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:
"I am the only one in my family who plays an instrument," says Amon Amarth guitarist Johan Söderberg of first picking up the guitar when he was a 19-year-old in Tumba, Sweden. "I was playing lots of Metallica riffs – James Hetfield was a big inspiration in the beginning – and Iron Maiden was one of the first bands I started to listen to. Also a big influence was the German band Accept. I was very into them when I was a kid, and I wanted to also play metal riffs."
Seven years later, Söderberg riffed his way into Amon Amarth, probably best known for their melodic instrumentation and Viking themes. "We friends since we grew up, and then one day they fired their old guitar player and they need to find replacement for their first tour. They asked me." After a successful stint on the road, Söderberg joined the band on a more permanent basis with 1999's "The Avenger," the second Amon Amarth album in the Metal Blade catalogue. Söderberg's guitar techniques have been an integral part of the band's sound ever since.
Currently invading North America on a headlining tour de force to promote their latest album "Twilight of the Thunder God," Amon Amarth has played to full venues in nearly every city. Before hitting the stage at their Montreal stop, Söderberg graciously took the time to fill us in about making "Twilight of the Thunder God," the band's future with Metal Blade Records, and life on the tour bus.
I was fortunate to catch up with Metallica Tribute band Battery on October 17th, 2008 at Magic City Music Hall in Binghamton, New York. Although I wasn't able to meet with all of the band because the drummer had to run across the street to guitar center and get "fog juice" as he put it, I was still able to meet with guitarist/singer Jason, lead guitarist Jay, and bass player Phil. Here's what they had to say:
When you think of New Orleans and the underground scene, one band stands out: EyeHateGod. The down-toned, doomy sludge produced by this band isn’t only responsible for defining a local scene, but for creating a sub-genre movement. Through arrests, hurricanes, and unfaithful labels, EyeHateGod recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary, sharing the date three yeas after Katrina’s impact, to a sold out show at One Eyed Jack’s in New Orleans that had their followers lined up two blocks long, staying long after EHG took the stage. I asked Mike IX Williams, vocalist, about EHG turning twenty, the NOLA underground scene, and where IX came from.
Out of the isolated realms of Tasmania, Australian tech-death act Psycroptic has made their presence on the scene known with 3 brutal albums of psychotically diverse vocals, unique rhythms and killer speed and technicality. Now with album number four due to be released worldwide on October 14th, Psycroptic is once again set to show the metal world the meaning of the phrase technical death metal.
Pioneers in death metal and a huge part of the Tampa death metal scene, Obituary has been keeping it fierce for nearly twenty years. Despite a seven year hiatus, Obituary has proven that they are as important to the scene now as they were when it first began. Now with release of “Xecutioner’s Return” and their tour with Unleashed and Carnifex to support it, there is no slowing down. With plans for their next album and tour already in the works, Obituary proves why they have been so important to death metal and why they have reached death metal legendary status. I recently caught up with Frank Watkins, bass, at the House of Blues in New Orleans on the second night of their tour.
The renowned Bay area thrash band Exodus have been pumping out albums since 1985 amid numerous line-up changes, record label issues, a full scale break up, and even the death of a vocalist. Despite all the problems the band is continuing on at full speed without skipping a beat, and is set to release a re-recording of their classic first album "Bonded by Blood."
If punk, metal, and rock had an orgy, Mongrel would be the bastard love child. A fusion of edgy and raging guitar, anthem-like vocals with heavy drums, Mongrel is an example of cross-genre at its best. Based out of New Hampshire, high-energy Mongrel has gained quite a reputation, building a fan base from the US to Australia, gaining radio play, touring non-stop and opening for acts like The Misfits, Otep, The Exploited, and All That Remains. Their album, “Fear, Lies, and Propaganda” was picked up earlier this year by Screaming Ferret Wreckords for re-release. I caught up with Adam Savage, guitar, and talked about Mongrel’s beginnings, playing cross-genre music, and playing live. Be on the look out for these guys, they are onto something.
I don't feel particularly special, I just feel really lucky. – Justin Broadrick
Final. Napalm Death. Godflesh. Jesu. Starting his music career at the age of 11, releasing his own demo for Final, signing up with Napalm Death in 1985, forming Godflesh in 1988, and Jesu in 2003, Justin Broadrick has had his hands in the metal scene, being a member of some of the most influential groups to grindcore, industrial metal, post-metal, and alternative metal. Turning down offers to join Faith No More and Danzig and producing for Pantera, Isis, Pelican, Earth, Knut, Justin Broadrick has earned the respect of musicians and fans alike. With the much anticipated release of "Why Are We Not Perfect" off of HydraHead this week, Justin Broadrick has once again proven that he can test the waters, push the limits, and continue to evolve.
When you mix twenty-two years of playing music together with the determination to own the music and make it for them, you get one of the most influential bands since Discharge. Neurosis have catapulted themselves to a band that no one knew what to do with to a band to be respected and their unique sound - a mixture of post-metal, doom metal, a pinch of punk, and tribal-like drum beats - have both awed fans and inspired musicians with their sheer intensity of their recorded output and their notoriously devastating live performances. Add incredible visuals that both move and terrify and Neurosis leaves its mark wherever they go.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Scott Kelly, vocalist and guitarist of Neurosis, about their music, their legacy, and the UFC.
