Truth Corroded's Jason North: "There is no better feeling than yelling SLAYER!!!! as loud as possible"...

When it comes to thrash, Jason North knows his onions, so we thought we'd better give him the chance to share his thoughts on the subject...

Truth Corroded have, over the last few years, forged a reputation for themselves as one of Australia's leading thrash outfits, so we really couldn't not involve them in our Metal Thrashing May activites, right? So we sent the MaF carrier pigeons Adelaide-wards weighed down with questions for TC vocalist Jason North... Here's the result of our communications.

Hello Jason - thanks for being with us today.The Big Four – This thrash pantheon has long been established, but do you agree with it's makeup? If not, who would your Big Four be, and why? "Well lets just say I love thrash metal, always have and always will - it is the best metal genre and pretty much sums up my teenage years and early twenties. So having grown up around the time of the Big Four. I would have to agree with the original Big Four because I think those four bands had the most influence in some way or another on most of the other thrash bands coming out, plus the amount of albums they sold compared to the other bands was staggering. Then include the amount of coverage from media outlets that those bands were getting compared to the lesser bands I think those bands have to be the Big Four. A lot of people talk about Testament, Exodus being included but I don’t think those bands had the wide appeal that the Big Four did, even though they are just as good. My big 4 … well when I was growing up my favourite band was Anthrax, they were the band that got me into thrash as I was a huge Iron Maiden fan so the vocals of Anthrax (Belladonna era) definitely made me take notice of thrash so they make the list. Then you cant deny Slayer, pretty much the ultimate thrash band – they have always delivered the goods (except maybe 1 or 2 average tracks) and they have always been Slayer, plus there is no better feeling than yelling SLAYER!!!! as loud as possible. I have to include Sepultura because they just blew me away and changed the game for me as it proved you didn’t have to be from the USA or Germany to be a great thrash band, plus Beneath the Remains is my all time favourite album and they fucking rule! Lastly I am gonna put Vio-lence in there because when it comes to thrash Eternal Nightmare has it all – crushing riffs, solos, mosh parts basically every track when you hear it you just want to kick someones face in – total thrash chaos. A lot of people didn’t like Sean Killian's vocals but personally I think they rule, they are so unique and his phrashing was insane. I sadly never got to see them live but the footage you can see online et cetera just proves they were the shit".

It seems to me that Vio-Lence were probably the greatest 'what if?' band of thrash metal's early years. Next question - what, as far as you are concerned, is the quintessential sound of thrash? Does it come from the Bay Area, from Germany, Canada or from somewhere else? For me it has to be the Bay Area sound, the bands that come from that scene just speak for themselves: Vio-lence, Testament, Forbidden, Exodus, Metallica, Death Angel, Possessed, Defiance, Heathen, Sadus - the list goes on. The Bay Area sound had a certain class about it but still had aggression and the guitarists in most of the bands were amazing, I can only imagine what it would have been like growing up in the Bay Area and attending some of those crazy early shows when thrash was on the rise".

Yes, I'm with you there - such an amazing explosion of talent in such a short space of time. Now, five Essential thrash albums – name them please! "In no order:

Anthrax – Among The Living

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Sepultura – Beneath The Remains

Vio-lence – Eternal Nightmare

Then it would be a tie between Dark Angel – Darkness Descends, Forbidden's Forbidden Evil and Extreme Aggression by Kreator. I know I am missing someone and honestly my list would be endless, can I keep going?

Not today I'm afraid - we've got too much ground to cover! Moving on to performance matters now, Who are the best live thrash outfit of all time in your opinion? "That’s hard to say as I didn’t get the opportunity to witness some of these bands at their peak, but most thrash bands delivered the goods – you had to, as you live and die by your live performance. But out of the bands I have seen I would say – Anthrax, Sepultura, Slayer, Forbidden and Testament, all pretty much nailed it".

And the worst? Anyone stink the place up when you saw them? "I am pretty sure if there was a bad thrash band live they didn’t really get too far because if you suck live you had no chance of breaking out, plus there's no point talking bad about bands - always focus on the positive not the negative".

Good advice! But we can't resist a little bit of rubbishing every now and then so you can't blame us for asking... What are the key elements for writing a classic thrash tune, given you've been involved in the writing of a few yourself? "Speed, killer leads, a great mix of fast and mosh riffs and just killer musicianship. Some of the best metal musicians are in thrash bands or started in thrash bands".

Indeed so, and keeping our thoughts along those lines, which musicians would make up your own 'dream' thrash outfit from the last 30 years? "Fuck that’s hard, Well definitely Gene Hoglan on drums, Rhythm guitar I would have a mix of Scott Ian (Spreading the Disease/Among the Living era Anthrax) and Max Cavalera (Beneath the Remains/Arise-era Sepultura), lead guitar I will have to go with a young Alex Skolnick (Legacy/New Order  era Testament) and vocals? hmmm,  lets take the insanity of Sean Killian (Vio-lence) and mix in the heavy attack of an early Max Cavalera". 

And finally, what do you think is the biggest gift given to heavy metal by thrash? "The biggest gift would have to be simply thrash metal itself, It’s the gift that keeps on giving!"