With influences such as Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost crossed with The Plasmatics, Alice Cooper and Kiss, Slaughter was considered a "Thrash Metal / Punk band" not to be confused with the Glamrock, hair spray band from the U.S.A! SLAUGHTER first formed in Scarborough (Toronto), Ontario, Canada at the height of new-wave and Glamrock, Metal bands. They couldn’t play their instruments and the songs were all made as "jokes" at first. The idea was to make funny music tapes and mail them out to as many people as they could, just to see the reaction. Little did they know when people started writing back saying that they loved the songs. That first tape called "Bloody Karnage" opened up the doors for SLAUGHTER to take the band seriously. They hooked up with a local record store owner, Brian Tailor and recorded a proper demo / cassette / album called "Surrender Or Die" to be sold in certain stores and by mail-order. SLAUGHTER began playing shows, recorded their first album "Strappado" in 1986 and finally after many delays released it on Diabolic Force / Fringe Records in early 1987 Later "Strappado" was re-mixed and released in 1992 on CD with unreleased tracks not on the original album. Also in 2000 (the original demo) "Surrender Or Die" was released on CD! Ron Sumners the original drummer and founding member quit the band in 1986. In 1987, new drummer Brian Lourie, joined on drums. The band toured alot mainly in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto Terry Sadler, the vocalist, co-songwriter, co-founder and bass player quit the band in 1990. "It became a pain in the ass after 6 years with SLAUGHTER and 10 years in other bands before that! It wasn’t fun anymore!" he says. "We had been experimenting with 2nd guitarists and playing a more "Heavy Metal" style, that didn’t quite mold with our original fans, who wanted the more thrashy, simple style that was more of a cross between the SEX PISTOLS and METALLICA / SLAYER / CELTIC FROST)." Terry tried another band after SLAUGHTER called THE HALO OF FLIES but it was a disaster and was squashed by a gigantic fly swatter! It was a more ALICE COOPER inspired effort. In 1990, SLAUGHTER got new bass player; Mike Dalton and a 2nd guitar player, Bobby Sadzak. The name was changed to STRAPPADO (title of the first LP) and the new four piece released two new albums: "Not Dead Yet" and "Fatal Judgement".
This was the official history of SLAUGHTER according to their website. To bring you an even more detailed feature on this classic band, we managed to track down original members Dave Hewson and Terry Sadler for this following in-depth interview. Some answers turned out a little bit contradictory, for the simple reason that we interviewed both individually and just combined the result afterwards. Enjoy!
How did you get into Metal music and what have you all been up to before you got together in SLAUGHTER? Any bands that you played in previously?
Dave: "As long as I can remember I have been into heavy music. In grade 7 I met Ron Sumners… he was listening to OZZY and I was listening to MOTÖRHEAD – "No Life ‘Til Hammersmith". No, this was my first band. Terry was much older than us… He was singing and drumming in bands before we knew him. Mostly IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST type."
Terry: "Before I started SLAUGHTER, I had been in many bands. Some were METAL FATIGUE, BLISSMASS, BLIND AMBITION, LIZZY BORDEN, NAZZ, MEGOLITH and THE HALO OF FLIES. I played drums and sang lead vocals for 10 years before forming my ultimate band SLAUGHTER! I had given up on being in anymore bands in 1984, until I met Dave Hewson and Ron Sumners."
Terry, before you formed SLAUGHTER, you planned to eventually name the band SLAUGHTERHOUSE but changed that idea… Why?
Terry: "I couldn’t play guitar at all, and Ron and Dave had no ideas of playing. We decided to pick an instrument and just play "open E" at full volume. It sounded like grinding and screaming like a SLAUGHTERHOUSE, so it was perfect. No one else would be as insane as I am, to ever use a name like that! Later on we shortened it up to just SLAUGHTER, because it was better sounding."
SLAUGHTER came together as a band in August 1984 and you already released your first demo "Bloody Karnage" in December the same year. How come? Did you already have songs written prior to forming SLAUGHTER or were you simply fast songwriters?
Terry: "We just had a million ideas in our head and pretending we were VENOM, METALLICA or SLAYER! I threw in a bit of KISS, PLASMATICS and a ton of ALICE COOPER and it ended up sounding like something completely different."
