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Interviews : Destruction (Marcel Schirmer)

By on March 11, 2011

Destruction – March Schirmer

DESTRUCTION are considered one of the three heavyweights of the teutonic thrash metal movement which was formed during the 1980’s throughout Germany, the other two bands being SODOM and KREATOR. The band return with their 11th album ‘Day of Reckoning’, which sees the band not only returning to their more aggressive thrash metal roots, but also sees a return to their original label of Nuclear Blast Records.

Metal Obsession sat down with Destruction founder and bassist, Marcel Schirmer about Destruction’s latest release and the future of thrash metal.


Metal Obsession: You mentioned in a couple of early statements that the new album would go back to Destruction’s aggressive thrash roots.  Was it always your intention to do this when first writing the album?

Marcel Schirmer: On the new album (Day of Reckoning) we definitely wanted to feature more of the band’s early thrash metal roots. Sometimes we would play a riff and it would be close to some of our older material, but we didn’t want to copy ourselves. This time we weren’t really aware of that. We just said “If it comes out good will use it”. The album needed a lot of right hand thrash picking and when we all sat down we really wanted to just go back to the beginning.

MO: Where did most of the influence come from to write the new album. Would you consider it a concept album?

MS: Nah! I wouldn’t consider it a concept album. A lot of the lyrics do sound “pissed off” in a way and the title and the cover art really go together as a unit. But I wouldn’t call the new album a concept album.

MO: The album features a lot more aggression compared to some of the band’s previous albums. Is this a personal aggression, or is it more directed towards politics, religion or something of that nature?

MS: It does deal with certain circumstances in daily life. I mean I can get pissed off about a lot of things like politics or politicians, but also things that deal with my personal life too. It gives me a lot of fuel to for my lyrics. To be honest, I’m actually a very laid back, down to earth and funny person. However, life and certain people like to treat us bad sometimes and thats where I get the inspiration for the lyrics.

MO: Destruction recently picked up a new drummer, Vaaver. How’s it been working with him on the new album?

MS: He came in when the album was already written. He’s a very extraordinary drummer and really left his trademark on the new album. We gave him enough space to express himself. The songs were already written, but there was a certain concept or beat 100% set in stone for the album that we had in mind. But basically he did an amazing job. He brought in his own style, his own little fills and cymbal stuff and it all fits really well. It also brings Destruction into a new running.

MO: Was Vaaver your first choice as drummer, or did you and Mike rehearse other drummers before choosing Vaaver?

MS: Yeah! We reviewed some other guys, but he and another guy were the first choices and then we had to decide which one we wanted to take. Vaaver scored at the end because of his personality. He’s a very calm and down to earth person, very educated and knows how to fucking drink. [laughs] Polish people are very solid. That’s something we really liked about him, besides his playing.

MO: Do you think metal fans will embrace the new album, or do you think metal fans are a bit overburdened with choice nowadays?

MS: It’s become very hard to be a metal head these days. I mean there seems to be a lot of albums coming out and its always hard to decide which one to get. It’s also hard to get the recognition you once had back in the day. When we first started there were maybe two or three metal albums coming out at the time. Then during the hight of the 80’s we had roughly 20 albums coming out. Now it seems we have like 50 to 60 albums coming out every month and its become a bit of an overdose for everyone.

I think we did a great job on the new album and I’m very positive about this release because its such a high quality album. Everything goes together really well. The cover art, the sound, the songs and being back with Nuclear Blast is also a great thing too.

MO: It must frustrate you sometimes though being on a major label like Nuclear Blast and still finding it hard to promote, or even tour in certain areas of the world due to what’s popular at the time?

MS: It’s been a big step forward for us because we left Nuclear Blast some years ago and went on A & M records, which is a big label here in Germany and Europe. Outside of Europe its very difficult for A & M, so being back on Nuclear Blast is a huge change and a big step forward because they have such a great distribution system around the world. It’s very import to have distribution. A proper distribution, you know? I mean we tried to tour Australia in the last couple of years, but our old label didn’t do much over there and we could never tour in the end.

MO: What are your thoughts on the thrash metal movement at the moment?

MS: I think….it’s getting stronger day by day. I can see a lot of young kids at the shows again, which wasn’t a thing to see about 10 years ago. 10 years ago there wasn’t much of a change in the movement, but now there seems to be a whole new generation rising. Of course the 80’s were very special and cannot be compared to this, but I think right now we definitely have the strongest thrash scene, so things are looking good. I like the fact that there is a lot of younger people coming to the shows now.

