Oppressing The Masses
One of the most eagerly anticipated shows at Alcatraz 2019 was undoubtedly the first gig of Bay Area thrashers Vio-Lence on the European mainland. As some of you will know our festival mascot was named after a Vio-Lence track. Thrashers from far and wide came to witness this memorable occasion and it was no surprise that the Swamp erupted even before they’d played a single note.
Back in the day, Vio-Lence had a reputation for the most aggressive shows. Their stage antics soon became the stuff of legend and on a number of occasions gigs were cut short because the action in front of the stage threatened to get out of hand. Fast forward to 2019: any lingering doubts as to their ability to deliver the goods after all those years are instantly dispelled as soon as the first chords rip the air. The band members clearly enjoy the spectacle as pandemonium engulfs the pit. The sound isn’t always perfect but with the adrenaline pumping no one seems to mind. For close to one hour, Vio-Lence bombard the crowd with top-tier, ear-splitting Bay Area thrash. When we run into the band in the festival arena the following day it’s clear they’ve taken to our event like a duck to water. Singer Sean Killian in particular is genuinely impressed by our event and the Alcatraz audience. He’s never crossed the Atlantic before and just a few years earlier his life hung by a thread. The medical world, his family, musician friends, his Vio-Lence band mates and the fans helped him make a full recovery. As we part ways with Vio-Lence they ask if we’d be interested in having them again in 2020. Officer Nice obviously agrees and the deal is sealed with handshakes all around. Twelve months later a lot has happened, including in the Vio-Lence camp. They’ve been signed by Metal Blade Records but there have also been a few line-up changes: our countryman Cristian Olde Wolbers (ex-Fear Factory, Powerflo) has taken over bass duties and in early 2020 former Overkill axe man Bobby Gustafson was recruited as a replacement for Ray Vegas. So if you missed them in 2019 this is your chance to set things right. When we announced the first clutch of names everyone was asking “Where’s Vio-Lence”? In other words, they’re back by popular request!