To date, we have conducted 1103 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:
Who isn't aware of the blood and guts spewing shock rockers GWAR? Their legendary concerts filled with gore that ends up soaking the surging audience have been thrilling fans for nearly thirty years now. Even the tragic experience of the death of the guitarist Flattus Maximus did not stop the monsters of GWAR from the road. GWAR has recently added a relative of Flattus to the fold for this tour. I had a chance to speak to singer Oderus Urungus about their new guitarist, Halloween, and political aspirations. A transcription follows the video.
One evening in Montreal earlier this month, I dropped in at Piranha Bar, where local underground favorites Endast were kicking off their latest Canadian tour. Providing direct support was Ontario five-piece Odium, who’d won me over with a potent mix of intensity and melody, of modern and old school influences, on recent sophomore effort “Burning The Bridges To Nowhere.” Following the riveting set, I caught up with frontman Tom Emmans for a “man on the street” exchange. Here’s how it went:
After last year's "Irreversible Decay" full-length, Belgian symphonic black metal act Saille has now wrapped up recording a follow-up album to see release in early 2013 through Code666 Records.
Just as the band finished work on the new album, guitarist Reinier Schenk filled us in on what went into this upcoming disc of aggressive black metal, and when we can expect to find out more details on the release.
Read on to find out about Saille seeing the return of a familiar face to the lineup, and discover the themes that will permeate the demonic and Lovecraftian lyrics meant to "leave the listener with a sense of unease."
"This is the Six," the latest full-length from U.K. act While She Sleeps, was released in Europe during the summer and saw the group embark on a headlining tour, including a dream stop for many bands: a sold-out hometown show. The North American release is now set for November 6th via The End Records, with pre-orders available here.
Now invading Europe alongside Architects, While She Sleeps shows no sign of slowing down the momentum, even gearing up for another tour at the start of the new year with Asking Alexandria. While out on the road, vocalist Lawrence Taylor spoke with us about the band's recent and upcoming touring, shooting a fiery music video out in a farmer's field, and how the band wanted to remove all self-imposed musical boundaries while creating the new album.
God Seed releases its debut album “I Begin” on October 23, 2012. The said album took three years to create. The band planted its divine seed in 2009, shortly after a tumultuous court battle over the name of their former band, Gorgoroth. Gaahl and King ov Hell, ex-members of the legendary Norwegian black metal group, could not use the name sake, so they came up with the concept for God Seed. Unfortunately, shortly after forming the band, Gaahl announced his retirement.
King ov Hell recruited other recognized musicians in the Norwegian Black Metal scene such as Ice Dale from Enslaved and Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir to create a new group dubbed from his own namesake—Ov Hell. Gaahl returned to the music world just a year later and rejoined King ov Hell in the reformation of God Seed. Gorgoroth fans will revel in the album’s carnal approach, Gaahl’s infernal voices and organic sound. The album’s keyboards create enchanting sound scapes in the vain of Dimmu Borgir, while relating a ‘70s rock sound akin to Deep Purple.
Bassist and founding God Seed member, King ov Hell, spoke with Metal Underground.com on the phone about merging these disparate styles on “I Begin.” Even though King preferred to keep the lyrical and conceptual portion of his art a secret, he released a couple of clues to unlock a portion of his sonic “labyrinth.”
Canadian act As Autumn Calls is currently deep in the process of crafting a new darkly atmospheric epic to see release next year through Rain Without End Records. As work progresses on the upcoming album, the band's bassist/vocalist James got in contact with us to explore the inner workings of what will come to be called "Cold, Black & Everlasting."
In the interview below, you can follow As Autumn Calls from its inception through the band's time refining its process and musical techniques to the present day as the four piece pulls forth a new album "about the constant struggle of facing the darkness and trying to find that place in your mind where you can find contentment, and perhaps even happiness."
Since 2006, Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF) has given the people of Austin, Texas a reason to cheer, laugh, sing, dance, mosh and play air guitar. While not as prolific as ACL (Austin City Limits) or as expansive as SXSW, which covers most of the city, Fun Fun Fun Fest is unique in the entertainment it offers.
