To date, we have conducted 1226 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:
Lajon “LJ” Witherspoon, lead vocalist for Sevendust -- On stage, a raging bull, all muscle and ferocity. On a couch, he’s the polar opposite with a calm energy and warm smile. His deep enjoyment of whatever he talks about is worn clearly on his face at all times. It’s easy to see why he’s been devoted for the better part of two decades to making Sevendust the titan band that it is. Backstage with him for an interview before a hometown gig for him, a Nashville, TN tour stop with Asking Alexandria, he made me feel tall, and not just because he was about two inches shorter than my 5’9”. Something about his infectious happiness just makes you feel so good.
On October 5th of this year, when Sevendust played the Ride For Dime memorial concert in Nashville in honor of Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell, Lajon spent nearly 5 hours after the show interacting with the concert-goers, not out of obligation, but out of genuine interest and respect. That’s just one show in his extensive tour life. That’s just how he is. With a set list that included songs like “Decay,” “Strong Arm,” “Denial,” “Splinter,” “Face 2 Face,” and “Alpha,” Lajon and the band were about to give Nashville something special once again.
During our interview beforehand, he detailed the band’s VIP program, which involves actually playing on stage with the band, his memories from earlier years in Nashville (his hometown), comfort foods, playing shows for the military troops overseas, and a little about his upcoming plans for a solo record, which I could tell he had been mulling over excitedly for some time.
Three year's after the blistering "Heaven's Venom," Canadian outfit Kataklysm is now releasing latest full-length album "Waiting For The End To Come."
This release sees changes in how Kataklsym operates, as the band chose not to stream the album in full ahead of its release and went with two different versions for the cover artwork.
I recently got in touch with guitarist Jean-François Dagenais to hear what he had to say about these changes and how the album came together.
Read on to find out about J-F's love for old school physical media (“there’s something spiritual about putting that vinyl on and having a drink while hearing an album”), the difficulties in switching gears from Kataklysm to Ex Deo, and how the band approached a Sacred Reich cover for the album.
Drummer par excellence Mike Portnoy has touched enough musical projects as there are constellations in the night sky at this point in his career. Right now, with the Winery Dogs, he’s making music that “you can just play and feel. You don’t have to sit there and think and count. It’s music you can enjoy without a calculator,” he tells me. In the middle of the first tour with the band, Mike found time to speak with me about the Winery Dogs and some of his other recent endeavors.
Moreover, a rumor about Daniel Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation being a part of the next Transatlantic record was addressed, as well as a rumor that the Progressive Nation at Sea cruise that he is heading up will be filmed for an upcoming release. One of the flag-carriers for the prog genre, Portnoy didn’t need to prove anything to anyone except for himself, as I was about to find out, which is the mindset of a true artist.
Expertly ducking in and out of the genres of jazz, djent, progressive, and death metal, The Contortionist continue to defy convention. Further, their live show is something akin to aggressive yoga in its measured smoothness. On the night of October 25th, they were to close out a 35-show tour with headliners Between The Buried and Me and fellow tour-mates The Faceless and The Safety Fire with one final show in Nashille, TN. (Read the full show report here.)
Shortly before the final show, Metal Underground was able to sit down with expert guitarist Robby Baca for an interview backstage at the venue. A very chill presence, Robby calmly explained some of his guitar and songwriting philosophies, as well as the dynamic that vocalist Michael Lessard has already started to bring to the band and the next record, which they will be working on in early 2014.
Closely echoing the band's chosen method of musical expression, the aptly titled "Architects of Destruction" is the newly released full-length album from French outfit The Walking Dead Orchestra.
The band may have declared war on humanity with this release, but drummer Cedric Ciulli was kind enough to spare my life for an interview, which can be found below. Read on to find out about the construction of the album, what's happening in the elaborate artwork, and how the French metal scene is changing with bands like Gojira and Betraying the Martyrs gaining international recognition.
