ONSLAUGHT - Nige Rockett

\r\nMetalzone: Hi there Nige. Many hails and\r\nwelcome back from all the Greek metal fans.\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Hi and thank you very much. It’s really great to be back\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: First of all how does it feel to be\r\nback for quite some time now in the metal activities after so many years of\r\nabsence?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : As I said it’s quite amazing.We’ve been out for\r\nmany years and we all missed playing\r\nmusic, the gigs, meeting with the fans.Although it felt strange at the\r\nbeginning of it.Personaly I haven’t played the guitar in about nine years. I\r\nwas totally out of it , going on with my life and my regular job that haven’t\r\nhad any thoughts at all about reforming the band after all this time.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Although after the split up of\r\nOnslaught you were involved in a project titled Power Junkies.\r\n

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\r\n Nige\r\nRockett : Yes, but that was a really\r\nlong time ago , somewhere ’90- 92 and it was for a very short time, nothing\r\nserious really.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What exactly made you in the first place come\r\nup to the decision of a reunion? Who was the one that triggered the idea?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nSteeve was\r\nthe one that put the idea on the table in the first place. He discovered that\r\nour albums were still selling and someone made money out of this and that there\r\nwas still a great interest in the name of Onslaught so he came to me one day with\r\nthe statement of reinforming the band.We spent some weeks talking about the\r\nwhole thing and then we decided it was time we should do something about it.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Did you all had some kind of\r\ncommunication between one another all those years?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nNo, not very\r\nmuch, no. I mean I haven’t seen Sy or Jim or Alan for that matter for propably\r\nfive or six years.And if it wasn’t for Steeve we wouldn’t have contacted\r\nreally.So we were all pretty much distant from each other really.But it was\r\ngreat to see each other when we had a meeting to talk about reform and the band\r\nand it made it all easy.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Allright let’s skip all this for a\r\nwhile and talk about your new album "Killing Peace". I must say I was\r\npleasantly surprised by it’s sound and the astonishing aggressiveness of it.\r\nWas this something you’ve wanted all along or it just came up in the process? \r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nWe knew\r\nexactly how we wanted the album to sound, we wanted a modern style of sound\r\nwith old-school songs basically just to appeal to a new generation of Onslaught\r\nfans if you like. We wanted to make the album as aggressive as possible, modern\r\nand with lots and lots of hard figures given in a typical old-school fashion.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: So you’re happy with the final\r\nresult?\r\n

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\r\n Nige\r\nRockett : Yes, very, very.It’s just what we wanted to do\r\nfrom the beggining.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: The experience working with Andy\r\nSneap, how was it really?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : That was good.We did have a great time putting into the actual production of the\r\nalbum.All the songs were written before we went into the studio, it was just\r\nall Andy’s job to get the performances out of people such as Sy and Steeve\r\nwhich he did a great job. And main reason was for he is so skilled in mixing\r\nreally.I mean he had a great input into the mix of the album.He had a good\r\nvision of where he wanted it to go and we all add the agreement of how it would\r\nsound.Yes, it was great to work with him, I mean he’s an old friend, we go a\r\nlong back anyway, but it was nice to see him again.I haven’t seen him for about\r\nseventeen years.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: At my opinion "Killing\r\nPeace" it is the right successor to the “The\r\nForce” album. What do you think about that?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yes, that’s exactly how we feel.I mean that was\r\nwhat we wanted, to make the album as the way In Search Of Sanity should have\r\nbeen.And that would follow on from the Force in 2007, and that’s how we feel,\r\nwhat’s exactly what we’ve done with this album.It’s got more in common with the\r\nForce album as In Search Of Sanity isn’t a true Onslaught album.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Now that you’ve mentioned In Search\r\nOf Sanity, is there going to be any In Search Of Sanity part II in the\r\nfuture?An album that maybe will sound just like it?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : No, no way!\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Are you going to do any re-recording\r\nor remastering with this album in the future?\r\n

