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Anthony Dolan (ATOMKRAFT, VENOM INC.): Enjoy being alive and expand your mind and your soul…

Anthony Dolan (ATOMKRAFT, VENOM INC.): Enjoy being alive and expand your mind and your soul…
BANDS : Atomkraft, Venom, Venom INC.

Atomkraft will perform at this year's edition of the Old Grave festival to be held between 13 to 14 October in Bucharest. I thought that this would be a good reason to invite Anthony "Demolition Man" Dolan to a discussion.

Metalfan: Hi, Tony! Welcome to! What are the first things that come to your mind when you think about Romania?

Anthony Dolan: Hello and thank you. Oh, you mean apart from Inna!!! [Ed. Note. Laughs] … Oh you mean…Dracula… [Ed. Note. Laughs] … Apart from that I know it has a very beautiful landscape and some cool underground bands too…Apart from that I have yet to discover the wonder that is Romania… And I am looking forward to it as a great deal…

Metalfan: How it was the childhood of Anthony Dolan? Which is your favourite memory from that time?
Anthony Dolan: I grew up in Wallsend just outside Newcastle Upon Tyne…My family worked in the ship building industry and is from Irish descent. We emigrated to Canada when I was 11 years old after my parents divorced… And I returned to the UK in the later 70’s and… So my childhood is a mixture of arguments and fights… And as I have two sisters… One three years older and one 10 years younger…I had to fight my own battles so every day was a war… I loved Canada growing up… The summers, the laid back days… But England in the north was wet, grey, cold and hard.
Still, I made it through and here I am.

Metalfan: When did you discover rock music? Which are the first records that you have listened?

Anthony Dolan: I was brought up on rock ’n’ roll and in the 70’s in the UK, glam rock was huge then when we moved to Canada… I first heard KISS, Aerosmith, Rush, Foreigner, Ted Nugent etc., etc. That was the early 70’s then returning to the UK, it seemed no one had yet heard of them mostly, then Punk happened and I changed, the music and attitude spoke to me and I threw myself into music and formed a band… Then… As punk was dying, the Metal scene seemed to be coming up and the band changed from Punk to Metal as soon as I had witnessed Motorhead for the first time…

Metalfan: I know that you stole your first record actually! [Ed. Note. Laughs] That was Queen, News of the World (1977), wasn’t it? Could you please tell us that story? How do you see now in 2017 that album?
Anthony Dolan: OH! [Ed. Note. Laughs] Yes, that’s true….The album… Well, all these years later… I worked for Queen and got to know Brian May… So it seems funny to think I stole an album, [Ed. Note. Laughs], but I know I look back and laugh, but they were such an amazing band… And the album work is as strong as ever, timeless really… They were “pre-” all this categorizing… They were just rock…

Metalfan: How did you end up a musician? What did you have in mind when you’ve started?
Anthony Dolan: My older sister had an acoustic guitar, took about five lessons and it just sat there… Over time the strings were broken and when it was down to two left I think I picked it up for the first time… I was inspired by punk rock and thought: You know, I wanna play songs like the ones by the Sex Pistols, Angelic Upstarts, U.K. Subs, Magazine etc., etc… I had no idea what to do… Then came along in 1978 the album The Incredible Shrinking Dickies and I was shocked and excited at the same time… They were fun, BUT they were incredibly fast, check out their version of Paranoid [Ed. Note. Black Sabbath song]... I thought: how can you play that fast? THEN I heard Motorhead that same year and WHAM! I was gonna play... I wanted that sound Motorhead, but especially Lemmy had and the speed The Dickies played at… So I began trying to use the two strings left on the acoustic guitar that had been my sister’s… [Ed. Note. Laughs]!

Metalfan: Atomkraft is one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. For those that are younger and do not know too much about the band, it would be great if you could tell the story of it, or let us say, the most important things in your opinion that the band has achieved...
Anthony Dolan: Well, I started the band one summer with a friend who was the first drummer. We had a four-piece line-up at first... We had been punk, but changed to be metal once we had met the guitarist, Steve White… We played local shows, then recorded some demos… Demon around 1980 and the Total Metal demo around 1982. We did record lots of rehearsals and stuff… But with no idea what to do next or how to approach a label, we just kept playing all the live shows we could. Then in 1984, I moved back to Canada for a year as we had been by then a three-piece, but… Felt maybe it was time to split up… After the Canadian trip… Early 1985 I returned and within that year, had a drummer, guitarist and the first album Future Warriors recorded and released... [Ed. Note. Laughs] … Crazy now when I look back... But cool too…

