Interview with Sasquatch
Hello welcome to Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia ! For those who weren’t familiar with Aggression , could you write down a little of thrashing history ? What was the band about ? And when ?
Hello Acier Doux ! Thank you for having us ! Aggression was formed in 1984 under the moniker Asylum – We changed the name to Aggression in 1985. Basically we heard Venom Welcome To Hell in 1981 and it changed our lives. After that, Sasquatch was on a crusade to find musician with similar interest in the Montreal region. It took him a good 3 years to find the right guys. Aggression is about Sex, Satan and Mescaline… Nice…
Would you say Aggression played extreme music at the time ? It was 1987 , 2004 and 2016 for the releases of your albums, so I imagine many peoples were still into your Thrash Assault !!
Absolutely ! Since its conception, Aggression has been about being as heavy as possible, as fast as possible, while remaining sonically unique with a rock and roll song structure formula – main riff, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, main riff, verse, pre-chorus, chorus solo – repeat .
On your first album ” The Full Treatment “, I feel there’s something like an early Speed Metal touch (The early, brutal one. Perhaps close to the fastest moments of the first Thrash Metal sounds , or something). Do you remember the way you called your music back then ? (Was it Thrash Metal, Speed Metal ?). Was there really a difference between thrash and speed back then?
I think we called it Speed and Thrash – sometimes we called it punk thrash and sometimes we just called it heavy metal music. We truly never cared about what label would be attached to our music since we are playing what comes out of our heart and soul – it will be what it will be – but it will be heavy as fuck – that’s a given we usually played as fast as we could – that was our tempo.
Your second album ” Forgotten Skeleton ” shew a more brutal development, the music contained also heavier parts, and something like the ” Thrash Speed Metal” influence More appeared. Would you say you became angrier at the time ? Or the fact things were quite “rolling on” for the band helped you to be more focused and brutal perhaps ?
It’s funny you say that because ” Forgotten Skeleton ” was actually recorded one year prior to The Full Treatment and we always found the Full Treatment to be so much chaotic / heavy / crazy – we were not angrier however we didn’t have full control of all our senses if you can read between the lines…
Your first release were released on 12″ vinyls , by Banzai Records label. Do you remember how many copies you were able to sell or trade back then ? Were these vinyls professionally pressed ? Was it easier to sell vinyls at the shows, in local records stores, or through the mail ?
From what I’ve heard we sold 25,000 vinyls and 25,000 cassettes – i have no way to validate these numbers but that is what was pressed. The vinyls were professionally printed at the Polygram Pressing Plant in Montreal. Since Aggression never performed after the release of TFT until 2005, it is really difficult to answer that question. We do sell quite a bit of vinyls now but CDs as well.
The music of Aggression was always fast, fast, fast and thrashing, or almost always. Was your goal to be as extreme as possible? If the band had appeared a few years later, do you think you might have used blast beats in a so extensive manner ? In the mid to late 90’s it was the way to be the most extreme ?
Yes definitely – i think we would have joined the Morbid Angel, Entombed and Brutal Truth movement especially after hearing the first blast beat on SOD “Milk”. – it is something that our drummer at the time wanted to do. He was also working on a variation of the gravity blast.
The band originated from Montreal , Quebec. Were there cool Metal bands in your area back then? Maybe there was something like a scene with bands worth the neckbreak ?
Absolutely ! Voivod, Damnation, Cremains, Eudoxis, DBC, and plenty of crossover punk band we had an amazing scene with hundreds and hundreds of people attending shows It was truly magical.
Aggression’s two last albums were recently re released together on CD format by Banzai Records and Xtreem Music. How did it happen and are you happy with the release ?
Yes very happy a lot more coming from Aggression in the next 6 months however we are happy with the re-release.
Comparing the current Metal scene to the 80’s, do you regret anything ? Maybe paper fanzines keep a place in your heart ? Maybe you loved to pile tapes over tapes, until it reached the roof ?
Nope I don’t regret anything and I’m actually happy with people’s passion for old school thrash – some of the biggest bands of today come form that era – like technology I like to be able to listen to many many bands now – music is so accessible.
Don’t you feel sometimes, the underground communication was more efficient in the 80’s / 90’s, even though there were fewer (And harder) possibilities to communicate ?
Tough question to answer i think people had less distractions more focus on Heavy Metal than now I’m ok with today’s scene no issues really I still appreciate concerts and gatherings.
Are you in touch with the other old musicians of the band ? What did you all do on a musical point of view after Aggression split up ? Did some of you play in Metal bands and maybe recorded something ?
I still talk to Burn and Dug Gate passed away and Botcher lives in the woods somewhere and doesn’t mix with society if he is alive. Cactus Pete works for Cirque Du Soleil. I was in Cradle To Grave for 13 years after Aggression .
Could we expect something from the band in the future, or it’s all old stories for you ? Thanks answering the questions and few words for Acier Doux ‘s readers !!
You be t ! New album is already in the works ! Keep thrashing Aggression is coming your way.
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama