Danny Lilker – Influence & Influenced

Danny Lilker under the influence and influenced for Goatsound

As a bass player Danny is well known as the fucking cool guy from Nuclear Assault, S.O.D., Anthrax and Brutal Truth.


Many years ago before the internet you had to rely on what magazines told you or if you were smart enough you learned to look at what T-shirts your favorite bands were wearing.

Danny was that guy for me, and many others I know.

He was known as the guy who was into all the fastest most extreme stuff. If he wore a mid riff sleeveless Carcass T-shirt you bought the Carcass album, when he wore a Napalm Death shirt with all the seams cut out, you went and bought a Napalm Death album.

This kind of information was invaluable in a time when buying a record really was a roll of the dice. You simply couldn’t rely on the record cover image and a review from a foreign publication like “Hit Parader” or “Metal Forces” to be totally accurate. But you could rely on Danny. His shirts help define my tastes in music as they stand today.

I had a chance recently to ask Danny what he has going on at the moment:


If people don't know about the 2 bands I'm in here in (rapidly freezing) Rochester, we have Nokturnal Hellstorm, black fucking metal mate, and Blurring which might be described as warped black-tech-grind.

And, for a curve ball, here is my vision of what Skinny Puppy combined with black metal would sound like.

The first two tracks have Blackwell (Nokturnal) on vocals and the third track features vocals by Attila Csihar, from Mayhem.

Nuclear Assault will have its last ever European performance at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in mid-December.

Venomous Concept will be doing a few weeks in Europe coming up in January.

The book is now put out by Bazillion Points which should make it much easier to get than with the original publisher and the beer is being brewed again now due to its awesomeness.


That’s right, Danny has somehow got involved in some kind of Nuclear Assault beer … and there has been a book written about him – "Perpetual Conversion – 30 Years in the Life of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker" by Dave Hofer – You should buy it.

I asked Danny to list the songs that got him into metal, and I think this list could serve as a beginners guide to metal from a champion of the genre and is great to look at what made him the guy he is today.


Profound Influence

Here are some songs that had a profound influence on me at some point or another.

War Pigs, a big double-whammy influence here. Firstly, just the incredible heaviness of their sound, and then Geezer's killer bass lines. Impossible to overstate what an impact this song had on my 15 year old self. Not sure what's going on in this video, but obviously I'm talking about just the music.

‘Delivering The Goods’ by Judas Priest, the first song I ever heard from them after buying the "Hell Bent For Leather" album (as the "Killing Machine" album was known in the US). The next step in my metal education … not much bass influence here haha. Poor Ian Hill was always under-mixed.

‘Ace Of Spades’ by Motörhead, discovered shortly after Priest and Maiden etc. The speed and bass sound were another big double-whammy!

‘Transylvania’ by Maiden. Awesome tune, with more killer bass.

I'm gonna skip ahead past Metallica, Discharge, etc to cap it off with 2 monstrous tunes from 2 of my favorite genres.

‘Scum’ by Napalm Death. It would be fair to say that this song really struck a chord with me and shaped what I went on to do with a certain band that eventually gave grindcore a huge kick in the ass – Brutal Truth. I was already playing distorted bass by then, but I was still like, "Holy fuck that's brutal".

‘A Blaze In The Northern Sky’ from Darkthrone. When I heard what they did with a genre I'd enjoyed in the 80s but had lost interest in as bands like Celtic Frost, Bathory and Sodom had evolved away from their earlier efforts, I was definitely enthralled.


Danny continues to rule! Cheers dude!

Top 5 Grind Albums of All Time

End of year lists are fucking hard, I always get into things way too late and I’m not one of those people that has the luxury of being able to get into every single thing that comes out, I listen to way too much stuff while I’m actually recording / mixing and then need to take a break from music in my downtime, otherwise I think I would go crazy.

I also find when I’m recording lots of  something, like doom for example music like Kanye West becomes more interesting … but I digress.

This kind of overexposure to music I’m working on as a good thing. I’m forced to leave lots of personal listening for a later date and that acts as a kind of filter.  It lets the buzz die down about whatever is new and trendy leaving only the totally worthy of attention.

So rather than compiling a end of year list here's my top five grind albums of all time, for no reason other than I feel listening to some grindcore today, and these 5 are what I intend to play.

1. Napalm Death “Peel Sessions”

This is without a doubt the pinnacle of Napalm Death for me.

These recordings are exactly as a grind band should sound, it’s fucking chaotic but clear and really well recorded/ captured.

I think you just buy them both on a single, CD or whatever now. If you don’t have these you need to have your head read. Totally worthy of the number one grind release ever and fuck you if you try and argue this in any way.

2. Sore Throat “Disgrace to the Corpse of Sid”

Their earlier album “Unhindered by Talent” was one of the first grind records I had and still I fucking love that album for its total crustiness, but “Disgrace” is a band totally off the fucking deep end. I listened to this for months without a break and probably went some way to giving me a tolerance to almost any musical form.

3. Terrorizer “World Downfall”

So tight and precise, “World Downfall” sounds like every single riff and crash hit has been thought out and planned to perfection.

Still a benchmark in how tight a grind band could be. Great turnaround riffing and when played loud it is fucking intense as it’s not mastered to squeeze the life out of it.

 4. Repulsion “Horrified”

A genre defining moment that turned death metal into grindcore.

The bass sound is still something to be admired.

So much has been said about this that it doesn’t really need much waffling …

5. Carcass “Symphonies of Sickness”

While “Reek” set the tone “Symphonies” was where it all came together, the sound on this recording was different to everything that came before it and spawned a billion shitty clone bands after it.

The entire record sounded like a wet autopsy and the entire package was fucking great.
Pity they lost it after this and started brushing their hair too much.


Honorable mention

Xysma “Swarming of the Maggots” Demo ‘89

Finnish grind that I lost for years when I ditched the cassette player.
Really good, well worthy, and, noisy as fuck …

I may do an article on these guys and the evolution of this band. Check it.