Page 45

T

hank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Congratulations on the rerelease of “Mystification”. After over 30 years of career and more than 15 albums, what’s it like to look back and see all of your work? t brings lots of things to mind when I think about the catalog that I have put out and the history of the band. It’s been a long and very hard road at times. For the most part I look back at it all in awe. It sometimes amazes me that with all the events that happened over the last 35 years I still managed to keep Manilla Road active. When I think of where Manilla Road came from (mid west of nowhere) and the fact that we were just a bunch of Kansas cowboys with no real connection to the metal world I am more than pleased with our accomplishments. It is all definitive proof to me that if you strive hard enough for your dreams that they can come true. I have not become filthy rich from it all but when looking back I do feel pretty successful about my music career. Are there differences between working on an album in the beginning of your career and now? Do you feel more secure in your abilities and songwriting skills, or is there any kind of struggle to create more memorable tracks after having written so many? There are really huge differences in how I approach the writing of the music now compared to the early days of the band. At first I wrote music to poems that I created. I always write the music first now. I found that writing lyrics to melodies was a better way to make the theme of the song sound

like the music itself. We used to just jam out and songs would manifest out of those jams sometimes. Nowadays I pretty much write all the songs in the studio myself before any of the other band members even get to hear them. My 2nd Engineer (Derek Dr. Doom Brubaker) actually gets to hear the songs as I write them before any of the other guys do. We still rearrange the songs’ contents a bit sometimes after they hear them and get ideas that are cool. But since our drummer (Neudi) lives in Germany and the rest of us still live in the US we don’t get to just hang out together all the time working on the music. With Neudi the first time he ever plays any of the new songs for an album is when he comes to Midgard Sound Labs here in Kansas to record the drum parts for the album. Another thing that is greatly different from the old days is that we recorded in other peoples’ studios. We paid shit loads of money over the years recording in studios in California, Memphis and Kansas. Now I own my own studio (Midgard Sound Labs) and I can take my time at working on the projects and wait for the inspiration to hit me instead of being on the clock and always worrying about how much money we are spending. One of the really big deals to me over the years has been to keep Manilla Road in control of the music and owning my own studio has really helped me keep that control in our hands. Manilla Road have stayed true to a classic heavy metal sound over the years, with some experiments here and there. How do you perceive the state of heavy metal in today’s younger bands? It seems that I am seeing a trend back

to the older classic sounds of heavy metal in the newer bands these days. I’m pretty sure that everyone had their fill of grind core metal with no guitar solos and nothing but intense screaming going on. Not saying I don’t like that sometimes but it seemed to be the only thing out in the market for a bit. It appears that all styles of metal are acceptable now and I see young bands popping up all over the place reviving the more classic approach to metal. I think the overall metal market is growing again and will always be a force to be reckoned with. Have you ever thought about some recent bands that you would like to play with? If so, why and what attracts you to them? I have actually been able to play with lots of bands that I wanted to share the stage with more than I ever thought I would. I would not mind getting a chance to play with Axecuter since I was a guest on their remake of Heavy Metal To The World. They are a great band and I’m sure we would have a great time playing with them. I have recently been introduced to a young band called Cauldron that is really good also and I think they would be fun to share the stage with. There are always other bands I would love to play with, both old and new. I don’t think about it a lot though because every year I get to play with bands that I have never met before or have not even heard of. So I get introduced to what is new out there just by being on tour and that’s a bonus for me. “Mystification” can be considered classic heavy metal. During its remastering did you ever think to make it more modern? Was there a

Profile for Against Magazine

Against Magazine #8 (April 2014)  

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f99yfqzhxgr81l4/against_08_interactive.pdf

Against Magazine #8 (April 2014)  

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f99yfqzhxgr81l4/against_08_interactive.pdf

Advertisement