Dave: "Almost everything we recorded Terry would release. Actually Terry had a book of lyrics and we would just write a bunch of riffs and see how each riff would go with certain lyrics. I guess we were pretty fast… pretty lucky."
I remember that the rehearsals recorded prior to that demo – dating from August (!!), October and November ’84, featured material which wasn’t included on your first demo, and in fact material that wasn’t used later either and that stuff sounded really strange like the guitar sound, it didn’t sound "Heavy Metal" at all, almost like if you played on acoustic guitar… Is there anything you have to say about that debut material?
Terry: "Those "Meatcleaver" demos were us experimenting with ideas and lyrics. Completely off the top of our heads!!"
Dave: "I don’t remember the tracks that you are talking about. We never recorded with acoustic guitars, so it must have been the quality of the tape."
Wasn’t it a bit too early for a debut release back then? If you would have the same situation now, would you do it again that way or would you wait a little longer?
Terry: "We always were tape traders with other bands and so I always mailed free rehearsal and live tapes to pen-pals in magazines. Also to test the waters on new material and get feedback from true "metalheads" like ourselves."
Dave: "I used to get pissed off when Terry would release everything. But if he didn’t we would have not got the exposure that we did."
Did you play any cover tunes in your early days? Where did your influences come from?
Dave: "We played a lot of CELTIC FROST and HELLHAMMER tunes. We also played some VENOM. Our influences were – SLAYER, VENOM, CELTIC FROST."
Terry: "Covers we did in rehearsals were bits and combinations of ‘Seek And Destroy'(METALLICA), ‘Chemical Warfare’ / ‘Black Magic’ (SLAYER),’Witching Hour’ (VENOM), ‘Massacra’ and anything by HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST. We tried alot of SACRIFICE tunes, because we were always hanging out together. My influences at the time were ALICE COOPER, GENE SIMMONS (KISS) and THE PLASMATICS especially!"
"Bloody Karnage" was recorded in your rehearsal room only… Would you like to tell us some additional details about it maybe? What actually made you go for this weird spelling of the title?
Dave: "We actually just recorded a rehearsal where Rob Urbinati and Joe Rico (of SACRIFICE) were there. They jumped in and played some leads and shit and we thought it rocked! I actually think Terry thought carnage was spelled with a "K"."
Terry: "We recorded "Bloody Karnage" as a drunken joke on New Years Eve 1984. Joe Rico and Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE) came over and played ‘Hammer Of The Gods’ on lead guitars and we all jammed ideas of the songs, all in one live shot. I was screaming into a microphone on a tape deck. I got electrical shots from my bare feet, so I had to stand inside a guitar case! What furiour!!!"
Musically it was still a lot more in the Punk / Hardcore direction, so what made you change your style a bit on "Surrender Or Die"? Was it just a natural progression, becoming better musicians or did your musical influences also change so that you started to write a little bit different yourselves?
Terry: "We progressed naturally and became slightly better musicians!"
Dave: "I think each song just went its own way. Every song just got better it seemed. Maybe we got better as the time went on, but maybe not!"
What inspired you lyrically?
Dave: "At the time, for myself I would have to say VENOM. As for Terry, his lyrics were written 10 years earlier."
Terry: "My lyrics were always little bits stolen or trying to imitate other bands, lyrical ideas. Bits of RUSH, ALICE COOPER, BLACK SABBATH, SLAYER and METALLICA! Later, in the "Paranormal" days I was trying to write lyrics like RUSH on their "Hemispheres" album. BIG MISTAKE!"
You’ve gotten a tremendous response on that tape… I remember that you made it on # 8 in the Metal Forces demo-charts of the year and that you were demo of the year in Monte Conner’s radio show WBMB back then. What kind of feeling was it for a band like yours to get such a recognition after only being together for about half a year?
Dave: "To be honest, we freaked and couldn’t believe it."
Terry: "When I had first seen reviews in Metal Forces and playlists like Monte’s WBMB, I knew at that point that my dream was coming true. I could be in a band, playing crap I loved and others approved! I still have all those clippings!"
You played your first show on March 25th 1985 at Larry’s Hideaway along with future label mates SACRIFICE and that show was even sold under the name "Live Karnage", what kind of memories do you have on that first show?
Dave: "I remember that show was packed. I also remember I used Ace Hunter’s (DEATH ADDER) custom Les Paul Guitar."
