Terror - 02/07/2008

TERROR, (formed in 2000) is a hardcore punk, crossover thrash and metalcore band from Los Angeles, California. Ignoring current musical trends, the L.A. based band has stuck to its guns playing aggressive, no frills, breakneck hardcore like The Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front before them. Ragged metal-tinged guitars, rapid fire drum lines, slithering bass lines and trademark double-fisted vocal attacks are trademarks of their sound.

TERROR’s previous releases “One With The Underdogs” (2004), “Lowest Of The Low” (2005) and “Rhythm Amongst The Chaos” (2007) struck the American and European hardcore scenes hard and there wasn't a message board worldwide that wasn’t singing the praises of the group. This was fully backed by any live performance the band played and that quickly gave proof they were the real deal. While a TERROR live show is packed with aggressive energy, it also brings back the good-natured release of circle pits, stage dives and finger pointing anthems that are sorely missed by today’s hardcore scene. TERROR soon found itself popular touring partners across the country of such heavyweights as Comeback Kid, Converge, Hatebreed, Biohazard, Ignite, Sick Of It All and Madball, as well as being able to hang with metal groups such as Killswitch Engage and In Flames. It is this drive and desire that has cemented TERROR into the hearts of music fans worldwide and made them royalty within the touring front.

So, be prepared for TERROR’s third full-length “The Damned, The Shamed”, surfacing  May, 2008. This vicious slab of brutality was produced by the renowned Zeuss (Hatebreed, Shadows Fall) and is sure to please the band’s diehard fan base, while garnering a new legion of young maniacal supporters.

Time off for TERROR is considered time away from their hardcore family across the globe, something that they cannot live without, so rest assured, the years to come will hold many more releases and live appearances worldwide. It is a fact: “The Damned, The Shamed” is the definitive hardcore album of 2008.


We catch Martin Stewart (Guitars) at the end of the TERROREuropean tour and he's willing to answer some of our questions:


First of all, congratulations on your new album! How are you doing?


M: I'm doing great!  It's summer time now and there's no better place to be than home in Southern California right now.


How did you launch into writing the material for 'The Damned, The Shamed' after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?


M: When it came time to start writing material for the new record we were actually on tour in Europe.  Our drummer Nick who does the majority of the music writing would stay up on the bus every night writing riffs and recording them on his laptop computer.  By the time our studio session came up all the new tracks had already been demoed and worked out completely so everyone was completely comfortable with just getting into the studio and grinding all the tracks out without hesitation.


Terror is on tour almost continuously, where did you find the time to write these new songs?


M: Yeah, so like I said, the Macbook computer was our savior. Just program some fake drums and plug in a guitar and you can work wonders. We've even recorded vocals in a van while driving before.


How can we imagine how Terror works on new material?


M: Picture very late nights, laptop computers and hard riffing.


Did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on ''The Damned, The Shamed', any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?


M: Well like almost any band will tell you, we just want to make music that we like ourselves.  We definitely wanted to keep it hard and aggressive while also kind of graduating from everything that Terror had done in the past.  When you're in a band that's consistently making new music you have to progress in one way or another or you'll just get bored writing the same record 4 times in a row.



Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?


M: Yeah I'd say so.  


Who wrote the lyrics for this album and can you tell us something about them?


M: Our vocalist Scott wrote the lyrics as always. Even though I didn't write the lyrics, I've read every lyric of every song this band has done and I can tell you that these new lyrics are a bit different than the songs in the past. This time around they seem to be a bit more personal and dark.  The lyrics that Scott writes always seem to be something that I can personally relate to and I think that most people involved in this kind of music can relate to them too. We all have similar personalities which is why I think we got involved in this scene.


In your lyrics your perception of the world is often expressed in a way that's not always exactly positive. How does the world today affect you?


M: It's no secret that the world today is an ugly place. It could so easily affect me in a completely negative way but I refuse to live a miserable life. As corny as it may seem to say, being involved with this kind of music has made it much easier for me to deal with how terrible this world really is.


You have a pretty outspoken opinion about society, which is often voiced in your lyrics. How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?


M: The lyrics in this music have always been such a vital part of this scene and that's something that I've felt ever since I was a teenager way before ever being in a band. The sincerity, involvement and awareness is something that has kept this scene apart from all the other aggressive music that's out there and the lyrics are the main way to do that.


In song writing, what is according to Terror the utmost important ingredient for a song?


M: 2 words: Hard riffing.


How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?


