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Geoff Thorpe (Vicious Rumors)

Interview with Geoff Thorpe from Vicious Rumors
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 08 May 2013, 4:36 PM

The razorback killers of VICIOUS RUMORS have returned, now delivering their newfound blow with the massive “Electric Punishment”, SPV / Steamhammer Records. Word of mouth is already spreading across the world about the decibel crunch of the band's musical bomb. MettleAngel spoke with the founding member of the band, Geoff Thorpe about the cool new album, constant touring demands, and what it like to still have fun doing this after so many years. God damn, something is burning with reckless abandon, and hell will be raised, so welcome to the ballistic discussion, and don't wait for me…

Hey Geoff, it is cool to talk to you, even if we are running a bit behind. The last time I spoke with you was in person at Brad Youngblood's Classic Metal Fest in Kalamazoo in 2001!

Wow! That was some time ago!

Yeah, I met you and Ira Black. This was my first and only time seeing the band, but I have always been a strong supporter. I have all of your releases, from cassette to CD to digital.

Thanks for the dedication. People do not realize that we have never disbanded. I have been doing this in one form or another from 1980 unto the present.

I think the new album is killer! I dug “Razorback Killers”, and I think Brian Allen was a wise choice. I remember when I interviewed Jay Reynolds of MALICE, and he mentioned having Brian in the band. Next I knew Brian teamed up with you, and James Rivera sang the MALICE release “New Breed Of Godz”.

Yeah, it is crazy how it worked out. I met Brian in 2010 through some mutual friends, as he was in a JUDAS PRIEST cover band.

He is an excellent vocalist, he has quite a range. On the “Live You To Death” album, I am amazed how much he sounds like the late Carl Albert.

I agree, and when I sing it really even things out, as he will do the high register, and I will do the mids.

There are so many killer cuts on the new album. I love the title track. That is the perfect name for describing the experience of the album. I really enjoy the pace of “Escape (From Hell)”, and the power and majesty of “Together We Unite”.

Well writing this album has been a real thrill ride for us. We have had three releases in three years. That is quite an accomplishment. I always strive to not make the same album over again. With VICIOUS RUMORS, no two albums are alike. We will soon be releasing a video for “I Am The Gun”

I look forward to that! This opening track reminds me of LAAZ ROCKIT. I guess that Bay Area over the edge method is still vital to the sound.

Yes, and we hope that “Together We Unite” will become the band's new anthem. I feel over the years that we have all become better musicians. This song is a way of celebrating with our fans.

Yeah, it seems like several of the songs are more up-tempo, but still maintain the classic feel. The song “Eternally” is quite different than most.

That one has a real dark, creepy vibe to it. I like how we arranged our vocals on this track.

 “Thirst For A Kill” was the right choice of a song to follow this, too. My hats off to all that you have created these past decades! I know you have been doing this for quite some time now.

Indeed! I am 52, but there is just no stopping us. We are going to be a touring juggernaut over the next year. We even plan to tour the U.S. This fall beginning in September and going through October. We will be doing a package deal with LEATHERWOLF and SEVEN WITCHES.

Damn! Now that is a show I do not want to miss. Will you be selling the Shrapnel re-masters of “Digital Dictator” and “Soldiers Of The Night”? I only have those albums on cassette.

Oh yeah! We will have the Wounded Bird Records re-issues of the Atlantic albums too.

I was never a fan of those re-issues. I know that they too are now expensive. My tape of the self-titled that I have had for nearly two decades was just eaten in my old boombox!

I am sorry to hear that!

I considered getting those re-issues, but the packaging is horrible! I checked into getting the MALICE and LOUDNESS titles and neither came with a booklet, lyrics, liner notes, etc. I still have my original Atlantic albums on CD. I do not play those, as I know how rare they now are!

Honestly, I was quite pleased with the Wounded Bird re-issues of our material, though. If I were you I would treasure those original Atlantic Records CDs. I am well aware of how those rare out of print copies are causing our fans to pay a great deal of their money to obtain on the Internet.

Tell me about it! Amazon and E-Bay are both asking about $150 +! It is so not fair, because I know the band is not getting reimbursed. I will look into the Wounded Bird re-issues of “Welcome To The Ball” and the “Self-Titled”, based on your recommendation, but I still am not going to pay the astronomical asking prices.

We still play a number of those classic hits live, so our fans are hell bent to get the original CD pressings.

Well, as a true fan, I can so relate. So how did you come up with the “Mascot Ball” that adorns so many albums? Was this inspired by the “Phantasm” movies?

Perhaps, and I think it has a lot to do with the Japanese Shirkin weapon. Who knows, that artist does some sick shit, right!?

Indeed! I call it the “Mascot Ball”, because you have songs and albums which fit the scheme like “Murderball”, “Welcome To The Ball”, “Razorback Killers”, etc.

Yeah, I like that name, it is clever and accurate! The important thing is that we keep the ball rolling, so to speak. We want to keep writing aggressive melodies. In some respects we are the last of a dying breed.

How so?

Well, we were never really Bay Area Thrash, but we could relate to that scene. We were never really straight Rock either, but we could fit into that scene too. I guess we will never truly find a definitive description for the Metal we play.

I feel that just calling it Metal, sums it all up. Tell me a bit about your working with the band STEEL ENGRAVED. Were you instrumental in getting them on “70,000 Tons Of Metal III”?

Yeah, after I produced their album, I recommended them to the Cruise promoters. I had a blast working with them in the studio. I hope to be working on their next album, too. I wish them all the best with the ICED EARTH tour.

Have you worked with any other established acts?

Not as of yet, but I am always available to work with young bands. I can assist them with vocals, lyrics, tone, budget concerns. I am very professional. I have already helped some acts to get their demos out under my tutelage.

You hear that young, up and coming bands!? Geoff wants to work with you! So were you involved in any way with your ex-vocalist Brian O'Conner's new band called DEADLANDS?

I wish. That would have been a sweet deal!

Apparently they were able to get quite a number of guest musicians to contribute. I have not heard their cover of Dio's “Last In Line”, but I have heard that it is amazing! I enjoy your rendering of “Strange Ways”. I just reviewed this new kid thrash act from Finland signed to Nuclear Blast called LOST SOCIETY. They too cover KISS.

Oh really what song?

I believe it is “I Stole Your Love”. The thing is they are just teenagers, and a Thrash act to boot, so why cover KISS? I can totally understand why you chose to do so, though. I enjoyed the PRIEST and SABBATH covers on “Live You To Death”.

So, Man after hearing the album a number of times, can we expect a positive review?

I have always been a fan of the band, and I will be honest about the music, but you can rest assured that the ball is in your court. I have been telling all my friends to definitely plan on picking this one up when it comes out in a few weeks. I am also recommending new SATAN.

Awesome!

I will need to get my own copy, as well, as my digital promo sounds very low, and fades in and out, while I am playing it. I assume Steamhammer does this on purpose to avoid Internet leakage.

Yeah, we have to protect our music, and art.

I hear that! I really hope to catch you live in the fall. I so want to get those Shrapnel re-masters! Hopefully, you will have the Wounded Bird versions, as well, for a reasonable price, and some classic T-shirt designs.

Yeah, we do our best to make our merch accessible to old and new fans alike. I look forward to seeing you in person again.

As do I! Now I will have to go to YouTube this weekend and watch the old videos like “Don't You Wait For Me”. Back then you sure overdid it on the hairspray and spandex, ha, ha!

That was the '80s! You do that! Michael, thank you for all the years of support, I hope to see you soon.



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