAR FACTORY playing bass for us now, and Bobby Gustafson, the legendary guitar player from OVERKILL. It's an exciting time for us."
VIO-LENCE's current lineup also includes vocalist Sean Killian and drummer Perry Strickland.
Killian recently described VIO-LENCE's new material as "a cross between 'Eternal [Nightmare]' , 'Oppressing [The Masses]'  and also our '93 demo. It's fast, it's heavy. We've got a couple of good chunk riffs and stuff like that," he explained. "We wanna get stuff in that's gonna start a pit up too. But we think people are gonna go crazy when they hear it. We've got some heavy lyrics, some heavy subjects. I mean, we're not a political band by any means, so when I say 'heavy,' it's just heavy shit that comes out of my demented head."
VIO-LENCE released three studio albums between 1988 and 1993. The group reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.
VIO-LENCE performed its first comeback concert in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California and spent the last year playing select shows in the U.S. and Europe.
Although MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE's classic incarnation and played on the band's debut album, "Eternal Nightmare", he wasn't approached about taking part in any of the comeback shows.
Killian underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was caused in part by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.