Venom’s Cronos on the Norwegian Black Metal Scene’s Culture of Neo-Fascism: “It’s disgusting” – 2022

Metal Hammer: Venom frontman Cronos: “Metallica have had some shit albums – they’d have to admit that.”

You can read the entire interview @ this location. An excerpt from the conversation can be found below.

Venom had a huge influence on thrash metal, and in the mid-80s you had Metallica and Slayer as opening acts on tour. Did you view them as kindred spirits? A threat? Maybe a little of both?


“I hoped they’d be big, because they were good bands, friends at the time, and it was fun on the road. I hoped this scene would get bigger. I wanted everybody to love this music, and the heavier the better. But I never would have thought that Metallica would have had the success that they’ve had. They’ve had some shit albums – they’d have to admit that. But the first three albums, fucking great.”

You’ve said that Metallica’s Whiplash ripped off the riff in Venom’s Witching Hour, but surely Slayer owed a greater debt to you?

“Well, a few years back I was hanging out with Tom Araya at a Slayer gig in Glasgow when he got a phone call from his son, who must have asked him who he was with, because Tom said, ‘I’m sitting with the guy whose career I’ve been copying for my whole life!’ Tom is great, man!”

Back in those crazy days of the 80s, was it all sex and drugs in Venom?

“It was for me! Jeff just wanted to go back to his hotel room for a cup of tea. But fucking hell, I wanted to live that life! I wanted to do that whole rock’n’roll thing, shagging a bird over the back of the tour bus. How can you be a real rock star if you don’t do it all?”

On a purely musical level, did you admire the early Norwegian black metal?

“Definitely. It was so dark and so evil. It was the next generation. But it also created what I call the ‘black metal police’ – all these people going, ‘This band is black metal! This band isn’t!’ And I love this one: ‘Venom aren’t black metal!’ Ha ha! I just wish they’d come up with their own term, like Norse metal. That’s what I say to these guys: ‘You’ve stolen my term, but you’re not really black metal, because black metal is power metal, speed metal, thrash metal, death metal – all the metals together!”

You can laugh about the black metal police, but the Norwegian scene had a culture of violence, criminality, racism, homophobia and neo-fascism. Knowing that Venom’s name was inextricably linked to that scene, what effect did that have on you?

“It was disgusting. People like that, I want to sit them down in front of TV and play the entire The World At War [26-episode WWII documentary] series. Watch that and tell me fascism is a good idea, you fucking idiots!”

You can read the entire interview @ this location.