To date, we have conducted 1103 interviews. If your band is available for an interview, feel free to contact us and we'll see what we can do. Here are our latest:
While UK doom outfit Conan doesn't spend its days cleaning blood-stained battle axes or lounging on jewel-crusted thrones, the band's collision with nylon chords and shimmering cymbals shows their favor with Crom, the god of R.E. Howard's literary creation, "Conan." Moving with the long stride of ancient, forgotten giants, Conan returns with its second full-length "Blood Eagle."
Armed with the experience of several EPs and splits, the UK group now fly the banners of Napalm Records, thus widening the scope to include a larger throng of doom/drone/fantasy fans. In anticipation of the album which arrives on March 11th in North America, the band released a video for its track, "Foehammer."
In the following conversation, vocalist, guitarist Jon Davis reveals clues into the band's sonic alchemy known as "Blood Eagle."
Florida's death metal behemoth Massacre returned from the grave to release the "Condemned to the Shadows" EP back in 2012, and now a proper full-length album is on the way. "Back From Beyond" is due out March 24th in Europe and on April 1st in North America via Century Media Records.
Excited to spread the word about the coming album, bassist Terry Butler contacted Metalunderground.com to talk about how this album came together, and how the sound of the band has changed since the departure of former vocalist Kam Lee. Check out the full interview below.
From the operatic range of Ronny Munroe's voice to the tight presentation of guitarists Rick Van Zandt and Kurdt Vanderhoof, Metal Church's performance at Backstage Live in San Antonio brought to mine the term professional. Songs like "Ton of Bricks," "Gods of Wrath" and "Metal Church" whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Some of these songs have held their fans in thrall for thirty years.
Besides legends like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Kiss and Metallica, few metal artists have the power to stay relevant like Metal Church. In fact, if it weren't for Metallica guitar tech and then-Metal Church guitarist, John Marshall, stepping in as James Hetfield's guitar hand on tour (Hetfield burned his hand on a stage pyro), Metal Church would have never made its way into my ears.
The group's success isn't linear, though, as the group has stepped away from the big lights a couple of times. Their most recent hiatus came in 2009 after releasing "This Present Wasteland." The group issued "Generation Nothing" last year and followed the release up with a reunion show at 70,000 Tons of Metal. Now that the band has returned to its former glory, they've assailed North American crowds with their no-bullshit-brand of true heavy metal. Before speaking from the book of heavy metal in San Antonio, vocalist Ronny Munroe and I grabbed the green room at Backstage Live to Metal Church's experiences on the road and the events that helped make the tour possible.
Kamchatka - the Swedish hard rock trio featuring bassist Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth) - has now released a fifth studio album titled "The Search Goes On" via Despotz Records.
Metalunderground.com got in touch with Per to discuss how this album came together, the band's new label home, and his handling of both the production and artwork for "The Search Goes On." You can pick up your copy of the album right here, and read our full interview with the band below.
There is a certain irony in publishing an article on the World Wide Web discussing man's ruin via technology. It's hard to refute Mike Scalzi's point, though. Slough Feg's founding member conceived the central idea pertaining to his latest release "Digital Resistance" (released last week, February 18th on Metal Blade Records) while observing his students lose mental capacities due to obsessive cell phone use. Technology can be a crutch for us to lean on, if taken away, we lose the ability to perform certain functions (such as math and retention). Today, technology advances at such a rate that can prove confusing and frustrating, especially to those not accustomed to change.
Sci Fi and fantasy aren't exactly new influences in the realms of metal, but easier to notice through Slough Feg's eccentric sound. Their music contains a familiarity to band's like Queen, but done with circus organs and primal percussion. Slough Feg albums are humorous in some instances, while gravely serious in others. You don't believe me, just read Scalzi's thoughts in the following interview as he expresses some of the ideas held within "Digital Resistance."
