Interview with Bob Catley from Magnum

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Interview with Bob Catley from Magnum
Cardiff, 7th December, 2022
Interviewed by Simon Black

It’s a bitterly cold December night here in Cardiff and Bob Catley, Magnum frontman for fifty years has a nasty toothache which the weather is not helping with. I offer him some paracetamol but he’s not biting “I hate paracetamol! I’m going to start having my warmup drink soon. I don’t mind having that…!” he says with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. His warmup drink of choice for all these decades has long been a JD and coke and although I do try and tempt him with a miniature of locally distilled Penderyn Welsh whisky, he’s sticking to his guns. For five decades he knows what works and if it isn’t broken don’t fix it id the best strategy – which pretty well sums up what Magnum manages to still deliver so well after all this time. Their most recent album “The Monster Roars” landed at the start of the year and for me at least feels like it’s in their top three of all time, although touring both it and its predecessor has been somewhat of a challenge… So Bob, welcome to Cardiff! Finally!

Cheers! The good old Tramshed! Yes, we’ve been here a few times before…

This show seems to be have been rescheduled forever. Is it nice to finally close the tour?

Yes, we were supposed to do it in April this year and it was rescheduled because of Covid. But then that whole tour was rescheduled from 2020! So, it’s taken us two years to get here. The whole thing was put back three times, so it was actually re-re-re-scheduled! Then, when we were due to play Cardiff, Covid put it back again! It was crap for everybody…

How was the Pandemic for you guys, because that was a terrifying time for everybody?

Me and Tony were lucky, because Tony could bring forward the recording of the new album by a year, so we had twice as long as we normally have to finish the album. We did it in two halves, with half in 2020 and half in 2021 and it was released in 2022. At least we weren’t just doing nothing, so we had more time with less pressure to do it in, which was good in a way but rubbish because we couldn’t do the tours. Everybody had bought a ticket and was asking “What’s happening…?”

It was originally going to be “The Serpent Rings” Tour when I first put it into my diary…

Yes, it was going to be “The Serpent Rings” Tour in 2020 when that album came out – like you do: album, tour, festivals, Christmas – and then Covid got in the way, and just wouldn’t go away, which was crap for everybody. It just ruined everything for all the bands everywhere in this country.

There’s a lot of good venues that have gone too…

Yeah, venues have gone, promoters have gone, a lot of stuff’s gone too, even pubs! It was like a disaster movie, but for real. But we’re here now, and we were in Southampton last night which was another good show rescheduled because of Covid. I think the Bristol one, which we did on Monday was rescheduled out of respect for the Queen’s funeral though. We didn’t think it was the right thing to do to go and play loud music on the Queen’s funeral day! But we’ve done them all now, and we’re here tonight – great! Then we have one more show on Saturday in Wolverhampton at KK’s Steel Mill, and that’s the end of our year.

Congratulations on “The Monster Roars” – it looks like it did quite well around Europe.

Yes, it’s done marvellously in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Top 5 in Germany, Number 2 in Sweden and about Number 8 in Switzerland. That’s the normal album chart, not one of these “other” things where you’re number one there but it doesn’t mean anything! Proper album charts!

This feels like a much darker record – starting with that wonderful cover, which is not the usual Rodney Matthews painting style.

The artwork was by an artist who made up a model and that’s the image you got. Now Rodney Matthews wasn’t available, and so Tony went with this idea of the model. We’d got the song title “The Monster Roars” and we thought “We’ve got to call the album that – that’s a great title track” and we needed an image to go with it. We mentioned to Rodney what we would like, and he said “Well, I’m not very good at drawing people and I’m a bit busy at the moment doing other things…” So OK, fine, hopefully we can use you next time, but it was a great idea and it’s all make-up. There was a young lady who made up Martin, who is Tony’s son in law, he was the model and that’s what we ended up with photographing. It’s brilliant! It was really shocking when I first saw it, it was like “Wow!” and it took me some time to get used to it. I thought “Oh, well this is different; OK and Rodney’s not available so this is a great alternative to what we normally have anyway.”

We have done different things without Rodney over the years, as he hasn’t always been available and it hasn’t always been right to use him, if the record label got involved and dictated that we must do it a certain way, but given the choice we would use Rodney all the time… When he’s available…! I think it’s a great album cover and it’s perfect for the lyrics to the song, which is basically about a child’s nightmare. It’s fantasy; it’s not real – but it’s pretty real in your dreams. And it’s all in the lyrics – we haven’t turned into demon worshippers!

It kicks off a moodier and darker feeling album though – did Covid play a part in that in terms of the song-writing?

I don’t think so. You would have to ask Tony about that. I think that those would have been the songs on that album with or without Covid – there’s nothing about Covid in there, which is the obvious things to write about, I suppose, but I don’t think that that was in his head at all. I think he knew what he wanted, and then we get started and get going and the songs are the songs, you know? 

The subject matter can be anything. He’s a great songwriter, Tony, and I’ve worked with him for fifty years now, which is amazing! I ask him what the song’s about, so I know what I am singing about, then through the recording process he will change the words when I’m singing, as what he’s got in his head doesn’t always come out as good when you actually sing it. He can tell that it doesn’t scan well, will go off and come back having changed it. One song wasn’t working that great this time, compared to all the others this time and he completely changed the whole song, so we ended up with a completely different tune. That can happen as well – you think you’ve got it all and then it’s “No, it’s not working” and they’re all brilliant apart from one.  I mean it was still pretty good but compared to the rest of them it wasn’t coming up to the mark this time. You do have to do that sometimes – you have to pull it apart and start again, and he had the time to do it. 

