You Got Nowhere to Run Or Hide when Talking with Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust!

Thrash metal punks Toxic Holocaust from Portland, Oregon released their fourth LP "Conjure and Command" the follow-up to 2008's "An Overdose of Death". They are about to embark on a full fledged winter tour in Europe hitting various hot spots all over the world between now and next year. Frontman guitarist/vocalist Joel Grind gives me some of his time to discuss his upcoming plans and his thoughts on the return revival of MTV's Beavis & Butthead.

1. Do you plan to do anything for Halloween?

Joel: Ya know I haven’t really thought about it. This is gona be the first year I will be home for Halloween in a long time. I’ll probably go out to a couple of bars or something, I haven’t thought of a costume yet because we’re usually on tour. The year before last we were on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and we dressed up as ZZ Top haha. But this year I don’t know probably dress up as Robo Cop.

2. How was your recent U.S. tour?

Joel: The recent U.S. tour was amazing. It turned out even better than we thought it was going too. It was our first headlining tour so we didn’t think it was going to turn out so well. A lot of our fans were pretty happy to see us doing our own tour than having us be the opening band on a lot of other previous tours that we’ve done. I think we owed it to our fans to do this tour. We’ve had a lot of people come out to shows that were there for us but weren’t interested in the other bands playing so we owe it all to the fans really.

3. What do you have planned for the rest of this year?

Joel: In about 3 weeks from now we’re going down to Texas to play this festival called the Fun Fun Fun Fest Slayer, Danzig is doing this show where they’re playing a little of The Misfits, , Samhain, Danzig and The Damned all kinds of bands are going to be there playing it’s going to be really cool. Then right after that we’re going to Norway to start our European tour, playing in the U.K. and Scandinavia.

4. Why did you want to go and change the Toxic Holocaust logo? How have the fans taken to the change?

Joel: We changed the logo basically as a onetime thing for the new record. I saw a mock-up of the old logo with the artwork and it didn’t fit it looked too futuristic. The artwork has more of an old ancient cryptic look from a book or something ya know? The old logo didn’t work with it so we switched it out for that. The people got all up in their arms but I guess that’s what happens when they care about your music and band that much. Some liked it and others don’t but I thought it looked cool. All of our merch has the old logo but you can’t please everybody so there ya go.

5. Would you say that Conjure and Command is completely different from An Overdose of Death?

Joel: I wouldn’t say completely different but it is different. To me, it’s a little bit heavier than the last record and I know everybody says that haha. We played together as a band touring a lot even before we recorded this album and worked as a unit and it just got heavier from there. The lyrics are more occult you can say but that’s the only real different but the sound is still very punk influenced and well I think we’re always going to sound the same but it’s going to be up the same alley as it has been.

6. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different or similar to your previous work?

Joel: I think my songwriting has changed a little bit because now I’m not playing drums so I don’t have to dumb down the drumming because I’m not that great of a drummer. But when I was writing this stuff I knew there would be a better drummer to arrange this and the overall feel of the songs. I did demo out some stuff and showed it to the guys and I went a little bit crazier this time around.

7. Did you feel any pressure to this follow-up?

Joel: Not really Relapse has been good with that. There not the type of label that will be knocking on your door to put out a new album and they know we’re out on the road touring a lot. It’s like a double edge sword you have to choose between touring and writing so I did have some time off at one point and wrote a lot of new stuff of ideas I did have. So it came to me sorta fast and I kept thinking about it when I was out on tour.

8. Are you excited for that new tour happening in February and March of next year?

Joel: I am, the English Dogs are a big influence on me and it’s cool to be able to go out and tour with them and this tour is a bit different and more street punk kind of tour but we like to do all kinds of different types of stuff.

9. Did you hear that Beavis & Butthead is returning to MTV?

Joel: I actually just heard that from my bass player yesterday I think that’s pretty funny.

10. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Joel: I guess come and check us out while we’re out on the road touring. We’re going to be all over the place between now and next year. So come on out and see us play out in the different countries like Europe and the U.S. we’re going to be playing with a lot of good bands so don’t miss out!

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