NUKEM “The Day After Nukem” 

By Theron Moore

Thrash metal is alive and well. The old masters of the genre are still active and putting out great material….check out the latest from Destruction and Death Angel this year, for example. And there’s a new wave of bands following in their wake like Warbringer and Havok. Even some of those “new” bands have been around for ten years or more now!

And still they keep coming. Case in point is NUKEM from El Cajon, California. These guys are keeping true to all the trademarks of the tradition but inject a lot of the energy that can only come from youth into the mix. The result is bound to cause severe neck and back strain.

Here’s an interview with Steve from Nukem…

Wormwood Chronicles:  Please introduce yourself.

Steve Brogden:  This is Steve Brogden from US Thrash Metal Trio, Nukem!!

Wormwood Chronicles:  How long has Nukem been around?  Is this your first record?

Steve Brogden:  Nukem started in the summer of 2012 when I contacted Don Lauder "our bassist" about starting a band that doesn't need an explanation. We are thrash in its purest form. Later we got Norm Leggio on Drums and started making some crushing metal!!This will be our first and most certainly not our last!!

Wormwood Chronicles:  There’s a lot of guest musicians on this record.  

Steve Brogden:  We were super stoked to have so many great people on this album and we hope to keep to keep it up with the next record. On the opening Track "WarWolf" we have a guest solo by Jimmy Durkin of Dark Angel!   He killed it!!  Jimmy Durkin played in a band called Dreams of Damnation after the Dark Angel days. Norm had been friends with him and brought them to San Diego for shows and that's where I met him as well. Super cool guy and he was more than happy to rip out a lead!!  

Next we had a double dose of thrash greats from Craig Locicero from Forbidden and Reece Scruggs of Havok on the same song called "The Atomic Age" they both crushed it!!  Forbidden was a band that I thought I wouldn't ever see live. When they reformed around '08 I drove up to SF to see the first show back. I met a few of them that night. The 2nd time I saw them we hung out and drank beers with the band. Since then they always remembered me. I'd see Craig almost every year at the annual NAMM show and I couldn't not ask him!! He's one of my all-time favorite players, so to have built a friendship with him and have him on our record is a giant honor to say the least!! 

Reece was the only one we had never met. I loved Havok and we needed an extra solo so I reached out. He heard the track and said sure!! We have since played with Havok and gotten to know them a bit.  Awesome guys in a killer young thrash band!

Then we have about 5 solos coming from Laura Christine from WarFace & Zimmers Hole. Laura is an amazing person to be around and an insane guitarist to boot!! She often plays live with us; we have her every chance we get as she has a very busy schedule.  We've all known Laura from her days in Warface. My band in high school played with them a few times. She was always the coolest person in the room and always had words of encouragement for me. This was at least 12 years ago. I knew back then that we would eventually play in a band together haha.  She plays shows with us whenever she is available but she is often busy with her own projects.  So we float around as a trio but sometimes as a 4 piece. Laura recorded solos on "Nukem All" & "The Deceiver."  

Wormwood Chronicles:  Of the guest musicians, you have Craig Locicero of Forbidden.  That’s pretty impressive.  Is Forbidden a big influence on Nukem, collectively?

Steve Brogden:  Forbidden is a huge part of my musical DNA. I actually have the "Twisted into Form" album cover tattooed on my left arm!!! Craig approves. Growing up it was the 1 band I didn't think I'd get to ever see. The eventually reformed and I caught them about 6 times.

Wormwood Chronicles:  Is there a weird disconnect being a fan of a band like Forbidden and then being in the studio with one of the actual players of said band? Or, did it seem natural?  I mean you guys are peers now…

Steve Brogden:  It's totally natural!!! Craig is super down to earth and an awesome person to work with. He knocked it out of the park in classic Craig fashion. I think fans of him will really dig the tune as well.

Wormwood Chronicles:  Any talk about trying to tour behind this record?

Steve Brogden:  There is always the desire. The right offer hasn't come our way yet but that's the ultimate goal.

Wormwood Chronicles:  You’ve had great publicity lately with the song "Evelyn's Awakening."  What’s the song about and isn’t it quite expensive to shoot a video these days, especially for an indie band?

Steve Brogden:  Evelyn is somewhat about a Horror type of story.  Love lost and revenge exacted.  We decided to make the video for our own selfish needs. It happened to get us an amazing response and we can't thank everyone enough for all the love!!! It wasn't cheap but it makes us happy and it seems to be doing well for us!

Wormwood Chronicles:  Tell me about the name of the record “Unholy Trinity.”  What’s that in reference to?

Steve Brogden:  The Unholy Trinity is referring to the first three nukes that the US used. The "Trinity" was the test fire.  Then came "Fat man" & "Little boy" were two nukes that came with an insane amount of destruction and death.

Wormwood Chronicles:  Will your record be available on iTunes or Bandcamp?

Steve Brogden:  Both!!! As well as just about everywhere else music is sold \m/

Wormwood Chronicles:  Speaking of which, why even utilize a record label.  Why not just do iTunes and Bandcamp yourself, hire an indie PR firm, use to handle CDs on demand and avoid the middle man?

Steve Brogden:  We Signed with Sleaszy Rider Records from Greece.  They have been awesome!!! They will be running ads and doing a lot of the PR work that a firm would do.  Along with getting the album out worldwide!!!

Wormwood Chronicles:  Your record comes out in September.  What’s the plan for the next six months?

Steve Brogden:  First we have our release show September 16th in San Diego at a venue called Brick by Brick. A killer place that is mostly metal with the most bad ass staff in town. After that we have a show with Death Angel which should be rad. We also have already started the writhing for the next album and have recorded demo versions of 2 new tracks. We hope to have the 2nd album out relatively fast after the debut is out.