AT WAR
[Originally published: Issue #3, circa 1987]
AT WAR is a hard thrashing band who hail from the unlikely setting of Virginia. They have made a name for themselves with their ripping debut, "Ordered To Kill". They now plan to continue their onslaught with a second LP. We spoke with Paul Arnold, who handles both the vocals and the bass chores.


THREATENING SOCIETY: What's the current line-up?
PAUL ARNOLD: The line-up we have now is the same line-up we've had since we started, and hopefully, it will be the only line-up we ever have. It is: Shawn Helsel on guitars, Dave Stone on drums, and I do the vocals and bass.

TS: How long has the band been together?
PA: We've been together since February of 1984.
TS: How did you guys get together?
PA: We formed out of necessity, I think. At the time, we were all in other bands but our musical tastes were growing heavier and more aggressive. Shawn and I got into the same type of music and therefore we hung out, making fun of the bands we were in. So we decided to break all the rules - form our own band and play some of the rudest metal ever to grace the East Coast. The only problem was that we needed a drummer. We both knew who Dave was, and we knew his drumming abilities. It seemed he had just quit his latest band and was trying out for others. However, they were all telling him that he was too "heavy-handed". That was exactly what we were looking for - someone who would beat the hell out of their set to achieve maximum output. So needless to say, it all fell into place.

TS: What have you been up to lately?
PA: We just got off a tour of the Midwest and are working out the bugs in our new material. We are going up to Ithaca, New York to record our second LP with Alex Perialis co-producing.
Copyright 2007 ThreateningSociety.com/PhillyPunkRock.com
TS: What bands influence you?
PA: I guess we were all influenced by pretty much the same bands - meaning MOTORHEAD, METALLICA, VENOM, and the likes. However, me personally, I listen to everything from BROKEN BONES to TED NUGENT.

TS: Where do you like to play the most?
PA: Lately we've been doing some really cool snows in Detroit and Chicago. We have a big following there.
TS: What bands influence you?
PA: I guess we were all influenced by pretty much the same bands - meaning MOTORHEAD, METALLICA, VENOM, and the likes. However, me personally, I listen to everything from BROKEN BONES to TED NUGENT.

TS: Where do you like to play the most?
PA: Lately we've been doing some really cool snows in Detroit and Chicago. We have a big following there.

TS: Are you politically active? Do you vote? What are some of I your political views?
PA: I am politically active and I do vote. I feel you have no right to coaoiain about the government unless you vote. As for my beliefs: I'm a musician, not a politician.

TS: What's the scene like in Virginia?
PA: Up until a few months ago, there was no scene. We did a show that seemed to set off a chain reaction. The scene is slowly growing.

TS: What do you think of your debut LP?
PA: When we first completed it and to this date, we are very pleased with our first effort. But, you can always pick something apart. I feel it was the best we could put out with the facilities and the knowledge we had at the time.

TS: What is the biggest threat in the world?
PA: Religous fanaticism to me is the biggest threat in the world. It is these people who kill for their god, whatever god they may have. I honestly see no solution.

TS: What message do you want your songs to give people?
PA: No real messages. I basically try to irritate certain groups of people by harping on a subject that I know will anger them. Whether I believe in what I'm saying or not is another question.

TS: What inspired the name AT WAR?
PA: Basically, we're all tired of hearing people complain about something and do nothing about it. You see, we figure if there is something bothering you and you want to change it, you have to attack the problem. And what better way to attack something than declaring WAR on it. So there you have it - AT WAR.

TS: How successful would you like to become?
PA: As successful as we will be allowed to become.

TS: What will AT WAR be doing next?
PA: Record, record, record, tour, tour, tour!

TS: Any last comments?
PA: I want to thank everyone who has supported us in the past and I just want to say that if you like the underground scene, hardcore or speedmetal, just remember that it is you who will keep it alive - no one else. Support it every way you can, and keep reading THREATENING SOCIETY.


Keep an eye cut for AT WAR's second LP, which should keep the intensity and power they displayed on their debut.
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