"Why not?" laughed Massacre, drummer for Terror Universal when I question the fact he will be playing in both Ill Niño and Terror Universal at each show of this months Australian tour. "You can't be a fucken pussy and shy away from that (laughs). I can't wait to get back there. We haven't been since 2015 when we did the Soundwave Festival and we've moved up the ranks pretty quickly considering we're a new band in the marketplace. We are super stoked to be coming back with our brothers from Ill Niño and the rest of the guys from my band. Terror Universal has a new record coming out called Make Them Bleed on Friday, October 13. We're releasing the record and coming back to Australia and getting back in touch with all the crazy mother fuckers of Australia that live and die by metal!"
Those lucky enough to have caught Terror Universal in their infancy in 2015 will attest to the brutality of their live performance, but Massacre says the band has improved even more since that time.
"We will be playing a couple of songs from the new record," he explained, "plus stuff from the E.P Reign of Terror. I don't know if you are aware but we no longer have our original singer in the band, who was there for the first six to eight months. Now we have Plague as our singer who has been with us for the last two years and he is absolutely amazing. He's an amazing frontman and a fucken amazing singer and I really can't wait for you guys to see him perform. Other than that we are ready to crush man. We're on an American tour right now getting everything ready before Australia and we're ready to fucken rock."
For a band who have only been together for a couple of years and released just the one E.P, Terror Universal have done remarkably well and Massacre admits that the band are grateful for their growing popularity.
"You know, I feel blessed," he enthused, "and I feel humbled by how everyone has been responding. The E.P came out and we did Soundwave and came back home and did three continents. We did America and Europe all within five months and then came back and did America two more times and Europe two more times so coming back to Australia is definitely a treat for us. We did all of that touring without label support and just basically by ourselves. Now we've signed a record deal with Minus Head Records out of California and it's a massive deal. They are completely on board with Terror Universal and we are more than happy to be part of their roster. We're gearing up for the release of the new record, we're about to announce some huge, huge shows coming up in October and November of this year and we're pumped and ready to go man. I think that these shows are gonna be fucken amazing."
The addition of Plague on vocals has seen Terror Universal move more into the way that Massacre envisaged when he formed the band in 2014, with everything form the vocals to the stage performance lifting since his addition.
"When we started the band I just wanted to be heavy as fuck but I also wanted to have melody. Plague is a great singer but also has an amazing growl. He's heavy as fuck yet nails the melody so the new record is absolutely insane. It's unbelievable. More than anything we just wanna get out and promote it and hit Australia because your metal fans are absolute fucken lunatics and love their music man. You guys are so passionate about music: nearly as passionate as us in the band. It's fucken incredible. The songs on the album are really fucken heavy. There's a lot of brutal tracks on it and we're gonna play two of the most brutal ones on the tour."
A change of vocals inevitably brings about changes in a bands sound, and Massacre admits while this isn't the only change between the E.P and the debut album, the vocals are a huge and important factor.
"It's much different in the sense of having Plague sing on it and his voice is great," he praised. "I can't say it enough but he has really come into his own in the last couple of years with the band. The song writing has gotten a lot better and we have gelled as a band obviously, as with every band I guess. When you first start jamming your first couple of tunes that you put out are always good and solid but then you learn how to be a band. You learn how to play together and write music and I definitely think that the new songs are a lot more mature and a lot more passionate."
'Dig You A Hole'
With early success inevitably comes increased expectation and pressure, but Massacre says that while these pressures will always exist they are not something which bothers him.
"I don't worry about the pressure honestly," he dismissed. "I just do what I do. The same with Ill Niño . We go in and do what we gotta do and then we come back out and we crush. We don't come out to fuck around. The pressure for band members and bands is always going to be there. There will always be somebody complaining about why the record is this way or not that way but everyone has to understand that bands from Slayer to Metallica to Megadeth to Nine Inch Nails to Five Finger Death Punch to Disturbed, all of the metal titans and rock titans... bands change. You can't put the same record out one hundred fucken times. I've always said there are only two bands that can write the same single over and over until the end of eternity and they are amazing at doing it and they are amazing writers and performers. Those two bands are The Ramones and AC/DC. They are the only two bands that can have records that sound so similar to each other but yet are still so fucken fresh and so well done and so well delivered that you can't help but to fucken love it (laughs). I'm a huge AC/DC fan. From Dirty Deeds to If You Want Blood You Got It in the early days and then obviously after Bon Scott died and they came out with Back In Black and For Those About To Rock. I mean, how the fuck do you come up with such similarity but deliver it with such success and ferocity?"
Terror Universal is a completely different beast to Massacre's original band Ill Niño , and as such he says that he gets different things out of performing with each band.
"There's two totally different aspects," he replied. "With Ill Niño , we're a Latin metal band and we've got a lot of ethnic fans so it's two totally different animals. Ill Niño has been my baby since 1999 when I stopped playing with Soulfly and we signed to Roadrunner Records. Being able to do that for seventeen years is a buzz in itself but now doing Terror Universal it's a completely different ball game. It's more metal and not ethnic obviously and the one thing with Terror Universal is we are able to be completely who the fuck we wanna be with our personas. Wearing that mask really makes you a different person. It actually transforms you into a fucken maniac and makes you a different person. You are behind that mask and you are that different personality. It's like being a schizophrenic I guess (laughs)."
Despite people knowing who he is from playing with Ill Niño , Massacre says that the masks and stage names are more for the band members and their own psyche than an attempt to conceal anything.
"I wear that mask because it's part of what we do as a band and as I said before it does transform you. My singer, my guitar player, my bass player, everybody in the band transforms when they pull that mask on. It's kind of freeing. We wanted to have stage names that matched the logo and the name of the band and everybody chose their own name. Mine is Massacre, Plague is the singer, Thrax is the guitar player and Diabolos is my bass player and being able to choose your own name gives you identity somewhat of who you wanna become instead of somebody doing it for you."
Terror Universal are described in their bio as horror metal cannibals, and rather than shun the name massacre says it is an accurate representation for the uninitiated.
"Fuck yeah," he said proudly. "That's us. We'll eat your fucken heart out man (laughs). We're gonna fucken stomp on every mother fucker when we come to Australia and we're gonna start some crazy circle pits. The fans better be ready to rage with us, that's for sure."
ILL NIÑO & TERROR UNIVERSAL Tour Dates: AUGUST 2017
Wednesday 2 August - Capitol, PERTH – 18+
Thursday 3 August - Fowlers Live, ADELAIDE – 18+
Friday 4 August - Metro Theatre, SYDNEY - 18+
Saturday 5 August - Max Watts, MELBOURNE – 18+
Sunday 6 August - The Triffid, BRISBANE – 18+
Tickets On Sale Wednesday 5th April at 9:00am from: http://www.destroyalllines.com/