[I tell Bob how much I love that the sound on those last two records now feels like a true fusion of everything the band have done since reforming this century.] The album drips that classic early 70’s Hard Rock vibe but with a truly modern feel, especially the way that the keyboards sounds are working, the interplay between Tony and Rick Benton. Was that deliberate or did it just evolve naturally?

Rick Benton is a great keyboard player. We’ve had him for a few years now and he works with Tony just great, as he comes up with these great sounds that fit the songs and the mood of the music, or what I’m singing. So yeah, some older sounds that were around – he’s brought them in and we’re like “Oh yeah!”. You know like Oberheim stuff that people used to use – 80’s sounds that we would have used on “Chase The Dragon” or “On A Storyteller’s Night”. Tony’s all “Yeah, try that sound! Use that sound!” and Rick will go and come up with it. He’ll go away and programme it all and then come in and play it, so it’s all demoed before; then we’ll go into the studio and here’s the real thing… and everything changes! 

The song key has to change half the time because of writing it on a guitar, as Tony will do the melody line on the guitar for me to familiar with, but then you find it’s in an ‘in-between’ key of up here or down there, so you have to change the key to get the best out of the vocals. That happens quite often. Changing the key on the keyboards is just a button, but poor Tony has to do all the guitars again! “Right let’s do all the guitars again” so, it’s my fault, because it’s different when you’re singing, as the voice is the most important thing at the time…

I love that your voice is like a lovely, aged whiskey and seems to get better every year…

Well, I know how to do it now… I’ve been doing it all my life. Singers get better with age, they really do. You have more control and emotion, and subtlety, and things that when you first start don’t exist really.

*At this point Bob mimics a more shouty performance of yesteryear which is a far cry from the measured and bluesy timbre of his voice today.* 

I was just like that really, because I was young and excitable and I’ve calmed down a lot over the years, but I do think I’ve got better with maturity. I hope so, I think so, I know so! And that reflects in the songs, in the way I sing them and what Tony gives me. We’re both ‘maturing’, and that’s gonna happen, you know? Although he’s Rockier now than he ever was and he’s a way better Producer now than he ever was… 

I have to agree. The Production on “The Monster Roars” is an absolute pinnacle of the band’s achievements of the years.

He’s great, and he just takes the time to get all these sounds right in the mix – I don’t know how he does it! He’s just a very clever man, and I’m very glad to be working with him for all this time. And he’s done wonders for me and my career. He’s made me better than I ever was, so it’s a growing relationship and it’s great! We just carry on – it is what we do. We’re not looking for anything else really. I mean I do Avantasia on occasion, and Rick will do stuff with people, and Lee will do some stuff with other people in between albums and tours. Meanwhile Tone is back in his studio writing while I’m off going round the world with Avantasia! But it’s good to come back, and he’s always ready to start working again having had a break.

[I ask Bob how working with Avantasia maestro Tobi Sammet compares to Tony Clarkin, given the man’s unique ability to distil the five greatest songs a singer has contributed to into one new track that completely encapsulates that sound perfectly.] It’s a trick he pulls live too, seemingly always able to push the utmost in a performance from everybody involved. What’s that like as a process in comparison?

Well, he will send you an early mix of the song – just enough for you to know what your part is, and we will go and do it over in Wolverhampton and then send it back to Germany, so we don’t have to be in the same place anymore. That’s not possible… I’ve got the lyrics and I will go to the studio with Sheena, the engineer from Magnum and start putting something down, doing a few takes. Then she will put it together afterwards and send it off to him and he can do what he likes with that. He’s got what he wants off of the artist, which goes for all the singers. He will write a song for that singer, for what that singer’s known for, so it’s not alien – there’s no experimentation here. Give ‘em what they want, right? Bang, bang, bang! This is Bob, singing a Magnum-type song; this is Eric Martin singing a Mr Big type song – in that direction, Michael Kiske a bit like Helloween. It’s good that he does that, so it’s familiarity with the singer that you’re talking about, so you feel comfy with it already because it’s what you are used to…

It seems like Tobi has rebooted a few careers with that technique, but in comparison Magnum may never have really stopped> Is it an unbreakable partnership with Tony and you?

Well, we’ve had several line-up changes over the years – people come and go, but me and Tony are still there. I think it’s great. We work really well together and he’s fine and happy with me going off and doing Avantasia. He gets on well with Tobi too. We actually got Tobi over to the Birmingham Symphony Hall to sing the title track of “Lost On The Road To Eternity” on stage – which he had done on the album. I had been on several Avantasia albums by then so Tony said “Get your mate over to do a duo with you and do it the other way around”. Everything I do with Tobi is a duet, not like Magnum where the singer is just me as in Avantasia you are one of two or three singers on stage at the same time. It’s like a Heavy Metal Rock Opera and it’s brilliant. So, we got him up to the Symphony Hall to sing, and he went down fantasticly well. It seems Avantasia are massive everywhere except the UK…

I concur. The only show we ever seem to be able to get this spectacle for is the London Kentish Town forum for one night, with the exception of a support slot at Bloodstock one year…

Yeah, that Bloodstock festival show was some years ago now. It was just down the road from me at Catton Hall, as I live in Tamworth, just round the corner. It’s a pity that Avantasia only play one show in London once every three years, because everywhere else they’re just enormous and playing arenas, which is brilliant. They’re regulars at Wacken too…

Well, when your first ever live show as a band is headlining Wacken in 2008…

Wacken is always great – we did it again just recently. I love Wacken. The backstage area is really nice and posh for a rock and roll festival, the furniture is comfy, the careering is brilliant, and the dressing rooms are really clean and warm. Tony is happy for me to go off and do Avantasia when it’s suitable, but it can’t get in the way of what’s happening in the Magnum camp – that has to come first of course. Magnum is more of a priority, and Tobias knows that. It works great, and I’m looking forward to the next time – whenever that may be. We’ve just done loads of festivals to promote that last album (“A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society”). On the later festivals we had started to do two songs from the new album. Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) did a track from it, a very heavy track, and I did the (almost) title track ‘The Moonflower Society’ along with the one he wrote for me years ago ‘The Story Ain’t Over’. 

