Interview with Johan Längquist of Candlemass

Interview with Johan Längquist of Candlemass
By Sheri Bicheno

Good Afternoon Readers!

When this interview landed on the list, I jumped at the chance to nail it! Candlemass are undoubtedly one of the most influential Doom bands out there, helping shape the Doom genre into what it is from when they started out over 30 years ago!

Candlemass released their first full length album since 2012, “The Door To Doom”, in February 2019 which features Toni Iommi on track ‘Astorolous – The Octopus’. This album is the first to feature Johan since “Epicus Doomicus Metalllicus” in 1986!

For all you fellow Doom lovers, I’d be interested in what your opinions are on the newest EP, “The Pendulum” that has been released in this chaotic time of life. Give it a go and let us know what you think!

I recently got the chance to have a Skype chat with vocalist Johan Längquist and I have to say, it was an absolute pleasure. Humble, often with a chuckle in his voice and an all-around nice guy!

I sat down, with a cheery bounce and proceeded to call Johan’s Skype ID and await…

“Hi! Johan here!” says a very cheerful voice on the other end. I’m beaming already.

We exchange greetings and introductions and immediately, I sense the smile in his voice.

Sheri: Candlemass are known for being the epitome of the Doom genre – What I find interesting is that there are fewer bands from the 80’s era that explore that genre of metal. What prompted Candlemass to find your technique and essentially be part of creating the way for Doom Metal?

Johan: I think that we were so very influenced by music that was made in the 80’s and as you probably know, Leif is a big fan of Black Sabbath…and I think that is the main reason it all started. Of course, I’m too a great fan of Black Sabbath but I like a lot of other bands from that era too. So, I think that’s the main reason the way how it turned out the way it did, and the way Leif is writing the music because you know, he writes all the songs. And I know he is a BIG fan of Black Sabbath haha.

Sheri: So, they’re kind of an influence for you?

Johan: Yeah, yeah! We haven’t talked that much about it but that must be the reason haha! I think that Black Sabbath were one of the bands that almost sounded like that in the 80’s I think, there were not that many bands, there were a couple of bands, but not that many.

Sheri: Not as few, Black Sabbath kicked off the Doom side so it’s interesting to see how the genre has evolved. Did you have to experiment with your sound technique or – as you just said, you were influenced, did you have a particular vibe that you wanted to go with or did you need to experiment with technique?

Johan: When I got into the band and we did the album in 1986, I had a tape a couple of weeks before we went into the studio. So, you know, I did vocals and I just had to find my way into that music haha! Yeah, it’s pretty much as simple as that. Sometimes, you know, when you’re about to do a song and do the vocals, you can’t find your way in, but I guess that’s the job that all the singers have to do, find their way into the music to give the music the right vocals, the right spirit, to suit the music, I think. That’s what I did. And I remember in my opinion at that time, I had my own band at that time and I thought it was a bit how you say monotone… the same chord, a very long tune, so I remember that I was thinking about doing the vocals as melodic as possible. You know?

Sheri: Sure. So, it’s a change for that sort of era.

Johan: Absolutely yes.

Sheri: How do you feel being a great influencing Artist for other bands within Doom? As we discussed, Doom has been expanded on within the last sort of 20 to 30 years with different sub genres.

Johan: There’s so many genre’s around right now, I don’t know them all haha! To me, it’s Heavy Metal. Slow Heavy Metal or not. Dark Heavy Metal haha.

Sheri: Haha! It does change quite a bit.

Johan: You know, when we are out playing and sometimes people are coming into where we playing and tell us “The reason we started was because of you guys” Then of course you feel honoured that you’ve been a big inspiration for many musicians in that genre, so yeah, what can you say? It’s an honour. It’s humbling.

Sheri: I’ve asked a couple of our readers if they have any questions for you…

Johan: Great! Haha.

