Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Traditional/ Power Metal band, Category VI. Huge thanks to their Vocalist/ Songwriter, Amanda Marie Jackman, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Amanda Marie Jackman, I am the lead Vox and Songwriter in our band, Category VI.

A little on our history: Back around the year 2010, I was the lead vocalist of another metal band, whereby members were kind of misogynistic to me (telling me how to dress and other less than colourful behaviour). One night, we played with a band Called Category VI.

I recall distinctly watching their set, and being particularly blown away by the lead guitarist, Geoff Waye. I truly never heard anyone as talented as him! I was already feeling like crap in the current band, and was planning on leaving. That night, I remember standing in front of the stage thinking “I am going to be in this band.” 

It turned out that their very brief lead singer quit the band the same night as their show! A few weeks later, things truly got gnarly with my band. They kicked me out for speaking up about my mistreatment. I can’t recall who messaged who first, but Geoff and I very quickly got to chatting over social media, pretending that neither one of us were *looking* to work together (even though we were! Ha ha). Anyway, the rest is heavy metal history, and I have been the lead vocalist now for nearly 13 years! 

How did you come up with your band name?

The National Weather Service uses the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which only measures a hurricane’s sustained wind speeds using a 1 to 5 rating system. The idea of the name Category VI comes from the idea of the worst possible heavy metal storm ever, destroying everyone and everything in its path!

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

We Come from the Province of Newfoundland, which is a weirdly shaped island in Atlantic Canada. There is no doubt that there is a lot of talent here locally. Music here is kind of our thing, but genres vary vastly. Our rock and metal scene is ok, but it mostly consists of a lot of Black and/or death metal, or music that isn’t overtly melodic. We definitely have had a history of some really cool bands that were in the vein of melodic and thrash metal (which we love) such as After Forever and Sheavy to name a few. We are definitely proud of the fact that we are pretty much the only serious melodic metal band in the province that writes our own tunes and is signed to a label!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our third album, Firecry (coming out on March 24th) is our latest release and one we are super stoked about! We also have some music videos that will be released later this year!

Who have been your greatest influences?

My absolute greatest influences are Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Freddie Mercury. You know, “The Big 4” 😉

What first got you into music?

Being poor and having a crappy childhood! I couldn’t afford singing or music lessons, so I was fully self-taught. My mom had a lot of Black Sabbath and Queen Albums. 

My 1st record was this cool, Holographic Queen record titled, “The Game”. By the age of four, I was belting Bohemian Rhapsody out to anyone who would listen. I learned how to harmonize by putting my little toddler ear on the floor next to the record player and would listen to the vibrations of the music. Pain and adversity has always been a driving force that is catapulting me forward.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Most of my heroes are dead ☹ but I would have to say Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken has always been a personal dream of mine! I always wanted to play a bigger stage, and hope that with this record this may be possible.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I would not consider this a gift (LOL) however, one night we were playing a Halloween show and some dude decided to spit up fake blood on me while I was singing (let’s hope that was fake ha ha)!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

If you are a  women wanted to go into metal, know that there are gonna be a lot of assholes that will try to pull you down and mistreat you (look under any comments for any female fronted bands and you will catch what I am talking about) but know that these people are merely intimidated by you, stand tall and proud, you are just as capable as any man in this genre!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Oh my, do not do this to me LOL! It’s a tie between DIO and Freddie Mercury, hands down!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love entertaining people, I love how powerful I feel on stage, I feel like nobody can stop me, it’s intoxicating and better than any drug! 

What I hate is the bullying, sexual harassment and the inappropriate behaviours I’ve experienced by men in this industry.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I could say so much here, but I guess I’ll narrow it down to this: women deserve a place in heavy metal and we are not objects. We are trailblazers and awesome at what we do. We deserve more respect.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Black Sabbath- “The Mob Rules”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

Vinyls FTW!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We played a show with another awesome Canadian metal band MANACLE back in 2018 here locally. We sounded awesome that night! This was sadly one of the last shows we played due to the pandemic that came up shortly after.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Haha! Sadly my music career is not lucrative. I am a mermaid that does spa parties for little kids when I am not head banging (I sometimes feel like JEM from JEM and the Holograms – two lives, one person! Haha)!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Definitely my band mates, Geoff and Keith. Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and Joey Belladonna too if they aren’t too busy LOL.

What’s next for the band?

Right now, lots of PROMO for our third record, FIRECRY! I am also currently writing a script for an upcoming live action music video. I also hope that with all of the promo, we can hook a mini tour or get to play a festival somewhere! 

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people? 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CategoryVI
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/categoryviofficial/
Bandcamp: https://categoryvi.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2ZKUlLFSyioGcGMwS7EBeM
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@CategoryVImetal
Record Label (Moribund Records): http://www.moribundcult.com/main.html

Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun, a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

LOL I love this question! Thank you kind sir *tips hat*. We have quite the British influence here in Newfoundland, so I will go with a bun or a cob?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?Thanks so much for chatting with me! Everyone should come follow Category VI on our socials for updates of our latest record, FIRECRY, which will be released under MORIBUND RECORDS on March 24th, 2023! Support the UNDERGROUND and keep the heavy metal flag flying high!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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