Watch: VIO-LENCE Plays First Show With Fill-In Guitarist IRA BLACK
August 10, 2022
San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans VIO-LENCE played their first show with guitarist Ira Black on Tuesday (August 9) at the Brutal Assault festival in Jaromer, Czech Republic. Fan-filmed video of the concert is available below (courtesy of Aviad Attia).
Black, who grew up in the Bay Area and previously played with VICIOUS RUMORS, HEATHEN and METAL CHURCH, is filling in for founding VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel, who is currently on the road with LAMB OF GOD as the temporary replacement for Willie Adler.
On August 4, Ira took to his Facebook page to write: "The cats out of the bag! I will be filling in for my brotha Phil Demmel in VIO-LENCE for the upcoming 2022 dates starting at the Brutal Assault Festival on August 9th, Alcatraz Metal Festival on the 13th, the South America run in September and winter European tour! This is going to be a blast and I'm truly honored!
"VIO-LENCE is a legendary Bay Area thrash band and I've known them for many years. I've had a great time learning Phil's parts, rehearsals are going great, these guys are the real deal! I'm looking forward to slaying it for the VIO-LENCE fans around the world. See you out there!"
The same day, VIO-LENCE singer Sean Killian said: "VIO-LENCE is a state of mind more than it is a band. It's an attitude that never asks for forgiveness or to be accepted. Many musicians have represented those principles on stage as VIO-LENCE and today is no different.
"We would like to announce that in place of the great Philip Demmel we will be joined by a man who has shared the stage with musical legends. Today VIO-LENCE is announcing that another attitude will be joining us. We would like all the VIO-LENCE lovers and haters to welcome Ira Black who will be joining us on our upcoming performances."
Demmel first confirmed that he would miss some VIO-LENCE shows this past March during an appearance on "Talking Bollocks", the monthly metal podcast hosted by ACID REIGN frontman-turned-stand-up-comedian Howard H. Smith. Demmel, who at the time was touring the U.S. with OVERKILL as the temporary replacement for Dave Linsk, said: "There's some VIO-LENCE stuff coming up that I'm not gonna be able to be a part of because of choices that I'm making in my own career.
"VIO-LENCE was a side thing that we were doing. It was understood that I'm doing other stuff and that this would happen," he continued. "They weren't looking at doing full-blown tours, so trying to schedule stuff, it gets difficult. So there will be things that I won't be doing with VIO-LENCE, which is a little heartbreaking in the sense that… I'm the only member of VIO-LENCE that hasn't missed a show. So, yeah, there's a VIO-LENCE club and there's been a lot of former members. But I never quit the band. I carried that torch the whole time and hadn't missed a show."
Demmel went on to say that "it's a selfish move" on his part "to do these other things, but at 55 years old, I need to not regret passing up something to do another thing that may or may not… It's hard to explain. So I'm apologizing in advance for, if there will be a [VIO-LENCE] show that I'm not gonna be at," he said. "But I am 55. I'm in the twilight — maybe in the twilight of my musical career. You never know when it can all… A lot of peers that are… Plenty are dying, dude; they're just gone. And at this point in my career, I need to be a little selfish. And it might be hard to fathom from other people about doing things that aren't part of what VIO-LENCE is… It's emotional and it sucks, but it is what it is. It's not like I'm missing the whole year or anything, but there will be instances when I'm not on stage with those guys, and it's gonna be weird. It is what it is."
VIO-LENCE recently 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 will deliver "Let The World Burn", showcasing their first new material in 29 years.
Filling out the band's ranks on "Let The World Burn" alongside Demmel, Killian and original drummer Perry Strickland are former OVERKILL guitarist Bobby Gustafson and former FEAR FACTORY bassist Christian Olde Wolbers.
VIO-LENCE reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.