Havok's David Sanchez on Thrash Revival: "People Are Tired of Doom and Blast Beats"
While every subgenre in the vast, factionally divided world of heavy metal has earned its own legion of devout followers, authentic thrash is seeing a serious revival. Of the bands currently carrying the reignited torch of thrash metal, Denver, Colorado's Havok is without a doubt one of the most exciting groups currently hitting dive-bombs and penning pit anthems.
Havok's recently released, critically acclaimed full-length, Unnatural Selection, is rife with the trappings of the golden-age of the genre. The album is absolutely bristling with dive-bombs, chunky, turbo-charged riffs, circle-pit-inducing double-bass drumming, and gang chants for days. While the music as a whole is fun, the lyrical content harks back to the thrash bands of yore that tackled major issues with their art. After all, it was during Reagan's first term as president that the style was born and during his second that it was perfected.
Havok is expected to bring a category five mosh tornado to the Talent Farm of Pembroke Pines tonight. We caught up with frontman David Sanchez to discuss some of the other bands he enjoys from the current wave of thrash, why he feels the style is enjoying such a comeback, and what a bummer it is that Jeff Hanneman passed away. If you need us, we'll be out buying a fresh pair of white hightops and making an appointment with our chiropractor.
New Times: As the a member of one of the bigger bands doing authentic thrash metal, can you offer any insight into why thrash is enjoying such a strong revival?
David Sanchez: I think people missed riffs. It's fun and exciting and fast, and it's supposed to get your adrenaline pumping and make you excited! It's fun music, and if there's any sort of resurgence going on, it's because people are tired of doom and blast beats.
What current thrash groups are you into lately?
As far as new stuff, I really like Pyschosomatic, Vektor, Revocation. There's a band called Legion from Texas, and those guys are fucking rad!
Unnatural Selection appears to be getting a lot of good press. How has the reception been on your end?
Good! We've heard mostly positive feedback from everyone, and we're all pretty stoked with how it came out, and if people dig it, that's great! So, so far, so good!
I read on the event page for the show that people were planning on bringing boogie boards for pitting. Do you guys get pit props and such frequently?
We haven't seen any boogie boards on this trip, but a dude yesterday yesterday at the show told us that we're like the new Slayer because our pits our so fucking brutal. The pits at almost every single show on this tour have been insane!
Do you have any thoughts on the passing of Jeff Hanneman?
Hanneman was a big influence, and still is. I think some of the old Slayer stuff is some of the best metal ever written. It sucks to see people go before their time, but it bums me out less when you consider that everyone has their moment and everyone is going to fucking die. Some of them just go too early.
Havok with Spectrum, IMAIM, Ornimental, Insurgency. 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, at the Talent Farm, 20911 Johnson St., Ste. 111, Pembroke Pines. Show costs $12. Visit thetalentfarm.com.