Divinity Compromised will quickly be known for the band’s dedication to quality over quantity. As I would find out in an interview with them at this year's ProgPower USA festival, the bandmates really take the time to be as exacting as possible on their music, as well as their performance and planning in general. My experience with the band was ridiculously comfortable and kind of goofy, like most of my experiences with folks from Chicago. After opening the Saturday of ProgPower USA XIV strongly, I knew that I’d be dealing with heavyweight-level musicians, but what I didn’t know was how personable they would all be. In fact, they chatted with me for a half an hour during the latter part of the Circus Maximus set before anyone looked at their watch.
This interview is a detailed one, so I’ll cut straight to the point and get to the text of it. “Getting it right” is very important for these aural craftsmen, and their track record is beginning to show it.
Buried for many years, the seminal Norwegian black metal band Emperor will be resurrected from the dead in 2014 to perform a series of festivals.
With those appearances on the horizon, I got in touch with Emperor member and solo artist Ihsahn to discuss the limited activity - he insists it's not a reunion - celebrating the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse."
While black metal fans have that to look forward to, on the more imminent horizon Ihsahn is also due to drop his latest solo effort "Das Seelenbrechen" at the end of the month (reviewed here).
Rather than continuing the sound hear on albums like "AngL" or previous full-length "Eremita," this experimental release instead goes in entirely new directions. During our chat Ihsahn elaborated, "so for many reasons I thought before I continue my solo work with a full-on metal album again, I would have to do a detour and do something from a different mindset and perspective before I continue. The album is not a new direction, it’s a deliberate sidestep before I continue."
Find out more about the creation of "Das Seelenbrechen," Ihsahn's collaboration with Devin Townsend and Serj Tankian for Revolution Harmony, and his appearance on the upcoming God of Atheists album in the full interview below.
The groove masters in Soulfly only took a year from the release of “Enslaved” to come back with a new full-length, this time titled “Savages.”
With the album now hitting stores, it seemed fitting to chat up the iconic front man Max Cavalera himself to find out more about the short time frame and what went into this latest metal assault.
A transcription of our talk is available below, in which Cavalera discusses how the passing of his father impacted his life and his decision to get into music, the many people involved in “Savages,” and a teaser of when fans can expect new material from Cavalera Conspiracy.
Dictionaries define "resilient" as "returning to the original form." For Running Wild, the title "Resilient" is more than just the name of the fifteenth studio album, its a testament to rebounding, staying true and also "returning to the original form." In 2009, as the "final jolly roger" echoed through the small town of Wacken, Germany, fans were left with a lasting impression of one of metal's most beloved acts. The original metal pirates were done...or were they. In October of 2011, the word came out that as mainman Rolf Kasparek was writing bonus track material for what was supposed to be the reissuing of earlier Running Wild releases, the songs seemed strong enough to bring back the legendary band. "Shadowmaker" was born and released in 2012 via Steamhammer/SPV Records (see review here). It was met with mixed views from fans and critics.
After the release of "Shadowmaker," the ideas began to flow like the days of "Under Jolly Roger," "Pile Of Skulls," "Blazon Stone" and "Black Hand Inn." It started with the opening riff of "Soldiers of Fortune," and cascaded into the most fun Kasparek has had since the old days. As a matter of fact, there were so many ideas, the metal pirate couldn't record them all. "Resilient" is a testament to those old days (see review here) with modern production behind it. The album comes out via Steamhammer/SPV within the next week in Europe (Oct. 2nd - Scandinavia; Oct. 4th - Germany; Oct. 7th - Rest of Europe) and North America on Oct. 22nd.
Rolf sat down to discuss the album, the band's legacy as the originators of "pirate metal" and whether we will ever see Running Wild live again.
