To date, we have conducted 1313 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:
Combichrist started in Norway in the early ‘90s by Andy LaPlegua. He was enraptured by the ambiance found in industrial music. While techno bars are a common site in Europe now, LaPlegua’s hometown was unaccustomed to the hard beat at this time. Being such a small town, the musicians were part of a close-knit scene where he lent his time to various projects and genres. Metal was his main love and if it weren’t for a legendary black metal player, LaPlegua would have never known the dark sonic passageways of industrial music. This new discovery led to him trying something different, which alienated the metal scene but brought in new faces.
While LaPlegua disenchanted his metal scene when he formed Combichrist, now many of his early followers of Combichrist dispute his new-found direction. “This is Where Death Begins,” the group’s eighth studio full-length, shows the group stepping away from the synth-based electronica of their earlier period and donning a more metallic shell. This new-found direction has led to the most success of the band’s career. “This is Where Death Begins” is on pace to be his all-time best selling album. This was done without feeling trapped by the approval of his fans. The band recently played in front of a massive crowd at Knotfest and has been on tour with Cavalera Conspiracy. With a six-man live group, including two drummers and two guitarists, Combichrist puts on an energetic show few can duplicate.
On the off days of the Cavalera tour, Combichrist heads to smaller cities to headline their own shows. These concerts give their fans much meatier performances, including a set list culled from throughout their career plus many current favorites. Before they took the stage in Austin, Texas, Andy LaPlegua spoke with me about their new album and tour.
Morbid Angel and Deicide are synonymous with evil, satanic death metal, so when Montreal’s Necronomicon started to release albums in the early nineties it only made sense to compare them to those classic bands. Band founder, Rob Tremblay didn’t exactly see it that way. While his band contained similar occult trappings and extreme tempos, one would expect that from a band taking its name from Lovecraft’s infamous book of incantations, but he approached his music with a different mindset. From female choirs to orchestral segments, he infused his music with a greater sense of ambiance.
As is the case with many bands early in their career, Necronomicon has progressed over the years. Their music has become more complex and faster. Tremblay states their latest recording, “Advent of the Human God,” released earlier this year via Season of Mist, Records, is near perfection. He feels it is the closest thing to fully realizing his vision.
The group has been on the road continuously and has made several U.S. appearances throughout the last five years. At the time of this interview, Necronomicon was on the last day of their U.S. tour with Rotting Christ and Carach Angren. The band had previously toured their home country, logging in over two months total on the road. This tour was originally set to feature Marduk, but the group cancelled due to vista issues. All three of the bands decided the package was strong enough to carry on, so Tremblay was able to give the following interview.
Controlled Bleeding is a name synonymous with experimental music that crosses any and all boundaries - if you think you know weird, get ready to redefine your definition!
The band just returned with "Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps," released at the end of August via Artoffact Records.
With the album out now, we checked in with Paul Lemos (guitarist/co-founder) to hear more about the eclectic mix of industrial, progressive rock, jazz and heavy metal on display.
Just judging by guitarist JT Royale’s pants, which contain a plethora of patches, he’s a do-it-yourself kind of guy. In fact, the whole band’s hard working DIY ethic has led them to become one of the most visible bands in Austin, Texas. Their merch is everywhere. They’re on several bills seemingly every week, from local shows to opening gigs for touring bands. But the buck doesn’t stop in Austin. The band has self-financed an interstate tour and are currently on the biggest tour of their careers with one of the most popular extreme metal bands of the last decade, Goatwhore.
Touring with Goatwhore is extra special as their friend and Austin local, Trans Am plays with the Metal Blade recording artist. Trans Am is not only a friend, but sometimes a member of The Blood Royale. In fact, the band features three bassists. Whoever fills the spot depends on where and when they play. Tonight, two of the three bassists (O’Neal and Diego who also play in Hexist and God Fearing Fuck, respectively) were on hand to talk about their contributions to the band.
Suds flowed, smoked billowed, hair twirled, fists pumped, bodies bumped as The Blood Royale played filthy, crust-addled metal (think Venom meets Discharge) on a stop off in their hometown. Before they kicked out the jams, the entire band, including two-thirds of their bassists, gathered to discuss their tour, including an especially bloody show, and upcoming releases. Thank you to Nathan Daughdrill for providing us with professionally-shot videos of the band.
We've been anxiously waiting two years for this - Italian prog / power metal outfit Noveria is now gearing up to drop a sophomore album, following the stellar "Risen" release from back in 2014 (reviewed here).