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\r\n Nige\r\nRockett : I think I should say that, yes, there is.We actually got a\r\nmeeting tomorrow night to discuss that, I mean we were actually working with\r\nit.We’ve got a meeting with our management tomorrow to discuss making the album\r\nand releasing the album.We’re looking at possibly releasing an album of\r\nre-recorded material next March along with the tour gonna be doing.What we’re\r\nthinking of doing is taking maybe three, four tracks out of each album we’ve\r\nmade, totally re-recording them with a new sound and not say with Sy singing on\r\nit and bringing it into 2007 Onslaught band.Propably it’s gonna be called 100%\r\nThrash.It’s gonna be a total speed album.We will take tracks up from every\r\nalbum because Sy obviously never sang on Power And Hell.I take three tracks of\r\nPower And Hell, we’ll record some tracks of the Force, take the three passage\r\ntracks from In Search Of Sanity.We may another a couple tracks from the new album\r\nmaybe remixed or something like that.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: So If I asked you about your\r\nfeelings about In Search Of Sanity what would you say?I guess they aren’t all\r\nthat good.\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nWell, it was\r\na bad time for us really where it should have been a good time cause we’ve\r\ntried to make the record deal for a huge company and everything was looking\r\ngood. The album was virtually complete and all of a sudden somebody from the\r\nrecord company came into the studio, said they didn’t like it, the sound wasn’t\r\nvery good and they wanted for Onslaught to sound more commercial.With a couple\r\nof weeks Steeve Grimmet was sent to the band from the record company basically,\r\nSy was fired and the band changed the feeling when the band has changed.It just\r\nmoved on where we didn’t really want to go then.It was strange because the\r\nrecord company has signed the songs of the demo that we delivered featuring\r\nraw, heavy and aggressive and all of a sudden makes of Onslaught sound more\r\nlike a commercial metal band which we didn’t really understand.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: They’ve just wanted to make more\r\nmoney out of it.\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yeah.They’ve\r\nobviously seen thrash metal was very big at the time for 1987.And I think they\r\ndidn’t really understand and they’ve never really signed a metal band of that\r\nera and they were more the known stream music label.I think they thought they\r\ncould do something with a metal band but they didn’t really know the market at\r\nall. They tried getting us through out a polished sound and it didn’t work with\r\nthe fans.And it didn’t work for us really.It didn’t make sense.I mean if they\r\nwould have left us with the way we wanted to do it, it would’ve propably been a\r\nlot more succesful.And I think so it was the beginning of the end for the band\r\nreally.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Yet Sy is once again in the form.\r\nDid you expect that he would consent easily to get back in the band after all\r\nthat happened back then?\r\n

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\r\n Nige\r\nRockett : Yeah, I mean he was seeking, he’s kept tight. I\r\nwasn’t very much out and Steeve went into a good place where Sy was working and\r\nsaid “I’ve got a question to ask you” he said “would you be interest in\r\nrebringing Onslaught if we got the band back together?” And he just freaked.He\r\nsaid “fucking yes!” He didn’t want to be out of the band in the first place.It\r\nwasn’t his choice.And he knew it wasn’t really thanks to us the reason he got fired.He knew there was\r\nnothing really that we could do about it with lot of politics going on behind\r\nthe scene.Simply we would have been for on the shelf for the length of our\r\ncontract and so going along to what they’ve said.So we were so forced into it\r\nreally so he totally understand and now he’s making up for the lost time.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: I’ve read that he had an eye surgery. Is he\r\nall right now?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nYes, he is\r\nfine.He’s recovered now.He had an operation in March, maybe April, I don’t know,\r\nI’m not sure really (laughs). He had the operation, it was a success and he was\r\nrecovered in about three or four weeks and everything’s fine now.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: The feedback and the reaction so far\r\nfrom the press and the fans has been quite impressive. Did you expect this\r\nwould happen from the very start?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nIt’s\r\ndifficult to say really.We knew we’ve made a good album ourselves.We like to\r\nthink we’re a good judge of music.We knew we had to make an album that it was\r\ngonna be heavy, aggressive and with a lot of energy otherwise the reunion was\r\nnever gonna work.And we’ve played the songs before we recorded to a lot of\r\npeople just to make sure we were in the right place. And obviously once Andy Sneap\r\nhas done such a good job we were quite confident that we were gonna get some\r\ngood reviews but the response so outwent expectation really and yes, it seems\r\nsuperb from the press and the fans alike the response that they really like it.