During their set at ProgPower USA XIV on Friday, September 6th, vocalist Matt Barlow and guitarist/vocalist Freddie Vidales of Ashes of Ares made it clear why they were chosen for the festival over a year ago. Between songs, Barlow noted that being selected for the ProgPower lineup at such an early stage was such a reassuring moment to them. In an interview before the show, he had informed me that festival organizer Glenn Harveston tapped them based on only faith and a phone call, relying on his faithful gut instinct that they would deliver, despite the fact that the band had only four songs written at the time.
As confirmed by the crowd a year later, Glenn’s gut proved to be right once again. Another true believer, official Ashes of Ares sponsor and ProgPower devotee Stephanie Rosenblatt described to me the feeling of supporting a band whose album wasn’t even out yet. She noted that “being a sponsor is such an amazing experience,” and one that had paid off with the fiercely lit-up figures of Barlow and Vidales dominating the front of the stage, with the front pit area all to herself as a privilege of the sponsorship.
Prior to the show, the two guys were sitting comfortably in a backstage area with me, trading jokes and telling me about the recording of their debut. Their extremely laid-back demeanor belied years of concert experience and musical skill. Through bouts of hysterical laughter, they dished on topics such as Wacken, surprising themselves, writing and recording their debut, and crowd dynamics. I quickly saw why Glenn wasn’t worried, why sponsors were eager to assist them, and why my internal compass guided me toward the Nuclear Blast booth to pick up their album upon entering the venue that day.
After the 2006 debut full-length “Ascension Aborted,” the Mephistopheles machine lay dormant for several years, but as it turned out that was just an incubation period.
The Tasmanian technical death metal outfit is finally releasing new album “Sounds of the End,” which is exactly what it sounds like – a musical exploration of the utter destruction of humanity by forces far beyond our control.
If you are ready to experience the devastation, you can stream the full album right here.
Now Mephistopheles vocalist Matthew "Chalky" Chalk has checked in with Metalunderground.com to explain what went on in the intervening years between the albums and discuss the crazy cover artwork featuring avian-on-fish mayhem.
Myrath is not just one of those bands that comes along every few years to give the world a taste of something new and fresh -- It is a hundred-year flood, making quick work of anything in its path, engulfing whatever it touches. There’s nothing subtle about their latest album, “Tales of the Sands” (reviewed here). It’s bold, truly novel, and a loud statement. It’s a thunderous storm across the desert, changing the landscape. At ProgPower USA XIV on September 6th, Myrath made their mark on America for the first time, putting on an unforgettable live show, flooding the ears and hearts of all in attendance.
Confirmed by many fans, as well as a member of the ProgPower crew who came to see the band backstage during my interview with them, they had owned the day. To quote the crew member (Mark), “You guys stole the show.” Humble but calmly intense vocalist Zaher Zorgati replied, “Hopefully,” to which Mark immediately retorted, “No, there’s no ‘hopefully’ about it. I tell ya, it’s what everybody’s talking about.” Metal Injection’s David Pando was also there during the interview purely as a fan, alongside Myrath’s band manager and photographer Nidhal Marzouk. Shedding some light on the ridiculous effort that Myrath had to put forth just to make it to Atlanta, both Zorgati and Marzouk opened up, moving on into the touching story behind the kind heart of their recently-deceased former band manager and father of their guitarist.
The band also discussed plans for the next album, previous tours and their accompanying thrills as well as debauchery, who they wanted to see at ProgPower as fans, and much more. The two of them had an infectious energy even a couple hours after the show, played on just four hours of sleep in the last two days. The two couldn’t help finishing each other’s sentences, belying years of closeness. They were right -- Myrath is no mere band, but a family, extending to everyone in their crew, as they were about to tell me.
The California outfit Quarantine may just be getting started, having officially formed as early as 2011, but its already managed to grab the attention of rock queen Lita Ford and horror director Marcus Nispel.
Today we're premiering a new music video from the band for the track "Alive" (available here), and we also got ahold of Quarantine guitarist Von Allaman to get an inside look at this young band on the rise.
Check out the full interview below to find out about the group's beginning, the release of a new EP, and having Quarantine music appear in an upcoming horror flick.
