Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind Refuses to Toxically Waste Time
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind refuses to toxically waste time. An album (or EP or single or demo or split) comes out, and bam!—onto the next one. It would be weird if he sat on his ass, though, right? Other heavy artists get a pass due to their genre and standing. Metallica and Tool take five years between albums because they prefer “adult” pursuits like arty documentaries and winemaking—and those of us old enough to remember Tuesday “Midnight Madness” sales still regard their record releases as An Event. Our recent string of flexi disc reunion superstars—Carcass, Godflesh and Floor—take nine to 17 years between releases because, well, I suppose they love Decibel more than life itself and really, really want niche print media to thrive. But a retro-thrash upstart like Toxic Holocaust, led by a quality-over-quantity guy like Grind (who says himself in our cover story, “I told [Relapse] I’d rather give the fans a record with all good songs as opposed to ‘Here’s some good songs, and here’s some other shit just to take up time on the record.’”), it just makes sense for that to be prolific. He doesn’t have a 29-piece kit or Lou Reed to worry about.
And when we mark Toxic Holocaust as “retro-thrash,” that’s not to suggest Chemistry of Consciousness is mere mimicry. Talking with J. Bennett from his new home base of Portland, Grind conjures his encyclopedic catalog of metal and punk knowledge to create compelling, relevant crossover. His rags-to-critical-riches rise is just one highlight of the December Decibel, which also boasts features on Convulse, Darkthrone, Inquisition, Venom’s second Hall of Fame induction, and the aforementioned Floor flexi disc. As for Grind’s shampoo and conditioner routine, which I know all of you are deeply curious about? You’ll just have to read for yourself and see if we “go there.”
The December 2013 issue of Decibel also features Venom, Darkthrone, and a flexi of Floor’s first new song in elevent years, and can be purchased here. But why not just get a full subscription to ensure that you never miss an issue?