Sheri: One of the questions raised by Jimmy, is that A lot of younger bands cite you as a massive influence upon them, as we just discussed, is that a help or sometimes a comfort for you to know that after all this time, Candlemass has stayed relevant without losing focus of what essentially makes Candlemass what it is?

Johan: Yes of course, something tells you that you’ve done the right thing in life. At least some good things in life if your music lives on and other people get the inspiration listening to the older album – it’s fantastic. Life is a tough one and that’s for sure a good thing to do haha. I’m not that kind of guy. But you know, it takes work and sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t and it’s a lot of work going on all the time.

Sheri: Happiness does take work sometimes! Casting back to when you were working on “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, did you face any surprises or challenges? As it was different from anything made before.

Johan: When I got the tape from the guys, I had actually never heard anything like that before. I thought “wow, how can I find my way into this?” That was the feeling I had when I started listening to the songs and trying to learn them. But it was a lot of fun doing them because there were no limits when we went to the studio and uh… well… we had a lot of fun I can tell you! Haha.

Sheri: Haha! Tell no secrets! That leads me onto the next question… what were the best memories of creating that album and then going forward after you re-joined Candlemass?

Johan: Haha! What I remember is a guy that came to the studio and he was asking “Where is the singer?” And then he saw me and said “Oh…it’s you?” He was expecting a big guy, very tall and big, because he thought… my sound was like… he was looking around, walking by me going “Where is he? Where is he? The new singer!” Hahaha. And I was “It’s me” and he was “Oh!” I don’t know if he was disappointed or just surprised, I don’t know hahaha!

Sheri: Let’s hope it’s the latter! Hahaha! And what about after you re-joined?

Johan: When we went into the studio for “Door to Doom”, Marcus Jidell was producing the album and it was the first time I heard the songs. I was pretty amazed, and you know, we had a discussion before I listened to the songs and they asked if I would be interested in joining the band again. I said of course… but I need to listen to the songs and see if they thrill me haha. And they did! It was a good experience for me because you know, I had to sing so very hard and high, I’m not what you would call a high pitch singer so I had to push myself a lot to sing the songs on the album, not every single one as you can hear, I’m pretty distorted… haha… when I’m crying out loud to do the songs… But it was a lot of fun you know. When you’re into the music in the 80’s, I really do like Rob Halford and Dio and all the great singers at that time, you know to push yourself and do the maximum you know. I like that.

Sheri: I think that’s how a lot of successful people have carved their way. By pushing boundaries and adjusting, as you have done. You do have an incredibly big voice, so it works.

Johan: Yeah and I think I have found some parts in my vocals that I haven’t found before at that point actually, because of all the pushing haha. It was a great experience as a singer, now I know pretty much that there are no limits, you just do your very best. Of course, there are limits but maybe you can do it better than you believe yourself, just give it a really good shot.

Sheri: And that’s how people learn isn’t it! It’s good to have your vocals back with Candlemass as shown in your latest full-length album, “Door to Doom” This is your first album back with Candlemass after a long time. What did it mean to you as a musician to get behind the wheel of Candlemass? It was very positive, but did you have any visions of the future when you joined? Have you got plans?

Johan: Thank you! Haha. Even though I hadn’t been in Candlemass for those years, I have always been involved in music in one way or another all my life. So, it felt pretty natural for me to do all this. But of course, you never know what happens you know, if people are going to like the album or not? But fortunately, it all turned out very well and I’m so happy for that haha. I was very nervous the very first gig we did back together you know, because I hadn’t been on stage at that time for a very long time but it all turned out very well, I felt that, yeah, it works!

Sheri: I did see some footage of that first gig and it was absolutely rammed! I think you had no worries there haha.

Johan: Haha thank you!

Sheri: Another of our readers, Sam, has asked… The Door to Doom is very much old school Doom. In the vein of the first or early Candlemass records, how do you feel they hold in comparison to the more recent or modern bands and other albums of this generation, for example when playing a festival bill full of newer bands, to a new generation of fans who might not have been around in the Epicus Doomicus Metallicus days or hadn’t heard of Candlemass?

