Οι Troll είναι το πρώτο συγκρότημα του Ken Rodarte (που τώρα παίζει κιθάρα στους Jag Panzer). Πριν από δύο χρόνια μετά από μια συναυλία μιλούσαμε για τους Troll και τελικά έκανα interview μαζί του για αυτό το θέμα:
Absolutely nothing is known about Troll. Some months ago the demo was uploaded on YouTube and underground aficionados went nuts. Right now we only know that you were a part of it, but what about the other guys? Could you please say something about where and how the band came together and who was part of it?
"Troll was formed in late 1984 by guitarist Ken Rodarte and drummer Mike Grant who both lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. We soon met Nick Rivero (bass/vocals) who lived in Phoenix. We recorded a six song demo cassette called ”Time tells no lies“ in 1988...and broke up.
Mike Grant currently resides in Georgia and is still an avid musician playing drums, guitar, singing and creating original music. I am currently in a band called Downhill Trend which is still active in Phoenix Arizona and has two recordings available on all popular streaming services. In late 2018, I was given the opportunity to play lead guitar for Jag Panzer doing sporadic US dates for the Deviant Chord tour, and eventually the European tour in 2019. Nick Rivero is also still a resident of Arizona and has various recordings available through Facebook and reverbnation."
Phoenix, Arizona spit out some very cool bands in the 80s, I'm thinking about legends like Flotsam & Jetsam, Sacred Reich or the always kind of underrated Icon, but also about some lesser known bands like Lurch Killz, Surgical Steel or the mighty Tension. What did the scene in and around Phoenix look like back in the late 80s, did Troll play live gigs (maybe with some of these bigger bands), how was the scene connected?
"Well, the place to play in Phoenix back in the days was the legendary Mason Jar. Several famous bands before becoming big played there. From what I can remember, there were two schools – a school of Heavy Metal and a school of more Glam Metal. Troll belonged to the former.
We opened for the mighty Flotsam & Jetsam once back in the day, Sacred Reich at least two if not three or more times (once at a house party with a stage made out of milk crates), we played with a band called Kaiser that was fronted by Brett Kaiser from Madame X many times. We also opened for Omen, David T. Chastain, Manowar, and other lesser-known bands like Paradise and Little Cesar from Los Angeles."
The demo songs show a nice variety of styles. We have classic US Metal with epic vocal lines, we have speedy tracks with furious solos and we have the title track with about eight and a half minutes duration and almost proggy structures. Who were your influences when you started making music and who influenced you in the late 80s when you recorded the demo? And who wrote your songs?
"Nick was and still is super talented and can sing/play like anyone he wants to. Mike was heavily influenced by Rush, I was heavily influenced by Randy Rhoads. Before we started writing original music, we all were also heavily influenced by Iron Maiden, often playing parties/shows with sets comprised with a huge percentage of Iron Maiden covers and also some Judas Priest. I did the guitar music, Nick wrote his own basslines and the vocals (and lyrics), and Mike wrote his drum parts with direction from Nick and myself."
The demo features six songs and was recorded 1988. Was this all you got or were there more Troll songs written by you guys? Did you get some reviews for the demo, what happened after its release? When and why did the band split? I know that you guys continued playing music in different bands like Axetra or Tynator and stayed true to Speed/Thrash Metal.
"There are four more troll songs that are not on the six song demo, I would have to look around for them. We were very young and we were not of the mind to be sending our stuff out to magazines for reviews....which is why no one ever heard of us. The band split in late 1991 I believe, Nick decided he no longer wanted to be in the band and simply quit."
Revisiting your demo with this interview, what's your opinion about the songs in 2021? What are your thoughts about a possible reissue? How come that Troll were like a hidden secret all this years, were you guys never contacted for interviews, re-releases or stuff like that?
"I think the songs on the demo still stand the test of time, even if it might be evident that they were recorded long ago. Random people have hit me up through the years asking about the band and copies of the disc/demo but we have never been approached by somebody that actually wanted us to reunite. Mike lives in Georgia so that would be our first problem. The second problem would be that after having posted crossroads of yesterday on my Facebook page, I immediately got a message from Nick asking me to take it down because he did not want it online. I think Mike and I are proud of the Troll material while Nick would rather see it buried forever. So as cool as troll was, it is definitely unfortunate that we never went any farther than we did. I understand we are in the Encyclopedia Metallicum."
We reached the "Any last words? part of the interview....
"A very cool story is that on my 21st birthday, the local radio station played the longest song from the demo, the title track, clocking in at roughly eight minutes. We were a good band that broke up before doing anything, had no management, and quite frankly we were very, very young and partying heavily – making music and being a band was our thing, we did not have our eyes open for future opportunities which is why we have remained a relatively unknown secret."
Και έτσι ακούγονται τα αγόρια:
The evil rite of the black and the light We now reveal to you
Εγω αισθανθηκα violated που διαβασα την ανασκαφη.
Λες ο Pavlos να ξερει και ποσα ηλεκτρικα τρυπανια εχω κρυμενα στην ντουλαπα μου;
Το κομματι Time tells no Lies Έπος!!!!