Terry: "We rehearsed like slaves, everyday, up to our first show. This was it – put out – or get crushed. We loved SACRIFICE and we were honored to play with them on the sacred stage!! It was in a rough bar in Toronto called Larry’s Hideaway. It was THE bar to play or be seen in. Everyone went there. They had Hardcore Punk Sundays and Heavy Metal nights. It was paradise!!! We killed alot of baby dolls, blew our noses on many a friend, and I stabbed myself with a real sword (by mistake!)."
Do you remember what you were doing on stage when you were playing ‘Bloody Karnage’ at your first live shows?
Dave: "’Bloody Karnage’ was never played live."
Terry: "I would impale 5 or 6 baby dolls on a real sword and smash my bass guitar until strings broke. A little cross between ALICE COOPER and JIMMY PAGE in ‘Dazed And Confused’! We would smash beer bottles and roll in the glass and throw rubber chickens into the audience! Occasionally we destroyed a cheap amplifier or guitar or two! We also blew our noses into the first 3 rows of people! Classic!!!!"
Two months later you played with SACRIFICE again at Gilmore’s and you once again recorded your show to be sold on tape as "Live Bedlam"… and that happened again at a show in November ’85, correct? Do you think those live tapes gave you more exposure?
Dave: "Like I said earlier, Terry released everything through the underground…so I’m sure it didn’t hurt."
Terry: "Yes! We always made and mailed free things to fans."
Talking about live tapes, a lot of your rehearsal tapes were also released and you Terry even spoke at the beginning of each recording to present the thing, tell us more about that….
Terry: "Always for ourselves and fans to listen to. Always get input back. Your fans are the most important thing!"
How about live shows? Did you get the chance to play out live regularly at the time in Canada? With which bands did you play? Was there already a scene for extreme bands like yours at the time? Have you ever played outside the country?
Dave: "Live Shows? We have played about 15 times. We played with EXODUS, CELTIC FROST, VOI VOD, D.R.I., KREATOR, G.B.H., DIRECT ACTION, SACRIFICE, RAZOR, OBLIVEON and more."
Terry: "We only ever played about 15 live shows and only in Canada. The scene at the time was filled with fantastic Punk bands like DIRECT ACTION and classic Metal bands like RAPID TEARS and ANVIL."
Your second demo "Surrender Or Die" was (re-?) released on Diabolic Force Records, the same label that signed you for the only SLAUGHTER album "Strappado"… Tell us a bit more about that co-operation!
Dave: "We signed and they fucked us!"
Terry: "I hand-delivered a copy of "Bloody Karnage" to Brian Tailor of a college radio station called Aggressive Rock on CKLN in Toronto. He played our tape. I called him up and we all became instant friends. He signed us up to do a real demo and maybe a record. We were the first band signed to Diabolic Force Records!"
In fact, could you tell us how much input the Record Peddler – where Brian Tailor worked, and CKLN radio had on the band?
Dave: "None, Brian Taylor heard "Bloody Karnage" and said he would like to sign us. He played us on the radio (on Aggressive Rock 88.1 FM) and so on…"
Terry: "Brian was sent from the gods and he was a God of Metal and Punk! He didn’t try to change us in any way, and just recorded us being nutcases! His show on CKLN started everything for us and if it wasn’t for him – no SLAUGHTER. Thank you Brian – wherever you are?"
Who created the typical "One, two… one two, fuck you" thing in the early days, which became kinda like a trademark for the band in a way?
Dave: "Terry did! He loved WENDY O.WILLIAMS…"
Terry: "I directly stole it from WENDY O.WILLIAMS and THE PLASMATICS – r.i.p.!"
Summer of ’85 saw the band playing two quite big shows along with SACRIFICE once again, the first opening for RAZOR and the second opening for EXODUS, any memories of those shows?
Dave: "Lots of alcohol."
Terry: "We worshipped both bands and they were always nice guys. The rest is a blur. I had blood in my eyes."
During ’85 the Ontario Thrash / Hardcore scene started to develop a lot with tons of new outfits appearing such as DEATH MILITIA (ex-MASSACRE), DEATH ADDER, GUERILLA WARFARE, BEYOND, HOLOCAUST (formerly HOLY TERROR), DIRECT ACTION D.O.G. to the point that the scene was as strong as any U.S. scene, what kind of views did you have on that? Did you have also a good friendship with the other bands?
