Interview: Phil Bennett (Hidden Intent)

Hidden Intent are a local Adelaide thrash metal band, still rocking all that hair, and making an impact both here and overseas. We were able to find out a little more about them, and start to rekindle my love of thrash, in this recent interview.

Hi Phil, welcome to Beauty and Lace and thanks for talking to us.

Can you tell us about how you met and formed the band?

Chris and I met through a former band member of mine, he was going to be the replacement bassist for my old band (Desert Eagle), but when that all fell through, Chris came up with the idea of starting a 3-piece thrash band.
I thought it was a great idea so we started jamming and writing tunes, soon we had Jay on board with drums, and next thing we knew we had an album, music video, and we were touring South East Asia! All thanks to Chris. He is very motivated.

Where did the name come from?

I believe it was something that Chris’s dad had said to him one day, or something like that. Chris is a big American Psycho fan, and that led to the theme regarding our name and album cover, some song lyrics etc.

I hear you have recently had to get a new drummer, can you tell us about the process and your new member?

Jay had informed me on our recent tour of South East Asia that he was no longer interested in being in the band. It was a bit of a shock, and I was worried we would be without a drummer for a long time, but as it turns out a few people were keen on joining the band!

We auditioned three amazing guys, and Paul Lewis (Ex Deaths Boundaries/Tidal/Hawkai) delivered the goods. He slotted in perfectly with our style, ticked all the boxes, and it just felt right.

Can you tell us a little about your sound?

It’s very 80’s based, we love all that 80’s thrash stuff like Megadeth, Annhilator – killer riffs, double kicking, solo’s and high pitched screams, with a little bit of cheesy-ness also haha.

hidden intent
Photo: Ryan Schembri

I will admit that it’s been a long time since I really immersed myself in thrash metal and I didn’t realise there was still a scene, especially not in Australia. Can you tell us a little about it?

It’s still alive and well, it’s fairly underground, but the fans are very loyal to the scene. We’ve played some great shows in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne as well as Adelaide and it’s all been great. It was good when we went to Perth recently for the second time and people remembered us and were super cool. They had shirts and had listened to the album and were asking us if we were gonna play certain songs and stuff like that. It’s really great to have that support, they’re all really into it!

Already you are quite well travelled, touring overseas as well as across Australia. What can you tell us about your overseas tours?

We’ve been to a few places! We have travelled Australia and New Zealand, but the highlight of our touring would have to be South East Asia. We’ve been over twice now and it absolutely rules! I mean these guys are in jeans and battle jackets in 40 degree heat, running around moshing and circle pitting, falling onto the stage and knocking the mic stands into you and stuff, they’re crazy man! And after the show they all want CD’s and shirts and autographs, it’s killer man.

What can audiences expect from a live show?

Old school thrash metal, blistering at you with intense drumming, huge riffs and guitar solo’s, Chris’s (probably too loud) bass riffage and power vocals comin’ at ya! (and probably a few cheesy jokes).

What has been your career highlight to date?

When we were in Singapore recently I was walking down the street before a gig and this kid was like, “Hey are you Phil from Hidden Intent?”
He had all these photo’s and stuff from our Facebook that he wanted me to sign and stuff. It was really surreal to me to experience that, it just blew me away.

I read that you are planning a follow up to your debut album ‘Walking Through Hell’ this year. How is that coming along?

Slowly at this point, but very productive. Paul has brought an amazing song writing/arranging ability into the band, which has really lifted our game when it comes to writing songs. We have two that are really solid that we have been playing live, and a few more in the works and a ton of riffs! There has been a lot of talk about an EP, but I am really pushing to do another album so we’ll see…

You are getting ready to jet off overseas again at the end of the month. Can you tell us about where you’re off too and what shows you’ll be playing?

Well, we had a great opportunity come up to support a band on their tour of China. I’m sure you’ll see it on our Facebook page as I can’t say too much yet!

Where do you see yourselves, and where do you want to see the band, in the future?

A few more albums and more touring. Europe, America, Japan are a few places we would love to visit! So it would be awesome to get over there and get on some major tours supporting some bigger bands. Hopefully none of us will end up working at Maccas.

Thanks Phil, good luck with the tour and I might even come check out a set in Adelaide some night.

You can follow Hidden Intent on Facebook, ReverbNation and YouTube.

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