Vio-lence add NYC shows to reunion tour; Bay Area thrash doc coming soon
Bay Area thrash vets Vio-lence released a true classic of the OG thrash era with their 1988 debut Eternal Nightmare. It helped ink the band a deal with Megaforce (home to other thrash classics like Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Anthrax's Among the Living), who issued their 1990 sophomore album Oppressing the Masses, but dropped the band after Oppressing the Masses failed to match the success of its predecessor. A short EP of Oppressing the Masses-era material followed in 1991, then guitarist Robb Flynn left Vio-lence to form Machine Head (which he remains the frontman and only original member of today), then came one last album Nothing to Gain (recorded in 1990 with Flynn but not released until 1993), which the band didn't tour in support of and broke up soon after.
After the break up, longtime members Phil Demmel (guitar) and Deen Dell (bass) formed the band Torque with later-period Vio-lence members Ray Vegas (who took over for Rob Flynn on guitar) and Mark Hernandez (who replaced longtime drummer Perry Strickland in 1993). Phil Demmel later formed Technocracy, reunited with Rob Flynn and played as a member of Machine Head for 15 years from 2003 until 2018, and filled in with Slayer for a European tour in 2018.
Vio-lence reunited briefly in the early 2000s with the lineup of vocalist Sean Killian plus Demmel, Dell, Strickland, and Vegas. Last year Vio-lence got back together again (with Robb Flynn involved too) for a one-off benefit show for Killian, who was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis (Killian was not well enough to perform at that show). The show also featured members of Testament, Exodus, Death Angel, and more. After Demmel parted ways with Machine Head, and Killian successfully underwent a liver transplant, Vio-lence announced a more proper reunion, beginning with a full performance of Eternal Nightmare in Oakland on April 13. (The lineup for the reunion is Killian, Demmel, Dell, Strickland, and Vegas. Demmel told Decibel that Flynn was not approached about the reunion.)
Vio-lence quickly sold out their Oakland show and added a second night, and they've since continued to add more 2019 reunion shows, now including two nights in Brooklyn: November 8 & 9 at Brooklyn Bazaar with Ache opening night one and Zombie Apocalypse opening night two. Tickets for the Brooklyn shows are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Here's more of what Demmel told Decibel about the reunion:
I really never thought that this would happen, you know? I’ve had some peers say “Hey, you should do some Vio-lence shows, we’ll get some other dudes to sing,” and first of all, I never thought anybody really cared outside the Bay Area outside the band anyways. It’s pretty awesome. The outpouring of support and everything, we’ll see. People, if they wanna see it, then we’ll see. We couldn’t do Vio-lence without Sean, there’s no Vio-lence without Sean Killian. He’s the one ingredient that needs to be there.
I am very, very happy that my friend is healthy, first and foremost, and getting to jam with him again, that’s just a plus. I am hoping that everybody will enjoy this gift of—he had a liver transplant, the dude was on death’s door and here he is, wanting to play. It’s not just, like, wanting to get up and sing “Green Manalishi” with your high school buddies. This fucking Vio-lence set, man, is not easy to fucking get through, especially to sing it.
I’m proud of him and I’m proud to be his friend and I’m proud to be in this band again.
In related news, Phil Demmel and Rob Flynn are both among the Bay Area thrash metal musicians interviewed for the upcoming documentary Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story, alongside all four current members of Metallica; all three surviving original Slayer members; Megadeth members Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson; Exodus members Gary Holt, Rick Hunolt, and Steve Souza; Testament members Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick; Death Angel's Mark Osegueda; Primus' Larry LaLonde; and more. The documentary was directed by Adam Dubin (who also did A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica and Beastie Boys' videos for "Fight For Your Right" and "No Sleep till Brooklyn") and it's based on photographers Brian Lew and Harald Oimoen’s 2012 book, Murder in the Front Row. It premieres on 4/20 at AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco, and the screening will be followed by a Metal Allegiance show at The Fillmore with Gary Holt and other special guests. Watch the trailer below.
Death Angel meanwhile have a tour coming up with NJ thrash legends Overkill (which includes a NYC show with Brooklyn alternative metal heroes Life of Agony). That tour was originally also with Act of Defiance, but they recently dropped off and were replaced by Mothership. A few of the dates changed around too, but are all updated HERE.
Also below, stream Vio-lence's Eternal Nightmare and watch a video from the 2018 Sean Killian benefit.
Vio-lence -- 2019 Tour Dates
APR 13 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro Operahouse
APR 14 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro Operahouse
MAY 31 Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater DTLA
JUN 01 Mesa, AZ Club Red
AUG 9-11 Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival Kortrijk, Belgium
NOV 08 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bazaar
NOV 09 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bazaar