To date, we have conducted 1111 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:
Timo Tolkki………his name has become synonymous with power metal, and in particular Stratovarius, a band he joined in 1985 after its original creation under the moniker Black Water by then drummer Tuomo Lassila, then guitarist Staffan Stråhlman and then bassist John Vihervä. It was Lassila who invented the name “Stratovarius.” At the time Tolkki joined, he was both the guitarist and the vocalist. From 1989’s “Fright Night” to 2003’s “Elements, Pt. II.,” the band put out a prolific string of ten amazing albums, with so many classic songs they are too numerous to count. During that time, in 1994, Timo Kotipelto was added as the band’s vocalist, with Tolkki as the band’s composer and guitarist. 1995 saw the addition of famed keyboardist Jens Johansson and drummer Jörg Michael and the ousting of founder Tuomo Lassila and longtime keyboardist Antti Ikonen (who would later work again with Tolkki on his solo records).
It was in late 2003, after “Elements, Pt. II” was released that a bizarre string of events saw the band break up and reunify in 2005 for the release of the maligned self-titled album. Two very different sides of the story have been told over the years about the end times before the current incarnation of Stratovarius was formed. When the dust settled, the band and its back catalog were handed over to Timo Kotepelto, Jens Johansson and Jorg Michael and Lauri Porra.
A mainstay of the melo-death scene, Sweden's Dark Tranquillity is due to follow-up last album "We Are The Void" with new opus "Construct," which deals with themes of the constructs makind invents to justify bad behavior and bizarre beliefs.
"I wish we could be more honest with ourselves and see things more clearly and be more rational," said vocalist Mikael Stanne when I got the chance to chat him up about the impending album.
The "Construct" release is now only a month away, due out on May 27th in Europe and on May 28th in North America via Century Media Records. Mikael was eager to discuss the band's 10th studio album, explaining how this will be a different beast from previous offerings, as well as sharing some insight into the band's recent bassist split.
Check out the full interview below for a tease about upcoming North American tour dates, as well as a discussion on cruise festivals becoming more prominent in the metal scene.
The pride of Finland, Amorphis began in the earliest days of the extreme metal scene and is still going strong decades later. The band has weathered vocalist changes and gone through a series of major style shifts to reach where it is today with latest album "Circle" (reviewed here).
"Circle" is out now in Europe and due in North American shops on April 30th. Fans wanting to find out about the inner workings of Amorphis during the creation of the album can now get an inside view of the process courtesy of guitarist Esa Holopainen. Read our interview with Esa below to discover how the lyrical themes have changed, what's happening with music videos from the album, and how a few recording changes offered a different sound for this latest full-length.
Thrawsunblat’s first release, “Canada 2010,” was a blackened wonder, with the occasional folksy passage jelling with the blast beats and hasty shrieks. Featuring the late David Gold on drums, the album signaled the beginning of what could turn into a fruitful career.
After Gold’s passing, vocalist/guitarist Joel Violette continued on with the project, recruiting new members and working on “Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings.” Incorporating more melodic dynamics and stretching out above the fury of “Canada 2010,” this album fuels the claims of Thrawsunblat being one of the best underground Canadian metal bands out there today. I had a chance to discuss Thrawsunblat’s latest release with drummer Rae Amitay.
Earlier this year French act NecroWretch served up some devastatingly sacrilegious, old school death metal with latest album "Putrid Death Sorcery." The brutal debut is out now through Century Media, and vocalist/guitarist Vlad wasn't shy in sharing what he wanted to do with these tracks.
"The album sounds like a massive hammer smashed your face, and in the slow parts, your resurrection as an undead creature," Vlad gleefly explains. Check out the full interview below for a rundown on just what constitutes "Putrid Death Sorcery."
Original released in the band's native Australia, Thy Art Is Murder teamed up with Nuclear Blast for a European and North American release of latest album "Hate" earlier this month.
With the album drop handled and a label deal in the bag, the band is now gearing up to brutalize audiences on multiple continents, including an impending Summer trek with Cattle Decapitation. Find out all about upcoming live activity, what went into recording "Hate," and the filming of a music video in the interview below with Thy Art Is Murder bassist Sean Delander.