Dave: "Toronto started with a good scene but ended up with shit. All the bands you mentioned all had attitudes except for DIRECT ACTION (who were always high). SACRIFICE was cool though."
Terry: "All the bands were all friends and hung out together. We all used to have wild, bizarre parties at Dave Hewsons house. Many pictures on the inside of the "Surrender Or Die" CD came from those days as well as the inside picture sleeve of the original "Strappado" album. I must say that DIRECT ACTION were out before all of us other bands and they blew the doors open for the Toronto Punk / Metal scene! Zig, the guitarist was God, as well as Clayton Bonin from another innovating band called RAPID TEARS."
Rob of SACRIFICE seemed to have a really good relationship with you guys back then as he’s gotten credits for artwork. How did that come about and what has he actually drawn for you?
Dave: "We were all best friends back then. Rob and Ron came up with the artwork."
Terry: "Ron drew the first logo with the chainsaw and Rob and him defined it. We were best friends with SACRIFICE, but especially Rob, Joe and I knew Scott a little bit before our two bands started!"
As time went on, the CELTIC FROST influence seemed to become more and more obvious judging by the CELTIC FROST covers you were playing at rehearsals and that you were also adding live. I know you were also in close contact with those guys and also with Tschossi from MESSIAH… Give us more details about that….
Dave: "We were kind of corresponding back and forth. I saw Tom Warrior in Montreal in 1985 and in Toronto ’86 or ’87 and we got along really well. I know Terry and Tschossi used to trade shirts and tapes all the time."
Terry: "CELTIC FROST were kings of christ, perfect, – one of the best! Especially on "Morbid Tales!"
You built yourself quite a big underground following, so I guess a couple of label offers also came in at the time. But you still decided to go with Diabolic Force Records instead of a more established company. What was the reason for that? Did you ever regret it?
Dave: "We did have a few offers at the time, but we were young and stupid so we took the offer from Fringe because it was close to home. Oh Yeah!"
Terry: "We didn’t know any better and we weren’t really in it for the money. He was a friend and we trusted him. He started it all!!!"
What was the reason to release that 3 track promotion single before the album exactly? How did you come up with such a strange sound as a result?
Dave: "The reason the "One Foot In The Grave" single came out first is because Fringe didn’t have the money to release the LP. The three song single was just a stalling tactic or just to keep us happy."
Terry: "The single was just put out for a collector thing (only 1.000 made) and to give us time to put out "Strappado". It was different mixes of the songs and one none-album song."
Tell us a bit more about the recordings of "Strappado" – like where you recorded the album, how you decided on a studio and producer, who came up with the cover artwork and if it was difficult for you to decide which songs you’re gonna record for it?
Dave: "We recorded at Future Sound in Toronto. We chose Brian Taylor as producer (who had worked with SACRIFICE) basically because he was all that was available as there was no producers into our style of music. A guy named Al Warnock did the artwork. It wasn’t difficult to choose the songs to record. We felt like we chose the right ones."
Terry: "We recorded "Strappado" in one 24 hour period and mixed it a week later. It was all done in one or two takes and was basically our "live" show set list. We originally had 20 songs written for it and we picked the best ones. Most were re-recorded versions of songs from "Surrender Or Die", and many were left off because we didn’t like the versions. When I look back at that album now I notice that it was almost a concept album, all about different methods of torture. I was reading a book at the time called "The History Of Torture". It really shows!!!"
How was it possible for you to record the album in just ONE day? It almost sounds like a joke, but it wasn’t, right?
Dave: "What can I say, we knew our shit. Why waste time going over and over it, if you get most songs in one or more takes."
Terry: "No – just spontaneous human combustion! Plus we were genius!!!!!"
Despite the album was recorded in February ’86 it took an INCREDIBLE LONG time to be issued, what were the real reasons behind that?
Dave: "As much as I can remember, it was lack of funds on Fringe’s part."
Terry: "Record company bullshit with Fringe Records".
How did it happen that what was supposed to be a single (destined for zines and Radio Stations at first) was in fact sold to the public too?
Dave: "There was only 1.000 copies issued, so when the promos went out, I guess Fringe went ahead and sold the rest… I don’t even own a copy."
Terry: "We had about 500 copies out of 1.000 left, so we sold them through the fan club dirt cheap, with buttons and picture etc."
