Guitarist Phil Demmel of reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE spoke to EXODUS frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza's YouTube channel, Zetro's Toxic Vault, about the progress of the songwriting sessions for VIO-LENCE's new EP, tentatively due in 2021 via Metal Blade Records. He said (see video below): "We've got two songs done. We've got ideas for two more. I come up with the riffs. But Perry's [Strickland, drummer] there while we're structuring. He took some time off from playing, and he's now getting to a point to where, especially last week at practice, to where now he's going off of muscle memory again and he's not having to think about [all the parts anymore]. He's better when he doesn't have to think about stuff."
Asked if there is a "timeline" for the completion of the new VIO-LENCE EP, Demmel said: "Not really. We've been talking with the people at Metal Blade. When [the songs are] ready, they're ready. This [coronavirus pandemic] has given us more time. But still, it's gotta be fucking killer. I had a riff that the [other] dudes were kind of digging, and I'm all, 'I don't got a boner with this one.' I want a 10-foot boner with everything that we're doing now. It's gotta be better, it's gotta be fucking kick-ass, and there's parts of it that wasn't… I don't wanna put out some crap."
According to Phil, the new VIO-LENCE songs are "hard to play. I set the bar kind of high in the riffs and wanting them to be difficult," he said. "And working with Perry, I bet he goes home cursing me at night, just because they're fucking hard songs, the structures. There's hard parts and a lot to 'em, but they're gonna be fucking kick-ass."
This past January, VIO-LENCE parted ways with guitarist Ray Vegas and replaced him with former OVERKILL axeman Bobby Gustafson.
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.
The band's current touring lineup consists of Demmel, Gustafson, Strickland, singer Sean Killian and bassist Deen Dell.
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.
Photo credit: James Willard