VIO-LENCE Announces New Touring Drummer, Fill-In Guitarist

February 20, 2023

San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE have recruited Adrian Aguilar (EXMORTUS) to play drums for the band following the departure of Perry Strickland.

Aguilar will make his live debut with VIO-LENCE this Saturday, February 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

VIO-LENCE has also announced that guitarist Phil Demmel will be unable to make the group's shows in Asia, Australia and New Zealand in early March and will be temporarily replaced by Miles Dimitri Baker (VOIDBRINGER, INTERLOPER, ex-RINGS OF SATURN).

The rest of VIO-LENCE's current lineup includes singer Sean Killian, former FEAR FACTORY, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and guitarist Ira Black (VICIOUS RUMORS, HEATHEN, METAL CHURCH).

Notably, VIO-LENCE's shows in Asia, Australia and New Zealand will feature only Killian from the lineup that played its first comeback gig in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California. The VIO-LENCE lineup that appeared at the Metro consisted of Killian, Demmel, Strickland, bassist Deen Dell and guitarist Ray Vegas.

Strickland confirmed his departure from VIO-LENCE earlier this month by sharing a video of him performing with the band and captioning it: "I'll Miss playing these songs !" After one fan asked Perry in the comments to clarify whether he has in fact exited the group, Strickland responded: "yes about a month ago".

Among the people reacting to Strickland's announcement was former OVERKILL and VIO-LENCE guitarist Bobby Gustafson, who wrote: "Good luck with what ever you do in the future. We had some good times finally."

One day after BLABBERMOUTH.NET posted a story about Strickland's exit, VIO-LENCE took to Instagram to share a posted for the band's upcoming Asian tour dates and captioned it: "Nobody quit Vio-Lence!!! #blabbermouth". When one fan responded, "Perry says different!", the VIO-LENCE account doubled down with: "like I said nobody QUIT Vio-Lence." Another fan wrote "Well he did" in reference to Perry "quitting" VIO-LENCE, to which VIO-LENCE responded: "No he didn't he is no longer in the band."

Gustafson joined VIO-LENCE in January 2020 as the replacement for Vegas but announced his departure from the band last October. At the time, VIO-LENCE cited "logistical difficulties that weigh too heavy to function in a productive manner" as the reason for the split with Bobby.

In March 2022, VIO-LENCE released a new EP, "Let The World Burn", via Metal Blade Records. The five-song collection, VIO-LENCE's first original release since 1993's "Nothing To Gain", was tracked at Trident Studios in Pacheco, California by Juan Urteaga (MACHINE HEAD, EXODUS),mixed by Tue Madsen (DARK TRANQUILLITY, HEAVEN SHALL BURN) and mastered by Ted Jensen (ALICE IN CHAINS, DEATH ANGEL).

Formed in 1985, VIO-LENCE helped define and refine what came to be known as the Bay Area sound, dropping three seminal albums before splitting in 1993. Leaving behind a heady legacy, they reformed briefly a couple of times in the intervening years before becoming a full-time going concern once more in 2019. After playing a string of successful shows, the quintet started to think about new music and delivered "Let The World Burn", showcasing their first new material in 29 years.

VIO-LENCE's recording lineup on "Let The World Burn" consisted of Gustafson, Demmel, Killian and Strickland along with Olde Wolbers.

VIO-LENCE reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.

Demmel was in MACHINE HEAD for nearly 16 years, during which time he played on five of the group's studio albums: "Through The Ashes Of Empires" (2003),"The Blackening" (2007),"Unto The Locust" (2011),"Bloodstone & Diamonds" (2014) and "Catharsis" (2018).

VIO-LENCE played its first show with Black in August 2022 at the Brutal Assault festival in Jaromer, Czech Republic.

Black, who grew up in the Bay Area and previously played with VICIOUS RUMORS, HEATHEN and METAL CHURCH, filled in for Demmel, who was on the road at the time with LAMB OF GOD as the temporary replacement for Willie Adler.

Although MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE's classic incarnation and played on the band's debut album, "Eternal Nightmare", he wasn't approached about taking part in the band's reunion.

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