Hard Rock and Heavy Metal news, reviews, and interviews.

Interviews

HANK SHERMANN: DAVE MUSTAINE Did Not Allow Performance With KING DIAMOND, Talks Potential MERCYFUL FATE Reunion, Songwriting

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I was fortunate enough to interview the legendary axeman Hank Shermann (Denner/Shermann, Mercyful Fate) for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talked about the upcoming Denner/Shermann album, ‘Masters of Evil,’ a potential Mercyful Fate reunion, and playing guitar with Volbeat in 2012.

Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen had asked Shermann to play guitar during the band’s run on Gigantour in 2012. King Diamond was supposed to perform “Come to the Sabbath” with the band, but Dave Mustaine did not allow it.

King Diamond also went to Dallas when we did the Gigantour, because he was supposed to play–we did play a Mercyful Fate song–‘Come To The Sabbath’. King Diamond was coming to the show in order to sing it. But apparently, Dave Mustaine didn’t want King to be onstage and do whatever Satanic lyrics, or whatever that was all about… So, King came to the concert and he was given the–he was told that, ‘Hey King, you’re not allowed’ from Mustaine for some reason.”

The band played the intro from “Come to the Sabbath” anyway, as King sang the lyrics from the audience.

Shermann continues, “That was pretty funny. What that was all about, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if suddenly Mustaine had gotten into God, or you know, for whatever reason [laughs]. That was pretty bizarre you know, because back in the days, they were very good friends… Megadeth were touring with Diamond in the 80s. But there’s a lot of changes in that band. But you know, they’re good guys… and I like them and they have made some really cool records over time.”

He also revealed that he has been in talks with King Diamond over a possible Mercyful Fate reunion, though nothing has been set in stone. There is still an album left on contract with Metal Blade Records.

Nothing has been talked about, specifics. But I mean, it would be a fascinating thought, and let’s all hope that it would happen, at least for the fans, because we owe everything to the fans, that we are still here to this day.”

Denner/Shermann will also be touring Europe and North America later this year.

For the entire interview, click here.

Masters of Evil‘ is due for release on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.

UPDATE (6/9/16 8:27 a.m. PST): YouTube link has been included because the Vita In Musica site is down: https://youtu.be/t5mfMqL7d5I

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Interview with REVOCATION’s David Davidson

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I recently interviewed Revocation‘s Dave Davidson for our partner site, Vita in Musica. He talks about the band’s latest album, Great is Our Sin, playing the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour, recording with Aborted, and more.

We also talked about songwriting, his musical background, influences, and his advice for aspiring musicians. He urges new bands to “try to find [their] own voice.”

“If you want to start a band or start creating music, try to get into it for–hopefully–the right reasons. Have something to say. Have this creative spark that you want to share with the world… The competition to be seen and heard is really, really, stiff… In regards to business, try to be smart with your money. Invest in the things that are smart to invest in, like good solid recording… Make sure you think carefully about your aesthetic choices, even like with your artwork. If you’re trying to be a traditional heavy metal band, try to get a logo that reflects that look. If you’re a death metal band, try to have a logo that reflects your sound. Have accompanying artwork that can also add to the music. Try to have a full aesthetic package.

For the whole interview, click here.

Great is Our Sin‘ is due for release on July 22nd via Metal Blade Records.

 


Gorgatron Chats with TBOS

by Paul Sokol
Phoenix loves death metal! That’s why we get so many awesome touring bands.
Gorgatron's debut album, Torturetorium
One band that is coming to town in June is Gorgatron and I got a chance to interview Paul from the band. He here is what he had to say:

Gorgatron is from North Dakota but who are you guys?
Who are we?! I’ll tell you BROTHER!

We’re the cheeseburger eatin’
Blast beatin’
Riff thrashin’, hipster bashin’
Wild men without a care
Women listen to our records and strip themselves bare!

WOOOOOOOOO!

What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
Death metal, thrash, grindcore, sludge,
It’s basically the audio equivalent of getting choke slammed off a building into a dumpster full of scorpions.

Some things that influence us are: Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, four loco, cheap tacos, Legion of doom matches, Morbid Angel before they wrote that toe tappin’ techno album.

Where was your favorite show on tour, so far?
Im gonna go with the time we were supposed to play NYC. The show got all fucked over and we had to deal with a coked up fella we dubbed “70’s Porno Dracula” and his evil henchmen. Even a shitty gig (or lack there of) can be a learning experience, and that’s what life is about kids, learning………. and death metal.

Why did you decide to tour?
Because we’re coming to your front fuckin’ door to shove heavy metal down your throat and tear you away from YouTube for a couple hours. I’M TALKING TO YOU AMERICA!

Honestly I don’t think you’re a legitimate band until you put some miles on your old shitty van, and play for some tough crowds not comprised of your girlfriends and drinking buddies. People that don’t know or care about you will let you know fairly quickly if you suck or not.
I’M TALKING CAGE MATCH BROTHER! US AGAINST THE AUDIENCE! THE TAJ MAHAL! IT’S A WAR ON THE SHORE!!!!

When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
JUNE 10TH @ CLUB RED, BROTHER!

We’ve been preparing, day in and day out. Our ability to out-party anyone is something we boast about.

Our guitars and drums are tuned with precision,
Which is why you should make the decision,
To walk down that isle,
Style and profile,

Jesus, just come to CLUB RED JUNE 10TH and let us and a bunch of other killer bands WHOOP THAT MONKEY ASS (musically).

We can’t wait to get sweaty in the desert with all of you!

CHEERS,
Paul Harvey Johnson

Paul nailed it because all the other killer bands are local Arizona acts including Unholy Monarch and Avarice. This one-night-only slaughter features three other bands too! Get cheap tickets at the official Facebook event and invite your friends here!