\r\nCouldn’t be better really.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: You’ve signed a contract with\r\nCandlelight not that acquaintance with thrash metal involvements. Were there\r\nany other labels you could have done so?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yeah, I mean there were two or three labels at\r\nthe time.The reason why we actually went with Candlelight is because so part a\r\ncompany of theirs, Blackened Records, work with the company that re-released\r\nour first two albums,The Force and Power From Hell.They heard we got back\r\ntogether and we were looking out for a deal and they got in touch with us and\r\nsaid they were interest in signing the band. We were acting at Oxford which is very near to where we come from anyway. They so stated to us about what they’ve\r\ndone with Power From Hell and The Force and to the sells themselves, we’re very\r\nintelligent what they’ve done in a couple of years with these albums.And they\r\nhave a really good vision for Onslaught so it was something that we were happy\r\nwith and we haven’t been happy with a record label for a long time now.We like\r\nthe guy who is running the company.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: So is this going to be\r\na long-time deal?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett :No, we’ve signed an one album deal.We both\r\nwanted to talk.We both got an obtion for the next album.If the record company\r\nwants a release and that we want a release and that we want with them, there’s\r\na deal there if we want it. So we just see how things go for a little long with\r\nthis album and we will talk to the company again when we’re ready for the next\r\nrecord\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Are you happy with the promotion so\r\nfar?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yes, they’ve done a good job in some places,\r\nin some a couple of places they’ve been of not my expectations and things for a\r\nfew written lan organization problems by the record company.I mean they’re overcoming\r\nthem now, and they’ve done a pretty good job yeah.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Can you tell me a little bit about\r\nthe title of the album. Is there any hidden message behind it?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yes, I quess there is when you just stick to\r\nthe lyrics of the album generally, it’s about basically we happen to go at\r\nreligion all the way through the album really. \r\nAll these religious fanatic heresies that say we want peace in the world\r\nand listen that and at the end of the day it’s religion that is actually\r\nkilling the peace in the world and that’s why I can’t right them. Most of the\r\nwars and most of the problems that run the world are caused by some kind of\r\nreligion.And that’s why we say religion is killing peace, that was the story\r\nbehind the title for this album.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Is this why the lyrics are much more\r\ndark and evil structured than the previous albums?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of fact based stuff\r\nand it’s not all so of a story book lyrics, there’s a lot of facts behind the\r\nlyrics and there’s stuff that we all going mad on the internet and read in\r\nbooks and things and stuff, it’s very factual.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Who’s responsible for them?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : I write 90% of the lyrics myself and Jim, he\r\nadds in all that, helps me out with the clever bits, he’s very intelligent and\r\nhe comes out with order, with a nice clever word and the coolines.Me and Jim\r\nwrite down to the lyrics.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What can you say that consists the\r\nmajor difference to what the band used to be?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : We’re better musicians.I don’t know, I still\r\nlisten to old-school music all the time so in that respect I still listen to\r\nthe same music I was when we were around the first time\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What were your favourite bands?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Early Metallica, early Slayer, early Anthrax\r\nand all that kind of stuff.Discharge, discharge was actually my favourite band,\r\nMotorhead and things like that. I still listen to all that now.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Do you believe there is an uprising\r\nrevival for the thrash metal in 2007?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nWe’ve played\r\na lot of gigs in two years and even with\r\nthat short space of time we’ve noticed it, thrash is regaining popularity again\r\nvery fast. Especially in England\r\nthere are lots and lots of new bands forming and there is in other approach in Europe as well. I was speaking to a friend in America the other\r\nday that thrash metal things start to kick off all over again in a big way.\r\nIt’s gonna come back to a major popularity again.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: You’ve lived all that golden age of\r\nthrash metal when all the masterpieces of the genre came out. Do you think there\r\nis yet a possibility for the thrash to reach once more another peak of the same\r\ngreatness in it’s future development?\r\n

