Tourniquet: American thrash metalers bringing in a classical element

Thursday 1st November 1990

Erin McNamara spoke to hot new US thrash team TOURNIQUET.


'Lyrically, we're not afraid to step out on different things' notes Tourniquet's drummer and lead spokesman Ted Kirkpatrick. Innovatively combining classical influence to speed metal is another factor that separates Tourniquet from its southern California metal counterparts.

"We strive to get the balance between being creative, being original, and being accessible. We want to fill the gap in this kind of music, to reach kids that aren't being reached by other kinds of music. We tend to stay away from clich├ęd lyrics."

Tourniquet's first release on Intense Records, 'Stop The Bleeding' might very well be the first album to come out containing a song scripturally condemning animal abuse. What happens when God's thrash music meets Greenpeace? Says Kirkpatrick: '"Ark of Suffering' is probably one of the first songs about the importance of animals all through scripture. I found a lot of verses that pertain to this. For instance, Genesis 1:26 says we're to have dominion over the animal world. The Greek translation for "dominion" does not mean "dominate." It means a stewardship and a responsibility too. We have a stewardship over the animals and everything from the circus to the pet shops to the fur industry are unjustifiable as far as what God had in mind for the animals."

When not scoring brownie points with the RSPCA Tourniquet takes great care to biblically cross reference the lyrics to their songs. "We do that," explains Kirkpatrick, "because we don't just want to reach the lost. We want to encourage the forgotten believer who is not reading his Bible. It's a way for people to get back in the Word. When they respect the music, they can take the Bible and look up all the verses."

Kirkpatrick is joined by Guy Ritter, previous lead singer for Holy Danger on vocals and Gary Lenaire on guitars. All three contribute to song-writing. "Lyrics become very powerful when they're set to music that people love," continues Kirkpatrick. "The old argument that certain beats, certain harmonies and rhythms are evil is nonsense to me. The stage is such a powerful thing. The ability to cut an album and have a lot of people listen to it is a lot of responsibility. Satan knows that music is so powerful.

"There is no reason thrash music has to be noisy garbage. Thrash music can incorporate 'classical'. Like the instrumental on 'Whitewashed Tomb', there's a speed metal classical part at the end of that. To my knowledge, I don't think anyone's ever done that, taken classical music to speed metal. It can be beautiful!" CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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