American legends TOXIK will offer a superlative show this weekend in Mexico City.
We had the chance to speak some words with them and this is the story.
By Victor Varas
This is your very first time in Mexico and I think Latino America. Why you had to wait more than 20 years to make this Tour? Do you think nowadays you have better conditions to make a tour?
I mean: honest promoters, a healthy metal scene, a new album. Honestly it was just the right time for us. I think back in the day it was easier to get tour support from the labels but they were less likely to send a band to a “market” they weren’t sure of where as now it’s not up to the label it’s up to us and the fans… So it’s way more pure now and I think knowing that people wanted to see us there was reason enough for us to come (JC)
Your music in the 80’s was extremely complex, technical and with good flavour of metallic spirit. It has tons of tempo changes, high-pitched vocals, and musical arrangements that were totally unusual in those years (only Coroner, Annihilator, Aspid, Paradox, and few more) Do you think that your music was a bit misunderstood in those years?
I do actually, I was just on a show the other day and we were talking about how the label just did not understand us or where to place our music. (PS you forgot Watchtower, Anacrusis, Mekong Delta) 😉 but in the long run I think it’s what has kept Toxik relevant as much as we may be all these years later. (JC)
I read somewhere that Josh Christian is totally dedicated in music business and released some solo albums after band’ s break up. Why you decided to bring-back the thrash metal band? What is the hardest thing you’ve found in the process?
Yes I did 3 solo projects and produced and played on a few others that were not metal, I also did some film score and TV ad work.. The hardest thing for me getting back into the prog thrash of Toxik I guess was the speed of it…. I still struggle with a little carpel tunnel or RSI from time to time so that took some work…as far as why? I missed it, I missed the music I missed the friends and the fans.. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be here, thanks for asking. (JC)
What about new wave of “old school thrash metal”? Are you updated of what is happening in thrash metal genre around the world? What’s your honest opinion about young bands recycling what you and other bands did in 80s?
It’s cool the more the merrier … I don’t have anything negative to say at all.. Music is subjective, personal tastes vary… So for me I listen to what I like and fast forward or skip over what I don’t. (JC)
Self-promoting in social media and new technologies in Internet? Or, do you think is better get a label and get music promotion in a traditional way? Does it make any sense to be signed by a big label after all?
It depends on the band… For thrash or a cult band like Toxik it can work either way (JC)
There are pluses and minuses, but focusing on the positive, it’s an amazing way to keep in touch with the fans! They can get first hand updates directly from the band. We can let them know where we’re playing so they can come out to the shows. We can stream videos and the music directly to them and stay engaged with them which wasn’t available back when Toxik started.
Label are still relevant and having one behind you can still be very beneficial. They have connections established which can help move a band forward faster. Distribution, for example is one of those things they are still good for helping to get the music out to the fans. (BB)
Importance of printed fanzines and underground media. Do you still get support from them?
There are so many now it’s almost impossible…But I believe that printed materials are making a comeback. Like vinyl and cassettes. There’s a charm and a character to print. (JC)
Back in the years you lived old glories of thrash metal in USA. Can you name some good bands of the underground that really kicked asses, back in 80’s?
I liked Whiplash, Nuclear Assault, Leeway. (MS)
For me, bands like Overkill and Sepultura were constantly in my cassette deck. (BB)
Detentė, Crumbsuckers, Cromags, Realm, Tankard, Sacred Reich, Nasty Savage etc …(JC)
Of course there were many influences in those years that make you improve thrash metal genre. Are these roots the same nowadays? What can we expect from your new material “InHumanity”, musically speaking?
Well it’s still definitely Toxik but we’ve gotten heavier, more aggressive… There are moments on the new album that are literally almost tech-death or black metal sounding. It’s still politically charged lyrically and the artwork once again ties into the theme of the album. I think old fans will get it and we may even attract a slightly different brand of fan. I’m sure there will be some fallout as people sometimes prefer a band to stay the same, but that’s not our way. The difference between “World Circus” and “Think This” demonstrates that pretty clearly… This album will be the same way (JC)
Do you think that genres like thrash metal must mature, or you can call yourselves purists?
I think every band needs to mature and keep learning and experience new ideas. (MS)
What happened with documentary “This is Toxik”? Is this already out?
The documentary wasn’t our idea in the first place, and the producer gave up on the project. (MS) Yes there was a moment where it looked as tho it would get done but we weren’t really a formed band and I think he got frustrated by it… Too bad that wasn’t happening now (JC)
Please, some words for people reading Zombie Ritual Fanzine (now online webzine)
Thank you for the support. We hope to give you a great show this year and many more to come. (MS)
Without the listener the musical artist has nothing so it’s a symbiotic relationship… Because of you, we exist…
And how does one thank his maker properly? (JC)