MORGAN LANDER "IT'S REALLY NICE TO BE PLAYING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AGAIN"
Metal Fanzine conducted an interview with KITTIE frontwoman Morgan Lander after the band's set at Peabody's in Cleveland, Ohio on March 22, 2007. Few excerpts are follows:
Metal Fanzine: "Funeral for Yesterday" just came out a few weeks ago...How's it doing so far?
Morgan: Great, great... The tour's been great...Uh, the single is going to radio, and we're in the Top 40 now, so that's a big, big step for us, especially being a newly formed independent label, and a newly independent band... Uh, and so far the result has been clear, the album is selling really well, and the kids are coming out to see our shows, and singing along, so I can't complain, ya know, we've been given a second chance, and it's really nice to be playing in front of people again.
Metal Fanzine: I do know that there has been a lot of trouble with the band in the past, and it's been a hard long road...How did you make it through it?
Morgan: Um, It was really difficult. Ya know, sometimes out of that despair, and hopelessness comes inspiration, and these past few years have been really difficult for Mercedes [Lander, drums] and I. We didn't have a label, we didn't have a finished lineup for the band, and we were really contemplating breaking the band up, but, ya know, overall, we decided this is all we knew, and out of it came some great music, I mean, we put our energy into it instead of feeling pity for ourselves, we put our energy in to trying to redefine who we are, and fall back in love with the music, and this album is the result...
Metal Fanzine: What do you think of the online community? Like MySpace? And what is it doing for KITTIE?
Morgan: I think a lot [of] it's really good, I think it's very helpful for a lot of bands, especially smaller bands, like us. It's nice to keep in contact with our fans, ya know, we're not too big for them and that sort of thing. We like to do this sort of thing, like hanging outside and talk to the fans, and online, it's the same way, ya know, we like to be part of the message boards and part of the online community. We run our own MySpace, so we are in touch with the fans...It's us giving the information from the band to the fans, so it's really nice, and I like that kinda stuff.
Metal Fanzine: How do you do it with the vocals, singing really nice then switching to the huge metal death scream? How's it done? And how do you do it day after day?
Morgan: Honestly, I really don't know. It's something that comes naturally, I've had to work on the singing part of things, the screaming comes naturally for me, and my voice has gotten stronger over the years, and it's like I've been pretty much on tour for the last eight years, so it's either gonna get better, or worse, but lucky for me it got better, and I didn't have to do anything to improve on it, other then trying to learn how to sing better...and that comes with time.
MACHINE HEAD's DEMMEL WANTS TO MAKE "TIMELESS SONGS"
Recently, Michelle LaRose of Garage Radio magazine conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel. Few excerpts are follows:
Garage Radio: Can you tell us a little bit about your brand new album "The Blackening" that just came out this week?
Demmel: Yeah. "The Blackening", eight songs over an hour long of just epic metal. We've gone back to trying to make a statement with the record and we think that we've done so. We try and make really big-sounding songs and kinda timeless-sounding songs that you'd hear twenty years from now. It's been a week and we're still listening to them. Let's hope for another twenty years and we'll be good!
Garage Radio: Are you nervous or apprehensive while waiting for a new album to be released?
Demmel: Yeah, for sure. I've been in this band now for the past five years so I've seen two very highly anticipated records come out. We're always excited to see what it's going to do and we got amazing reviews with this thing and we think it's going to sell really well.
Garage Radio: Your first choice for a video from this album was "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" but you opted for "Aesthetics of Hate". Why?
Demmel: Well, actually we filmed the video for "Now I Lay Thee Down" and it's kinda' more of a mellower tune more of a hit type song and we didn't want the first taste people got from the record to be that more marketable tune. We wanted to come out swinging with "Aesthetics of Hate", which is a more aggressive song and more indicative of the record as a whole.
Garage Radio: Will you shoot a video for "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent"?
Demmel: Well that's a ten-and-a-half-minute song. Yeah, if we do we might just do it for an internet type only deal. So that's maybe down the road a little bit further. We'd like to do that but we want to see how things roll, so we'll get to that.
Garage Radio: Speaking of Internet only, you did three cover tunes for your online message board members only. Will we ever see those songs on an album?
Demmel: I seriously doubt it. One of the songs that's on there, we rerecorded it. Originally we asked our kids on the message boards, "What three songs would you love to hear MACHINE HEAD do?" It was kind of a down time in between "Through the Ashes" and "Supercharger". They said "Battery" from METALLICA, "Jizzlober" from FAITH NO MORE and "Toxic Waltz" from EXODUS. So "Toxic Waltz" and "Jizzlober" we're probably never ever going to record for a record but "Battery" did come out as an added song over in Europe. So it's out over there.
Garage Radio: What do you like best about going to Europe?
Demmel: The best part about Europe is we're so much bigger over there. The shows are always three times the size of the shows we do in the states. So it's just the crowds and the reaction we get.