Forward-thinking fans of metal should have Suspyre on their musical radar. The New Jersey outfit specializes in the kind of tech-heavy sounds bands like Spiral Architect and Watchtower helped put on the map. After releasing two critically acclaimed full-length albums, Suspyre is about to unveil "When Time Fades..." on prog-metal powerhouse, Sensory Records. Lead singer, Clay Barton has one of the most powerful yet tuneful voices in metal going today, so even though the band's arrangements fly all over the place, there are enough melodic hooks to keep you reeled in. Metal Underground's Carlos Ramirez had a chance to talk to guitarist Gregg Rossetti about their new material, their intricate songwriting, and his favorite prog-metal albums of all time.
American metal legends Iced Earth are finally finishing the legacy of their Something Wicked storyline began ten years ago with the album "Something Wicked This Way Comes." The culmination of the story, titled "The Crucible of Man," will be released this September just before the band goes on a headlining tour across North America. Founding member and guitarist Jon Schaffer recently answered some questions about the upcoming album and the Something Wicked storyline during a phone interview from his studio.
Thrash metal legends Testament have been a subgenre titan for over 20 years now. With the original lineup mostly reformed and their critically acclaimed new album "The Formation of Damnation" released earlier this year, they have embarked on a massive touring campaign in support of their new album. I had the opportunity to sit down with guitarist Alex Skolnick and drummer Paul Bostaph at the Chicago leg of the Metal Masters Tour (also featuring Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell and Motorhead).
Chrome Division is a hard hitting rock and roll band with a heavy metal edge that focuses on all those things that make rock music so much fun, namely Booze, Broads, and Beelzebub, which just happens to also be the name of the band's latest album. Although the band is composed of members from more extreme outfits such as Dimmu Borgir and The Kovenant, Chrome Division has its own distinctive style that has been crafted specifically to get people taking shots and singing along. The band's bassist Bjorn Luna recently answered some questions about Chrome Division and their new album.
Branded the most brutal metal drummer of our time, Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II, has been consistently acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including usage of odd devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms. His highly technical precision of playing increasingly fast and challenging tempos, with extreme accuracy, earned him the nickname "The Atomic Clock." He is best known for his works with the bands Death, Strapping Young Lad and Testament.
Completely self-taught, Hoglan got his first drum kit when he was 13. He began his music career in the early 80s, playing drums during concert sound checks for legendary metal band, Slayer, and working as their lights engineer on tour. He also formed the well known thrash band, War God, with Michelle Meldrum. At the end of the same year he was asked to drum for the thrash metal band Dark Angel, and wrote most of the lyrics for their next three albums. He achieved even greater notoriety during the 1990s playing with Death, recording an album with the thrash metal band Testament, and making the acquaintance of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend, forging a lasting friendship. He has since recorded several albums with Townsend, both as part of the speed/industrial/death metal band Strapping Young Lad and Townsend's solo albums.
Hoglan recently played on "The Dethalbum," for Adult Swim's animated TV show, Metalocalypse. "The Deathalbum," debuted at #21 in the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting death metal album in history. He just finished touring with Dethklok, selling out shows in every city. Hannah and I got to sit down with Gene and discuss the Dethklok tour, various percussion instruments he's created, and the recent loss of his dear friend Michelle Meldrum.
The co-creation of comedic geniuses Brendon Small (creator of Adult Swim's Home Movies) and Tommy Blacha (writer of Late Nite with Conan O'Brien and Ali G), Metalocalypse is the most brutal metal cartoon to date. The show is about the metal band Dethklok, the most famous and influential band in the world. So influential, in fact, that Dethklok fans commit mass suicide when Dethklok album releases are delayed. Regardless of knowing that thousands of people die at Dethklok concerts, the fans still attend for the mere opportunity to be a part of history. Dethklok is held as the twelfth largest economy in the world (just above Belgium). Meanwhile, a secret government organization strategizes tirelessly to thwart Dethklok's rise, but keeps their efforts low key, so as to avoid a massive revolt by Dethklok's fans.
Hannah and I had the opportunity to witness two live performances by Dethklok: at The Nokia Center in NYC, and the TLA in Philadelphia. Most, if not all, of the shows on the tour were sold out, and every piece of merchandise was sold (only one box of merchandise was left for the last show of 4000 people). The band, consisting of lead guitarist and vocalist Brendon Small, rhythm guitarist Mike Keneally, bassist Bryan Beller, and drummer Gene Hoglan, played in the dark affront a giant projection screen which played clips from the Metalocalypse cartoon (with lyrics so the fans could sing along). The band incorporated interaction with the cartoons on the screen, including intervals where the band would leave the stage and the audience was left to watch the cartoon for a few minutes until the band returned. The cartoon excerpts were witty leaving the fans laughing, and cheering the band on as they would return to the stage.
