Interview: Martin and Nick of Outrage AD
Founded in 1992, Outrage AD is an old school death-thrash metal band from Eastern Ontario. Split up in the mid-1990′s, the band recently rose from the dead and recorded a full length album, New Blood, in the true spirit of the old days. We had the opportunity to speak with Martin Marion (guitars, vocals) and Nick Richer (drums, vocals).
theBlackHull: Hi Nick and Martin, thank you for accepting to do this interview. Our first question is a necessary one: who is Outrage AD?
Martin: Outrage AD is a Christian Death/Thrash Metal band that originated in Marionville, Ontario, Canada in the early 90s. It started as a Metal/Rock cover band and evolved into an original only project.
theBlackHull: Martin, you founded Outrage as a thrash metal band, but that evolved as members changed. Can you tell us about the various phases the band went through over the years?
Martin: In 90-91, I got Art Robillard to learn to play the bass so we could jam. His dad always had musical instruments in the house and I use to play on his piano and acoustic guitar all the time. We started with easy songs from AC/DC and evolved into metal as the months progressed.
In 91-92, we had Julien Souque on drums, Dominic Millaire on rhythm guitar and Nicolas Dessaint on vocals. We mostly played Metallica covers with the odd classic rock number here and there with no real intentions of playing out because we lived out in nowhere and we were all under aged and too young to drive.
In 91-92, Julien changed school and Nick Richer came in as the new drummer and 2 weeks after we met he told us we had a 4 hour show in a bar in Casselman. First we didn’t know 4 hours’ worth of song and we never played in front of a crowd before. After that show I started writing songs and we went heavier and faster and Nic Dessaint and Dominic Millaire left the group and I took over the vocals with Nick Richer.
theBlackHull: Who were the musical influences of Outrage in the beginnings?
Martin: Mine were: Sacrifice, Razor, Kreator, Slayer, Forbidden, Metallica, Black Sabbath.
Nick: Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, Metal Church, Sacrifice and Black Sabbath as well.
theBlackHull: Could you tell us what the scene was like back in the days, in the area? What were the bars, the main bands, and the fans back then?
Martin: Metal in Ottawa was great and we always played to lots of people, I can’t remember a show that had little to no people. The bar scene, we didn’t know much about because we were 15-16 years old. In those days metal shows would happen in community halls or places like the Saw Gallery. Later on we would rent our own place and promote our own shows and get other bands to open or play.
Nick: For our age, we saw the last of Roxanne’s in Hull. In Ottawa, we had the Pit, the Downstairs Club (I think), the Upstairs one as well and we mostly played at the Oblate Centre which was kind of a Church/community hall close to Ottawa University. We played with bands like Sothoth, Mid-Evil, Corpus, Nefarious, Southern Uncomfort… ha, ha ! The first show we put on was at the Marionville community centre, opening for Mid-Evil, and we got over 300 kids moshing, slaming and stagediving. No one knew Mid-Evil at the show (except us – as we were big fans of theirs) and even before they went on, they had sold out of all the gear they had brought to sell.
theBlackHull: Could you tell us about any specific show you remember playing or attending?
Nick: We had a great bar called “Dr. Fred’s Indigenous Cave” (or something like that), opened for a month or so, which had 2 great shows, 2 weekends, back-to-back. The first one was Malhavoc with Soulstorm. It was packed. The second one was Razor with Disciples of Power. Now this club was all black lights and neon painting on the wall. The only real light was a light bulb above the stage. Razor did their thing, and we were only 20 people at that show. When DOP came on, they decided to unscrew the bulb to see if they could play in the dark (and change the mood).
Martin: We still have that show on VHS tape. You can’t see anything on the tape, except hair flying up in the faint light from behind the stage wall. Voivod at Roxanne’s was a cool show. We finished our set at the Patro in Ottawa, packed the truck and drove to the show and as we sat down as it started. We hung out with the legendary Piggy d’Amour, Away and E-force after the show and they gave us Red Dog beer.
Nick: Ha ! We didn’t even drink back then… but when Piggy says “Here, have a beer”… you take the beer… ha, ha.
theBlackHull: Early on, you started adding Christian themes to your brutal music, which is very uncommon in the Canadian metal landscape, and it probably shocked a lot of people back in the days. Two decades later, while metal got about ten times more extreme, I am under the impression that some of the (younger?) metal fans who aren’t shocked by gore, extreme violence, sex, and anti-Christian themes in music tend to react strongly to “open” Christian themes. Do you want to comment?
