Witchgrinder's Travis Everett: 'Thrash is an amazing style that will never die"

You probably know Travis best in his role as vocalist/guitarist in Melbourne's Witchgrinder. But today he becomes Travis Everett - thrash pundit...

Greeting Travis, and welcome to Metal as Fuck! Thanks for getting involved in this month's look back at thirty years of thrash metal. For most of those thirty years there's been a gang of four bands recognised for their primacy amongst all other thrash bands - do you think that quartet is rightly lauded as 'the Big 4'? "I think my selection would have been the same but I don't know why they had to stop at four. Testament, Kreator, early Sepultura et cetera; there are heaps more great thrash bands that are equally as good as the big four". 

You've selected three bands there from different parts of the world, so what to you, is the quintessential sound of thrash? And from whence does it hail? Does it come from the Bay Area, from Germany, or from somewhere else? "The music needs to be fast and angry. Plenty of leads and plenty of riffs. Thrash music comes from every teen kid who is pissed off and wants to release some energy and have fun through listening to it. i'm fucked if I know really where it all started; really I don't think it matters."

Fair enough! Let's talk about favourite records now - Can you give me five albums you'd consider to be thrash essentials?

1. Metallica - Master of Puppets

2. Slayer - Reign in Blood

3. Megadeth - Peace Sells But Who's Buying?

4. Sepultura - Beneath the Remains 

5. Machine Head - The Blackening

A bit of a surprise at number five! That's enough listing for the time being. What about performance? Who are the best live thrash outfit of all time in your opinion? "Metallica but I wish I had have seen them in the earlier days."

Yes, those early and mid eighties tours really set the benchmark dind't they? I was lucky enough to see them several times from 1984-86, and they never seemed to have an off day. Well, they did once, but that's a story for another day. But talking of stinkers, what about the worst thrash band you've seen? "If I have one they were that bad I've forgotten their name".

Haha very diplomatic - we'll leave that topic be!. Onto songwriting now.  What are the key elements for writing a classic thrash tune "Riffs, riffs, solos and more riffs. And make it fast."

Good advice. And which musicians would you like to recruit into your dream thrash band to enact your songwriting ethos? "Phil Anselmo (Vocals), lead guitarist would be Dave Mustaine, James Hetfield on rhythm guitar, Lemmy on bass and drummer would be Dave Lombardo. I'm not sure if it would work but it would be fucking fun to see them all rocking out together!"

And wrestling over the mic! You've got three lead vocalists in there! Now finally, what do you think is the biggest gift given to heavy metal by thrash?"A chance for people to play faster heavy music. I think heavy metal and thrash are both gifts in themselves. It's an amazing style that will never die".