There’s been a bit of confusion due to a printing mistake on the cassette version of "Strappado" (‘Maim To Please’ was on it instead of ‘Death Dealer’) and a 7" EP that got bootlegged quite often by now… Why haven’t you just re-released all of them on the vinyl version back then already? I mean the playing time of "Strappado" was pretty short, so…
Dave: "Good question…"
Terry: "Record company decision. The songs left off were inferior versions of songs from "Surrender Or Die". We put them on the CD version though!"
How did it happen that this album wasn’t licensed to any record companies outside Canada? Like SACRIFICE were licensed to Metal Blade and Roadrunner for example…
Dave: "We were to have the same deal as SACRIFICE until delay after delay caused us to lose our tempers and we constantly harassed Fringe to get the thing out. I remember the day when they had enough of me and told us we just fucked ourselves out of our licensing deal with Roadrunner (for Europe) and Metal Blade in the U.S."
Terry: "Fringe Records screwed us!!!!"
By September ’86 you weren’t happy about your deal with Diabolic Force anymore and your album still wasn’t out yet… But don’t you think it was a bit risky to tell everywhere that your deal wasn’t good and quite shitty?
Dave: "That’s what cost our distribution with Roadrunner and Metal Blade. Fringe didn’t like what we were saying about how unhappy we were and what a shitty deal we had."
Terry: "No – totally honest!!"
You once mentioned, that you even had recorded four more tracks back then, but you didn’t wanna release them along with the album as the production was totally different… What happened to those tracks, which songs were actually recorded etc.?
Dave: "Maybe some tracks that we recorded as STRAPPADO… possibly ‘Realms Of Void’, ‘Schizo’, ‘Electric Doom’ or ‘Time Warp’."
Terry: "All those four songs are on the CD version."
In 1986 you’d rehearsed with Chuck Schuldiner from DEATH for a short period of time… Tell us more about that period, the actual reasons for the co-operation and why it didn’t work out between you and him!
Dave: "We were thinking of adding another guitarist and one day I just called up Chuck Schuldiner (of DEATH) down in Florida and told him my idea and within the week we met him at the airport in Toronto. We wanted him to join SLAUGHTER, not us joining DEATH. He wanted to get DEATH going. So I think it was just a bad drunken phone call, on my part."
Terry: "I don’t remember what Chuck even looks like now."
You both had extremely severe words about each other in interviews….
Dave: "I think I remember hearing some shit he said about us, so we probably said some shit back. When he was here we all got along really well, I just think he wasn’t ready to retire DEATH."
Terry: "That was a million years ago – who cares?"
While Chuck was still in the band you played DEATH and SLAUGHTER tracks to the point that there was even talk that the album "Strappado" was supposed to contain the former DEATH tracks ‘Legion Of Doom’ and ‘Evil Dead’ (at first there was talk about ‘Baptized In Blood’ and ‘Infernal Death’) and to be honest, SLAUGHTER sounded heavier than ever at that period, due to the two guitar players. Looking back, would you say that it could have been one of a hell of a record if that would have worked out?
Dave: "It’s hard to say… I think it would have sounded like a split LP. Side A: SLAUGHTER and side B: DEATH. I’m just glad it’s a SLAUGHTER LP."
Terry: "No – Chuck was only in the band for a week. A trial basis. He didn’t fit in!"
Have you played at least one show while he was in the band? If so, what kind of reaction did you get live?
Terry: "We never played live with Chuck."
Dave: "No live shows."
During 1986 there was also those jokes on tapes that were circulating courtesy of you, Terry… Tell us more about that….
Terry: "60 minutes of nonsense and silliness. It was stolen from me. I want it back!!!"
Dave: "Terry had a warped sense of humor. Probably the funniest guy I know. He would make all these comedy tapes and crank calls. If you ever get a chance to get a hold of one, do it, as you won’t regret it. I think some of the titles were, "60 minutes of silliness" and "90 minutes of nonsense."
In July ’86 you played one of your biggest shows ever in Toronto at the Concert Hall opening for CELTIC FROST and VOIVOD. Any memory on that particular show?
Dave: "I remember it was a hell of show…CELTIC FROST, VOI VOD and SLAUGHTER in the summer of 1986 at the Concert Hall in Toronto. Each band kicked ass. CELTIC FROST was in their prime at that time. We got that show because RUNNING WILD was taken off the tour."
