Archive for the interviews Category

GORDON BROWN – A Metal Odyssey Interview (Part II) – Starts A New Band, Talks Singing and Rock and Roll!

Posted in blues rock, classic rock, Hard Rock, interviews, Music, rock and roll, rock interviews, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by Metal Odyssey


The first interview I had with Gordon Brown was just after his amicable departure from Heavy Rock legends Iron Claw; that interview was posted here on Metal Odyssey practically a year ago to this day, on October 21st, 2011. Now, with a fresh start and always the positive outlook on the future, Gordon Brown has started a new band: Delta One Six.

A Scottish gentleman with music flowing from his soul, Gordon Brown has a bluesy voice that fits right into any decade of Rock and Roll. This past year, Gordon Brown shared many of his songs that he has recorded throughout his life, via Soundcloud. (See link at bottom of post). The “open-book” approach that Gordon Brown has taken, with the music he’s created, shows to me the honest-to-goodness personality of this man.

Since I’ve known Gordon Brown, he has always taken a nothing to hide approach with his music and has never dodged a question. This is an artist I’ve been rooting for since I first heard him sing. Recently, Gordon Brown answered another round of questions, being his typical friendly and polite self! I’m proud to present to you, this second interview with Gordon Brown:


Stone: Can you give more (untold) details as to why the Iron Claw partnership ended?

Gordon: Very simply, the band wanted to play a heavier style of music than I did.  Once the recording of the album was finished things just didn’t work out – if it isn’t right it’s time to move on. There’s no animosity, we don’t see each other as we live in different towns, but I dare say at some point we’ll have a pint or two.  At this stage it appears unlikely that Iron Claw will perform live again, I was speaking to Alex Wilson recently and told him that I would consider writing lyrics and singing on any future recordings. As far as I’m concerned that door is not shut, only it would have to be music that appealed to me.  The music from “A Different Game” lives on in a live sense though, currently I’m doing Southern Sky with a view to possibly adding some others further down the line.

Stone: How has “life after Iron Claw” been treating you?

Gordon: Life has been good, I am working on some collaborations with songwriters in the USA and have started a new band “Delta One Six”, we’re due to go live on November 9th and have a song being included in a compilation of Scottish Blues acts due for release in November. Throughout my musical career I have been fortunate enough to play with some truly amazingly talented musicians, the boys in Delta One Six are an absolute delight to play with.

People have had the chance via You Tube to see some of the very early practice sessions, they were recorded using a mobile phone, the sound quality, despite being taken from one side is pretty good – I think people will enjoy what we’re looking to create – a tiny amount in the way of effects, just ass-kicking blues/rock played with passion.

Check out Delta One Six below, jamming during a rehearsal this past August! This is cool stuff! Metal be thy name!

Stone: You list the music you “err towards” as British Blues, Southern Boogie, Chicago Blues and “a hint of Bluegrass chucked in for good measure” on your bio. You’ve obviously excelled, on a grand scale, with (Bluesy) Hard Rock with Iron Claw.  What is the one genre you want to sing, that comes straight from your heart and soul?

Gordon: The bluesy thing will remain, it suits the way I like to sing. I always end up coming back to the Blues, having said that I’m not a huge fan of Delta Blues, I much prefer the electric sound.  It’s fair to say that I do like ballads as well, the Blues I do is a mash-up of Free, Whitesnake, The Allmans and too many others too mention.

Stone: While growing up as an aspiring musician, what records were in your collection?

Gordon: It kinda went in stages, I started off listening to my elder brothers and sisters music, The Beatles, Stones, Cream, Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), the first record I remember listening to was Jigsaw Puzzle Blues, it was the B side to Albatross.  When I started secondary school I was a big fan of a band called Slade for a couple of years – then came the Black Sabbath period, but I was also listening to all manner of things like, Atomic Rooster, Wishbone Ash, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pink Floyd, The Groundhogs, Frankie Miller, Blue Oyster Cult, Humble Pie, Thin Lizzy and in particular one band which has stuck with me since that time – the mighty FREE (and Bad Company ), I’m a huge fan of Paul Rodgers.

Southern Rock came along in the shape of Lynyrd Skynyrd at about age 15 and I’ve loved that genre ever since.  Punk arrived when I was 17 – I didn’t think much of it, so pretty much ignored it. The NWOBHM didn’t really shake my boat either – I did enjoy gigs by Saxon and Iron Maiden, but found myself still listening to the things I grew up on and I still do!  My little confession is that I’ve always wanted to do a blues/rock cover of At The Car Wash by Rose Royce. Unfortunately, so far no-one shares my vision for it!

Stone: Which well-known bands and/or musicians of today would you want to work with on a “special guest” level of recording?

Gordon: Warren Haynes, Paul Rodgers or Greg Allman would be top of my list, Glenn Hughes, Buddy Guy and so many more including Iron Dave from Diablo Canyon. I think the real answer would be “anyone who asked”!

Stone: These are turbulent times in the world right now; many countries economies and wars have taken it’s toll on the human spirit it seems, yet music seems to be the universal language of peace, hope and friendship that unites fans and bands worldwide. What are your thoughts on the power of music to unite and heal?

Gordon: I agree with you 100% that music brings people together and I would say one genre more than any other to do that is Metal. Music does much already to unite people to combat famine etc. in terms of providing money to assist, alas, I think we humans are too wrapped up in making a profit and fighting over oil.

Stone: If you could change the record industry overnight, what changes would you mandate?

Gordon: Fair contracts for bands. Too many bands sign themselves away just to become a “signed band” and end up being ripped off or having their recordings buried.  The most important thing for most bands to understand is that you get back what you put in, if you don’t work hard you’ll go nowhere – the music business is 90% business and 10% music – sad but true!

Stone: Gordon, there is no denying you have an amazing voice and music is in your soul. For all aspiring vocalists out there, what are the golden rules to follow in protecting your voice? Is a true lyricist born or made?

Gordon: Don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, avoid air-conditioning and take lots of exercise while eating a healthy balanced diet. Well, I drink, smoke and probably don’t exercise as much as I used to. My simple Golden Rule is practice, practice, practice! I probably sing somewhere between 1 and 2 hours per day (most days!).  There are certain songs I use as “training songs” in which I simply sing along to a record and try to match the high and low notes, (for example) Ronnie James Dio singing Heaven and Hell and Catch the Rainbow, maybe a bit of David Coverdale and always some Paul Rodgers, I find it helps with the way I like to phrase songs, I don’t try to imitate them, quite often I’ll do a harmony to their vocal, if possible get some lessons and learn how to breathe properly.

