Interview with vocalist Angelo Leszczynski
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: May 23, 2015
Munich-based Toxic Waltz take their name from an Exodus song but is that all you need to know about them? Hell no. These young musicians, who got together in 2009, have achieved quite a bit with their "Bay Area" Thrash Metal despite a relatively short history. Toxic Waltz released their debut album, Decades of Pain, independently at the beginning of 2014, toured around Europe during February and March 2015 supporting Suicidal Angels, Angelus Apatrida and Dr. Living Dead! for 10 dates. In addition, they are about to share the stage with no less than Nuclear Assault at one of the forthcoming festivals this summer.
The Metal Crypt contacted vocalist Angelo Leszczynski and he was willing to share some information and updates about his band. Still with us? Good...
Luxi: How's life? Is there anything remarkable going on at the moment?
Angelo: Everything is alright, nothing special, just the daily madness...
Luxi: The German Thrash Metal scene is well known worldwide due to the country's first boom of Thrash Metal acts from the early 80's. Would you like to shed some light on how Toxic Waltz got started?
Angelo: When the band was founded in 2009 the intention was just to make music and at the beginning there were no thoughts about earning money or anything like that. We all wanted and still want to make music we would like to listen to...
Luxi: Unlike so many other German Thrash Metal bands you don't really draw your musical influences from the German sound but more from the Bay Area scene (Exodus, Heathen, Forbidden, etc.). Hey, that's like very "un-German" for a German Thrash Metal band but do you feel more at home with Bay Area Thrash than, let's say, Teutonic Thrash?
Angelo: Yeah, I think we sound more like a Bay Area band than a Teutonic Thrash band. Maybe this is due to our love of the American way of Thrash but we try to create our own style and combine the very best of both Bay Area and Teutonic Thrash. ;)
Luxi: You released your 9-song debut album, Decades of Pain, on your own in 2014. Was it clear from the beginning that you would self-release it or was that the only option?
Angelo: Well, we actually tried to get a label and we got some offers from a few smaller labels but that wasn't what we expected from a label. We decided to release it on our own in cooperation with metalmessage.de, which has done great promotion work for us!
Luxi: How pleased are you overall with that album now that you have some distance from it? Do you think the songs still represent what Toxic Waltz is all about even nowadays?
Angelo: As a musician you hear your own music a bit more critically than a neutral listener but I'm very pleased with the whole album ;) The songs on Decades of Pain are a part of the history of Toxic Waltz and they will always represent us in the best way. At the moment we're working on stuff for a new album. The current songs are more technical than the songs on Decades of Pain and sound a bit different from the old ones.
Luxi: Undoubtedly there's something deeper to the album title than just "it's-just-a-cool-sounding-title", right?
Angelo: You're absolutely right. The album title and the title track are about the Arab spring and all the lyrics follow this topic, more or less.
Luxi: At the end of February 2015, Toxic Waltz hit on the road for 10 dates in Europe with Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels, Spanish thrashers Angelus Apatrida and the masked Swedish Crossover thrashers Dr. Living Dead!. I bet you had a hell of a time to tour with these acts, right?
Angelo: Yes, for sure. It was a great honor for us to share the stage with such well-known bands! It was one of the best times in my life and the biggest success for the band so far.
Luxi: As this was a bit more extensive for Toxic Waltz what did you guys learn? Was it a great learning experience, allowing you to get a glimpse at things both good and bad about touring?
Angelo: We all had very different expectations about touring. We learned so much about how it is to be in a band and to be on tour. For some of the guys in the other bands this is a job and this is how they earn their money so you have to be professional as well party and drink. ;)
We had some great shows and some that were not so good but this is daily life when you're on tour.
Luxi: Is it easy for a band like Toxic Waltz to get opportunities to play live in your local area (Munich) and what are some of the clubs/venues that specialize in underground Metal acts where you live?
