To date, we have conducted 1270 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:
Dark Tranquillity has stayed busy since releasing "Construct" last year. Among this promotion is a tour with Darkane (support in Sweden) and Tristinia in 2013 and the heavy metal cruise, 70,000 Tons of Metal at the beginning of this year. The group is currently travelling throughout North America with Omnium Gatherum and Exmortus in support.
Although At The Gates, In Flames and Dissection appeared in North American venues before their Gothenburg brethren, DT has proved the most enduring. In addition to maintaining the same core members since the beginning, DT has (arguably) remained closer to its original sound than these titanic artists, albeit a denser, more synthetic version than heard upon onset. Goth/industrial sounds have pushed aside black and death metal tendencies. Still, the band acknowledges the worth of these early recordings, as evidenced streaming their first two recordings "Skydancer" and "Of Chaos And Eternal Night" on Bandcamp.
This topic as extensive travel plans, new tour merch, rejoicing with In Flame's alumni and the lasting effect of early recordings are addressed in the following interview with guitarist/artist/core member, Niklas Sundin.
In our last interview with a heavy metal audio engineer, Eyal Levi of Audiohammer Studio, we dug into the thrilling world of modern heavy metal recording and mixing, as well as heard about his upcoming online “Advanced Drum Production” clinic through CreativeLive, where viewers can stream educational clinics live with music industry veterans. You can read that interview here. This time, fellow CreativeLive instructor Jesse Cannon of Cannon Found Soundation Studios in New Jersey imparts several choice bits of knowledge in that area in an interview with Metal Underground.
As an established craftsman of sound who has worked with Dillinger Escape Plan, The Misfits, Senses Fail, The Cure, and many others, his words are backed by hours upon hours of actual studio time in the painstaking pursuit of high fidelity, tested and re-tested. Of particular note for the do-it-yourself crowd are his responses to being asked to describe common barriers to good production and how to get around them.
Nobody can accuse Van Canto of being cookie-cutter imitators. Being the only power metal a cappella band in the world, they are truly one of a kind. However, there is a valid argument about whether the band is metal or not. I mean, the group doesn't use a guitar player. Distorted guitar is a defining characteristic of metal music. Crunchy guitar riffs are nowhere to be found, but the group utilizes other elements that draw head bangers to this type of music such as thunderous war drums and rafters-reaching vocals.
Just like any power metal group of worth, Van Canto features a strong voice in the front of the mix. In this case, there are five strong vocalists. Also the group has the majesty and might of power metal's fantasy-based lyrics, often paying homage to the great J.R.R. Tolkien. On "Dawn of the Brave," the group's fifth full-length recording, Van Canto once again offers its choirs of voices on original and cover tunes. They get the guitar outta here on "Badaboom" and give their listeners an empowering anthem with "Fight for Your Life." Covers wise, Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" gets their special vocal treatment while the lovely Inga Scharf revisions Annie Lennox's "Into the West" from the final "Lord of the Rings" film.
I spoke to Stefan Schmidt on the phone concerning "Dawn of the Brave." He is the band's "rakkatakka" singer--the group's bassist, if you will, as he provides the bottom end sounds. Although this was his last interview of the day, Schmidt spoke with much excitement on the forthcoming recording. Due to the response garnered by sneak-peak tracks, he feels fanfare is reaching critical mass. This topic and much more on the career of Van Canto is revealed below.
From the Lone Star State to the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, Monte Pittman is a symbol of hope for everyone who ever took a chance to make it big in the entertainment industry. When faced with the prospect of tucking his tail between his legs and cowering back home, Monte took a chance, a big chance, when he stepped out on his own to teach guitar. His big break came when British heist film director, Guy Ritchie began lessons. Soon after, Monte began teaching Ritchie's future wife, Madonna.
More than a decade later, Monte has toured with Madonna and played special shows such as the Super Bowl and David Letterman. Now, Monte has come full circle, back to his days as a young, aspiring heavy metal guitarist. With his third studio full-length, Pittman has made the metal album the young Pantera fan in him always desired. "The Power of Three" is such a fitting album not just in the since of it being his third album and playing with a power trio. It could even signify his time with Prong. Normally the "it means whatever you want it to mean" cliché is a cop out for artists to avoid explaining the stories in their lyrics. Not with this album. The meanings of this title are endless to the point one could obsess to the point of finding this number in everything.