With recording now wrapped up, "Forsaken" is due out on October 28th via Scarlet Records. Another month of waiting was more than we could bear, so we checked in with guitarist Francesco Mattei to find out as much as possible about this impending metallic opus!
German thrashers, Sodom may not receive the attention that thrash bands like the Big Four of America. After nearly thirty-five years, though, the group remains a viable act in the metal underground. Part of the reason they remain important to the metal scene is consistency. While Big Four Bands like Megadeth and Metallica took turns into more commercial territory, Sodom has stayed heavy and extreme.
Sodom is one of those bands you’ll often see stitched to a jean jacket. Seeing a Sodom patch on a jacket gives that person instant cred as a metal head. It’s not only a nod to the old school, but youngsters wearing the patches reveal the band’s longevity. Why not support the band? With their first albums “In The Sign of Evil” EP (1984), “Obsessed By Cruelty” (1986) and “Persecution Mania” (1987) were important records in the development of black metal. The next record, “Agent Orange” (1989) showed them take a step towards the heavier grooves and follow the path so many speed metal bands take into the realm of thrash. Since then, many of their riffs recall Slayer to the point one could say they’re Germany’s answer to Slayer.
The Eighties have come and gone, but Sodom is still here and still relevant. Their latest full-length “Decision Day” (due August 26, 2016) is another lesson in metal violence. Their sound is updated, especially production-wise, and there are less Slayer-isms, but one listen to the record and you know this is a Sodom recording. Band founder/vocalist/bassist Tom “Angelripper” Such screams and barks with utmost gusto, his voice often amplified by his band mates gang choruses. There is a good mix of speed and groove—plenty of head banging material. Latest drummer Makka brings a bit of “rolling thunder” to the band’s sound.
In the following interview, we reached out to Angelripper across the pond to talk about this new record and some of the themes he approached, both musically and lyrically, and to find out other information that fans of the band want to know such as if they’ll ever do a tour with Germany’s Big Four Thrash bands.
According to Testament's legendary frontman, Chuck Billy, working with artist, Eliran Kantor, has been "so easy because he sees our vision right away." The best proof of that lies in the many projects the American Thrash lords have commissioned to the talented Berlin-based visionary—including three album covers, stage backdrops, tour merchandise and more.
"We hope to have a continued relationship with him for years to come,” said Billy a few years back, while interviewed for the book And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers. Their professional relationship has been recently renewed by the unveiling of a new artwork. We're referring to the cover for the band's eagerly-awaited new album, "Brotherhood Of The Snake." The cryptic-yet-epic quality of this imposing illustration has definitely cemented the creative synergy between them. Let's take a look to the Testament/Kantor album cover trilogy and find out what the illustrator has to say about his own arresting images.
THE FORMATION OF DAMNATION (2008)
This unforgettable apocalyptic scene features religious and political symbolism (the angels, the capitol). “It was all [guitarist] Eric Peterson’s concept from start to finish, including the way the composition is arranged with the trumpet-playing angels," Kantor admits. "I didn’t ask a lot of questions back then, as it looked perfect right from the initial pencil sketch he gave me on our first ever email conversation. My main conceptual contributions were my objection of using one of the working titles, "The Evil Has Landed" and insisting on using the old 3D logo instead of the flat one that Testament has been using for quite a few records.”
We recently had the pleasure of premiering new track "Can You Hear Me" off the upcoming debut album from The Devil's Music.
Created by former Devilment member Daniel J. Finch, The Devil's Music is a new outlet for Finch and will feature music originally crafted for the second album of his previous group.
While the album won't be dropping for another month, Finch is plenty excited to get some advance music out to the wider world and had plenty to say about both leaving Devilment and putting together this newer group. Read on for our full chat.
When Helstar answered my knock at the door to the green room at Grizzly Hall in Austin, Texas, frontman James Rivera smiled with a mouth full of fangs. As we proceeded through the interviewed, he continued to dress for the stage. He put on gauntlets and a Christopher Lee-type cape. He and the band were preparing for a set that consisted of many vampire tales. This was to promote Helstar’s latest full-length album “Vampiro,” as well as their first vamperic album, “Nosferatu.”
