Riding The Waves Of The Blood Tsunami 4/16/2007 by EC

As if thrash metal needed any other raw-edged exhibits put on display for hardened leathernecks worldwide, Norway's Blood Tsunami decide to do...well...just one more. The young group of axe machines join forces with legendary drummer Faust (Emperor, Zyklon) to release their debut record aptly titled "Thrash Metal". With a combination release through Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Art Productions this hot wind of Hell burns up the night with a tooling of two decades worth of whip-your-neck-scorching-Motorbreath thrash, all amped up, riffed up, and tighter than a nun's snatch.

Maximum Metal's EC had a chance to talk briefy with Pete Evil, lead guitarist and vocalist for Blood Tsunami.

EC - Pete, congratulations on the new record. "Thrash Metal" is exactly that, a fine dose of up your ass thrash. What type of response has the album gotten worldwide?

Pete - Thank you! Iím glad you like the stuff. Well, the general response has been extremely good. Magazines like Kerrang, Terrorizer and Metal Hammer gave us some great reviews and thatís really flattering, but what is more important is that the hordes of metalheads out there seems to like it too. Well, not everyone of course, but we have gotten a bunch of positive feedback so yeah, I am a happy guy.

When Blood Tsunami formed in 2004 was it the idea of becoming a full fledged band with studio albums or was it a fun project that was just mainly for local shows?

Pete - Blood Tsunami has never been a project. When I formed the band I was trying to get together a combo that could grow into a serious touring and recording band, but of course I had some difficulties finding the right members. And perhaps I pushed things forward a little too fast. The first show we ever played was in fact as support for Entombed, and then a few weeks later we also supported Deicide. I can see now that we wasnít at all ready for doing such shows at that time. We shouldíve gotten those opening slots now instead.

Tell us a little bit about the album Pete. In your words would you say this is a throwback to the great thrash records of the 80s? Also, what do you say to people who say this is simply nothing original or innovative?

Pete - I would say ĒHey, youíre right!Ē. Ha, ha! Well, it should be pretty clear that itís not our intention to be original or innovative. We just wanna play music that WE like. I really canít see the point in being so damn original. Hell, I donít even like bands that can be called original in 2007. I like bands that were original back in the 70ís and 80 and thatís good enough for me. Weíre not trying to re-invent the dynamite, we just want to make some serious explosions with whatís already here. I am into metal, especially thrash metal from the 80ís, but also NWOBHM and death metal and all of this will of course shimmer through in the music I make. I donít even wanna try to create something that I donít like just to be innovative. Many people think that the tittle is too bold and arrogant, some have even called it stupid, but I donít care about them. The album can be seemed as our ode to thrash metal. Weíre not saying that we are the kings of thrash or anything, but this is our way of paying tribute to the genre and we play it our way. Like it or not.

Which thrash bands influenced your playing on this record? What band was your premier driving force in deciding to even pickup a guitar at a young age?

Pete - My main influences are old stuff by bands like Slayer, Kreator, Testament and Metallica. When it comes to the vocals itís another story. I have some sort of black metal vibe on my voice and Bosse has this death growling going on so, thatís probably why we donít necessary sound like your average thrash band. But I like that. We got our own style. Weíre not trying to copy or sound like anyone, but the influences are very easy to point out. My driving force to pick up a guitar in the first place was without a doubt Ace Frehley! I got into Kiss when I was 6 years old and then I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the future.

I'll have to say that the artwork for the record is really incredible. Did you have any part in the design of the album's cover or was this Candlelight's idea?

Pete - The cover was my idea. Love it or hate it! I wanted to bring back the glorious era of the handpainted album covers from the 80ís. I grew up with the classic Kreator covers of ĒPleasure To KillĒ and ĒEndless PainĒ. That was the vibe we wanted, the Pleasure To KillĒ feeling, and I think we managed that pretty good. I told the other guys about my idea, with this warrior standing on a pile of corpses in front of a blood red sky, and they also liked it. I got in touch with Alex Horley, a great italian artist, and he took the job. I really like the cover, but we have gotten a bunch of comments about how we have ripped off Manowar, and I can of course see the similarities to the Manowar dude. Iím not stupid, but whattahell? Manowar has just ripped off Conan and the whole Frazetta style too, so why canít Blood Tsunami and Alex Horley do it?

