To date, we have conducted 1307 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:
I was able to catch up with the guitarist Mark Grillo and drummer Dan "Phoenix" De Lafe of Vifinita, an unsigned New Jersey metal band, last month. In the following interview, the band discusses their EP and upcoming album, their careers in metal thus far, and their local scene. The band gave very thorough answers and I learned how personal their music is to them. Enjoy:
Tomasz “Orion” Wroblewski is best known as the bassist for extreme metal icons Behemoth. He is also the leader of symphonic black metal band Vesania, but his most unique side-project is the stoner/black n’ roll Black River. Fans of Orion’s other projects will definitely be surprised by how much groove the music has, and he seems to fit in just as well with this as he does with the more rambunctious Behemoth. Also featuring drummer Dariusz "Daray" Brzozowski of Dimmu Borgir and Vader fame, the band has just released their second album, “Black'n'Roll,” which is also the first look many in the U.S will get of the band. I recently had the chance to speak to Orion about Black River's new album, the current situation with Nergal, and what the future holds for Orion while he plays the waiting game with both Black River and Behemoth.
After 25 years of championing fantasy-themed power metal, Blind Guardian has returned with the band's latest journey "At the Edge of Time." Vocalist Hansi Kürsch took some time to explain the creation of the album and the themes behind the songs. Commenting on the influences in the album and how it fits into the Blind Guardian discography, Hansi stated "...there’s a little bit of everything. It makes the album attractive not just for Blind Guardian fans but for heavy metal fans, because it’s a pure, epic, orchestral heavy metal album." He also dropped some hints about the possibility of a new Demons & Wizards album with Jon Schaffer, and discussed the band's upcoming tour schedule.
Coming fresh off the release of their new album, "Warp Riders" (reviewed here), The Sword drummer Trivett Wingo sat down with Metalunderground.com to talk about the musical shift of "Warp Riders," the absence of acoustic guitars on the record, tug of war battles with "Warp Riders" producer Matt Bayles and the band's love for all things old school.
Five Finger Death Punch is the rare heavy metal band that has had consistent radio success in the past few years. As heavy metal has trended toward the extreme recently, bands like Five Finger Death Punch are much rarer and they get put down more often by the troo metal fans as pale approximations of real metal. But Five Finger Death Punch guitarist and founder Zoltan Bathory just won the Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award at the 2010 Golden God Awards, and for the leader of a band named Five Finger Death Punch he has remarkably well-grounded opinions on how the band fits into the metal landscape, among other things. He was kind enough to take an hour out of his day to chat over the phone with Metal Underground, and the below transcript is what he had to say.
With song titles like "We Are Future Housing Developments For Maggots," and "No One Would Notice If You Died," you know Canada's The Last Felony wants to tear your face off with pure, hate-filled death metal. The band's latest full-throttle assault is "Too Many Humans," which saw it's release via Lifeforce Records in August.
The Last Felony's Seb Painchaud took some time to discuss the new album with me and how the band has progressed since 2008's "Aeon of Suffering." "On the first album you’ve got one or two or maybe three songs at the most that really what The Last Felony should sound like. On the new album we found our sound and knew what we wanted it to sound like. It’s really 100% The Last Felony," commented Painchaud. From there he went on to discuss the recording of the album, the band's signing to Lifeforce, and more.
Walmart shopping raids. Existential questions. Super 8 hotels. Vehicular breakdowns. Rock concerts. Cross-country traveling. Strange food. Absurd observations about the mundane. Friendship.
This isn't a plot outline to a potential sequel of "The Hangover," but slice of life on the road for Australian band Karnivool. The act returned to the states this summer for its third U.S. tour (and first headlining run) to support second album "Sound Awake," which arrived in the States in February. The combination of the group's mesmerizing progressive tracks, superior live performances and support from Sony's SIN division is helping the five-piece act to seep into America's collective consciousness one show at a time. The steady of conversion of fans is evident by two concerts we saw Karnivool play within a year's time. Last fall we first watched the group entertain about 150 faithful at New York club Don Hill's; when we caught up with it again Aug. 27, it was captivating a full crowd at Bowery Ballroom with songs like "Themata," "New Day" and "All I Know."
When MetalUnderground.com spoke with singer Ian Kenny by phone a few weeks ago, the band was driving through Oregon on the way to Vancouver to kick off the tour. A few days prior, traveling was delayed for a few hours due to a broken water pump, so as repairs were made, Karnivool relaxed by descending on a local Walmart (they don't exist in Australia) and stocking up on essentials like Sharpies and Dickey shorts. "They've been a novelty for us, " Kenny says of Walmart. "We take full advantage of them when we come over here."
Brooklyn's Black Water Rising is keeping the flame of hard rock and heavy metal burning strong, taking the sounds of yesterday and translating them to the modern day. Guitarist John Fattoruso, previously of the now-defunct Stereomud, spoke with me about joining with Black Water Rising and the band's latest self-titled album.
