Denis ‘Sasquatch’ Barthe, Aggression
At one point before the gig started, Sarah Cummings came to the conclusion that both interviews wouldn’t happen on the day, but we at ROCKFLESH do not give up easily. Between sets, Sarah finally manages to catch up for few minutes with Canadian underground thrasher, Aggression founder, Denis ‘Sasquatch’ Barthe.
“Hi Denis, nice to catch up with you finally! Welcome to the UK! It’s taken Aggression such a long time to make it to our tiny island. How have you enjoyed you’re tour so far?”
It’s been amazing meeting lots of people and having the chance to play new cities. It’s been fun for us. We’re used to playing Canada and the US, so this is only our second time in Europe and first time in the UK”
“What’s been the highlight of this trip?”
We played in Belgium in a smaller city called Liege, which is maybe an hour outside of Brussels. There was such an intensity in the crowd, and because of the number of people that were there, they were almost falling on us on stage whilst we were playing. It almost reminded me of the old days when everyone would be in the mosh pit or slam dancing on you!”
“Aggression have a really interesting back story. Would you mind explaining it to our readers?”
We started in 1984 under a different name and once we assembled the right team, in 1985 we changed our name to Aggression. We got better management and we started to play more shows and the more we were playing, the more people were coming. We got the chance to open for some of the big names back then.
Everything was good. We recorded some albums, one of them wasn’t released, one of them was.
By 1988 it had all started to fall apart. We were young kids basically, there was too much partying and then some jail sentences… it became hard to keep the band together when you’ve got two members in jail!
We always had the passion for all of it though, so we ended up having a reunion show in 2004, and in 2014 we fully decided to do the band for good again
“When you started your musical journey, which bands were inspiring you at the beginning?”
Our biggest influence was probably Venom. I used to listen to so many English bands, Saxon, Motorhead, Maiden, and I grew up on all that stuff. But when Venom “Welcome to Hell” came out in 1981 it kind of changed my life. I don’t know if it was for the better! But then I was on a musical journey to be as heavy and dangerous and fast as possible. So definitely Venom
“And what about modern day metal? Are there any particular stand out bands for yourself at the moment?”
You know how a lot of people say there is no more good new metal out there anymore? Trust me, if you search, it’s there. Tonnes of amazing bands! Goatwhore is an example! We love Goatwhore. I still like new releases from older bands as well. Unleashed has a new album that’s really good.
I think Goatwhore might even be classed as an older band now maybe, but that’s the kind of music we look for.
“Have you got any plans for releasing new music?”
Yes, when we go back to Canada we are actually entering the studio to record our next album. We’ve got about 15 songs to record
“What is your all-time favourite venue to play in?”
There was a venue in Montreal called the Montreal Spectrum. It was like the Montreal version of CBGBs. We played an amazing concert there with D R I and Agnostic Front, and there was like 2000 kids going absolutely crazy. That one show really sticks with me
“Other than the new album, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?”
We’re working on another European tour in October with Ultraviolence and Power Trip and another band… but we’re hoping to come back to Europe every 6 months or so.
“Thank you so much for your time this evening, sorry it’s been a bit rushed!”
Interview with Denis ‘Sasquatch’ Barthe at Rebellion on May 21st 2019
By Sarah Cummings