Although every year presents plenty of heavy acts, Napalm Death, Tomahawk, Municipal Waste and Pallbearer are scheduled on this year's Black Stage on November 2-4, there are times when distorted guitars are absent. These moments are best served taking in a comedian’s act, riding a mechanical bull, playing video games or simply discovering a new band. Metal heads with wrist bands in need of further straining their neck tendons can attend a FFF Nites show for free and throw their horns to bands such as Brutal Truth.
Last year’s installment brought in Danzig, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Eyehategod and many other loud and extreme artists. Danzig’s set was dubbed “Danzig Legacy” because he performed shorts sets of all of his bands—Danzig, Samhain and Misfits. However, the festival was forced to cut his set short soon after launching into the Misfit’s segment. His reaction caused FFF co-owner Graham Williams to blog about the fiasco, which went viral on the Internet.
Since our article containing William's comments on working with Danzig became Metal Underground.com's most read article of the year, we figure we should ask Williams a few questions concerning this debacle. Additionally, he commented on the history of FFF, his criteria for booking artists, this year’s big surprises and what artists he hopes to secure for future festivals.
Looking back at the ProgPower USA experience, most attendees would argue that Austrian symphonic metal act Serenity stole the entire show. With the excitement surrounding the band’s first U.S. performance palpable before the set, what transpired thrilled long time fans of the band and made a whole string of new ones (See Metal Underground.com’s review coverage of Day One and Day Two). Not only did Serenity “wow” the crowd to one of the few complete standing ovations at the festival, but the members’ presence in and around the venue and Atlanta was felt and new friendships were forged and hope sprung eternal for a future tour in the United States.
Metal Underground.com has provided extensive coverage of the ProgPower USA event and continues here with an interview with Serenity members: Tom Buchberger (Guitars), Georg Neuhauser (Vocals) and newly announced permanent member Clémentine Delauney (Vocals). The interview took place at the Artmore Hotel prior to the band’s performance at ProgPower USA and the band discussed details on the follow up to “Death & Legacy” as well as what the show meant to them.
Pig Destroyer has become one of the most notorious grindcore bands in the past decade due to the group's grinding rock sound and releasing music on albums, splits, demos and EPs every year earlier in its career. Pig Destroyer's latest full-length album "Book Burner" is out now after nearly five years of no releases, and fans have nineteen new songs to enjoy.
Also in that time, Pig Destroyer hired Adam Jarvis, also of Misery Index, to take over on the skins. I talked with the noise-and-samples man Blake Harrison about the delay with "Book Burner" and plans for the future, and a transcript can be read below.
Kreator is currently touring North America with fellow German metal pioneers, Accept. Although this tour highlights cuts from their current “Phantom Anti-Christ” album; the group gives its audience a history lesson that spans nearly thirty years. Each show is a class on staying consistent with one’s brand, while incorporating new forms of expression. They treated fans to early, barbaric speed metal numbers such as “Tormentor” and “Flag of Hate” to middle era, groove-based thrashers “People of the Lie” and “Phobia” to “Hordes of Chaos” and “Phantom Anti-Christ.”
Starting with “Violent Revolution,” the group penned a sequel to their breakout 1990 album “Comma of Souls.” Each subsequent album, “Enemy of God,” “Hordes of Chaos,” and “Phantom Anti-Christ” showed the band progress as song writers, utilizing more moods and tempo swings.
Guitarist Yli-Sirno has participated in the creation of each of the above-named albums. Metal Underground.com caught up with the Finnish musician to get his take on the progression that led to “Phantom Anti-Christ,” as well as getting the scope on recent events concerning the group.
For A Life Once Lost, the five years between “Iron Gag” and “Ecstatic Trance” was a period of transition that drastically restructured the band. The lineup was cut down to vocalist Bob Meadows and guitarist/vocalist Douglas Sabolick, who forged ahead as a duo in the aftermath of these changes. Working on a new album took years, and after a few complete ones were scrapped, they hunkered down and got down a collection of songs that proved satisfactory for the two musicians.
