Venom, 'Black Metal' (1982)
Finding out about music was so different in the early Eighties compared to now. You had to wait until [zines] like Metal Forces and Kerrang sent their import magazines over here, and you'd read about bands that got no coverage over here. Now, with the Internet, the knowledge is everywhere. So it was very important for me to go to the mom-and-pop record shops and see when the magazines hit and buy them to see what was going on. With Venom, the pictures they published were like, "This is the shit, man." Now when you look at them, they're kind of cheesy and laughable, but back then, to an impressionable teenager, I was like, "Look at these fucking guys."
Slayer looked like Venom early on. We were impressionable and trying to find ourselves and we were probably a cross between Venom and Mercyful Fate, maybe a little bit of Priest, maybe a little bit of punk. That's where we came from.
I picked Black Metal because I think Venom got better as they were going along. They were the best shitty band ever. But on Black Metal, you could tell they were getting better. There's great songs. I remember in between albums, they'd put out EPs, and that's where "Bloodlust" came from. Now, "Bloodlust" is on the remaster of Black Metal. And the song got better. They're heavy. I don't know if you'd call it ... I guess I wouldn't call it thrash, but definitely faster metal. Shit, it's "black metal." They coined the phrase.