Discussing the highs and lows of the music industry and his own place in it, Fattoruso stated "You’re playing in front of crowds every night and that was your job, and then all of a sudden you’re back in a day job. You’re like, Wow, what happened?" He also goes on to explain the appeal of Black Water Rising's sound, commenting "Any true metal head, and when I say metal head I don’t mean thrash metal or death metal, I mean just someone who appreciates good heavy music, would definitely like it. If they want to hear good vocals, we’ve got it. If you want to hear screaming, it’s on there too. We don’t shy away from anything." A transcription of our discussion can be found below, where John discusses how they managed to get a professional sound recording in an apartment and more.
There may be just one show to go on the Summer Shred Tour, but Omega Crom doesn't plan on slowing down. If anything, this year's hyperactive tour schedule is a sign of things to come for the metal act, at least if vocalist/guitarist Johnny Ketlo gets his wish.
“Once we get this cross-Canada tour done, we're going to turn our attention to getting down to LA and back. We've got our passports, but the visa is the hardest one. Setting up the shows. We're just hoping to generate more buzz, more publicity, and then feed off of that to hopefully slingshot us into the United States.”
California based on again, off again black metal act Ritual has recently reformed under the direction of vocalist/guitarist Ian Fleming, after the departure of Robert Nusslein, who did an interview with Metalunderground last year. Ritual's new lineup is set to release an album by the end of the month, and is also currently gearing up to take their brand of black metal to the live scene.
Describing Ritual's upcoming new full-length album "The Resurrection," Fleming stated "It’s been a long time so it’s going to be a lot different. The sound quality is going to be a lot better than the previous Ritual records. It’s not going to be a basement/garage recording sounding black metal, it will be a quality recording. There’s a really killer intro that starts the record off dark and depressing and it comes in full force. It’s going to be a really cool record." He also went on to explain the lyrics of the new album and the recent changes in Ritual.
Somewhat of a child prodigy, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has been playing, writing and recording music almost since he could walk. Though he never graduated high school, he now teaches music at SUNY, when he's not busy touring with Guns n Roses that is. Between that and the re-release of "The Adventures of Bumblefoot" and his first hand-written tab book, Ron and I had a lot to discuss.
San Diego's dual guitar act Sicarus has been gaining force in the California metal scene, sharing the stage with the likes of Threat Signal, Napalm Death, and 3 Inches of Blood. The band's most recent release was the five track "Strength of All" EP, and two songs from the disc are currently available for streaming via the Sicarus MySpace page.
The band's "Mad Scotsman" guitarist Kenny shared the history of the band and how it has changed to move towards a more melodic sound with frequent clean vocal work. While explaining the idea behind the band's most recent EP, Kenny commented "Going to the title track, 'Strength of All' is basically saying that you aren’t going to succumb to all the crap life throws at you and you’ll overcome and prevail over that type of stuff. It’s giving a positive attitude towards life."
You can't go wrong with a lineup like this! Shane Embury of Napalm Death on bass, Silenoz from Dimmu Borgir and Jadar of Old Man's Child on guitars, Tony Laureano from Dimmu Borgir, Malevolent Creation, Nile, and Nachtmystium to name a few on drums, and Marc Grewe of Morgoth on vocals. Although the members span the globe and have extremely full schedules, they managed to get together to record their debut album "Shadowcast" that is straight up old school death metal. I got to speak with Marc Grewe while he was still on vacation to talk about "Shadowcast," possible touring, and the awesome story about how this supergroup got together.
After parting with Lifeforce Records, Massachusetts metallers Hell Within released their Thorp Records debut "God Grant Me Vengeance" on July 13th, 2010. Hell Within guitarist Tony Zimmerman spoke with me about the writing and recording of the band's third full-length album, as well as how the band splits apart the heavier and melodic segments.
"I’d say it’s some of the heaviest stuff we’ve done in some aspects, but then again also some of the musical stuff we’ve done. The vocal melodies and the harmonies I think really came out." stated Zimmerman. He also went on to explain working with Peter Rutcho in the studio and how he spurred the band on to produce their best possible material.
Malevolent Creation is still spreading their death metal straight out of Florida after two decades. The three founding members vocalist Brett Hoffman, guitarist Phil Fasciana and bassist Jason Blachowicz are going as strong as ever and put on a hell of a show that even the old school turned yuppies will come out to see and mosh to. Touring in celebration of their latest creation "Invidious Domain" produced by the illustrious Erik Rutan, I got to talk to Brett and Phil about this new record, touring relentlessly, and Jason's thriving touring tattoo business. A transcription follows.
"Asylum," the latest album from Chicago hard rockers Disturbed, is set to hit stores at the end of the month. In anticipation of the new release, the band has already launched a new music video for the song "Another Way to Die," and also just kicked off a North American tour. Prior to the start of the tour, Disturbed vocalist David Draiman checked in with Metalunderground to discuss the new album.
Commenting on the direction of the album, Draiman stated "There’s heightened levels of complexity and precision and it kind of showcases the abilities that we’ve learned over 10 years of songwriting and touring. It’s definitely everything that fans would expect from the band and a few things that they wouldn’t with a new level of maturation that I think is very evident over the course of the entire record." David also discusses the lyrical themes of "Asylum," extra songs from the recording session that will show up later, working with Todd McFarlane on previous ventures, and the infamous Richard Cheese rendition of the "Down With The Sickness" track.
