Arise The Titan's Mike Leone Talks New Single, Upcoming Shows, And The Double Coronary Bypass Burger
Band Photo: Arise The Titan (?)
Ohio's Arise the Titan has been busy lately, going through exciting changes and assaulting the live scene. The band recently welcomed new drummer Paul Bolin and dropped latest single "To Arise and Cast Out" (available for streaming below).
Fresh off the Southern Discomfort tour, we checked in with Arise the Titan vocalist Mike Leone to discuss the band's latest music, upcoming gigs, and a truly monstrous burger neatly put away by bassist Chaunce Martin. Check out the full interview below.
xFiruath: For our readers who aren’t familiar with the band, can you give me a brief rundown on the history of Arise the Titan and how you guys know each other?
Mike: Kyle (guitars) is the guy who organized the band. He basically played around with friends for a few years until he solidified the lineup of Kyle, Adam (guitars), Chaunce (bass) and Shane (drums). They had initial difficulty finding vocalists. I jumped on board as one of many vocalists they worked with over the course of a year or so and things just felt good with that group of people. We wrote our 8-track EP, “Our Collective Destroyer,” put it out and played a ton of shows to support it all over the midwest and the south. Shane then left the band in Spring '12, so we took some time over the summer to try drummers out and added Paul Bolin to the mix in October '12. Ever since we've had Paul, we've been playing shows constantly again, writing new material and spreadin' the metal!
xFiruath: Tell me about the creation of “To Arise and Cast Out” – how did the writing and recording process go?
Mike: "To Arise and Cast Out" was a song that was in production when Shane quit the band and got a major overhaul with our new drummer as well as some tweaking in the guitar and vocal departments. We had about 6-7 months to sit on this song before we were ready to release new material (due to the drummer situation) so we were able to iterate on it quite a bit. I think it definitely shows in the final sound. As to recording, we went to Kenton, OH to hang out with our good friend Josh Palmer of Zombie Takeover Media and laid everything out over the course of a weekend. We worked with him on “Our Collective Destroyer” as well, so everything went extremely smoothly. Josh is a vocalist himself and when we work together he's very good at getting the best vocal performance out of me.
xFiruath: How does this song differ from previous material, and will it be appearing on a new EP or full-length in the future?
Mike: It’s a lot faster, for one thing! This fact makes it especially fun to play live and it really tends to get the crowd moving for us at shows. The song also "opens up" a lot more than our other material does, particularly the ending of the track. Everything gets really epic sounding and it makes for an incredibly emotive piece of music. I've also introduced a lot more mid-pitched vocals into this song which is a trend that you'll continue to see with more of our new material. I like a good variety of vocal types to be present in each of our songs. You'll see it on our full length which is due out in about a year or so.
xFiruath: Fill me in on the Southern Discomfort tour – where all have you been and how has it gone so far?
Mike: The Southern Discomfort tour has been fantastic! We shot south through Kentucky and Tennesse, then went over to Georgia and up the east coast before coming home via a series of Pennsylvania and Ohio dates. We've had some amazing shows while we've been out on the road: Lexington, Galax, and Athens were probably the most memorable shows out of the whole bunch due to amazing turnouts and intense mosh pits! We also met some amazing bands and played multiple dates with both Lifecurse (NC) and Plagues of Prophecy (TN). Both of these bands are full of great dudes who make some excellent fucking metal.
xFiruath: What’s happening as far as live activity for the band in the near future after this trek?
Mike: Now that we're home, we're going keep doing what we do best: play shows anywhere and everywhere! We're going to keep hitting weekends extremely hard, playing anywhere within 3-day “striking distance.” Expect to see us in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, and of course all over Ohio over the next few months. We're booking up some summer festivals now and I personally look forward to the camping, drinking and metal that comes along with the summer weather.
xFiruath: Do you hit shows often, and have you seen any great live performances in recent memory?
Mike: Live music is absolutely the reason that I do what I do. I enjoy taking in amazing performances almost as much as I like giving them, and moshing is simply a way of life for me. I see both local performances and national tours all the time, so I'll give you one of each. We played a show with my friends in Shores of Elysium and it was their first time giving a live performance since recording a full length album back in October. Let me tell you that this was a fucking insane show. Excellent mosh, insane stage performance: everything was fantastic. As far as national acts go, I recently saw the jaw-dropping Animals as Leaders for a second time while taking in the madness of Meshuggah for the very first time. Holy. Shit. My body was sore for days after the Meshuggah pits and Animals as Leaders just entranced me with their amazing music.
xFiruath: What’s going on in your local metal scene in Ohio these days?
Mike: Quite a bit! Ohio's got a very active metal and hardcore community and there's never a shortage of great bands, shows and festivals. I'm looking forward to both JAMboree Fest in Toledo, which features both Ohio and National talent as well as Mansfield Music Fest 4 which will feature metal bands as well as bands of other genres from all over Ohio.
xFiruath: I saw the picture on your Facebook - and I need to know about the experience of the double coronary bypass burger!
Mike: Chaunce took it down and even helped Kyle and myself with our fries. I have no clue how this man does it, but he will put food away like nobody's business. When we roll through a Subway or something, the man will eat 2 foot longs before I can finish half of one. You'd have to ask him about the, er, post-game experience, but I assume it was messy. He still managed to tear the stage apart in Atlanta afterwards, so I'd say things were fine overall!
xFiruath: What albums are you listening to and what’s coming out soon you are excited for?
Mike: I've been listening to a nice variety of stuff lately. Pallbearer's “Sorrow and Extinction” is a beautiful doom album, Infant Annihilator's “The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution” is heavy as absolute balls, Stick to Your Guns has a whole discography of amazing hardcore. My favorite album of the past year (and probably most listened to) is Abiotic's “Symbiosis:” these guys truly are at the bleeding edge of tech-death with heavy, intricate and amazingly organized music. Also, dat bass.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?
Mike: Keep an eye out for Arise the Titan shows near you. If you see us come through your town, please come have a beer (or eight) with us! You can pick up the new track "To Arise and Cast Out" and our debut EP “Our Collective Destroyer” on our Bandcamp for free.
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