metal band dessinee
Outre ses qualités (re)connues de musicien, chanteur et compositeur, Bob Saliba sait également écrire et dessiner. Pour preuve, voici une planche issue de sa BD intitulée Rock Story.
The Metal Mag N12 January - February 2016
Passion’s driving me, it’s a pleasure I release this new Issue. Hope to get a new one every two months, I get numerous mails and requests from facebook, reverbnation and all the social medias. It’s a long and hard work so I’m asking all the bands not yet in the mag to be patient Once again I bring you live video interviews, it’s also part of my passion since I don’t play in a band anymore. You can get access on the utube link on the site as usual. Few done at the AION I thank for let� ting me supporting bands.
Logo & Cover artwork @Franck Michaud
Been in a place in Bordeaux where I had the honor to meet BloodBound and Alestorm from Napalm Records and AFM records. Unfortunetly I haven’t been able to catch Sabaton. As you know if you read the reviews on the site miss Pagan Tordengav UK who gently re� view some of the bands from the underground are still with us despite her health issue, thank you lady. Welcome Tery Stalh who will interview bands to feature in the mag and plenty of good things coming in the next issue!
Thank you for watching, reading ;) The Editor : Franck Michaud
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#P.2-3 sleepy hollow #P.4-5 sarasin #P.6-7 dark symphonica #P.8 les lutins de l’art #P.9-10 leather leone #P.11-17 still square #P.18-20 Spreading the disease #P.21-22 Eternal voyager #P.23-24 Metal church #P.25-26 jessikill #P.27-28 helion prime #P.29-30 mike lepond #P.31-33 eynomia #P.34 live interviews #P.35 Reviews of the best albums #P.36 partners
http://www.metalzoneprod666.com The Metal Mag 13 Rue de la Sole - Apt 14 17000 La Rochelle France
1/what happenned during those years? why putting out an album in 2016?
Hello Franck I would like to thank you for helping us promote the new record. In late 2010 we all expressed interest in doing a reunion show. We had not been together as a band since the early 90’s. The word got out and it was incredible to learn about the fan base we still had. We started rehearsing, then writing, then we were signing a record deal with Pure Steel Records and High Roller records. It was a dream come true for all of us. We would finally release another chapter. Skull 13 was our comeback record in 2013. Tales Of Gods and Monsters is the next chapter for the band.
2/although your name is quite well known, you haven’t released many albums, what would you say made your fame? aren’t you afraid people might have forgotten you?
2016 will be the 30th year since the band was created. We took some long breaks for various reasons. The fans have always loved our unique sound. We have always had a great chemistry as a band and the music has always seemed to create itself. We have maintained our fan base over the years and gained a whole new group of fans.
3/have you had other line up changes over the past few years?
Since we have reformed in 2011 I am the last original member in the band. The current lineup has breathed a new life for the band helping us create a fresh darker record while maintaining our classic sound.
4/what is the idea around that new album? any story, musical way...
The new record Tales Of Gods and Monsters is a collection of stories about various gods and monsters from all time periods. Each song tells an individual story. Chapel did a great job with the lyrics on the new record.
5/you seem to sing a lot, is that the reason you called the album ‘tales’ isn’t hard to remember all this text?
I really do not know how he does it! Chapel is very passionate about his lyrics and puts a lot of detail into his words.
6/would you say the band kept its soul? the reason it’s been created first?
The band has evolved over the years. We have always stayed true to our roots and never strayed from the sound that our fans have loved.
7/why not creating a new band after all? Do you all play in other bands?
Sleepy Hollow has been my band since 1986. I wanted to continue the story which I feel we never completed. This new record is the vision I have always had for the band. Chapel and Rich are also in Altar Of Dagon. I am also in Dark Scary Dead Things and Black Box Symphony. Music is our lives!
8/let’s get back to that new album, how did you create the songs, have you searched for the right riffs, the best way to lay down the lyrics...?
The writing process for us has always been the same. I write the music and the vocalist writes the lyrics. The band chemistry has always been great and the music always seems to create itself. The new record was no exception. We never force anything. The result this time around is a fresh darker but still classic sound.
9/how did you get the cover artwork? did you send the songs to the artist?
Pure Steel wanted to use a piece of classic artwork. The cover is a 17th century painting. It is eerie how perfectly it fits the new record.
10/How would you describe Pure Steel Records? do you recommend them bands sometimes?
We love working with Pure Steel Records. Everyone at the label and the bands all work together. We have formed the Pure Steel Brotherhood wich is our network to support each other. Yes I have recommended some bands to Pure Steel. We are all passionate about Heavy Metal and keeping its spirit alive.
11/are you still using your old equipement or you went all digital?
I still use my Marshal amps and Gibson guitars. I do use digital processing for effects and we do take advantage of Digital Recording. It has made it possible to create the best record I feel we have done to this date.
12/would you have a LP version? do you still buy them?
I believe there will be an LP Version. Skull 13 is available as an LP. I love LPâ€™s and still collect them.
13/with the long time between albums are you good friends ? how do you keep in touch?
The original lineup has lost touch with each other. We all have families and are doing other projects. Thw current Sleepy Hollow lineup all live in Delaware and we are good friends,
14/Have you got a tour coming or you have to wait for the release of that album?
We are in the planning stages of a tour to support the new record as well as a video featuring the band. Details will be released soon.
15/are you dealing with social medias or you leave it all to the management? do you think the bandâ€™s name still exist cos of the internet?
I run all the social media sites that Sleepy Hollow has. I love communicating with our fans and staying on top of all the business we do. Being in a band called Sleepy Hollow on the internet is a little difficult. First there is the town than the movie and then the new television series. We get swallowed up in searches. It has also helped us tremendously to promote the band. A lot of old and new fans have connected with us because they saw us online. We have both old and new videos as well as pictures which everyone can enjoy. It is a great advantage to help us stay connected to our fans.
Roger Banks here, drummer from SARASIN, Thank you for the enthusiasm and interest in SARASIN 1/This is your second album , what happened in between? We continued to play locally for 4 years, found a new Singer Mike Wilson, continued to play changed our style back to our roots and got a little heavier with Mike’s voice it really lend the music to be heavier and more aggressive. We started to write for this record then Rob got sick (Rob Grant was the founding Bass player for the band) Rob was diagnosed with cancer and finally succumbed to it Sept 2012. We did a little soul searching then decided to keep this going, its what Rob wanted us to do..so we finished writing the CD recorded, shopped for record deal and 3 years later here we are..... time flies!!! 2/Why choosing Pure Steel for releasing this album? They approached us and we really liked the enthusiasm Pure Steel brought to us and their plan to help break us in Europe. We felt it a good opportunity. 3/Since it is a dedication to bass player who died, those songs were created specially or they were old ones reworked? The material is all new songs that were written for this release. Two songs we had initial ideas for just as Rob was getting ill but yes all new material. 4/is the band still going or it’s just one shot?! Oh Man!!! Going Stronger than ever we have the full line up , we are unified and all have the same goals and we are working harder than ever to make sure those goals are realized! 5/is the line up still original or a new line up came up? The line up is as follows myself Roger Banks- drums, Greg Boileau- guitars, Mike Wilson- vocals, Jim Leach-guitars and Les Wheeler-bass. 6/who wrote the lyrics? is there a whole story behind? Michael wrote all the lyrics, I love the work he did the lyrics come from conspiracy theories, world events past, present and predictions!! Check out In Our Image, Now.. and my personal favorite Wake Up..Outstanding stuff! 7/what represents the cover artwork? did you asked for it to be that way or you choose from different propositions? Mike found it on line, we contacted the artist and she was cool with letting us use it, we have a special thank you to her inside the CD and a link to her work. When we saw the picture.. the idea of being forever, eternity, circle of life, all came to mind and we thought it fit our mindset at this time. 8/have you all got other projects or playing in known bands? We all have done lots in the past but at this moment all efforts are for SARASIN! 9/you have a very 80’s style with sometimes modern rock parts, what inspired you? have you listened some few bands before recording?