Death Angel has been thrashing since most of you were kids (or not even born yet). After a long hiatus in the 90s, the band reunited and became mightier than ever. On the eve of their latest release "Relentless Retribution" and currently on tour with Soilwork Death Angel will be touring the US up, down, and back again for the next few months. I caught up with guitarist Ted Aguilar before their headlining show in New Orleans to discuss the new album, their busy tour schedule, and going on a sea cruise. A transcription follows.
Avenged Sevenfold recently hit a milestone in their career, landing at #1 on the Billboard top 200 chart with the band's fifth studio-album "Nightmare." After the passing of drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan, Avenged Sevenfold tapped Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame to handle the drum recording duties on the album and fill in for touring duties.
Just prior to the recent release of the music video for the title track on the new album, Bassist Johnny Christ spoke with Metalunderground about the new album and the band's future. Commenting on the death of The Rev and how it influenced the album, Johnny stated "...when he passed it kind of took the record to a darker place than it already was. It’s definitely a heavier album than the previous ones. We had already planned on that, but obviously all of us are trying to make this more of a tribute to Jimmy. There are a lot of people out there who have lost somebody and we want to let them know they aren’t alone." He also went on to discuss how Mike Portnoy approached the drumming on the album and the distinctive artwork on "Nightmare."
3 Inches of Blood got my attention when I listened to Cam Pipes' Falsettos when my friend played “Deadly Sinners” in his car. Reminiscent of King Diamond, I could not help but fall in love with the fantasy motivated lyrics, the vocals, and the instruments. I got a chance to interview the guitarist, Shane Clark at Mayhem Festival. 3 Inches of Blood will continue to tour this year and is due to record another album earlier next year. They have a new deluxe edition out of “Here Waits Thy Doom” with a DVD and bonus tracks. I strongly encourage readers to check it out.
With the newly revamped lineup of Hydrogyn with ex-Megadeth guitarist Jeff Young, and bassist James Lomenzo, many fans were excited with the fourth coming album: "Judgment." Jeff and Julie Westlake and Jeff Young posted video updates weekly on youtube updating on the recording process. Then, slowly, the video diaries were become less frequent. What happened? In late July, it was announced that Jeff Young has left due to "creative differences." James Lomenzo landed another gig with Lynch Mob.
I talked to Julie about these departures and the future of Hydrogyn. Julie and Jeff Westlake to the contrary, remain hopeful on their future and confident that the new album: "Judgment", will be a huge success.
Even though Testament was not included in the “Big Four,” many have said that Testament are not only as good, but even better than the bands that made up that elite title. You can tell that Testament is at the forefront of the subgenre even more so today,when plenty of modern thrash bands will emulate older Testament riffs.
Chuck Billy has been with Testament from the very beginning with their debut album “The Legacy.” Spanning over twenty years, with nine studio albums, Chuck Billy has forever engraved his name as a top dog vocalist in the thrash hall of fame. Having the capacity to mix harsh vocals reminiscent of old school death metal to a more cleaner style of thrash, Chuck Billy definitely is one of the best vocalists in thrash metal.
“Every (album we write) is an entire spiritual journey, one which changes us both at a personal level, and as musicians. The more you get into such a generous field, it becomes clear how little you actually know. It’s a humble experience as much as it is fascinating,” says Negru, percussionist for the Romanian black metal band Negura Bunget.
Musician Jon Schaffer, best known for his work with Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards, recently launched a new solo project titled Sons of Liberty, which he has said was created to spread awareness about world issues. The band's debut album "Brush Fires of the Mind" was released on July 13th, and is currently available for streaming in its entirety at this location.
Explaining the theme of the album, Schaffer said "It’s all based on things I’ve learned since what I call my 'awakening' to what’s really going on in our country and with our government and the governments around the world and why we are headed to collapse." During our conversation, Schaffer also discussed the recording of the new album and went on to more fully explain the ideas behind the album's lyrics.
haarp (spelled with two a's, all lowercase, get it right!) is one of New Orleans' fastest-rising straight-up metal bands. With the support of their label Houscore Records and it's owner Philip Anselmo, they've got the go ahead to spread their metal to the masses. The band consists of vocalist Shaun, bassist Ryan, guitarist Grant, and drummer Keith. I had a chance to speak with haarp just before their show in Metiarie, Louisiana to discuess their debut full-length album soon to be released, what it's like to have Philip Anselmo as a boss, and Shaun's strange "stage" presence. View Part 1 of the interview. I've included videos of haarp's latest performance for those who aren't yet familiar with their sound. A transcription follows.
haarp (spelled with two a's, all lowercase, get it right!) is one of New Orleans' fastest-rising straight-up metal bands. With the support of their label Houscore Records and it's owner Philip Anselmo, they've got the go ahead to spread their metal to the masses. The band consists of vocalist Shaun, bassist Ryan, guitarist Grant, and drummer Keith. I had a chance to speak with haarp just before their show in Metiarie, Louisiana to discuess their debut full-length album soon to be released, what it's like to have Philip Anselmo as a boss, and Shaun's strange "stage" presence. A transcription follows.