That song came out originally on the “Lost In Space” EP and was very much a part of “The Scarecrow” album cycle – the point where Avantasia stopped being a studio project and evolved into a touring circus with regular album cycles from then on – something that Bob has contributed to since that point…

Yes well, Tobi is a big Magnum fan. He’s probably also a big Helloween fan, and a big Mr Big fan as well, so he tries to get all of his heroes onto the album then onto the stage and the tour with him – which is a great compliment, you know? He’s said to me personally, and on stage as well quite often when he’s introducing me and talking to the audience (which can be a bit embarrassing) saying “Without the next singer’s band and music there probably wouldn’t have been a Tobias Sammet or an Avantasia, so please welcome on stage Bob Catley from Magnum..”… and you can’t get better than that. It’s quite emotional! 

We’re all a bunch of idiots backstage; there’s no egos. But there could be and there is quite a lot in Rock ‘n’ Roll as you know, but it doesn’t exist backstage with Avantasia – everyone’s all on the same level. Some artists sell more records than others, but we’re all in Avantasia and it’s a great camaraderie. As in Magnum! As in our line-up now – we have a great camaraderie and that’s really important for longevity. You’ve got to get on; you’ve got to like each other for goodness’ sake and respect each other. It’s a mutual respect thing, because you are in each other’s shoes for the whole six weeks tour, so you have just got to get on with each individual and be nice people – with each other and the fans, and everybody else. Be a good bloke and behave yourself! We haven’t got room for anything that isn’t that cool, which is how a band should be.

Is touring still fun after all this time?

Oh yeah! Sure, I love it! Fantastic! I even like the tour bus! There’s tour buses and there’s tour buses, but this one is nice! 

It’s nearly 35 years since Wings of Heaven when I first saw you live, and 25 years since I first interviewed you. So how does it feel to be still going strong after 50 years?

I know! Ha ha! I don’t think about it that much – we just kept going! We had a short break when I did some solo records when Hard Rain wasn’t working out for me. That was a low point, but 50 years has gone like that, you know? The 80’s is like last year to me! I’m still in the 80’s! I hate change – I don’t move on very well, you know? The music may move on, but I don’t fundamentally, I am still an 80’s bloke! I’ve still got the hair, although I’m not wearing ripped jeans anymore – I’m a bit too old for that! They were more rips than jeans, but they would look ridiculous on me now! But I am quite juvenile in my approach to everything – I still think I’m about 35 or something instead of twice that age. But it’s done me good, it’s kept me young and it’s brilliant! So yes, I love touring and so does Tony. It’s what we’re there for – record an album, put it out, start rehearsing and off you go on tour, and you just keep that going.  

As long as people still want to see that and hear the music and still find us relevant to what’s going on in the world. There’s a lot of subject matter out there – Tony’s a very great observer. He’s not a preacher or a political, but he’s a great observer and he will wrap it up in poetry and fantasy. Quite down to earth things, but he will make it sound ambiguous by adding a double meaning. It’s all in his head – he’s a great reader of books and he absorbs a lot of stuff. He’s very intelligent – more intelligent than I think many people realise. He’s great and it’s a treasure to savour, and look after, to behold and to keep in your pocket. That’s Magnum – it’s a little treasure! Our fans do tell us that…

Magnum were always the band boosting sales in the nearest pub to the venue after soundcheck, does that still happen?

No, we’re over that now – we haven’t done that for a long time! Tony stopped drinking some years ago, so it’s all his fault! We used to follow him to the pub “Come on, we’re going to the pub”, “Oh, alright then…” not that we needed much arm twisting believe me! That’s how it was in the 70’s and 80’s – everybody was like that: alcohol fuelled. Cigarettes and alcohol! We hadn’t got any money – we were broke, so we ended up poncing drinks the whole time “Cheers, thanks!”. Good days! When we started out you couldn’t get us out of the boozer, but that hasn’t happened for a very long time. We’re far more responsible now, thank God, otherwise we wouldn’t have reached this time in our lives. If we had carried on like that, that’s just going down the wrong way… I mean I like a drink – we all do, especially with Christmas coming up, but in moderation. I like getting a bit merry, but nothing more than that. You can’t mix work with pleasure – it’s one or the other. 

Our time is almost over and with an insistent tour manager keen to get Bob ready for the show, I ask him looking back over all these decades, what moments in his career stand out the most after all this time? 

Monsters of Rock, Castle Donnington 1985. That was great, even though we were on first. 

I guess that going on first meant you were less likely to get pelted by bottles filled with unsavoury contents, given that the crowd had probably not finished drinking their original contents…?

Oh yes, people would throw things at the stage if they don’t like you. I had mud slung at me, and a bottle of something smash and explode against the drum riser – I hate to think what it was! But that was a long time ago, though Monsters of Rock was a high. 

