On Tuesday, 5th September, I sat down with the John, Scott and Mark from Metal Institution, Holocaust, to talk about the band and the music. Read the interview below:
- What inspired the name of the band, and what were your influences?
“When we formed in the late seventies, there was a real fear of there being a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union, a nuclear holocaust if you will. The name came from that, and from the sense of heaviness that heavy metal brought. The association with the holocaust from World War Two did not immediately click, and thankfully we’ve not gotten any trouble for the name. As for influences, it’s quite varied. Black Sabbath, early Judas Priest, UFO, thrash bands like Metallica, Voivod, Opeth and even Lady Gaga.
- What was the process behind recording Predator?
“The process behind record Predator really began during the sessions for the album before that. Primal. The Primal Era was a really difficult time, and I became quite disillusioned with heavy metal, and with music in general. We took a break for a bit of time, and then suddenly I started writing, and recording certain things. Scott, our drummer has a recording studio in his house, so we got together and we started recording, just the three of us. Recording songs that couldn’t necessarily be played live because of how complex they were and how layered they were. It was really therapeutic, and the guys did ask if I’d ever reform Holocaust, and every time I’d say no. Then one day I heard Judas by Lady Gaga, and I really liked it, so I started listening to some of her other songs, and that brought back my enthusiasm for everything music, and heavy incidentally. The desire to play live came back, and so we sat down and started recording, as Holocaust, songs that would sound amazing live. In fact, I think there are only three songs that haven’t been played live from the record. Expander and Shine Out were the first songs that were written for the record, and from there it really sort of progressed.”
- Has there been a gradual change in how you approach the band and the music in general?
“I’d say there has been a change, yes. When we first started out, we were just kids, who loved making a racket, and there was some musicality there, and things took off and it was sort of mind boggling. During the second era of the band, in the nineties, things were a bit bleaker, we focused more on the recording side of things, as there really wasn’t any desire for heavy metal in the UK. Unless you were a thrash band, and because this was before the internet we didn’t know about the demand in Europe. We did play Wacken during its fourth year as a festival though, which was amazing. Primal was released during that second era, and that was around the same time Metallica had just released their Garage Days album, we went over to the States to try and break out there, and it didn’t happen. Now with this third era, there’s more a balance, we’re all very excited and enthusiastic, the internet has really helped with ensuring that we’re more connected with our fans than ever before.”
- What plans have you got for the future?
“We’re just putting the finishing touches to our new album. It’s going to be called ‘Elder Gods’ it’s a concept album unlike Predator, and there are quite a few songs on the record, which I think are unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. We’re also headlining the Grimm Up North festival in Manchester in a few weeks, then we’re playing Hard Rock Hell’s Christmas do. We’d love to gig more, and we’ll definitely be looking at doing more shows once the album’s done. It’s a case of finding the time to take off of work, as we’re all in full time employment.”