Guitarist Phil Demmel of reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE has confirmed to Wicked Pix Photography that the band is continuing work on new original music that will tentatively arrive in late 2021.
"It's been a pretty slow process, just because everybody's kind of working on [other things]," Phil said (see video below). "We've got a five-song EP that we're putting out on Metal Blade — five songs, plus the cover [of DEAD KENNEDYS' 'California Über Alles'] that's already been released, but that'll be part of the package. So we've got four songs done. We've got the beginning of the fifth one going. We've been demoing."
He continued: "Christian Olde Wolbers from FEAR FACTORY is playing bass for us now, and he's been producing our demos and engineering our demos. So it's cool to have him be super hands-on and be right there. We've got the rig right in our jam room, and everybody learning the tunes. We flew Bobby Gustafson from OVERKILL out. He's our guitar player, and he's gonna play on the record. So we had them out. And it was the first time that we really sat down and [fleshed] out the parts of the songs. They've seen videos, but these songs are hard to play, man. They're hard for me to play; I'm still working on some of the parts."
As for the musical direction of the new VIO-LENCE material, Demmel said: "It's a thrash record. We've had a couple of buddies come in and listen to some songs, and they were, like, 'Holy shit, man. You guys haven't missed a step. It sounds like 1987 in here again.' So it's really exciting. We're really, really happy with the tunes.
"It's fun writing with the dudes again," he added. "I'm writing all the music for these five songs, for this first EP. We're probably gonna end up doing a full-length after, with [all] five [of us] writing together. But this one, it's just me and Sean [Killian, vocals] writing."
Regarding when fans can expect to see the new VIO-LENCE EP released, Phil said: "I don't know. We don't fucking know. We don't know when we're gonna record. We're still demoing and still kind of writing. It'll be summer — maybe late summer next year — before we release [anything]. We might tease a song [before that]."
Killian previously described VIO-LENCE's new material as "a cross between 'Eternal [Nightmare]' , 'Oppressing [The Masses]'  and also our '93 demo. It's fast, it's heavy. We've got a couple of good chunk riffs and stuff like that," he explained. "We wanna get stuff in that's gonna start a pit up too. But we think people are gonna go crazy when they hear it. We've got some heavy lyrics, some heavy subjects. I mean, we're not a political band by any means, so when I say 'heavy,' it's just heavy shit that comes out of my demented head."
VIO-LENCE released three studio albums between 1988 and 1993. The group reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.
VIO-LENCE performed its first comeback concert in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California and spent the last year playing select shows in the U.S. and Europe.
Although MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE's classic incarnation and played on the band's debut album, "Eternal Nightmare", he wasn't approached about taking part in any of the comeback shows.
Killian underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was caused in part by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.
Photo credit: James Willard