Metalfan: Your full-length album Future Warriors is regarded as one of those treasures of the 80’s NWOBHM scene. How do you see this album today after 30 years since it was released?
Anthony Dolan: OH, thank you very much! Well at the time I didn’t think it was as good as the demos and not as ugly or as heavy as we had been, but I was proud of having a record and what it meant to me after so many years of desire… It’s not perfect and the production is not great… But I was proud then and when I look back now… Regardless of its place in history… I am proud of it.

Two or three years ago I was asked to perform the album in its full for the first time… And I did… It was an emotional experience as I had never done that before… And was such great fun… It was also very exciting giving them an outing as pure metal…Total!

Metalfan: If I’m right, I know that there are some plans for a second full-length album. Could you please, tell us more?

Anthony Dolan: Well, I was always offered almost yearly to do live shows or new albums, but always refused… Then I began writing and got an album almost completed then just stopped… At the start of the 2000’s I did do an EP that was released on 7” blue vinyl and CD called Cold Sweat… And several years ago a three-album, CD and vinyl was released, titled Looking Back to the Future… Just a collection of old tapes, live and demos that remained in dust… Not mastered, just as they were… I don’t think may people got it but… I didn’t give a fuck, it was 100% real as it happened… There was an anthology CD also done by Sanctuary Records in the early 2000’s, a two - CD set that was kinda cool… But back to now… I started re-writing material and am hoping this year and next to get something finally completed…

Metalfan: How are the things with Venom INC.? I know that you guys have signed with Nuclear Blast Records and Breaking Bands LLC and a new album it’s scheduled to be released this year. Would you please offer us more details about this album?
Anthony Dolan: Things are going very well. I have just returned from Portugal, where Mantas now lives, to complete bass and vocals… I think it is our best work… And I hope people like it as much as we do… I think together we have written something pretty cool… I cannot say much more as we want people to wait...Or it spoils the glorious surprise… [Ed. Note. Laughs] I think it comes out June, July so stand by…

Venom INC.: Mantas, The Demolition Man, Abaddon
Metalfan: I know that one of your favourite bass players of all time is Lemmy from Motorhead. Back in September 1995, the following words by Lemmy were published in the RIP Magazine’s column: “I am not, nor have I ever been, a racist. Nor should you be. How can you hate a race? Can you not, with your brain (which seems to be inter-racially supplied) distinguish between people who are okay and people who are assholes? Politicians foster racism – it keeps us fighting each other, and that keeps us from throwing them out of office. Vietnam – there’s a thing – blacks and whites, and Japanese and Vietnamese, and Irish and Indians – fighting together. For the wrong cause, though no less bravely. Do you think we could give bravery a fucking rest? Except in the case of a fire, or a woman and child trapped in Oklahoma City? Being scared of people makes you kill them. We got probes in space that go to the stars, and we might go soon, ourselves. What are we going to take with us? Hate? WORK AGAINST IT. Hasta la vista, motherfuckers.” What do you think about what Lemmy said back then?
Anthony Dolan: 100% correct!!! I sing about such things on the new Venom INC. album… I have no prejudgement myself… People are good and bad, beautiful and ugly… I take each as they come… They leave with a tick = cool or a cross = dickhead... As simple as that… I do not give two fucks what colour, language, religion or anything else they are... If they’re good, they’re good and if not... Then they will find why bad leads to their own darkness…

Metalfan: How do you feel about the whole thing with Brexit? It's good? It's bad? Please, tell us more…
Anthony Dolan: I hate it… We opened Europe, brought down the Berlin Wall, embraced a unified brother sisterhood… And now??? It’s like going back years… I am a world citizen… Proud of my heritage and where I was born sure… But have you ever noticed how fucking tiny the planet is and how fucking big the universe is??? Do we really want to live in small boxes all and push each other away? For what??? I rejoiced in the fact I didn’t always need a passport and now?? Fuck sake… I will move out anyway… I’ve had enough of it… In the UK we are already screwed financially at every turn so… Let the government keep it for themselves, I intend to stay part of a world I love… Not hid behind a fucking wall….