Twelve years after "From Wisdom to Hate," Canada's legendary Gorguts is back to desecrate the metal scene with "Colored Sands."
The blend of technical death and avant-garde black metal that forms "Colored Sands" is out now, and in support of the release front man Luc Lemay got in touch with us to dissect the album and discuss how more than a decade of inactivity affected the band.
Read on for a complete track-by-track breakdown and in-depth look at the Tibetan lyrical themes of "Colored Sands," along with what band Luc thinks is currently killing it on the live circuit.
It’s one thing to hear about a foreign country. It’s another thing entirely to visit it in person. Moreover, it’s a completely different ballgame to actually be playing a show in a foreign country an entire ocean away within a day of arriving. Several bands at ProgPower USA XIV would be doing just that, summoning reserves of energy they might not have known they had for the roar of the crowd. It’s yet another thing to meet with press ahead of even performing, but the Swedes of Wolverine did more than put up with me -- they were actually excited to talk!
Before they got to even put their merchandise down, the bandmates met me in the lobby of Center Stage while other bands were soundchecking inside the main hall. Vocalist Stefan Zäll was a warm presence, exuding calm, and drummer Marcus Losbjer had the look of eager anticipation all over him. They wore the kind of excitement you’d expect from a younger band on their sleeves that afternoon, so that you could hardly tell that they had been around since 1995.
That spirit, coupled with their passionate blend of progressive metal, was exactly why their band was a perfect choice for the festival, and made me very happy to be sitting with them. It’s that sort of passion a record label would love to see, and it just so happened that I was just about to find out: Wolverine is looking for a record label. Right now. (Inside Out, Nightmare, Laser’s Edge, Frontiers, Nuclear Blast, Century Media -- heads up!)
Atmospheric black metal outfit Vattnet Viskar never expected to get signed, and yet now the band has a full-length record officially out through Century Media.
"Sky Swallower" is a mix of underground black metal and acoustic ambiance, presenting a vision of Earth without humanity or technology, spurred on by the landscapes in the band's native New Hampshire.
Guitarist Chris Alfieri got in touch with Metalunderground.com to more fully explain the concepts and sounds presented on the album, as well to discuss the band's unexpected label signing and plans for upcoming heavy touring. Check out a transcription of the interview below, which also features music from the newly released album.
Montreal's Dissension has readied its devastating first release "Of Time And Chronic Disease," which detonates digitally worldwide on September 10th. The album was produced by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions and mastered by Ryan Morey.
Metalunderground.com will be releasing a taste of the album prior to release with an exclusive stream of new track "Legacy" later this week. In the mean time, several members of the band - Andrew Proppe (keyboards), Anthony Pulcini (drums) and Nathan Afilalo (vocals/guitar) - got in touch with us to discuss how the album came together and what fans can expect to hear.
They also discuss playing the Heavy MTL fest as well as the Wacken Metal Battle Canada, in which the band competed for a shot to play at the world's most renowned heavy metal festival. Check out the full interview below, which also includes a stream of the album's title track.
Oklahoma-based progressive metallers Vangough have announced that their forthcoming third album will be entitled, "Between The Madness," and will be released November 5th. Their fifth release overall, the album will come in a "badass 6-panel Digipak with booklet," according to vocalist Clay Withrow, who was able to take time out for an interview with Metal Underground's Frank Serafine. Withrow elaborates on the back-story of the album as well as their acoustic EP, and also talks about his time playing guitar for Pain of Salvation on their summer tour, as well as goofing off in the studio.
Withrow positively notes, "We didn't hold anything back for this release because we had no one holding us back."
The 2013 Summer Slaughter tour wraps up in a few days, but Revocation won't be sitting still for long, trekking to Europe in September and then heading out on a tour with Death Angel this coming October.
While Revocation was on the road, the band's new self-titled album officially dropped, and I called up guitarist Dan Gargiulo to see what he had to say about the release.