Johan: Ah what can I say? To me, it’s just like, you know it’s the same with Leif and the other guys, I’m so stuck in the 80’s and all the great songs that were done at that time and I listen to a lot of new musicians too and they’re so fantastic – but I think you need to have a relationship with the 80’s to find the 80’s spirit. I’d been playing for a couple of years with a young man, only 30 years old haha, before Candlemass happened, he was very interested in learning the spirit of the 80’s and was a very good guitar player – but it’s the way you play guitar and the way you do the songs. I can’t exactly say what it is, but I think there is something with the 80’s that one should learn from I think haha.

Sheri: I think so too. I think the 70’s and 80’s, I mean all decades have had their good run of music… it’s different.

Johan: Of course we have a special relationship with the 80’s because we were young at that time but even these days when you listen to the songs… yeah… My heart feels good when I hear good music hahaha!

And of course, there are so many brilliant bands out there right now too. But the problem is that there are so many bands, you can’t find them all. I’m an old fashioned guy, I don’t hardly use my computer – of course I do, but sometimes I used to sit watching YouTube looking for new bands but there are so many and I don’t’ know exactly how to steer into the very best bands.

Sheri: It’s very social media based at the moment isn’t it?

Johan: Yeah and I know that you can always listen – but the problem is they never play the good bands on radio, of course a couple do but they never play their best songs in my opinion haha.

Sheri: I agree with you. I think it tends to be what’s in the NOW you know…

Johan: Yeah, a good example is ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ with KISS and that’s pretty much the only song that they play with KISS and they did great songs before that haha.

It’s the same with Van Halen – what’s do you hear from Van Halen for example?

Both: ‘Jump’!

Johan: Hahaha, exactly! In my opinion, that’s not the best song they did haha. Of course, it’s good but I don’t know if they’re giving Van Halen the right… how do you say?

Sheri: Like a light shone on them really for people of the younger generation. I understand.

Johan: (Chuckles) Exactly!

Sheri: Candlemass have just released an EP in March of this year, “The Pendulum”. Which, in the middle of a Pandemic, is greatly welcomed!

For Artists to keep doing what they’re doing and making and releasing music if they can, is needed. There are a lot of Artists at the moment that probably, like yourself, that have to be on pause to an extent and its quite frustrating… but we have to keep rolling with the punches!

Some of the songs on the EP are noted as Unreleased Demos. Can you take us through the history of some of the demos? Are some of them quite new?

Johan: Hahaha! Ah when I did the Door to Doom, I didn’t know about these songs!

Sheri: Ah!

Johan: No! Hahaha. I had no idea that there were more songs. They told me a couple of weeks after we released The Door To Doom – they thought that they were not done in the right way and wanted to make a few changes and do another lot vocals on it… and I was surprised when I heard the songs and I said, “Wow, why?” They were great songs! And we re-recorded them again, I don’t know exactly what they changed about them, but I know some guitars and the vocals… that was for sure a tough one for me to do too. But a lot of fun doing those songs I can tell you haha.

Sheri: How do you think Candlemass has evolved after around 35 years of music? As I say, you are still quite true to your sound, during those almost 36 years, how do you think you have made evolutionary changes within the band?

Johan: I think that the only things you can do is… if you have the chance, if you’re allowed to do the songs and write songs the way you want to, that’s the main reason that you can develop in different directions. But we love the music in that time and that’s what gives us the most if you compare us to other kinds of music. I think that’s the main reason and we don’t have a record company telling us what to do and things like that. We are the only ones responsible for what’s coming out to the audience.

Sheri: So, it’s quite raw and all your own with no restrictions?

Johan: It suits us that way haha. It’s good to have tips of course but…

Sheri: I think if you’re changing so much over time it becomes something you don’t want it to be…

Johan: Exactly. I think that’s the main reason why they called me up again because they said they lost the spirit of what was there and they wanna try and give it another chance by pretty much create the old band again and yeah… that was one of the main reasons, they wanted to the old Candlemass sound to have another chance. Get back to the roots!

