It’s great for us, the fans of music, when certain things or genres come back full circle. In my opinion that is. And the one thing that I’ve been impressed with the past couple of years has been the reemergence of thrash. Sure, thrash has really never gone away, but it’s just that there is a whole new generation of bands out there creating new music with the total respect of it’s fore-fathers.
Even veteran musicians are getting together to create new and exciting brands of thrash. So here we have Temple Of Brutality. A fairly new band to the scene as a group, but not as individuals. Started by guitarist Peter Scheithauer (Belladonna, Killing Machine), it was not long into the process that the other players became involved in this project. Dave Ellefson (F5, Megadeth) on bass, Todd Barnes (13A) on vocals and the mighty Stet Howland (W.A.S.P.) on drums.
What happens when you take all these great musicians together, throw them in a room for a few days and tell them to make a record? ‘Lethal Agenda’ is what happens. A powerful new album by the band. And with their next one already in the works and a summer tour package being lined up, Temple Of Brutality have only just begun to bring you their ferocious brand of old-school thrash metal.
JH: How about a little history on the new band.
PS: Well it all began with Todd in the beginning back in ‘98 already. We were working on some demos and did not have a name at the time. We did two songs which are actually on the CD, but then we lost touch. I went back to Europe for a year and Todd went from L.A. to North Carolina so when I started the band again, and working on the new songs I had lost Todd’s number. I finally got his number back when I was moving and I called him and we started the band again in 2004. And Dave came into place because I was working with him on the Killing Machine album.
JH: Go ahead and tell us a little bit about the album.
PS: Well I started to write the album by 2004 and the idea behind it is very secret society, political and I recorded demos with Stet first. And then Todd came into place to write all the lyrics and melodies and what was the funny part was nobody had really met Dave until we had started to record the album.
JH: He just jumped right in there?
PS: Yes. Just jumped right in. And everything clicked so easily. It was almost as we had played before for years. It was very good to have someone like that.
JH: How would you best describe you sound?
PS: I would say it has the old-school thrash sound. We also try to bring it new too. Everyone has their own influences. But it’s a typical thrash band. And it has a certain twist to it. The vocals have a completely different approach to them as well.
JH: Sorry I’m flying blind here. I have not gotten to listen to the CD yet. Just your video on the website.
PS: You have not listened?
JH: No. I was just asked the other day to set up an interview, so here we are.
PS: Oh… I will get you one out.
JH: So when was the release date?
PS: Feb. 27th of this year.
JH: So lyrically, what sort of secret society or political topics do you touch base on.
PS: Very social or very political as I said before. We are very much into the secret society things. I don’t want to say conspiracy theory, but it’s something like that. More so a reflection of what the world is at right now. But with a different approach than the news. We try to approach it in a different way. It’s our point of view that we are not condemning but observing.
JH: How have the reactions/reviews been so far for the album?
PS: First Europe was pretty good and now here, there are starting to come in. the record sales are still pretty fresh here but they’re pretty good so far. People seem to get a sense of the old-school but recognize that it’s a bit fresher. It is a bit different then what’s out there. Of course some people will like it and some people won’t. Overall the reaction is great.
JH: There are still people like me out there that look for that feel to an album. I’m definitely an old-school thrasher growing up in the Bay Area scene when it was all starting out.
PS: There is a great feel to the album. It was basically recorded live. It took us 7 days. We did not use any overdubs or cut it to pieces with Pro-Tools. We just tried to…that’s the old-school part of it. We want people to hear what is live is what you’re going to get on the CD too. We don’t want to be a big production CD band and when you see them live, it’s like not the same sound. We come from , well Dave’s obvious but the rest of us grew up listening to Testament there and that’s what we want to bring to the kids and fans out there. Besides it being fun to play.
JH: What does the future look like for the band? It’s new and fresh, but is it something that is going to be around for awhile?
PS: Oh yes. I’m already writing the next record right now. But we must wait to do some promos for this one and to tour. I can’t wait to get out there and play some more live shows. You really have to see the band live. That is for sure.
JH: What can one expect from a live Temple show?
PS: Ahhh, it’s just the energy. For us the record is more for us to go on the road than anything else. It’s gonna be a lot of energy, a lot of old-school playing. No dragons or anything jump out at you, just good old-school, hardcore metal.
JH: What do you tour plans look like for the year?
PS: There are many plans, just right now I’m waiting for some things to confirm.
JH: At what point in your life did realize that this was going to be your career choice?
PS: Wow, a long time ago. When I was like 17 I think was about when I decided that I wanted to do this forever.
JH: Even knowing how difficult it is to really make it in metal?
PS: That has never been a concern. I never went into this for the fame. I did it for the fun, the music. I’m very happy with it. I don’t ever see myself doing anything else.
JH: Who were/are some of your influences that got the ball rolling for you?
PS: Whoa, a lot. A lot of different people. Kiss to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pantera. All sorts of metal bands. But it really started with Kiss. Seeing them come out on stage with all that make-up and stuff, I just really wanted to do that. It’s just all about metal.
JH: So are there any other projects in the works?
PS: I am right now doing full time Temple. The record just came out and we have the tour coming up, so nothing really worth talking about at his time. I’ve almost finished the next Temple record too.
JH: In closing, as usual, anything you like to add?
PS: No, not really. I just really hope that people are going to listen to the record for what it is. In the studio with the live approach. It’s down home kick ass metal!!!