Just recently Metal Shock Finland‘s David Araneda had the honor to chat with bass legend Steve Di Giorgio. Steve talked his newest project SPIRITS OF FIRE and his collaboration in the upcoming ARCH/MATHEOS album. Steve and David also covered the last updates regarding SADUS’ new material, DEATH TO ALL tours and some thoughts on CONTROL DENIED’s ill-fated second album. To finish up, we talked about the current state of TESTAMENT’s follow-up to “Brotherhood of the Snake”. Welcome to listen to the full interview in Soundcloud, below:
Three years have passed since the last album “Braindead” was released by Finnish thrashers LOST SOCIETY, but during that time the band have not stopped, unleashing their energetic onslaught of live performances to the masses!
LOST SOCIETY have just completed a very successful first ever headline ten date UK and Ireland tour and MSF Senior Manager Alison Booth caught up with charismatic front man Samy Elbanna before their performance in Sheffield. (Also for her Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show, check the page for more news!) Samy had lots to say on what’s happening with the band and much more – check out some excerpts from the chat below and listen to the full interview on the audio player:
Discussing touring, Samy stated:
“It’s been pretty crazy because most bands usually go in cycles, they first tour then they go to the studio, then the tour and so forth. But for us it’s been a bit different – we’ve been kinda doing everything mixed up. So while we’ve been touring all the time, we’ve also been writing a lot of songs and hit the studio many times. So actually, last year’s autumn went pretty much in the studio and I can tell you that once we get back to Finland, there should be something new for everyone to listen to. And this year there will definitely be a lot of Lost Society coming out for everyone to hear and we’ll be touring a lot. And probably going to the studio again ’cause it’s been almost three years since the last release and I think it’s really amazing in the sense that we can still tour off of those three records and that really says something to us, like more than anything.
So it’s gonna be more of like a massive thank you to all of our fans when we release our next release. So stay tuned everybody, something’s happening!”
When asked about when the band will release a new album, Samy revealed:
“I can’t tell you any details but we’re gonna put out something for everyone to hear within the next month and then after that, we’ll see how the schedule happens. The first three (albums) were released via Nuclear Blast and the next one, that’s one of the things I can’t talk about. Our website will get all the information first, probably before me! (laughs)”
With Samy Elbanna Sheffield 2019
Reflecting on the band’s journey so far:
“I mean first of all, goddamn! I hadn’t even thought about that, it is almost a decade, holy shit! I think the most important thing is that it really doesn’t feel like it’s that long and I think it’s really impressive, let’s say with what’s happening nowadays. I don’t think there’s a lot of bands that stay with the same members from the beginning till this day. I mean one of the biggest and the most important things is the chemistry within the band. We have this, me and these three guys who are best friends, we’ve known each other for ages and we practice on a daily basis. So, I mean it’s impossible to have problems with these guys. It’s like we’re brothers and I would say it’s been a really crazy journey.
And I think at this point already in 2019 we have achieved more than any of us thought could be possible by playing this kinda music. And I mean of course a part of it is like the thank you to our guys. Of course we have some unbelievably awesome people behind us – you know, all the labels, the managements, everything. Without them we couldn’t do this, I’m humbled by all of it and I’m really looking forward to what’s gonna happen in the future. But one thing’s for sure, we’re not stopping any time soon!”
Discussing the band name and today’s society:
“I was twelve when I came up with Lost Society. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s changed a lot from that day when I thought ‘Hey Lost Society, that sounds pretty cool!’ Well you know, we’re pretty lost in this society.
We’ve all had in the band this kind of policy that we don’t like to talk about politics or anything about this, or be really judgemental about anything, but holy fucking shit! I mean, when you look all around us now, it’s a mess. For us, we’re lucky we’re able to tour, we all have a house and stuff like that, but there’s a lot of shit happening all around us and I think the band name is more relevant than ever.
