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

Posts tagged “Interview

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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NERVOSA’s Fernanda Lira talks to TBOS

I had the opportunity to interview the amazingly humble and down-to-earth Fernanda Lira, lead singer and bassist of Brazilian all-female thrash metal band, Nervosa.

The band had just finished a dynamic show at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, Ariz. The interview took place in the green room around 12:45 a.m., as the venue was closing. Drummer Pitchu Ferraz and guitarist Prika Amaral were also backstage, as well as a handful of fans, while the video was being filmed. Ferraz makes a brief appearance holding up some merchandise.

Fernanda and I talked about Nervosa’s upcoming second album, their current first tour of the United States, and women in metal.

Facebook: Nervosa Thrash

Twitter: @NervosaThrash


HANDS OF A TRAITOR “Paper Prisons” Video Released

Last time TBOS talked to Hands of a Traitor, they were in the process of planning their newest music video for their single, “Paper Prisons”. The new video can be seen below.

They will be competing in the Battle for Mayhem Thursday, May 23 at Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Ariz.


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.


Hands of a Traitor: High School Metal Heroes

Hands of a Traitor. From left to right: Jacob Ricker (vocals), Kieran Lynch (guitar), Emile Trudeau (bass), Darin Senyk (guitar). Photo by Alec Damiano.

Hands of a Traitor. From left to right: Jacob Ricker (vocals), Kieran Lynch (guitar), Emile Trudeau (bass), Darin Senyk (guitar). Photo by Alec Damiano.

Hands of a Traitor have opened up for legends like Doro Pesch. While many metal bands have to wait until they’re adults in order to accomplish such a feat, HOAT is comprised entirely of high school sophomores.

TBOS got to sit in with the band as they worked with local filmmaker, Gil Tabasa, who will be directing the music video for their single, “Paper Prisons”.

HOAT reflect on how they got their start playing music, why they have become successful, and their upcoming concept series.

You can hear the interview below!


Witches of Farmland

Conceived on National Metal Day, Witches Mass seeks to combine 80s glam, thrash and modern death metal into a theatrical tour-de-force.

Despite hailing from the tiny town of Farmland, Ind., (population 1,333 in 2010) singer and main songwriter Chase B. Carothers is set on ruling the world with his songs based on death and rebirth.

The name “Witches Mass” was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, which may have a closer connection with the metal community than one would assume.

“Anybody who has studied the witch trials knows it was basically bogus,” Carothers says, soft-spoken.

“Metal has always been the one genre where people stand up to things, stand up against something, regardless of what it is. Typically, you see metalheads–a lot of metalheads do not go with the crowd. Metalheads are outcasts,” he says. “So that’s pretty much what the Salem witches were, it’s they were pretty much outcasted [sic] from that society and falsely accused of some things that they didn’t do. Well in general, that happens to metal and metalheads a lot.”

Like the accusations against the West Memphis Three?

“Exactly. Exactly. That’s the modern-day witch hunt, what happened with the West Memphis Three.”

Witches Mass is in the process of writing and recording their debut EP, “Demise and Redemption”.

You can hear the full interview below.