Terry: "My dreams had been completely fulfilled. An album, a big stage and meeting my idols! The rest is a blur!"
As you played cover tunes of HELLHAMMER’s ‘Massacra’ and CELTIC FROST’s ‘Dethroned Emperor’, ‘Into The Crypts Of Rays’ and ‘Return To The Eve’ back then, I was wondering if you ever had the chance to play them to Tom Warrior and what he thought of them?
Dave: "In 1986 or ’87 Tom Warrior jokingly told me in Montreal, that I said, "Oooh" too much."
Terry: "I once heard a quote from Tom saying he was proud that we did their songs."
Talking about CELTIC FROST – give us all necessary info about your contribution to the CELTIC FROST tribute album! Who had managed to get you guys back together for it and how developed everything from there?
Terry: "I wasn’t in the band anymore at that point. You’d have to ask Dave."
Dave: "Raul at DWELL RECORDS (at the time) contacted us to do it."
What happened to Ron Summers at that point, in September ’86, exactly? Why did you replace him with Scott Day (ex-STORM / DEATH ADDER)? Were you familiar with this guy? What went wrong with him since he was replaced in February ’87 by Brian Lourie?
Dave: "Ron and I didn’t see things eye to eye anymore. With the long, long wait for the LP to come out, we stopped rehearsing and he lost interest in the band. As for Scott Day, he didn’t even have a drum kit. We didn’t even rehearse with him. He was recommended to us by Ace of DEATH ADDER. We tried out a couple of other drummers and then Brian Lourie came along."
Terry: "Ron lost interest in the band – especially with the bullshit from Fringe Records. So was I, but I wanted to keep trying."
What can you tell us about Brian Lourie as nothing was known about his musical past? In which aspect did he fit better into the musical concept of SLAUGHTER?
Dave: "Brian Lourie was in a band called GOOFS ON WELFARE. He was known as "the nutcase on drums." Brian fit in because he was a hell of a good drinker!"
Terry: "We almost split up without Ron, who was a major force in the band. His drumming, to this day, amazes me! At the last moment we found Brian Lourie. I had put signs up everywhere and in every musicshop, looking for a drummer. We had just dumped someone with an attitude, and I was starting to get bizarre, obscene, abusive phonecalls. The person was completely out of his mind. I ignored him. A few days later we met a new drummer and everything clicked perfectly. I began to recognize, speech patterns in his voice – it was the obscene phonecaller – he was Brian Lourie! He was perfect for SLAUGHTER!"
1987 was somewhat a quiet year for SLAUGHTER as you didn’t do much except playing a couple of shows in Quebec for the first time, like opening two nights for KREATOR in April and headlining one night at a two nights festival in Quebec in September (the other night headlined by SACRIFICE), and you started to play new stuff live but somehow the SLAUGHTER touch had disappeared as the material wasn’t as special as before…
Dave: "Time went on and I guess our style changed."
Terry: "We began to write new material with Brian and songs came pouring out. I think we wrote ‘Timewarp’ and ‘Schizo’ (from "Paranormal") in one of our first rehearsals. It was different. We got more "clone-sounding-more-metal-less-punk" sounding stuff and we lost the simple, catchy hooks from older, classic stuff. My lyrics especially became stupid – less Death Metal and more, me, trying to write lyrics like RUSH or LED ZEPPELIN! We strayed from the SLAUGHTER sound and I would at times, openly regret it. I always believed that we should have the simpleness of a SEX PISTOLS song mixed with the musical hooks of METALLICA and SLAYER and especially a Punk band called DISCHARGE!!!!"
Mid ’87 saw the release of "Strappado" and the album got rave reviews in Metal Forces, Aardschock etc… how did you react when you became aware of that reception? Do you know any sale numbers?
Dave: "We were blown away. We knew it was a good album, but holy shit… we never received sales statements or anything from Diabolic Force / Fringe… no idea."
Terry: "We’ve never received a dime for "Strappado"!!! Somebody was getting money from all that publicity!"
In May ’87 you added Bobby Sadzak (formerly with LETHAL PRESENCE) as a second guitarist to the line up. Why did it take you so long to add a second guitar player to the band? I guess it wasn’t so hard to find a guitar player in Toronto with all the bands around… Were you familiar with his previous work?