Also, I think once we put out new music I think a lot of people will notice that there’s a lot more lyrical themes that kinda are more
relevant with this whole lost society thing. Because I think for the first two records, lyrical themes on the songs were like pretty thrashy, all kindsa stuff mixed together. But once I kinda realised at some point, and yeah I’m pretty slow (laughs), so I realised after that you can really make a difference with your art. Because you know for me, I’ve always been a guitarist, I haven’t considered myself a singer, at least in the beginning of the band. So once I realised that I also have the power to write whatever the fuck I want, I think that was the turning point for me, because I want to help fans in the way that these massive bands have made an impact on me. We’re trying to make the world at least a little better place with our music and hopefully that’s what’s happening.”
On future tour dates, Samy explained:
“When we get back home from this tour, we’re gonna be doing a few shows, just a few one-offs in Finland and through that we’re gonna start our festival season. We’ll have some shows, but we’re gonna save some time also because we’re gonna be doing some additional recording in the summer. As I said, we have a lot of material that we wanna record and release as soon as possible, so it’s gonna be cool.
And I think this whole thing that we tour and record at the same time, it’s kinda good for us because we love playing live and I think we do that enough and then you go to the studio, you just have a completely different mindset to recording, because you listen to everything. Not only you listen to, ‘is this a good song’, but you also listen to ‘how could we make it better so it works live’ even better. So it works for us and we love it!”
Well known for his time with MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND and his own power metal band EIDOLON plus more besides, Canadian guitarist Glen Drover is back with a brand new project – WALLS OF BLOOD. The album, titled “Imperium” featuring an esteemed assortment of metal vocalists such as Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH), Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT), Todd La Torre (QUEENSRŸCHE) and Henning Basse (METALLIUM, FIREWIND), is set for release on 22nd February via Metalville.
MSF Senior ManagerAlison Booth recently caught up with Glen to chat about the album in more detail, as well as various other subjects, including the story of a career highlight at the UK’s Download Festival. You can read a few excerpts from the conversation below and the full interview is on the audio player:
Discussing “Imperium”, Glen stated:
“I think it’s the strongest album I’ve ever done, period. This album for me, you know I worked on it sporadically over six years and I’m just really proud, I love the whole album. I couldn’t be happier right now.
It was all people that I really wanted to work with and some, in fact most of them, were singers I might not have worked with before, but wanted to.
And then there were situations where I would approach somebody that I wanted to have on the album and then I would write a song around his type of style – something I knew he would probably be comfortable with and be able to deliver.”
On Matt Cuthbertson, who provides vocals on the track ‘Walls Of Blood’:
“Yeah he did a really good job. The band Untimely Demise, they’re from Canada and I really liked his, he’s got the raspy, growly voice like a lot of bands do – but he has more of an identity I think. I find, with all due respect to the bands that do sound similar in the vocal department, sometimes I can’t tell them apart. But there are some that have an identity, ‘oh yeah, that’s him or that’s her’ or whatever, you know. And he’s one of those guys and I just thought he’ll do really well on the song. Shawn wrote the lyrics and away we went.”
Talking about what’s next for WALLS OF BLOOD and if there’s any possibility of touring, Glen revealed:
“I’m gonna wait to see how it’s received and how I feel about it down the road. One thing I can say is that I probably wouldn’t do another album with multiple vocalists, because I’ve already done that now and it’s a little bit harder. I’m very, very happy that I did it and I’m extremely proud of the album like I mentioned, but I don’t think I would do that again. I would do an album with one singer.
As far as touring, no not at this point because of everything I just said, but is it possible that I could streamline it where it’s one line-up of say four guys, yeah and play shows, absolutely possible. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna know when the time comes and it would be very easy to do that. I have a couple of vocalists in mind, one in particular, I’m not gonna mention his name, that I know would be able to do all the different material that’s on the album.”
Reflecting on highlights from his career, Glen reminisced about a MEGADETH performance:
“Highlights, there’s a few. And you know, speaking of the UK, I gotta say, that’s probably if I had to pick one particular event it would’ve been the first time we played Download. We played there twice, but you know you can’t forget that.