On stage I am always accompanied by Vocalzones, Strepsils, Vicks (for up my nose!) a flask of hot tea and about 3 litres of water, before a gig I do lots of breathing exercises and some scales just to warm up, occasionally I’ll gargle a glass of whisky (sometimes I might even drink it!) but my firmly held view is that when I’m on stage I’m working and therefore no excessive alcohol intake.

Lyricists, I think they can be both born and made, probably more born than made though, I think you have to be in tune with the music and let it talk to and guide you as to the direction the lyrics should take.  Unless of course you have the lyric but no tune to go with it, I think that’s harder to do and those who can put a tune to lyrics are born.

Stone: You have showcased your musical evolution on Soundcloud. I find this “open-book” approach to your musical resume commendable and inspiring. What and/or who has been most influential to you, in creating your life’s soundtrack?

Gordon: In everything you do, there is something that shapes the person you become, every person you meet from your parents onwards define your path.  Personally, I think I’ve led a full and interesting life so far, it’s had its highs and lows, but I’m very much an optimist, if you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself down and keep moving forward.  The open book approach and putting up videos of band rehearsals and recordings that weren’t the greatest was a gamble, it could have put people off completely and fortunately that hasn’t been the case.

Very simply, I think that people can appreciate an honest approach, they know that live music isn’t about every note being perfect (even the best bands/artists make mistakes), live music is about finding a vibe and making the audience believe in what you’re doing.

Stone Says: I’d like to thank Gordon Brown for this interview and for being such a cool long-distance Metal Buddy!


Go listen to/enjoy the timeline of songs from/sung by Gordon Brown, by clicking the link below!

For more info on Gordon Brown & his music, click on the link below!

facebook: Bluesdacious

To read the first interview I had with Gordon Brown, click that link below!

Gordon Brown – Former IRON CLAW Vocalist Reflects On His Tenure For “A Different Game” Album, Discusses Departing The Band




BIG DAD RITCH of TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION – An Exclusive Interview With The Champion Of Red Dirt Metal

Posted in Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, interviews, metal music, Music, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, southern rock with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Big Dad Ritch is the lead singer and founding member of Texas Hippie Coalition, aka THC. Red Dirt Metal is what THC plays, with a reverent nod of influence to Country Music’s most famous outlaws to the late Dimebag, with Black Label Society and Lynyrd Skynyrd in between. Texas Hippie Coalition’s Southern Hard Rock ‘N Metal is as American as corn dogs washed down with (plenty of) Shiner Bock beer.

This badass band from Texas aren’t about kowtowing to the mainstream or the man sitting high-up inside some ivory tower. Hell no. This is Texas Hippie Coalition and they aren’t about being a band for the ages, they’re a band for the people, in my forthright opinion. With 2010’s Rollin’, their newly released Peacemaker (Carved Records), coupled with a notable live presence from clubs to festivals, Texas Hippie Coalition have earned a continuously growing fan base that knows real when they hear and see it.

They’re skilled musicians that are loud, proud, hard and heavy as hell with contagious American Southern pride. Texas Hippie Coalition are: bassist John Exall, guitarist Wes Wallace, drummer Timmy Braun and of course, Big Dad Ritch and his earth splitting vocals. Big Dad Ritch took the time recently to answer more than several questions that I tossed his way. As this being my second (appreciative) encounter with Big Dad Ritch, I can honestly say he is as genuine, kind, professional and badass as they come. Metal be thy name. There is and forever will be only one Big Dad Ritch. Here is what he had to say:

Stone: I know I absolutely love your new album Peacemaker. The fans and critics have spoken and this album is a winner! Can you put into words just how rewarding all of this widespread acceptance feels to you?

Big Dad Ritch: Feels like a backyard friends n family Bar-BQ, with all the fixuns n pecan pie.

Stone: What is the secret behind the muscularity that Peacemaker represents musically and lyrically?

Big Dad Ritch: Just being proud of being BADASS. If u were a rodeo stock bull would you want to be the ol’ piece of beef every sod buster rode for a short 8 seconds or the Horned Monster Bull that punished every belt buckle chasing cowboy for a long 2 second ride. Dare to be BADASS.

Stone: Your vocals are so powerful! Are there any steps you swear by in keeping your voice so healthy and strong?

Big Dad Ritch: Never drink or smoke… I’m lyin!

Stone: Yes, Big Dad Ritch, you’ve proven that you can sing a ballad! What’s the story behind the creation of “Think Of Me”?

Big Dad Ritch: I wrote that song on Valentines Day, like most Valentines Days I spent it with the love of my life – music. I think people will say a song like this is dated or that it shows a softer side. Yet, in my opinion, I believe to write a song like this in this day and age only shows that this band has balls, BIG BALLS.

Stone: What came easy and what was difficult about recording Peacemaker?

Big Dad Ritch: Music and words flow thru those that participated on this album, the task seemed so easy at times. Difficult part was deciding what 11 songs of the 14 to put on the album. My stance was like that of Sweden. I held the money while they argued.

Stone: THC will be opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd on select dates this September. Describe the thrill you are feeling about this and don’t hold back!

Big Dad Ritch: WhooHooo, yipp, yip, yippy, yeehaw!!! Hyeah! Raise Hell! Sorry, got a lil carried away there. See, couple years back I started tellin people THC would open for BLS (Black Label Society) very soon. At the time an untruth. People on fb started connecting dots comments like “I would pay to see that show”. Next thing I know, were on half a dozen BLS shows. So I started fibbin, again fibbin is almost a lie. Tellin everyone we were gonna open for Lynyrd Skynyrd, at the time not true. Yet here we are today talkin about the Skynyrd n THC show. So what I’m trying to tellya is I never lie, and soon we will be touring with Willie Nelson n Judas Priest… I’m lyin. This show with Shooter Jennings on the line up as well is proof there is a Southern Uprising!

Take a look and listen below to the Official Video for Turn It Up!

Stone: I look at the band photos, listen to the songs and watch the video footage of THC and the feeling of brotherhood hits me like a ton of beer kegs! How important is this brotherhood toward your band’s success?

Big Dad Ritch: Texas Hippie Coalition. Texas = Proud of where we come from, which everyone should be. Hippie = that’s the way my mom n dad raised me, TRIBAL. Coalition = Because we are more than just 4 men, we are many, we are chapters nationwide, we are chapters world-wide, we are fans around the globe, we are men that would be kings, we are twisted hippie chicks, we are FAMILY MEMBERS, we are all together under one flag that we wave HIGH n MIGHTY, we are COALITION.

Stone: Many bands pigeonhole themselves into one “select” genre. With THC, you guys can reach out to many Rock genres with your sound and style. Would I be wrong to call THC “the band for the people”?

Big Dad Ritch: The PEOPLE’S CHAMP, love it. Red Dirt Metal, Southern Fried Rock. It’s all good.

