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Michael Keating presents DETRIMENT

Let me take you back to 1989. The so-called “Big Four” of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax were still untouchable but you had bands such as Pantera and Sepultura nipping at their heels and keeping things real. The Sydney bands had Mortal Sin to aspire to – a record deal, great reviews in Kerrang, Metallica supports, European tours. But it was pre-grunge and pre-Black Album so heavy music was still so far from the mainstream that you couldn’t see it with the Hubble telescope. So it was a hard slog for the small number of faithful to keep the thrash scene alive.

One of the hardest working was Detriment. I always enjoyed a Detriment gig. Great songs, great musicianship, Mick’s great hair. And I got to see them a lot in those days. They had the riffs of a proto-Megadeth and a quirky vibe that always reminded me of Anthrax. But they were the type of band that you knew had musical influences beyond the obvious and that they were striving to create something original without sacrificing their love of metal.

When I caught up with Detriment bassist Damian McDonald recently after he kindly asked me to be involved in the Powerhouse Museum’s 80s exhibition I was glad to hear that Detriment had recorded a demo. These songs are available here for the first time anywhere through Quarterpipe Records. I encourage you to squeeze into a pair of tight black jeans (what, they’re cool again?) and some white high-tops and have an old-fashioned head bang to the strains of Detriment’s “Shooting Shit”.

Mick Keating

P.S. Also check out the Quarterpipe release by the Money Seed Trees featuring members of Detirment in a later project.

DETRIMENT was formed in 1988 in the inner-western suburbs of Sydney, Australia by ex DEATH MISSION singer Peter Strobl, and ex WARSPITE guitarist Mick Sarantos and bassist Damian McDonald. With a bulk of their material already written, Strobl, Sarantos and McDonald recruited drummer Peter Xamplas and began playing regular gigs on the Sydney heavy metal club circuit with local outfits such as ADDICTIVE, ENTICER, SSDC, CROMOK, MORTAL SIN, and FROZEN DOBERMAN.

DETRIMENT was undoubtedly a thrash metal outfit; however, the diverse influences of all band members saw many genres experimented with in their music. In April 1989 DETRIMENT entered LP Studios to record a four-song demo entitled ‘SHOOTING SHIT’, which contained the live favourites Hypocrite’s Justice, Shooting Shit, Attempted Escape and To The Test.

Wanting to avoid clich├ęd metal themes like sex and partying the band drew on personal experiences, wrote songs about them and used it as a catharsis. The band also wrote about things they were exposed to via the media such as corporal punishment, drug abuse, politics, religion, war, racism and mental illness – themes all still relevant today.

But not all Detriment songs were negative; To The Test was a positive mantra about staring into the face of adversity and finding the strength within to be able to achieve any goal in life.

Detriment continued playing and living very hard, but split in late 1992 due to artistic differences and heavy alcohol and substance abuse.
After retooling and trying out different directions of rock music for a year or so, Sarantos, McDonald and Strobl reformed as a group, this time without Xamplas on drums, instead using Perry Green (brother of Syd Green – Killing Time, Mantissa), and second guitarist Jason Collins.
This unit was named Money Tree Seeds, and again, although this band was certainly heavy metal, a wide variety of influences were drawn upon. MTS played regularly around Sydney and recorded nine songs between 1993 and 1995. MTS disbanded, again due to artistic differences and heavy alcohol and substance abuse. Mick & Damian then went on to form Quayleaf which can also be downloaded from the Quarterpipe Store.

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