While remaining in the second decade of the new millennium, “Vampiro” is very much a return to their 1989 classic “Nosferatu.” One look at the lyrics and any fan of Dracula and vampires will know the films approached. Although beefed up in sound with faster drums and other signs of the modern, extreme metal age, “Vampiro” also recalls “Nosferatu” in its use of neoclassical guitar and speed metal licks by way of axe slingers Andrew Atwood (who also helped with lyrical concepts) and Helstar mainstay, Larry Barragan. Also, as in the case with their single, “Black Cathedral,” there are melodies that help instill theatrics and mood.
Rivera spoke to me right before Helstar took the stage. He wanted to warm his voice by answering a few questions. Read further to learn more about why he feels “Vampiro” will be considered one of the band’s masterpieces twenty years down from now.
John Cobbett is a staple in the San Francisco metal scene. Including masterminding and guitar picking for his main band, Hammers of Misfortune, he’s also split his time between Slough Feg, Ludicra and Vhol. He’s responsible for making some of the best music in the Pacific Northwest. Whether plating his licks with amour first sculpted by bands like Storm and early Satyricon, vintage NWOBHM or a serene acoustic passage, at par with Pink Floyd or King Crimson, Cobbett has a penchant for writing memorable tunes.
Being the staple he is in the ‘Frisco scene, it’s not surprising the town has entered his music’s vocabulary. “Dead Revolution,” the latest opus by Hammers of Misfortune (released via Metal Blade on July 22nd) is somewhat of a goodbye album to the place Cobbett calls home. His lyrics reflect a disenchantment of the city that he once loved, the city for which he makes his living.
Upon receiving my call, Cobbett told me how he plans to move to Montana. The salty shores of the Bay will be replaced by mountains and woodlands. City concrete will be replaced with grasslands. This will certainly affect the way Cobbett writes future albums. Read further to learn more about this shamefully under-recognized artist.
Utterly misanthropic and aggressively negative blackened death metal cult Tides Of Sulfur just released new album "Extinction Curse" earlier this month via Black Bow Records.
We had the distinct pleasure of premiering a track from the album ahead of release, and now that the disc is out, we're diving into a full interview with vocalist / bassist Chris Bull (or as he calls it, the band's "throat and low end assaulter").
xFiruath: I'm a newcomer to Tides Of Sulfur. Can you give me a rundown of how the band got together and what the group had done prior to the recording of “Extinction Curse?”
Chris: Well Ant and I have played in several bands since we were teenagers. All those bands got to a stage where we had enough material to gig and then things just fell apart due to conflicts in terms of musical direction etc. Depression kind of stopped me from wanting to share my musical side with the public for a while but we carried on jamming in each others living rooms just for the love of it. In 2012 we knew we wanted to get out there and play.
I won't go into the story of our former drummer but if you listen to the 2012 demo you'll hear for yourself how he didn't fit the bill. We met Tom through our local doom/sludge scene; he was playing in a band called H O M O H (who were excellent by the way) and knew he was exceptional, not just behind the kit but as a human being so we immediately knew we'd found the missing piece.
We recorded and self released an EP thematically based on the 1st world war and called it "Ypres." We still have some copies of it on cassette but it's available on our Bandcamp page. Other than that, there's the spilt tape/CD we released with another criminally underrated and unknown band called The Air Turned To Acid and our friend Jeff of Against All Odds Productions released a compilation tape of pretty much everything we had released, including some digital only tracks and 2 previously unreleased tracks that we recorded in our practice room. Got all that?
xFiruath: I've been listening to the album a bit and noticed that huge change in tone between ending of “Eternal Bleeding” and beginning segment in “...Of Suffering and Grief.” It seems like metal is somewhat unique in the regard, having the ability to span completely different sounds right next to each other. Are you guys aiming to hit a specific sub-genre, and if not how do you go about putting together these songs that cross different styles?
I first heard of Myrkur after hearing that sole recording member Amalie Bruun was sent death threats over Facebook for often petty reasons. What I always like about metal was that it was a brotherhood. If you were into the right kinds of metal, you were one of us. So of course I was really taken aback by the sheer level of misogynistic double standards applied to Bruun because she dared to make pop music despite nobody going after Greg Puciato for Spylacopa or Chino Moreno for Team Sleep.
Since online harassment is an incredibly topical issue today, I decided that the time was right to get the perspective of somebody who's actually been harassed and have her talk openly and honestly about the experience. It also doesn't hurt that Myrkur remind me of Windir and with Valfar dead, Myrkur is the best substitute there is today.
