Later on in this piece, Desecrator frontman Riley Strong uses the word ‘authentic’ is reference to one of his heavy metal heroes – you’ll have to read on to find out who – which is rather apposite as we here at Sentinel Daily consider the ‘crator to be the single most authentic expositor of Aussie thrash metal currently doing the rounds… but he wasn’t always a skulleted dervish of doom, oh no – so we decided to find out what formed the foundations of the metal master you see before you today by asking the man himself to explore his metal origins…
Welcome to Sentinel Daily and thanks for taking part in this round of Q & A’s! Without further ado, let’s get down to business… What are your earliest memories of heavy metal? “Grade 3! Ugly Kid Joe – which was heavy metal back then – and the Black Album both on dubbed cassette, man I wore those things down to dust riding my bike around with a portable tape playing sucking down D size batteries like they were a renewable resource!”
So, moving on from taping tapes, what was the first metal album you bought with your own cash? “It was a CD copy of the Black Album after the above mentioned one finally got chewed to death in my mum’s shitty red Mazda, I guess I was lucky she met me play it in the car at all and she did give me the pocket money for the CD so I can’t complain too much”.
Are there any bands you loved as a youngster that cause you to wince now and ask: ‘what was I thinking’? “Skid Row, I worshipped Slave to the Grind for years and now (Sebastian) Bach’s voice makes me ill, can’t explain it – it’s probably a great album but even thinking about the intro to the title track makes me want to throw my phone across the room”.
I wonder if that’s because Bach turned out to be a complete melt? We’ll discuss finding out about our heroes later… Now, who were the first band you saw live – please feel free to include no-name local bands if that was your first interaction with live metal. “The Gipsy Kings! I think grade 3 again. Bamboléo is a kick arse song man”.
My Dad loves that song! How hard was it growing up to get info on the bands you loved- was there much mainstream media coverage where you lived? “Band information came from everyone’s defaced high school folders, see a badly copied logo, check out the band”.
So true. We moved house last year and I found a load of school books in a ‘treasure box’. I have no talent as an artist but there were some pretty accurate band logs inked all over them! Probably by other people as it goes… As an adjunct to the previous questions, do you think the internet has taken away the mystique of being in a big band for young people today? Do we know too much about our heroes in 2021? “I think it has brought fan bases closer to artists which gives them a connection and ownership over the band in ways never seen before this kind of access, that can be a great thing because fans feel more connected with the music and take more pride in following groups but I think it definitely bursts the bubbles of the overblown magazine article biographies of our larger than life idols which is a little sad as now we know they’re just people like us too”.
Were you a big festival goer as a junior headbanger? “Nah I’ve always been a club show guy, better sound and intensity”.
Would you have hitched hundreds of miles to see your favourite bands if necessary? “I’ve driven and flown to see bands for sure. Music deserves effort and gives great reward”.
It really does. And perhaps even more as it seems it will be harder to actually get to see bands moving forward… What albums have stayed with you since your formative metal years? “Ugly Kid Joe’s America’s Least Wanted, Metallica – Ride The Lightning, Token Remedies by Damaged and The Wolves, Bite the Hand that Feeds… Seriously look up The Wolves”.
Will do. Finally, the all-important question: Did you have a metal crush? I had life size posters of Lee Aaron and Doro Pesch on my ceiling in 1986… as well as Geoffrey Boycott, obviously. “Doro is still my metal crush. What a brilliant, talented and authentic woman!”
Desecrator’s new album, Summoning, is out now. Read Scott Adams’ review of the album HERE