Martin: Nick and I always shared a strong faith and many lyrics from earlier songs were written by Nic Dessaint and I don’t remember if we felt it was wrong to take his lyrics and continue (or we thought they didn’t work) but Nick Richer suggested to go towards the Christian theme and we were onboard. All of us went to church every Sunday. I don’t recall any negative comments and we did push the Christian theme at every show. I recall sharing of the daily bread, baptizing the crowd and crucifixion re-enactment at our shows. I had a picture of Jesus on my guitar and Nick had a cross on his drums. I remember and article in the Ottawa Citizen that depicted metal as a devil worship music and I was quoted in the follow up article saying that we are proud to be a Christian metal band.
theBlackHull: Outrage AD defines itself as a “First Wave of Christian Death Metal.” Is this an expression that commonly exists out there and, in your opinion, who would be the main protagonists?
Martin: one word…. Mortification
theBlackHull: You released two demos: Hail God in 1992 and Waiting for the Son in 1993, both of which are extremely hard to find today. Can you tell us about them, how well were they received and what do they represent for you?
Martin: Hail God: The instruments were recorded on a tape recorder, not a 4 track, a tape recorder, done live with the help of a mixer board. The music was played back through a tape player and we added the vocals for the final take. The sound is terrible but you get the essence of what we were about. It had Death, Thrash, Melodic music and most of all you could see we were having fun doing it. It was reviewed in fanzines across the globe but was never produced in large quantities. Nick would have a better idea on how many were distributed.
Nick: Nope… ha, ha !
Mart: But you had the map of all the places we sold tapes around the world, I remember Germany and Australia… correct me if I am wrong.
Waiting for the Son: This was done on a 4 track and the sound quality and experimentation evolved with added vocals and effects. I don’t recall why we chose these songs but Paralyzed was a song we would play at talent shows because it was less heavy and with cleaner vocals so it became a regular at the shows.
To me they represent our youth, choosing to create music and having fun instead of doing drugs and getting drunk. We were together almost every day of the week and music was the only thing we talked about or did. I don’t think the demos were great but the songs re-recorded with today’s technology still sound solid and I am proud of what we have done.
theBlackHull: Outrage disbanded shortly after 1995 and reunited officially in 2013. Where did you vanish all these years, and what brought you back to life?
Martin: I had 3 kids and moved to the Middle East for a while. Life got in the way and the kids grew up. Nick and I reconnected a few years back and we would regularly talk about all the music we have done together. At one point we had 4 different bands together so we always shared that passion. Nick wanted to revive our French Rock project but Nic Miquelon our new bass player was pulling for him to revive Outrage. It took one email, a few ghost tracks were recorded and the album is in the final stages as we speak.
theBlackHull: You recently decided to add “AD” to your band’s name. Why?
Martin: There are lots of metal band called Outrage, and to differentiate us from the others the AD was added, also has a Christian symbolism.
theBlackHull: You have a new album, New Blood. Can you tell us about it, and what does its title means?
Martin: This represents very well the new member that brought us back, writing the lyrics to this song, and adding the motivation to do this album.
theBlackHull: New Blood was recorded by Topon Das (Fuck the Facts, Alaskan, Merdarahta, Insurrection) at Apartment 2 Recording Studio, in Ottawa. How did you come to know Topon and how different was the recording of this album compared to any recording session you and/or Topon did previously?
Nick: I’ve known Topon for years, as we are part of the first Death metal scene here in Ottawa. We have played together in a band at one point (that did not go anywhere… ha, ha). He is real easy to work with, so his studio was the right place to work at ease, between friends. It is more pleasant to work without the stress and we are completely happy of the product so far. Hope you will enjoy it too!
theBlackHull: What are Outrage AD’s plans in the near future: is this a band you want to play live with? Are you working on new material?
Martin: We plan on recording a second album with a few oldies we did not do for this one, and keep on mixing it with some new songs. We had a reunion show recently (opening for Varga) and it was nice to see a lot of our first fans (which were friends – of course). We don’t mind playing a show, here and there, but we are already pretty busy with other projects. We will see where this takes us. God only knows.
The last words are yours. Anything you would like to add?
Find out more about Outrage AD here:
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