Extreme Noise Terrorists
CoC interview Extreme Noise Terror
by: Adam Wasylyk
Extreme. Noise. Terror. These are three appropriate words to describe ENT's latest release, _Damage 381_. It's 90s grindcore that takes no prisoners when it comes to speed and outright brutality. The lost art of this most extreme genre has now been resurrected and hopefully, it's here to stay! The band have been making headlines with their line-up troubles, swapping vocalists with Napalm Death but later swapping vocalists yet again! After much speculation and rumor, I had the opportunity to talk to vocalist Dean Jones and to find out the real story about the situation along with asking him about ENT's new record.

'Basically Napalm Death asked Phil (Vane, ENT vocalist) to join about three or four months ago,' Jones begins about the tumultuous line-up changes that were starting to occur. 'Phil accepted and they sacked Barney (Greenway, ND vocalist). This was in the middle of us recording _Damage 381_ so we were without a vocalist for our album, so we thought the logical choice was to ask Barney. So we sent him a tape of what we had done on the album, he really liked it so he came down and did the vocals. Straight after Barney laid down the vocals, I heard that Napalm Death were having trouble with Phil, getting the vocals that they wanted out of him for their album. So then they wanted Barney back! Barney agreed to go back to Napalm under certain terms and Phil was out of a job and we were without a vocalist yet again, so we asked Phil back so everything just went around in a complete circle. Barney ended up singing on the new album and now Phil's back in the band to tour with us. Napalm Death were basically trying to do something different, and Phil was a bit of a guinea pig and he was used and tossed aside. That's really what happened.'

Barney's short stay in ENT was a comfortable one, one that reminded him of a time long gone. Jones relates the story to me as if Barney had 'come home' so to speak. 'When he came down to record the vocals, he told us he felt so at home, because the last couple of records with Napalm were the complete opposite as they (the band) were telling him 'Can you mellow your vocals down a bit, Barney?' and 'Can you sing a bit more like Machine Head?' and Barney told me he didn't feel comfortable doing that and he really felt at home during this album because it was back to _Utopia Banished_ for him, which he felt comfortable with. He really enjoyed singing and recording the album with us.'

I was surprised to hear that after Phil's departure for greener pastures, no ill-will or bitter feelings by the band were directed towards him. 'Phil had been with the band right from the beginning, we were all really good friends, and he didn't leave on bitter terms at all. We stayed in touch when he was with Napalm. We couldn't blame him, they offered him quite a bit of money and Phil was really in debt at the time, so we couldn't blame him for doing what he did.'

Our conversation swung to _Damage 381_, a 90s answer to (coincidentally) Napalm Death's _Scum_. 'The plan was when we started making the album, we felt that the last record, _Retro-bution_, and the one before that, _Phonophobia_, didn't have the chaotic extremities that we used to have like our _Peel Sessions_ album. We basically listened to our older albums and thought 'Wow, if only we could do something as good as what we did on the _Peel Sessions_ again.' We decided that we were going to put back in the scream-style vocals which we hadn't done for two albums, and also the blast beats which we hadn't had for a couple of albums, to really make it more chaotic and more 'Extreme Noise Terror' again 'cause we weren't happy with the last two albums before _Damage 381_ as they weren't extreme enough in our eyes. It has a slightly more metal feel to it than it's ever had before, it's total in-your-face grindcore. No one else is doing it, and we felt there's a big hole in the market for it as lots of kids want to hear extreme music. As far as I know, there hasn't been an extreme grind album for probably three or four years now. Kids are still walking around with Carcass _Symphonies of Sickness_ shirts, early Napalm shirts, and Brutal Truth shirts, and no one is doing that music anymore, so we thought that's what we want to do. It's the music we like, so we're going to do another grindcore album.'

The name of ENT's new record actually has an amusing story behind it. 'It came about because for track six (the title track), we just laid down the music when we felt 'we're going to play as fast as we can and keep it up for as long as possible.' We hadn't actually laid the vocals down and I hadn't written any lyrics for it at that point, but the guy in the studio with some computer said 'gee, it's fast, I put [the song] through the computer and it came up '381''. I don't know if the word 'damage' sort of appeared [on the computer], like damaging to the ears, so then it suddenly clicked 'Oh, Damage 381! That has a ring to it!' So we decided to call the song "Damage 381", and after playing that track to Digby (head honcho at Earache), he really loved the track and said we should call the album _Damage 381_ as well. That's how it came about, the song having 381 beats-per-minute at its highest peak.'

I wrapped up our talk by asking Jones if the band finally has some stability with its present members, or could something similar to what happened occur down the road? 'I think we're stable now. Everyone is really pleased who's in the band with the album, no one else has day jobs anymore, and no one else is in other bands, both of which were problems in the past. I think we can now work on the next album and we'll be touring soon as well. We're all committed now.'

(article submitted 14/9/1997)

9/14/1997 A Bromley 9 Extreme Noise Terror - Damage 381
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