To date, we have conducted 1302 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:
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.
Montana death metal act Lost Lady Saloon have described their music as “The diminishing sound of spurs walking away from your bullet riddled cadaver.” I caught up with three members of the band just before a practice session, as they prepare for their first live show next month, and discussed with them why they chose a cowboy theme for their music and how they came together as a band.
Swedish melodic death metal band Opeth just finished playing with Arch Enemy in the UK on the Metal Defenders of the Faith Tour and are currently touring the US alongside Dream Theater for the Progressive Nation Tour. Opeth has recently gone through several major line-up changes, switching out their drummer, adding on a full time keyboard player, and losing sixteen year member Peter Lindgren. Their upcoming album "Watershed" will be released in the US in early June. I sat down with front man Mikael Akerfeldt in their swanky tour bus on the Seattle stop of the Progressive Nation Tour and we talked about how he started in music and what’s currently going on with Opeth.
While catching up with Sick of It All in Philadelphia, we got the chance to meet Mei-ling Koller, Sick of It All guitar tech, a powerful woman in a male dominated profession. We snatched her away from the mayhem backstage, and found a quiet spot in the in the First Unitarian Church to talk. We explored her journey, from how she started to what it takes to be a female in such a ballsy profession. Being in such a tough profession is trying at times, but Mei-ling Koller has the inner and outward strength, and the fortitude, to excel.
New York hardcore band, Sick of It All was formed by brothers Lou Koller (vocals) and Pete Koller (guitar), Sick Armand Majidi (drums) and Rich Capriano (bass) in 1986. Hailing from Queens, New York, Sick of It All was formed alongside New York hardcore bands Straight Ahead, and Rest In Pieces, which both featured Majidi and current Sick of It All bass player Craig Setari. Majidi joined up with the Koller brothers and Rich Capriano to record the Sick of It All demo in 1986, after original bass player Mark McNielly and drummer David Lamb left. The band began to play Sunday afternoon matinees at legendary venue CBGB's, and soon after released a self-titled 7" on Revelation Records, which was later re-issued on the tenth anniversary of its release, in 1997.
Sick of It All is now touring off their latest release, "Death to Tyrants."
Roya Butler and Hannah Wagner sat down with frontman Lou Koller at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, to talk about "Death to Tyrants," touring, and their upcoming DVD.
Averse Sefira first darkened their way onto the black metal scene in 1996 and have since become one of the most popular black metal bands ever to come forth from the bowels of America. Twelve years later, they are one of the only black metal bands ever to perform on three continents - North America, Europe and South America - and continue to release intelligent melodic black metal while touring relentlessly and constantly experimenting with new sounds and lyrical imagery without alienating their fans.
The music of Averse Sefira combines bassist Wrath Sathariel Diabolus and guitarist/vocalist Sanguine Mapsama's black metal roots with the death metal influences that have developed and evolved within the music since the inclusion of The Carcass on drums in 2001. And, although the black metallers have only recorded four full-length albums since their 1999 debut "Homecomings March," including this year's "Advent Parallax," the songs are at once diverse and brutal without relying on black metal clichés.
Wrath, who admits his first musical interests lay in the classical - and cites DRI, Anthrax, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Sodom, Bathory and Iron Maiden as early influences - took some time to chat with Metal Underground.com about the band's latest album, touring and how illegal downloading has actually helped the band.
Skeletonwitch has been assaulting their hybrid of thrash, death and black metal to unsuspecting crowds since 2003. The Ohio natives are one of the hardest working bands in the underground and have won the respect of fans and critics alike. Now signed to Prosthetic Records, they recently released "Beyond the Permafrost" and will head out on tour with Hate Eternal in April. I recently spoke with Skeletonwitch vocalist Chance Garnette exclusively for Metal Underground.com anout about the band's history, his love for Howard Stern and his thoughts on the thrash metal resurgence.
Guitarist and song writer extraordinaire; we had the opportunity to chat with Sin Quirin, metal guitarist for Ministry and the Revolting Cocks. With this being Ministry’s final album and tour, Sin sheds some light on his future plans as well as giving us an insight into his musical career.
With their music self-described fast, old school hardcore. Mindset definitely sticks to their roots by playing hardcore the way it was meant to be played-raw, angst-ridden, brash, and unapologetic. Mindset is a band that doesn't back down. Growing up in Maryland, they've been playing straightedge hardcore for the past two years. I got a chance to ask Mindset guitarist, Drug-free Mike, questions about their lifestyle, background, and future aspirations.
Formed in late 2005, Centralia began attacking the New Jersey metal scene. The band quickly found a stable line-up and began to crank out heavy tunes with groove. They have rocked the stage with the likes of Anal Cunt, From A Second Story Window, Mensrea, Spur, and countless local metal/hardcore actts. Fast forward to 2008, and Centralia are in the midst of writing a full length album and planning many more shows. In addition, Centralia now have their own web domain, which you can check out centraliaburns.com. I caught up with Ken, one of the guitarists, via email.
Hailing from South Central, CT, Crackin epitomizes the best that hardcore has to offer with their new 7" release Stand Tall out on Refusal Records. Their music can be heard at http://www.myspace.com/crackinct.
Crackin singer Kilian Appleby was cool enough to take the time to answer my questions.
Hailing from Erie, PA, Stand Firm is a political hardcore band who believes in revolution and doesn't back down. Their current lineup is Shane Young (drums), Greg Waldron (bass), Aaron Martyr (vocals), Black Matt (guitar), and Bryan Elchynski (guitar). With musical influences such as All Out War, Subzero, Death Threat, No Retreat, Merauder, Fury of Five, their sound is tight and strong. Their music can be heard at on their MySpace page here.
I had the chance to interview singer Aaron Martyr and discuss politics, the straight-edge ideology, and what Stand Firm is doing to make a difference.