EMQ’s with Splintered Throne
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQ interview, this time with Portland, Oregon, (USA) Heavy Metal band, Splintered Throne. Huge thanks to the vocalist Lisa Mann, the guitarists Jason Moser and Matt Dorado and also the bassist (and only original member) Brian Bailey 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?
JMo: I’m Jason Moser, JMo for short, I play guitar. The band started around 2006 with the only original member now being our bass player Brian Bailey. Kris and I joined the band in 2010 and original singer Brian Garrison left in 2019, along with second guitarist Fred Osbourne, who came on as second guitar in 2012. We got Lisa and Matt just before COVID came knocking, in 2019 and here the five of us are ready to rock. The band actually has a lengthy history, if you go to our official site, you can find it in the “about the band” section.
Matt: My name is Matt Dorado and I am the new guitarist. I have played in another band that has done shows with a few different Splintered Throne line-ups over the years.
Brian: My name is Brian Bailey and I play bass.
Kris: I’m Kris Holboke, the drummer, and like to hit things, concerning percussion.
Lisa: I’m Lisa Mann, I am the new vocalist. I am a professional Blues artist by trade, but I never lost my deep love of Heavy Metal. I got back into Metal by writing and producing a traditional Metal album under the name White Crone. I started going to more Metal shows and became a big Splintered Throne fan. At one of their shows, they announced their singer was leaving. I was sad to see him go, but my friend who was with me insisted I speak to them. The rest is history. So proud to be singing with these guys!
How did you come up with your band name?
Brian: Our former singer Brian Garrison came up with the name. He was researching to get ideas for names and he found a reference to the devil’s chair known as the “splintered throne.” I think he may have found it in a religious text. He didn’t get it from World of Warcraft, the band name predates that.
What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
JMo: Portland, Oregon, in the USA. The scene here, like many others due to COVID, is broken and sparse, but I think some rejuvenation is coming. There are scarce hard rock and metal venues to play right now.
Kris: In the US it has been rough with the ‘Rona, but I think things seem to be getting better.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
JMo: We are soon to release a new album titled “Greater Good of Man”. Video to follow!
Who have been your greatest influences?
JMo: Old Metallica, Bay Area thrash from the 80’s, Randy Rhoads, NWOBHM, Scott Ian and my bandmates by forcing me to write stuff that doesn’t suck.
Matt: As a player, I think there are a couple, Paul Gilbert and John Petrucci, that people would think “Yea, he definitely likes those guys.” But the less obvious ones would be Santana, Neil Schon and Mike Stern. While you may not hear them in my playing, I always hear their incredible sense of melody in the back of my head.
Brian: Geddy Lee of Rush and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.
Kris: I have a ton of influences from different genres. One of my biggest is Todd Sucherman of Styx fame. On the prog side, Mike Portnoy.
Lisa: For Metal, my biggest influences are Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Eric Adams, King Diamond, and Rob Halford. Of course, Ann Wilson on Heart is an influence as well, but mostly I learned to sing by singing along with those male vocalists.
What first got you into music?
JMo: I wanted to meet girls and get laid. That was a failure because I played real Metal and all I ended up doing was hanging out with other metal heads and drinking beer.
Matt: It’s what I’ve always been attracted to as long as I can remember. Music has always been a huge part of my life.
Brian: My friend Scott Bouck handed me a bass one day and said “You need to learn how to play this”. I started out learning everything on Judas Priest’s “British Steel” then moved on to Maiden. That was decades ago and the rest is history.
Kris: I first saw a band on the parking lot during the grand opening of my father’s store when I was young. I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Lisa: I was a huge KISS freak as a kid. I wanted to grow up to be Gene Simmons! I grew up to be a bass playing vocalist, no makeup or spitting fire though.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
JMo: I would love to jam with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante (Anthrax). Just be a fly on the wall while they kick around ideas.
Matt: Oh wow, there are just too many to list.
Brian: Gacharic Spin! The bass player Koga is incredible, I would be happy to just be her bass tech.
Kris: Michael Schenker.
Lisa: Drainbow’s Nick Sarcophagus.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
JMo: Yes, Wacken Open Air. Those are my people. Did you hear about the two old guys who left their retirement home to go to Wacken? Yeah, that’s gonna be me.
Lisa: Wacken Open Air!! It’s not just a Metal fest, it’s a community experience.
Kris: WACKEN OPEN AIR!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
JMo: We got a drawing from someone who watched us perform once. It wasn’t weird, but it certainly was cool. We have it up on the beer fridge in the studio.
Matt: LOL! Probably a goatee massage while I was trying to play. One show, this lady jumps on stage mid tune, gets behind me and starts rubbing my chin. All while I’m trying to play and sing. I gave her till the end of the song to stop.
Brian: Well, we have gotten some thoughtful gifts. Someone framed one of our CD’s and made it very artful, we all got a copy. A very nice gift.
Lisa: In my blues incarnation, I have a fan in the Seattle area who is always giving me gifts. One night she showed up with a big box, inside was a vintage lamp shaped like a guitar. But she painstakingly painted a bass clef on the side of it. I will cherish it always!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
JMo: Don’t be a dick. We are all on this spinning rock together.
Matt: Get out to the shows as soon as you feel safe to do so. The whole industry is just chomping at the bit to show you what we have been doing for the last two years.
Brian: Support local music.
Kris: Thanks for the continuing support!