Musically, "The Power of Three" draws on Pittman's influences growing up. Comparisons to bands such as Helmet, Sepultura, Pantera, Prong and even a touch of grunge will give new listeners some sort of compass for what they will hear. Chris Barnes and Alex Skolnick even join Pittman for a brief death metal romp. Follow the transcripts of my phone conversation with Pittman to read more about the making of this album and some of his experiences playing with Madonna.
Moonspell's mercurial mix of goth rock and black metal helped pave the way for the atmospheric mold that shaped many of today's dark-minded artists. This would not have been possible without their venturing into the New World. Moonspell has affixed its name to flyers containing major acts such purveyors of beautiful darkness as Lacuna Coil, Nevermore, Type O Negative and Cradle of Filth.
The group will once again follow the tide to enchant North American audiences. Fellow Euro metal bands, Leaves' Eyes and Atrocity, are in place to keep the crowd hungry for the band's sonic malevolence. The Portuguese pack comes to these shows to further showcase their epic, double-disc recording "Alpha Noir."
I caught up with pack member, Fernando Ribeiro to gauge his thoughts on this upcoming tour. In the following interview conducted via email, Ribeiro discusses the songs they'll be playing. Also, two years have passed since the release of "Alpha Noir," so we figured the band has probably started writing new material. We were correct! Read further for a brief glimpse into the future of Moonspell.
Ex-Morbid Angel bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker is now ready to unleash his latest project on the world: Warfather!
The band's debut album "Orchestrating The Apocalypse" lands on January 21st/February 24th via Greyhaze Records, and Steve can't wait for the metalverse to get their collective hands on it.
"It’s death metal, plain and simple," he says. "I don’t want to make qualms about that, I’m 100% proud I play death metal, and that’s what Warfather is."
In a recent chat with us, Steve also discussed the other members making up the project, how the album artwork was created, and his most anticipated releases for 2014. Read the full interview below.
Disfiguring the Goddess - the solo death metal project from Cameron Argon - recently dropped new album "Deprive," and in a surprise move released an unannounced companion album on the same day titled "Black Earth Child."
Now that both albums have seen official release, we got in touch with Cameron to discuss the new material, as well as working with artist Toshihiro Igawa on his albums. A transcript of the full conversation can be found below, along with tracks from both "Deprive" and "Black Earth Child."
Following "In The Shadow of a Mountain" (reviewed here), Canadian folk metal outfit Trollband has now released sophomore full-length "Samsara" (review forthcoming).
With the album out now, all the members of Trollband - including new recruits Dan and Nick Wilberg - caught up with us to discuss how the band has changed inbetween the releases. Check out the full interview below, along with a stream of "Samsara."
Windhand took 2013 with gale force. The Richmond, Virginia group initiated its run with Relapse Records by releasing two recordings. The first release arrived in April, a split with fellow masters of crawling grooves, Cough, titled "Reflection of the Negative." The second came in the form of the band's second full-length "Soma."
Both recordings found a special place in the hearts of fans and critics alike. Led by the distantly resonating vocal vibrations of female singer, Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand's stony style recalls the psychedelic doom trembling of Electric Wizard.
In a review of Windhand's self-titled full-length recording, Metalunderground.com scribe heavytothebone2 praised , "Windhand rouses up the kind of stark, ritualistic aura that any serious doom metal band should project."
Whether by discovering the band on tour with a more established act like High On Fire or through domestic, sonic rituals, people have beckoned the call of Windhand. Beat finder general, Ryan Wolfe spoke with MU before opening a gig at Red 7 in Austin, Texas. The band came through with a touring package that included Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder and Iron Reagan. Check out our conversation below.
Fates Warning is out now with new album "Darkness In A Different Light," which is the first new full-length offering from the progressive metal band in nearly a decade.
Supporting this new release, Fates Warning recently wrapped up the first half of a U.S. tour with Halcyon Way and is now embarked on the second half alongside Artizan. With the band out on the road, I chatted up vocalist Ray Adler to see how the trek is progressing and what fans can expect from the Fates Warning machine in the coming new year. Check out our full interview below.
“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.