Sci-fi prog metal band Third Ion got us all hot and bothered here at Metalunderground.com last year with the release of debut album "13/8 Bit," which had the group mentioned in our list of the best metal newcomers of 2015.
Fast forward to summer 2016 and Third Ion already has a sophomore output on the way, with the "Biolith" full-length release due to drop in just a handful of days.
That new album sees some elements staying the same while others have undergone big changes - most notably in the vocalist department. We caught up with guitarist / keyboardist Justin Bender to get an inside look at those changes and how this second album came together.
Tomorrow something wicked emerges from the church on Federal Hill as Infinite Spectrum takes a classic tale of cosmic horror and re-imagines it in a prog metal setting.
Coming via Sensory Records, we recently had the pleasure of premiering the full "Haunter Of The Dark" album along with a complete track-by-track breakdown.
Today we're going even deeper into the mythos by checking in with band members Will Severin and Alex Repetti, who shine a light on just what is haunting the dark corners of their minds. Read on for a full synopsis on how this album came together, how the band will celebrate its release, and what's coming next for Infinite Spectrum.
NY outfit Hollow Bones released the "Lionheart" album last month, and we've had the pleasure of chronicling most of the process for more than a year, premiering tracks and even checking in with the band for an epic Pit Story.
Now that the full-length disc is officially out (listen in or grab your own copy at Bandcamp here), we checked in with Hollow Bones yet again for an in-depth look at the band's entire history and a closer look at how "Lionheart" went from concept to released product.
Check out the full interview with vocalist Patrick Anthony below, in which he discusses the band changing names, catching the Underoath reunion tour, and the powerful human imagery on the album's cover.
Before Scott “Wino” Weinrich joined doom legends, Saint Vitus, he played with The Obsessed out of his home base in Maryland. The group released three full-length albums of premo doom—“The Obsessed” (1990), “Lunar Womb” (1991) and “The Church Within” (1994). The latter album was released via major label, Columbia Records. Just a year later the group broke up.
The Obsessed was by no means the end of Wino’s story. Including appearing on more Saint Vitus records, he fronted numerous bands such as Place of Skulls, The Hidden Hand, his own solo project, an appearance with Dave Grohl and Lemmy on the Probot album and as part of the super group, Shrinebuilder. After The Obsessed dissolved, Wino formed Spirit Caravan, which contained several songs slated for a The Obsessed album that never surfaced.
Now, over twenty years since the last The Obsessed record, the group is back and contains Dave Sherman (bass) and Brian Costantino of Spirit Caravan. The group signed a deal with Relapse Records, released a demo (“Be The Night”) and has embarked on a major U.S. tour. The group plans to record it’s new album, “Sacred” very soon. Wino was on hand in Austin, Texas to talk about this new album/lineup and also shed some light on major events in the band’s past.
I have been eagerly awaiting news of a new Witherscape album ever since "The Inheritance" landed three years back.
It's an album that has more than just grown on me over time - it's easily now one of my favorite music releases period, so it shouldn't come as much surprise that the Dan Swanö-led project was named metal's absolute best newcomer of 2013 in our prestigious year-end awards.
After a brief interlude with an EP that had more covers than new material, we are finally getting a full and proper follow-up album as new studio effort "The Northern Sanctury" is due to drop later this summer.
As with the previous disc, I made sure to check in with Swanö to get as much info as possible on the impending album, which continues the storyline of the creepy house from the band's beginning. Read on to discover the trials and tribulations of birthing this coming monstrosity, which nearly killed Dan in the studio!
It's been quite the journey during the past 25 years for the Swedish masters of gloom, Katatonia.
The band just dropped new album "The Fall of Hearts" through Peaceville and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with plans to continue bringing depressive metal to the masses for many more years to come.
It's always a pleasure to chat with the guys from Katatonia every few years as new albums come to fruition, and this time around we have front man Jonas Renkse himself to discuss lineup changes, celebrating a quarter century of existence, and more.
Renkse had quite a bit to say about the past and future of Katatonia, from the dim prospects of another "Dethroned And Uncrowned" experiment anytime soon ("I don't want to re-hash things just because they were successful, I want to find new and equally exciting things to do in the future," he comments) to when he'll finally be collaborating with Mikael Akerfeldt on a new project: "Maybe when we are in our 60's!"
Following up with what Rex_84 did with Dino on Fear Factory's spring tour, it felt right to cover the rest of Fear Factory's history with Burton C. Bell as he is the sole member of Fear Factory to be present through the band's entire history.