Many people are talking about drummer Faust joining Blood Tsunami. How did he get involved with this band and also were you friends with him prior to?

Pete - I have of course always known about Faust because of his past, but I didnít get to know him personally before 2004. Then I had started to play bass in a band called Bomberos together with Maniac (ex- Mayhem). That was a real filthy punk band and it didnít last very long, but, well, anyway, the drummer of Bomberos dropped out and Faust stepped in, and that was it. I asked him to join Blood Tsunami and he said yes! We both decided to ditch Bomberos the next day. Ha, ha.

Who produced "Thrash Metal" and did you achieve the type of sound out of the record that you desired?

Pete - We produced it ourselves. We couldnít afford any producer, but yeah, I am satisfied with the sound. It sounds good, at least in my opinion. I wish it had some more guitars and a little bit rougher sound all together, but what can you do? Live and learn I guess..

Any chance of a vinyl release for "Thrash Metal"?

Pete - Know what? I really donít know, but I sure do hope so. Fingers crossed.

At one point Riff Randall was in the band as the bassist. Why did he quit?

Pete - Riff decided to drop out. He played on the first demo back in 2004, but he was more into punk rock and, you know, he had a hard time following the riffs. Funny since he had that nickname haha. Prior to Blood Tsunami he had only played in Ramones kind of punk rock bands so it isnít strange that he found it a little difficult. Riff is a great guy, but I think he has skipped bass playing for good now. Heís trying to make a living as a photographer these days. His real name is Frode, and itís actually him who has taken the band photo on the Thrash Metal album.

Randall was of course replaced by Bosse, but at some point Bosse was let out of the group as well. How hard was that decision to make?

Pete - Yes, that was terrible. Last year, early in the summer, Bosse had become very busy with his other band, Brut Boogaloo. They had just released a new album and they played a lot of shows. He never had the time to rehearse and we more or less felt like a trio at that point. Finally the decision was made, and we had to let him go. Stu Manx from Gluecifer stepped in as the new bassplayer, but that was just a total fucking waste of time. We spent the whole damn summer trying to rehearse with him, but he also turned us down all the time. It was extremely frustrating, then in the beginning of August, we had booked studio time in September and Stu had only managed to learn three songs in three months or so. It was hopeless! Well, we told him the news. Youíre out dude. I was prepared to play bass myself in the studio, but luckily Bosse, who knew all the songs already, really wanted to join the band again, so we decided to give him another chance. That was a good decision!

Of course you handle the more screaming vocals while Bosse takes care of the deep growls. Do you think in the future there will be one main type of vocals or will the next record continue with both you and Bosse?

Pete - I like the combination of our voices together so I think we will continue with this style. I will still have the lead vocals, but we are experimenting with having even more of Bosseís growling. It adds more depth to the music. I like that.

And speaking of next album when can we get a second dose of "Thrash Metal". Possibly a new album next year?

Pete - The plan is to record around October, November this year and then be able to have a new release ready in March 2008, but that is just a plan. Nothing is confirmed yet. We have some songs ready and a whole bunch of riffs. Weíre working on it and so far it looks, eh, SOUNDS, really good.

Looks like you guys have a bunch of shows lined up in Norway and England next month. Who are you hitting the road with?

Pete - In England we will play support to our friends in Zyklon. That will be a blast. A bristish band called Dead Beyond Buried will also tag along. Gonna be brutal. Then itís back home to Norway for some one offs here and there. We are working on an European tour too. I hope we can pull it through during the fall this year, just before we hit the studio again. Weíll see.

Well Pete, we appreciate your time and we wish you and the rest of Blood Tsunami the very best of luck. Again, the new album is called "Thrash Metal" and is available on CD through Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Arts Production.

Pete - Thank you! Cheers!

Pete EvilEric Compton6/7/2007

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