A Life Once Lost has been a polarizing band ever since they got noticed back in 2003 with the excellent “A Great Artist,” and Meadows is proud of how they have always done their own thing without worrying about fan response. That looks like it will continue with “Ecstatic Trance,” judging on the mixed reactions the few songs that leaked so far have gotten. I got into a lively discussion with Meadows about this situation, what “Ecstatic Trance” represents to him as it relates to the band’s status, and his thoughts on the Internet’s influence on the music industry.
Australian one-man band Germ is the creation of Tim Yatras, also known for his work with the now defunct-acts Austere and Grey Waters. A genre like depressive black metal is already about as underground as it gets, and would be considered completely bizarre to the average person who hasn't been exposed to extreme metal, but Germ takes things a step farther and dives head first into a fully avant-garde sound.
Germ was covered in the genre-blending and trend ignoring edition of our "Unearthing the Metal Underground" column earlier this year after the release of the "Wish" album. Now the project is set to release a follow-up EP titled "Loss" (review coming soon), which explores themes of betrayal and desperation while melding black metal with electronic elements, clean singing, and even a dash of pop. To see what the man behind the band had to say about the new EP, check out interview below.
Devastatingly brutal Florida newcomers Abiotic are gearing up for the release of debut full-length album "Symbiosis" on October 22nd via Metal Blade Records (reviewed here).
The band is currently out on tour with The Burial and Sea of Treachery, and during a brief break in the festivities I got the chance to chat up John Matos about the album and the band's meteoric rise into the Metal Blade ranks.
Check out the full interview below and read what John had to say about about the band's bassist getting injured in a mosh pit, releasing the EP and video that got Abiotic signed, and what's happening in the near future for the group.
The Finnish bards in Korpiklaani didn't waste any down time after the release of 2011's "Ukon Wacka," having returned already with latest full-length album "Manala" (reviewed here). Rather than playing the language ping-pong game of previous efforts, Korpiklaani has now given fans the best of both worlds, releasing the album as a double-disc set with all songs in both Finnish and English.
During a recent chat with Metalunderground, Korpiklaani's Jarkko Aaltonen explained why the band chose to go that route, as well as discussing the lack of a hard-partying song this time around as the band explores its darker side.
I had just landed in Charlotte hours before and driving 3.5 hours to Atlanta to attend my very first ProgPower USA experience. No sooner did I arrive in my hotel and check in, when I called in to Kamelot's tour manager, who asked me if I could come early. First time in Atlanta...and I had an interview with founder/guitarist Tom Youngblood in 15 minutes. I took a quick survey of the city on my walk down to Center Stage, the venue that hosted the first night of the "Silverthorn" North American tour with Nightwish. This second night proved most special, as guest vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) was on hand to provide backing vocals for new track "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" and live mainstay "March of Mephisto" (check out Metal Underground.com's review of night two of Kamelot & Nightwish pre-shows kick off at the ProgPower USA at this location).
Youngblood sat down to discuss "Silverthorn," its concept and music direction, the vocal search that led to new vocalist Tommy Karevik and what the ProgPower USA experience is like for a musician.
During the weekend of the annual ProgPower USA festivities, running into the members of Oklahoma-based progressive metal band Vangough is probably one of the cooler experiences an audience member can have. With influences ranging from Dream Theater to Pain of Salvation and video game soundtracks, their music is as much a trip as is a conversation with one of them. With several albums under their belt, the members of Vangough met with me on Saturday morning at this year’s festival to discuss the next record, their most recent 4-star record, “Kingdom of Ruin” (reviewed here,) the new directions of their music, and K-Pop and Milli Vanilli, somehow.
Switching back and forth between deadpan humor and outright laughter fits, similar to how the band’s style switches from mood to mood within a song, it was clear to me that the members of Vangough take their music seriously while taking the other parts of life with a twist of lime. The bandmates are: Clay Withrow (guitars/vocals), Jeren Martin (bass), Kyle Haws (drums), and Justice Jonston (keys/orchestra).
Anthropologist Sam Dunn and Banger Films have documented the history and evolution of rock’s ugly cousin, heavy metal. “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” (2005) broke down metal’s various styles in a heavy metal family tree, and explained through exhaustive research and interviews, the construction and progression of each style. Although the film played on network television outlets such as VH1 Classic, an hour-and-a-half film is a mere scratch on the shield of heavy metal history.