We never have a planned conception or try to write a certain way specifically. we all wanted this to be heavier than the last CD, and it comes naturally, we love our core bands Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Zep, Saxon so when you hear those influences in comes to us naturally it is in our DNA. Any modern influence just comes from who we are and our ideas and how we play individually. 10/was it important for you to keep the bands’ name rather than creating a new one? what’s the future for Sarasin?! Again back to Rob, we wanted to keep the name alive for our brother! Our goal is to promote this new CD and get to Europe to play for the Metal/Hard Rock fans over there. That would be a honor and is our immediate goal for the future, hopefully not to distant future!! 11/there is a big influence in Black Sabbath is it just a hazard or intentional? That would be unintentional, thanks for saying that, we all love sabbath but again the influence is there but we don’t specifically try to imulate or sound like any one band. 12/can you talk a bit about your equipment? Yes, we have links to all our sponsors and endorsements on our website. myself I play DW drums, Dream Cymbals and Gongs, Regal Tip Drum Sticks and I use the Kelly SHU internal micing sysytem. The guys use Gibson Guitars, Warwick , Marshall, and Ampeg. 13/what do you think of the Metal scene in canada? have you got a strong support, bands who are friends...? The Metal scene in North America in general is tough, I do Not think it is nearly as strong as the scene in Europe. We really believe that we have something special to bring to the European Metal fans, we cant wait to play for the fans their and rip their heads off!! It will be like coming home...to all the fans in Europe we thank you for your support, without you we do not exist..we hope to see you very soon LIVE and LOUD! Roger Banks
Raoul Araji 1/Who started the band?when? • Trystan, our drummer, started the band with our former keyboardist Josh Vivian when they both set out to start a female fronted band. 2/you are mixing many Metal styles why choosing this name? • The original concept is that we would be a symphonic band, which of course is strongly implied by our name. We like to mix many elements of metal because we all have various influences in the band ranging from black, death, thrash, and even rock and pop. We never wanted to be a Nightwish clone, or to follow in the exact footsteps of those bands. We do have female vocals and orchestrations in common, but aside from that, we don’t want to be forced into a particular form of composition. Many of us are fans of prog, so that occasionally can be heard too. 3/have you all played in different bands before or your influences made that particular sound? • A few of us have played in bands before. The most note-worthy would be Sam our vocalist who was the last frontwoman of Alpine Fault. The combination of our individual influences certainly makes our sound overall. 4/Are they many bands like yours in Australia? what is it like for the Metal scene? • There are a few, but not too many. I’d like to think doing what we do is something a little bit fresh and different in a scene that’s quite dominated by more heavy and brutal styles of metal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, I love my death metal too, but at some shows we do stand out a bit having a female clean sung frontwoman. It’s never been a problem though as we’ve always been welcomed just as warmly as the next band, which shows a great open mindedness from the local scene. 5/have you searched for a specific vocalist?or it just happened that way? • We searched, and searched very hard for a female vocalist. For us, it always had to be that. 6/did contact labels? how did you release this album? Have you got a recording studio? • We’ve released our debut album “Immersion” independently, and currently run our own bandcamp online store and ship the cd’s out ourselves. It’s also available on iTunes and Spotify. It’s rare that a reputable label will take a chance on a metal band before their debut album these days, so we wanted to just do it ourselves for this one. We’re in no particular rush to find and contact labels right now as we’d like to establish ourselves a bit more before working with anyone else. We have a rehearsal room we rent out, but no recording studio. Everything was recorded and mixed at Anders Debeerz Studio with Adam Merker. 7/What are your lyrics about? are they all dark...what is the line if any? • Our lyrics naturally are quite dark. I suppose “melancholy” would be a good word to describe them. A lot of them were written a few years ago when we were a bit younger, so that teenage angst finds its way in there. 8/who did the cover design, all the artwork? • Luke from Shots for Bands did all of our artwork. Very talented guy!
9/have you got friends in the music business? • We would like to think so, haha! A lot of our friends also play in bands and have music as their passion, which is why we get along. 10/What has been the feedback so far? does everything comes from facebook or it just helps you keeping in touch? • Feedback has been great so far. We do rely quite a bit on facebook to keep in touch with the fans, and have our news spread through there. As a band early in their career, it’s a very convenient and cost effective method to build your name. It also helps that nearly everyone I know has facebook. 11/your album looks and sound very professional have you got skills that helps? • Thank you! We didn’t contribute any engineering skills to the CD, but of course we wrote everything ourselves and performed it. 12/is there one man behind the creations? how do you guys write the songs? • We all contribute to the songs in our own way. For most of the songs, it’ll start with an idea that I write out the guitar part for the whole song, but then everyone adds their own instrumentation to it. 13/what the melodic voice means for your music? was it necessary? • We definitely wanted a melodic vocalist. We felt it pretty necessary to include to achieve the sound we were after. 14/will you move on like Within Temptation keeping the female voice more present in the futur? • We’ll definitely continue making Sam’s voice the main vocal instrument, and I think we’ll be focusing on catchier melodic hooks for future songs. 15/do you do everything for the band or you have agents or people dealing with the gigs etc...? • We book our own shows, unless of course we get asked to play by another agent or band.
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1/What made you want to sing again with chastain?
1. I had been in touch with David in some way through out the years.....Much more during the making of “Imagine me Alive” with the Sledge Leather project. He had been a big help with business... That project never took off and we started talking about other ideas for me. Hence new Chastain came to be.
2/have you written the lyrics? what inspires you today?
2. I had more writing credit on “Surrender to no one”. The latest “We bleed metal “ is mostly David..I find inspiration through a melody. Most often guitar, but “Sledge Leather “ was written mostly on piano. I actually listen to the radio and sing my own melodies on top of someone else’s. The beauty of music is we all hear different sounds.
3/what happened between the last album of chastain ?
3. After Chastain in 1991 I floated around for a while. Tried to hook up with other bands. Nothing really moved me. I got into animal medicine. I got into pitbull rescue. It took over my life. I literally stopped going to shows or even listening to Metal. It had become extremely frustrating to me
4/your voice is stuck with chastain and everybody remembers the great albums, have you had other projects? the wish to sing something different?
4. As I stated earlier , I had done music with the” Sledge Leather Project”, but what all of you know me as is basically what I have done. Many offers , but nothing had moved me enough to get involved.
5/you are a big DIo fan although your voice is not really on the same line, have you learned from him?
5. I am heavily influenced by Dio. I learned a lot from him and I still do. Once I heard him and met him , I knew exactly what my voice was. And how to continue to work to achieve it.
6/you’ve been to the women festival with Veronica freeman, did you sing covers or you have a project together?
6. I sang a couple shows as a guest of Veronica Freeman. I sang a short set of Chastain material and “Kiss my lips” which is a song I sang with her on her solo record “Now or Never” 7/do you have your own mic and effects or you just use what’s in place? 7. I am a huge Shure microphone fan. Whether it be a wireless or an old fashion corded 58, I never travel without one.
8/can you recall a bit of your musical history? 8. I remember all of it. Singing in my church, moving to California, meeting Mike Varney, being in my first band “Rude Girl”, being introduced to David. Although I have never broken to the huge arena, I am truly blessed. I have been able to create incredible music, and share it with metal heads all over the world . 9. I do not play any instrument other than my vocal cords.
9/do you play any instruments?
10/who were your favorite artists that gave you the wish to sing?
10. I have always wanted to sing. I have been influenced by many . But when I was introduced to Metal world of Dio, Dickinson, And Tate I found my direction. 11/have you ever taken singing lessons? how do you get your voice still in perfect condition?
11. I have never taken vocal lessons per say. But as I decided to re enter the Chastain world I had met with a vocal coach to create a workout for my voice. I had been gone a long time and wanted to get back into shape properly . I also had not been singing for 20 years, so I had a long rest!!!
12/apart from singing have you got hobbies or activities?