Stone: As THC creates their own hard-earned success, do you ever have time to take it all in?

Big Dad Ritch: Yes I do inhale. What was the question?

Stone: You tour the country and witness many things on the road. Is American pride still alive and well or is there a sense of division among us as a nation?

Big Dad Ritch: There is an immense amount of pride nation wide, but I do believe people are starting to place more faith in their neighbor than in their government. US definitely still applies in my eyes.

Stone: If Big Dad Ritch could sit by the river with a legend of Rock, either past or present, to share some booze, stories and barbecue with, who would it be and why?

Big Dad Ritch: Tuff one, I always aspire to be what I have grown to refer to as “1 man empire”. The likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon or Willie, or modern-day Rob Zombie, Zakk Wylde, or Vinnie Paul. To achieve things in and out of the world of music. Hoping in someway one day to grow up and be an OZZY. Sorry mom. So to pick from all of these would be hard. So I would say this I would pick “Dime Bag” just so I could tell him what he has meant to generations of fans and how much he has influenced me and many others. I would even drink one of those horrible black tooths.

THANK YOU, Big Dad Ritch for this interview! Thank you for creating such memorable Red Dirt Metal with your band! I am so happy for you and the band and wish only the very best for Texas Hippie Coalition both off and on stage.

Until the next time, your brother in Rock ‘N Metal –

Stone \m/\m/


PEACEMAKER Available NOW! Get it at iTunes (with exclusive track WHISKEY):


For more info on TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, click on the links below!





THE TREWS – Colin MacDonald: An Exclusive Metal Odyssey Interview

Posted in alternative rock, Hard Rock, interviews, Music, rock albums, rock bands, rock interviews, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by Metal Odyssey


L to R: Jack Syperek, John-Angus MacDonald, Sean Dalton, Colin MacDonald

THE TREWS – Back on August 5th, 2011, I posted an album review for THE TREWS newly released studio album Hope & Ruin. The 4th full-length from this Canadian Rock band impressed me so much that I listened to it constantly since early Summer. Now that Winter has settled in, Hope & Ruin has never lost its edgy Rock luster with me. I have listened to many other Rock albums during 2011 and none seemed to enthuse me as the way this new album from THE TREWS has done.

THE TREWS seemed to have captured an old spirit of Rock that I once heard from early R.E.M. and U2, back when these two iconic bands really did care about their songs and fans. A flirtation of retro college radio meets modern Rock vibe overflows with Hope & Ruin. I simply love that. Back on August 18th, I did not fully realize, that this album would eventually stand out amongst the rest of its 2011 Rock album peers in such a special way for me.

It was also back on August 18th, when I had the golden opportunity to interview Colin MacDonald, the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for THE TREWS. As my sincere appreciation for Hope & Ruin grew stronger by the week, I eventually decided to savor the moment, an eventual moment when I would launch this exclusive interview with Colin MacDonald simultaneously with naming Hope & Ruin by THE TREWS… as Metal Odyssey’s 2011 Rock Album Of The Year.

If the late and legendary Ed Sullivan were to come back to life for just one day, I’d love to hear him say: Ladies and Gentlemen… THE TREWS! Instead, I’m announcing this band at this moment and I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to interview Colin MacDonald. From album reviews to opening for Robert Plant, here is what Colin had to say:

Stone: In the July (2011) issue of Classic Rock AOR Magazine, Hope & Ruin received a nine out of ten review. Taking a quote from this review: “Man, there isn’t a flawed track. Indeed, it’s one of those rare albums where every song could easily become a hit single. It’s rare feat for an album to be so consistently powerful.” How does this type of praise make you feel?

Colin: Awesome. It feels amazing. It’s like Sting had put it: “If you believe the good stuff, it doesn’t make you want to work as hard and if you believe the bad stuff, it only makes you work harder. It’s always great to be recognized for the work we do, especially by a big magazine like that.

Stone: On a personal level, which song on Hope & Ruin means the most to you?

Colin: I really like Hope & Ruin. This song really seems to take on a life of its own live.

Stone: In your music video for Hope & Ruin, there are many scenic backdrops. Where in the world was this footage shot?

Colin: It was shot in Toronto for the city. It was done on the coldest day on record too and I was really freezing out there while I was singing! We also went to the East Coast and Nova Scotia. We created a contrast of city, coast and countryside and it made for an amazing result with this video.

Watch and listen below to THE TREWS – Hope & Ruin, it is an incredible song!

Stone: With The Trews, which is written first, the music or the lyrics?

Colin: Always the music. We’ll come up with a riff, a melody, a little idea and work on it until it becomes a big idea. We take a melody idea and then a line comes with it. You then work your way back from there.  I never try to over think the lyrics. I try to balance things out and let the lyrics compliment the song.

Stone: With The Trews being for all intents and purposes, family, what is it like for you guys to sit down, write and record music?

Colin: It’s the only way of life we’ve known for such a long time. I really don’t have anything else to compare it to. We are a tight group of guys. Sure, we have heated arguments, although they can simmer very quick. That’s what has kept us together for so long.

Stone: How important is it for a Rock band today, compared to a decade ago, in adapting to changes in how they promote themselves?

Colin: It’s really important. A band has to always garner new fans. It’s hands on now. There’s not a lot of mystique or mystery to promotion anymore. Our main priority is to always make good music. You must never lose sight in making music that the fans like. You must keep up the musical content. There’s twitter and facebook to reach out to the fans with. Those bands that keep all of this in mind will do well with the new model.

Stone: Is the record industry today more hope or more ruin?

Colin: It depends on who you ask. There are lots of bands getting through today that probably wouldn’t have decades ago, like, Mumford & Sons. Bands are selling out big venues, so that’s hope for sure. The days of signing big money record deals and getting big contracts up front are no more. So that’s ruin.

Stone: Which country has the toughest music market for The Trews to tap into and do you want to conquer that market?

Colin: Right now, we’re doing great in Australia and the UK. We’d like to get bigger in America because it’s close and easy to tour, so obviously we want to break into that market. Any band that are making good music and stays true to themselves will do well and that’s what we try to do.

Stone: What band or which musician would The Trews be honored to share the stage with, where you haven’t shared the stage with before?

Colin: We’d love to play with Neil Young. That would be awesome! We’d love to open for AC/DC. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. We’ve opened for The Stones. We’ve also opened for Robert Plant across Canada.

Stone: Where did you open for The Rolling Stones?

Colin: We opened for them in Toronto and Phoenix back in 2005. They were secret club gigs.

Stone: Where did you play with Robert Plant?

Colin: It was all across Canada for his entire tour here.

Stone: Is Robert Plant a nice guy?

