80’s Metal Poll: What Makes A Good Song?


*Are you a lyric person and know each and every word to your favorite Metal song(s)?

Are you mainly into the music (like me) and enjoy the grooves, power or riffing throughout?

Or perhaps you are just a casual listener and just like listening to the music “as a whole” and do not go off the deep-end analyzing your tuneage?!

Which ever type you are, did you ever think about what the real musicians in your favorite bands thought? Yes, no…maybe?

Either wayI thought it would be interesting to “get inside” the head of the bands that I spoke to during Demolish interviews and or the various musicians we hung out with backstage or on their tour bus, you knowto find out what makes them tick and to see what they think makes a good song. Remember these guys are music fans too.

Who are these clowns?

For my curiosity I decided to present the question above to a wide selection of bands (you might even notice a certain Canadian band member filling out the “official” Demolish questionnaire in a pic below)! I really enjoy giving out these sheets for the guys (and a few gals) to fill out. Oftentimes it turns into a comedic outbreak and the bands really have fun with it. Other times I have to corner some of them to get them to take part. It never ceases to amaze me what they end up writing down too. Some are comedians, some are sarcastic BUT I would never say any were boring!

It also helps me to remember what we were doing at the time, for example, I recall eating pizza and drinking some beers with SACRED REICH backstage before their show at Bogart’s and you can still see pizza and or food stains all over the sheets! Priceless. Many of the band’s even gave me their home address and or phones number so I could send them the issue they appeared in. Wow, you mean at the end of the day these guys are “real” people? You bet…

OK, without further ado, here are some of the results from a hand-picked selection of my favorite bands! N-joy…


“Originality, intensity, feeling and good lyrics…something that never grows old.”

Jay Abbene



Brad Divens – Live Pic© Curt King

“A song that grooves, has melody and context (and has nothing to do with religion.”

Brad Divens

(Lead Vocals/Bass)


Shannon Larkin Pic ©Amos Myspace

“Structure, heaviness and good lyrics.”

Shannon Larkin



Bobby “Blitz” 88′ Pic© Curt King/Demolish


Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth

(Lead Vocals)

Bobby Gustafson – Pic© Curt King/Demolish Mag.

“Anything, any topic. Any feel or mood that’s cool. Must have power and talent, whether it’s three chords or three hundred.”

Bobby Gustafson

(Lead Guitar)

Sid Falck–On Tour Bus 88′ pic© Curt King

“A good groove and good melody line. Also a good performance + production.”

Sid Falck



Chuck Billy Live – Pic© Curt King/Demolish

“When they say—hey, that’s a good song”

Chuck Billy 

(Lead Vocals)


Eric Peterson - Pic© Curt King

Eric Peterson – Pic© Curt King

“A good feel. Good grooves and good lyrics that mean something.”

Eric Peterson



Alex Skolnick Live - Pic© Curt King

Alex Skolnick Live – Pic© Curt King

“One that is well-played, well-written and that you like and you won’t forget.”

Alex Skolnick

(Lead Guitar)


Denis “Piggy” D’Amour – Backstage Pic© Curt King

“Make sure that it’s not boring! A lot of colors, a lot of changes, BUT with harmony and even melodies.”

Denis “Piggy” D’Amour 

(Lead Guitar)


Denis – Voivod Live! – Pic ©Curt King

R.I.P. Piggy we miss you! You were a phenomenal guitarist and way ahead of your time.

Denis Belanger – Pic Curt King

“Feelings have to pass through my body…whatever it is.”

Denis “Snake” Belanger 

(Lead Singer)

“Snake” live pic© Curt King

 Snake rules!


“Blacky” – Live pic© Curt King


“Originality first.”

Jean-Yves Theriault 


Blacky + Piggy Live Pic© Curt King

Voivod were one of the best live bands ever!

Sean Killian (Vio-Lence) 88′ Pic© Curt King

Must have a good topic, heavy/speed + slow “crunch” and something unexpected.”

Sean Killian

(Lead Vocals)

Phil Demmel Backstage- Pic© Curt King


Phil Demmel


Robb Flynn (Vio-Lence) Pic ©Curt King/Demolish

“The structure helps a lot. A strong riff with a catchy melody or hook + good playing.”

Robb Flynn



So hopefully now you will know what these Metal giants think “makes a good song”!! Maybe you enjoyed reading these as much as I did asking them and compiling them over the years. If so peep the first round here.

*If you liked this post and or day dreaming inside our Metal time capsule, then please make sure you subscribe via our RSS feed (or via regular email below) Rock on!Kinger (Demolish Ed.)


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