American thrash act TOXIC HOLOCAUST was founded in 1999 by vocalist/guitarist Joel Grind. The band has become one of the bigger names to emerge from the underground in the past decade and they bring a scary punk vibe to their sonic brutality. TOXIC HOLOCAUST has released “Chemistry of Consciousness” in 2013 via Relapse Records. The band will be touring heavily across America and beyond in support of the new album.
The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted an EXCLUSIVE interview with Joel Grind of TOXIC HOLOCAUST for TMD’s loyal following of DEN HEADZ all across the globe!
ROCKET: Where were you born and raised?
JOEL: I was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. I lived there for a little bit then I went to Maryland. And then lived in Delaware. I always kind of lived on the border of those two places. So I lived most my life in the Maryland/Delaware area. Then I moved out to the west coast about six years ago.
ROCKET: Do you recall your first rock concert?
JOEL: In 1992 with Metallica, Guns N Roses and Faith No More.
ROCKET: Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Like myself, I know you are a big old school punk fan.
JOEL: Yeah, I am. I know a lot of people know the Sex Pistols and Clash…but there’s a lot of other bands that are really aggressive and apocalyptic sounding.
ROCKET: Let’s talk about the new album “Chemistry Of Consciousness” released October 29 in North America via Relapse Records. I have listened to it and totally give it two horns up! Are you happy with how it turned out?
JOEL: Yeah, I am. I know people always say the new one is their favorite. But this is the record I have been trying to make I just didn’t know how to.
ROCKET: Where was the album recorded?
JOEL: It was self recorded. Our drummer has a studio on the east coast and he recorded the drums. And I was living in L.A. and recorded the rest of the stuff in a rehearsal room in Los Angeles. I just wanted it to be raw and stripped down.
ROCKET: Can you tell us what kind of themes and subjects are explored on this record?
JOEL: Subjects like our personal rights being infringed on. Not like lost but I feel it’s a personal attack on our individuality. The government and media… and how they try to force feed you this stuff.
ROCKET: How has your working relationship been going so far with your label Relapse Records?
JOEL: It’s been amazing, man. They are really open to ideas that I have and it’s this feeling like it’s this symbiotic thing where we are just working together… as opposed to tensions that happen between bands and labels. It’s more like we are working together to push the tunes. They come up with a lot of good ideas and are open to good ideas I can come up with. It’s been awesome, man. I really like working with them.
ROCKET: Have you listened to the new Motorhead album? That album kicks serious ass!! I don’t know how Lemmy can still be going so strong at 67.
JOEL: Yeah, actually I was just listening to it. (laughs)
ROCKET: What would you say is the biggest goal for your band that you have not achieved yet?
JOEL: Well next year we’re gonna try and hit South America. We did Brazil in the past but nothing else there. We’ve had a lot of interest in that place so we’re gonna try and hit Chile and Columbia, places like that.
ROCKET: How do you get warmed up before a show? Do you exercise or meditate or do anything to prepare to hit the stage?
JOEL: I kind of like to just sit back and warm up with my guitar. Nothing real crazy, just kind of get in a zone… and get ready. I kind of like to take time when I am by myself and gather my thoughts. I don’t really like to have a bunch of people around me when I am about to play. Sometimes you can’t help it. There’s not a lot of backstage area with the kind of shows we play.
ROCKET: What is your favorite part of being out on the road?
JOEL: I really just enjoy meeting new people. Seeing new cities and stuff like that. It’s always fun to get out of your city, you know.. and travel around.
ROCKET: Okay, wrapping this up where is the best place for fans to pickup a copy of “Chemistry of Consciousness?
JOEL: It’s cool to go out and buy it at a store. That’s how I grew up buying records… so that’s my preference, but anywhere really. I think it’s cool if you want to support and buy the physical copy. With today’s day and age it’s much appreciated when people want to go out and buy it.
ROCKET: Thanks for rocking this out with me. Congrats on the slamming new album! Best of luck on the road. Any last words for the fans?
JOEL: I just want to say it means a lot to me. I’ve been doing this so long and things only keep happening because of them. It means a lot to me.