Onslaught, Interview by Becky Brown

We caught up with Main Guitarist Nige Rockett before their live performance at the Garage.

How is your tour going?
“Er, so far so good were on day 4 out of 27 , we only have 2 days off the whole tour. It’s a long tour but I don’t mind, as the beds are comfortable, its dark so I get sleep, your body clock changes though, you do a gig then you get back on and then drink until 4 or 5 in the morning, then you go to bed and you wake up in the next place!”

What influences your music?
“My musical influences? I came from quite a Hardcore Punk back ground, so stuff like GBH, Discharge; are my favourite band in all honestly but then again I was into Motorhead, Sabbath, Judas priest as well, My Metal head side came from them and my Punk from the rest. They fused together when I learnt to play guitar. Me and a friend when we were kids, followed Discharge all around the country on tour, it got to the point when we said, why are we doing this? We love this so much why don’t we form a band? This is exactly what we did. We bought some instruments, we couldn’t play them obviously”
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Yeah but it didn’t matter whether or not you could play back then, anyone formed a band, and even I did it!
“Yeah I got lessons from the guitarist Dave Bateman from vice squad, he lived maybe half a mile down the road from me, we got chatting one day, he told me to come round and teach me, that’s exactly what we did and that was it, we were off.”

I know you started off as a Punk band and changed over to Metal?
“We kind of started playing Hardcore Punk and as we improved as musicians, quite rapidly actually, I put a lot of time in as there was so many things I just wanted to learn more and more off, and obviously to be able to play some of the solos in motor head songs was exciting, I actually learnt all the songs off the “Hammersmith” album by Motorhead, all of the solos, everything in a matter of weeks.”

So since your style has changed do you think the crowds are different?
“Nope, the bizarre thing about this band is that we have such a broad fan base, from Punks, Thrash Metal fans, Death Metal, Black Metal and mainstream Metal fans, we’ve touched a lot of areas and we’ve managed to take the fans with us. There was a lot of Punks in Bristol, loads. The lovely thing is that one of my best friends, he always comes along every time we play, I said to him last night, mate thank you if you didn’t do what you did for us at the beginning we wouldn’t be here today, he was only 17 and he started putting on these massive gigs in Bristol in 1982, we had a really cool venue called the Trinity Hall and he was booking big British and American Punk bands and there was gigs every two weeks for about a year, they were always packed and I remember he put us on at every single gig so we built up a reputation in Bristol.
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Time for a random question, what’s the craziest thing you’ve done on tour?
“We use to play, Holland and Belgium a lot in the early days and I remember playing on a Sunday afternoon and It was really hot, we had all been drinking all night and all day and I don’t know why I did it but I just whacked a main fire hose out onto the deck and turned it on!, I managed to reach both ends, it was that powerful, everyone that was sun bathing they all ended up soaked and the captain came out and actually found it hilarious, he could of quite easily got me arrested, I think everyone didn’t mind though cause it was just so hot. That’s one of the stories I can tell”

Who’s the newest member of the band?
“That’s Lee, he’s standing in for Andy while he has some time off which is a shame because he’s a main part of the band, we have a great writing relationship and it’s a shame we don’t get to play it and enjoy it. Lee’s been with us for over a year now, he’s a fantastic guitarist and he’s bought a lot of energy to the band, so yeah Lee is the run around for us, his so excited by what his doing that his quite happy to do that. We don’t put too much on him though, Lee!!!
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What do you do in your spare time?
“I have spare time? [Laughs]
I’m a massive football fan, I support Chelsea, I’ll go to every game when we we’re not on the road and there not cheap!”

Do you have any embarrassing Albums, or guilty pleasures?
“Yeah I have loads of them! Haven’t we all? It’s just whether you want to admit to it or not. Mine would have to be George Michael.”
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I wouldn’t have put you down as a George Michael Fan.
“He is a talented man! I like a lot of stuff his done. But I’m a massive funk fan but that’s not a guilty pleasure, I really like Funkadelic and Parliament, the one song that would get stuck in my head when I was a kid on the way to school or everyone out on a Saturday night.

Are you working on a next album?
“Yes, I’ve started already, I have a lot of ideas but I’ve at least for 5 song titles, that’s the way I like to work, I like to have the song title first so you have some kind of idea what the track is going to be like, so if I told you about the song, and then you went to listen to the song you would know what that song was going to be like, Chaos of kings is going to be fast where as children of sound comes across as something a little darker.
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So yeah we get the song title and work it from there, we’ve got 5 out of the 8 were going to use already. Although we bought one out last year, were just trying to crack on after the break we had, we know that we will get record companies banging on your door asking for the next one coming. This one has been very successful in the past two weeks so far, so you know our next one will be done in two years.

We’re going to be touring from a year to maybe 18 months, it’s going to be hard work, but the band needs to do it, it’s a tough market out there and you always need to keep your name around but I get fitter and lose weight while I’m on tour so I end up quite healthy by the end of it. “

Many thanks for your time!
Thank you!