After releasing a stint of award-winning films such as “Iron Maiden: Flight 666,” and “Rush: Behind the Stage,” Banger Films returned to metal lineage, this time securing a contract with VH1 Classic to release a season of “Metal Evolution: The Series.” Each week Sam and his crew presented an hour-long segment focusing on a single sub-genre. Dunn documented everything from the prototype bands that influenced metal’s loud and raucous nature to Black Sabbath’s rise, eventually landing on newer styles such as Nu Metal and Power Metal (‘80s German to modern Finnish symphonic).
Even though Banger Films released eleven episodes, there were still major holes in the series. Viewers reached out to the film company and asked why the network didn’t release episodes on extreme metal branches such as black metal, death metal and grindcore. The simple answer is none of the networks felt those topics were suitable for television.
Now Dunn and Banger Films have set out to create “The Lost Episode,” a segment devoted to extreme metal. Metal Underground.com called Sam Dunn to discuss how he and his crew plans to write, film, finance and release “Metal Evolution Episode 12: The Lost Episode, Extreme Metal.”
On Day Two of ProgPower USA XIII, progressive metal newcomers Beyond The Bridge opened the show and conquered the ProgPower hangover. Moreover, they won the sincere respect of the audience as they made their USA debut performance, becoming a real fan favorite of the weekend. Between the many facial expressions of bassist Dominik Stotzem and the display of musical prowess by the band, it was hard not to enjoy the performance.
With “The Old Man and the Spirit,” their impressive debut album (reviewed here), and live show, Beyond The Bridge set the bar high for the other bands of the day to hit. Later on at night, after the band had savored the sound of an uproarious auditorium clapping for them, the main songwriters of the band sat down with me in the courtyard of the Artmore hotel for an interview. Guitarist Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg and keyboardist Christopher Tarnow opened up about the concept of their album, how the band formed, working in the studio, getting close to an idea for the second album, and even about possible adaptations for the first.
Growing up on the game-changing melodic death metal music from Gothenburg, Sweden was very fun for me. However, growing up WITHIN the game-changing melodic death metal world of Gothenburg, Sweden must have been incredible. Such is Amaranthe's story. Evergrey, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, Soilwork, and other heavyweights took the genre to new heights and left in their wake a trail for others to follow and enhance. As I was about to learn, Amaranthe had come from this wake after entertaining ideas of starting a Gothenburg melodic death metal super-group.
It was Friday, September 14th, and in the middle of the afternoon at the Artmore hotel just down the street from ProgPower XIII venue Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. Amaranthe was to go on stage in about an hour, but the band was very nice to agree to an interview in the courtyard of the hotel. Guitarist Olof Mörck and vocalist Jake E not only revealed the creation story of Amaranthe (originally Avalanche), but also details on the upcoming record, producing versus mixing, liver sandwiches, and actually being beaten up in their music video for "Hunger."
At this point in the band's career, Nightwish has become nearly everyone’s first thought when they think about heavy metal from Finland. With astounding budgets for consistently higher-selling albums upon each release, it’s safe to say that Nightwish is doing well. The reason the group has achieved the #2 spot in the US Top Hard Rock Albums charts upon the release of latest, “Imaginaerum,” (reviewed here) was due to successfully cultivating a fan base in the states, which had started with their very first US show at ProgPower 4 in 2003.
After all those years inbetween, Nightwish returned to ProgPower at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia for a two-night stint on September 12th and 13th as a prelude to the 2012 festival weekend, ProgPower’s 13th official year. Kicking off their headlining tour with Kamelot, the band brought the house down. I was lucky enough to snag a quick interview with bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala after a short trip to the band’s catering room. As if he doesn’t already have a lot going on with Nightwish, we also discussed various projects of his, such as Northern Kings, Tarot, being producer for Amorphis, and the “Imaginaerum” movie.
Six years after sophomore full-length album "Continuum," the L.A. metal act Prototype has now returned to the scene with new album "Catalyst," released earlier this month through Nightmare Records. With the album out now and pummeling metal fans into submission, guitarist Kragen Lum got in touch with us to help get the word out about the new release.
