Virtual XI

Metal Hammer

Dave on the frontmen for the Probot album and why he rates them.

Mike Dean (Corrosion Of Conformity)
Probot Track: 'Access Babylon'
"At first C.O.C were a hardcore band, but they ended up helping to invent the crossover scene by adding metal riffs. Their 'Animosity' record ('85) is still one of the best ever, and as a live band they were maybe second only to Bad Brains. I once saw the two of them together. Reed (Mullin) was an early drumming hero, and Mike was famous for getting so into the music he played with drool running down his chin, soaking into his beard and smelly dreadlocks. Standing there in a pool of spit, his intensity was unbelievable."

Wino (St Vitus, Place Of Skulls)
Probot Track: 'Emerald Skies'
"His band The Obsessed were from DC, where I came from. My hardcore band opened for them in '85, and I know that nobody in their right mind would want to go onstage after The Obsessed. Wino is the godfather of doom music, everything he does from St Vitus to Place Of Skulls has been mind-blowing."

Cronos (Venom)
Probot Track: 'Centuries Of Sin'
"No-one even dared come close to Venom's sound. Their records were dark, evil and haunted. I saw them and Voivod together in New York, maybe in '86. It was a pivotal moment for me. I was used to hardcore bands playing as fast as possible, but Venom just went for total heaviness. Cronos is more than just a vocal presence, he's a fucking demon."

Lemmy (Motorhead)
Probot Track: 'Shake Your Blood'
"We recorded his track in LA in maybe two takes about a year and a half ago. Until then I'd never met what I'd call a real rock'n'roll hero before. Fuck Elvis and Keith Richards, Lemmy's the king of rock'n'roll - he told me he never considered Motorhead a metal band, he was quite adamant. Lemmy's a living, breathing, drinking and snorting fucking legend. No-one else comes close.

Eric Wagner (Trouble)
Probot Track: 'My Tortured Soul'
"Trouble where an unusual band. Their riffs were so intricate and slow, and they played with such power, it was hard to imagine that they had Christian beliefs. But they they did. Finding out that they were God-fearing made them all the more fascinating to me. It took bravery for them to admit it.

Kurt Brecht (D.R.I)
Probot Track: 'Silent Spring'
"I met Kurt 20 years ago at a Rock Against Reagan show in Washington DC, and bought a copy of his band's 22-song seven-inch from the back of his van. In those days all I wanted was to play drums as fast as DRI did. When I got the tape back from Kurt I was very happy to find that his voice hadn't changed at all in two decades."

King Diamond (Mercyful Fate)
Probot Track: 'Sweet Dreams'
"What King Diamond does with his voice is incomprehensible. I was a huge fan of Mercyful Fate's albums like 'Melissa' and 'Don't Break The Oath' ('83 and '84). What he does on the Probot album is so layered and theatrical, it's almost like a Queen record, It's difficult to explain how cool is it to have him singing on a song that I wrote. He's the King."

Tom G Warrior (Celtic Frost)
Probot Track: 'Big Sky'
"I was always a Celtic Frost fan, but unfortunately because of the way that we put the record together I've still not met Tom or even had a phone conversation. 'Morbid Tales' was always my favourite Celtic Frost record. It could've been influenced by punk bands like GBH or Discharge, but of course they were darker, sinister and a lot more metal."

Snake (Voivod)
Probot Track: 'Dictatorsaurus'
"The strangest and coolest thing about Voivod was that I had no idea who their influences were. Sometimes they reminded me of Venom, but also of science fiction horror movies. Other times they were like Motorhead, or the Dead Kennedys. From there, their songwriting took them from that into a thrash version of progressive rock. At the time of 'Dimension Hatross' they were unique."

Max Cavalera
Probot Track: 'Red War'
"I saw Max in Sepultura on the 'Chaos AD' tour. One of my favourite things about the Probot record is the accent of the singers. Being from Montreal, Snake from Voivod has a strong accent, so does Tom G Warrior (from Switzerland's Celtic Frost). Like Max, the fact that these guys have unusual deliveries only makes them more sinister. They sound like foreign military sergeants barking out orders. Sepultura were always an amazing blend of metal, punk and tribal influences. When 'Roots' came out it changed my entire perception of what was heavy."

Lee Dorrian (Cathedral)
Probot Track: 'Ice Cold Man'
"I once slept on Lee's floor in my days with Scream, and I love what he did with Napalm Death and Cathedral. His track is one of my absolute favourites, it came back 10 times better than I'd imagined. He's also good company if you're having a night on the town."