The pureblood thrash of Warpath has already won them the top spot of Terrorizer Magazine‘s latest annual readers’ poll. That’s a mark of a band destined for Future Hits right there – and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Richard Goss, and lead guitarist Pete Hawthorne, both agree.
From: Cardiff, UK
Sounds like: Megadeth, Testment, fours guys who take absolutely no shit from anyone.
Thrash Hits verdict: Warpath don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about fad-thrash, ironic nostalgia, or most of the people of Swansea. What they do care about are all the things that made thrash great in the first place – riffs so fast they blur at the edges, snarling vocals that seethe with raw aggression, and the righteous banging of heads.
How did you meet?
Rich: James [Davenport, drums] had used to come to shows back with the old line-up and when he heard we were looking for a new drummer he contacted me. He told me he could easily play and improve upon what our previous drummer had done. I was curious to hear if he could back up what he’d said and damn, he blew me away when he auditioned for us. We didn’t bother trying anyone else out after that! We were working on our Damnation album, and we sent Pete a few messages through MySpace after noticing he was a lead guitarist. Pete then recorded his tracks on the album, and quickly became a full time member of the band. Soon after we met Joel [Jordan, bass], again through MySpace.
What made you want to start a band?
Rich: I was in the last year of school and really reaching the limit of my patience with it. I absolutely despised it and most of the people there, and I was skipping a lot of lessons to go play guitar and failing my classes. I was growing to be angry a lot of the time and heavy metal was such a great outlet for it. I watched Megadeth and Metallica’s Behind the Music shows and just though “yeah, that’s what I want to do”.
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
Rich: I grew up in Swansea, Wales and it definitely had an effect on me personally and to some extent the music. It’s been described as “the graveyard of ambition” which is very fitting. There are some great people there, but also a lot of assholes – bitter, jealous people that despise anyone who has ambitions or goals. I’ve had a fair amount of shit from people there which only helped fuel the music, so kudos to them! It kind of breeds a lot of anger in you and a ruthless desire to succeed.
What are your non-musical influences?
Pete: I love watching horror movies old & new, even the shitty ones! I also read a lot of horror novels & love the work of James Herbert, Dean Koontz & H.P. Lovecraft. I’m a city dweller, I’m not one for the country side and green things, so I love going to different rock bars & just soaking up the city atmosphere & bright lights at night.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Rich: I’d have to say being invited to play Wacken Rocks with Slayer is just incredible, as well as Terrorizer naming us ‘Best Unsigned Band of the Year’. Seeing the album on the shelves in-store at HMV when I was out with my friends and family was awesome too, very memorable.
With which band would your dream support slot be?
Pete: I guess supporting any of our heroes like Megadeth, Testament or Annihilator would be a dream come true, although they can support us if they like!
Watch the video to ‘Damnation’ by Warpath
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
Pete: We are serious. I think that’s a strong enough statement. You will find NO comic book style lyrics in this band! So many thrash bands today sing about zombies, toxic waste, partying, drinking beer & puking on some girls boobs. Those bands make me sick and our style is so much more aggressive & technical than all of them put together.
Rich: They’re giggling in photos like a bunch of fucking school girls, they’re lazy beyond belief, they joke around on-stage, every thing’s a fucking joke to them. This is meant to be thrash metal; pissed off, aggressive, anger-fuelled music. We see bands using Spider-Man style artwork, covering cartoon theme tunes, and singing about their white trainers. You’d think that they are spoof bands. They have no balls. How are we meant to respect them and take them seriously when they don’t themselves?
Why do you think Thrash is undergoing such a resurgence at the moment?
Pete: It’s not, it’s never gone anywhere, the giants of the genre have always been carrying the torch for thrash metal, but it seems to be a craze or trend at the minute for all these youngsters to wear bullet belts, white trainers & run around like it’s 1986 again. I guarantee they will be gone & another trend will take over soon but we will be standing strong & heads above any other band out there.
Rich: It’s great to see more thrash fans everywhere, but the new thrash bands are just boring. They’re all desperately trying to be Exodus. Guess what? It’s already been done…by Exodus!
What do you think it is it about you that made Terrorizer readers vote you Best Unsigned?
Rich: I can’t say its any one thing specifically. The album has received critical acclaim worldwide. We’re promoting it 24/7. We’ve had the highest rated video on Scuzz TV, and the album was the No.1 added record on US metal radio. We played Bloodstock Open Air last year, and now Wacken Rocks this year. We’re pushing our name in everyone’s faces, and people are sitting up and taking notice of us. It’s hard to ignore that stuff. And of course our amazing fans who voted for us!
What’s the best show you’ve played?
Pete: We headlined a great show in Worcester last year which was one of my favourite gigs of the year. I think playing at an abandoned pole dancing strip club was a big highlight for me too [rubs hands suggestively]
What have you got planned for the future?
Rich: We’re going to release another music video for the Damnation album, and continue promoting it through to next year. Next year we’ll start work on the new album. We’re planning on heading in a different musical direction, we’ll be experimenting with hip-hop music, we’ll have a few famous rappers guesting on it…not fooled huh? Fuck that! Next album will have of course have to top Damnation, which it will. I’ve got four or five songs half-finished which I’m really excited about.
What other band should everyone find out about?
Pete: My good friend David J. Gibbs is a great young musician to check out & keep an eye out for. I did a guest solo on a song called ‘Pray’ on his first demo and James Davenport and I collaborated with David on an epic instrumental entitled ‘The Messiah’.
Warpath’s debut album, Damnation, is available in a whole host of ways, all of which you can find out on the band’s official MySpace page. If you’re lucky enough to be going to Wacken Rocks South or Wacken Rocks Seaside this year, make sure you check these guys out.