Vocalist Sean Killian of reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE spoke to the "Heavy Metal Mayhem" radio show about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's new EP, tentatively due in 2021 via Metal Blade Records. Asked what the new material sounds like, Sean said (hear audio below): "If you listen to the '93 demo that I recorded with Phil [Demmel, VIO-LENCE guitarist] and the guys — those songs wound up on the TORQUE album [Demmel's post-VIO-LENCE project with guitarist Ray Vegas, bassist Deen Dell and drummer Mark Hernandez]. On that demo, I recorded 'Breed Like Rats', 'Again' and 'Shooter'. And if you listen to that demo, you can kind of get a sense where we're headed. We're definitely not 'Nothing To Gain' , because 'Nothing To Gain' was kind of forced. In other words, grunge was out at the time. A lot of the thrash bands, it was just, like, their labels are going, 'This grunge thing is happening. We need it to be heavy like grunge.' So that's where you get 'Nothing To Gain'. And I think if you talk to Zet [Steve 'Zetro' Souza] and the guys in EXODUS, they'll tell you the same thing about — I forget the name of the album that they put out around the same time. But there was a lot of pressure from the label to be something that we were not. When we did those three songs on that '93 demo, you can hear the you-can-piss-off attitude in those songs, like, 'I don't give a shit what anyone wants to hear. This is who we are and this is what's gonna come out.' So it's kind of bridge between 'Eternal [Nightmare]' , 'Oppressing [The Masses]'  and the '93 demo is what you're kind of gonna get today — a combination of those three."
Last week, Demmel told EXODUS frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza's YouTube channel, Zetro's Toxic Vault, that VIO-LENCE had "two songs done" for the upcoming EP and "ideas for two more." He went on to say that the band was taking its time coming up with the best material possible. "When [the songs are] ready, they're ready," he said. "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."
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, Killian, drummer Perry Strickland and bassist Christian Olde-Wolbers (FEAR FACTORY).
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.
Photo credit: James Willard