To date, we have conducted 1235 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:
“There are a lot of abusive relationship themes in here, many of them fictionalized accounts of people going to desperate, violent measures to gain affection, sex, or even love.” Jason Novak of Chicago-based Czar considers the band’s recently-released sophomore album title, ‘No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive,’ to be a fitting summation of the tone of the album, which succeeds and surpasses their like-minded debut release, ‘Vertical Mass Grave,’ in most ways -- and we gave that album a 4 out of 5 rating! Determined to outdo themselves with each release, the guys of Czar draw heavily from uncommon guitar harmonies and chord changes coupled with tastefully destructive drum patterns to define their sound. With that combination, it's no surprise that Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell was seen wearing a Czar shirt at a show or that Czar has already made his top 5 albums of 2013 list, as well as two other "top of 2013" lists in the press.
The last time we checked in with the guys of Czar, they filled us in on their first album and their history as musicians. This time around, the band gives us more insight into the construction of their songs, as well as discusses the controversial album art that they’re known for. ‘No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive’ amplifies what was done well on the first album and adds an exciting chapter to the story of the rise of Czar’s impending empire. Here’s what they had to say about it.
Eyal Levi hasn’t ONLY performed various audio engineering tasks for the some of the top dogs of modern metal with some of the most competitive sounds on record -- He’s also been in the thick of the action as the guitarist of Daath and Levi/Werstler. As a part of Audiohammer Studio in Florida, some of his production credits include working with The Contortionist, Demon Hunter, August Burns Red, Whitechapel, Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder, Misery Index, and Reflections. He’s also engineered Daath’s records as well. Moreover, he’s taken to hosting interactive seminars on creativeLIVE.com, where inquisitive minds can learn how to distinguish themselves from studio chumps.
When he speaks, he educates. Fortunately for us DIY-minded folks, he likes to speak an awful lot. In fact, he has his own blog over at MetalSucks. In a Metal Underground exclusive interview, however, he has checked in to let us know a bit about his view of the changing landscape of audio engineering in heavy metal, as well as gave us a few good tips for good measure.
It’s hard to believe that Onslaught has been around for over 30 years now. At one time, the band set a pace to become one of the greatest thrash bands of all time, until a dynamic shift in the sound of the late 80’s led to an eventual downfall. Prior to “In Search of Sanity” (1989), the band had released two of the most critically acclaimed thrash masterpieces ever released “Power From Hell” (1985) and “The Force” (1986). They deserved to be spoken of among the genre’s greatest offerings. In 2004, the band reformed with vocalist Sy Keeler and the band was given that rare “second chance” to start anew.
In 2007, “Killing Peace” re-established the band’s thrash roots and the reviews reinforced it. “Sounds of Violence” followed in 2011 and the band was back in stride and running on all cylinders. With the release of “VI,” this year (see review here), the band progressed further – adding newer elements in songs like “Children of the Sand.” With this rebirth, the band has ascended the throne once again and deserves the attention of any critic or fan of thrash. Band founder and guitarist Nige Rockett checked in with Metal Underground.com to discuss the new album – the new elements the band has added – and what it was like to rock the boat on 70,000 Tons of Metal back in January 2013.
Underground French label Kaotoxin records recently announced the addition of French-Bulgarian duet We All Die (Laughing) for the release of “Thoughtscanning” on January 14th, 2014.
We All Die (Laughing) consists of vocalist Arno Strobl and musician/composer Déhà. The duo got in touch with Metalunderground.com to explain how the project came together, what sort of sound will be happening on the release, and how it ended up being a single 33 minute song.
The two-some provided us with some true words of wisdom about creating an album (On writing the lyrics: "They did flow naturally like a pissing dog." On covering Amy Winehouse: "We made it more sexual-groove-doomish, and you just need to listen to Arno's voice to start moisting your pants.") Check out the full interview below.
Christian metal godfathers Living Sacrifice have much to be proud of. From 1991 through 2002, the Little Rock, Arkansas band became a living (ahem), breathing evolutionary machine, tackling thrash, death, and groove metal with consistently stellar results – and helping pioneer djent and metalcore – before calling it a day. (Read more about the band's history in our recent edition of Sunday Old School here) Despite all this and Living Sacrifice’s influential legacy, frontman and rhythm guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh is hardly one to boast.
In keeping with the doctrines of faith the band was originally formed to express, Nashville-based Bruce reflects on his life’s work with a casual, easygoing humility that never attempts to soak up personal glory. Even considering Living Sacrifice’s triumphant 2010 return with “The Infinite Order,” an exhilarating, all-purpose American metal record that reignited love in the hearts of many old school fans and earned the band some new ones, Bruce is a dedicated family man and small business owner with his feet firmly on the ground.
However, that doesn’t stop him from continuing Living Sacrifice for the sheer fun of it, as evidenced in the stunning new album “Ghost Thief.” Bruce is here to tell you all about it, and much more.
Italy's Tragodia has officially released a third full-length album titled "Mythmaker," and we are now offering fans and fans-to-be a chance to hear the entire disc. Check out all the tracks off the new album at this location.
If you want to know more about what went into the album, guitarist Riccardo Tonoli is excited to share details on how "Mythmaker" came together much more quickly than the previous two releases, and how this time around the sound takes a different approach.
See what Riccardo had to say about the themes and lyrics of the album, as well as the band's plans for upcoming live activity, in the full interview below.
Australian thrash export 4Arm is currently out on tour supporting Slayer and Gojira on a North American trek that runs through the end of the month.
With the band on the road, I got in touch with 4Arm drummer Michael Vafiotis to see how the tour is going and find out what fans can look forward to when the band finally returns home in December.
Read on to see what the band member's reactions were when first learning they would be supporting such high profile metal acts and find out about upcoming new material from 4Arm.
Lonegoat is the sole conductor of the keyboard-derived moods known as, Goatcraft. While he offered no argument against our saying his music has a sinister quality, there is a duality inherit in Goatcraft that properly reflects the human heart.
Instrumentals such as those found on his first recording, “All For Naught,” are best consumed in front of a fire while flames illuminate red-wine filled crystal. It's music that engages one's mind, as opposed to the manic energy released through a guitars-and-drums-metal band. However, Lonegoat gives a face, a bloody one, to his music.
The towering front man captivated audiences in the southern Texas area to the point that Corey Mitchell invited him to play the first ever Housecore Horror Film and Heavy Metal Festival. Sure, Goatcraft isn't a metal band, but neither is Goblin. Mitchell was so impressed with Lonegoat's performance at the pre-party show that he penciled in Goatcraft to perform on the last day of the festival before Goblin's onstage orchestrations of the Dario Argento film “Suspiria” enthralled over 1,500 fans.
Costa Rican melodic death metal band Sight of Emptiness is releasing the band's third album "Instincts," which features a slew of guest musicians from across the metallic spectrum.
Today we premiered the new track "Obsession" - a track that includes a guest spot from ex-Obituary member Ralph Santolla - and you can hear the track at this location.
In addition to the song premiere, now we can give you more insight into the new album direct from the band members themselves. Guitarist Rafael Castro, vocalist Eduardo Chacón, and drummer Rodrigo Chaverri checked in with Metalunderground.com to discuss the album's recording and the band's plan to put Costa Rica on the metal map. Check out the full interview below.
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.