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\r\n Nige\r\nRockett : No, personally, no. Quite to discover that\r\nthrash metal kicks off but’85- ’88 was absolutely huge or everywhere around the\r\nworld. The only way I could see something maybe happening was if Metallica\r\nshould come back and write an earlier Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets.\r\nBut I really can’t see that happenning. But I mean that’s not to say it can’t\r\nreach very succesful levels again. There are still a lot of good bands about\r\nand a lot of the old-school bands there, and they are still being picked up.\r\nIt’s nothing to say it can’t keep growing but I think they can’t grow to the\r\nheights of before.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Do you recall any new bands that you\r\nwould say they could keep the banners high besides the old classic bands of\r\nSlayer, Kreator etc.?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : I don’t know I like lot’s of bands like Lamb Of\r\nGod, I personally like them a lot but would you describe them as thrash metal\r\nor not. Well, to be honest I like Lamd Of God and I like some Chimaira stuff, although\r\nI can’t listen to too much of it to be honest. I find it very, very sagging. Northampton And where as in real old-school stuff there is great variation in tracks\r\nand between albums. I find that a lot of new bands are very one dimensional.\r\nAnd I really do like Lamb Of God. I can’t listen to too much of new stuff\r\nbecause I don’t wanna be influenced in any way when we write in Onslaught\r\nsongs.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: You just wanna keep the old feeling\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett :Yes, that’s exactly what we did and listen to\r\nnothing now at all in case any influences maybe crack in and it’s a thing we\r\ndon’t want to do. I try to stay away from it if I can.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What are the best and worst things\r\nabout playing in a band?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nBest things\r\nare the sixteen years on stage without a doubt. Maybe the hours after or the\r\nhours before the gig, all the expectation after we’ve played for an hour, we’d\r\nlike to spend two or three hours out with the fans talking and drinking, that\r\nare the favourite parts for this band. The horrible part and the troubling are\r\nthe long hours of travelling. We just came back from Ireland on the weekend. We’ve\r\nplayed the festival over there and we travelled over like twelve hours. We were\r\nin Ireland\r\nfor about 16 hours and then we travelled 12 hours back. We were travelling for\r\n24 hours. Virtually we did a day and a half and it was hard but it was worth\r\nit. I mean it’s great to go and meet the people in face. Very good experience.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: So I guess you prefer a lot more\r\nbeing on the road than the studio process.\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett :Yeah, definitely. I mean when we made Killing\r\nPeace I was in the studio for 6 days. I recorded all the guitar part in 3 days\r\nand then went in with Andy Sneap when we started to mix for 3 days and then I\r\nleft and that was all I did. When we made the last album I was in the studio\r\nfor 18 hours a day for like 6 weeks. When we made In Search Of Sanity I never\r\nleft the studio basically, I was there on everybody’s session but I can’t do\r\nthat now....I just wanna go out to play music and meet the people.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Do you schedule any visit in our\r\ncountry?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nYes. We’re\r\ntalking about some days possibly March or April, we will decide with the end of\r\nthe album I was telling you about earlier.And we’re talking having a greek band\r\non the bill cause we’re gonna go around all the Balcan countries in the Balcans\r\nand Eastern Europe, some gigs in most of Europe, it’s gonna be quite a big\r\ntour. So, I believe we’re looking at doing two or three shows in Greece again.\r\nWe can’t wait to get back.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Yes, that would be great.And we\r\ncan’t wait to see you. Let me ask you now what are your expectations for the\r\nfuture? Do you think about that at all?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nYeah, I mean we’re all thinking at the future a\r\nlot, the momentum that we’ve gained over the last 6 months since the album’s come\r\nout it’s unbelievable. And I wouldn’t cage after my mind state side, I think we\r\nhave something like 14000 heads on our side. We’ve started up at last\r\nSeptenber, we left 14000 hits in the months leadind up to the album’s release\r\nand the album’s been out so for 4 months and we have done there 15000 hits in\r\nthat time. So it all tells you that things are improving for the band very well\r\nand we need to keep doing all that well while we write the next album and\r\nthat’s the part of releasing the re-recorded material just to keep our profile\r\nhigh level right to the next album and doing a tour in Europe next spring and\r\nhopefully getting on some festivals in the meantime. We just keep our profile\r\nas much as possible.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Have you written already any new stuff for the next album?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : Yes, we started. We’ve got one track already\r\ncomplete which is heavy and very aggressive, very similar to stuff on Killing\r\nPeace which is gonna take on the next level again. As Killing Peace sounded the\r\nnext album on from the Force, we’re gonna make the difference between Killing\r\nPeace and the new album. A little bit more aggressive, a little bit more\r\nheavier, maybe a little bit more faster.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: All right, and a last question. What\r\ndo you think are the helpful or the destructive things of the internet’s\r\nutilization?\r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nIt’s a\r\ndifficult question. I was always reaching things like Blood On Ice and stuff\r\nlike that. I was looking at today actually, there are the first weeks stats for\r\nthe new Korn album which I think was something like 15100 in the first week in\r\nAmerica.\r\nAnd their last album which was at the end of 2005 sold 30200 albums in the\r\nfirst week of start or something like that. I think it’s affecting sells,\r\ndefinitely. I was speaking to the guy that actually signed us to Music For\r\nNations when we recorded The Force and he came along to a gig we played the\r\nother week and I was talking to him. I said, does it really affect the music\r\nindustry and he said fucking, yes, badly.His record really has been hit by\r\ndownloading. But on the other side of things I must say people can hear your\r\nmusic. In a way it’s good and another way it’s bad. And the only thing that\r\nworries me it’s the downloading thing gets too easy out of control. The record\r\ncompanies will stop finding and investing in new\r\nbands because they’re awfully leading so much money they are not good in\r\ninvesting and making records and promoting bands should prompt their material\r\ndownloaded for free. And in the end that could kill the whole thing. And if\r\nthey’re not gonna get fund what’s important on making material, I mean if the\r\nonly way doing this, is for everybody to make their own records and sell\r\neverybody in it and that would do what they want with. The record companies\r\ncould become a thing of the past maybe, I don’t know.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Thank you so much Nige for this\r\ninterview. Is there anything you would like to comment for all of your greek\r\nfans? \r\n

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\r\nNige Rockett : \r\nI just like\r\nto say thank you to everybody when we came for two shows in Greece and all\r\nthe people that made us stay there such a wonderful experience back in earlier\r\nthis year which was just amazing. The hospitality we received from the greek\r\npeople was just out of this world and it was some of the best gigs in our lives\r\nand we so can’t wait to get back there. I just like to thank everybody for\r\nthat.\r\n

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\r\nVaso Prassa \r\n

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