We touched on Obsolete, touring with Machine Head and what exactly goes on at Gathering of the Juggalos which actually managed to viscerally disturb Burt. My main regret was not asking about the World Magnetic Tour with Metallica but the tour manager was watching me like a hawk the whole time and counting the minutes and I wanted to be concise so I cut that question out but thankfully everything else I wanted to ask made it in.
Tomorrow (May 13th) will mark a new official single release from Vancouver outfit Seven Nines And Tens as the band gears up to drop impending album "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Slums."
Before we exclusively premiere that new track, we checked in with the Canadian band to find out what has transpired in the intervening years since the release of previous full-length album "Consants & Axioms" and the intervening single "I Come From Downtown."
Check out the full interview below and prepare yourself for the new album to drop later this coming summer.
xFiruath: “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Slums” is a really interesting title (and a bit of a mouthful!). What inspired STCFTHOTS as the title?
Living in a slum for the past 10 years (Vancouver, Downtown Eastside) inspired the title. It's also play on the title of a classic song by a classic, classic band. I can't disclose all my secrets here!
xFiruath: More broadly, what sort of overall lyrical themes and ideas are you dealing with on the album?
It’s one man’s perception of daily life in a densely populated ghetto. I didn’t grow up here but I’ve been here 10 years. This part of town is definitely my muse. The album isn’t a concept record but the environment in which it was written I feel permeates the sound.
xFiruath: Is this going to be an independent release or do you have a label/distro lined up or in the works for this album?
Dullest Records from Lansdale PA, USA is releasing it on CD. Their owner Danny Katz is a rad guy and we have a ton of mutual musical interests. I sent him the first single "I Come From Downtown" and his response was "this is how the last Alcest record should've sounded!" I took that as a huge compliment as Alcest is a huge influence.
The Butcher Babies has become one of metal's most talked about bands this decade, and indeed one of it's most polarising. However the group has won over many doubters with their blistering live performances and deep rooted love of metal music that shines through particularly well on their latest album, "Take It Like A Man."
At their recent show at the Camden Underworld in London, (see review here,) I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the Butcher Babies' vocalists Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd about the history and perception of women in metal music, their latest album, future plans and even merchandise. You can watch the interview below.
Korpiklaani has become one of the most popular bands in mainland Europe over the past fifteen years or so, as well as forging a solid fan base in North America. Their brand of folk metal makes as many legs dance as it does head bang and has helped their popularity soar with every passing year. Their latest album, "Noita" was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records and received solid reviews and feedback from fans.
At a recent show in London with Moonsorrow, (see review here,) I was able to sit down with the band's bass player, Jarkko Aaltonen to discuss "Noita," their touring plans and the group's bizarre animated video for the song, "A Man With A Plan." You can watch the interview below.
Moonsorrow has become one of the most popular names in pagan metal over the past sixteen years, developing an epic sound that practically brings the bloodthirsty Vikings back from the grave. Their music has become beloved not just by metal fans, but by lovers of classic rock and indeed history buffs, fascinated with the research that goes into every song.
During their recent tour with Korpiklaani, (see review here,) I was able to fleetingly sit down and speak with the band's guitarist Mitja Harvilahti, who discussed the group's new album, "Jumalten Aika," it's cover artwork and how it feels to top the charts in their native Finland. You can watch the interview below.
Overkill are one of the bands that have held the flag of thrash metal at it's highest throughout their career, keeping the genre's name alive in the good times and the bad. At the heart of it all is vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni, the only two constant members in a band which has spanned over three decades.
During their recent tour of the United Kingdom with Polish death metal stalwarts Vader (see review here,) I had the pleasure of meeting one of thrash metal's most beloved singers and asking Blitz about the past and present, the upcoming American election and much more. You can watch the interview in two parts below.
Heavy metal has it's fair share of superstars but all the more important are it's heroes and legends. There are some names which strike reverence and respect in the hearts of metal fans such as Rob Halford, Lemmy, Ronnie James Dio and one of Germany's most beloved voices, Udo Dirkschneider, whose voice was first heard when Accept released their self-titled debut album in 1978 and since then has gone on to have hit records, write classic songs and forge a legacy which will always be respected.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dirkschneider when his European tour came to London, in which we discussed why he has decided to say goodbye to the Accept catalogue, plans for the next U.D.O. album and if performing in Spain allows him time to head to his home in Ibiza. You can watch the interview below.