We played on the main stage. I remember we were back waiting as the into was about to be rolled. And I was looking out in the field on the main stage at Download and there was a lot of holes. I went ‘oh shit, I was hoping it was going to be full!’ And then just before the intro, I looked my other way and in droves there’s all these people coming down the pathway ’cause one band just finished on another stage. By the time we got on stage there was not a piece of grass you could see, it was just so electric. As far as you could see, everybody was going nuts, you could feel it – it was so heavy with electricity. We played for fifty minutes and it felt like five minutes, literally. That has to be the pinnacle for me.”
“Imperium” Track Listing:
01. Leave This World Behind (feat. Nils K. Rue)
02. Discordia (feat. Todd La Torre)
03. Waiting To Die (feat. Chuck Billy)
04. Blood Sacrifice Ritual (feat. Henning Basse)
05. Tarnished Dream (feat. Tim Owens)
06. Walls Of Blood (feat. Matt Cuthbertson)
07. The Fault Of Man (feat. Henning Basse)
08. Dark Lords Of Sleep (feat. Dan Cleary)
09. Junkhead (ALICE IN CHAINS cover) (feat. Lance Harvill)
10. Seven Spirits (feat. Henning Basse)
Interview by Alex Kolnirale, exclusively for Metal Shock Finland
San Diego based groove metal act SEVENTRAIN Drummer Joel Maitoza was recently interviewed by Alex Kolnirale, exclusively for Metal Shock Finland, talking about the past and their sophomore album “Back on Track”, set for released on March 5th, 2019 via So Cal Records/Alliance Entertainment.
Q: When did Seventrain form and how did you all get together?
A: We formed in late 2012, jamming together at a benefit show for a friend of ours who had passed away. Shortly after that, we got together and started recording the self-titled debut album which was released in 2014. Since the release of the first album, we have a couple of new band members. Our new vocalist, Eric Koonze replaced Jon Campos and guitarist Dave Odegaard replaced Jef Poremba.
Q: How did you go about the audition process that led to the new members joining Seventrain?
A: We auditioned about 30 vocalists before we decided Eric Koonze was the right man for the job. My first choice right out of the gate was to bring in my buddy Andrew Freeman (Last in Line/Lynch Mob), but he was tied up singing in a nightly show in Las Vegas. We were also in serious discussions with Veronica Freeman (V from Benedictum) to sing for us, but it just didn’t pan out. For the guitarist position, we narrowed it down to four players and Dave Odegaard respectively blew everyone away. We gave him 3 songs to learn for the audition and he learned the entire album, so the decision was easy.
Q: Why did you wait five years to release this new album?
A: In 2015, we started pre-production for the new CD in hopes to release it in early 2016. During the songwriting process, we all agreed it would be best to amicably split with our singer at the time. We spent about three months auditioning vocalists. After Eric Koonze came in, he had to re-write lyrics and melodies. It took about a year to track the album in the studio due to scheduling conflicts. The band spent another three months looking for a new guitarist to replace Jef Poremba. Once we got to the mixing stage, our studio engineer suffered a medical emergency and was unable to mix the album. After checking out some other studios, another engineer came highly recommended to us. We paid him in full and after six months of work we didn’t even have one song completed. After that experience, the band decided to have a friend of ours, Alex Pappas from the band Finch, mix and master the album.
Q: How would you describe your music style? What are your influences?
A: All the members have so many bands and musicians we are influenced by and admire, but as far as Seventrain’s writing style goes, we have been described as Badlands meets Alterbridge with a little Sevendust and a dash of Pantera thrown in. LOL
Q: Judging by your background, you have all been in some very unique bands in the past. 24-7 Spyz were surely ahead of their time, whereas Cage played classic heavy metal in a time when it was largely unpopular. What motivated you into the sound of Seventrain?