A transcript of our chat can be read below, which offers a look into the sci-fi concept on these new songs and covers how the band changed up the sound by using seven string guitars. You can also find out info about Kragen's other band's Heathen and Pyschosis, along with his thoughts on the state of the current L.A. metal scene.
Turbid North is partially a product of their environment and partially a product of open-minded musicians. Mellow harmonies, classic rock, western, psychedelic freak outs, doom-y sonicscapes all help enhance the group’s brutal death metal base. They present extreme music from opposite polarties. Much of the group’s writings pay homage to nature, a thing of abundance in the Rydlinski brother's (Adam and Alex) and Nick Forkel’s life before moving to Texas. The memory of Alaska’s permafrosted aesthetic led to writing hymns to nature. Like Cinderella once said, “You don’t what you got until it’s gone.”
Moving to Texas also instilled upon Turbid North a definite down-south swagger. Amongst its current ranks are former and current members of The Destro and Debri. Whether the Lonestar State’s tradition for bruising groove played a factor in their music or not, these sounds leave an obvious cowboy-boot imprint on their music.
Nearing the end of their U.S. tour, Metal Underground.com joined Turbid North guitarist Alex Rydlinski and Nick Forkel upstairs in Head Hunters’ patio. These Alaskan transplants described life on the road, new material and how the group merged all of these styles and members (bassist Chris O’Toole is originally from England).
Sylencer is the brainchild of vocalist/lead guitarist Markus Johansson, who spent almost six years working on the band’s debut album, “A Lethal Dose Of Truth.” Some of that time was spent gathering an enormous list of guest appearances, including the likes of Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory), and Sean Reinert (Cynic, Death). All together, there are over a dozen recognizable musicians who guest throughout the 16 songs on “A Lethal Dose Of Truth.”
However, there’s much more to the album than just stacked-up guest spots. The music goes everywhere from power metal to progressive metal, not sticking to one style for a long period. Though the names will bring in interest, the music will keep people around after the names are mentioned. I had the opportunity to speak to Johansson about getting all these noteworthy musicians involved, and translating this album to a live setting.
Folksy, psychedelic rock outfit Hexvessel is now only a handful of days away from the official release of sophomore full-length effort "No Holier Temple," which reflects on the idea of sacred places in nature. While perhaps not a traditional theme metal heads may be exposed to, except for outside a few folk metal bands, Hexvessel sits in that nebulous area between genres where fans of the extreme and the mainstream can come together to enjoy something a bit different.
Described more accurately as "neofolk" than "metal," Hexvessel still sits proudly on the Svart Records roster along with some truly dark acts. While diving into the band's new release in an interview, Mat "Kvhost" McNerney discussed the kinship between styles of music and how fans of devastatingly heavy sounds can get a needed fix from "No Holier Temple." An avowed fan of the underground, Mat also shared his love of unknown local Finnish acts, how this new album has changed musically from the first release, and how the band ended up with Svart Records.
It is hard to believe that nearly twenty years has passed since brothers Ciaran "Ardchieftain" O'Hagan and his brother Dermot started the pagan band Waylander in Northern Ireland. Through many years of demos and line up changes, Waylander is back with it's fourth album, "Kindred Spirits." The album is in the vein of a heavier pagan metal direction, which the band had shown signs of gravitating towards on their last album.
Another thing that is immediately apparent is the rich storytelling that Waylander is known for. Every album of theirs is not only a bona fide metal experience but an anthropology lesson as well. Vignettes of the Gaelic/Irish history permeate "Kindred Spirits" in the same way they have graced every other release. Chieftain O'Hagan not only sings about the pagan way, but lives it as well. He is involved in many of the traditions that make him and the band distinctly Irish.
Being from Northern Ireland and having a band composed of members on both sides of the divide, it is no wonder that Waylander chooses to focus on the true Irish traditions rather than identifying with the socio-political vagaries and strife that cause dissension. Chieftain was amicable enough to visit with us today and discuss Waylander's direction on the new album "Kindred Spirits" and the relevant tales that have inspired the music of the band.