12. My non music life involves enjoying and supporting nature . Being a hermit , movies, history and enjoying life. It is so short!,! Love and Dio
Francais en Blanc
English in Red
1/ Quel est l’élément déclencheur qui vous a poussé a faire cet album ? > > Thierry : Et bien on avait des compos, alors soit on se les gardait pour nous, soit on les enregistrait... c’est la seconde idée qui s’est imposée. >Pascal : Poursuivre l’aventure, jouer et interpréter une musique que l’on aime et que l’on respire, comment s’en passer...? 1/What is the reason to make this album? >>Thierry : Well we had some compos. so it was like we keep them for ourselves , or we record them...the second option was better. >Pascal : To continue the adventure, play and spread the music we love and we breath, how to get rid of that... 2/troisième album ça fait longtemps depuis le second, que s’est il passé ? > >Thierry : on est lents et pas très pressés, ça doit être pour ça. On a composé 12 morceaux, tout de même, ça prend du temps et on ne fait pas que ça dans la vie... > Pascal : On préfère se réunir pour bosser, à l’ancienne en fait, on n’habite pas tous dans le même coin, alors ça a pris du temps. Guy : Ecrire un texte c’est relativement rapide, mais c’est surtout l’adaptation à la structure du morceau qui peut poser problème et les dispos ne sont pas toujours les mêmes pour bosser. Faut faire avec. 2/third album it’s been a while between the last one what happened? > >Thierry : we’re quite slow and not really in a hury, that must be the reaon.We made 12 tracks, it takes some time and we don’t play only music in our life.... >Pascal : We rather be together to work, like the old days, we all live in different areas ,so it takes time. Guy : Writting lyrics is pretty fast, but to adapt the structure of the song might be a problem and we aren’t all available at the same time, we had to deal with it. 3/Le groupe s’appelle toujours Square ou Still Square ? > >Thierry : ça s’appelle Still Square, comme Toujours (restés) Square, malgré toutes ses années. > Pascal : Pour les puristes des années 80 c’est Square, sinon c’est officiellement Still Square.
Guy : Oui, c’est marqué sur l’emballage (rires) 3/The bands is still called Square or Still Square? > Thierry : it’s callled Still Square, since the beginning (kept) Square , although all these years. >Pascal : For the 80’s Die hard fans it’s Square, but officially it’s Still Square. Guy : yes , it’s written on the box (laugh) 4/êtes vous restés en contact ou vous avez cherché de nouvelles âmes ? > > Thierry : Depuis 1981, un certain nombre de musiciens sont passés dans le groupe, en 35 ans c’est normal. Une bonne base est restée en place. > Pascal : Pas d’âmes ici, depuis 2009, les petits nouveaux c’est Fab et moi, et on est bien vivants. Guy : un peu de sang neuf c’est excellent, demandez à Dracula..(rires) 4/Did you stay in touch or you search for new souls? > > Thierry : Since 1981, a lot of musicians changed in the band, in 35 years it’s normal. A good base kept together. > Pascal : Nos souls here, since 2009 the new guys are Fab and me, and we are quite alive. Guy : new blood is excellent, ask Dracula....(laugh) 5/La pochette montre un vieux disque, est ce pour faire référence a l’âge du groupe ou parce que vous avez gardé de vieilles compos ? > > Thierry : ça fait référence un peu à nos âges, mais aussi et surtout à nos influences musicales (oldies - goodies) et puis nous fêtons les 30 ans de l’album Rock Stars, le design y fait référence et aussi au fait que c’était un vinyle, à l’origine. Les compos, si elles sonnent old school sont toutes récentes. > Pascal : c’est aussi un rappel aux années de gloire du Hard Rock ou les vinyles étaient monnaie courante. Guy : On assume pleinement le fait que le soc de la charrue du temps ait creusé de profonds sillons sur nos visages juvéniles (rires). C’est un clin d’œil à nos débuts. 5/the cover shows an old vinyl, is it refering to the band’s age or you kept old songs? > > Thierry : it refers a bit to our ages, but most to our musical influences and we are celebrating the 30 years of the album Rock Stars. The design refers to it and it was a vinyl when it came out. If the songs sound ‘old school’ they are brand new. > Pascal : it’s a bit for the glory age of Hard Rock when vinyls were everyday’s life. Guy : we are assuming the old time’s clock has built scars on our young faces (laugh) .It’s a look back to our beggings. 6/comment avez vous connu Brennus ? Connaissez vous d’autres groupes dans leur catalogue ? > > Thierry : On a toujours connu Alain Ricard, je ne me souviens même pas ne pas l’avoir connu un jour... Je crois que toute la scène Metal française est passée un jour ou l’autre par Brennus. > Pascal : Mon grand père me parlait déjà de Brennus. Guy : Alain Ricard est une des figures intemporelles du Hard Français.
6/How did you know Bennus? Do you know other bands on their roasters? > Thierry : We always knew Alain Ricard, I don’t evern recall never knowing him...I think the whole French Metal scene has been one day on Brennus. > Pascal : My grand father talked to me about Brennus. Guy : Alain Ricard is one of the French Hard Rock legend. 7/jouez vous dans d’autres groupes ? quelles raisons de faire un album après tant d’années ? > > Thierry : pour ma part je joue dans un groupe de reprises Blues/Rock/Country qui s’appelle les Moonlight Swampers, on se produit dans des bars, des restos, des fêtes privées ou non... (voir le Face Book du groupe). Fabrice est multicarte, il trimballe ses baguettes partout où on a besoin de lui, c’est un vrai requin de studio, mais chez Still Square il bosse gratos (rires). Guy : non. Ça ne m’a jamais tenté de jouer ailleurs que dans Still Square. Et puis il ne s’est pas passé des siècles non plus entre le second et le troisième (rires) 7/Do you play in other bands? What is the reason to release an album after so many years? > > Thierry : as far as I’m concerned I play in Blues/Rock/Country cover band called Moonlights Swampers, we play in bars, restaurants, private parties....(check the faceboolk page) Fabrice is freelance, always hold his sticks everywhere where he goes and is needed, he’s a studio Shark, but he plays for free in Still Square (laugh) Guy : No. I never wanted to play except for Still Square. No centuries has past between the second and third album (laugh) Quelles raisons de faire un album ? Thierry : tu sais, un écrivain a besoin d’écrire et de publier ses bouquins, un peintre fait des expos, quand on crée quelque chose on a besoin de le montrer et de le matérialiser. Le garder pour soi n’aurait aucun sens. > Pascal : C’est aussi plus facile ensuite pour partager notre musique avec le public sur scène Which reason to release an album? Thierry : you know, a writer needs to write and edit books. A painter expose, when you create something you need to show it so to release it. Keep it for yourself wouldn’t have any sense. > Pascal : It’s also better to share it live with the public. 8/vous avez de grosses bases rock and blues avec un peu de heavy, est ce vos influences qui vous guident ou vous avez beaucoup joué de reprises ? > > Thierry : ben oui, ça on ne peut pas le cacher ! en ce qui me concerne, mes influences c’est Led Zep, Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd et tous les groupes de hard rock quand ils ont gardé des influences blues. J’ai joué et joue encore de nombreuses reprises mais on n’a jamais fait ça dans Square. > Pascal : On a pas tous les mêmes influences mais on s’est bien retrouvé dans ce style là. Guy : Notre musique est un mix de toutes nos influences. Le truc, c’est d’avoir le bon dosage.
