To date, we have conducted 1190 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:
A behemoth is something gigantic. The word also pertains to a hippo (a gigantic creature) being described in the bible. Both of these usages can be applied to Poland's black/death creation of the same name. Their music is large and lyrically looks to the Bible's antagonist, Lucifer, for inspiration. In terms of touring and selling albums, Behemoth has become a giant in the extreme metal market. Part of this can be attributed to touring. Part of their success can be attributed to their merchandise and on-stage visuals. Another facet of their success, obviously, is putting out good records.
In their early days, Behemoth played a major role in defining Eastern Europe's black metal scene. Midway through the band's career, they started moving into death metal territory in the vein of U.S. bands such as Morbid Angel and Deicide. The last couple of albums including recent hell blazer "The Satanist" showcase a black/death approach with a greater philosophical bent in the lyrics and epic transitions. I was fortunate to catch their act on the Metal Alliance tour. Their set was mired in theatrics--horned masks, face paint, fire and elaborate back drops. While the band has always wore costumes while performing, they bring so much more than the armor and corpse paint of the last show I caught in 2009.
Before playing in front of a 1,000 or so people at Emo's in Austin, Texas, I stepped onto Behemoth's bus to chat with bassist, Orion. In the following interview, he breaks down how the band worked on aspects of "The Satanist" such as working with artists and video production companies to get the proper visuals for the album art and forthcoming videos. He talks about the band's set list, touring cycle and making it in the United States.
A modernized, fancy van sat in the parking lot of Emo's in Austin, Texas. Goatwhore's Sammy Duet sat inside the van drinking a beer. The group's bassist, James Harvey, stood outside. Both gave a running commentary on the band's new album "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless," which raged through the van's speakers. Sammy told me that I didn't hear the album, so I there will be no descriptions of the album in this introduction, although I will comment on the track "Baring Teeth For Revolt" because the group premiered this song during their set.
I didn't approach Goatwhore's van to hang out and hear new tunes. I was there looking for Ben Falgoust to set up an interview time. The clearly visible members of Goatwhore sitting in an open van seemed rather inviting, at least for approaching the band for an interview. A man with long, blonde hair and goatee spoke with a European accent I couldn't place. I thought he was a member of Behemoth hanging out with Goatwhore. He actually was Archaon, guitarist of 1349 and the Goatwhore members were sitting in his group's van.
I learned this fact of van ownership during my interview with Falgoust a couple hours later. We discussed this massive tour that the band had only just begun. In the following interview, we also talk about the band's forthcoming full-length "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless."
Rex_84: Goatwhore has a new album, "Constricting Rage of the Merciless," on the rise. You have a way for fans to purchase it at your shows.
The Belgian black metal masters are back! Following 2012's "Obsidium," Enthroned has released new dark opus "Sovereigns," out now via Agonia Records. This latest Satanic incantation bears artwork painted by guitarist Neraath, featuring the addition of blood and "other tissues" from the band members.
Frontman Nornagest recently checked in with Metalunderground.com for an interview detailing the creation of "Sovereigns," the album's lyrics, his favorite beer, and joining fellow Belgian outfit Goat Torment, which can all be read below.
Canada's biggest death metal export, Gorguts recently undertook one of the best extreme metal tours of 2014. Sponsored by Decibel Magazine, Gorguts joined Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder and Noisem. After a mind-blowing set, band founder and guitar shredding extraordinaire, Luc Lemay joined me for an interview in Mohawk club's green room. In the following video interview we discuss this massive tour, the band's new drummer and the influence Death imparted upon Gorguts. Video by "The Montopolis Thrasher" Victor Guerrero (The Black Dahlia Murder plays in the background).
Rex_84: How is the tour going so far?
Luc Lemay: Amazing! Good stuff.
Rex_84: How do you like touring with these other bands? This is the first time you've toured with all of these bands, right?
Lemay: Yes. Everything is great. It's been super fun. Everybody is nice. It's perfect. I can't complain.
Rex_84: How do you feel about the difference in style for each band?
Lemay: Killer! You have Noisem who brings this grindcore aspect to the tour. You have us (unintelligible). Black Dahlia has this...(grabs a handful of air) very heavy stuff. They bring the hardcore fans. And then you have Carcass. They've been around for so long. It's perfect. There is something for everybody.
Rex_84: And Gorguts is in the middle spot on the bill. Is this the placement throughout the tour?
Lemay: Yes, we have the second spot.
Rex_84: How do you feel about playing this spot?
Lemay: It's perfect. Whatever spot, we get to play. We get to be part of this.
Rex_84: Carcass is a legendary band.
Lemay: Dude, yes! They sound awesome!
Rex_84: Was Carcass an early influence on Gorguts?
Lemay: Well (shows hesitation in response)...we always listened to their music. Did they influence our stuff? Maybe when we started, even then, I don't know because I had "Reek of Putrefaction" and "Symphonies of Sickness," but I don't think Gorguts ever sounded like Carcass. But I was always a fan. I have those records on vinyl. I have the Peel Sessions on vinyl. Do you remember those Peel Sessions?
Breaking out as an extreme metal band is nigh impossible no matter where you come from. But when your home country happens to be Australia, you're about as cut off from the mandatory North American and European touring circuits and irreplaceable markets as you can get.