Ozzy Osbourne’s USA tour in 1982 as well, just after Randy Rhoads had died in that awful plane crash. We came onto the tour then and Sharon and Ozzy looked after us very well nicely as we were on the same label – Jet Records (Run by Sharon’s father Don Arden). Yeah, we were on the same label, and we were all from Birmingham Ozzy’s hometown, so they took us under their wing. We had just had “Chase The Dragon” in the charts and went off on tour with Ozzy – that’s definitely another stand out moment. He and Sharon were lovely to us. They didn’t know us very well, but we went down really good over there, so we made a lot of converts and we started selling albums after we played in the States. We went back twice as well, because Ozzy had lost his voice and we all had to all come home and then go back again some weeks later to complete it all down the Eastern seaboard and the Southern States. It was great! 

Stand out moments though – being at Hammersmith Odeon on the stage and Tommy Vance coming on the radio and saying “You are now joining 3 million people listening on the Tommy Vance Friday Rock Show”. That’s another moment…

But it’s all highlights for me, what we do. Just playing in front of the audience of Magnum fans on a nightly basis is a standout moment on its own, without all those other things. Just being on tour in front of your audience, and with the band – it can’t get better than that! It’s fantastic – there is nothing better than that. It’s what keeps you going. That’s your life blood…

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Simon Black and 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.

Interview with Jesper Lindberg of Sarayasign

Interview with Jesper Lindberg of Sarayasign
Interviewed and Produced by Laura Barnes

After thoroughly enjoying Sarayasign’s debut album “Throne of Gold”, our reviewer Laura Barnes spoke to Sarayasign’s drummer and mastermind, Jesper Lindberg. They talked about concept albums, fantasy, and the long, agonizing process of songwriting. Check it out here:

Interview with Jesper Lindberg of Sarayasign

To read the original review, click here: https://www.ever-metal.com/2022/06/29/sarayasign-throne-of-gold/

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Laura Barnes and 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.

Video Interview: Alex Camargo of Krisiun

Video Interview: Alex Camargo of Krisiun
Interviewed and produced by Victor Augusto

The Brazilian Death Metal band Krisiun became very respected among the legends that made this style so strong around the world, and they have just released a new album “Mortem Solis” after four years without new material.

Our friend from Brazil, Victor Augusto, had a chat with the vocalist/bassist Alex Camargo to find out more about the early days of the band, that is considered a legendary one, especially in their homeland. They also talked about the band’s offering.

I hope you enjoy it!

INTERVIEW WITH ALEX CAMARGO

LINE-UP:
Alex Camargo – Vocals and bass
Max Kolesne – Drums
Moyses Kolesne – Guitars

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and 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.

Interview with INFANTERIA

Infanteria Logo

Interview with INFANTERIA
Interviewed by Beth Jones

Hi Everyone, welcome to a slightly tweaked EMQs interview with Progressive Thrash Metal band, Infanteria, whose new album, “Patriarch” is out today. Check out our review of it here:

Please introduce yourselves, tell us what you play, and tell us all about Infanteria.

Chris – I’m Chris, Guitarist and Vocalist for Progressive Thrash Metal band Infanteria. Tim plays bass guitar with Adrian rounding things off on drums. We formed back in 2005 with 3 albums under our belt thus far. Our new album, Patriarch, is out everywhere on 17 June 2022.

Please tell us about where you are from, and what the Metal Scene is like there?

Chris – We’re all originally from Cape Town, South Africa, however I moved over to the UK a few years back. Compared to the scene in places like the UK, South Africa’s metal scene is tiny, but it’s a really passionate crowd with an awesome sense of community. Living in South Africa is certainly turbulent and getting your angst and anxiety out at a metal show is the perfect release – I truly feel that’s a massive factor to the energy of the shows in SA compared to other countries.

Please tell us about your new single ‘Embrace The Trauma’ and album ‘Patriarch’

Chris – It’s the fastest and most straight-to-the-point song on the album with a great gang vocal chorus hook and it made sense to put it out as the first single. Our fans haven’t heard from us in ages, and we wanted to give them an energetic, no-frills introduction to the album before they hear the twist and turns on the rest of the tracks.

How did you come up with the album name ‘Patriarch’?

Chris – The theme of the album is control and what people can manifest when they feel they’ve lost control or in full control. This is put across through family traditions/expectations; cancel culture; broken relationships; tribal vs individual identity and other scenarios in the lyrics. At the end of the day, we are the rulers of our own destiny and our very own patriarch. It’s a strong, thought-provoking title and every metal album needs one of those.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Tim: From a bass perspective, Cliff Burton, Troy Sanders, Steve Harris and, on this album, I tried to channel a bit of Martín Méndez.

Adrian: Definitely all the power drummers of the 80’s & 90’s. Ulrich, Lombardo/Bostaph, Benante, Hoglan, Menza, Nicko McBrain & Vinnie Paul stand out among many. 2000’s and beyond favourites are Per Møller Jensen, Aquiles Priester, Eloy Casagrande, Mike Portnoy & Dirk Verveuren to name a few.

Chris: Hetfield, Mustaine & Chuck Billy will always be the forefathers of influencers for me. Add a little Sylosis, Mastodon, Opeth, Iron Maiden & Pantera for good measure.

What first got you into music?       

Tim: My dad’s Led Zeppelin boxset, Danny Elfman’s 1989 Batman score, and the Command & Conquer: Red Alert soundtrack.

Adrian: I’m from a musical family, so jamming with my parents since I was 6 years old on piano really developed my love for music in general. Discovering amazing rock n roll artists in my older brother’s music collection definitely helped too.

Chris: I come from quite a musical family – my great-grandmother was a professional opera singer, and my mom sang in the Cape Town Choir. My Uncle and older cousin used to play guitar and sing old Beatles and 70s classics at all the big family events, and I remember music always being a constant throughout my childhood.