“Melodic death metal from Finland” may be one of the most commonly used phrases in the modern age of metal. With a slew of bands from the region with “similar sounds,” Damnation Plan have set its goals high with the release of the debut LP “The Wakening.” In what may seem easier than spiting into a hurricane force wind, the band employs the oft common “double vocalist,” however the more underutilized male/male (death/clean). Metal Underground.com caught up with the band’s Pakistani born vocalist Asim Searah to talk about the band’s approach, how hard it is to stay original in the face of genre tagging and the band’s plans to conquer the metal world.
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.
Eminence first played America last year when they stepped onto a boat to play a show with Prong as part of a CMJ/Metal Insider concert. The Brazilian band returned recently to play a few shows at Austin, Texas’ annual industry blow out, SXSW. The group played multiple times, including a South American metal band showcase featuring historic first American performances by three Cuban metal bands.
Eminence is approaching its 20-year anniversary, but the group is still under the radar in America. With a new album in the works, one that includes guest appearances by Sepultura’s Paulo JR, new video on the way and a different voice on the microphone—Eminence chose the ideal time to make a splash north of the Equator. Guitarist Alan Wallace and legendary Brazilian drummer Andre Marcio (Overdose, ex-Armmagedon) met with Metal Underground at their hotel to discuss these events and outline some of the band’s history.
Out now through Season of Mist, German black metal outfit Imperium Dekadenz's fourth and latest full-length album is "Meadows of Nostalgia," which can be ordered right here.
To let fans in on how this release came together and how the album compares to previous offerings, Imperium Dekadenz vocalist/guitarist Horaz got in touch with us for a brief interview. "We had the goal to improve the sound but also doing a step back to a more old school style," he comments while discussing the recording process, going on to say "It is harsher, wider, and more powerful. As nostalgia is the important factor on this album we wanted to sound epic but also rough and rusty."
Check out what Horaz had to say in the interview below regarding the album's artwork and a call for fans to put together lyric videos for the release.
If you love all things avant-garde and progressive and haven't heard the name Azure Emote before, get ready for this project to show up on your radar in a big way. The band features members who have been involved with Fear Factory, System Divide, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Vile, Monstrosity, and more, and is out now with second full-length album "The Gravity of Impermanence."
Metalunderground.com is now hosting a full stream of the entire release right here, which is a discordant symphony featuring bizarre industrial sounds, backing choirs, symphonic strings, and death metal brutality.
Before immersing yourself in the heavenly havoc, check out our interview with the band below, in which vocalist Mike Hrubovcak was kind enough to provide a complete track-by-track breakdown of the album, along with a full history on the band.
Portland trio Gaytheist is gearing up to burst out of the closet and onto the streets with "Hold Me...But Not So Tight." The rollicking good time and follow-up to "Stealth Beats" will see release through Good To Die Records this coming May 21st.
Intrigued by the name and sound, I got in touch with front man Jason Rivera to chat him up about "Hold Me..." and all things Gaytheist. Check out a transcript of our chat below, in which Jason discussed the multiple interpretations of the band's name, recording at Interlace Audio with "Stealth Beats" producer Stephan Hawkes, and the Portland music scene.
Following the 2010 release "Nifelvind" (reviewed here), Finnish folk metal outfit Finntroll is now out with new full-length album "Blodsvept."
We recently had the chance to chat up Finntroll vocalist Mathias Lillmåns (aka Vreth) to hear what he had to say about the creation of this new extreme folk mashup. Read on to find out about the band's difficulties in the studio, Finntroll's changing lyrical focus, and guitarist Skrymer working overtime on the album's artwork.
The wind and rain was picking up about half way through Metal Church’s first set of the “Reunion at Sea” aboard 70000 Tons of Steel as the boat was rushing hellbound towards the Caribbean island of Grand Turk. That may have been the destination for some of the 2,000 passengers aboard the Majesty of the Seas, but not for old metal warhorses like me. You see, this cruise had little to do with sunshine and warmth. There were 80 shows to be seen and I was hellbound to see as many as I could, even if that meant sacrificing a day at the beach to catch up on sleep deprivation and drunken madness. The return of Metal Church was just one of those many highlights, as the first show set list consisted of the songs voted on by fans prior to the cruise. It was enough to bring a large guy to tears. Just before the Easter holiday, I spoke to Ronny Munroe to reminisce about the memories of that night in late January, as well as the future of the band, which includes a new album on the horizon. Read and listen along:
Newly signed to Century Media Records, the name Vattnet Viskar has yet to be paired on disc with the popular label. However, the group has already made a name for itself on the internet. They sent a demo and a self-titled EP all around the internet, which eventually led to their signing with Century Media. Their name alone has found appeal with black metal and pagan/folk metal fans, particularly fans of atmospheric/shoe gazing bands such as Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room, although the group hails from the opposite side of the country—New Hampshire.