Garage Radio: That's what I hear from every single band I talk to, why do you think that is?
Demmel: You know I think they're more intelligent music fans as a whole. They're more accepting of all music genres instead of, "Oh you can't like SLAYER and BLIND GUARDIAN." You get kids over there in corpsepaint going to the death metal show but then are going to go to the lighter… maybe THE DARKNESS show. They just love all types of music out there, they appreciate it. So I think over here you get too cliquey with Hot Topic and MTV telling you what's cool and what's not cool.
Garage Radio: What do you like least about going to Europe?
Demmel: You're in Europe! [Both laughing] I mean I love the conveniences of America, I really do. I love being able to stop at a truck stop at two in the morning and be able to get my favorite microwave bean burrito or a Slurpee or something. Over there you can't, it's probably a good thing, but it doesn't mean I like it.
EX-JUDAS PRIEST's AL ATKINS "I THOUGHT THE BAND WOULD NEVER MAKE THE BIG TIME"
Recently, Dark Starr from Wormwood Chronicles webzine conducted an interview with original JUDAS PRIEST singer Al Atkins. Few excerpt are follows:
Wormwood Chronicles: Many people may not know that you were the founding member and original lead singer for JUDAS PRIEST. Can you catch the readers up a bit on that history?
Al Atkins: JUDAS PRIEST was actually formed in 1969 and K.K. Downing came to the auditions for the guitarist's job but didn't get it. The guy who got it was name Ernie Chataway, and the full lineup was Ernie (guitar), Bruno Stapenhill (bass), John Partridge (drums), and myself (vocals). We signed a four-year record deal with Immediate Records, which was owned by Andrew Loog Oldham, the guy who discovered THE ROLLING STONES but not long after we signed with them they went bust and towards the end of 1970 we split up. I decided to carry on regardless and formed JUDAS PRIEST again, this time with K.K. Downing (guitar), Ian Hill (bass) and John Ellis (drums). Apart from a few drummer changes, this lineup lasted until May 1973. We were a great opening band and played alongside GARY MOORE, SUPERTRAMP, MAGNUM, STATUS QUO, SLADE, BUDGIE, FAMILY, SPIRIT and THIN LIZZY, to name a few, but a record deal never came our way and we made very little money. I was the only one married with a child and thinking the band would never make the big time I decided to leave them because I needed a regular income so I left to get a 9-to-5 job. Some time later, K.K. and Ian knocked on my door asking if they could use the JUDAS PRIEST name and also use the songs that I wrote because they had found another vocalist to take my place, and I said "Yes, of course." The name of the vocalist was Rob Halford. This lineup carried on touring for another year before independent label Gull Records gave them a four-year deal but only if they added another guitarist to give them a bigger sound... they did and his name was Glenn Tipton.
Wormwood Chronicles: What have you done since those early days of PRIEST?
Al Atkins: From about 1974 to 1978 I sang with another four-piece band from the U.K called LION which featured the original PRIEST bass player Bruno and drummer Pete Boot from BUDGIE and we had a massive following but when the punk explosion came along we just didn't fit in with this music. We played alongside THE SEX PISTOLS and other punk bands and I hated this sort of racket that used shock tactics like spitting and swearing and I decided to throw the towel in again. I sometimes wished we had carried on because after the punk era died the NWOBHM scene came along with bands like SAXON, VENOM, and DIAMOND HEAD kicked off and LION would have fitted in with them just perfectly. During the '80s I concentrated more on my writing skills and just jamming now and then but 1989 I recorded my first solo album "Judgement Day" for a German independent label. 1991 saw me record my second one titled "Dreams of Avalon", 1996 PRIEST's old label Gull asked me to record a CD for them so I put together "Heavy Thoughts". I recorded my fourth solo offering, titled "Victim of Changes", with Dave Holland on drums.I later started to concentrate on playing to live audiences which I had started to enjoy again after all these years and even teamed up with guitarist Dennis Stratton (ex-IRON MAIDEN, PRAYING MANTIS) for a while and toured the East Coast of America. 2006 I put together my fifth CD titled "Demon Deceiver" with a lot of help from various musicians who I had met over the years and it has now just been released.
Wormwood Chronicles: Do you still stay in touch with PRIEST?
Al Atkins: Not as much as I used to but speak with Ian [Hill] now and then and I met up with them backstage at The NEC Birmingham when they played last year.
Wormwood Chronicles: What do you think of their music after you left the band?
Al Atkins: The first albums they recorded the music was not much different from when I was in the band and they even used some of my songs e.g. "Never Satisfied", "Winter", "Caviar and Meths", "Dreamer Deceiver" and "Victim of Changes", but Glenn's contribution was paying off because not only was he a great guitarist but a very good songwriter too and this was already showing with songs like "The Ripper". I think over the years their music has got louder and heavier and their twin guitar sounds are awesome. My favorite song has to be "Painkiller".