Colin: Robert Plant is a super cool guy! He’s always interested in new music and never rests on his laurels. I find inspiration in that and it sticks with us. As a lead singer, Robert Plant is always moving forward and that’s a quality about him I admire most.

Stone: As a band, do you guys want to continue experimenting and maturing musically or have you reached a level of self-contentment of where you are now?

Colin: Never man. We keep pushing forward. We have more in us. There’s so much more music in us still and so much more to come. I still feel we have not made our best record yet.

Stone: Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans?

Colin: Thank you for supporting us and for so long! When the fans come out to see us live, it really means  a lot to us.

* For more info on THE TREWS, click on the links below:

THE TREWS – Official Website

THE TREWS – myspace music



MASS – Louis St. August Interview: Reflecting On The 1985 “Do You Love Me” (Music Video) & “New Birth” Album

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal videos, interviews, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

MASS – Louis St. August – It all started back in 1984, when MASS released their self-titled EP and garnered the widespread attention of radio stations, record companies and of course their new-found fans. In 1985, this Boston, Massachusetts originated band was signed to RCA Records and their first full-length album, New Birth, was released upon the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal world. New Birth catapulted MASS onto the Billboard charts and MTV came knocking on their door. The single released from New Birth was Do You Love Me and this song became a successful music video within the coveted MTV rotation.

Caught somewhere between the positive vibes of Stryper and their very own brand of melodic heaviness, coupled with credibility at every angle, MASS did exit the 80’s leaving behind 3 studio albums and their historic EP as a reminder of greater things to come. MASS was then, as they are now, a Heavy Metal band that glistens with accessibility without compromising their hard and heavy sound.

Louis St. August – 2011

MASS is still Rockin’ in 2011, their fifth full-length, Heavy Metal achievement and critically acclaimed Sea Of Black was released in 2010. With their best work existing in the present, reflecting on where it all began for MASS is something Louis St. August embraces and is understandably quite proud of. As the old saying goes, “times were different back then” and 1985 was no exception, as founding member and lead vocalist Louis St. August will reveal in this exclusive Metal Odyssey interview.

Stone: Do You Love Me is a memorable song from the New Birth album. What was the process of choosing this song for a music video?

Louis: It was solely RCA records idea of making and pushing the Do You love Me video first as we felt it was a poor representation of what the band was really about. We wanted to go with something a bit heavier like Too far Gone or Crying Alone. But the label insisted and thought a power ballad would open doors up for us and that radio would pick up the song a lot quicker. They told us the second video would be the heavier one which never did come to be.

Looking back at it now It’s kind of funny because the very first script the video production team wrote for the Do you love me video was actually turned down by RCA records because they felt it was too sexy and would get banned from MTV and other video stations. The script only calling for a Catholic girls school bus breaking down in some dark alley, when the girls all got out of the bus dressed up in their little catholic school dress’s knocked on our rehearsal door only to come in and start dancing seductively and falling in love with the song and band. Very mild and tamed I must say compared to the videos we see today. (Laughs). But that’s the early eighties for you.

Stone: Where was this video filmed?

Louis: The video was filmed in an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, New York. It took two days to film it. (Film not video), that’s why it has that grainy look to it. I couldn’t believe it took 48 straight hours to film, only to have it edited down to a 3 minute and 20 second song. (Laughs). The video cost RCA records $50,000 something that would cost $5,000 to $8,000 today.

MASS – That Was Yesterday!

Stone: How difficult or easy was it to get Do You Love Me on MTV? How psyched were you guys to get that exposure?

Louis: It was not difficult at all with such a big label like RCA behind us. MTV execs were actually at the shooting of the video and approached our management at the time to see if they would agree to let MTV make the Do You Love Me video an exclusive premier for MTV. But our management said NO because they wanted to share it with the U68’s,V66’s video stations of the world. A big mistake in my eyes for we would have gained much more exposure had they agreed to this and received “heavy rotation” play instead of the “1ight rotation” we received on MTV.

We were very excited the first time it aired on MTV. Just like the first time you hear your song on the radio you never forget that feeling. After that it seemed like every time you put the TV on or the radio on you would hear your song. The phone never stopped ringing after that. And still hasn’t. (Laughs).

Stone: Were there any aggravating and/or funny moments you want to share while filming “Do You Love Me”?

Louis: We just simply had a blast making it, hanging with all the hired extras and crew. We even put our road manager (Gino) at the beginning of the video along with our stage manager (Laurie). We also included our manager & lawyer towards the end (carrying the food trays). Although it was extremely exhausting we were just running on pure adrenaline and tons of laughs and good times.

MASS – In The Present!

Stone: As you look back on the New Birth album now, what fond memories does it stir up?

Louis: There are so many but here are just a few for me. We all moved in to the studio in beautiful Bearsville New York. The whole band actually lived in a huge barn. Our equipment was set up downstairs in the living room while all our beds were upstairs in the loft. We would work with our producer Tony Platt (Led Zep /Cheap Trick, etc) during the day on preproduction stuff in the barn for two weeks before moving into the studio to start recording. When I had free time, I would ride my mountain bike through the beautiful town and hills, while enjoying the fresh air and star studied night skies.

During the evenings, the band would get together and hang with Joe Lynn Turner and his band mates and go out for dinner at various places. Joe and his band mates were there recording an album as well with producer (Roy Thomas Baker/Queen). We had a lot of fun and many a food fight at some of the top-notch restaurants in the area, where we would sometimes be asked to leave. (Laughs).

Our girlfriends, wives, would come down a few weekends during our 8 week stay and enjoy the surroundings as well as the music we were making. My wife at the time was pregnant with my first child so it was special for me when we decided to call the album New Birth.

* All Photos Courtesy/By Permission Of Louis St. August

* For more info on MASS, click on the link below:




HUNTED – The Metal Odyssey Interview

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, interviews, metal music, metal odyssey, progressive metal, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

HUNTED – When I first caught up with guitarist Steve Barberini of Hunted, it was at the onset of 2011. Steve and his bandmates, Chris G (vocals), Jon Letson (bass) and Matt “Animal” Thomas (drums), had already wrapped up their debut album Welcome The Dead. With their CD available for Metal consumption, this exemplary Metal band from Cardiff, Wales, were hungry for a record deal. Fast forward to July 29th, 2011 and Hunted have earned that yearned for record deal, courtesy of one kick-ass Metal label known worlwide as Massacre Records.

July 29th, 2011 marks the release date of Welcome The Dead, an album which seamlessly crisscrosses Classic Metal and Power Metal while bestowing Progressive Metal elements within it’s sound. Stone’s suggestion to astute Metal fans across the planet: buy this album!