So, bands from the antipodean nether realms that flirt with metals harshest borders seem to go one of two routes. One, they build up a good following at home, covering massive spans of distance between isolated cities on red-earth continent and hope the hometown hype machine is enough to catapult them overseas on the strength of a European or American record deal. It got King Parrot signed to Candlelight and over the U.S. It got Psycroptic signed to Nuclear Blast, which sent them all over the world. Adelaide/Newcastle grinders Captain Cleanoff have also manged to tour both the U.S. and Europe on occasion. This is by no means a comprehensive list of Australian bands that have managed to tour outside the borders of their kangaroo and koala-infested homeland.
Andrew Glover’s been making records that you may have heard now for about six years, although you might not know him for that particular skill. This is probably because he’s also the very visible bassist in Winds of Plague when he’s not down at Sound Temple Studio in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Largely responsible for the actual sound of the finished product, Andrew has been flexing his audio engineer muscles (working those ears and that computer keyboard!) to not only make professional modern productions, but to highlight what the bass guitar is capable of within the heavy framework of metal.
Having recently wrapped up a 2-day live seminar with CreativeLive on the essentials of recording bass guitar (which can be viewed here), Glover took some time to answer a few questions from Metal Underground to enlighten readers on the subject.
Every few years you can expect the ever-reliable Finnish outfit Insomnium to let loose another darkly atmospheric bout of melodic death metal.
The band's latest offering "Shadows of the Dying Sun" lands at the end of the month, following 2011's "One For Sorrow" (reviewed here). After keeping a very recognizable base sound across each album through the years, there will be a few surprises in store for fans this time around.
"I would say the core sound of our band is there," said Insomnium member Ville Friman when I spoke with him last week, adding "I think we have used our influences differently on this album, though... It's more diverse."
During our discussion, Ville took me through the writing and recording of "Shadows of the Dying Sun," touching on everything from how lyric videos come together to bonus material on the album's special edition.
The Detroit metalcore newcomers in Assassins just released their debut full-length album "War Of Aggression" and marked the occasion by hitting the road with Carnifex for the "Die Without Hope" tour.
Front man Todd Jansen took some time out from the U.S. trek to check in with Metalunderground and discuss the band's origins, signing to eOne Music, and what the band will be up to now that the album is out and the tour is coming to an end.
Thursday, March 20th, 2014. Destruction had just wrapped a ripping set at Springfield, Virginia's Empire, the third stop of the German thrashers' current North American tour. Since I'd interviewed guitarist Mike Sifringer upon arrival, I thought it only appropriate to finish the night by catching up with the support act: Brazilian trio Krisiun.
Amid a slowly waning bustle of gear breakdown and merch removal (what was left, anyway), I stood before Krisiun's bassist/vocalist Alex Camargo. A formidable rock of a man with a menacing death metal stage demeanor, Alex in his downtime revealed a far different, relaxed side at odds with his swarthy "Machete" resemblance and husky voice. Here's what happened...
The Norwegian thrash maniacs in Nocturnal Breed just unleashed latest sonic assault “Napalm Nights,” which comes seven long years after previous studio album ”Fields of Rot.”
It was a long and winding journey to get this album out, seeing the band go through lineup changes and extended periods of inactivity.
Nocturnal Breed's S.A. Destroyer got in touch with Metalunderground.com for an absolutely mammoth interview covering everything from the band's previous use of professional strippers in live shows, to the many other projects he's been involved with over the last few years, and the guest appearance of Nocturno Culto on several tracks.
This was show number three for the North American tour, and I reckoned I was in for the prime specimen tonight: bands with a pair of performances under their belts, loosening up and easing into a confident routine, yet with vast reserves of energy yet to be unleashed.
Not long after arriving at Springfield, Virginia's Empire (formerly Jaxx), I was propped on a tall stool in the Alchemy Room, a cozy bar just beyond the box office and separated from the venue proper by a pair of corridors and two sets of doors. Setting a half-full scotch rocks on the modest circular table, I glanced left at an unmistakable figure headed my way from the gloom of the concert hall.
I shook his hand. "Mike," I introduced myself. The rail-thin, grizzled figure chuckled, graying lion's-mane curls bobbing slightly. "Easy to remember," came the thick German-accented English, and I realized I was speaking with metal's incarnation of Scar ("The Lion King"), had actor Jeremy Irons used his humorous faux-German from his "Die Hard With A Vengeance" role.
Mike Sifringer, co-founder of Destruction and only permanent member to date, took a seat. The Alchemy Room was nearly empty, sound checks were still in muffled progress beyond the doors, and we immediately dove into a relaxed Q&A session. Destruction had recently booked Hell & Heaven Corona Metal Fest, and our transcript picks up with the event's last-minute cancellation.
Human Furnace, a.ka. James Bulloch, says he's been using this moniker since ninth grade. It was a thing he used to sign his pictures with, like a Pushead signature. He used that nickname even before he even got into the band. These sketched images proved a precursor to his verbal art in Ringworm. When thinking of the band's latest opus "Hammer of the Witch," images bubble to the surface like an eyeball in a witch's cauldron.
"Hammer of the Witch" was just one of the topics we discussed with the front man after his performance at the Metal Sucks Showcase at SXSW. The album is the first to include the words "Relapse Records" on the back cover. This may be the band's first on Relapse, but they have a history dating back 25 years. Human Furnace feels much of their time wasn't promoted properly before signing to Relapse.
Distractions were minimal in the alley behind Dirty Dog Bar. Cops wondered shone their flash lights on us to see if we were packing heat or smoking pot. Austin had raised their level of security after the tragic events from the prior day . For this reason and the multitudes of drunk SXSW attendees passing by, it was not the ideal setting for an interview, but that didn't stop Human Furnace from fully speaking his mind as we discussed the above-mentioned topics.
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.