San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE were joined by Gary Holt (EXODUS, SLAYER) on stage on Sunday (April 14) at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California for a performance of the EXODUS classic “A Lesson In Violence”. Video footage of his appearance can be seen below (courtesy of Capital Chaos TV). The concert took place one day after VIO-LENCE‘s first comeback show at the Oakland Metro.
The VIO-LENCE lineup that appeared in Oakland consisted of guitarist Phil Demmel, vocalist Sean Killian, bassist Deen Dell, drummer Perry Strickland and guitarist Ray Vegas.
VIO-LENCE has several more concerts scheduled for the coming months, including a European appearance at the Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival in Kortrijk, Belgium; shows with SACRED REICH in Los Angeles and Phoenix; and two gigs in Brooklyn, New York.
Although current 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 contacted about doing the comeback shows.
Demmel landed in MACHINE HEAD in 2003, about a decade after original the breakup of VIO-LENCE. He left MACHINE HEAD at the end of the band’s fall 2018 North American tour, explaining in a statement that it was “simply time” for him “to step away and do something else musically.”
Asked about the possibility of more VIO-LENCE shows and new music after the currently scheduled performances, Demmel told Decibel: “There’s no tour involved. There’s guys in the band that work and have families and need to be at home, so we’ll assess all of that and see who can do what. I think we just need to get through these first shows and prove to ourselves that we can do it and also prove to everybody else, see if we have a product and if the quality is there and if we’re able to pull it off. Not closing the door on anything.”
He continued: “I really never thought that this would happen, you know? I’ve had some peers say, ‘Hey, you should do some VIO-LENCE shows. We’ll get some other dudes to sing.’ And first of all, I never thought anybody really cared outside the Bay Area outside the band anyways. It’s pretty awesome. The outpouring of support and everything, we’ll see. People, if they wanna see it, then we’ll see.”
Demmel also had kind words for Killian, who underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was caused in part by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.
“We couldn’t do VIO-LENCE without Sean,” Demmel said. “There’s no VIO-LENCE without Sean Killian. He’s the one ingredient that needs to be there.
“I am very, very happy that my friend is healthy, first and foremost, and getting to jam with him again, that’s just a plus,” he added. “I am hoping that everybody will enjoy this gift of — he had a liver transplant, the dude was on death’s door and here he is, wanting to play. It’s not just, like, wanting to get up and sing ‘Green Manalishi’ with your high school buddies. This fucking VIO-LENCE set, man, is not easy to fucking get through, especially to sing it. I’m proud of him and I’m proud to be his friend and I’m proud to be in this band again.”