Hailing from The Netherlands and formed in 1996, the tyrants known as CHAINSAW has since been scything and slicing posers with their very own brand of malodorous Thrash Metal and spreading the message of ‘Blood, Meat, and Metal’! The following interview was answered by founding maniacs Don and Aike.
Alcohol-drenched hails! As far as I know, Chainsaw formed back in 1996. What have been some of the highlights regarding this whole journey and how do you reflect on your achievements as an underground Speed/Thrash Metal band?
Don - Oh dear. I’m way too sober to answer this question. Let’s drink some of those hails. Yes. Yes. Better now. Let’s reflect. 1996. That’s 25 years. That’s a lot of highlights. And lowlights. Well some of the weirder gigs I remember as being highlights, like the musical high tea party where we played our full bloodsoaked show in front of an audience of people with an average age of 75. Some ran, well strolled out of the venue, but then other oldies cheered us and at the end of the gig an 80 year old lady came up to us to share that she enjoyed it thoroughly. Playing at a party in Bonaire where the theme was ‘The independence of Surinam’ and most people were in original Surinam attire was quite the highlight too. First everybody ran again, then they came back and starting dancing to our crazy thrash metal. We like to take metal where it originally shouldn’t go. We feel like we are missionaries in that way. We also played quite a few vegan parties and the more we explained that all of our songs are basically about meat, the more they loved it.
Aike - One time we played in a somewhat religious neighbourhood Where we replaced another band the last minute for an afternoon show. We were surprised there was no backstage beer and no alcohol at the bar in the venue, but luckily we brought some ourselves. So we do our show, and so I was preaching to the audience about fucking your pets, fucking minced meat, killing people and things like that.. and then after the show there were some very angry people and it turned out it was a special heavy metal afternoon for children. Well we did notice there was an above average amount of kids but what the hell, if you BOOK Chainsaw you GET Chainsaw. And later we got a message from the city council that due to our ‘tasteless and amoral act’ had banned Chainsaw for life haha. Many years later someone in that same city wanted to book us for a festival but the city council had not forgotten about us and we were not allowed to play. I think that is our greatest achievement!
According to the metal archives, there are 11 bands bearing the moniker Chainsaw. Did you ever consider opting for a different name or were you never that fazed about a name that’s shared by others?
Don - We are generally not easily fazed. Dazed, crazed, yes, but fazed, no. Our music just fit the style of a Chainsaw and we so aptly named the band as such.
Actually at one time we wanted to organize a festival or a small tour with other Chainsaws, we almost got there with the Polish Chainsaw, but it didn’t work out.
Aike - The Polish Chainsaw even changed their name the ‘THE Chainsaw’ and suddenly stopped communication while we tried to plan a tour for the combined Chainsaw’s
Can you elaborate a bit on the philosophy behind Chainsaw?
Don - Yes indeed, we are great philosophers. The philosophy behind Chainsaw is that thrash should be raw and bloody, like a steak still on the cow.
Aike - Straightforward violence without any moral nonsense. And for the stage part we use all kinds of theatrics to enhance the metal experience and when you wake up the day after you went to a Chainsaw show even though you are hungover you still remember.
Who and what is the meat locker?
Don - YOU are the meat locker, but so am I.
What’s some of your favourite albums in the eternal relics of metal?
Don - Judas Priest – Painkiller, Swampcult – The Festival, Spinal Tap – Smell the Glove
Aike - Necro Schizma – Live in Zwolle, Manowar – Black wind fire and steel, Celtic frost- Morbid tales, Bathory- Blood fire death to name a few
Which bands influenced the sound of Chainsaw and what can you tell us about your themes?
Don - In the early days bands like Venom, Kreator influenced us. Later on we made songs and decided if it sounded like Chainsaw, haha, then it was a Chainsaw song, but that is what happens when you’re in a band for 25 years.
Aike - The songs are mostly about meat but also about necrophilia, traffic jams, bestiality, killing bugs. I just let my mind wander without restraint about some normal day to day stuff and it gets automatically drenched in some crazy sauce.
What can you tell us about your blood-soaked photos and live performances? Is it part of your aesthetic? And can you share with us any crazy anecdotes about shows you’ve played?
