In the ’80s, Canada produced a number of notable metal acts (Exciter, Annihilator, Anvil, etc…), each admirable in their own right. Now a new breed of bands have slowly taken over as the kings of the Great White North, including Striker, Cauldron, and Skull Fist (among others). I was recently able to speak with Skull Fist singer/guitarist Zach Slaughter, who was more than just a little stoked about the band’s upcoming 3rd album, Way of the Road about to be released later this month after nearly a 4 year gap in between albums; “Dude. seriously right?! It’s almost weird to have this album coming out now, although the songs were written some time ago, I am already bored of them and have gotten the 4th album written.. so…forget this one everyone? (Laughs). We spent a lot of time just waiting to see if my voice would heal (almost 3 years), so in the meantime I was always writing a lot more music.”
When asked where Way of the Road was recorded and if the songwriting was a group effort, Zach says, “Well a lot of the songs I had already written a while back. The album was supposed to be released almost 3 years ago but because of all the voice surgery issues I had, I was forced to keep waiting. We recorded it at the same place we did the 2nd album, with Eric Ratz at Vespa Studio in Toronto. He’s real good at this stuff man, any sound you’re looking for he can nail it. I’m really happy with how he got this stuff going. I usually write the tunes but the boys are always around to give some input. “Witch Hunt” was actually a riff from Jonny, and it was JJ’s idea to write a swing song on this record. You can thank Casey for the title of the album as well.”
The band is also about to take Way of the Road on the road. Regarding it, Zach informs me, “Yeah man, going to do that whole worldwide crap again. That sounds lame when I say it like that (laughs), but basically we will go out to all the places we have gone in the past. Right now we will do the Euro thing with Striker from Canada as well. That’ll be in November, the dates should be out by the time people read this. After that we’ll get a South American tour going, after that North America, then after that, I’ll probably break another bone skateboarding? (Laughs).
When it comes to playing the new songs live, Zach says the tracks he is most looking forward to playing include “No More Running,” Stay True,” and “Way of the Road.” “I think those ones are a bit more enjoyable for me playing live, but its hard to say what songs will wind up as live staple tracks, you know? Just gotta play ’em out for a while and see what happens. I’m still stoked on a few of the old tracks as well, “Ride On” always feels right when I’m playing it live. I never know which songs people will like the most though, my predictions for the 1st and 2nd album were wayyyyy off (Laughs)!