8/You have big roots of rock and blues with a bit of Heavy, do your influences guide you or you played lots of covers? > > Thierry : yeah sure we can’t hide it. As for my influences Led Zep, Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and all the Hard Rock bands when they got blues roots. I played and still play covers but we never did it in Square. > Pascal : We don’t have all the same influences but we got together in that style. Guy : Our music is a mix of our influences. The good thing is to have the right dose. 9/êtes vous toujours en relation avec des groupes que vous avez connu a vos débuts ? > > Thierry : oui, on se voit à chaque festival, le dernier Vouziers est un bon exemple de ce genre de retrouvailles, merci William ! > Pascal : pour ma part je n’étais pas dans le groupe au début, mais quel pied de faire connaissance avec tous ces groupes ! Guy : Certains plus que d’autres, je pense à ADX en particulier (Phil, Betov et Dog) 9/Are you still in touch with bands you knew when you started? > > Thierry : Yeah we see them at each festivals, the last one at Vouziers is a good example for see friends thanks william! > Pascal : As far as I’m concerned I wasn’t in the band when it started , but such an awsome pleasure to meet all these bands! Guy : Some more than others, I think about ADX mostly (Pil, Betov, and Dog) 10/est ce que la réalisation de cet album a été facile ? Comment s’est passé votre enregistrement ? > > Thierry : non, ce n’est jamais facile, d’autant que pas mal de choses ont été arrangées finalement en studio. Du coup ça prend du temps et on a pas mal de discussions sur ce qu’il convient de faire. Dans l’ensemble, quand chacun y met du sien et est suffisamment ouvert pour écouter les autres ça se passe bien. >Pascal : Batailler pour se mettre d’accord et pour que le résultat n’en soit que meilleur, c’est l’adrénaline du studio. Guy : Le gros souci vient du temps que tu as pour enregistrer (lié en grande partie aux finances), mais on y arrive. 10/Is the making of this album has been easy? how was the recording? > > Thierry : No it’s never easy, most things have been arranged in the studio. So it takes a lot of time and a lot of conversation about what’s best to do. In the overall when each individual is willing to listen and accept changes it goes pretty well. >Pascal : Fighting all to agree on the same thing gives the best result and it’s adrenaline in the studio. Guy : The worst comes from the time you got to record (mostly linked to the finance) but we manage to do it. 11/comment on garde ses vieux fans après tout ce temps ? quel est le retour depuis ce nouvel album ? > > Thierry : on les garde parce qu’on les connait tous personnellement (hi, hi...). Je crois que Square n’a jamais été influencé par les modes qui passent, alors comme les vieux jean’s
ou les Perfecto, on passe au travers des mailles du temps et les gens qui sont comme nous aiment bien ça. Il semble que le nouvel album soit plutôt bien accueilli, > > Thierry : je crois que les compos sont pas mal... > Pascal : Les retours on l’air positifs, c’est grâce justement à notre public qui est parmi les plus fidèles après tant de temps. La fidélité ne s’explique pas, elle s’exerce. 11/How do you keep your fans after such a long time?what is the feedback so far with the new album? > > Thierry : we ‘re keeping them cos we know them personnally (laugh) I think Square never got influenced by the trends, such as old pants , we’re passing through times and people like us love it. Seems the album is well received > > Thierry :I think the compositions are good... > Pascal : Feedback is positive, because of our public which is “die hard fans”, you can’t explain this it just works. 12/vous avez joué avec des groupes de death metal et heavy, quelle a été la réponse des gens ? est-ce difficile de trouver des dates avec des groupes rock en France ? > > Thierry : je crois que les musiciens sont plus ouverts qu’on ne le pense, les styles se juxtaposent bien même s’ils ne se mélangent pas encore vraiment. Le public doit être un peu comme ça aussi, non ? > Pascal : il est plus enrichissant je pense de passer une soirée avec différents styles, le public aujourd’hui est de plus en plus ouvert. Thierry : oui, il est très difficile de trouver des dates qui puissent drainer du public et qui permettent aux groupes de jouer dans de bonnes conditions pour un public nombreux et bien traité par l’organisation. C’est le gros problème de la scène rock en France. Peu de gens veulent se mouiller pour ça. C’est pourquoi il faut tirer nos chapeaux à ceux, trop rares, qui le font, Phil’em all pour le PMFF, William de Vouziers (non, ce n’est pas un noble) Christian Veraz en son temps, Renaud Hantson pour son Satan Fest, les gars de Gang pour le Fismes festival et désolé pour ceux que j’oublie mais c’est peut être parce qu’ils ne nous ont pas encore invités… (rires) 12/You played with Death Metal and Heavy Metal bands, what is the response from the people? is it hard to find live dates wiht rock bands in France? > > Thierry : I think musicians are open minded, music styles got on pretty well even if they don’t really mix up. the public must be like this too ? > Pascal : I think it ‘s better to spend a night with different music style for your own good, and the public is more opened now. > >Thierry : Yeah it ‘s hard to find live dates that brings public and help the band to play in good conditions with a mass audience and really treated good by the organisation. That’s the problem in France with the rock scene. Few people are willing to do it. That’s why we must respect , rare and few , Phil’em all for PMFF, William from Vouziers (no he’s not noble) Christian Veraz back then, Renaud Hantson for his Satan Fest,the guys from Gang for The Fismes Festival and sorry for the ones I forgot but maybe cos they haven’t invited us....(laugh)
13/vous chantez en français comme très peu de groupes de metal, cela ne vous bloque-t’il pas? > Pascal : C’est l’ADN du groupe, pas de mauvais accent anglais comme ça. Guy : Non, j’écris en Français, c’est ma langue maternelle, j’arrive mieux à retranscrire mes idées, mes émotions, mon ressenti dans cette langue plutôt que dans celle de Shakespeare. J’avais tenté d’écrire en anglais, mais le résultat ne m’a pas satisfait, donc j’ai laissé tomber. 13/You are singing in French as few Metal bands, isn’t it a trap? > Pascal : it’s the bands’DNA, no bad English accents that way. Guy : No I write in French, it’s my mother’s tongue it ‘s easier for me to express my ideas, my emotions, what I feel in this language rather then Shakespeare’s one.I tried to write in English but I wasn’t satisfied by the result so I gave up. 14/quelle est la ligne des textes? comment vous inspirez vous? Guy : Je compose mes textes en fonctions de thèmes qui me viennent à l’idée. Le plus difficile étant de trouver le thème en question. De faire en sorte qu’il se marie avec la musique, et puis après de raconter une histoire. Cela peut venir d’un film que j’ai vu, un bouquin, une situation, un événement de la vie de tous les jours, c’est assez vaste. 14/What is the lyrics line? how do you get inspired? Guy : My lyrics come depending on the themes the ideas bring me. The hardest task is to find a theme. Getting it to deal with the music so it fits properly and then telling a story. Sometimes it could become a movie or a book, an event from today’s life it’s pretty wide. 15/ il y a t’il un seul compositeur ou tout le monde s’y met? > > Thierry : au départ, c’est un guitariste qui apporte un morceau plus ou moins terminé. Parfois il est adopté comme tel, parfois il est un peu transformé par le groupe, ou encore totalement transformé. C’est une bonne expérience de travail collectif. Il faut avoir les nerfs solides pour voir son morceau totalement déstructuré jusqu’à ne plus ressembler à rien du début. Mais c’est comme ça qu’on bosse en groupe, si on n’est pas prêt à ça il faut faire un album solo. > Pascal : L’œuvre d’une personne, qui au final devient l’œuvre d’un groupe de personnes, c’est beau. 15/is there one man’s creations or the whole band? > > Thierry : at the beginning a guitarist brings a song finished or not. Sometimes it’s accepted, sometimes it’s modified by the band or completly remade. It’s a good experience as a whole. You must be strong to accept having a song completely modified to end like nothing. But this is the way we work as a band, if you’re not ready then get your own solo album. > Pascal : one’s man creation that becomes a band’s creation it’s beautiful. 16/est ce que vous allez faire une tournée ? quel est le futur du groupe ? Guy : La tournée : cela dépendra surtout des organisateurs de concerts, festivals et autres tourneurs. Nous sommes ouverts à toutes propositions. Le futur immédiat, c’est de défendre notre album du mieux que l’on pourra en fonction des moyens que l’on nous proposera.
16/Have got a tour coming? whatâ€™s the futur for the band? Guy : the tour : depends mostly on the tour managers, festivals and else. We are opened to any propositions. The actual futur is to promote the album the best we can with what is given to us.
1/Steve why have you left the awesome Self Titled band? We were heading in different directions musically and did not see eye to eye on various things to do with the bands direction. We still are good friends and I have a lot of respect for the band and its members and happy to support them in their endeavours hereon. I have a lot of history with TST and good memories. 2/musically it is another direction, what made you want to get a more distorted band? I have always wanted to be writing metal music the heavier side I would say and felt that I was not achieving this hence I decided to form STD. I do like the heavier side of bands such as “Slipknot, stone sour, Rammstein, Pantera, Sabbs and Skindred to name a few and wanted to write songs that were contemporary with cool groove but have an anger behind expressing what we feel. 3/you almost taking the same logo ST have you participated of the creation? This was more to do with forming logos for the Drum kit than anything else ,we do have various different lo� gos I do hope it is sufficiently different from there’s to be distinguished. And no not really I did not have too much to do with the design, our guitarist Julien looks after logos, design of posters and handles the website generally he does a great job. 4/do you have a knowledge in music business? or you just have special faculty to see what to do for a band to get exposure? I have worked in the Industry on many platforms since I was very young , and became a professional musician abroad from an early age with relative success, and have worked with some amazing people over the years who have taught me a lot .And having managed major clubs on the Marketing and promotion side for ten years. I usually have a plan of action in my head and know approx. where I’m heading and when. 5/Have you written most of the music/ lyrics? how did this all happened? I met Edd our drummer through a mutual friend who I had not seen in years, then slowly through adds and recommendations including one from “Craig” from “Crashgate” who introduced me to Martin and Martin In� troduced us to Adam. It came together really quickly. I had a few songs already written so we developed those and wrote Bulldozer too. These guys have influenced these songs tremendously with their amazing input ,they are all very talented musicians and it is a pleasure working with them ,they are very creative. We are currently writing what will be a full album for the Summer all being well and that involves all the bands input and tracks are sounding great. 6/who made the cover artwork and does it represent the band or its lyrics? have you got a message?