I can recall the first time that Welcome The Dead entered my eardrums. The Metal polish was all there on Welcome The Dead, from the totality of musicianship to overall production, with just enough raw edginess to make me convinced: this is a Metal band to take serious and tell the world about. The powerful vocals of Chris G, the technical skill and memorable guitar licks of Steve Barberini and the Metal glue that holds it all together with Jon Letson’s bass and Matt “Animal” Thomas on drums, is a listen into what a stupendous Metal album can sound like, when it’s done straight from the heart and not for an overrated record executive who lives and dies by unit sales and chart status.

It didn’t surprise me at all that Hunted decided to conduct an interview with Metal Odyssey as a band, for Hunted plays with such a tight style of Metal on their debut album, coupled with an overall vibe that pulsates: the band is the star. Here is what the members of Hunted had to say:

Stone: How did Hunted come together as a “Progressive” Metal band?

Steve: In all honesty, we never really saw ourselves as a Progressive Metal band and we certainly didn’t set it as our goal either. I guess our music just evolved in such a manner that it became “progressive”. We knew we wanted to create something original yet stay true to our influences and our gut feeling as to what sounds good. It’s possible that in our attempt to achieve originality progressive elements crept into our compositions.

As we started off as a band covering classic bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth and Deep Purple, the progressiveness just was not really there. However, with time as we started writing our own material, plus the recruitment of new band members with different influences, other bands came to the forefront and I believe strongly influenced the current sound of Hunted. These bands are the likes of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Symphony X, Nevermore, plus a huge amount more. Furthermore, everyone in the band, albeit to different degrees, listens to distinct genres, for example, Black, Death, Doom, Power and Speed Metal, and as we are a very honest band we try to incorporate each member’s influences into the music. That way, everyone is happy and actually enjoys playing the music, otherwise, what’s the point right?!

I’d also like to add that the progressive side of our music, if at all, is very subtle. If you consider the likes of Dream Theater, they usually use an impressive amount of odd time signatures crammed into a short amount of time (not all songs of course!), whereas if you study our debut album Welcome the Dead you’ll find we may have used a maximum of 3 or 4 different time sigs throughout the entire album. We do, however, enjoy putting together loads of different riffs but always aiming for melodic continuity!

Stone: Where do you draw the line or won’t approach when it comes to topics and/or themes in your lyrics?

Steve: I don’t think there really is a line I wouldn’t cross! Having said that, I certainly would not write about pop-associated cheesy lovey-dovey stuff. Then again, I don’t think I could write about dragons, warriors, and whatnot either. There’s definitely a real life element to our writing. I think most of our lyrics have a bit of a dark cynical approach, singing about real feelings and events that hopefully will touch people and stir-up some sort of emotional anger.

Jon: That’s a really interesting question, man. I’m pretty sure we’d never set out a you shall not pass! kinda thing on any topic but, as Steve said, we just seem to gravitate naturally towards the bigger subject areas, such as religion, human nature and destiny etc. and away from epic romantic power-ballad territory. For now anyways.

Stone: Your covering Nevermore’s The Heart Collector is brilliant! Are you guys friends/in contact with Nevermore?

Steve: Really glad you like it mate! We definitely enjoyed recording it and coming up with slightly different ideas for the song. We actually wrote to Warrel Dane to ask for his “blessing” and permission to cover the song, to our surprise he replied and in a very positive manner too! We were significantly hyped after that! So, we then approached Century Media for permission, etc and the rest well, you’re holding it!

Stone: Steve, you’ve probably been asked this a trillion times already, yet who is the guitar player you most look up to?

Steve: Damn it, I notice your emphasis on “the”, so I guess I can’t give you a full list of players right?! It’s so hard to answer that question man, mainly because I go through or have been through so many different stages of admiring different guitarists. Also, it doesn’t help that so many new amazing players are being discovered all the time. If I had to mention just one player that I seriously admire, in song composition, riffing and leadwork it would probably be Kristian Niemann, of Therion (ex) and Demonoid. This may be a bit surprising to some, but  in my humble opinion, Kristian captures perfectly every time the right tone, speed, technique and feel, that a solo or a full composition should be played with, without overdoing it (like a lot of players!) or underselling it. His sense of melody is outstanding!

Stone: Chris, a two part question, have you ever had vocal lessons or are you that natural born talent? Who is your favorite vocal influence?

Chris G: Nope, never had lessons or vocal coaching as they call it. I’ve had many great sessions with a good mate and great singer when we were still youngsters but that was just a cute competition between our vocal skills at that point in time. Very helpful though!

Influence-wise, many names come to mind but my first vote will go to my favourite one, Ronnie James Dio, for his tremendously passionate and inspiring voice, for his subconscious teachings and meanings that specially have been crafted and been hid between the voice and the lyric for the honoured few to find. For being the reference point for most of the true Metal singers out there, and also for his uncountable contribution to music in general. Then I’ll go for Eric Adams, his amazing range and his unique ability to break down every single word of every sentence, of every lyric and transpose it to something that you instantly believe in and can be part of it. Last but not least, Freddie Mercury, the most impossible man ever, who actually sang Metal during his entire career, without even knowing it!

Stone: Is another album currently in the works?

Steve: Well, as we have just signed to the German Metal giant Massacre Records, they will officially release our debut album on July 29th this year, and subsequently we hope to be recording a follow-up in 2012! I honestly cannot wait to get in the studio again; to hear your own music come to life is such a great feeling! And we actually already have three new cracking songs ready as potential candidates for the album, and we are currently working on a load more. Very exciting as these new tunes are sounding huge!

Jon: Come and see us live if you can, we’re throwing a few new ones in with the Welcome The Dead stuff and I think it’ll definitely give you a feel for the direction we’re heading in with the next album!

Stone: Welcome The Dead has solid production, still there is an air of “old school” I hear and feel that I really dig. Am I alone in this old school thought?

Steve: Definitely not mate! I’d love to bring back that old school feel to Metal and I think everyone in the band feels more or less the same. Some of our influences are very old school, especially those of our singer Chris G and I believe that comes across in his vocal work. There are so many fantastic elements in some of the older Metal masterpieces, such as Fates Warning’s Awaken the Guardian, Crimson Glory’s Transcendence, etc. that I’d love to recreate. Of course, the goal here is to try and capture some of those elements and stitch it up in an original modern production.

Jon: Not at all man, I think a lot of people have picked up the same vibe! I don’t think we ever set out to create an old school sound though. I listen to some of the newer stuff that’s come out in the last few years almost as much as I listen to the legends. I think it’s more the attitude and the ethos of bands like Iron Maiden that inform what we do as a band and I guess (I hope!) that’s what shines through in everything we do.

Stone: If you could choose that one legendary band to open for on a major tour, what band would it be?

Steve: It would have to be Iron Maiden. Simple!