Angelo: The problem is not getting concerts; there are a lot of small venues for underground bands. The problem is bringing people to the concerts. In Munich there is a show almost every night and with so many bands it's very hard to establish yourself. A great location in Munich is Backstage were we played a few times as support for Six Feet Under. Backstage was also part of our European tour.
Luxi: What are some of newest, most promising Speed and Thrash Metal bands from your area that you personally recommend? Feel free to promote your friends' bands as well. ;o)
Angelo: The first band that comes to mind is Dust Bolt. They are some of our best friends and come from the same small town (Landsberg am Lech) near Munich. ;) But there are also bands like Mynded and Antipeewee which are great and of course very good friends of ours! Running Death is one of the most talented bands I know and such crazy people, ha ha!!
Luxi: How do you view the state of the German underground Thrash Metal scene? Do you believe it's slowly becoming as strong as it was back in the mid/late eighties when this particular genre seemed to reach its peak as far as German/Teutonic Thrash Metal is concerned?
Angelo: I think the underground scene in Germany is very good but it can't reach the status of past days.
Nowadays Thrash Metal isn't as popular as it was in the eighties. Overall I think that the German underground scene is growing bigger; slowly but still growing.
Luxi: As you guys in Toxic Waltz are still relatively young (or so it seems to me anyway), I was wondering if any of the first generation of German Thrash bands (Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, Tankard, etc.) are helping out at all? Are there some German Thrash Metal acts you'd love to play a gig with and is there a specific reason why you'd like to share the stage with that particular act?
Angelo: Unfortunately, not so far. I would love to share the stage with any of the Teutonic Big Four. They're all living legends that made German Thrash Metal to the thing we know today. Kreator is my favorite Teutonic Thrash band so I'd like to share a stage with them.
Luxi: I would guess that since you put out Decades of Pain in late January of this year you might have started the writing process for your next release. Will your next release be for promotional purposes only, e.g. labels, radio stations and stuff like that? I am sure you want to get Toxic Waltz signed to the ideal label to leave you free to concentrate on creating new music.
Angelo: We're completely into songwriting at the moment. We want to release the next CD in early 2016 and of course we will again try to get a label, but we want to do the music we like and we won't change anything just to sign a deal. Either the label likes our music and makes an offer or we will release the next album on our own.
Luxi: How do you guys in enjoy your music these days? Digitally or CD/vinyl or both?
Angelo: Both. Some of us like vinyl, some of us CD and I myself prefer CD. ;)
Luxi: Are you personally worried about the decline of the music industry now that people buy less physical formats of music (e.g. CDs and vinyl)? What's your opinion about a world in which all music would be available completely for free? Obviously, the latter option doesn't make much sense, does it?
Angelo: I think it's as bad as it seems. We're in a new age and CDs and vinyl aren't the up to date music formats anymore. Nowadays none of us listens to music on tape, only the die-hard fans. I think if people are willing to buy music in any form, everything is OK.
I also think the Internet gives a chance to young bands and musicians to promote music and reach a lot of people easily (very true, during the tape trading days you had to work your ass off in order to get recognition - Luxi).
Luxi: How does 2015 look for Toxic Waltz? I just noticed that you guys have a couple of gigs coming up; one in Switzerland and another in Germany. What else can we expect from you guys this year?
Angelo: We have a lot of gigs out of our local area. We are playing some festivals this summer and share the stage with mighty Nuclear Assault. ;)
The biggest goal for us is going in to the studio this October and recording the new album, which will be released in early 2016, so stay tuned. ;)
Luxi: That's all I had in mind for this interview. If I forgot to ask something important, feel free you use the rest of the space for that. Thank you for giving insight into the world of Toxic Waltz and all the best for the future.
Angelo: There's nothing left to say, I guess. I just want to inform everyone who reads this to check out our Facebook and Youtube pages. ;)
All the best,
|Other information about Toxic Waltz on this site|
|Review: Decades of Pain|
|Review: Decades of Pain|
|Review: From a Distant View|
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