The mighty Italian thrashers Bulldozer have returned to the living daylights after a long hiatus with a brand new album UNEXPECTED FATE. The band gained a reputation back in the 80’s when thrash metal was raging around the world. Their four albums still represent brutal thrash metal to the bone, which are still worshiped by extreme thrash metallers. Bulldozer’s return has been hailed by several old school metal fans as a welcome addition to the current wave of thrash revival. Therefore it was a good opportunity to ask the fron-tman of Bulldozer, AC Wild, about their return and the new album.
Interview by Arto Lehtinen
Good day to Italy, how’s it going there and what’s up in the Bulldozer camp?
We are ready for our return on stage….Metal Forces Festival in Germany, supporting unicef. In Italy we’ll play for Unicef on December 19. That’s how Bulldozer come back on stage!
Bulldozer recently unleashed the brand new album UNEXPECTED FATE, which was quite a surprise to several old school thrash metal maniacs. But how did you start working on the new material for the album?
We took one year before recording in studio. We took our time to select melodies and write lyrics. It had been a long work but we did what we wanted to do. Not for money.
Did you discuss that Bulldozer has such a massive legacy and there is a risk of getting some kind of bad blood amongst the old school metal fans – so did you have some kind of pressure when doing new material? Did you feel more relaxed and comfortable when writing?
Not at all. We came back because we had something new to say. We did not feel any pressure. We just had the will to do what we did. We did exactly what we wanted: the music we like.
Did you have a certain clear though and vision on your mind how the material has to sound to face the true feeling of the old school metal sound?
Yes 100%. I and Andy discussed with A. Leonardi, the producer, and we said that we wanted to do a real Bulldozer album, with our original sound. We also used our old instruments. We were missing the origianal sound of our period, and we realized that the modern sound had infected the latest productions of our old colleagues, so we decided to re-propose the old “natural” sound of our old period.
The album doesn’t have any triggers, virtual sounds or samples as written in the booklet, Bulldozer wants to sound original, fresh and metal and obviously you wanted to rely on the old school recording methods for the album, right?
YES!!!! Bulldozer stopped official activity in 1990 because we did not like what was going to happen to music. We were so disgusted that we decided in 1992 to make a very ironical EP called “Dance Got Sick” and we used computer, trigger, samples, grooves and all those fake elements……the last phrase of Dance got Sick part 1 is….”the music is fuckin’ DEAD”. A real prophecy. Bulldozer is a band formed in 1980, starting recording in 1983. Then, at the end of the 80ies the whole music (except classical, jazz folk etc.) turned into “fiction”; all kinds of rock, including extreme metal, started using “fake powerful sonds” and got very close to Techno, rave, trance and the “sick” dance. We disappeared…..Now we came back proposing our “original”, “imperfect but natural”music, according to Bulldozer tradition.
There are quite a few known musicians visiting the album Kiko Loureiro, Olaf Thorsen and especially Billy Sheenan, well how did you end up asking these musician to guest your album? How did the working with them go after all? Were they somehow surprised to play this kind of metal as they all have a little bit different background in the metal and hard rock playing?
They are real good musicians. Kiko and Olaf bought Bulldozer albums when they were young teenagers. They perfectly knew the real original Bulldozer sound. Yesterday I saw Kiko’s clinic in Milano, he said he really liked our album and the lyrics. Billy had been invited because he belongs to my generation: we both bought “If you want blood you’ve got it” live AC-DC album before 1980. We both like classic music. I met him during a clinic and his manager told him about my classic project with Dave Lombardo….the day after he went to our studio for recording his solo….improvised….he’s a great musician.
And Jennifer Batten doing a lot of solos on the album, she has played with Michael Jackson and hundreds of others known people. How did this come about after all, how did you manage to ask him to play in UNEXPECTED FATE?
