The following interview is with members of the Dutch thrash band Pestilence, who have been recording classic thrash albums since 1985. Their combination of thrash metal and jazz inspired fusion have made them giants in the thrash metal scene. Here the band speaks about their influences, and what inspires their unique blend of metal and fusion.

Pestilence regrouped after years of not performing together - how was the experience of playing together again?
 P >
It felt really good and like we have never been away. We needed this break really hard though!

Could you tell us about the release of your latest CD?
 P >
We are really proud of our latest release because this is our best work to date. We now have an all dutch band and we feel that this is a good line-up.

Who are some of your influences?, Are you influenced by occultism or occult writings?
 P >
We are influenced by our own band Pestilence. We don't want to listen to too much metal because it would influence us too much. We are NOT an occult band or take reference to it.

Who wrote most of the band's lyrics and what inpires you in your writing?
 P >
Back in the days, Marco Foddis was the main lyricwriter, but now I write all the lyrics.

Can we go back to the beginning-tell us about the recording of your early demos for Roadrunner records? How did the band promote itself?
 P >
We were very excited making these demo's because we wanted to get signed really bad. We didn't do much about promoting the band except making some flyers and playing live.

What bands were you with before you joined Pestilence?
 P >
Pestilence was my first band!

What was your opinion of the 80's death metal scene-did you like the Floridian death metal scene form the USA?
 P >
The floridian scene was very influencial for us in the beginning but later we left it for what it was because we didn't want to be influenced anymore and wanted to create our own style.

How did you feel playing before American audiences-were they receptive to a Dutch metal band?
 P >
We where received really good by the US audience.

You incorporated elements of fusion into your music - are you inspired by jazz music and could you name some of your favorite jazz artists?
 P >
Allan Holdsworth, Chick Corea, Steve Coleman, Scot Henderson and many more.

Why did the band breakup after success during the late 80's? Did you miss playing with your old bandmates while recording your solo projects? Were there some ideas that had for the music that maybe you could not express inside Pestilence?
 P >
We where really tired of the touring, the recordcompany, and the metalscene at that time. We felt that we couldn't express ourselfs anymore.

What lies in the future for the band?
 P >
We hope to keep creating the best Pest music for the fans!!!!

Promotional photos: Stefan Schipper