Dan: Iron Maiden if not Britney.

Stone: (laughs) Britney?

Matt: Iron Maiden!

Jon: It’s gotta be Maiden, hasn’t it?!

Chris G: Would love to open for Ronnie James Dio but that’s out of the window now, isn’t it? Shame.

Stone: I guess Iron Maiden it is! I hope the members of Iron Maiden find this out too!

Stone: Collectively as a band, did all of you realize just how astounding Welcome The Dead was going to sound when it was completed? Were there any second thoughts regarding any particular song?

Steve: Can I just say that your kind words are extremely valuable to us, and we are so happy that fans, such as yourself, have connected with the album. The music on the album is very special to us, and we worked very hard at making it the best it could be, despite still being on a tight budget! So, it’s a great feeling knowing that our efforts are being valued and our music is being constantly listened to by real Metal fans!

Did we know we had a decent product once we had finished the album? I think at one point when listening to the final mixes and masters we looked at each other, and without saying much, we knew we had achieved what we had set out to achieve. This was great for us, because unfortunately, after recording 2 to 3 demo tracks we were never really that happy with the outcome. We knew that the album may not appeal to everyone, but it was and is still a definite representation of what we stand for………. and we love it!

We didn’t have second thoughts regarding any particular song, though different arrangements were thoroughly discussed all the time, but we did have to scrap 2 songs that were meant for the album simply due to studio-time. These songs were fully ready-to-go and pre-production seemed to suggest that they’d be cracking songs, so hopefully we can include these in an upcoming album! We know certain people are crying out for them!

Matt: Personally, no second thoughts for me. I think in my mind what an epic final product!

Jon: I think we all started to realise we were heading down a pretty interesting path somewhere near the start of the studio process but, yeah, as Steve said it’s only once you get into the final bits and pieces of post-production that you start to go, ‘wow, this really is gonna work!’

Stone: Is Metal a religion, drug, mistress or all three?

Steve: I would go for religion and a drug! I definitely get a huge kick when I listen to great Metal, in fact, great music in general. The emotional highs you can sometimes reach when you really sit down (or stand up) and absorb all the content and energy of a Metal masterpiece is overwhelming! Also, the manner in which Metal music unites Metal fans, especially at festivals, etc. is somewhat unique I believe and it’s a great thing to be part of!

Dan: All three!

Matt: Definitely keeps me wanting more, so, I’d say all three in a way.

Jon: Hmmm. Metal’s definitely not a bit on the side for me, so I’d have to say it’s more of a missus than a mistress to be honest!

Stone: Describe how getting signed to Massacre Records came about and how thrilled are you guys?

Steve: Yeah! I guess they must have dug our debut album! The band and I are extremely happy with our recent signing to Massacre Records, they are a great label who have had a huge amount of amazing bands on their roster, including the likes of King Diamond, Theatre of Tragedy, Fates Warning, Crematory, etc., so they evidently do a great job! So hell yeah, if our name is on the same list then that’s a significantly immense achievement! I used to listen to these bands all the time and still do every now and then, so it really is an honor!

Jon: It’s great! Massacre’s a fantastic and well-respected label so we all feel pretty damn good at the minute. Another cool thing about it is that it kinda gives you a sense of confirmation that everything you’ve been doing up to this point has actually made sense. Having been doing this for quite a while now, there’ve been a few times when I’ve started to wonder! It’s definitely not time to kick back and think “job well done” though, we’re gonna make sure this is just the beginning…

* To read the Metal Odyssey album review for Welcome The Dead, (posted on March 23rd, 2011), just click on the big header link below:

HUNTED “Welcome The Dead” – Colossal Progressive Metal To Prize

* For more info on HUNTED, click on the links below:

HUNTED – myspace music

HUNTED – twitter




Faithsedge – Giancarlo Floridia: A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, interviews, melodic metal, melodic rock, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

Giancarlo Floridia of Faithsedge – Back on April 19th, 2011, Giancarlo Floridia took one enormous plunge into the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal limelight with the release of his band’s debut and self-titled album via Scarlet Records. FAITHSEDGE is now a part of Rock history. Will Giancarlo Floridia and Faithsedge add more chapters to their own Rock history? I’m banking on it. This debut album from Faithsedge combines more delicious Melodic Hard Rock moments, within it’s quality songs, than I can actually count.

With a world-class band of musicians surrounding Giancarlo, Faithsedge are not just another supergroup. They are a band that has created what I consider to be one of the best albums of 2011, in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal combined. With the guidance and experience from the world respected producer and bass guitarist Fabrizio Grossi, the path to Heavy Rock success for Giancarlo has been paved. As a songwriter, lyricist, vocalist and guitarist for Faithsedge, Giancarlo has impressively paid his Rockin’ dues for any and all positive response thrown his way.

Giancarlo is both solidly confident and humble, two attributes necessary for a rising talent in the Rock Music world. Forget about any “newcomer” tag… Giancarlo for all Metal intents and purposes… Rocks. Throw in the obvious fact that Giancarlo is one grounded and a hell of a nice guy and the point is clear: I’m rooting for him each and every step of the Metal way. Recently, Giancarlo took the time to talk to Metal Odyssey about the debut Faithsedge album, it’s memorable songs, influences, life and Rock and Roll. Here is what Giancarlo had to say:

Stone: Giancarlo, how did Faithsedge all fall into place as a band?

Giancarlo: The way everything worked out was great. Being a fan of Fabrizio’s (Fabrizio Grossi) and then working with him was awesome. Alex (De Rosso) and Tony (Morra) the same thing, just great people and great musicians. I had a five song ep that I did with Juan Croucier (x – Ratt) and showed it to Fabrizio after leaving California for a little while and it was enough to get my foot in the door to work with him and then we took it from there. Fab (Fabrizio) got Alex and Tony involved and the rest is history! The chemistry just happened.

(Faithsedge debut/self-titled album cover – Scarlet Records)

Stone: Describe what it’s like to work with Fabrizio Grossi.

Giancarlo: Well he’s a hard worker but he still makes it fun. I mean you have to trust your producer (at least I do) and since I was already a fan of his work it was easy. Everything just kinda fell into place in terms of people involved, lyrics, song idea’s, parts etc.. We knew when something was off or if a chorus or a lyric needed to be better. Like for example, “Let It End This Way” was the last vocal to track and the lyrics I had before were good, only we both knew it didn’t fit the record. So, I went back and wrote it at home in like less than an hour with some different ideas I had. Since he wasn’t a jerk about things it was stress free getting eveything done. If something comes up I just let him know, he’s easy going and easy to work with and freakin talented as hell! I mean that sums the guy up! Just don’t piss him off! (Laughs).

