An Interview with Barry Drewett - God of Metal Resurrected

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Source: Durban
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Durban's metal scene was rocked to the core this June by a near-tragic attack. Barry Drewett, Contrast the Water frontman and co-owner of Burn, was brutally beaten outside his club off Stamfordhill Road. Nearly three months on, this local heavyweight is back on his feet and ready to pick up where he left off. I chatted to him to find out how he's doing and what he's got in store for Durban:

Here's his story in his own words:

I don't really know what happened. It was a Monday night, Delia and I went down [to the club to pick something up]. While I was doing work inside the club, she went to the shop. She said "when I leave the garage I'll phone you and you must meet me outside." So I remember her phoning and I remember coming downstairs but I don't remember anything after that.

As I was closing the door they came at me. The initial impact cracked my skull, then apparently when they saw the keys and cell phone had fallen the other side of the gate, they just went ballistic. I don't know who it was, I don't know how many. That's one positive thing though; I don't have anybody to really be angry at. They basically took my passport, all my band-mates' passports, my admin stuff, and that was it.

It just happened at a terrible time. We were just getting ready to go overseas, we must have spent about a quarter-million rand on it. . . in a matter of a few seconds they took away five guys' dreams.

I'm in a lot of pain. I was basically in a semi-coma for two days. They broke my pelvis, all the ribs on my left side, dislocated my neck and my back and fractured my skull; I've got some permanent damage from it. When I get tight my whole left side seizes. The permanent damage I have is memory loss: there's two pieces of my brain that are dead. I'll be sitting here and forget why I'm here and what I'm doing. It's short episodes, or if I watch tv too long I have a seizure now. It's crazy, it's kind of ruined my life a bit.

For the first two or three weeks I was fine. I was a policeman and a paramedic before, so it was nothing new or shocked me really: I've been shot, set on fire, stoned, so I thought I could cope. After that I went into kind of a depression, the whole thing got too big for me and I battled with it. I was really angry and really bitter. I was like that for about a week, then I calmed down and realised that's life.

Because of the head injuries I wasn't allowed to sing for two months. They were afraid with all the growling and screaming and that, that a blood vessel would burst in my brain and kill me. The main thing I'm worried about now is forgetting lyrics.

The rest of the guys [from Contrast the Water] have been really positive. There's no bitching and moaning: we want to stay in South Africa. But good things are happening now, we've got Colin drumming with us. And we're going to be touring Europe next year, probably with Cannibal Corpse, and possibly America as well. Our first performance [since the attack] is at the end of this month in Joburg, and our first in Durban will be at the Gods of Metal in October.

We've also got a really close relationship with our fans. I get 3-400 well-wishes a day and I just can't respond to them all, which bothers me. So I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone, being with the band, being with the fans.

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