Don – Yes, but it just gradually happened. We didn’t use any blood in the beginning. Then 1 time at easter, we thought it was a good idea to slaugher an easter bunny. It was a stuffed toy with some blood inside, but it was fun. Then we expanded the idea to do the same, but to a stuffed pig toy during ‘The Butcher of Bagdad’. One of our fans, an ancient guy in a wheelchair told us afterwards that he really enjoyed that, but the pig was way too small. We decided that he was very right. Aike then created a bigger than life size pig and since that time when we play ‘The Butcher of Bagdad’, the pig comes out and gets slaughtered. It is a great bloody mess. When we first started doing it, people stepped back, but later on, people got real close and wanted to get splattered. If people are not already in a fantastic mood during our shows, they become ecstatic when the pig comes out.
Aike - We usually start the show with me rushing through the venue with a running chainsaw, so there was this time I decided to run out into the crowded street and chase some people shopping. Besides the chainsaw I also had this huge dagger strapped to my leg for later during the show were we drag a plastic wrapped body onstage, hoist it up on a pole and cut it open and blood and entrails come out. There was an elderly lady who came after me who called out to me: ‘excuse me mister, but you have dropped your knife.’ and returned it to me. haha that was awesome.
How would you respond to someone attending one of your shows that complained afterwards about getting blood on them?
Don - It hasn’t happened very often, but sometimes we do hear afterwards that some people ran out. One unfortunate girl started crying when some blood was spilled on her neat white blouse. I don’t think she was paying a lot of attention to us, even though she was close enough.
Aike - Some years ago when we opened for Goddess of desire, they prepared their fireworks for their show before the doors opened so they could start playing without delay when we would have finished our set. Only to discover that our blood had ruined most of it. However they remained calm any said: ‘well, we should have known better than to play after Chainsaw.’
How has the overall response been towards Chainsaw and how is your following in the Netherlands?
Don – Some people got quite fanatic and followed us around, we often saw a lot of familiar faces. Especially in Germany people got absolutely nuts. We’ve got a nice following in the Netherlands, but we haven’t had many gigs lately, so when we do perform again, we will have to wake them up with a bang.
What’s the current status of the members and what do you keep yourself busy with nowadays?
Don - We’re all still alive sort off. I mainly keep myself busy with another thrash band called PPTA.
Aike - I am active in several other bands, amongst them are a doom band: Swampcult that turns the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft into an audio experience, together with Don who does the guitar and bass, I play the drum and do the vocals. We’re working on the 3rd album now but we take our sweet time. And SPITZ vile doom rock where I play bass and vocals.
And our bass player Leon plays guitar in a death metal band Cacatory and also in PPTA
Are there any bands from recent years that you’ve taken a liking to, or are you mostly jamming old classics? What’s on your playlist lately?
Don - I have been listening to a lot of Shining and Gama Bomb lately. But also classics such as Darkthrone – A Blaze in the Northern Sky and random songs of Decapitated.
Aike - I usually play a few albums on over and over for months. at the moment that is ‘A baneful choir’ by Teitanblood and ‘Latexcult’ by Impaled Nazarene, Not a lot of thrash or speed as someone might expect from someone in a band like this.
What are some of your biggest pet peeves with people in the metal scene?
Don - I used to have A LOT of pet peeves, but I think I’m getting too old for that shit, haha.
Aike - Bands promoting themselves as female fronted. Nothing wrong with women in bands, but if you promote your band like that, especially when there is no clean singing, you basically say: ‘Hee, come look at the tits of our front woman!’ And another thing is bands that have names that do not fit the music. Take Annihilator for instance, brutal name, but they don’t sound like they are annihilating anything. very, very annoying.
You haven’t put out a new album since 2013. Will there be any new material in the future, and will you resurrect the chainsaw to slay the posers once more?
Don - Yes there will be! We basically have enough songs for another album and we will definitely resurrect the chainsaw when the time comes to release those upon an unsuspecting world.
Thanks a lot for your time!!! Long live the Chainsaw!!!
Don - Thanks for the interview!! Long live Death by Hammer!