A transcription of our conversation can be found below, covering the writing and recording process, working with the band's new bassist, and recording a Metallica cover.
While this chat was short and sweet with only one member, be sure to also catch OverkillExposure's epic interview with the whole band from 2011 at this location.
Dez Fafara is very proud of Devildriver's new album "Winter Kills" (reviewed here) and he's not shy about sharing it, likening the album to a "killing stroke" that will make the rest of the scene stand up and take notice of the band.
"Winter Kills" drops on August 27th via Napalm Records, and now you can see what the frontman himself had to say about how this album was created, from song writing to artwork and onto visual representations like lyric videos.
In the full interview available below, Dez also talks about shooting a live DVD with no overdubs, the passion Napalm Records has for releasing the album, and how he hopes his lyrics can empower metal fans in the same way bands influenced him as a kid.
Swedish metallers Watain will embark on "The Wild Hunt" next month, as the latest full-length excursion from the black metal masters comes out August 19th/20th.
Contacting Metalunderground.com via phone, Watain vocalist Erik told us all about the coming release (review to be published soon), as well as how this album channels 15 solid years of the band's experiences into one eclectic offering.
Read the full interview below, in which Erik discusses getting a bit too much into the GG Allin spirit and breaking his leg in an altercation, the looming presence that spurs on his music ("It’s this thing that you know could devour you in an instant if it wanted to, but instead of devouring you it takes you and speaks through you") and a taste of the horror to expect at upcoming live shows ("People will either like it very much or they will run away in tears").
"Horizon," the latest full-length album from Fort McMurray, Alberta's Until Dawn, will see its official release this coming August 6th, 2013.
We'll soon be hosting a premiere of the album's title track, but in the mean time you can find out more about the band and coming release through our new interview with vocalist Adam Macleod. Adam delves into the recording process for the follow-up to the band's previous self-titled album, overcoming challenges and finding the strength to persevere, and much more in the full interview below.
Jucifer is a band that, until a few years ago, tangled with a split personality. Their studio albums were a schizo blend of pop, grind, acoustic, and upbeat metal, while their live show was literally a wall of sound (thanks to amps stacked to the ceiling). The difference between the two sides began to close in with 2010’s excellent “Throned in Blood,” and bends further towards each other with the band’s new album, which has a title in Russian and has been called by many fans "The Russian Album." A concept album about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II and the land it was fought on, Jucifer completely overwhelms the senses over the course of 75 minutes.
They are one of the best live bands around today, thanks in small part to year-round touring that has taken them all over the world in recent years. They have also increased their profile thanks to a constant social media presence. A lot of that is done by the hands of vocalist/guitarist Gazelle Amber Valentine, who can go from a heavenly whisper to a bone-shaking roar in no time flat. I had the chance to send some questions to her via email. She sent me back detailed answers that go into the new album and get into some interesting territory, including the possibility of a covers record in the future.
Garden state metallers Gyre will see the official release of new EP "Second Circle" this coming July 23rd via Monolithic Records.
We recently had the opportunity to premiere a new track off the release (available below), and now we also bring you the words of guitarist Ian McCartney, who explains the EP in more depth.
Read the full interview below to find out about Gyre recording the new EP with Kevin Antressian at Backroom Studios, what's happening in New Jersey metal, and the meaning behind the band's distinctive logo.
Staging quite the comeback after "The Enigma of Life" was panned by fans and critics, Sirenia's newly released full-length "Perils of the Deep Blue" by contrast is seeing a much more positive reaction.
The new album ratchets up the epic level, with more metal and more symphonic elements intertwining with some truly stellar song writing this time around.
Band mastermind Morten Veland was excited to discuss the changes that took place on "Perils of the Deep Blue," seeing a re-energized band utilizing new instruments and upping their game on the vocal side.
See what Morten had to say about the construction of this album and when you can expect to next see Sirenia live in the full interview below.