Renowned guitarist Phil Demmel, a founding pillar of the thrash metal powerhouse VIO-LENCE, has declared his departure from the band following their impending performance slated for February 11. In a heartfelt video message disseminated by Demmel, he elucidates that his decision transcends any association with Kerry King‘s new venture and primarily hinges on his intuitive sense that the time is ripe for change.
Demmel articulates, “I am here to announce that this forthcoming Sunday marks my final appearance with VIO-LENCE. I understand the timing may seem peculiar, especially in light of the recent Kerry King announcement, but let me assure you, this decision isn’t triggered by external factors. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction to any external development. This decision has been brewing within me for some time now, albeit unconsciously. My role within the band has been somewhat nebulous lately. I found myself gravitating towards endeavors that felt oddly comfortable or conveniently aligned with my schedule.”
He continues with candor, “However, upon careful reflection of the band’s current trajectory and my personal connection to it, I’ve come to the realization that my journey with VIO-LENCE has reached its conclusion. This is not to say that I’ll sever ties with the band completely. Perry and I laid the foundation of this band back in high school, and that bond will always remain. It’s gratifying to witness the band’s journey to uncharted territories. Yet, in this instance, I sense a misalignment between Sean and myself. Our visions diverge, as they often have, but this time, I no longer perceive myself fitting into the band’s overarching objectives.”
Reflecting on recent events, Demmel expresses, “The recent turn of events compelled me to initiate this break. Initially, I contemplated bidding farewell with a hometown show, but upon introspection, I realized it’s unnecessary. The electrifying experience of performing at Metro alongside Perry, Dean, and Ray, the creative process of crafting five new tracks for the EP – it’s been immensely fulfilling. Pursuing anything beyond this point feels contrived. Truth be told, I harbored doubts about embarking on this tour. Nevertheless, I remained committed. Yet, now I recognize that I’ve accomplished what I set out to achieve with this band.”
Established in 1985, the trailblazing thrash metal outfit from Oakland, VIO-LENCE, played a pivotal role in shaping and refining the distinctive Bay Area sound. Despite disbanding in 1993, they left an indelible mark on the metal landscape. After sporadic reunions over the years, VIO-LENCE resurfaced as a full-fledged entity in 2019. Their resurgence culminated in the release of “Let The World Burn” in 2022, a five-track EP that resuscitated the quintessential VIO-LENCE essence. Recorded at Trident Studios in Pacheco, California by Juan Urteaga, mixed by Tue Madsen, and mastered by Ted Jensen, the EP heralded a triumphant return after a hiatus spanning nearly three decades.
In parallel to his journey with VIO-LENCE, Demmel is poised to make his mark on Kerry King’s forthcoming solo endeavor, “From Hell I Rise,” slated for release on May 17. The album boasts an impressive lineup including DEATH ANGEL vocalist Mark Osegueda, seasoned SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph, and former HELLYEAH bassist Kyle Sanders.