A: The majority of the songs on our debut album (from 2014) were written by guitarist, Eric Horton and former singer Jon Campos. As a band, we always wanted to go into a heavier direction so when our new singer Eric Koonze came to the plate we started writing more aggressive tunes for the new album and everyone contributed in the songwriting which gave the band a more cohesive sound and direction.
Q: Please tell us more about the 2014 nomination at the San Diego Music Awards.
A: The debut album was starting to pick up steam and entered into the CMJ Loud Rock Top 40 at #36 it’s first week to radio. We started opening up for national acts like Pat Travers and Puddle of Mudd. Later that year, one of our friends congratulated us on social media for being nominated for Best Hard Rock Album of the Year. We had no idea we were even considered for the award, but it was pretty cool to be recognized.
Q: How about touring? Have you toured since the formation of Seventrain or do you play mostly local SD shows?
A: Mostly gigs around Southern California; however, we are starting to branch out. Hopefully hitting some other states with the release of the new album.
Q: You have played along great ones like Pat Travers, King’s X, Michael Schenker and Skid Row (among many others). Which was your favorite show so far?
A: We had a great show with Red Dragon Cartel that was really fun and Warren DeMartini showed up. Another memorable gig was opening for Michael Schenker for our album release party.
Q: You already have one full-length CD out, what are your plans for the future? Releasing more music in order to start touring?
A: The first single and video for the song Now You Know was released in early January of this year. The new album titled Back on Track will be released worldwide on March 5th 2019. We’re all excited about it, so we hope everyone digs the new stuff.
Q: What’s the scene in San Diego, California nowadays?
A: It’s pretty cool at the moment. Our friends in Symbolic recently got signed to EMP and labels are starting to take notice so hopefully it keeps moving forward and expanding.
Q: Have you ever thought of touring Europe? Europeans seem to love this kind of sound!
A: We would love to, but we don’t have a European booking agent at the moment. It would be cool to go out on a package tour or play some dates around a few summer festivals. We have a lot of friends overseas so maybe we’ll get a chance to see them soon.
Metal Shock Finland Senior Manager Alison Booth recently spoke to Niklas Stålvind, front man of Swedish metallers WOLF, as part of the sixth anniversary celebrations of her Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show. The chat was just a few days ahead of the band returning to the studio to start recording their next and eighth album, the follow up to 2014’s “Devil Seed”. The whole show can be heard here.
They discussed what WOLF has been doing the last few years, the recently announced UK tour set for March next year, Nik‘s role with THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM and of course all the latest WOLF news, with exclusive details about the new album! Some excerpts from the chat can be read below, with the full interview on the audio player.
Discussing the next album, Niklas stated:
“It’s a bit rawer and rougher than the Devil Seed. The Devil Seed was a bit polished. I don’t wanna call it polished, it has a lot of depth to it, but it was also a kind of expensive sounding production.
This time we want to get back to the roots of the old school Wolf with the energy and rawness you know, but still keeping that depth. So this time, I tried to write deeper stuff, you know, simple, powerful songs and not overwork the demo and I’m really excited.
Also, I can tell you that one of the reasons this album has taken so long is because for me, song writing is my therapist, my shrink. And I had some really weird experience and dark period in my life that I never talked to someone about it, just put the lid on. And now, like twenty years later, I knew to get forward in life I really had to deal with these issues, that’s what these songs are about. I felt that I couldn’t really rush this process of writing the songs.
And also, there’s a lot of things going on in the world that the album deals with.
This album is not about just writing ten, twelve songs and record and get it out. It’s a bit deeper than that I think, at least for me, so that’s why it’s taken a while.”
On the new album, Niklas revealed:
“It’s not official yet but I can tell it to you – the plan is to release it in August. It depends on how well it goes in the studio, but I think it should be very easy to record it when we have things well planned out.
And everything is written already so we don’t have to sweat in the studio and come up with lyrics and melodies you know. The foundations of the songs are already there – I think it will actually be released after the summer as we plan.”
