The Metal Legacy of the Mighty Thrust
The Metal Legacy of the Mighty Thrust
Based out of the iconic Los Angeles music scene, Thrust is an absolute legend in the underground U.S. heavy metal arena and beyond. With roots dating back to the 8o’s, Thrust unleashed their debut album Fist Held High in 1984. After years of silence, Thrust would issue an Invitation To Insanity in 2002. In 2018, the band would sign with Pure Steel Records, and release an epic comeback entitled Harvest Of Souls. And now in the pandemic year of 2020, Thrust has presented The Helm Of Awe, their latest and greatest manifesto of metal on the almighty Pure Steel Records once again. Highwire Daze recently interviewed guitarist and founding member Ronnie Cooke to discuss the legacy of Thrust and their amazing new album. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Thrust, and how long the band has been together.
Hi, Ronnie Cooke guitarist and founder. Our first album came out in 1984. Fist Held High. I guess you can say we’ve been around for a little bit!
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Were based out of Los Angeles, CA now. The music scene like everywhere is on temporary hold.
How did you wind up signing with Pure Steel Records?
It’s a great record company they are really behind the band. Germany is great. We have a big fan base there.
Is there any overall story or concept behind The Helm Of Awe title?
Well the lyrics on the song Helm Of Awe from the new album tell the mystery behind the album.
Select two songs from The Helm Of Awe and what inspired the lyrics.
Eric Claro our singer writes all the lyrics, but Black River to me is really about what’s going go on in the world right now and of course the lyrics and meaning to the song Helm Of Awe is what everybody needs.
Who produced The Helm Of Awe and what was it like working with them?
We produced the album ourselves.
Who did the cover art for The Helm Of Awe and how much input did you have on it?
Its by Jan at Darkgrove. We had all the input the concept some photos and ideas and he took the concept and nailed it!
What has it been like to release a new album right in the middle of a pandemic? Have you had any shows or tours cancelled because of it?
I think its a great time for us to release the album. People really could use some new music since we are all still are home and live shows haven’t started yet. Yes, all the shows and tours have been postponed. Cant wait to play shows again! Miss it a lot like everybody.
What could one expect from a live Thrust show?
Pure heavy metal mayhem entertainment!
You’ve opened for the likes of Vince Neil and RATT here in Southern California. What was that experience like and did you get to hang out with them at all?
Yes those were some great shows – great venues – huge crowds. All the guys in the bands backstage hanging out – it is always a killer time. Cant wait to do it again!
If Thrust could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We opened for Judas Priest in the 80’s. It would be great to go a world tour and shows with them again.
Unfortunately there will be no NAMM Show in 2021. What has been your most memorable NAMM Show experience so far?
Yes, gonna miss NAMM show this year. Most memorable experiences was getting the ESP Guitar, GHS strings, EMG pickups, ISP technologies, and Pick World Guitar Pick endorsements. Always a celebration to work with these great companies .
When you look back on your Fist Held High album from 1984, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
I think its killer. We were kinda there in the beginning of the US metal scene.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside Thrust?
No other band but I’m playing some solos on some wonderful friends albums coming soon.
What do you hope 2021 brings for Thrust?
Massive shows and tours around the world. Let’s all reunite the “live” shows with big crowds again when it is safe to do so and some cures have been discovered and the planet is at a better place.
Any final words of wisdom?
Passion Persistence and never ending Desire to bring the best music to the world as possible. Long Live METAL!
Eric Claro – vocals
Ron Cooke – guitars
Ray Gervais – bass
Joe Rezendes – drums
Angel Rodriguez – guitars
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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