She’s an amazing musician. A great genius; I think she’s underestimated. I happened to see her guitar clinic in Milano in 1993 and I was surprised since she could improvise any kind of genre, metal, rock, jazz, fusion, classical ecc. So I recently wrote her and asked – do you want to try extreme metal? I think you never tried before! She said YES! And we did it. Her solos are unexpected……..She wrote me several times stating that she loves our album….it’s different….
The older albums of Bulldozer were released by the Italian labels Metalmaster, Discomagic and expect the first two ones released by Roadrunner. How did you find it a more logical choice to pick up Scarlet to release UNEXPECTED FATE ?
The owners of Scarlet are old friends and old Bulldozer fans.
Did you negotiate with other labels who might have expressed their interest toward Bulldozer?
No! I called Scarlet directly without talking to any other label.
The front cover features several different characters like a pope, suicide terrorist, military guy, black metal person. Could you a little bit more about the basic meaning of the front cover, what does it represent?
The bishop and black metal guy represent a duel of two different ideologies, the ortodox jew and the hamas terrorist another duel, the buddist monk and the comunist soldier another duel, and the us soldier with the taliban suicide terrorist another duel. These duels, (and others not mentioned) stay on the front scene of the actual world…..they are always on the news, books, moovies, web, movies……the Unexpected Fate will enter the scene one unexpected day, for everybody…..and these duels will be really meaningless, worthless…..I fear that day
Concerning your lyrics, they seem to deal with various issues, from religious aspect to the more environmental aspects. Instead lyrics tend to predict the earth is leading to the inevitable devastation and there is no hope left. Have I understood right your lyrics or how would you like to point out some aspect out of the lyrics?!
Every song talks about a specific problem. Shortly I talk about all of them:
UNEXPECTED FATE : See previous answer.
ACES OF BLASPHEMY is a description of some persons.
SALVATION FOR SALE talks about different aspects of various religions, no one in particular.
USE YOUR BRAIN is my personal message to our fan. Whatever you think, be yourself and don’t be influenced.
MICRO VIP is a funny vision of millions of web-slaves of very important social networks.
BASTARDS is dedicated to the “powerful people” who control and corrupt the world.
BURIED ALIVE BY TRASH regards pollution, nuclear waste and the future of our planet.
THE CONTER-CRUSADE regards an historical movement which decided to fight the western culture; it’s a religious culture.
IN THE NAME talks about the prediction illustrated on IX cover. In the last part there are personal opinions
RETURN OF BULLDOZER
The return of Bulldozer definitely came out of blue, therefore I can’t help asking how everything came about that Andy and you decided to get together and start writing new songs ?
There are many reason but one most of all. I realized that a serious prediction, illustrated on IX cover became true in 2001, moreover in 2007 a dangerous message had been given to Europe: they used artwork with the same concept of IX, and confirmed my prediction. I don’t want to name this organization, but you can easily understand what I mean.
As for the drummer being a new guy called Manu playing in Death Mechanism. Was it a logical choice to recruit him to play the drums ?! Was Rob Klister Cabrini asked if he is interested or something else ?!?
Of course we asked Rob, but he could not re-start playing. We had to look around and we decided to ask Manu. He’s the best in the underground scene.
What kind of respond and feedback have you got regarding the return of Bulldozer ?!
Various. Our old friends and fans really liked what we did. They re-found the real original Bulldozer.
You have been in involved in the metal scene and seen there are a plenty of all kinds of Bulldozer stuff like shirt, bootlegs being sold thru several wholesalers, however have you been utter surprised to see even young generation keep the Bulldozer name and cult alive ?
Yes, we had been surprised, after many years we realized that we had more fans now than before, in the 80ies. We know we did something particular in the 80ies and we have had not many fans but few who really appreciated what we did. However, for us is not important being poular or famous but give something important with our music.
The first Bulldozer album titled DAY OF WRATH was one hell of a debut album with its raw and primitive sounding metal to the bone. Apparently it was a way of shocking religious people with the brutal and raw stuff and having the satanic image ??!