Dave: "We always liked the band as a 3 piece, but after a few years we thought lets try another guitarist and we liked what we heard from Bobby Sadzak (now of INNER THOUGHT). Yeah, Bobby’s old band LETHAL PRESENCE were heavy!"
Terry: "We always used to experiment with two guitarists and when we met Bobby Sadzak it seemed to work, for awhile! In 1988, I quit SLAUGHTER, because I didn’t like most of the new material, and I was totally fed up with the thieving music business. It wasn’t fun for me anymore. After being in the band for 5 or 6 years and other bands, before that, I’d had enough. I always used to say, "when it’s not fun anymore…quit, the magic’s gone!" Bobby was out of the band in 1989, and I decided to join back for a final SLAUGHTER show, doing all our old, requested material (there is a bootleg video of the show called SLAUGHTER R.I.P.). We did the show and things again fell apart, so I quit for good in 1990. Dave, Brian and Bobby continued on and changed the name of the band to STRAPPADO."
You’ve written quite a lot of songs after the "Strappado" album came out and even did two more demos ("Paranormal" – which was supposed to be the name of the 2nd album – and "The Dark") in 1988, but except for the song ‘The Fourth Dimension’ (which appeared on the Metal Massacre compilation), none of those tracks got released somewhere else… Why didn’t you just record a follow-up record with all of them?
Dave: "We basically fucked ourselves. We could rehearse 7 days a week and never sounded better and we pretty much waited for someone to come knocking on our door… instead of shopping our demos around."
Terry: "We couldn’t get a record deal!"
Were you contacted by Metal Blade after the Metal Massacre thing to do an album?
Dave: "We talked with Metal Blade but couldn’t reach an agreement."
Terry: "No, we were splitting up then."
Did your newer songs differ too much from the original SLAUGHTER style or what made you change the band’s moniker into STRAPPADO later on?
Terry: "There was a Glam rock band coming out called SLAUGHTER, and they got huge! Dave called it STRAPPADO, because it became a new band."
What was the STRAPPADO line up besides Louie and Bobby?
Dave: "I have always been in SLAUGHTER and STRAPPADO… the rest of the line up was Brian Lourie on drums, Bobby Sadzak on guitars and Mike Dalton on bass."
Terry: "The STRAPPADO line up included Dave, Brian and Bobby with new bass thrasher Mike Dalton! I met up an old guitar player, friend of mine from a past band named Russ Frank (at a STRAPPADO show) and attempted something to be called THE HALO OF FLIES with myself, just on lead vocals. Attempting to be ALICE COOPER (old style like the "Killer" album) but everything fizzled fast. I gave up and totally disappeared from everyone and everything until now!!!!"
There’s also been a couple more tracks, which you never recorded in any way (not even as demos), so what happened to – ‘Realms Of The Void’, ‘Electric Doom’ and ‘Epitaph’… songs that you already had played live back then?
Dave: "It was more technical than SLAUGHTER, the production was weak and we were just experimenting with our style. With SLAUGHTER, Terry and I wrote everything together. We had really good chemistry… we wrote some pretty heavy shit before its time. I can’t say STRAPPADO (the band) would have been better with Terry, but it probably wouldn’t hurt."
Terry: "Long forgotten in a fortress of bootlegs. Check out the webpages. Huge list of old songs and bootlegs."
During ’91 you released the first STRAPPADO demo, "Not Dead Yet", an eight song effort, but I can’t say that I was as much into it as into the old SLAUGHTER material, something seemed to lack…
Terry: "I agree! It was out of my hands. The last thing I wrote was the lyrics for "Not Dead Yet"."
Did you gig around a lot under the STRAPPADO moniker as the Ontario Thrash scene was dying – only OVERTHROW, SACRIFICE and maybe a couple others were still around, and the clubs were closing slowly but surely… what do you think happened to the Toronto Metal scene?
Dave: "We played about 10 shows as STRAPPADO. The scene was almost dead, so we pretty much said "FUCK IT." Each show the crowds were smaller and less places to play. We became really frustrated with the whole thing so we pretty much packed it in."
Terry: "It died in my opinion. I was long gone and forgotten!"
Have you heard or seen that bootleg album that was released under the name of STRAPPADO which featured the "Not Dead Yet" demo and that was later on released on a bootleg CD, also featuring the "Strappado" album, before it was officially released on CD by Fringe?
