I love Vio-Lence A LOT

Especially Oppressing The Masses, which was brutal as all fuck.

My personal faves are all but the last two songs. Even then I listen to all of it. The first five songs in album order are THEE SHIT.


In 1991 I was 22 and a fairly angry young man. I was getting into Thrash Metal and living in San Jose, California. South Bay. By this stage my friends and I were going to Forbidden gigs regularly at The Omni and The Stone, and seeing as many Thrash bands as our wallets would permit. We had the clothes too; metal shirt, tight black pants, leather jacket, and cons.

I forget how I even heard of Vio-Lence, probably the other guitarist in Sinister Sam  (Scot Miller). He had both Eternal Nightmare and OTM. But I heard OTM and fell in love pretty instantly. Mad fast chugging rhythms, two good lead players, a scary looking vocalist (which is what you want if you’re playing metal), a cool/solid bass player, and last but certainly not least, a fucking MAD drummer. I really enjoy Perry Strickland’s drumming on OTM. I used to air drum to that shit all the time, especially in the car where I probably looked like a total asshole freak.

Sinister Sam played the Cactus Club probably every three weeks. We never really played anywhere else. We were fortunate enough to support both Forbidden and Vio-Lence. The night we supported Vio-Lence we were there for soundcheck, and Perry wasn’t in the building. Sean Killian (vocals) goes, “We need to get soundchecked, I can’t find Perry, anyone play drums?” I go, “Yeah, let’s do World in a World.” Now, I’m a good shit drummer, if you know what I mean. I don’t have a kit, it takes me 30 minutes to even sound remotely decent, and here I was, about to get up onstage and play World in  World with my favorite Thrash band!! I knew we wouldn’t get past the first few measures, so I was pretty safe. Robb or Phil goes, “Ummm, I don’t think it’s a good good idea for you to get on the kit, Perry will Pummel you..” Of course I heeded those words and it probably saved my eye from becoming black and swollen.

Anyways, Sam played well, and Vio-Lence killed it. I bought one of their shirts and wore the fuck out of it. I got to ask Sean exactly how many people were used on their gang vocals, which I absolutely LOVED. He said 18, 9 people twice. Phil Demmel was quite a nice character and we’d chat with him a bit when we saw him at other venues.  I had 3 tapes (eventually CD’s) in my car: Vio-Lence OTM, Forbidden Twisted Into Form, and Pantera VDOP. I blasted those incessantly for three years straight. Metal Heaven! Goddamn I felt so TOUGH, ha ha ha!

Sinister Sam shows opened with us playing a song of another great band, then morphing it into one of our originals. We did that with Dio, Exodus, Theme from Halloween on Halloween, Mr. Bungle, Nirvana. We also did Vio-Lence I Profit. Here’s a rehearsal of us at the now defunct Rock Gardens in San Jose doing just that:

And on Sam’s second demo (which was recorded at Prairie Sun Studios), we put a TINY little bit of Officer Nice into one of our songs, at :34.

Vio-Lence? You are perfect music for an angry young man, and now an angry older man. I loved the songs and the live shows. Even the shirt. And the vids. I just saw the documentary on YouTube and I even love that. Especially the part when Robb said he wanted the guitars to sound like SOD. I even wrote you guys a letter as a 22 year old telling you how fuckin’ rad you guys are. Thanks for the music!!



I love Forbidden

I think was about 20 when I first heard of Forbidden, and I don’t even remember how. Here’s what I do remember:

I was living in San Jose (Ca) when I bought Twisted Into Form. They had just acquired a new guitarist (Tim Calvert), and that album was fucking GREAT. Mean rhythms, mad leads, great vocals, stellar drumming. There were all age gigs at The Mountain View Theater every now and again, but I think I was about 21 when I started seeing Forbidden live. What a treat!!


After my buddy Scot and I went to a few Forbidden gigs, we start bugging Craig Lucicero after every show: How did you get signed? Where did you record? This happened pretty much every single time we saw him. And like an absolute champion, he was never bothered by it. In fact, we started getting invited to their after parties which took place at their rehearsal room in Fremont. Mad shit!! We were partying with Thrash Metal royalty!!

I always thought of Craig as my heavy metal guidance counselor. And when Forbidden toured Australia in 2011, he hasn’t changed!! It was funny!! He even looks the same. He was schooling me on how to introduce my wife to him, etc. I felt 21 all over again.

Forbidden+_bandCraig be far left

When Scot and I finally had our own band going (Sinister Sam), we were sooo happy that we got the opportunity to support Forbidden AND Vio-Lence. Both bands helped us acquire a nice little Bay Area following. And we loved watching them and hanging with them. Both bands were very friendly and quite supportive. Both were quite an influence on Sinister Sam in the early years, for sure. We even intro’d one of our gigs with Forbidden’s Infinite and Vio-Lence’s I Profit. I wished I had that shit recorded.

Sinister Sam supporting Forbidden at Cactus Club

This whole album is fucking incredible.