NO ! DAY OF WRATH talks about personal and real experiences, in particular THE Exorcism is a real experience I happen to see when I was 16. At that time I was studying to become a priest, then I had a very violent rebellion. I’ve never been a Satanist and I never liked Satanism….that’s a kind of religion.
Whenever I saw the Bulldozer album back in the day I immediately recognized them as AC Wild used to be on the cover as some kind of antichrist, except NEURODELIRI, in general could you tell more about those album covers ?!
The first 2 album covers had been created by Roadrunner, and I never liked them, especially the Final separation. The cover of IX is a prophecy….look at the artwork of Al … (message to Europe 2007) and look at the explosion of the building in the center …..2001…. The IX cover is exactly the cover created by our ideas and intuitions, and so also
NEURODELIRI’s cover, which is dedicated to Dario Carria the main founder and old member of Bulldozer who committed suicide in 87
Even though your albums received poorly by the press of that time, but instead Bulldozer have left an immortal and uncompromising mark to the Italian and in general the whole worldwide metal genre as the band is worshipped and remembered by thousands of people. I assume you never ever thought about that kind of phenomenon would happen when you quit app. 20 years ago ?!
Yes, many things had been understood years later. And some predictions became true.
The way how I got the opportunity of becoming familiar with Bulldozer was the Speed Kills Comp album Vol I where the song titled “Insurrection Of The Living Damned” had been featured. I believe that opened some doors and increased more attention toward Bulldozer ?!
Roadrunner wanted to sell Bulldozer to Venom fans, so we were presented like Venom clones. More popularity with the wrong image is not very positive for me.
When recording the debut album did you feel you were creating something new and unique ?!
The content of the songs (lyrics and general meaning) yes. The music in part.
I still remember the member of the Italian parliament as well as erotic entertainer Cicciolina used to be involved in Bulldozer in a way or another, but could you tell more ?!
We talked about her one year before she got elected. We met her before: she was a leader in the porn scene: she was very extreme that time…..like Bulldozer, with our music and lyrics. When she had been elected we dedicated to her another 2 songs
Back in 1992 an Ep titled DANCE GOT SICK was released, but it differed quite radically from the album material. What’s the purpose on making this ep ?!
AC: We just made this project to show our point of view about the future of music. Dance was going to be sickest and sickest and rock was starting to be FAKE. Music was going to die.
Now you find any kind of music for free in the web, so the artists produce fake stuff to keep their icons alive……..With DGS we made irony about what was going to happen. The crazy thing is that the part 3 became a very big hit in Japan and we made a lot of money, and we never made it in the past. With Unexpected Fate we play what we like and we are not making money, but we are satisfied because we like it!!!
The Polish label MetalMind Pro re-released the whole back catalogue of Bulldozer with the nice looking layouts and of course bonus songs. Did you have an chance to have the impact of your own on those re-released albums ?
They did a great product. They just made a big interview with me and then they made everything. I really appreciated what they did, in particular the artwork.
As stated each album contains some bonus song. But regarding one particular song “The Derby” recorded with in Tokyo with Labyrinth, when was it recorded and how did AC wild end up to playing the song with Labyrinth ?!
I think it was 2004 or 2005. Why? Two members of Labyrinth are very great fans of Bulldozer…
Did you ever face kind of problems with the religious fundamental organizations because of your music ?!
Not at all!!! Italy is a free country and most of the people don’t like the Church. Middle age is over……
One question before the last one : What kind of bond do you have with Slayer nowadays ?!
I’m friend of Dave. He’s a great person and a great musician. Also Tom is my friend. Of course I know also Jeff and Kerry.
All right I therefore thank you for time and interest to do the interview for Metal-Rules.Com. I salute.. So the last words are yours …
All the best!!! to all of you…….I appreciated your questions!
The Bulldozer myspace :