Metal Underground linked up with cinematic guitar master, Chris Alfieri at SXSW to talk about the band’s signing, their take on the festival and choice of band name. The following interview took place outside of the Mohawk bar during the Vans/Pitchfork showcase before the band played on the venue’s indoor stage.
Blending together prog rock and metal, Vancouver's Anciients recently signed to Season of Mist and is now gearing up to release the "Heart of Oak" album.
What can fans expect from the disc? According to a press release, something truly spectacular: "Somewhere between sheer, apocalyptic heaviness and precise riffing, lays otherworldly Anciients - a rock juggernaut forging crushing heavy metal evocative of veterans High on Fire and contemporary sonic craftsmen, Opeth."
This coming April 16th you'll get the chance to find out if the band lives up that lofty pedigree (you can also check out an advance track below), and pre-orders are available through Season of Mist at this location.
With another two and a half weeks to go before the album's official drop, guitarists/vocalists Chris and Kenny corresponded with Metalunderground.com to explain how the band reached this point and what went into the creation of "Heart of Oak." Find out about the hardships and loss the group suffered during the writing and recording, along with a full track-by-track breakdown of the release, through the full interview below.
An effort five years in the making, Reign of the Architect is now nearing the official release of "Rise" through Pitch Black Records. Based in Israel but featuring musicians from other parts of the globe, the multinational project will drop its debut album on April 16th (May 14th in the US).
To get a taste of the group's crazy death-prog-opera mayhem, Metalunderground.com will soon be premiering a sampling of songs off "Rise," so stay tuned for further details. In the mean time, guitarist and band mastermind Yuval Kramer go in touch with us to explain how the ambitious project came together.
Covering a wide range of sounds and styles, "Rise" features musicians giving their all in everything they do. While explaining how the album came together, Yuval said: "When we write music I always push myself and the musicians I work with to the truth. To that raw emotion, looking for the exposed nerve and let it scream for you. Letting each of us be honest, naked and exposed in front of the microphone. Some takes finished in tears, some in smiles, some with bleeding fingers and sore throats and without it, it's just not worth it.”
Putting saw raw emotion into an album necessitated some interesting setups in the studio, with Yuval commenting, “weird things happened here, not all of them were fully clothed.” Get the full scoop on "Rise" and the history of Reign of the Architect below.
Skeletonwitch has now achieved a decade of music. The first ten years were nothing short of astonishing. Instead of hitting a sophomore slump, which many bands experience after concocting a must-listen formula, the group improved and found a much larger audience with Prosthetic Records when they released “Beyond the Permafrost” in 2007. Something about the Ohio-based group’s sound, a boney blend of thrash, black and melodic death with conspicuous European influences, commanded listeners’ attention. Over the years, their following has grown to the point where one can’t talk about the modern metal scene without mentioning the name Skeletonwitch.
Since their latest jaunt was a U.S. headlining tour with Havok, Early Graves and Mutilation Rites, Skeletonwitch has been home working on their fifth full-length recording. Heading into the group’s second decade of music, it seemed fitting that Metal Underground spoke to vocalist Chance Garnette at SXSW. As he states in the following conversation, Skeletonwitch last played SXSW around ’04 or ’05—an early point in the band’s career. As SXSW helped jump start the first ten years of their career, it has provided a platform to launch its second decade of music. Before hearing the band play a new track at the Van’s/Pitchfork’s SXSW day showcase at the Mohawk, Garnette aptly described what we would hear. Read on further for that description.
Zack Kinsey and Brent Hedtke are the masterminds behind the death/doom project Vulgaari. Starting out as a personal project that eventually found its way onto Bandcamp, the duo worked on collecting enough songs to put together a self-titled album late last year.
