Minions! As you may already know, we scheduled an interview with Mr. Sean Killian of Vio-Lence. So, get your popcorn, cause the whole thing lasts for 1 hour and 23 minutes! Firstly, Sean answered some fan questions! Sean Killian confirmed that he will be playing with Vio-Lence in Santiago, Chile. Sean stated that he doesn’t know if Vio-Lence is going to embark on a European tour, but confirmed Vio-Lence’s shows at Bloodstock festival in UK and at Alcatraz festival in Belgium. When asked about whether Vio-Lence is writing new music, Sean stated: "Yeah, we are writing new music right now. We have ideas for a couple of songs right now. We have some offers that we’re looking at to work with some labels. And we’re really excited about it actually." When asked for how long Bobby Gustafson is going to be in the band, Sean said: "As long as he wants. Hе’s a good fit for us. His first practice…he nailed it! He’s a really good guy! He fits in really with the rest of the band personalty-wise. We have a lot of shows booked this year. We intent on having him on every one of them." However, he said that he is not sure if Bobby Gustafson is going to write music for the upcoming Vio-Lence release. Regarding the new material, Sean said the following: "Wе’re hoping to get five songs out this year. That’s our goal right now." By the end of the interview, Sean Killian called Bobby Gustafson as „the king of the downpick“.
When asked about his vocal influences, he said: "Tom Araya of Slayer, Paul Baloff (RIP) of Exodus, inspired me to want to do it, but not so much inspired how I wrote or how do the lyrics come out or how my vocals sound on the album. It was kinda something I really didn’t try to target the sound… It just came out that way." Reffering to his vocals, he said: "if you’re me, you gotta have thick skin!" Then, the conversation moved to the album cover of Vio-Lence’s Eternal Nightmare: that whole artwork is Ed Repka’s design. When it comes to Oppressing the Masses album cover he went in details: "We were recording Oppressing the Masses up in Ithaca, New York so then I flew down to meet with the artist at the Atlantic records offices." Sean explained the concept that he had since the band already had the album title & the title track. "That’s an awesome piece of art. He did all of that dot-art…The artist was from Russia. I think he deffected to get out of the country (USSR). I want to say that he was doing political art, but I was 22 so I said, whatever! I just want the artwork to look like this!" – adds Sean.
Right after, he discussed differences between Bay Area & East Coast thrash metal. When asked whether Vio-Lence was banned from some clubs like Exodus were back in the day, Sean said: "The Palace in Los Angeles with Overkill and Excel." And boy, he shared one of the craziest stories in the entire interview! The band clashed with security because one of them beat up some kid. After a verbal dispute, Sean Killian punched one of the security guy in the head because one of the security guys tried to snap some kid’s knee.
Then, we moved the conversation Vio-Lence’s Eternal Nightmare and the impact it had. Sean also talked about Mechanic Records’ Eternal Nightmare single containing fake vomit on the artwork. Sean also named songs like „Gutterslut“ and „Paraplegic“ as "the songs that we wrote for the demos. "We never inteded to put them on the album“ Killian then said that the band will play a mixed set of the band’s first two albums live. "There is some time we will play Eternal Nightmare straight through but not Oppressing the Masses. Then, Sean Killian talked about the lyrics of the song “Subterfuge“
Sean Killian also talked about the 80s thrash vs. glam antagonism. And of course, this story couldn’t go without Paul Baloff. „He was the cool guy, but if you were poser or....or if you just didn’t look right, Paul was going to do something!“ Sean shared The Mouse story with Paul Baloff (not for everybody’s stomach)! When asked when did the antagonism between thrashers and glammers start, he said that it started in the early 80s with Venom. Then, Sean recalled a show in The Region, Los Angeles where one of the fan’s hair got stuck in the Phil Demmel’s guitar (this interview gets better and better). "We saw the guy...Phil talked to him after the show. And we saw him again later.“
Then, the conversation was about Vio-Lence’s tour for their first two albums. Sean recalled that they played Eternal Nightmare front to back TWICE in D.C. in one of these early shows because Testament couldn’t play because of Chuck Billy was sick at the time. Sean Killian also discussed the importance of Clash of the Titans tour and the downfall of thash metal due to grunge popularity. He also recalled Thrash of the Titans, a gig for Chuck Billy's cancer battle. The lineup was the following: Exodus (with Paul Baloff), S.O.D., Death Angel, Laaz Rockit, Legacy, M.O.D., Heathen, Sadus, Forbidden Evil, Anthrax and Vio-Lence. The line on the poster was: This event may be too intense for nu metal fans! So go figure! The best thrash metal event of all time! And yeah, Killian stated that he is not a fan of nu metal at all!
The last part of the interview is about some of the shows Vio-Lence did after Thrash of the Titans show & about Sean Killian’s illness. He also talked about Killian on Command benefit gig. When asked, did he recover completely, Sean said: "I’m probably 85% recovered. "Sean also named some of his favorite albums: Slayer’s Show no Mercy, Metallica’s Kill ‘em All & Ride the Lightning, Exodus’ Bonded By Blood. He also named King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Ministry, Combichrist, Power Trip, Cult of Luna as one of his favorite bands. Enjoy!