Calling all fans of the European Big 4; if you haven’t heard by now, Destruction are making their way to Australian shores for their ‘Down Under Attack’ tour next month!

There must be a pre-requisite that when you speak to Schmier that something has to go wrong; last time it got delayed due to his accident at the Summer Breeze Festival playing for Panzer and this time there was technical difficulties. Taking time to talk the recovery of the shoulder, Schmier pointed out how “I’ve worked hard for it and done a lot of physio/gym; even though I’m not at 100% for movement, it’s great that it doesn’t affect my daily life anymore! Even though the doctor has pointed out that I will never get back to 100% thanks to my job, I’m already back at above 90% which is great. I’m just lucky that I’m in enough of a good physical condition that I could recover fast!”

Turning our conversation towards the upcoming trip to Australia, Schmier was quick to point out “we’re looking forward to coming back, as it’s been many years since we’ve been there! We’re also super excited as we finally get to play Adelaide and Perth for the first time, which is great. I have the very best memories about Australia, as it’s a fantastic country with very friendly people; although there are a lot of crazy people, Australians have the great mixture of being polite yet crazy! Australia is most definitely one of the countries we want to go to again, which is why it’s very sad when we can’t. The two previous times we’ve had a fantastic time, with a lot of crazy shows, great parties and lots of great sightseeing!

The end of March drew about the unfortunate departure of Wawrzyniec ‘Vaaver’ Dramowicz after quite a few years behind the skins; for the intermediate time-frame, Destruction have chosen Randy Black to step into the gap. When asked about the departure of Vaaver, Schmier pointed out how “the drummer is a very important part of this type of music” before going into further detail about why Black was chosen as the replacement for now:

“With Destruction being a thrash band, he’s the big back bone of all the songs! We wanted to have a drummer who was the same level as Vaaver and we know Randy can do it; he’s played with us before and he knows a lot of the songs, so we knew he would be a great temporary replacement for Vaaver. It also gives us the time to search for a drummer, as we’re wanting to test some people we know; not only do they need to make sure they can play with such intensity, but we want them to be close to us on a personal side. When you tour so much, you have to be like brothers! We want to make sure that the new guy is the right fit, as we intend for him to stay until this band is no more.”

Schmier concluded with “we’ve had enough drummers and finding drummers is always a problem; look at Spinal Tap”, followed with a huge chuckle.

Since writing and releasing new music for “Under Attack” in 2016, Destruction also went on to create another greatest hits album last year with “Thrash Albums II”; Schmier briefly pointed out “’Under Attack’ has received the best reaction since ‘The Antichrist’ in 2001, so I think it was a very successful record!” before going into greater detail about ‘Thrash Albums II’:

“It was funny because we first decided to do it, Nuclear Blast weren’t interested on another best of album! When we released the statement and asked what fans were wanting to hear on the album, people were writing back and pointing out how it was ten years since the first one. It wasn’t actually planned as we just felt it was the right time; we had a very busy schedule going on and didn’t want to make another album in 2018. We had a couple of weeks off in December/January and thought it would be the right time to sit down and discuss the project. It ended up being a very spontaneous idea, but in the end we didn’t regret it; it was a crazy experience diving back into history contained within those new songs and give them a new fresh face! It was a nice challenge though, as it ended up being more difficult than we first thought.”

For those who don’t have a copy of Thrash Anthems II, you might not know that Destruction have done a cover of Holiday In Cambodia; when asked how this eventuated, Schmier gleefully pointed out how “the song was actually with us since the 80s as we’ve always wanted to cover it, but we never did! We were looking for extra material to put on ‘Thrash Anthems II’ to make it special; Mike (Sifringer) came up and said “Hey, remember we’ve never recorded Holiday In Cambodia…”. We started to jam the song in the studio before recording it spontaneously; it really shows our roots and our dedication to punk rock!”

When asked to give an insight into what fans can expect to see next month, Schmier proudly points out that “a Destruction show means a lot of energy, a lot of power and a very tight set; we’re going to play a long show with a lot of old songs! We know that fans want to hear the classics, plus we will have some extra songs that we either haven’t played on Australian shores for a long time or haven’t played in Australia before. After 36 years, we have the great problem of having too many songs to play! Fans will love it because there will be a lot of eighties, as well as the pure essence of Destruction.

Drawing the interview to a close, Schmier had this short but passionate message to share with fans before coming to Australia next month:

“I have to say sorry that it took six years to come back! I can promise the fans that it will be an intense show, with a lot of classics; join the pit and party with us mother**ckers!”