My dad got me into Queen and Elvis when I was about 8 and I really dug the power, musicality, and speed of the music. When I was 12/13, my oldest friend, Giorgio, played Metallica and Guns N Roses for me and handed me his older brother’s new electric guitar to chug on and the rest is history.

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

Tim: Rammstein.

Adrian: Beast In Black

Chris: Josh Middleton (Sylosis, Architects)

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

Tim: Hellfest. Can you imagine having an artist pass with the 2022 lineup?? Good lord.

Adrian: Hellfest (with the condition that I get to play and attend the entire fest). I’d be dead by day 4 just from the pure excitement. Close 2nd would be 70,000 Tons of Metal. Who doesn’t like a nice Caribbean cruise ship holiday while getting to play to a great audience?

Chris: I’ve always been keen on Bloodstock Open Air in the UK. They always have amazing line-ups and I’ve been meaning to go there as a fan for ages – would be perfect to play there too!

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

Tim: Accidentally getting us banned from streaming platforms for a while. But we still love the guy.

Adrian: Nothing yet to my dismay. I hope to receive several strange offerings soon \m/

Chris: I honestly can’t think of anything in particular!

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

Tim: Eat your greens.

Adrian: Peoples’ time is such a precious commodity these days, so thank you for choosing to spend some of that valuable time listening to our music ^_^

Chris: Thank you so much for sticking by us and helping us fly the flag! Enjoy the new album and hope to see you soon! Keep supporting metal bands as best you can.

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

Tim: It must be Cliff Burton for me. Or Chris Cornell.

Adrian: Dimebag. Or Lemmy.

Chris: Dimebag. One more Pantera album with the guys at their mature prime would be perfection. RIP to an absolute legend.

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

Tim: Playing live is the absolute best part, when everything is flowing and you’re locked-in with your bandmates and the audience, the experience is transcendental. I hate playing by myself at home.

Adrian: That special moment jamming (studio or live) where something just “clicks” and you look at each other and feel that electricity. Pet hate is 10-minute changeovers with no opportunity for a decent soundcheck >_<

Chris: Playing live to a full crowd who are fully into what they are hearing is hard to beat. The writing process is so rewarding though, there is no better high than writing a riff/beat/vocal line/piece that gives you butterflies and goosebumps when you listen to it back. Priceless.

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

Tim: Streaming royalties.

Adrian: Having more support and relief avenues globally for artists and musicians which are smaller or mid-range to weather storms like the last 2 and a half years have been. I’ve seen the devastation of the pandemic on friends who are professional entertainers, and we can’t have that happen again.

Chris: It’s insatiable appetite for overly promoting bad “commercial” music rather than giving hard working talent the resources and exposure everyone deserves.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Tim: Mastodon- “Blood Mountain”

Adrian: Megadeth – “Youthanasia”

Chris: Metallica – “… And Justice For All”

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

Tim: It depends on the context, all of them have their place and things that they do better than the others (except maybe cassette ha ha ha!). As a physical object, vinyl for sure. For general listening, it’s hard to beat the convenience of streaming/downloads. But there’s nothing like trawling through an old box of records/CDs or perusing the shelves of music stores for hidden treasures.

Adrian: Suppose it depends on the situation. Downloads are most convenient, especially with the space saving it provides. I’d still have to say my preference is CD. My physical music collection exists pretty much 99% in CD format.

Chris: I’m all about the recent vinyl resurgence and have a turntable and an ever-expanding vinyl collection. They sound excellent and album artwork always looks 100 times better on an LP than a small CD or cassette. I still have all my CDs but wouldn’t choose to buy one nowadays with vinyl back on the shelves.

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

Tim: Ramfest when we opened for Killswitch Engage and Trivium, and Corey Beaulieu scampered to the side of the stage to watch us jam Holy Wars. The Gandalfs Farewell gig holds a special place in my heart too, partially because of the strong emotions at that show (saying goodbye to a legendary Cape Town venue), and because it felt like we absolutely ripped that night.

Adrian: The one that sticks in my mind the most was the album release show for Where Serpents Conquer. Energy was off the charts and just felt unstoppable.

Chris: Ramfest 2014 is hard to beat. Opening for both Trivium and KSE on the same night in front of an amazing crowd was a dream come true. I’d choose that show over Wacken 2013 just because our performance was better. Playing in front of over 8000 people in Germany was life changing.

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

Tim: Being a musician exclusively is a rare thing these days, but if I wasn’t thinking about music at all, I’d devote more time to filmmaking and naps.

Adrian: I’d love to sell musical instruments if I wasn’t actively making music. That or run a guesthouse or Airbnb business.

Chris: Life would be exceedingly boring without music in my life but becoming an expert pizza maker would be close second.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Tim: Adrian has spent a lot of time pondering this over the years, and probably has a super profound answer. I’ll keep my bad answer at living people: Bruce Campbell, David Lynch, Kirk Hammett, Donald Glover, and Carol Kaye.

Adrian: Only 5??? I have a massive list of living people (constantly updating) who I’d love to have over for dinner. Impossible to narrow it down, so taking a random sample. They include David Attenborough, Shigeru Miyamoto, Terry Crews, Roger Federer, Alice Cooper.

Dead list is probably a little shorter. They would be Neal Peart, Desmond Tutu, JRR Tolkien, Dr Christiaan Barnard, Stan Lee

Chris: James Hetfield, Ricky Gervais, Joe Rogan, Eric Cantona and Liam Gallagher. Biblical.

What’s next for Infanteria?