I had a concept in my head which is basically is a World where the younger generation are getting rid of all the crap out there including the people screwing the World up with a sort of Mad max meets book of Elih sort of way. We have a couple of characters that kind of steer the story, one being “Flyboy” the child on the disc and the guide who looks after him. The artwork itself we use a very talented artist called “Shannen Pilling” who once given the ideas simply ran with it and created some great artwork. I suggested using Shannen as her art is kind of realist with a warped edge to it and sort of caricatureish .I think She hit the nail on the spot. 7/seems like Kent in the Uk have many musicians, you must know all of them? was it easy to get the whole band together? I know a fair few yes, and there are some great musicians and other talented people down here. It took a while to find Adam but we did want the right guy for the job. It did not take long no and I am very lucky to have found these guys. They work so very well together and get on with each other. This is very important to me to have a calm steady working atmosphere and that despite it being quite hard work it remains fun for all concerned. 8/what is your view on the Metal scene? Uk seem to have many bands, most are from already known musicians like you... The music Industry as a whole is very complex and I do think it has lost its way over the last years thanks to the internet in a very big way, it’s a wild card to handle and no one really knows how to grab it and make it work for the business we work in. I have my views on how it could be improved but enough to say I think it will take a concerted effort from all sides including the big boys of the internet too get together and thrash it out. I doubt I will see that in my lifetime now. It needs to create a way for everyone to earn from it and therefore invest in it again to make it sane. I feel for all musicians now as it is very tough out there and costs a lot of money to keep afloat and little in return. These days we need to be looking after the new/upcoming and unsigned independent artists for the future. 9/the music influence is very close to late Metal, are the musicians young or you just love the new stuff ? Not really ,we are all ages and no I’m not going to divulge lol. The influences are varied and it shows in the music and in the reviews as to how people see it .I like to think we play contemporary music that has a toe or two in the past too. I also think that many bands tend to keep re creating the same song over and over on the albums and I wanted to make sure that each song is fresh and appealing and that the listener is not sure what to expect nest and is excited at what he hears. I think we have achieved that to a large extent. The band members are all influenced by a very vast array of bands from all genres and all eras to be honest. 10/how did you create those songs, is it a band work or more individuals...? As mentioned, I had a few tracks already written to get us started however now we are all writing together and the music is coming together so well. We are very pleased. Everyone puts their part in and their ideas. 11/as you know bass players are always taken on the back of a band and guitarists and singers gets the light, do you play guitar? what do you like in your instrument? I guess originally I was, like many a frustrated guitarist. And had no one to work with when I started out. So having given up on playing six strings very quickly and almost on music, a friend lent me a bass guitar and I would play for hours on end alone for various years. Hence I am more of a lead bassist and songwriter out of necessity. These days I would not have it any other way .I love the bass guitar and its challenges, always learning and pushing boundaries. 12/do you have a music studio? you always have to rehearse in rented places? No, we use hired rehearsal space, an ol’ friend who has a very good rehearsal centre in Sandwich in Kent called AV Studios. I have known Trevor for many years and he loves what he does and looks after all the bands really well. We do however tend to do some pre production at Julien’s place in a small home studio once we have the songs put together so we can develop them further before recording.
13/are they any bands you are friends with and will support STD? Sure, The Self Titled and Crashgate for starters but I seem to get on with many great bands such as Resin, Breed 77, Beholder, Impuritas, Martyr de Mona and many many more who I have a lot of respect for, all of whom are very talented musicians and genuinely good people who love what they do. Of course we support them any way possible too. 14/would you say the feedback is better now or just di erent from earliest bands you’ve been into? Years ago securing Press and radio airplay was very di cult to achieve, and usually reserved for those that were signed artists mainly. These days ,and this is the beneficial side of the internet, you can reach out all over the World and network with endless contacts. I think that online radio stations and magazines are part of the backbone of this industry these days and are essential tools and connections for all new and upcoming bands. Were all I the same boat now so we all need to support and promo each other, working together to achieve end goals together. I personally thank every one of you/them for the support provided from Airplay and reviews, to connecting with fans, helping promote events and much more. 15/who is gonna release the album? We have released the EP online already it is available on our o cial website www.stdband.com We are doing an o cial release at the “Harp restrung” venue in Folkestone which is a great rock venue locally and then we intend to play as much as possible here and hopefully abroad. We have recently signed to “Equivalence Music” Management company and we are excited at the prospect of hopefully working together to that end. We should be releasing a video to support the single o the EP “Bulldozer” very soon too. We have decided at this point not to place our music on all the “Itunes, Spotify” sites as wrongly or rightly I have an issue with them and want to try and keep some exclusivity to the band and its product .not sure how that will pan out but we do wish to try and change things somewhat from what is the norm at the moment. If the right label came along with a sensible o er we of course would look to work with them.
1/You released your first album in 2014 although you started in 1998, was it a hard way? Did you think of stopping at any time at all? Well of course it was tough through the years, I never gave up, a lot of times I had to just wait to meet members, I moved around a lot, and I finally found the right guys to help get the music off the ground. Now it’s better than ever, I’m glad I never did give up, I couldn’t. The songs were too strong to just not do it 2/since you had many line up changes, is there still the first spirit of the bands soul? Definitively, nothing has changed about the true spirit, of the vision I have had for our band, it actually got better. I write all the music, so the members have not affected the vision I’ve had for it. Keeping that spirit alive is what makes this worth it for me. I love it. 3/have you rewritten the songs or recreated most of them? music has changed and musicians have different influences too?! The songs have changed and evolved over the years, there’s been many versions recorded as demos. Of course the best are what the album is today, but the feeling was always there. As I said before the muscians, always made it better as time went by, I do think the best versions are now, and how we play them live today! 4/Did you always wanted to create a story about a voyager? Well not exactly, the story behind the character on the cover came about, after 2005,and was more about the lyrics at the time before that. The name does refer to the cover character, but the names means a couple things as well. The eternal part means a never-ending or always moving forward and the voyager part means the journey or the all together the metal journey through life, the battle of life. It’s also about always growing and evolving through the journey but also staying true to yourself,and our quest. 5/seeing the titles of the songs it sounds like a book, have you written other stories how this is leading you? No I’ve never written any full stories more, or less just the lyrics turned into a story. It ‘s not a full concept album but more or a concept that will run thorough all our albums in the future as well as this one. It will evolve, the character as well, as he’s the mascot and will change with the evolution of each album 6/Did you have that artwork for a long time or you made it before releasing the album? I had drawn the idea before myself didn’t look exactly like what u see today, I had a hard time finding a good artist. It was Micah our vocalist/keyboards who drew the final version and put it together, a couple of months before the album was done, so it wasn’t a final thing until then, but it was close to my original idea. 7/Have you chased the labels? you prefer dealing on your own? I’ve applied to every lable out there, but nothing big or worth signing to, has come about. We have sales through a few distributors in Europe, but still existing for the right deal to come along. We really think the next album will get us more attention from labels.