Stone: (Laughs) Okay, I would never consider making Fabrizio mad at me! You’ve mentioned in the past, Joe Lynn Turner is an influence on you. Is it fair of me to have written you may very well be the next Joe Lynn Turner of Hard Rock?

Giancarlo: Wow! Ya know, it’s amazing to see people compare me to him or Geoff Tate or Tony Harnell or one of the top guys in the Hard Rock vocal scene. To be put in that league is um, an awesome thing. All I can really say is I want to be one of the new top Metal and Hard Rock singers and I work really really hard at it. I think with hard work and just doing the best I can as a writer and singer, while trying to progress and get better and better, people are getting the point of what I am going for and that makes me happy. At first I wasn’t sure if people were gonna let me into the scene, being somewhat of a newcomer, but they have and I’m thankful! So Thanks everyone and thank you Stone!

Stone: Gee Metal whiz, thank you Giancarlo! How excited are you by the positive response critics have given your debut album?

Giancarlo: It’s been great, there are a few haters but they dont talk smack on us as musicians or me as a singer, they mostly gripe about my lyrics or whatever! (Laughs). I’d rather write about stuff that is personal or real, rather than try to come up with some sort of stupid gimmick to my lyrics. I mean, if it doesn’t come from my heart whats the point? I know I’ll regret it later. Whats important is that people get something from it and I know they have from the emails and other things I’ve read. But as far as all the good reviews go, yeah, it’s been great. I am proud of everyone involved and to have great reviews is just a plus! So thanks for all the great reviews!

Stone: What guitarist or guitarists do you look upon for inspiration?

Giancarlo: Alex De Rosso cause I suck compared to him! (Laughs). Honestly, I am not much of a lead player and I am just more into riffs and the overall drive of a song or direction of a record. I like progressive stuff like old Queensryche and Dream Theater, Metal like Megadeth and Anthrax, and Arena Rock like 80’s KISSOzzy, Scorpions and Bon Jovi. I like 70’s rock too. So I guess it’s an overal mix of sounds that I like that makes Faithsedge. You can hear a mix of all of that on the cd, thats why you may have a tune thats more Metal and another more Arena Rock, so it depends on my mood or what I feel the album needs without going too far right or left of the overall sound.

Stone: As a songwriter and lyricist for your debut album, which two songs mean the most to you and why?

Giancarlo: If I had to pick two? “Somewhere In Your Heart” and “Faith-Anne”, maybe because they are both about my kids. “Somewhere In Your Heart” most likey because I was able to put almost like a “70’s kinda lyrics” into a somewhat Progressive Rock song and make it work with all the key changes. Plus, I like the postive feel to it. “Faith-Anne” because it almost didn’t make the record. I finished the chorus less than an hour of having to record it. I’ll never forget not being able to get the chorus right and sitting in the Valencia Town Center Mall parking lot and hearing it in my head the day I had to track it. I’ll never forget walking into the studio and telling Fabrizio I had finally got it! I mean, when you write a song to your daughter who you haven’t seen in a while and you know there is a chance she’s gonna hear it when she’s been held away from you, it had to be special. I feel I got that across in the song. Funny thing is, our relationship has been restored since the album has come out and the line I wanted her to hear “We had everyday, remember those days?”, well she did. I’m Proud to be a part of her life again.

Stone: Giancarlo, that is a song and story that goes straight to the heart. Awesome. How is the new material coming along for your second album?

Giancarlo: Great! I’m writing the music for the last song now. Eleven tracks I have along the same lines of Metal, Progressive and Melodic. I have the lyrics almost done for four songs. The titles are “Telling the Sky”, “Save the Promise”, Closer to the Truth” and my favorite song I’ve ever written that’s called “When I lost You”. I am gonna be touching more direct issues on the record like my history with my dad, abuse and dark subject matter with a positive outcome. It’s kinda like what I did with tunes like “Another Chance” and “World Keeps Falling Down” on the first record. I will also do some relationship stuff along with a new storyline song I am working on that I don’t have the title for yet, but I have the all the music done and it’s gona be really cool. Music wise though, I’m not going to change the style. People want good, hard, American Rock albums in the Melodic Rock and Metal community. If certain bands that can don’t wanna give it to ’em, it’s ok, I will! (Laughs). Anyways, I’m hoping I’ll have all the lyrics and hooks all done within a year, that way I don’t stress it and the lyrics come out equally as good, just as it did with the first album.

Faithsedge: From L to R: Tony Morra, Giancarlo Floridia, Fabrizio Grossi, Alex De Rosso.

Stone: In your opinion, has Melodic Hard Rock and Melodic Heavy Metal made a comeback these past few years in the U.S.?

Giancarlo: Well it’s awesome bands like KISSMaiden and Priest still doing it. I don’t see too many American new comers doing it, I mean a few are but most of them are from over sea’s or partner with musicians from other countries. Maybe it’s cause they really have a love for this kind of music and don’t care about what people think. Where as in the States you get more of “whats trendy today” is what’s hot! Llllllaaaaaaaaammmme!

Stone: I agree, very lame! On a scale of one through ten, how much of a perfectionist were you while creating the Faithsedge debut album?

Giancarlo: (Laughs) I abused myself, I was one hundred percent happy with every lyric and melody other than one song which I could have done better on the chorus, in my opinion it’s by far the most cliché chorus on the cd. However, I love the verses and the bridge before the solo. Oh well, I’ll make it up on the second album and no, I’m not saying what song it is! (Laughs). I know I’m just wrong huh?

Stone: You’re not wrong, it’s called keeping the fans in suspense! If Faithsedge could tour with two current bands of your choice tomorrow, what bands would they be?

Giancarlo: Anyband that kicks ass that would give us exposure in the market of Hard Rock and Metal. I would love to do some Europe gigs if I could too!

Stone: Great answer! How true is this statement: “music mirrors life”.

Giancarlo: Thanks, I am gonna steal that for the next cd! Just kidding. I mean, in my life music has been the thing that I’ve connected with so often, with many people, wether if thats someone I meet thats a fan or it’s a genre or a rare band that I like that not everyone knows about. It’s how I connect with people thats all I can really say! Did you come up with that saying?

Stone: Um, well, I probably did come up with that saying. I think. (Laughs). Has Giancarlo’s wish come true with your incredible debut album or is this just the beginning?

Giancarlo: It’s nice when I get magazines from Germany, Italy, France and the States and I see myself in them. I do hope it takes off more and more of course, to where it becomes huge and we can play out live a lot and I can make more of a career of it. And I do want to say this, it’s not over till you decide it’s over and listening to negative and destructive people is a big mistake! I don’t care how close they were to me or how they were supposed to be my family or whatever. For once in my life, other than my kids, I’ve found something where as I put in all my efforts that the result has shown. The proof is in the album and shows that the doubters were wrong. When you believe in yourself and work hard you can do great things. Thats not just in music thats just in any goal in life!