Chris – Our new album, Patriarch, comes out on 17 June and we’re buzzing for everyone to hear it. Things are still in-the-air with plans after we release as I live in the UK and the rest of the guys are in South Africa, so we’ll see what comes our way. We’ll definitely continue to write music though.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Chris: You don’t get Jaffa Cakes in South Africa! I’ve had them in the UK though and I’d say they’re more a cake than a biscuit … surely not crumbly enough!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Chris: Thanks so much for having us and we hope you all enjoy our new single ‘Embrace the Trauma’, which comes out on 3 June and the new album ‘Patriarch’ on 17 June. Follow all our socials for more info https://linktr.ee/infanteria

Infanteria Promo Pic

Infanteria is a three-piece Progressive Thrash Metal Band from Cape Town, South Africa and Manchester, UK. Currently independent, the band released two studio albums with Burning Tone Records, with their third album, ‘Patriarch’, due for release Friday 17 June 2022. Formed in 2005 by Vocalist & Guitarist Chris Hall, and his brother Rob, Infanteria managed to thrash through the high school party years to release their 2013 debut ‘Isolated Existence’. The release saw Bassist Tim Leibbrandt join the fold, propelling the band to win the Wacken Metal Battle South Africa Competition that year, affording them the opportunity to play at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany alongside Rammstein, Motörhead, Meshuggah, and many more!

Upon their return to South Africa, the band was direct support for Killswitch Engage and Trivium at Ramfest SA 2014. The following year, their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Where Serpents Conquer’ was released with Adrian Langeveld taking over behind the Drums. The group subsequently enjoyed extensive touring of South Africa. With Chris emigrating to the UK in early 2020, and the arrival of the pandemic, sessions for the band’s next album were put on hold. Two years later, the Thrash Metal Trio is now set to return, revitalised and ready to unleash ‘Patriarch’, their long-awaited third album. A mature expansion on their previous releases, ‘Patriarch’ shows the full development of Infanteria’s progressive metal sound from hardcore crossover runaways like ‘Embrace the Trauma’ to rich sonic opuses such as ‘Swansong’.

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Video Interview with Marquis De Sade

Marquis De Sade Logo

For several decades Marquis De Sade were the epitome of the British cult Metal band…highly respected but quite elusive. Now, however, the band is about to make an unexpected comeback.

Formed in the south of London around 1979, Marquis De Sade remained active for about three years. The line-up back then consisted of Kriss Gordelier on vocals, Kriss’ brother Pete Gordelier on bass, San Remo on keyboards, Gary ‘Gazza’ Pope on drums and Gary’s brother Kevin on guitars. Together they crafted some amazing material.

Sadly Kevin passed away quite recently and his shoes have been filled by Pauly Gordelier (brother of Kriss and Pete) while keyboard maestro Giles ‘Doc’ Holland has replaced San Remo.

This is probably the first interview the band has given in over 40 years. As one might imagine, it’s quite a revealing one!

Video Interview With Marquis De Sade

DISCOGPRAHY:
Somewhere Up in the Mountains         [Compilation-2012-High Roller Records]
Somewhere Up in the Mountains / Black Angel        [Single-1981-X-Pose]
Demo 1981                                                                 [Demo-1981-self-release]

LINE-UP:
Kriss Gordelier – vocals
Paul ‘Pauly’ Gordelier – guitars
Giles ‘Doc’ Holland – keyboards
Pete Gordelier – bass
Gary ‘Gazza’ Pope – drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and 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.

Video Interview with TYSONDOG

Midnight Album Cover Art

Video Interview with TYSONDOG
Interviewed and Edited by Chris Galea

Recently, Chris Galea got a chance to catch up with Kevin Wynn, bass player of NWOBHM band, Tysondog, to chat about the band, their new album, “Midnight” which came out on 29th April 2022, and what inspires them.

Check out the full video interview here:

Video Interview with TYSONDOG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AmpF9ODVEo

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galeaand 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.

We Struck Gold – Interview With Ever Metal

We Struck Gold Logo

We Struck Gold – Interview With Ever Metal
By Beth Jones

Recently I had the chance to catch up virtually with UK based band, We Struck Gold, to find out a little more about their music, what inspires them, and what they have in the pipeline now that live music is back. Thanks to them for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Welcome and thanks for joining us for this interview. You’re a new band to the uk scene, so before anything else, please tell us a little about the band’s roots, and what inspires you to create music.

The band is based South West Of The UK In Bristol. We have been around for a few short years, however we have finally found a sound and line-up that we are extremely proud of.

Our passion for creating music comes from our day to day lives. That being times of positivity or times of struggle. Music is our voice and we want as many people to hear us.

You’re currently releasing singles from your upcoming EP. Can you tell us about the message that these songs are trying to convey?

The Songs are a compilation of many things. The songs reflect our everyday lives, things that we are passionate about. The past two years has been hard for everyone, there is something everyone can connect with.

What’s your approach to songwriting? Does it start with a lyric or riff, and grow collaboratively, or does one member focus on creating the backbone of your songs?

The tracks usually start with Jesse Musically, he lays down the foundations for a track. We all give our input, maybe rearrange things to see what fits the song best. Omar is usually quick to have some great melodies for vocals which may totally restructure a track completely. Songs can come together very fast but then again some may take time. We are still working on tracks we made before this current string of releases. Some songs take time, we may need to walk away and come back to them a few months down the line.

Now That live music is back, tell us a little if you can about upcoming shows, and where can people see you?

We are over the moon that live music is back! It has given us all a new perspective on things, I think we can all agree? As far as seeing us, we currently have a string of dates where we are hitting a lot of the big cities around the UK! You can find the announced shows here! 

www.Linktr.Ee/Westruckgold 

The world is a testing place at the moment. If you had one message to give to your fans right now, what would it be?

