"Rock & Metal in my Blood" today is proud to present an exclusive interview with Phil Bennett (Hidden Intent), a Thrash/Groove Metal band from South Australia which certainly deserves your time. The new album "Fear, Prey, Demise" is out through independent production, and we hope you'll enjoy reading about our time with him. Horns up!

R&MIMB: Hi Phil! Thanks for your availability and welcome to Rock & Metal in my Blood! We're thrilled about the new album from your band, Hidden Intent, a real deal for thrash lovers all around the world, that's why it would be awesome for us and our readers to discover something about you and your history. So can you tell us how it all started with the band?
Phil Bennett : Hey guys, first off, thanks for giving me the opportunity to do the interview!
Chris and were jamming already and we were trying to keep my old Hard rock/metal band going, but it just didn't seem to be working out. Then Chris just said to me one day, hey man, lets start a 3 piece thrash band, Like Coroner who Chris and I are fans of. I always liked the idea of being the only guitarist, so I thought it might be cool, something that's not often done as most of the thrash bands have the twin guitar thing. So it just started there really.

R&MIMB: How did you come up with your moniker, Hidden Intent?
Phil Bennett : That was Chris's idea. He is a really big fan of the American Psycho movie and also the book, I think the band name and a lot of lyric ideas on the first album played off of that.

R&MIMB: We know that you began playing guitar with your dad. What songs and artists did you play together?
Phil Bennett : Dad and I would jam old rock tunes like The Shadows and stuff from that 60's rock era. We also jammed a lot of Dire straits, Deep purple, Bowie and that kinda thing, we also sat down and tried working out current music at the time also, Like Nirvana, Metallica and that kind of thing, a mixed bag really.

R&MIMB: Tell us about your latest album, Fear, Pray, Demise.
Phil Bennett : We've grown a great deal since our first album, our musicianship as a band and song writing is in a completely different league to back then.
We knew right off of the bat that we wanted to make a very different album to Walking through hell, but also stay true to our roots. Our influences are prominent on this one, we put a lot of thought into how the album would flow and the types of songs it had, being fans ourselves of many different types of music and metal.
The album certainly isn't "thrash" parse all the way through, it moves and breathes and pulls you in different directions, I really was unhappy with the guitar tones, and also the solos I had written on the first album. So getting a great guitar tone, and digging really deep when it came to how the solos were written was a huge thing for me too.

R&MIMB: How does the creative process come about, as regards music and lyrics?
Phil Bennett : Usually it comes from me having riffs or song ideas, or Chris having a riff or two, and we jam it out and go from there, sometimes we'll be sitting around chatting and someone will say "we need a song like this" and were listening to Pantera or watching a live band, so we go jam and come up with ideas in the same style, or we just get to a point where "the song needs this" and we'll go away and come up with something, and bring it to the table and see how it feels. Once we have the Music, Chris writes the lyrics and usually Paul and I will give some guidance or present some ideas to Chris, usually in the demo phase or in the studio.

R&MIMB: In the music video "Pray for your Death" you alternate scenes from your live shows and entertaining/silly moments off stage. How did you come up with the idea for the video?
Phil Bennett : We just really wanted to use the footage we had of the band on and offstage up to that point to really showcase the things we had done and achieved up until then, hats off to Chalky hill for editing up that masterpiece! He must have sat and watched hours and hours of boring footage and plucked out all the gold! We're stoked with how it came out.

R&MIMB: Speaking of videos, "Addicted to Thrash is pretty cool!! Can we consider it as your personal homage to thrash metal, a sort of "thrash anthem"?
Phil Bennett : I guess it has become somewhat of a thrash anthem, a lot of people know it and generally get quite into it when we play it live, and those who have never seen us before quickly get a lesson in hidden intent (haha) it usually goes over quite well.

R&MIMB: How do you spread your music? Which platforms do you tend to use more frequently
Phil Bennett : We use social media like facebook and Instagram, but for spreading music, Spotify, Bandcamp and videos on youtube work well for us.