Sheri: If Candlemass were a drink – what would you be? Haha.

Johan: Hahaha! What would I be… hmmm…? I don’t drink that many drinks but a drink that I like is actually the old Gin and Tonic, that’s fine with me… it’s not that dark haha. But I’ll say Gin and Tonic just because I like that haha. It works through old times.

Sheri: There’s different flavours and everything at the moment!

Johan: Yeah but you know, I’m old and I don’t like it too sweet and there are so many out there hahaha!

Sheri: Interesting choice haha! Have you got a song that is your favourite to perform?

Johan: The old Epicus songs, I really do like to do all those songs from that album still. And I really do like doing the Nightfall songs too. And in the future, there will be more songs because there is a big library to pick great songs from. We were talking and they want me to feel comfortable doing the songs too. So of course, we will do the new songs. I really do like all the songs that we’re doing, so I can’t say I’m not doing any songs I don’t like. All the songs I do really like, they’re great songs.

Sheri: You just get out there and love it haha.

Johan: Yeah hahaha! And that’s pretty important when you’re the singer too… if you’re trying to keep your smile up and you hate the songs, that shouldn’t be good hahaha! I really enjoy the moments on the stage, playing around, just having a good time, so it’s brilliant right now.

Sheri: Very humbling! Another of our readers, Jack, has asked how you decided on the name of Candlemass?

Johan: Oooooh, actually I don’t know the history behind the name! That’s a question better to ask Leif hahaha. I can’t tell you, I’m sorry hahaha. It’s a long time ago and we don’t talk about that… sorry Jack! Hahaha.

Sheri: We will let him know! Hahaha. Finally, What advice can you offer to other Artists, new or experienced?

Johan: Never give up. If you believe in what you’re doing, continue. Don’t give up. Never give up. Even though there will be hard times and you know, if you have your goal, in time you will be there. I’ve been there myself; I’ve been working a lot with music and writing; you learn from that hard work. If someone tells you that this is shit and you shouldn’t bother, just continue with what you’re doing if you believe in it.

Sheri: Absolutely. If you are committed to something and you believe in it then carry on.

Johan: Yeah, you do it for yourself too and if you’re fortunate that other people like the songs you do too, so that’s very important, don’t give up. I’m pretty much, what you say, being a “rock star” now and I’m close to 60 haha so… you never give up hahaha.

Sheri: I think you learn a lot through that. Through mistakes, positivity, hitting rock bottom or anything in life, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel as long as you stick true to who you are.

Johan: Oh yeah of course, I can be all on my own just playing guitar at night on my own and having a great time… if no one wants to listen… Then I can have a great time myself hahaha. Keep on playing.

Sheri: Keep on keeping. Hahaha. Well thank you for your insight and I hope other viewers might find this useful.

Johan: Thank you very much for calling me up.

Sheri: Much appreciated. Take care, be safe, be happy Johan!

Johan: Thank you very much and have a really nice day!

Rick Here; I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Johan and Sheri for the great interview. To keep up to date with everything Candlemass related then click on the following links!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons
By Tsarina Wilson

Tsarina recently got the chance to have a really quick chat with, the very busy, Bowzer from Lancaster based Rock band Massive Wagons. Huge thanks to him and Tsarina.

What is your name?


What do you do?

I am the bassist in Massive Wagons!

Can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

Nothing exciting in how I ended up here. The lads required a bass player, I had played guitar in a band with Baz (vocalist) previously and offered to play… how hard could it be eh? Only 4 strings!!

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from Lancaster, a small city in the North West of England, The rock scene has always had a decent presence here. There are a few pubs that put live music on non-stop. The Yorkie, The Pub, The Bobbin, they all put on new and young bands.

Who have been your greatest influences in music or in life?

