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Interview w/ ANNIHILATOR's Jeff Waters: "I Get To Experiment and Do What I Want With This Band."

If the Big Four included inductees from deserving nations across the globe, then bet your last crinkled dollar that Canada's Annihilator would represent the Great White North in all her frigid, majestic glory.

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The Jeff Waters fronted melodic-thrash outfit has been churning out top-shelf records since the late 1980s, with seminal classics Alice In Hell and Never, Neverland standing out as some of the unsung classics of thrash music.

In an interview with Metal Injection, Waters admits that the bands forthcoming 16th studio album For The Demented is a welcome return to form for Annihilator, after 2015's Suicide Society found him experimenting and hauling strands of inspiration from various places.

"When I was writing that last album in 2015, I didn't put the Waters heavy metal/trash metal fan filter on my writing for my "Annihilator professional band writing an album thing," so what happened was you ended up getting a lot of riffs and some vocal lines that sounded like a Mustiane-type thing or a Hetfield  Damage Incorporated type riff or Kerry King, Gary Holt kind of vibe," says Waters. "I get to experiment and do what I want with this band, because it's not like I have to answer to anybody, we can just basically do what we want. We can do a love song, a thrash song, or a goofy sort of punk-rockish song or anything we want to do, so it's a fun career artistically to do it. But the last one was a little overkill. It wasn't a cover record, it wasn't stealing riffs, but it was very clearly influenced by the bands I like."

Interview w/ ANNIHILATOR's Jeff Waters: "I Get To Experiment and Do What I Want With This Band."

Waters welcomed current Annihilator bassist Rich Hinks into studio and production sessions for the album, relinquishing sole control of the creative process for the first time in years. The end result is an old-school with a  modern edge. "Twisted Lobotomy" is a particularly vicious hybrid.

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While many thrash and traditional metal bands faltered in the wake of grunge and nu-metal in the mid to late 1990s, Annhiliator largely prospered thanks to a thriving fan-base in Europe and Asia, though Waters is quick to admit that the decade was rough across the board.

"For traditional metal it was a rebuilding thing. In the 90s you had almost nowhere to play and you had bands like Judas Priest with Ripper Owens playing in a club in Vancouver call 86th Street Music Hall, and you had Slayer playing in a club in Vancouver called the Commodore Ballroom. Just years before that they had been playing in arenas and stadiums. Metal just tanked in the traditional sense around 1993 and it has taken a long time to come back."

The band is set to embark on a lengthy European trek alongside fellow thrash stalwarts Testament and Death Angel in November and December. The band's bread is largely buttered across the pond, as commercial success has more readily followed Annihilator overseas than in their native Canada and North America as a whole.

Waters reflects that while there is a resurgence in mainstream interest in thrash and traditional heavy metal in North America, it is a more concerning time for younger bands trying to make it big in the genre.

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"It's come back, but it's just not come back as the big money-making industry. Unfortunately, that means for newer bands, it's much much harder to even think they'll have a career as a musician playing in this genre. They might have a couple of albums out and the record company lends them money for a van or a bus, but they're going on package tours with a bunch of other bands and not getting treated good sometimes. You need to support yourself, and if you have a family you support the family, too. After years of going in a van and not making any money, it's no wonder a lot of metal bands are starting to have a couple of albums now and they're gone. It's a really tough, tough business now. Older bands have been lucky because the resurgence has meant a resurgence in finding out about bands. It's a much different situation in Europe than it is in America."

For the Demented is available November 3rd on digital and physical formats. Visit for tour dates and more information.

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