Back in 1998, Chris Bay and former Gamma Ray drummer Dan Zimmerman created Freedom Call. Zimmerman has since departed in 2010 following the release "Legend of the Shadow King." For the past sixteen years, Freedom Call has taken the "happy power metal" formula of Gamma Ray and made it even more cheerful. With bombastic infectious choruses that especially shine in an interactive live experience, Bay has embraced this "happy metal" title and adopted it as a theme. In the word of metal, it seems that years of portraying evil and negativity have caused any act that chooses to be positive and cheerful to come under fire for "not being cool." Chris Bay has a different message for the fans - enjoy life, get "beyond" yourselves and embrace a positive outlook.
The band is set to release the new album "Beyond" on February 24th (EU) and March 4th (USA) via Steamhammer/SPV. Chris Bay took some time to answer questions about the new album, the return to a heavier style and the band's positive philosophy.
Long running California brigade Hirax doesn't show any signs of stopping or even slowing down, as the band's newest offering of old school thrashtastic metal "Immortal Legacy" is due out March 4th in North America and February 24th in Europe via Steamhammer/SPV.
With the album due out shortly and Hirax on the verge of a European invasion, I chatted up vocalist Katon W. De Pena about what the band has been up to lately and what fans can look forward to on this new release.
Check out the full interview below for his thoughts on touring South America, the process of recording "Immortal Legacy," and the album's epic cover artwork.
After the band's debut self-titled EP back in 2010, Greek outfit Allochiria has finally unleashed a full-length titled "Omonoia," which incorporates elements of everything from psychedelic rock to sludge-seeping doom.
With the new album dropping last month, Allochiria got in touch with Metalunderground.com to discuss the full-length's recording process and let fans know what they can expect from this latest opus. Read the full interview below with Allochiria's bassist Ted.
Dark Tranquillity has stayed busy since releasing "Construct" last year. Among this promotion is a tour with Darkane (support in Sweden) and Tristinia in 2013 and the heavy metal cruise, 70,000 Tons of Metal at the beginning of this year. The group is currently travelling throughout North America with Omnium Gatherum and Exmortus in support.
Although At The Gates, In Flames and Dissection appeared in North American venues before their Gothenburg brethren, DT has proved the most enduring. In addition to maintaining the same core members since the beginning, DT has (arguably) remained closer to its original sound than these titanic artists, albeit a denser, more synthetic version than heard upon onset. Goth/industrial sounds have pushed aside black and death metal tendencies. Still, the band acknowledges the worth of these early recordings, as evidenced streaming their first two recordings "Skydancer" and "Of Chaos And Eternal Night" on Bandcamp.
This topic as extensive travel plans, new tour merch, rejoicing with In Flame's alumni and the lasting effect of early recordings are addressed in the following interview with guitarist/artist/core member, Niklas Sundin.
In our last interview with a heavy metal audio engineer, Eyal Levi of Audiohammer Studio, we dug into the thrilling world of modern heavy metal recording and mixing, as well as heard about his upcoming online “Advanced Drum Production” clinic through CreativeLive, where viewers can stream educational clinics live with music industry veterans. You can read that interview here. This time, fellow CreativeLive instructor Jesse Cannon of Cannon Found Soundation Studios in New Jersey imparts several choice bits of knowledge in that area in an interview with Metal Underground.
As an established craftsman of sound who has worked with Dillinger Escape Plan, The Misfits, Senses Fail, The Cure, and many others, his words are backed by hours upon hours of actual studio time in the painstaking pursuit of high fidelity, tested and re-tested. Of particular note for the do-it-yourself crowd are his responses to being asked to describe common barriers to good production and how to get around them.
Nobody can accuse Van Canto of being cookie-cutter imitators. Being the only power metal a cappella band in the world, they are truly one of a kind. However, there is a valid argument about whether the band is metal or not. I mean, the group doesn't use a guitar player. Distorted guitar is a defining characteristic of metal music. Crunchy guitar riffs are nowhere to be found, but the group utilizes other elements that draw head bangers to this type of music such as thunderous war drums and rafters-reaching vocals.