8/do you have musicians friends you gig often or help you? Yes we used have a more vibrant scene and a lot of the bands we used play with our gone, but we still play with some and have made a lot of new friends and contacts for gigs now. It’s just changed a bit. 9/what are your favorite bands, the one inspired your band’s music direction? Well I have a lot everything from, dio maiden and priest to a lot of new bands. I like mostly power metal, but some black, thrash and folk have influenced me over the years it always growing. I’d say the most influential are iced earth, hammerfall, and maiden. The rest of the band have similar backgrounds but are much more diverse. I write many songs so the ideas are mine they just write around the skeletons of my songs and add their own input that way. 10/what has been happening since ? do you write new materials? Yes we are very busy on a the second album which is about half way done, and should be out sometime this summer if everything goes as planed. We have a lot of other plans to including a music video for the song winds of fire,from this fourth coming CD. The name of the next cd, will be titled darkened times, and will be a much more dynamic album that the first, I think it’s going to really blow the first one away but still carry on the story and style. So yes we are working very hard for the future of the band. Thanks so much for your time, best regards Brian Blake /eternal voyager
Jeff Plate: drums 1/Would you say your playing has changed /evolved other the years? If so how? Yes, of course. I mean... I hope so! Seriously, experience has a huge say in this. Everytime I get onstage, every time I’m in the studio, you take what you’ve done previously and build on it. In sports, when an athlete has a lot of experience, they say ‘the game slows down’, and the same applies here. I’ve used all of my experiences and the great musicians I have worked with to become a more mature drummer. I have learned that sometimes less is more, but keeping in mind there are certainly places to go off and use your chops. 2/Do you have a favorite sequence you like to play on Metal Church XI, what song? Not to be cliche’, but every song on this record is strong. Reset, Killing Your Time, No Tomorrow and Sky Falls In gave me a chance to open up and be more aggressive than some of the others. Others like Shadow and Soul Eating Machine are more straight ahead, but equally as powerful and fun to play. 3/How do you actually write the drums for a song? Kurdt sends me demos with programmed drums, and I take it from there. I get separate tracks- drums and music left and right- and this way I can listen to the riff and melody on their own, and at times I hear things completely different than what Kurdt had in mind. I send parts and ideas to Kurdt for his opinion and we make a decision on the final drums from there. After 11 years together, he knows my drumming style and I have a very good idea of what he’s looking for, so it goes pretty smooth. 4/can you tell us what experiences you gained between all the bands in which you played? I have been so fortunate to play in a number of very different bands. From my youth, playing rock covers, to playing in function/pop bands, blues bands, country bands and then on to metal, it has all given me a great library of styles to choose from. Obviously, when I joined Savatage in 1994, it raised the bar greatly. I was now in the company of very talented and professional musicians and writers and it made me become a better drummer and musician. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been unbelievable in this sense. Not only is the the group made up of tremendous singers and musicians, but we have also had the pleasure of performing with several of the world’s biggest rock stars, i.e. Steven Tyler and Roger Daltrey. Moments of a lifetime. And Metal Church, I think it goes without saying, but I feel privileged every night to get onstage and play some of the best Metal music ever written. And the drumming is not easy! I put a lot of work into playing this music as well as I can. 5/can you say you’re now officially a member of Metal Church? Do you still have participation with other bands? Yes, I think that would be true several years ago. I have now been here 11 years, Kurdt is one of my best friends and we have talked extensively about the future of the band and how we will go about reaching our goals. We have every intention of riding this out as a team. I have been the drummer for Savatage since 1994, and a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra since it’s inception in 1996. I record and perform with them annually. Our Winter Tour is a huge success every year, there seems to be no end in sight! At home, I teach and play locally in a cover band with musicians/friends I have know since I was a teenager.
6/what does your drum set consist of? Have you changed it over the years? I am endorsed by Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vater Drumsticks Cympad Cymbal Felts and TKL Cases. I also use Roland Vdrums with TSO. TSO TD10 Sound Modules KT-10 Trigger Pedal 3 PD-128-BC 12” V-Pad (1 for snare, 2 for floor toms) 3 PD-108-BC 10” V-Pad (for rack toms) 2 KD-140 Kick Pads 2 CY-14C-MG Cymbal Pads( for effects) Metal Church Pearl Maple Masters Custom Drums 10”, 12”, 13” Rack Toms 16” & 18” Floor Toms 2 18”x22” Bass Drums 2 14” Sensitone Snare Drums Remo Pinstripe, Ambassador, Controlled Sound and Powerstroke 3 Drumheads Home Studio Setup: Pearl Birch Reference Hardware ALL PEARL Eliminator Powershifter P-2000C Bass Drum Pedals H-2000 HiHat Stand 2030&1030 Series Boom Stands Icon Drum Rack VATER 3A NYLON DRUMSTICKS w/ GRIP TAPE TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA / Metal Church Live Zildjian Cymbal Setup (*=only TSO) L to R Small Zil-bel*, Large Zil-bel* 16” Spiral Trash* 17” K Hybrid China 18” Z3 Crash 16” Z3 Crash 19” K Hybrid China 14” Mastersound Hihats 17” Z3 Crash 9” K Custom Hybrid, 11” K Custom Hybrid E, F, G, D, A Crotales* 17” Z3 Crash 19” K Hybrid China 14” Projection Hihats* 22” Z Custom Power Ride 16” Z3 Crash 18” Z3 Crash 18” Oriental Trash China* 19” Z Custom Crash* 18” Spiral Trash* For my studio and local gigs, I use A Customs and K Custom Hybrids
1/who created the band, how did you get together? 1. Jessica Espinoza created the band in October of 2012. With rotating members up until the summer of 2015. This line up has been the official established line up since then. 2/your EP is such perfect, have you all played in other bands before? 2. Thank you first of all. All of the members in this band are definitely experienced musicians who’ve been in other bands prior to JESSIKILL. 3/you have 6 songs,have you created more masterpiece? which covers do you play on stage? 3. In addition to the 6 songs on the EP, yes we do have more original material that we are playing at our live shows preparing everyone for our upcoming full length album. We rotate some covers at shows from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, DIO, Black Sabbath, and Queensryche. 4/one song has a male singer, who is he and why doing it? are you trying to see what will be working or doing like todays bands? 4. Arturo Alvarado is our bass player in JESSIKILL. We feel that Arturo has a very unique and timeless voice. He sings as a special treat here and there for our audience. 5/where comes from the cover artwork? why this choice? 5. Arturo Alvarado is our graphic designer. We all agree on the particular art work for the most part, fortunately we all have the same liking. 6/you seem very all talented in your field have you attended music school? 6. None of the members of JESSIKILL have attended music school. 7/you already shared the stage with big headlines, how did it happen since you haven’t got an album yet? 7. All of the shows we’ve been booked for prior to the EP were based on the recognition of our live footage, videos on Facebook, and YouTube. 8/ is it easy to have a metal show in texas? do you have to play outside to gain fans? 8. Texas is a very Metal state. Metal is greatly appreciated down here. With media exposure, including online videos, magazines, and interviews, we’ve been fortunate enough to receive the recognition and exposure that we need to get us known well enough for the time being. 9/you seem to have already a good fanbase in the states have you got lots in europe? 9. So far our music has been distributed internationally and we’ve received plenty of great feedback from Europe.
10/jessi who are your favorite singers, as you have a power voice mixed Bitch/leather leone/dio...?! 10. My top favorite singers are DIO, Michael Kiske, Russell Allen, Eric Adams, Bruce Dickinson, Tom Araya, Pat Benatar, James Hetfield, Ann Wilson, and of course Rob Halford. 11/are you doing it all yourself? (cd shirt...) 11. So far we’ve had some backing support from our personal friends who’ve put the money down for our shirts and of course we’ve paid them back for whatever they put in. As for the EPs we paid for them ourselves by playing live shows and posting a link to order our Eps and merchandise at Jessikillofficial.com. we’ve gotten the attention of Online Metal Promo, Metal Magazines around the world, and into the hands of legendary musicians in the industry. 12/how do you write the lyrics? have you got a story? 12. Inexplicably, the lyrics to all the songs on Metal Knights just so happen to fall in place together telling a story, completely coincidental, because of the way we feel and relate. 13/is the whole band participate in composition? how do you write the songs? 13. The EP METAL KNIGHTS was our first experience as an established band and the writing process for this particular EP was done by Jyro Alejo, Jessica Espinoza, Arturo. We look forward to creating a full length album with the entire bands input and creative juices and influences. 14/what is your gear ? 14. We use, Line 6, Jackson. Charvel, SURE, PDP by DW, EV .
All questions answered by J ason Ashcraft besides numbe r 11 answered by Heather Mich elle
1. How did you get together?
We formed when I wanted to try and do a different project outside of Dire Peril. I approached Heather Michele about the idea and from there we wrote the first song “The Drake Equation”.
2. Who writes the lyrics?
Up until this point Heather has written all the lyrics. I will write the music and usually come up with the title and/or theme of what I want the song to be about. From there she will take it and create the lyrics.
3. Did you write the music before getting musicians together?
Heather has always been there from the beginning. The album was complete and we had already started production on it before we completed our line up with Jeremy and Justin.