It is without a doubt that Uli Jon Roth has certainly earned his legendary status – with a career spanning five decades, Uli is set to celebrate his 50th anniversary of performing on stage, since starting out aged 13 in December 1968. His career has been a colourful journey, from the early days of the SCORPIONS to ELECTRIC SUN and a successful solo career, notably an innovator in the music world. Not forgetting Uli‘s creation of the unique and visionary Sky Guitar!
Uli is about to embark on a special six date UK tour, starting 29th November, celebrating his career by playing many favourites from over the years. Check for more information here. Metal Shock Finland Senior Manager Alison Booth recently spoke to Uli about the forthcoming tour and much more besides, for her Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show. The whole show can be heard at this location.
Some excerpts of the in depth chat with Uli can be read below, with the full interview on the audio player.
Discussing the forthcoming 50th anniversary shows, Uli stated:
“I haven’t done such an ambitious programme in many years. I’ve got such a big repertoire from over the years, so I had to think hard about what not to play. There’s certain contenders that are always there like ‘Sails Of Charon’, certain Scorpions tracks, but I haven’t performed any of the Electric Sun stuff in years and that will be very interesting for me because that music is very demanding to play – although it should sound easy when you’re listening to it.
So we’re basically playing a best of Electric Sun, a best of my period with the Scorpions from the seventies, to doing some of my Sky Of Avalon, which is a little bit more adventurous, more melodic symphonic rock I guess. And it’s a long show, it’s a mission, so it’s an evening’s worth. I’m also playing a little acoustic set, just solo on my eight string Flamenco Sky guitar and I’m going to play some new pieces that I’ve written this summer which I love playing. And we’re also playing something that I particularly look forward to – some music of my deceased brother Zeno, who you may know, he died earlier this year unfortunately. He was a great songwriter and great guitar player himself, so we’re going to honour his memory and his legacy by playing two of his best songs.
So that’s basically in a nutshell what we’re going to do.“
Mentioning the fact that there seems to be no sign of Uli slowing down, he remarked:
“No, actually on the contrary. I was just saying to my daughter today that I have so much on my plate sometimes that I wish for longer days! (laughs). I’m a bit of a workaholic and recently it seems to be increasing, don’t ask me why.”
Looking back over his long career, Uli expressed:
“Innovator is probably true because I’m always interested in coming up with new ideas and I prided myself in loving each solo that I’ve recorded on albums, different from the other ones you know – trying to break new ground, technically, musically or whatever. So for me, it’s been largely a journey of discovery and also seeing how far you can push the guitar, unlocking some of those mysteries and there are still so many in the guitar. It feels like sometimes I’ve barely grazed the surface, because each time I pick up a guitar I have new ideas and it feels completely fresh and new, it’s just great.
I think the secret to that is that I play really very rarely, you know, I don’t play very often these days. Lots of the time it’s just on stage so that’s why I guess I don’t get bored and it doesn’t get repetitive to me ever.”
Regarding the future, Uli revealed:
“Next year will be very busy because I’m also working towards some orchestra shows, which is very labour intensive with score writing. We’ll probably have to spend some time in the studio editing the DVD and making that. I have written by now a considerable amount of new music and to my eternal shame and disgrace, I’ve recorded very little in recent years and I know a new album is long overdue.
Having said that, it’s not an easy undertaking for me because I’m not so keen on recording studios, because I don’t like the medium as such. I prefer writing music, maybe even writing it down, that as a score I prefer playing it live. But actually making it so that you have an album, you know the final like pinning down the butterfly once and for all. I’ve always had a problem with that you know, so we’ll see. I’ll do my best to come up with a new album.”
Corporation, Sheffield Thursday 29 November ULU, London Friday 30 November Kasbah, Coventry Saturday 1 December Academy 3, Manchester Sunday 2 December Òran Mór, Glasgow Monday 3 December The Stables, Milton Keynes Wednesday 5 December