Just like any power metal group of worth, Van Canto features a strong voice in the front of the mix. In this case, there are five strong vocalists. Also the group has the majesty and might of power metal's fantasy-based lyrics, often paying homage to the great J.R.R. Tolkien. On "Dawn of the Brave," the group's fifth full-length recording, Van Canto once again offers its choirs of voices on original and cover tunes. They get the guitar outta here on "Badaboom" and give their listeners an empowering anthem with "Fight for Your Life." Covers wise, Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" gets their special vocal treatment while the lovely Inga Scharf revisions Annie Lennox's "Into the West" from the final "Lord of the Rings" film.
I spoke to Stefan Schmidt on the phone concerning "Dawn of the Brave." He is the band's "rakkatakka" singer--the group's bassist, if you will, as he provides the bottom end sounds. Although this was his last interview of the day, Schmidt spoke with much excitement on the forthcoming recording. Due to the response garnered by sneak-peak tracks, he feels fanfare is reaching critical mass. This topic and much more on the career of Van Canto is revealed below.
From the Lone Star State to the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, Monte Pittman is a symbol of hope for everyone who ever took a chance to make it big in the entertainment industry. When faced with the prospect of tucking his tail between his legs and cowering back home, Monte took a chance, a big chance, when he stepped out on his own to teach guitar. His big break came when British heist film director, Guy Ritchie began lessons. Soon after, Monte began teaching Ritchie's future wife, Madonna.
More than a decade later, Monte has toured with Madonna and played special shows such as the Super Bowl and David Letterman. Now, Monte has come full circle, back to his days as a young, aspiring heavy metal guitarist. With his third studio full-length, Pittman has made the metal album the young Pantera fan in him always desired. "The Power of Three" is such a fitting album not just in the since of it being his third album and playing with a power trio. It could even signify his time with Prong. Normally the "it means whatever you want it to mean" cliché is a cop out for artists to avoid explaining the stories in their lyrics. Not with this album. The meanings of this title are endless to the point one could obsess to the point of finding this number in everything.
Musically, "The Power of Three" draws on Pittman's influences growing up. Comparisons to bands such as Helmet, Sepultura, Pantera, Prong and even a touch of grunge will give new listeners some sort of compass for what they will hear. Chris Barnes and Alex Skolnick even join Pittman for a brief death metal romp. Follow the transcripts of my phone conversation with Pittman to read more about the making of this album and some of his experiences playing with Madonna.
Moonspell's mercurial mix of goth rock and black metal helped pave the way for the atmospheric mold that shaped many of today's dark-minded artists. This would not have been possible without their venturing into the New World. Moonspell has affixed its name to flyers containing major acts such purveyors of beautiful darkness as Lacuna Coil, Nevermore, Type O Negative and Cradle of Filth.
The group will once again follow the tide to enchant North American audiences. Fellow Euro metal bands, Leaves' Eyes and Atrocity, are in place to keep the crowd hungry for the band's sonic malevolence. The Portuguese pack comes to these shows to further showcase their epic, double-disc recording "Alpha Noir."
I caught up with pack member, Fernando Ribeiro to gauge his thoughts on this upcoming tour. In the following interview conducted via email, Ribeiro discusses the songs they'll be playing. Also, two years have passed since the release of "Alpha Noir," so we figured the band has probably started writing new material. We were correct! Read further for a brief glimpse into the future of Moonspell.
Ex-Morbid Angel bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker is now ready to unleash his latest project on the world: Warfather!
The band's debut album "Orchestrating The Apocalypse" lands on January 21st/February 24th via Greyhaze Records, and Steve can't wait for the metalverse to get their collective hands on it.
"It’s death metal, plain and simple," he says. "I don’t want to make qualms about that, I’m 100% proud I play death metal, and that’s what Warfather is."
In a recent chat with us, Steve also discussed the other members making up the project, how the album artwork was created, and his most anticipated releases for 2014. Read the full interview below.
