Drawing on classic influences such as Helloween, Ayreon and Iron Maiden, the new project EMPIRES OF EDEN is a must-hear for fans of melodic heavy metal. The upcoming album “Channelling The Infinite” will be released on June 1 in Japan through Rubicon, and on June 6 in rest of the world June 6 through Music Buy Mail. The CD features guest appearances by some of the most influential voices in metal, including: Stu Marshall, Udo, Rob Rock, Steve Grimmett, Mike Dimeo, Sean Peck, Zak Stevens, Mike Vescera, Carlos Zema, Ronny Munroe and many more! MSFinland’s Kostya had a chance to interview EMPIRES OF EDEN‘s guitarist Stu Marshall…
1. Hey Stu. I’m Kostya. Welcome to Metal Shock Finland. How are you?
Hi Kostya, Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
2. Since this is our first interview, I would like you to tell us a few things about Empires of Eden. When and how did you decide to form the band and how easy was it for you to find band members?
Empires of Eden is a metal project featuring member from across the globe. All countries with many singers. Essentially I write and compose all the music for the singers I would like to work with. The project started in summer 2007, I had collected some material from the writing sessions in my last band “Dungeon” that never made those cd’s but I thought were strong. The debut cd featured three singers from Australia and these guys are good friends of mine, so they helped me bring my visions to life. Now we have 11 singers and it’s a true global team. As I write and play everything it’s easy for me to handle the workload, I have my own studio in Sydney Australia, so all of the tools are there I need.
3. Now i’d like to talk about all the singers in your new album. How have you met these guys?
For the new cd Channelling the Infinite, I wanted to work with people I am personally a fan of. It’s very important to me, so to write music for UDO, Rob Rock, Steve Grimmett and all the rest is a dream come true. I approached each singer through their management and depending on their touring cycle, I was able to involve them on the new album. I am very lucky as the singers did like the material I composed for them. I just toured with Steve Grimmett here in Australia about a month ago, it was the first time we ever played Empires of Eden material onstage.
4. One of the most popular vocalist in your new album is UDO. Please tell us how was it to co-operate with him?
UDO is a true legend and true professional. When I wrote “Hammer Down” I had a strong heavy metal style in mind and it worked so well. UDO was about to go on tour just after he recorded Hammer Down so it was a short time-frame but he was wonderful to work with.
5. What bands/musicians mostly influenced on Empires of Eden music style?
This is not easy to answer but bands like Judas priest, Manowar, Accept (of course) and also the biggest early influence was the “Stars” project that Ronny Dio did back in 1985. I loved the idea of hearing all my favourite singers on one album. Many more influences I could name, Black sabbath, helloween and the list goes on and on.
6. I think Empires of Eden somehow reminds me Avantasia. Are you agree with me or you think it’s something different?
I do agree with you. It is unique in each singer has their own song, their own moment to create what they want. They also have complete control over all lyrics and melodies here, it’s not a dictatorship haha. So you see the true artist. I am sure it will be great for fans of all of these singers to hear what they deliver.
7. You have played on stage with well-known bands. How was it? Which are the best memories, so far?
Yes, I have been very lucky. Megadeth was an amazing tour. I remember Dave Mustaine coming to me in Melbourne, backstage after our last Australian support and offering the European tour. The band I was in “Dungeon” did alot of touring and that Megadeth tour covered most of Europe – it was a great experience. Dave really cared about the band and that was great, he cops alot of crap in the media and I’ll tell you this, he took a “nobody” band from Australia to Europe with him – he’s a great caring dude. I also toured Japan with Paindivision just after leaving Dungeon so that was a great thrill for me.
8. By the way, do you read any reviews? Do you think a review can help you discover or correct something in your music that you hadn’t noticed before?
That is a good question! – It depends. I like a well written and composed review. If someone does not like the album that is their opinion and, if the review can explain why and it’s useful – sure, I can learn something from this. But it’s also hard to know whether the person likes melodic power metal? – had a good day or a bad day when reviewing? or is actually listening on a decent system. Can you see what I mean here? It’s also very hard when you get great scores and terrible scores.. what do you trust? hahah …A reviewer saying an album is simply shit is useless. I would rather reviewers not publish the bad ones and just not give the editorial space but that is the world we live in. I honestly don’t care about reviews personally. The people buying it will judge.
9. Beside your work on Empires of Eden you’re also a member of Paindivision. What’s happening in the Paindivision camp right now?
Paindivision is very much alive, we have 13 songs ready for a new album and yes I am surprised people know Paindivision. We never released outside of Australia so for me , it’s a shock. But we have new album art will have more to say in August.
10. In your opinion, is there a phrase which represents Empires of Eden? If yes, what would it be?
Pure artist passion. Not guided by commercial concerns or money.
11. Thanks for the interview Stu! Any last words you wanna say to our readers and your fans?
Please visit us online, I am on chatting all the time at the bands facebook – we have handsigned UDO packs in the webstore as well. Thank you for your time Kostya.
Interview by Kostya Aronberg