Onslaught knew Turbin was wrong fit 'within seconds'

Onslaught’s Nige Rockett says he knew within seconds that they’d made a mistake in hiring Neil Turbin.

The thrash veterans brought in the former Anthrax frontman to fill in for Sy Keeler on their US tour when Keeler took time off to deal with personal issues.

But Onslaught and Turbin had an angry parting of the ways with two shows still to go on the US jaunt. Turbin insisted he quit, while the band said he had been sacked.

Now guitarist Rockett says he knew the appointment was a mistake 30 seconds into their first gig together.

Rockett tells Jimmy Cabbs: “Thirty seconds into the first song in New York, we all looked at each other and it was, like, ‘For fuck sake, man.’

“And it was just a disaster, the whole show. It was being filmed. And it was sold out. We could have sold the show out twice last time, and it was just, like, ‘Wow, you killed it, man.’”

The band claimed Turbin hadn’t learned the material, while the singer said he wasn’t given enough time to do so.

Rockett adds that the band were stunned when Turbin brought out a teleprompter for his first performance. He says: “We had no idea. He’d come up on stage and we were, like, ‘Really? We’re a thrash metal band. Is this for real?’”

The guitarist adds that the band couldn’t afford to cancel the tour when Keeler pulled out.

He says: “We’ve got bills to pay, families to feed. And it’s not only us; it’s the other bands involved on the tour, Artillery. If we would have cancelled this, this would have been their second US tour cancellation, which would really have done them serious damage.

“So we had an obligation to those guys as well, and also our booking agent, who worked solidly for two or three months booking this tour and put so much time and effort in. And we can’t just shit on these guys.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.