M: The recording was awesome. Everything went so smooth and above all we had tons of fun.  The whole record took about a month to record but since everything was going so smoothly we were able to take our time and spread everything out evenly throughout the month so that we were never in a rush to do anything.


The production was done by Zeuss. What made him the perfect producer for The Damned, The Shamed'?


M: Zeuss is an incredible engineer/producer and and even better dude. It so easy for us to work with him because he comes from the same background as we do and has basically the same taste in music so he knows exactly what kind of sound it is that we're looking for. It makes it easier for us to communicate with him and a lot of the time we don't even have to tell him what we're thinking because he already knows and hears it himself.


In which things/songs on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?


M: The guitar tones and over-all drum sound is where you hear him the most. He gets such a huge sound that when you hear it you know that it's him.  


Have you received any feedback on the new album yet? How do you feel about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?


M: So far from everyone who's heard it the feedback has been nothing but positive.  The album just came out and obviously once it gets into the hands of the masses there's going to be people that will talk down on it.  That's just the way life is but we're definitely not worried about it. We couldn't be more satisfied with the way the record came out.  It's the most proud I have ever been to be involved with a piece of music and I can't wait to play these songs for the people out there that are going to share our same enthusiasm.


Could you please describe the implications of the title 'The Damned, The Shamed' , what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?


M: It's part of the lyrics from the first track on the record called "Voice of The Damned". Pick up the record, read the lyrics and I'm sure you'll understand the meaning behind it.


Finally, where do you see Terror going in the years to come, or do you not think to the future too much?


M: What we think about most is where Terror is going to play next. What country is going to invite us into its home next for an explosive show. With a new record dropping, touring is in our near future as always.



Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:


How did you get involved in the music business?


M: It's still hard for me to think about what we do as a "business". I started playing music around 1997 when I was in high school.  I had been big into punk/hardcore for about 4 years at that point and the only reason I ever picked up instrument was because I knew that I wanted to be in a band.  Finally 2004 I went on my first U.S. tour that even went into Canada. That will always be the most memorable summer of my life and my life was literally changed forever.


What songs and bands do you listen to these days?


M: I listen to lots of everything. As for recent hardcore I've been listening to a lot of Violation, Bitter End, Trapped Under Ice who were going on tour with this summer and tons of other stuff.


With all the touring and over four albums and several EP's under your belt, how far has Terror surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?


M: Since I'm not an original member of the band it's hard to talk about the original dream of Terror. I can say that the past 3 or so years that I've been in the band have been like nothing I've ever done before. I've visited places that I never imagined I'd go like Russia and played gigs that were so unreal you'd have to be there to believe it. There's nothing more rewarding than travelling the world making new friends and visiting old friends all along the way.


You guys have always put 100 percent into every show I have seen, how the hell do you do it?


M: Giving 100% is effortless when you genuinely love and are excited about what you're doing.  


What is your opinion on the old school hardcore scene these days, is there anything missing?


M: I don't think there's anything missing from hardcore of any kind. There's always areas here and there that will be lacking this or that but in the end if you search for it you will always find people that are doing exactly what it is that you're looking for.


Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think "this is what I want to do!"?


M: Strife "One Truth". At the time of this record, seeing this band perform those songs live was unreal.  


So tell us a little about yourself and the things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics. What are you into?


M: Life experiences. Whenever I've written lyrics it's the things in life that have an impact on me, whether negative or positive, that I end up writing about.


What are your personal influences and is it difficult these days to sound original?


M: I've never really been concerned with "originality". If something’s not broken then don't try to fix it.  Just do what sounds good to you and if you're sincere about it, chances are it will go over well.


Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?


M: INFEST, Madball and Crowbar.


Has anything been left unmentioned? Any last statement...


M: "The Damned, The Shamed" is out now. Pick it up at a store or on iTunes if you like your computer so much.  Check out our myspace "myspace.com/terror" and come check us out when we're in your town. That's pretty much all we can ask for and thanks for the interview.


Okay, thanks you for your time!  




Members :

Scott Vogel - Vocals

Doug Weber - Guitar

Martin Stewart - Guitar  

Nick Jett - Drums  

Jonathan Buske - Bass  


Former Members :

Frank Novinec - Guitar  

Carl Schwartz - Bass  

Todd Jones - Guitar
Matt Smith - Bass  

Richard Thurston - Bass


Albums :
Lowest Of The Low, (EP) - 2003

One With The Underdogs - 2004

Always The Hard Way - 2006

Rhythm Amongst The Chaos - 2007

The Damned, The Shamed - 2008

Keep Of Kalessin - Kolossus