Stone: Well said Giancarlo, well said. I wish nothing but the very best of success for your band and career! You Rock my Metal brutha!

Giancarlo: No problem and thank you Stone!

* For more info on FAITHSEDGE, just click on the links below:

FAITHSEDGE – Official Website

FAITHSEDGE – facebook




HEMOPTYSIS – A Metal Odyssey Interview With Masaki Murashita

Posted in Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, interviews, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, Thrash Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(Photo credit: Eyeful Images Photographic Arts)

HEMOPTYSISMasaki Murashita is the founder, lead singer and guitarist for Hemoptysis, a Thrash Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. Masaki wears a lot of hats these days, while making certain the world is being properly introduced to Hemoptysis. The blending of Extreme Metal styles is what makes Hemoptysis stand-out from the Metal pack. With some Death Metal grooves and occasional shades of Blackened vocal tones from Masaki, these attributes just seem to make the Thrash he and his band have created all the more relevant and unique in 2011. The overriding “Old School” Thrash style and sound of Hemoptysis is the driving force behind the songs heard on their debut full-length – Misanthropic Slaughter.

The “do-it-yourself” work ethic of this band, led by Masaki, released their debut album independently on March 8th, 2011. Since then, the critical response from all over the globe has been nothing short of exhilarating for a band that has justifiably earned it. Masaki is young and driven, with a professional air about him that I cannot help admire. This is a musician in Metal that has a keen sense of awareness for the business side of the recording industry. At the end of the Metal day, it is Masaki’s musical proficiency that he combines with his band’s impressive Metal skills that has left me rather awestruck, ever since my first listen to Misanthropic Slaughter.

I recall wondering and writing, how long can Hemoptysis be left unsigned to a label? This band could not be overlooked for long, however. On March 8th, 2011, the very day that Misanthropic Slaughter was released, it was announced that Rock It Up/IceWarrior Records from Germany signed a licensing deal with Hemoptysis. Metal be thy name, I felt proud for Masaki and his band. It’s a deserved leap forward into eventual Metal stardom. Hemoptysis has Metal stock that is rising fast, so my best advice is to invest your Metal time and money wisely and pick up Misanthropic Slaughter… you surely want to be a part of Thrash Metal and Metal history in the making.

Masaki Murashita is one cool Metal gentleman to speak with. I cannot resist supporting his Metal career and insanely impressive band known as Hemoptysis. Here is what Masaki had to say:

Stone: Just how did Hemoptysis evolve?

Masaki: Travis and I met through a mutual friend in April of 2007.  We started the band in June of 2007 when I found a larger practice space and another guitarist.  We got Sunao to play bass for us in early 2008.  Initially, I wasn’t the singer.  We had a different singer for a few months. After the original singer left, I took over on vocals.  We went through a few lead guitarists until we got Ryan Miller, who is also in a band called Excessive Bleeding.

Stone: How proud are you and the guys for getting signed to Rock It Up/IceWarrior Records?

Masaki: We all are very proud of it. We finally found a label that believes in us. They offered the most fair deal by far and it showed long term interest in our career. We are truly honored and we will continue working hard.

Stone: Metallica “Master Of Puppets” versus Slayer “Reign In Blood”. Which album is better and why? No, you can’t give a “tie” for an answer! (LOL)

Masaki: It’s a tough question since I grew up listening to both albums, but I’d say “Master of Puppets” because that record definitely inspired me to play Metal.

Stone: How have the live gigs been going for you? Tell us about your charity gigs too!

Masaki: It’s been really fun! The charity gig was especially awesome simply because the venue used to be a church and playing songs like “Who Needs A Shepherd?” was just priceless.

Stone: Can you update us on your family and friends well being in Japan?

Masaki: They are all doing well. Thank you! Japanese people are strong. Though it may take some time, they are working really hard to bring back their normal life.

Stone: What do you feel is lacking in today’s Heavy Metal climate when it comes to marketing and promotion?

Masaki: Team work. Everybody needs to work together to keep the scene. Bands can’t expect to get their name out and bring people to their shows without working hard. Same thing to fans. If you would like to see your favorite bands, you need to show them support by spreading the word and buying their merchandise and music. Promoters, venues, and labels also need to do their job and promote the shows to support the bands and the scene. Everybody is becoming greedy nowadays, but at the end of the day, we all need to survive and work together to sustain.

Stone: What inner and outside influence(s) did you and the band draw from, to write and record such a kick ass and Old School album of Metal?

Masaki: I have heavy influence from old school Thrash. Our drummer, Travis, and our lead guitarist, Ryan, are death metal guys. Our bassist, Sunao, listens to everything, including non-Metal stuff. We all have different backgrounds and that makes our music unique when everybody’s ideas blend together.

Stone: Tell the world… what veteran band do you feel Hemoptysis should open up for on a major tour and why?

Masaki: Megadeth, Carcass, Exodus, Testament to name a few. Those bands are just a few of the core influences of our sound and we think the people who are into those bands would like us.

Stone: Are you guys currently writing new Metal material for the next album?

Masaki: Yes. We are already working on the material for the next record.

Stone: With so much critical praise, from so many outlets, for “Misanthropic Slaughter”, are you shocked, knew it was coming or just humbled?

Masaki: We weren’t sure what was going to happen.  We knew we liked it but we weren’t 100% sure what people would think.  A lot of people liked our EP, “Who Needs A Shepherd?,” and gave it good reviews, so we were pretty sure people would like this better since the quality of the recording is so much better.  We also grew as musicians and switched to an even better lead guitarist, so we felt pretty confident about good reviews coming in.  We consider ourselves pretty humble, though.

Stone: What band that you’ve seen perform live left you awestruck?

Masaki: D.R.I. We opened for them last September and we were amazed how much their fans love them. The crowd was nuts! We’ve never seen that crazy of a pit and crowd at the venue in which we played. Much respect to them for being one of the most legendary “Do It Yourself (DIY)” bands.

Stone: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans as we close out?

Masaki: If you like our music, please buy our music and support us. We would like to tour and play enough cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, only we cannot do this without our fans supporting us.


Masaki Murashita – vocals & guitar

Ryan Miller – lead guitar

Sunao Arai – bass

Travis Thune – drums

* For more info on HEMOPTYSIS, click on the links below:

HEMOPTYSIS – Official Website

HEMOPTYSIS – myspace music


HEMOPTYSIS – bandcamp page

Rock It Up / IceWarrior Records

* Metal Odyssey reminds those who want to help out our great friends in Japan, to click on the link below for assistance:




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