Dave: "I have heard of it but never seen it or heard it. Anybody got an extra copy?"
Terry: "News to me, I want a copy!!!"
Talking about that re-release on Fringe, did you have your word to say about this? How did it come that you didn’t put any liner notes on it?
Dave: "We didn’t even know about it until we got one copy each. Fringe Product just released the "Strappado" (remastered and remixed version) on CD about 5 years ago, without our knowledge."
Terry: "I had no idea it was out. I bought a copy from a store, three years after it had come out!! I love it though, the real SLAUGHTER. I totally love it and endorse it. It could have used more photo’s though!!"
When did you play the last show as SLAUGHTER and what kind of feeling was it?
Terry: "1989 and no feelings. I insulted the audience all night. It was fabulous!!"
Have you ever thought about a re-union of the original line-up? What are you guys doing nowadays?
Terry: "There is a 80% chance that the original three piece band of Dave, Ron and myself may record and play shows together again. Dave and Ron have expressed interest, but I have my fears and doubts. If it is to happen, expect the old style of SLAUGHTER with a millennium twist. We’ve just very recently met again after 10 years. It depends!!! What do our fans (if any?) think? Yes or no?" (Hell yessss!!! – Ed.)
Are you aware of the fact that (a.o.) bands like NAPALM DEATH or WARHAMMER play SLAUGHTER cover tunes these days? What kind of feeling is that for you?
Terry: "I am very happy."
Would you say that you were somewhat ahead of your time with your Death / Thrash material and that it maybe would have been better and more accepted in ’90 / ’91 when Death Metal was huge?
Do you from time to time still see individuals who had made the Ontario scene so killer such as Dave Read, Mark Watts, Gus Pynn, Rob Urbinati, Nelly, Vicious Bruce, Glen Salter etc…
Terry: "I’ve seen no one except Vicious Bruce, for the last 10 years now!!!!"
I’ve heard that Dave, nearly got killed around June ’94, and that he was stabbed over 20 times in Toronto by a mentally disturbed individual… tell us more about that!
Terry: "Enough said!!!"
Anything else you’d like to add to this interview?!
Terry: "Get the new CD version of "Surrender Or Die", now available on Utopian Vision Music!!!! For lots of info on SLAUGHTER and for curiosity sake, check out the brand new SLAUGHTER STRAPPADO webpage at http://interactive.rogers.com/terrysadler/SLAUGHTERSTRAPPADO. Thanx for listening to and reading my endless drive. I’d like to thank everyone, who showed interest in SLAUGHTER over the years and let’s keep in touch. This was the best interview, I’ve ever done. Take care!!!!!!!"
(first demo tape, recorded In 1984)
Disintegrater / Incinerator
One Foot In The Grave
Forged In The Furnace Of Hell
"Surrender Or Die"
(2nd demo tape, recorded In 1985)
Disintegrater / Incinerator
Maim To Please
Tyrant Of Hell
Shadow Of Death
One Foot In The Grave
Surrender Or Die
Eve Of Darkness
Tales Of The Macabre
Cult Of The Dead
(limited edition single on Diabolic Force / Fringe Records – no longer available)
One Foot In The Grave
(1st album, recorded in 1986 and released 1987)
Disintegrater / Incinerator
F.O.D. (F*** Of Death)
Tales Of The Macabre
Maim To Please (bonus track on cassette version only)
Remixed and re-released in 1993 with extra recordings:
Maim To Please (unreleased version)
One Foot In The Grave (unreleased version)
Tyrant Of Hell (unreleased version)
Deathdealer (unreleased version)
(2nd album, recorded in 1988, released on cassette only)
Threshold Of Pain
Coffin Of Ice
The Fourth Dimension
F.O.D. (bonus track, remake version of track from the "Strappado" LP)
"Not Dead Yet"
(released in 1991 – on cassette only)
Not Dead Yet
Threshold Of Pain (new version)
Timewarp (new version)
Death Comes Ripping Through You
The Dark (new version)
Astral Projector (new version)
Telepathic Screams (new version)
The band line Up changed and the band changed its name to STRAPPADO in 1990
(released in 1992 on cassette only)
The World Around Us
Not Dead Yet
Threshold Of Pain
Frank Stöver / Laurent Ramadier