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Onward And Upward: A year in the life of a Thrash Metal band.

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13th January 2014

Hey, this is Pete Dee from Kremated.

For those of you who aren't familiar with us, we are a 4 piece Thrash Metal/Crossover band, originally from South London/Bromley area.

When the band was formed, there was one prime directive: to play Thrash Metal the way it used to be done in the early-mid 80s, when bands started marrying the power of Metal with the speed and attitude of Hardcore, and before big business got involved and turned it into a permed hair, surf shorts and hi-tops media circus. Everyone seemed to be forgetting the roots of the scene, and concentrating on the late 1980s heyday, and we set out to redress the balance and bring back the sweat, the grit, and the pure aggression of the old days.

We have a raft of influences, we aren't a "retro" band who just stepped out of a time machine (there are some really good bands doing that already), we are doing a modern take on what made Thrash great: mixing pure Thrash with Hardcore. Thrash AND Hardcore have moved on a hell of a lot since 1985, and we are having a ball mixing it up and getting the best out of what sticks. That's about it really, we do things our way, and a lot of people seem to like our "no nonsense" approach to it. Anyway, enough about the wheels and cogs, here's an article I was invited to write.

Enjoy... Pete.

"So, I was asked to write a piece outlining the last 12 months for Kremated. I have to say, it has gone way beyond what I thought it could have. The beginning of the year was a little shaky due to a couple of us having some life issues that we sorted out in good time, but also having to replace our long term stand-in bass player Alex, and find a permanent member. Gumby from Prolapse stepped in and helped us out on the live shows while we rehearsed with Marcus until he was ready to perform live, and he made his debut with us in March, on a run of three great shows in Camden, Lewisham and Dartford. It was great to see Marcus slot in so easily, and for the first time in the bands history we had a permanent lineup!

Once we had established the new format and started playing regular shows again, things just went crazy, good reviews and good shows coming in, culminating in a very exciting moment. Sitting on Facebook one evening, a message window popped up from Simon Hall, singer from the band Beholder, and the man responsible for liaison between the New Blood stage and the bands. We got chatting, and he just announced there and then "Pete, you're playing Bloodstock". I couldn't believe it, but there it was on my screen. That kicked off an incredible summer in which we were also asked to play the amazing Beermageddon weekend.

I dunno how exactly to describe the Bloodstock experience. I had been before as a punter, and had decided to just treat it like any normal Bloodstock, and not worry about anything until the night before we played. Walking out on the Sunday morning to fetch the equipment and drive it to the backstage compound was a bit weird, we could all feel it looming like some kind of trial by fire as we got into "serious work mode" but just knuckled down and got the gear in, introduced ourselves to the stage crew and calmly unpacked our equipment. The stage crew were marvellous, and made us feel at home as we might have been looking a little fraught as we watched the crowd and the preceding band.

KrematedPhil

Intro CD CHECK, guitars in tune CHECK, setlists, water, picks CHECK, then a last minute curveball as we were told we couldn't use our wireless units. OK, no sweat, borrowed long cable, all sorted. Intro CD starts, we walk out and I plug my guitar in. CRACKLE BLIP SKKRREEET! the jack socket didn't like the cable and I had approximately 5 seconds to wiggle it and get it on an angle where it wouldn't cut out. Didn't need that stress, but as soon as we got into the first song, it all seemed to go smoothly. Heads down, see you at the end. And that first song ending, the 2 seconds between finishing song #1 and the audience goin crazy seemed like a week. "Will they like us, will they boo and walk?" At that point (and we all said this afterwards), we all looked up and actually saw the audience had doubled in size. Next song, all going well, bit of banter, 3 or 4 songs in, the audience were crammed in, right back to the ropes and staying put. The feeling of seeing a full tent, and having a nice pit kicking off was magic. We got to the end, and I introduced the last song, and kinda indirectly called a wall of death. BAM! around 80 bodies hurtling across the dancefloor for "Thrash Ain't Dead". Walking off that stage was like walking on air, we had done it.

Bloodstock is the best place for a band like ours to get exposure to a discerning Thrash Metal crowd, but also could have broken us if we had gone down badly. I was chatting to the main "Newblood" sound engineer during Slayer, and he told us we had the biggest crowd and the biggest pit the whole weekend. I was gobsmacked! So I guess Bloodstock was a bit of a trial, but we kept level heads and just treated it like any other show, get onstage, do the best you can and get off.

Beermageddon on the other hand was a total contrast, as we had expected, and the whole atmosphere of Jim's now legendary festival was an absolute joy to experience. I love smaller festivals like this, especially when there is camping involved, and your bed for the night is mere staggering distance from the bar. We opened the second day of the festival on the Saturday afternoon. This wasn't a bad thing for us, a positive advantage in fact. Everyone had sobered up enough from the previous nights carnage to be straining at the chain for some live Metal, and although we might have seemed a bit "full on" at that time of day, we went down really well, despite everyone (ourselves included) being a bit worse for wear.

Ok, I'll admit it, BATTERED from Friday.

The crowd was great, the sound was great, it all felt brilliant, and we had a trick up our sleeve for Jim Beerman. For those of you who don't know, there was a recording of Jim drunkenly singing the theme song to 1970s childrens TV classic "Play-Away" that he occasionally played on his radio show. We thought it was only proper that we learnt it and found a way to con him onto the stage (under the false pretence of him doing backing vocals for "Thrash Ain't Dead") and get him to sing it. The look on his face was priceless, but he went for it like a trooper, and by the last verse, the whole crowd were singing along with him. A magic moment that we were glad to be a part of. But the whole feel of Beermageddon, the "all Metalheads together in close quarters" vibe was amazing, and I will be attending again next year.

Since then, we have had offers from all over the country and a couple from Europe, been booked for a handful of festival dates in 2014, and had a load more people contacting us via Facebook, Reverbnation etc, and we have also completed the writing and a bunch of demos for our second album, which will be a full length! I also have to mention the amazing charity show we did for my old friend Colin Tyler in November, it is very rare to get a lineup of that quality all cooperating, filling a venue and having an amazing time fom start to finish, but Colin managed to put together one of the most rewarding and fun shows I have ever played. 2013 has been an amazing year of developments for Kremated, and armed with that, we are preparing for a full-on attack in 2014. We love Thrash, we love playing it and having people appreciate what we are doing.

The band is a solid unit now with a load more ideas and more focus on how and where we want to take it. If you like what we have done so far, the new material is going to really make you want to get up and run riot! With luck, we should be releasing album #2 around May 2014.

So, there you are, a year in the life of Kremated. I'll finish as I started: ONWARD AND UPWARD!"

Kremated are busy completing their follow up album to their 2012 debut "Total Warfare" and will be on the road supporting two legendary bands in the form of Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed.

Supporting Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed

Website: www.kremated.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kremated
Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/kremated
Twitter: twitter.com/kremated

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