PILE OF PRIESTS Talks to TBOS

Phoenix, Ariz. is home to a bustling metal scene which attracts touring acts from around the globe, great and small.
One band that is currently touring their way to our neck of the woods is Pile of Priests. TBOS got a chance to interview one of their members, bassist Patrick Leyn, and here is what he had to say:
Pile of Priests is from Colorado but who are you guys?
We are just regular jack offs with a similar state of mind and the same approach to enjoying our passion that is metal. We know there isn’t a lot of money to be made in our genre but that is not why we do it.
What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
We are a death metal band first and foremost, whether it’s death/thrash or progressive death, that’s for you to decide! Some of our influences include Death, Edge of Sanity, Sadus, Voivod, Nevermore, etc.

Where was your favorite show on the tour, so far?
So far Cheyenne was our best evening. Tons of locals came out to support, the crowd was insane, we were partying with everyone in the van afterwards shootin the shit, cops even showed up. But that’s why we love DIY venues, you never know what will go down.

Why did you decide to tour?
We always said we would have a solid tour whenever we released our first full length album, the timing could not have been better for all of us.

When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
We will be playing in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 19th at Club Red with some other amazing bands, check that shit out!

Indeed Patrick is correct as some of the other amazing bands include The Devils of Loudun from Seattle and Before Giants from Las Vegas. This one-night-only shredshow features three other bands too! RSVP to the official Facebook event and invite your friends here!

“We’ve Come To Make Your Ears Bleed”

Ye’iitsoh is a blackened thrash metal band from Phoenix. They are in the process of recording their first demo.

You can watch the following feature below.

The music video for their first single, “For the Empire,” will be released exclusively here on The Blog of Shredding later this year.

They’ll be opening for Death Angel tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 9.

 


Interview with Holy Grail for KASC The Blaze 1330 AM

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Alec Damiano (me) with James Paul Luna, singer of Holy Grail.

Last night, I interviewed up-and-coming metal band Holy Grail before their show in Mesa, Ariz.

It’s pretty funny. They open up about Metal Alliance Tour and their drunken adventures with Exodus, their musical guilty pleasures, and how they might tour Europe in the fall.

You can check it out here.


A Day with NightSphere

NightSphere is a Phoenix-based power metal band who have opened for big-name acts like DORO, Firewind and Sabaton.

Their influences range from Stravinsky to Manowar, and their keyboard-infused symphonic metal sets them apart from many other bands in the local scene.

NigthSphere performing in February 2013. Photo courtesy NightSphere's official Facebook.

NigthSphere performing in February 2013. Photo courtesy NightSphere’s official Facebook.

The band formed in 2010 when the members found each other on Craigslist. The current lineup is Christopher “C.J.” McConnell on vocals, Elsthon Gomez on lead guitar, Josh Marines on bass, Marc Williams on keyboards and Mike Rodriguez on drums.

The Blog of Shredding got the chance to sit down with them and discuss a variety of topics. Here are some highlights.

On the origin of the band’s name:

“We thought it was pretty accessible,” says singer C.J. McConnell. “You could remember it. If you had some crazy name like–we were thinking of Elementasia or something. Well, it sounds great, but… how can you chant that? You know, that’s the thing for us too. We want our audience to interact with us as much as possible.”

On why they are unique:

“We each bring something different to the table,” says drummer Mike Rodriguez. “You have a drummer that is influenced by Motley Crue and Metallica, a guitarist who’s (influenced by) Opeth and Katatonia, C.J. with everything that he is. (laughs) And then John Williams (referring to the composer) over here… (laughs) Just like the blending of everything together, it’s just like the stars aligned. It’s something different.”

“I think that we can appeal to people outside the metal community as well,” adds keyboardist Marc Williams.

NightSphere singer CJ McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez, opening for Doro Pesch. Photo by Alec Damiano.

NightSphere singer C.J. McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez, opening for Doro Pesch. Photo by Alec Damiano.

On what made them want to pursue music in the first place:

“When I was a boy, I heard this story about a show in Sao Paolo with Sepultura,” says Marines. “Like, they had such an awesome presence onstage, the fans killed some dude. And I was like, ‘Wow. That is serious.’ People are into this style. I want to be in this. I knew that’s my calling in life.”

“When I first joined NightSphere, (playing guitar) was kind of more like a hobby,” says Gomez. “But now with NightSphere, I could see myself making it as more of a career.

“Guitar DVDs with Elsthon Gomez,” adds McConnell. “Just wait for it.”

“Oh yeah, it’s gonna happen! Move aside, (Dream Theater guitarist) John Petrucci!”

On what would define success for them:

“Playing big stadiums. Honestly for me, if we played Wacken (Open Air Festival)–even like the small stage, the first band playing like at noon–I would be like ecstatic,” says Gomez.

“I’m gonna know when I make it when I’m sitting down to eat dinner at a steakhouse. I’ll be like cutting into my filet mignon, with a nice glass of wine. Expensive. And I just feel like a little tap on my shoulder, and then like I get up and I look into his face and it’s like (Manowar bassist and songwriter) Joey DeMaio, you know,” says Marines. “I mean, having respect from other top-notch guys that have been around. That’s when you know you make it. Your sales can be good and stuff, but if you have no respect from people who have already been there, then it doesn’t mean anything.”

“For me, it would be when I wake up in the morning, if I know that the only thing I have to do that day is sit at my computer or whatever and write music,” says Williams. “And I’m getting paid for it. That’s what I would like to do. When I do not have to worry about a day job, I’m done.”

NightSphere will perform at Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Ariz. on May 16 and at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix on May 18.

You can hear their song “As We Are Told” below.