The welcome return of Californian thrashers Intrinsic has been built around the long awaited release of Nails, a ‘lost’ early 90’s classic that finally saw an online release this year and hits record stores this week!
An astonishing album that is the missing link between Thrash and Grunge, Nails should have been massive had it been given its chance over two decades ago. Regardless, now’s the time to lay your hands on this true lost classic and – with that in mind – Worship Metal seized the opportunity to throw 10 questions of biblical proportions guitarist Mike Mellinger’s way….
1. So….what are Intrinsic up to then?
“Promoting the crap out of our Nails album [and what an album it is! – Ed]. We are also actively writing new material. Being as spread out in the Western U.S. (Seattle, Southern California, Phoenix) as we are, makes it a little difficult to write but we have worked out some online writing schemes. Plus, the 3 of us in Southern California have gotten together in person to write and we will be ramping that up here in the next few months. We recently had a little Nails release celebration in Southern California and worked on some plans and songs. We hope to play live in 2016. We would love to play some festivals.”
2. Which album/artist/gig/experience made you first realise you ‘Worshipped’ Metal?
“Seeing Judas Priest live on the British Steel tour in 1980 – front row – and met Halford and Tipton before the show. I had been listening to hard rock/metal for a couple of years by then but that show crystallized it for me.”
3. Name the one album that epitomises Heavy Metal over all others.
“Judas Priest’s Unleashed In The East. All of their best songs with much better recording than the originals. I don’t care if Halford touched up some vox in the studio because he was sick. Just to hear those great songs, recorded well, excuses the studio touchups. The first 2 Iron Maiden albums are a very close second.
4. Which guilty pleasure album do you listen to the most? Be honest now.
“There are lots of those. Elton John – Greatest Hits is an early early seminal album for me. Styx – Crystal Ball or Pieces Of Eight are other good ones that could cause guilt. I really feel no guilt, though. For awhile there, my kid was into Justin Bieber. I did find that I liked some songs. Feeling a little guilt with that one.”
5. You have one opportunity to introduce your band to the entire world, which album from your back catalogue do you blast them away with?
6. You find yourselves booked on a mammoth, 12 month, non stop, around the world tour, what 5 essential items do you take with you in order to survive?
“Family, fly fishing rod and gear, hockey gear, portable recording studio, ear plugs.”
7. What’s been your most memorable experience on the road?
“We had a lot of great times on the road but it seems like the most memorable stuff are the things that seemed pretty crappy at the time. Like once in Tucson, Arizona, we tried to go under an overpass that was too low for our RV. We tried to back up but were towing a trailer with all of our gear in it and the overpass was at the bottom of a hill, so backing up didn’t work. It was rush hour and we made a huge traffic jam. The commuters were not happy with us. We had police out there directing traffic. We tried to disconnect the trailer and roll it by hand over to the side of the road but it was too heavy with all of our gear, so we had to unload it first. So here we are on the side of the road, all our gear out on the sidewalk, police and commuters glaring (and some yelling) at us, rolling a big trailer by hand to the side of the road. We just had to laugh. It’s really all you could do.”
8. You’re given the chance to handpick the ultimate 4-piece Rock and Metal supergroup (living or deceased). Who’s in the line-up?
“Dio on vocals, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, John Bonham on drums and Steve Harris on bass. All 4 of them in their prime musically but their theoretical 2015 selves. It would probably be a mess, but I would love to see what came out of them.”
9. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal is blatantly the greatest thing ever invented but what’s the second greatest invention of all time?
“The matter transporter, followed closely by replicators. Oh wait, those haven’t been invented, yet. The second greatest – and the worst invention at the same time – is the Internet. Fly fishing is a very close third.”
10. It turns out Ozzy’s luscious long hair is imbued with time-travelling qualities and just one stroke of his lion’s mane can transport you back to any Rock/Metal gig of your choice. Who do you go and see?
“Jimi Hendrix, either Monterey Pop in 67 or Axis: Bold As Love tour. A close second and third would be Scorpions with Uli Roth in 77 or 78 and Led Zeppelin on any tour. Black Sabbath on the Sabotage tour, Judas Priest on Stained Class or Hell Bent For Leather tours and Maiden on Killers are honorable mentions.”