Empyre’s most recent release is absolutely amazing. Everything they do is gold.

What first got you into music?

Musically talking specifically bass it has to be Roger Glover!

My whole family is into music. Only a couple have been in bands, but everyone loves a huge variety of music. In my house it was always The Stranglers, Madness, Ian Dury, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones on the stereo. My uncles were in a punk band called Interference and they supported The Clash at Lancaster Uni.

Which current bands would you like to see collaborate on a record?

That’s a hard question, I would like to see Danny Bowes of Thunder replace Adam Lambert fronting Queen, Danny hands down has the greatest rock and roll voice.

If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you chose and why?

Graspop, The line-up is always incredible, and I fancy going to Belgium!

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

Erm I don’t think I own any weird musical items!

If you had one message for your Ever Metal reader, what would it be?

Look after yourself! Smile! And defend people around you that can’t defend themselves.

If you could bring back one rock star from the dead, who would it be?

Keith Moon!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d swop the popularity of god-awful pop/chart music that is written by 25 people working with algorithms with the dwindling popularity of the rock, metal and alternative scene.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Blackout” by the Scorpions.

What’s best Vinyl, cassette, CD or downloads?

I have no preference; vinyl looks cool though.

What’s the best gig you have been to and why?

Metallica at the Etihad last year it was awesome.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?

Work, gotta pay the bills.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Keith Moon, Ozzy, Da Vinci, Phil Mogg, Dio!

Thank you so much!

Massive Wagons brand new album “House Of Noise” will be released on 17th July via Earache Records. Order your copy here:

House of Noise (Official Video)

Band Links:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder
By Dark Juan

Good afternoon, you beautiful bunch of misfits and miscreants! I trust you have been following the gospel of Dark Juan and have given your livers a workout worthy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime? Have you been defiling with wanton and base lusts the bodies of those closest to you as you have been exiled for the good of the realm? If not, I WANT DETAILED REPORTS OF WHY NOT ON MY DESK THIS AFTERNOON! If there was ever a time for peace and love to flourish it’s now, boys, girls and persons of other genders. I request and require that you show love to everybody. Love is the law.

In other news, I spoke to one of my musical heroes and it was surprisingly NOT the fucking car crash I expected it to be, considering I am an enthusiastic and somewhat demented amateur music journo. Couple this with an accent thicker than the mud at the bottom of a drain and a sense of humour that could charitably described as baroque and you might consider that Mr. TREVOR FUCKING STRNAD OF THE BLACK FUCKING DAHLIA FUCKING MURDER actually deigning to speak to me and being a consummate gentleman throughout was something of a minor miracle. He happily appeared to be able to put up with all kinds of amateur nonsense, such as a Northern monkey rapidly riffling through notes and simultaneously soiling himself and Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover alternately yowling, barking, meowing and for one glorious moment mooing. He did this with grace, class and bonhomie. Trevor did, not Igor. Igor’s a twat. I present to you all, my Church of the Poisoned Mind, the verbatim conversation we had, INCLUDING my deeply embarrassing fangirling.

I wonder whether animals can have species dysphoria? It would explain much about Igor. Anyway, the “interview”…

Dark Juan: Good evening, Mr. Trevor Strnad. I’m Dark Juan and I am the ridiculously overexcited idiot responsible for the 10/10 review your album “Verminous” got from

Trevor fucking Strnad!!!: Ah, thanks a lot man, that’s awesome. I’m very flattered by that.

DJ: (frothing in a frankly disgraceful fashion): Mate, what a record! In fact it’s not a record; it’s a weapon, man!

TS: (Laughs ): Fuck yeah, dude. Glad you like it man.

DJ: (heart rate still not normal and running off pure adrenalin and copious amounts of cider): It’s awesome. Forgive me for being a prat because this is my first time interviewing a major metal star and I’m shitting bricks about it!

TS: (one wonders how often this man comes up against pretenders of music journalism): You’re doing good man, no worries.

