Prepare for 'Whiplash', as Wollongong three-piece Panik pay tribute to Metallica's 1983 debut album 'Kill 'Em All' as part of their current Snap Your Neck tour.
Panik will play 'Kill 'Em All' live and in full, from 'Hit The Lights' all the way through to 'Metal Militia', in acknowledgement of the album's 35th anniversary and its impact on bassist Mitch Gruevski and guitarist Danny Ritz. “My uncle is a real big metalhead, all the stuff from the '80s,” Mitch explains.
“He came over from America when I was a little kid - maybe five or six - and he was asking if I'd heard the album and I'd never heard of Cliff Burton or Metallica. He took me straight out to the shops and bought me that album, and the first time I heard it I thought it was insane; I didn't know music could be like this.”
Danny adds: “For me I got into Metallica a bit later and I think the first album I heard was the 'Black' [self-titled, 1991] album, and when I was really young I didn’t know much about it,” he says.
“Once I got 'Kill 'Em All', this was when I was progressing to get my skills as a guitar player decent, and once I heard all the solos and how [Kirk Hammett] plays I went out and bought a wah pedal straight after and tried to sound like Kirk.”
Though the majority of (honest) metal musicians would count Metallica among their influences, for Mitch and Danny the legendary band, and particularly the 'Kill 'Em All' album, has been a significant motivator for learning their instruments. “We've been listening to that album since we were kids, since primary school and stuff,” Mitch says.
“I remember when I first started bass that was one of the first albums I learnt in full, those first three Metallica albums. This is the album that taught me to play, and now to play it on stage and pay respect to 35 years is pretty cool.
“Even in our early days when we first started out, some of our first shows were just Metallica songs with no vocals, so it's pretty cool to be coming back this time with vocals and being much better,” he laughs.
'Kill 'Em All' precipitated the explosion of thrash metal in the 1980s following the genre's founding during the late-'60s and '70s by British bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden.
It's regarded as a groundbreaking album in how it blended British new-wave metal riffs with fast-punk tempos. “I find a lot of similarities in our first demo and the songs we started out writing first, to [those of Metallica],” Mitch says.
“Looking at comparing 'Kill 'Em All' to 'Ride The Lightning' [sophomore album, 1984] where they've done a lot more harmonies and the stuff they've added, I've found that's how we've progressed and now we're adding the stuff [Metallica] did on their second album. I think we're following it in our own way, not even trying to but just as musicians and songwriters; as we progress I see the similarities.”
Panik perform their 'Kill 'Em All' tribute set at Dicey Riley's (Wollongong) 18 August.
Panik Tour 2018Sat 4 Aug - Born 2 Rock Studios (Central Coast)
Sat 11 Aug - The Basement (Canberra)
Sat 18 Aug - The Bald Faced Stag (Sydney)
Sat 18 Aug - Dicey Riley's (Wollongong)
Wed 24 Oct - Rad Bar (Wollongong)