4. You say your power metal but have other influence are you listening to lots of music?
There are a lot of different bands and genres I am influenced by and though we may categorize ourselves as power metal we are in no way restricted to just that. A few of my top artist are Arjen Anthony Lucassen and Devin Towsend who certainly do not fall under power metal. I also love older bands like Boston and Queen where some influence is taken from.
5. Talk about the space universe idea. Are you an alien?
Sadly, no. I am not an alien. Though to an alien I would be an alien. Well we don’t limit ourselves to just space really though it is a reappearing theme because we are both huge fans. The main theme behind Helion Prime is singing about science fact but we aren’t going to limit ourselves to just space.
6. Who did your album art?
The album art was done by Marc Whisnant of Brilliant Engine. He did a fantastic job. We approached him asking for a vintage look like that with old sci-fi films or books and I believe he nailed it.
7. How does it feel to have met and worked with some of your idols?
It’s been amazing. They have all been very cool to work with and enthusiatic about doing it which is a great feeling. I have got in contact with most by simply emailing them and asking if they would be interested.
8. Do you think you are emprisoned in your own music stlye withy our band?
Asbolutely not, we write what we like and don’t limit ourselves to anything. All of us play in other bands as well that allows us to get other creative juices out that way.
9. How did you get all the musicians to join your project?
I have been friends with everyone in this band for some time now so when it came time to find members the pieces really just fail together on their own.
10. Do you plan to gig with this album?
Yes. We have two release shows planned for the end of this month as well as a few others coming up. I personally would like to do a second tour behind this album as well later this year. If everyone can make the scheduling work that will be a lot of fun.
11. How do you do your vocals?
Well there are a few parts on the album where my voice has a vocal effect on it, and Carlos, our engineer, used some sort of light reverb on my vocals throughout the album, but most of the “changes” and “effects” are all me. I layered my vocals with multiple harmonies, sometimes up to 8-10 vocal tracks to achieve the end result. So I spose I worked my vocals by just layering the heck out of them.
12. Can you tell us your favorite bands or ones that inspired you?
I’ll just go ahead and give you a top ten list: Ayreon, Devin Towsend Project, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, Edguy, Queen, Boston, King Diamond, and Symphony X
13. Was it easy to write all the tracks?
For the most part I want to say yes. There were a few that took some time or i would go through some spells of not having ideas or inspiration.
14. Are there label interest? Will you do more albums?
As it stands now it doesn’t seem we have any label interest although we haven’t tried very hard just yet. More album will happen I already have our next two mapped out in my head.
15. Do you have access to recording studios? How did you mix the album?
We actually did all the recording (besides drums) at home and sent them off to Dirty Viking Audio Productions that is run by Carlos Alvarez for the editing/mixing. We had it mastered in france by Brett Caldas-Lima of Tower Studios.
www.helionprimemetal.com Heather Michele -Vocals Jason Ashcraft - Guitars Jeremy Steinhouse - Bass Justin Herzer - Drums
1/how come a great musician like you decided to release a solo album? 1, My first love has always been classic heavy metal and it was my dream to release an album in this genre. When Symphony X released our Iconoclast CD in 2011, I found my chance. During those two years of touring I was able to write all the music so I could begin recording during our downtime. 2/was it easy to convince the musicians to play with you? must have taken time!? 2. When I was ready to find musicians, I didn’t want to just e-mail the song to someone far away and have them mail it back. I wanted to be in the studio with them so I needed to find the best talent from where I lived.Luckily for me, there are many great musicians where I live here in New Jersey, USA. 3/you have created the guitar parts, did you propose them to get changed? or you had all in mind... 3. Even though I’m a bass player, I wrote all the guitar riffs and recorded them. When I got into the studio some things had to be changed but mostly whatever I had in my head got recorded. When it came to the lead guitar playing, I let the guys do whatever they wanted to do and it worked out great. 4/this album is excellent , would you say you know all the secrets on how to make it? 4. This was the first time I had to do everything for an album. Write, record, produce, artwork and everything else. I learned so much from the experience. I think the key to making a great record is the flow of the music. It has to take the listener of a journey. They have to not get bored. 5/what’s the story behind the concept? will it become a real band? 5. This CD has nine tracks, each with their own concept. All the songs are based on either history, mythology, or literature. These epic tales work great with heavy metal music. I want to make this a real band that can record and tour when Symphony X is off the road. 6/What’s the meaning of ‘silent assasins’ title? how long have you been writting lyrics for ? 6. Silent Assassins has two different meanings. In the title track of the album they were the Greek warriors who were hiding inside the Trojan horse. I also call the musicians who played on the record, my Silent Assassins. It’s a much cooler way to to say it than Mike LePond and friends. 7/how did you choose the right singer? 7. I met Alan Tecchio in 2010 when we were playing together in a band called Seven Witches. I loved his vocals because he had a tough metal voice, and he could sing so well. I knew this would be perfect for me. I approached him with the songs and he loved them. He really kicked ass on the CD. 8/musically you are close to the eighties, did you want to get another sound from symphony X?! 8. I wanted to create a heavy/power metal record that contained 1980s style riffing but mixed with the keyboard orchestrations of the modern day. I think was a unique mixture that made the music sound fresh and new. Alan’s voice also added the rough edge that not many bands are doing these days. 9/how do you see your writting compared to the ones you usually do? do you use different instruments , effects? 9. The style of guitar riffing on the Silent Assassins record is much different than Symphony X, but the keyboards and orchestration are very similar. Besides the bone crunching guitar, we both tend to use ancient and exotic instruments to really give color to the sound.
10/have you played in other bands or still do? how do you find the time with your project and your band? 10. I am a workaholic so I do many different projects with musicians from all over the world. I am always very busy with Symphony X and Silent Assassins as well. The only way to keep up with all of this is to be very organized and it requires many hours of practicing to remember all the songs. 11/gernerally solo albums are done when a musician is kicked out of his band, would you say you are free with your label compared to most musicians? 11. With all the illegal downloading/sharing these days, my label and my band understand that it is extremely hard to make a decent living in the music industry so they support all my musical projects. Playing with different people also makes me a better bass player and song writer. 12/you have several lead guitarists on the album, was it what you wanted or it just happened cos the schedules of musicians? 12. For the lead guitar situation I wanted two players that were totally different. Metal Mike(Halford, Testament) is more of an in your face, attitude type guy. My band mate Micheal Romeo is more of a thinking man’s guitarist and technician. Their different approaches gave the CD so much depth. 13/what’s the view of your bands mate about that project? 13. My band members really liked the songs because it reminded them of their influences from years ago. They helped me in any way they could and I feel very happy and blessed to have their friendship besides the music. 14/can you tell us about your gear and why you chose them? 14. I am endorsed by Caparison guitars, Peavey amplification, and D’addario strings. These are good solid companies and they have treated me well.
1/who got the idea for the band? how did you all got together? It was my idea for the Eynomia project. I had some songs that I had written. It started out as my solo project. We all connected via Facebook. 2/are you all in other bands? how do you find the time to record ? Yes most of us are in other projects. Mike LePond the bass player for the “Eynomia” project is the bassist for “Symphony X” for who is on tour over in Europe right now promoting their newly released CD “Underworld” He also has his solo project “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” Chris Bickley - guitar player. Chris also plays with in Christine Ohlman’s band who has been the house singer for “Saturday Night Live” for over 25 years. , and Rebel Montez, Intuition and Thunderhead, Chris is working on his second CD to be released in 2016. Jimmy Pitts - Keyboards Jimmy is a session player as well as recently released projects with “Eternity’s End” (Christian Muenzer), Pitts Minnemann Project (with Marco Minnemann) and The Fractured Dimension). Gaetano Nicolosi - Drummer - Gaetano is a session player along with drumming for Ron Keel of “Keel” and several more big artists. Gaetano has also been recording several projects with the Italian virtuoso bass player Dino Fiorenza, and recording as well many projects with the Italian guitarist Nino Cardullo, and I also do a lot of session work for many other artists worldwide. As far as finding time to record we work between tours and and sessions sending files back and forth to each other as we are all located in different states. 3/is there already an album or you all working on it? We are in the process of recording the debut CD for Eynomia called “Break Free” which will feature 8 songs. 4/Rutter how do you lay your vocals , do you have already the melodies or you just work with the musicians ? what inspires your lyrics? I’ve been recording my vocals at Logic Records in Minnetonka, Minnesota with the fantastic Brian Bart as the engineer. The songs that are going to be on the CD hav been already written with one of my co-writers Rich Lassahn. The song Till We Meet Again was co written with Chris Bickley. Songs are usually started with a guitar riff or riffs. I help structure the song and think of a melody line to go with and then lyrics. Sometimes I have words written before hand and have a melody line in my head. A Lot of times I use the app on my phone to record the melody quickly so I don’t forget it. The inspiration for the lyrics on this CD comes from personal life experiences and relationships. The listener can interpret their own personal take on what the lyrics mean to them but each song has a true story behind it.