Persevere and overcome…

Music can be a great solace and a great healer. What will people find in your songs that they can relate to, and find comfort in?

The new material speaks for itself we think. The song titles we have chosen pretty much sums up what the track is about. But then music is all about how we as listeners perceive it. 

The scene is packed full of great new music right now. What would you say is the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Our live performance is definitely something everyone should experience! Being put in a live environment is where we excel!   

After the release of your EP, what do you have planned next?

We plan on hitting the studio to keep the music coming! The pandemic gave us a lot of time to create music and we haven’t stopped writing, it had is plus sides as well as it down sides!

What’s the ultimate goal for We Struck Gold and your music?

We could give the generic reply of big tours and big stages. However I think our main goal is to emotionally connect with our listeners. If we can give people the same feeling we all get from music we’ve done our job. If we help just one person who needs to be picked up and helped in times of struggle, we’ve definitely done our job!

Finally, where can people go online to discover more about you, and find your music?

www.Linktr.Ee/Westruckgold 

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Beth Jones and 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.

Video Interview With Venomous

Video Interview With Venomous
By Victor Augusto

In February of 2021, I was lucky enough to discover another brilliant Brazilian band to review. More than just loving their music on a first listen, I was astonished just how many details the EP “Tribus” offered, despite only having just four tracks on it. The lyrical subjects, the cover art and the music were so rich that I spent way more time than usual to analyse and try to describe them. 

Today, more than a year after that, I am glad that I had the chance to talk with vocalist Thiago Pereira and the Guitarist Ivan Landgraf to understand more about what they put into Venomous’s music. 

Tribus EP Cover

I hope you enjoy this Brazilian Melodic Death Metal band as much as I’ve enjoyed discovering them.

Video interview with Venomous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgjCuAOQgCE

Video edit by Victor Augusto
Live video of ‘Eerie Land’ and ‘Unity’ recorded by Venomous.
Images of the band taken by the Venomous official video of ‘Eerie Land’ and ‘Unity’.
Background music: Venomous – ‘Eerie Land’, Venomous – ‘Unity’ and Venomous – ‘Duality’

LINKS:

Venomous Promo Pic

Tribus EP review

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and 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.

Interview with Gravehuffer

NecroEclosion Album Cover Art

Interview with Gravehuffer
By Victor Augusto

My lack of creativity in writing introductions is nothing new for all the readers of Ever Metal (by the way I am copying this intro from my review), but today I have to repeat something that I often mention in introductions to my reviews. This is how amazing it is seeing a band’s evolution while I have the pleasure to follow them, releasing their albums, since they have formed. Of course, Gravehuffer (from Joplin, Missouri) are not a young band and they are very experienced musicians, but I am the lucky guy who has reviewed all of their albums since 2017 and I have to say that Gravehuffer is one of the most intriguing and challenging bands that I have reviewed so far. 

I had the pleasure to talk with the guitarist Ritchie Randall to dig deeply on how they achieved such an amazing result on their last album “NecroEclosion”. 

Victor Augusto: I confess that I tried to find the meaning of album’s title, but I couldn’t understand it. Could you explain the definition of the word NecroEclosion?

Ritchie Randall: It means to emerge from a cocoon of death. We were going through the pandemic, lost our singer and had to cancel a lot of shows at the time. It all went into the sound of the record. 

Victor Augusto: NecroEclosion, for me, is a pure American album. Not that the album is just for American listeners, but it is a hard criticism of things from your country. You talk about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization, also about the disco music and even the NASA missions off of earth, but it’s always related to the USA. Was your intention to be focused on American history or American culture, or did it just happens naturally?

Ritchie Randall: That’s an interesting observation! I never thought of it that way. It was definitely not our intention, but it could relate to all of the upheaval going on in the United States at the time we wrote the album. So, I guess to answer your question, it happened naturally. 

Victor Augusto: There is the typical acid humor that Gravehuffer always uses in the best way, as you hear in ‘Death Before Disco’. It starts with a funny version of ‘You Should Be Dancing’, from the Bee Gees, that shows the wreck that Disco music made of the music industry decades ago. It also criticizes the cocaine and other stuff involved with those who were part of the scene. I think it also shows how we have plenty of excellent and varied material here, and I am not talking about that stuff from Disco clubs, that could make Robocop (with rusty hinges) dance like hell! Could you talk about this sense of humour and about this song?

Ritchie Randall: I think we always have that cheeky sense of humour going on throughout all of our records. How it manifests into a song can vary a lot though. Mike (Jilge), our bassist, has been wanting to do the ‘Death Before Disco’ idea as long as I can remember. We’re talking since the late 90’s! He learned the bass line for the Bee Gees song and so at that point, we had to do it ha ha ha! It was a lot of fun to step out of our comfort zone for a minute there. Travis came up with the idea for the lyrics to be about the disco culture of the 70’s and how it tried to ruin the music scene.

Victor Augusto: You also talks about serious historical subject for example in ‘Ghost Dance’, which is about the mass killing of the Native Americans in the USA. The backing vocals, like the ghost of the indigenous ancestors screaming for help to anyone who could stand and fight. Melodies bring the feeling of a ‘last breath of hope’ amongst all the chaos that sadly didn’t save them from the coward’s killing. Was the band’s intention to bring all these emotions for the song?

Ritchie Randall: Yes, it was. We had the subject matter of the Wounded Knee Massacre already picked for a song, and we wrote the music to specifically fit with what happened. It was very emotional to write. It’s something that means a lot to us, being from the United States. We haven’t always treated people the best ever though we’re a nation of immigrants. Travis (McKenzie – Vocals) once again came up with the lyrics and really did a fantastic job! We let a few of our Native American friends listen to it before it was released, and they really thought we did that part of their history justice.