MO: Does it worry you sometimes where thrash metal might lead too once bands like Sodom, Megadeth, Slayer or Kreator start to disappear?

MS: Not really. I mean the young bands need time and originality. Some of them are already on their way. I think with a bit more experience, a few albums and some tours those bands will become the next generation…I’m pretty sure. I mean it’s not always possible to write the best album when its your first, so I think we just have to wait and see. There is some great talent out there and I’m sure it will take off in the next couple of years once all the big bands slowly start to disappear.

MO: Who are some of the younger generation of thrash metal bands that you have taken a liking too?

MS: I like Evile from England because they’re not trying to copy anyone. They’re trying something original which is important for any young band. There is a lot of great bands out there, but they maybe ripping off a lot of other bands. I like a band from Brazil called Violator who are amazing, but all they’re doing is essentially stealing other riffs, you know? Of course they have a certain energy and charisma which I really like about the band but the band is not very original. I prefer bands who try to be original as they’ll most likely go further. As I said before its normal to try and find your own style before making a great album.

MO: We all know that America has the ‘Big 4’ with Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Do you think Germany could have a comeback of the ‘Big 3’ (Sodom, Destruction and Kreator), or perhaps start its own ‘Big 4’ with a possibility of a tour in the near future?

MS: Of course! I mean you have Sodom, Destruction and Kreator and maybe Tankard to be included. We already did some shows together back in 2001 with Sodom and Kreator in Europe and all the shows were sold out and it was an amazing tour. We are thinking about bringing this back, maybe in 2013 with the celebration of 30 years of European thrash. Maybe we can get our asses together and do a world wide tour. That would be nice.

MO: Our website recently promoted the top albums of 2010. What would you say has been the best album or albums of 2010?

MS: [laughs] That’s a very good question. I don’t know. I’m not really into categorising the best albums or saying “this is the best album”. It’s important that records are good and everyone has their own tastes. There are a couple of albums I really like, but I wouldn’t really say which was number one for me, personally. There is a lot of albums in my car. Basically my number one albums are in the 80’s. Those are the origins of heavy metal and those are my top albums. I can’t really say which one of those would be my number one though.

MO: Destruction have some tours coming up soon in Europe, Latin American and North America to promote the new album.  Is there a chance Australia will see Destruction for an upcoming tour?

MS: Yeah! Australia is always on the list, you know? We had this tour planned some years ago (Screamfest), but then our shows got cancelled. We were really pissed off because we had some amazing memories from our last trip down to Australia and we really want to come back. Now that we have a better distribution in Australia through Nuclear Blast and doing a lot of interviews to promote the new album, it looks like there is an interest again. I think fans will be able to buy this new record and say its a very good album, so I think there is a good chance we will be back in Australia.

We are planning an Eastern tour with all the Eastern countries which will be in October/November which will be a great time to tour Australia. I hope fans will support this record and we can come over. I’m looking forward to it because I’m a big fan of Aussie red wine and wine in general. I really want to come over and not just play, but be able to visit and see the country, the people and really enjoy myself.

MO: Well if I don’t happen to catch you in Australia I’ll be seeing you at Summer Breeze this year.

MS: Oh Summer Breeze! We’re actually co-headlining the opening night which is called ‘Nuclear Blast Night’ I think. If you want to see that show its kinda going to be a tough one because I think its only limited access because the festival hold like 30,000 people or something like that and I think the tent will be playing in hold about 10,000. It’s going to be a little squeezy.

There’s actually a lot of Australian’s coming over to these festivals. There is a few underground festivals like Bang Your Head and a lot of well known one’s like Wacken where I see a lot of Aussie’s. Hopefully Australia will have a festival we can tour with soon.

MO:…Hopefully! [laughs]

MS: [laughs]

MO: It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Marcel. Is there anything you wish to say to the Aussie fans before we depart?

MS: Yeah! I just want to say will try our best to come back to Oz. I know a lot of people have been waiting since the last time we toured which was…my god, ahhh 2002 I think? It was a long time ago. I really appreciate the support and I will do my best to bring Destruction back to Oz.


Q’s: Anwar Rizk
A’s: Marcel Schirmer
Band: Destruction
Date: 11/03/2011
Origin: Germany

Day of Reckoning is now available via Nuclear Blast Records, Riot! Entertainment Australia and all good leading music outlets.




Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.