5/the bands logo is the same as MIke’s album, did he cope with the image and sound of the band? When deciding on the logo, I wanted something metallic and whimsical looking. I had examples of chrome, gold, silver and multi colored metallic looking fonts as well as different font styles to pick from. I actually sent a sheet with the different logos and colors for the others working on the project to get their input on what to choose and we all agreed on what you see now as the “Eynomia” logo. Mike LePond liked the songs and the direction that I was going in. “Eynomia” is different than “Symphony X” and “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” as Symphony X is progressive metal and MLSA is more on the classic metal side of things. “Eynomia” I would say is in the vain of symphonic rock/metal, power metal with classical influences. 6/will you do all by yourself or going for a label? As of now everything is being done by me, When the project gets closer to being completed there has been talk about shopping it to a label. 7/what are the bands you like that gave you the wish to go for that melodic music? I’m strongly influenced by European female fronted metal/symphonic metal bands. Some of my favorites are “Within Temptation”, “Nightwish”,”LaCuna Coil”, “Amaranthe”, and “Delaine”. 8/will there be a tour after the album released? There has been talk about a tour that is still in the works. I will know more closer to the release of the CD. 9/you already have a very interesting trailer that wish for more, have you done a video too? A video has not been made as of yet. There is a plan to do one when the project is mixed and mastered and we’ll come to a decision then as to what song. I would personally like to see the song “Cleansing” done. 10/how its like to work with MIke? have you already work with him or jammed? Mike LePond is one of the most professional musicians I have ever worked with. Pretty much everything he touches turns to gold. I have been truly blessed to be able to work with him (as the others as well) . He is a super humble , nice genuine guy with a sweet sense of humor. This is the first project that I have worked on with him. I was honored to be able to record him recording the song “Break Free” that he recorded here in Minnesota. There is a clip of him playing it on our Facebook page as well. 11/where do you record? how long does it take? As I mentioned earlier in the interview, my vocals are being recorded at “Logic Recording” with Brian Bart as the engineer. On a good day i can do a song in 1 or 2 takes and then go back and fix anything if it needs to be redone. So a song can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to do. 12/is there a story like a book or it’s just lots of cool songs? There is no storyline to this CD but songs I think that people can relate to with their own personal experiences. 13/does the keyboard is like another guitarist or just giving atmosphere to the music? Most of the leads have been done by the guitarist Chris, but I might surprise Jimmy and ask him to rip on a solo as he is the keyboard shredmaster! haha.. Jimmy’s keyboard parts have given the foundation to the symphonic epicness to the songs. He is an over the top player!
14/who will make the cover album? is there a relation to the symphonic melodic bands ones? I have just spoken with my friend from Brazil Paulo Andre’ about the CD art. Paulo has made us two “Eynomia” logo videos that are on our Facebook, YouTube channel, Reverbnation page and Website for anyone to view. He also creates lyric video’s. He did one for “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” songs as well. The concept of the art will be about breaking free from things that are holding you back in your life as that is the title of the CD…”Break Free”. 15/do you play heavy guitars and pounding drums? would you like softer riffs? The songs have heavy chunky guitars with drum parts that have double kick. Strings on the Keys that mimic a full on orchestra. Mike’s melodic bass lines have a classical influence with beautiful melodic melodies. My vocals are melodic and clean with some raspiness in some of the songs. All these parts together create what Eynomia is. https://www.facebook.com/eynomiaband/ https://www.reverbnation.com/eynomia https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKS4CF3sWBPFSfeIGA3HESw https://twitter.com/eynomiaband https://www.facebook.com/mike.lepond?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/mikelepondssilentassassins/?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/jimmy.pitts3?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/chrisbickley78?fref=ts http://chrisbickley.net/ https://www.facebook.com/gaetano.nicolosi.5?fref=ts http://www.gaetanonicolosi.com/
nd two e p s s d n a b “Some to reio d tu s e th months in t! cord, we don’ e and when m o h t a y ta s ‘we we just s e m o c n o ti inspira others e th to t n e s d write an by skype” -Eliott
“The horns are real they grow up before the show then they ‘re go ne after the show” -Patrik“The last album cam e out in Autumn 20 14 ,we released a live D VD two weeks ago” -Tomas-
REVIEWS Some of the best for 2016 but check the site for all bands The phoenix:”My turn to deal”MCD 2016 Demon Doll Records. Italian Hard Rock band. The girls have been active for years as cover band and decided to create their own songs. Four tracks of really good rockin tunes, the cover shows already the RNR attitude ;) Awesome MCD even if two songs are close to Crucified Barbara ‘s tracks, they have a smoother sound with a big 80’s touch. Basically they have that Glamish soft but well produced style, a mix of Vixen, NO Shame, The Scorpions and Joan Jett straight to the point riffs. really good and I’m sure they will evolve to a bigger level and gain a wide audience. This is for all female musicians lovers and there is a very good solo that will kick you down! Get that masterpiece and follow the ladies , rock to the top 100/100 Jessikill:”Metal Knights”MCD 2016 self produced. USA Power Metal.Those texans have made one of the best band I’ve heard for a while! The keyboard intro sounds like Within Temptation then it blows you away ‘till the end, couldn’t stop listening to it! Pounding drums, melodies and great solos but the most amazing is the singer, wow she gots gutts with power and melody. This is just kicking your ass so bad i wish they get a good label and get recognition for the good work. Only 6 tracks but man it kills you.No doubt they chose this name. She has in her voice a mix of Dio, Leather Leone, Bitch. Sometimes hight pitch vocals, influences ranging from Symphony X, Judas Priest, Majesty....some powerful solos in the vein of David Shankle just killing all the way!!! you gotta have that masterpiece voted best album for February by Metal Zone Prod.666 100/100 Product of hate:”Buried in Violence”CD 5 February 2016 Napalm Records. USA Thrash/Death Metal band. First we can say they have a wish for destruction in your bands name, and the cover shows a war after the bombing. We can hear in their music that feeling, they have a good Thrash base like Testament and Exodus. A strong and compressed voice with from time to time screamings and blasting riffs. Some quite moments with melodic singing completed with nice solos that somehow cools down the album and gets you relaxed but it doesn’t stick long as it’s mostly blasting punch in your face with drums triggers such a train driving very very fast. Some technical parts ‘a la Mesuggah” few influences from todays metal which will please the new kids.Mixed by James Murphy so it can only be good, we feel the influences from Darkane, Arch Enemy...(mostly Germanic or Nordic) a bit of Grind in the voice and a good mix of brutal and extreme metal. Everyone will find his pleasure, eleven tracks wiht a melodic part but not too much. This gonna kill you! 95/100
Split Heaven:”Death Rider” CD 25 March 2016 Pure Steel Records. Mexican Power Metal band. There is no need to introduce the band, always true to their music although like many line up changes. The band keeps the ‘cowboys’ attitude from their previous album but with a new singer ( Skelator) to bring high level album. A really good painted cover! Pounding drums and high pitch vocals they surely have reached todays’ standard perfection. A big influence from Judas Priest mixing WASP, Grave Digger, even sometimes Queensryche a some point, the last song beeing sung in Mexican. You’re gonna have to wait a bit to hear that masterpiece. 100/100
To be continued.... on the website many great albums to check!!!
HEROES NEVER DIE Lille (espace Foire 1989) France
IZA le gabut la rochelle France
Monsters of Rock (Donington Park August 1985) Uk
Published on Mar 2, 2016
The Metal Mag n12 January - February 2016 -Sleepy Hollow -Sarasin -Dark Symphonica -Leather Leone -Still Square -Spreading the disease -Ete...