R&MIMB: Except for the fun and perverse "Drop Bears Are Real", your lyrics have a substance that goes beyond the simple roughness characteristic of thrash to touch tips of real drama, an intimacy and an underlying pessimism tempered by a healthy vein of madness . Do you use special references to write your lyrics or do you take a more direct approach, based on personal experience?
Phil Bennett : That's an interesting one because I actually wrote the lyrics for Drop Bears, and it's the first time I have ever really contributed lyrically. The song is meant to be funny and not very serious, so I imagine it would stand out compared to the other lyrics, Chris writes everything else, I know there is a lot of personal stuff in there, sometimes funny, tongue in cheek stuff, a bit of everything really.

R&MIMB: Your new album incorporates the attitude already found on "Walking Through Hell", but leads to a maturation and an unprecedented awareness. What are the components that led to this growth, and what can we expect in the future?
Phil Bennett : As I sort of touched on before, we really wanted to step up from that album, being as we had come so far from where we were, as a band, and as musicians, and what we really wanted to make as an album. Me and Chris could have written 'Walking through hell" part 2 in 2 weeks if we really wanted to, but I know we would have been extremely dissatisfied with it! So we (all three of us) really wanted to put in the hard yards. I think in the future people can expect and even bigger step up from this album, as we continue to grow as a band and musicians.

R&MIMB: As a band you are a trio, not your typical thrash formation! What are the advantages and disadvantages, if any, of playing in a three-member band?
Phil Bennett : Well I guess the disadvantages are we don't have a rhythm guitarist backing me up, or do harmony guitar parts and that kinda thing, but to be honest I don't think we really need it, we have forged our own sound.
The advantages are its much easier to get around on tour, organize rehearsals and availability for gigs, as there is only 3 people (haha)

R&MIMB: According to you has thrash metal experienced an evolution from the 80's to recent years?
Phil Bennett : Yes definitely, I think if you listen to the early thrash bands, even go back to bands pre big four like Diamond head and Mercyful fate and stuff, to the stuff that is coming out now, you can clearly see/hear the evolution

R&MIMB: Slaughter Lord, Armoured Angel, Hobb's Angel of Death: how much have these bands influenced you and your playing.
Phil Bennett : To be honest not a great deal, I'm constantly influenced by new bands that I see and hear, but my main influences are cemented deeply into early Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera and stuff like that.

R&MIMB: Are there any new bands in the Australian metal scene that have caught your attention lately?
Phil Bennett : Executus, Requiem, Asylum, Freedom of fear, I could go on and on, we have tons of great bands here at the moment! Its awesome!!

R&MIMB: Have you ever played or saw a concert at the famous venue "Arthouse Hotel" in Melbourne? The Aussie band Desecrator dedicated their 2011 live album Live to Death to this famous Australian metal institution.
Phil Bennett : Yes and from what I understand, the venue closed that year too, so we never got the opportunity to play there.

R&MIMB: You've been doing a lot of touring in these past few years. Where did all this touring take you and what bands did you support?
Phil Bennett : Our tours have taken us to China, Europe, America, South east Asia, and New Zealand as well as all over Australia, we have Played with Artillery, Lich king, Nuclear Assault, as well as supporting bands in our hometown such as Queensryche, Helloween, Anvil and most recently Destruction.

R&MIMB: Are there any "on the road" anecdotes you would like to share with our readers?
Phil Bennett : "DIY mate" as in, do it yourself haha, and "she'll be right mate"

R&MIMB: What are your projects for the future as regards touring, new material and so on?
Phil Bennett : Nothing at present, just looking to do more touring and make a couple more videos and see what happens.

R&MIMB: How about a message for all the readers of Rock & Metal in my Blood?
Phil Bennett : Thank you for supporting us! Head to our website at hiddenintentofficial.com or hiddenintent.bandcamp.com for music and merch, and keep thrashing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(An interview by Yader Lamberti, Lucia Rossi, Andrea Ortu)