Lisa: Stream your favourite artists, add us to your playlists, and watch our vids on YouTube. Support us on social media. There are many free or inexpensive ways to support your favourite bands. You may not think it makes a difference, but it does.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
JMo: Cliff Burton. He had so much unfinished music to share with us.
Matt: This is always a tough question. There have been so many who left us too soon, Jimi, Randy, Stevie… But I feel things happen for a reason and I will be happy to enjoy the musical gifts they have given us.
Brian: Neil Peart of Rush, or Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Kris: John Bonham.
Lisa: Perhaps Phil Lynott. I normally play bass and sing, so he has a special place in my heart. He was such a talented artist, and lost his life far too soon, and in a tragic way.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
JMo: Enjoy? The high I get performing. Nothing beats it. Hate? All the social media end of things. I would rather just meet people in person.
Matt: The creative process and playing live are just the best. Having a career outside the music industry is the part I dislike the most.
Brian: Performing is the most enjoyable and the least is loading out.
Kris: The collaboration and the hard work to get to a place where we want to be. I hate the waiting for everything.
Lisa: Not having a day job. And not having a day job.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
JMo: Stop pushing crap music to the masses!!
Brian: To have it not be controlled by six rich white guys.
Kris: For it to be kind.
Lisa: The music industry, like the film and television industry, has changed from a long term to a short-term view. Artists aren’t given a chance to build up a career, you either hit it big with your first release, or you’re dropped like a hot rock. I wish the focus wasn’t so much on short term profit and artists were allowed to grow like they used to. I mean, the Ramones first album was a total commercial flop. Imagine if the record company dropped them at that point?
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
JMo: Picking just one is brutally hard, so I will give you my top three. Iron Maiden – ‘Killers’, Ozzy – ‘Diary of a Madman’, Accept – ‘Restless and Wild’.
Matt: ‘Scenes From a Memory’ – Dream Theater. I listen to the album a couple times a month.
Brian: Rush- ‘2112’
Kris: Anything from Michael Schenker. And 90% of the Iron Maiden albums.
Lisa: Ghost’s ‘Meliora’. I could listen to it 1,000 times! Incredible song writing and production, unique arrangements. It was this album that made this blues artist decide to return to Metal.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
JMo: I love streaming for the portability of such a large cache of music. But if I was home with a great system, vinyl.
Matt: They all have their place. For portability you can’t beat downloads. But for overall listening nothing beats vinyl, especially for jazz. The warmth and dynamic range. I mean really what beats Coltrane or Miles on a turn table?
Kris: I like vinyl (picture discs specifically) for the art and retrospective, but the convenience of downloads and streaming are hard to beat.
Lisa: Personally, I am still fond of CDs, and I’m glad they’re having a recent comeback. They provide a high-quality listening experience, plus you get a small souvenir in the packaging, with artwork, information, and sometimes lyrics.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
JMo: I played in front of close to 2,500 people at a hippy festival we accidentally got billed on when I was in a band called Father Mary. They ended up cutting our set short because we were causing people to have a bad trip!
Matt: A couple festivals come to mind. One with Kid n Play and Mint Condition. And one with Robert Cray, POD and Los Lonely Boys. Those were a couple great shows on great stages.
Brian: We sold out Dante’s in Portland opening for all female AC/DC cover band Helle’s Belles when I was playing with a band called Cellar Door. The energy of that wall of people from the stage to the door was just insane.
Kris: Opening up for Primal Fear and Metal Church was a hoot.
Lisa: As a blues artist I played at the Half Moon in London. The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bo Diddley played there, it was amazing just to be on that stage.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
JMo: I could not possibly have survived on this planet this long without being a musician, so I would be fertilizing plants.
Matt: Hmmm, probably teaching history.
Brian: I would also be fertilizing plants, but as a gardener.
Kris: Maybe doing some engineering job for theatre. As well as continuing to work my IT day job.
Lisa: I would be taking a long dirt nap. Seriously.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
JMo: Dave Attell, Bill Burr, my buddy Nick A, Jack Black, and anybody willing to come, stay sober and shoot video.
Matt: The five of us in the band. These are my best friends. Who else would I rather spend my time with?
Brian: Weird Al Yankovic, PeeWee Herman, Bruce Campbell, Patrick Stewart and Miku Kobato of Band Maid.
Lisa: All of us in the band, let’s have a dinner party with Iron Maiden! Okay, that’s six, including Janick of course.
What’s next for the band?
JMo: I hope this next release hits people the way this album has hit us and the people we’ve share it with. There is a lot of heart and soul and really good tunes that I’d love to see us get some decent gigs and mileage from.
Brian: We’re releasing this new CD and we really want to tour and play shows and reach out to more people. Make friends and make fans.
Lisa: The album we’ll be releasing this summer is heavy and bombastic, yet melodic and well written. We are very proud of these songs, we’ve been keeping them to ourselves for too long. What’s next is unleashing these babies onto the world!
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Lisa: We are revamping the band, due to the new additions, so we are revamping social media as well. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter- but our name is too long for a full Twitter handle! So, make sure you find “splinterdthrone” with one missing E. You can also find the band’s material with the previous singer, as well as a few singles featuring myself, on all streaming platforms.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
JMo: Do they go with beer or whiskey?
Brian: Please send me some, I’ll try it.
Lisa: I have only had Jaffa Cakes once, and I think it is neither a cake nor a biscuit. It is an abomination.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
JMo: #CatchTheThrone. Support your local bands and the underground ones you like. Every piece of merch you buy is studio time or gas in the tank!
Brian: Please follow us on your choice of social media, and we look forward to seeing you at our next show!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.