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Band of the day: Predator
THEY ARE: METALLLLLLLLLLLL!
FROM: Florida, USA
FOR FANS OF: Judas Priest, Testament, Iron Maiden
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Born In Blood’ (God Of Thunder 2011)
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: ‘Ingrid Betancourt’
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Website, Facebook, MySpace
When Terrorizer were putting together our Secret History Of Thrash, we pondered as to who would make up a modern-day Big 4. It was a difficult task and we had submissions from band around the world. One that stood out, thanks to their high speed riffs and soaring Priest-esque vocals, was Predator from Florida. Our interest was piqued around the release of their second full-length ‘Born In Blood’ and with a song called ‘Ingrid Betancourt’, named after a victim of the Colombian terrorist group FARC, we contacted guitar masetro Damien Thorr to find out more.
What moved you to write a song about Ingrid?
“I travelled to Bogota, Colombia several years ago. Like most people in the world, I had no idea of the terrorism there. I wrote the song to highlight the situation and influence people to help out. I used her name because she is the best known victim of the FARC (Fuerza Armada Revolucionaria Colombiana). The last four years of her captivity were spent with a chain around her neck and tied to a tree like a dog. I had the pleasure of meeting Ingrid Betancourt at the University in Miami,where she was giving a speech. She was wonderful.”
Has the song caused you any controversy
“Many Colombians do not agree with her politics or her views. She claims the government purposely removed her armed guards and she filed a lawsuit and has been criticised for it. Although she dropped the charges, she has fallen out of favour with the people. Since we published the song, some Colombians have thanked us for our efforts to help but some did not see it that way and as a result, we have been bombarded with hate mail. They clearly misunderstood our intentions.”
You’ve been a guitar mentor to Trivium’s bass player Paolo Gregoletto, right?
“I am very proud of Paolo. He is my boy! I watched him grow up and taught him to play guitar and bass and even how to write songs. So when you hear Trivium, you also hear a little bit of me in there. I certainly hear my influence in there. I helped him out a lot when he was very young getting started in his first band by setting them up with equipment and teaching them how to sound check.”
Finally, what’s next for Predator?
“Predator was coincidental at first. I had not played in quite some time with anyone. I am a very active music professor in town and I had been doing some session recording work. I had gotten together with Chris Reiser for some jamming, which lead to writing some songs and as we added musicians to complete recordings, Predator was born and it was great fun! We quickly developed a great following and took it to the next level. People love us everywhere. We have even been compared to Metallica. That was very rewarding to hear.”