Victor Augusto: ‘Custom Of The Sea’ also has a serious subject. It is about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization. Many people went mad and died. By the way it is a perfect song to understand the bands sonority! Could you explain this track? 

Ritchie Randall: Sure, it’s about cannibalism at sea and how it was basically allowed until a trial outlawed it. We just thought it sounded like such an intense thing to go through! I saw an article on the internet about it and wanted the band to write a song that put you in the headspace of the people who were living through it. We had no idea that took place back then. It was actually called the ‘custom of the sea’ and it happened very regularly. If the sailors ran out of rations, they would kill the people who were the sickest and eat them. 

Victor Augusto: Musically, you are not restricted to only one genre and you are getting heavier with each album release, even though you keep your main spirit of Crust / Hardcore and Thrash Metal. For example: ‘Quarantine Death Machine’ reminds me of Sepultura when playing Hardcore. ‘Smaller Than Death’ has a Doomy side. ‘Stingray’ is more Punk Rock in style, but it is very heavy as well. Gravehuffer is a band that always wants to surprise their fans. What makes you always want to play whatever you want, no matter the style?

Ritchie Randall: Thanks! We basically write how we are feeling at that particular time and it translates to the sound of the music. Sometimes we are feeling in a good mood, sometimes we are angry, sometimes we are bummed out, it just depends on what is happening in our lives at that time. The only rule in this band is there are no rules!

Victor Augusto: This new album is pretty organic and raw, of course it is amazingly well recorded. It is funny because in an age that most of the bands prefer to do a much-digitalized production, you went against this trend. Is it a pattern for Gravehuffer or do you think that the compositions asked for this raw production?

Ritchie Randall: Thank you once again! It’s a little bit of both actually. We come from the era of bands that had that more raw production. There are times when we will hear a band with polished production and then see them live and they sound nothing like their record. We want our live sound to translate to our albums. We’re a loud, aggressive, and intense band and we want the production to match that.

Victor Augusto: It is funny because I’ve already heard the album, to review, since October or September of 2020. I took a long time to listen to it because I was involved with other things in the end of the last year. But I clearly remember the post of a review that totally showed a person who didn’t understand the band’s idea and talked a lot of crazy things. It pissed me off and made me want to go deeper into this album to write the best review ever that I could, considering my limitations ha ha ha ha! How do you handle with these kinds of things coming from magazines and people connected to journalism?

Ritchie Randall: Your review is fantastic and also we appreciate that you think highly of the album to include on your 2021 albums of the year list! Bad reviews are rare for us thankfully, but when they do happen, they tend to be a little bit short sighted. They don’t really ‘get’ what we are doing it seems. That’s OK really. We understand we’re not for everyone. There was one that we made an example of because they got a little bit personal in the review and that’s not cool. Other than that, we don’t mind. We just appreciate that people are taking the time to listen and write their thoughts about our music!

Victor Augusto: We first meet each other when we were at Sare’s Invasion radio show. By the way Sara was the person who told me about Ever Metal. Since then, I have reviewed all of Gravehuffer’s albums and you don’t leave more than 2 years without a new release. How is the composition process working to have so much good material in a short spaces of time?

Ritchie Randall: Yeah it’s been great being a part of the family at Sare’s Invasion! We are always writing, practically every couple of weeks we’ll have new ideas to present to each other. Our phones and computers have hundreds of riffs, lyrics, melodies, beats, you name it! We have stuff from 7 or 8 years ago still sitting around. We may use it, we may not, but it’s nice to have that wealth of material to have at our disposal.

Victor Augusto: You started touring just in this year, after all issues from COVID during 2020 and 2021. How are the shows so far? Do you have any intention to tour outside of the US, such as a European tour?

Ritchie Randall: The shows have been good. A few great ones too! Attendance is still on the lower side, but I think people are just being cautious and that’s OK. Regardless, we have a blast and love meeting new people and playing our music for them! We do plan to play outside the US, it’s just the cost and timing that we have to figure out, but we are actively pursuing it!

Victor Augusto: Over all these years playing in a band, what was the band’s achievement which made you feel most proud of that’s worth all the hard work so far?

Ritchie Randall: Probably putting out vinyl. That was something I never thought I would do! It’s always been one of the dreams! NecroEclosion in particular. Just wait for our next record. It’s really going to raise the bar! We can’t wait for people to hear it!

Victor Augusto: Thanks for your time. I really hope to see you in concert someday. For sure I will be on the front row and screaming whilst you play, like the stupid crazy fan that I am. Please let your us know your final considerations for your fans and for Ever Metal’s readers, also the plans for the future.

Ritchie Randall: Thank you for the insightful questions! This was a lot of fun! We would LOVE to play Brazil! Wow that would be amazing! As far as the future, we are finishing up this new record that has a 21-minute epic song about Dante’s Divine Comedy, and another side of our crazy antics. Kam Lee from Massacre and James Murphy (Death, Testament, Obituary, Cancer, etc.) is playing lead guitar on the Dante song! Many more shows as well! Cheers! 

LINKS:

Gravehuffer Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and 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.

Video Interview with EVILE

Evile Tour Poster

Video Interview with EVILE
Filmed at Boston Music Room, London – 24/02/22
Interviewed and Edited by Chris Galea

One of the UK’s most loved Thrash bands, Evile, finally managed to take to the road again in February 2022, to tour their most recent album. Chris Galea went along to their show at the Boston Music Room, London, and managed to catch a quick interview with drummer, Ben Carter. And here it is!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and 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.