This Adult Swim cartoon band has a following that is unsurpassed in death metal. We were lucky to have the opportunity to sit down with Brendon Small, co-creator (and most of the character voices) and Gene Hoglan (legendary Metal Drummer). We asked Small what he thinks about metal, how this idea was conceived, and how it feels to be the voice of the most popular cartoon death metal lead vocalist (Nathan Explosion) in the world.
Swiss black metal pioneers Samael have been evolving their sound and producing albums successively more advanced than the previous ones for the duration of their twenty year career. While the transformation from old school black metal to more progressive material with liberal use of electronic elements has angered some of their fans, it has gained them many more and garnered international success. Formed by brothers Vorph and Xy, Samael’s latest album “Solar Soul” was released just over a year ago, and the band is currently preparing for a U.S. tour alongside Amorphis and Virgin Black. Vocalist Vorph recently answered several questions for me via e-mail about the band's music and the upcoming tour.
American Speedway is a high-energy, heavy rock and roll band out of Philadelphia, conceived in February 2007. The band has since earned their mark as live, powerhouse rock and roll band that reminds listeners why they fell in love with music in the first place. The energy brought by the band during their live show cannot be compared to the sounds on their album - they must be seen live in concert. The band "brings it" loud, heavy and fast, something that seems to be missing in today's modern rock music.
American Speedway has enjoyed much success already in less than a year together. For one, the band has quickly established a growing, loyal fan base by traveling feverishly and performing in various cities on the east coast (Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Winston-Salem, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cleveland, etc.) and constantly winning over not only new fans, but also club owners.
In late-summer 2007, the band caught the eye of Prophase Music, an independent record label based on the outskirts of Philadelphia, who offered them a pressing and distribution arrangement to release the band's debut album, "Ship of Fools." Prophase is exclusively distributed by MVD Entertainment Group (MVD), and will be releasing their debut record, "Ship of Fools," on vinyl (limited edition). In October 2007, American Speedway was picked up by the music marketing powerhouse, The Syndicate, who will be pushing the band's debut release to radio and press, while using its street teams for added band awareness.
The main philosophy of the band is real simple and that's to play what they like, and that's "real" rock and roll. American Speedway is not here to reinvent the wheel. They are not here to earn scene points, win musician competitions, nor be the next biggest thing. The band is here to write and record songs they like, and have a great time playing live on stage.
I had the chance to talk to Michael Thursby Speedway, lead vocalist of American Speedway.
Seattle based metal band Stabbingback have taken an interesting approach to their music, choosing to exclusively release dual albums, one strictly heavy metal and a companion that is more acoustic rock oriented. The band was just recently signed to C2M2 Records and released their debut albums "Redeemer" and "Absolution." They answered some questions with me just before playing some of their lighter set at a cafe in Great Falls, Montana.
Musician Rachid, using the name Zebulon Kosted for his solo material, has performed in thirteen different bands and released numerous solo albums on both cassette and CD. Corresponding via e-mail, Rachid explained his views on extreme metal, the inspiration for his music, and his goal to record one hundred separate albums during his life. He is also currently in the process of recording a new album titled "Cavernous Quiet."
After playing an amazingly atmospheric and heartfelt show on the first stop of the Hostferd tour, Fargo based black metal band Hennes Siste Host chatted with me about their band and their interest in Norway. Currently residing on Init records, a label known more for punk bands than metal, they have already released their debut album and our planning more tours in the future to grow their fan base and make a name for themselves in the black metal scene.
Hardcore band At Home In Hell put a unique spin on their music by providing an elaborate black light show and utilizing masks and costumes during live performances. After playing their set at the Hostferd tour they spoke about how their lyrics come from real life, every day anger that anyone can relate to and how they are trying to make their band as big as it can get.
Hailing from Bozeman, Montana, metal hybrid band The Trenches has been serving up its fast and hard blend of thrash, black metal, and punk to all those lucky enough to catch them. They talked with me before opening for Hennes Siste Host at the Great Falls stop of the Hostferd tour about how their band started and where they are going now.
The past year or two have been anything but smooth for Swedish melodeath-metallers The Bereaved. Their old label, Black Lotus, dissolved, leaving them unsigned without a label to release the follow-up to 2004's "Darkened Silhouette." On top of that, the band went through a number of line-up changes. However, 2008 seems to smile on the group as The Bereaved solidify the line-up with new recruits prepared to unleash their upcoming album, "Daylight Deception," due out this fall via Vic Records. Joining the rank is their new American vocalist, Travis Neal, who took some time to answer a few questions.
Montana rockers Recoil bring their own spin on iconic rock and metal favorites from the 80’s and 90’s to the bars and festivals of the Great Falls area. Vocalist Preacher, bassist Justin "Darcwulf", guitarist Rod, and drummer "Drumboy" answered questions for me about how they started out, why they have chosen to do more covers than original material, and what they love about music just before a show at a local bar.
Ron Thal, also known as Bumblefoot, is an artist in the true sense of the word. It is not about fame or ego for Ron, it's about the music. He brings a unique and refreshing twist to every thing he does. His wild sense of humor, telling it like it is attitude, and his generous heart make him one of the more endearing artists of our time and the Rock Against Diabetes team is thrilled to have Ron on board.