Disfiguring the Goddess - the solo death metal project from Cameron Argon - recently dropped new album "Deprive," and in a surprise move released an unannounced companion album on the same day titled "Black Earth Child."
Now that both albums have seen official release, we got in touch with Cameron to discuss the new material, as well as working with artist Toshihiro Igawa on his albums. A transcript of the full conversation can be found below, along with tracks from both "Deprive" and "Black Earth Child."
Following "In The Shadow of a Mountain" (reviewed here), Canadian folk metal outfit Trollband has now released sophomore full-length "Samsara" (review forthcoming).
With the album out now, all the members of Trollband - including new recruits Dan and Nick Wilberg - caught up with us to discuss how the band has changed inbetween the releases. Check out the full interview below, along with a stream of "Samsara."
Windhand took 2013 with gale force. The Richmond, Virginia group initiated its run with Relapse Records by releasing two recordings. The first release arrived in April, a split with fellow masters of crawling grooves, Cough, titled "Reflection of the Negative." The second came in the form of the band's second full-length "Soma."
Both recordings found a special place in the hearts of fans and critics alike. Led by the distantly resonating vocal vibrations of female singer, Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand's stony style recalls the psychedelic doom trembling of Electric Wizard.
In a review of Windhand's self-titled full-length recording, Metalunderground.com scribe heavytothebone2 praised , "Windhand rouses up the kind of stark, ritualistic aura that any serious doom metal band should project."
Whether by discovering the band on tour with a more established act like High On Fire or through domestic, sonic rituals, people have beckoned the call of Windhand. Beat finder general, Ryan Wolfe spoke with MU before opening a gig at Red 7 in Austin, Texas. The band came through with a touring package that included Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder and Iron Reagan. Check out our conversation below.
Fates Warning is out now with new album "Darkness In A Different Light," which is the first new full-length offering from the progressive metal band in nearly a decade.
Supporting this new release, Fates Warning recently wrapped up the first half of a U.S. tour with Halcyon Way and is now embarked on the second half alongside Artizan. With the band out on the road, I chatted up vocalist Ray Adler to see how the trek is progressing and what fans can expect from the Fates Warning machine in the coming new year. Check out our full interview below.
“There are a lot of abusive relationship themes in here, many of them fictionalized accounts of people going to desperate, violent measures to gain affection, sex, or even love.” Jason Novak of Chicago-based Czar considers the band’s recently-released sophomore album title, ‘No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive,’ to be a fitting summation of the tone of the album, which succeeds and surpasses their like-minded debut release, ‘Vertical Mass Grave,’ in most ways -- and we gave that album a 4 out of 5 rating! Determined to outdo themselves with each release, the guys of Czar draw heavily from uncommon guitar harmonies and chord changes coupled with tastefully destructive drum patterns to define their sound. With that combination, it's no surprise that Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell was seen wearing a Czar shirt at a show or that Czar has already made his top 5 albums of 2013 list, as well as two other "top of 2013" lists in the press.
The last time we checked in with the guys of Czar, they filled us in on their first album and their history as musicians. This time around, the band gives us more insight into the construction of their songs, as well as discusses the controversial album art that they’re known for. ‘No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive’ amplifies what was done well on the first album and adds an exciting chapter to the story of the rise of Czar’s impending empire. Here’s what they had to say about it.
Eyal Levi hasn’t ONLY performed various audio engineering tasks for the some of the top dogs of modern metal with some of the most competitive sounds on record -- He’s also been in the thick of the action as the guitarist of Daath and Levi/Werstler. As a part of Audiohammer Studio in Florida, some of his production credits include working with The Contortionist, Demon Hunter, August Burns Red, Whitechapel, Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder, Misery Index, and Reflections. He’s also engineered Daath’s records as well. Moreover, he’s taken to hosting interactive seminars on creativeLIVE.com, where inquisitive minds can learn how to distinguish themselves from studio chumps.