Both of them bring their own musical tastes to the band, and that makes for some fascinating dynamics at play. Hedtke’s lead work has a bluesy twist that clashes with Kinsey’s harsh background, and the harmonies the two guitarists engage in are never dull.
I had a chance to speak to both members of Vulgaari about the songwriting process for their first album and making the perfect set list for a live show.
Fenriz and Nocturno Culto (AKA Ted) may be iconic superstars in the eyes of many fans of Norwegian metal, but they also epitomize the underground and reflect the lives of many of the scene's enthusiasts (they both still work day jobs and never tour).
The duo, also recently covered in our Sunday Old School column, now has a new full-length album out and ready to be devoured by the hungry metal masses, fittingly titled "The Underground Resistance."
The Darkthrone machine defies expectations pretty much whenever possible and doesn't concern itself much with sticking to a genre label, traveling from black metal to punk and even other styles. Following 2010's "Circle the Wagons" release, "The Underground Resistance" (reviewed here) offers everything from power metal to '80s era Celtic Frost influences.
Take a trek into the mind of an unassuming metal titan and find out everything there is to know about this latest genre defying opus - from inception to recording to art - in our interview with Fenriz below.
Just bursting onto the scene and newly signed to Century Media, Illinois act Starkill is getting ready to drop a debut full-length album. "Fires of Life" is due out April 29th in Europe and April 30th in North America via Century Media Records.
This young act is already gearing up to assault the U.S. metal masses, hitting the road next month with Hypocrisy and Krisiun. With anticipation building and the band excited to take to the national stage, vocalist Parker Jameson checked in with Metalunderground to share Starkill's plans for metal domination.
Read our interview below to discover how the band came together, how the artwork for the new album was crafted, and what will be happening in the future for this rising act.
An eclectic slice of all things metal, Andy Winter's new album "Incomprehensible" (reviewed here) features an array of guest musicians from Europe and North America. The disc sees contributions from members of Madder Mortem, Starofash, Agalloch, Tristania, Novembers Doom, and more, making this a must-hear for fans of just about any style.
Excited to share "Incomprehensible" with the world, the mastermind behind the project conducted an interview with us, diving into how these tracks came together with musicians scattered across the globe working in tandem.
The verbose Winter discusses the tight-nit Norwegian musical community, how people will likely interpret the lyrics differently from one another, and his own history in the metal scene.
Channeling the very essence of the underground is Rashid of solo act Zebulon Kosted, who has put out over 100 releases and been a champion of his local metal scene for years. Covering everything from dark ambient to extreme black metal, Rashid's discography covers a wide swathe of the musical spectrum.
The latest in the Zebulon Kosted line of albums is now nearing release, bearing the unusually distinctive title of "The Corrupt Dictator Mobutu Sese Seko." In his typically a-typical fashion, Rashid recorded this album without writing a single note prior to entering the studio. Commenting on the gamble, he stated "I was very stressed about it the last couple of days before I went into the studio, but I was excited as well, it was a new personal challenge and test. The end result was a single 50 minute long black metal track that far surpasses my old releases."
Read on to see what's been happening with the band over the last few years, Rashid's new label Al-Hadid Records, and some interesting shows that can only be experienced with underground local bands.
A year after the rise of "Undead," the iconic deathsters in Six Feet Under are already gearing up for the sequel "Unborn." Pre-orders are now available through Metal Blade here, and the latest auditory assault from the band is due out March 19th, 2013.
For Six Feet Under fans who can't get enough and need to hear more before the album's release, we got in contact with the quintessential death metal vocalist Chris Barnes to hear what he had to say about "Unborn." Read on to find out how these latest two albums are connected and get an inside look at how "Unborn" came together.
The long-running Polish metallers in Hate dropped their latest opus "Solarflesh" (reviewed here) earlier this month. The death squad will also be hitting the road in Europe in March to support the album along with the legendary Hypocrisy.
Metalunderground.com got in touch with Hate guitarist "Destroyer" to find out what the band was up to between the "Erebos" and "Solarflesh" releases and what went into this new release. Destroyer shares his take on over-produced metal ("We were looking for a really raw and organic sound that would match the wilderness of ATF Sinner's lyrics"), and also discusses the album's themes of humanity being enslaved on multiple levels. Check out the full interview below.