The mid-90s were a difficult time for most metal bands. The Seattle grunge movement obliterated the hair metal of the 80s, and young bands with a love of classic styles were being pushed in the direction of whatever was trendy. In the midst of all of this, Canada’s Varga emerged to drop two fantastic albums, “Prototype” and “Oxygen” in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
Varga‘s sound was a mix of classic metal bands such as early Judas Priest and Iron Maiden crossed with thrash icons like Megadeth and Anthrax, tossed up with industrial and progressive influences. That was of course, when the record label would let them do their own thing, but it was that sense of being pushed around by the suits that sent the guys into metal stasis.
The band was formed in 1989 by namesake Joe Varga (bass, vocals) and grade-school chum, Dan Fila (drums). Guitarists Adam Alex and Sean Williamson square off the quartet from Hamilton, Ontario. In 2011, Joe decided to get the band back together to make their music, their way. The result is 2013′s “Enter the Metal” and its forthcoming bookend, “Return of the Metal” (a play on Bruce Lee’s movies). Both albums are steeped in the mélange of influences the guys grew up on and the new sounds they came to appreciate over the years. The music is at once vintage and modern, and most of all, pure metal.
This week, drummer Dan Fila checked in to take us track by track through “Enter the Metal“, chat about the band’s history, and much more. You can listen to the new album on their website at www.vargahq.com and check out our full interview with Dan in the video box, above-left.