When he speaks, he educates. Fortunately for us DIY-minded folks, he likes to speak an awful lot. In fact, he has his own blog over at MetalSucks. In a Metal Underground exclusive interview, however, he has checked in to let us know a bit about his view of the changing landscape of audio engineering in heavy metal, as well as gave us a few good tips for good measure.
It’s hard to believe that Onslaught has been around for over 30 years now. At one time, the band set a pace to become one of the greatest thrash bands of all time, until a dynamic shift in the sound of the late 80’s led to an eventual downfall. Prior to “In Search of Sanity” (1989), the band had released two of the most critically acclaimed thrash masterpieces ever released “Power From Hell” (1985) and “The Force” (1986). They deserved to be spoken of among the genre’s greatest offerings. In 2004, the band reformed with vocalist Sy Keeler and the band was given that rare “second chance” to start anew.
In 2007, “Killing Peace” re-established the band’s thrash roots and the reviews reinforced it. “Sounds of Violence” followed in 2011 and the band was back in stride and running on all cylinders. With the release of “VI,” this year (see review here), the band progressed further – adding newer elements in songs like “Children of the Sand.” With this rebirth, the band has ascended the throne once again and deserves the attention of any critic or fan of thrash. Band founder and guitarist Nige Rockett checked in with Metal Underground.com to discuss the new album – the new elements the band has added – and what it was like to rock the boat on 70,000 Tons of Metal back in January 2013.
Underground French label Kaotoxin records recently announced the addition of French-Bulgarian duet We All Die (Laughing) for the release of “Thoughtscanning” on January 14th, 2014.
We All Die (Laughing) consists of vocalist Arno Strobl and musician/composer Déhà. The duo got in touch with Metalunderground.com to explain how the project came together, what sort of sound will be happening on the release, and how it ended up being a single 33 minute song.
The two-some provided us with some true words of wisdom about creating an album (On writing the lyrics: "They did flow naturally like a pissing dog." On covering Amy Winehouse: "We made it more sexual-groove-doomish, and you just need to listen to Arno's voice to start moisting your pants.") Check out the full interview below.
Christian metal godfathers Living Sacrifice have much to be proud of. From 1991 through 2002, the Little Rock, Arkansas band became a living (ahem), breathing evolutionary machine, tackling thrash, death, and groove metal with consistently stellar results – and helping pioneer djent and metalcore – before calling it a day. (Read more about the band's history in our recent edition of Sunday Old School here) Despite all this and Living Sacrifice’s influential legacy, frontman and rhythm guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh is hardly one to boast.
In keeping with the doctrines of faith the band was originally formed to express, Nashville-based Bruce reflects on his life’s work with a casual, easygoing humility that never attempts to soak up personal glory. Even considering Living Sacrifice’s triumphant 2010 return with “The Infinite Order,” an exhilarating, all-purpose American metal record that reignited love in the hearts of many old school fans and earned the band some new ones, Bruce is a dedicated family man and small business owner with his feet firmly on the ground.
However, that doesn’t stop him from continuing Living Sacrifice for the sheer fun of it, as evidenced in the stunning new album “Ghost Thief.” Bruce is here to tell you all about it, and much more.
Italy's Tragodia has officially released a third full-length album titled "Mythmaker," and we are now offering fans and fans-to-be a chance to hear the entire disc. Check out all the tracks off the new album at this location.
If you want to know more about what went into the album, guitarist Riccardo Tonoli is excited to share details on how "Mythmaker" came together much more quickly than the previous two releases, and how this time around the sound takes a different approach.
See what Riccardo had to say about the themes and lyrics of the album, as well as the band's plans for upcoming live activity, in the full interview below.
Australian thrash export 4Arm is currently out on tour supporting Slayer and Gojira on a North American trek that runs through the end of the month.
With the band on the road, I got in touch with 4Arm drummer Michael Vafiotis to see how the tour is going and find out what fans can look forward to when the band finally returns home in December.
Read on to see what the band member's reactions were when first learning they would be supporting such high profile metal acts and find out about upcoming new material from 4Arm.