Metalfan: Beside the music, you also played in a couple of movies. One of my favourite is Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). How was this experience?
Anthony Dolan: Yes, I did… Some TV, some voice work and some movies too… As well as theatre…It was all amazing, working in Hollywood is a strange affair, but I enjoyed every minute… I like challenge and I seek it out… I think we are only here for a blink of an eye so do everything you want, all you can to experience… I did acting when I wasn’t doing music and I do music when I am not acting. Someone once asked if I was disappointed that I didn’t enjoy greater success in acting…[Ed. Note: Laughs] I said, it never occurred to me… I didn’t say yes to be a superstar movie actor… I only did what I did when I was asked if I wanted to… And if I felt it was the right time and if I enjoyed the work... I have refused more than I have accepted… And how do you measure success? Personally I measure as I always have… By doing… I wanted to do theatre, so I did… I wanted to be on TV so I did that… I thought: wow! Wouldn’t it be cool to be in a movie? So I did a few… I wanted in the late 70’s to make an album and I have now made many, many and appeared on many… This to me is success… I achieved what I wanted to… Am I rich? Yes, not in money, but in experience and I would do it all over again… The same way… Enjoy being alive and expand your mind and your soul… Follow your own light… Your own destiny awaits you… GO FOR IT!!! Only YOU can stop YOU!

Metalfan: Speaking of movies, I personally consider Guy Ritchie’s movies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000) to be two of the greatest British movies. Rupert Grint have transformed Snatch in a TV series. Do you see yourself trying a role in a movie like this? [Ed. Note. Laughs]
Anthony Dolan: OH yes… For sure… Would be great fun! I love those movies! I’d love to do Sherlock Holmes too… But I think I should do horror… Maybe Frankenstein or Dracula… Frankenstein was my all time favourite story and those classic movies… Superb! I actually did a radio play as Dr. Watson in a two-part Sherlock Holmes story… For Fox Radio.

Metalfan: Here at we are big fans of mix-tapes. Now in 2017 this might sound old, but I personally think that is a good way to discover great bands and learn more about the musical background and influences of a person. It would be great if you could choose 12 rock songs from 12 different bands for a “virtual mix-tape”. Which it would be the name of this compilation?
Anthony Dolan: OMG! I had so many mixed tapes of metal back in the day… I was a tape trader like most of us back then in the underground… That’s how we discovered each other… I recall Paul Baloff  from Exodus (RIP), telling me he had traded for the Total Metal demo by Atomkraft and was one of his favourite tapes… [Ed. Note. Laughs] …12? Wow! Difficult...OK… Mmmm…

01. Destruction - Mad Butcher
02. Motorhead – Motorhead
03. Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Comin'
04. Anvil - Forged In Fire
05. Black SabbathNIB
06. Rush - Tom Sawyer
07. Slayer - Angel of Death
08. Exodus - Bonded by Blood
09. Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls
10. Sodom - Sodomy and Lust
11. HellhammerMessiah
12. Raven - Don’t Need Your Money

Metalfan: This year in October Atomkraft will perform for the first time in Romania at Old Grave Fest. When was the first time you've heard about this great festival?
Anthony Dolan: Several year ago now… The tech for the Cronos drummer spoke to me about it and about a woman called Cristina [Ed. Note. Cristina Bâlbâie, founding member of the Romanian Thrash Metal Club], I saw her and though she was very cool… And stayed up to date with her posts and news and thought: I’m gonna meet that woman one day and go to her fest… And then she asked me… So I am honoured and excited at the same time and cannot wait...

Metalfan: Back in 1987, Atomkraft have released the VHS Conductors of Noize. Do you think that the time is right for a new live album? Who knows, maybe the concert from Old Grave Fest to be recorded for a live album? Do you think this thing would be possible?
Anthony Dolan: I think yes…THAT would be superb… Perhaps I should ask… It would be a piece of history… Include some interview footage and fan footage too… why not?

Metalfan: Thank you for your time and for your answers! In the end would you like to add something or to send a few words to our readers?
Anthony Dolan: Thank you for the opportunity to speak…I only would like to pay my respects to the fans and to say “thank you” for being supportive all of these years… Atomkraft was not the best… Or the biggest, but our soul was pure and our hearts full of Metal and we were simple, honest and true and we will be for you… I can only promise you the best of us… And %100 Total Metal.

With my greatest respect and thanks,

Tony “Demolition man” Dolan… ALL HAIL... AVE!
Autor: H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Venom,

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