DJ: (desperately trying to appear professional and failing catastrophically): “Verminous”, first of all, a total contender for record of the year as far as I am concerned.

TS: Big words there, I like hearing that, man. Thank you so much.

DJ: First time I listened to it, it was almost simplistic, but on repeated listens it opens up in front of you and you have got these polyrhythms and super complicated riffs and your vocals range from the depths of hell to taking God’s head off with a buzzsaw. It’s got everything.

TS: (struggling gamefully on and proving his professionalism considering the fact that there hasn’t been an actual QUESTION yet): It definitely has more layers to it (than previous releases) and I don’t think it reveals itself fully the first time you listen to it, you know. There’s definitely some information to unpack over time.

DJ: (Deciding that now is NOT the time to preach his own somewhat confused faith): Yeah, I get that totally. Do I detect a SLIGHT HINT of antireligiousness in there, by any chance? A tiny bit of not liking the church?

TS: (Perhaps composing a stern email to the PR company to make sure this doesn’t happen again in his head): What else is new, man?

DJ: (finally managing to marshal his confused thoughts into a form that might actually have a question in them): So, your vocal style. I’ve noticed that you have said that Carcass was/ is a major influence on you. Was that Jeff or Bill’s vocals?

TS: (the man is a legend. He hasn’t yet screamingly clawed for the end call button): Well, it’s both actually. I wanted to be able to do both vocals with one person. I know I’m not the deepest, most guttural on the low end of all the guys out there, but I’m influenced from that Bill Steer mid rangey grittiness you know. It was listening to the “Tools Of The Trade” EP, that was the first glimpse of Carcass that I had and it’s still my favourite of their output you know? I have the “Tools Of The Trade” tattoo on my arm and yeah, dude, I’ve just been aping those guys ever since (laughs) and on the song “How Very Dead” (on “ Verminous”) I was trying to sound like I have an English accent and really going for Carcass.

DJ: (on safe ground at last!): Yeah, I thought I detected a real classic Carcass vibe on “The Leather Apron’s Scorn” – my favourite song on the record.

TS: Yeah, that song’s cool man. It’s different for us. It’s kind of progressive and very groovy. There’s a lot of groovy stuff on this record which is kind of new territory for us. Yeah man, that’s a definite high point of the record for us. A very creative song.

DJ: I have been a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder since 2003 (Trevor interrupts in surprise, “NO WAY!”) Yeah, man, you’re one of my favourite singers…

TS: You’re making me blush over here!

DJ: (inappropriate sense of humour immediately making an escape out of the box it had been beaten and forced into): Never thought I’d hear a bearded man tell me that but (TS is busy laughing) this record really does transcend all your other releases to date as far as I am concerned.

TS: Thanks, man. Yeah, “Nightbringers” was such a success, and having Brandon (Ellis – lead guitar) in the fold now we have a lot of creative juice and everything was just going right so it just gave us the confidence to push things a little further than we have done in the past. We are very happy with how it came out and it feels like a very proud moment for us.

DJ: (finally behaving like a fucking journalist!): Talking of Brandon, what did he bring to the party that wasn’t there before do you think?

TS: Um, Ryan (Knight, ex-guitar) was another awesome songwriter too, so I don’t wanna slight him but Brandon has this youth and this excitement to be here amongst the band. He’s just the most creative person we have had and he’s the most musically inclined, honestly. He’s the most educated, I mean he taught himself to play guitar from different sources on the internet and has never taken a lesson in his life which might surprise a lot of people. He’s just kind of a virtuoso and he looks at music in a different way and we have all been learning a lot from the guy even though he’s the youngest member of the band – He’s wise beyond his years and he has definitely taught us a lot about songwriting and different detail you can weave into a song and to consider the very minutiae of a song and I think that’s what makes these songs special , a little more elbow grease and he’s got a unique way at looking at songcraft and I think it’s kind of affected us all and we’re just trying to keep up with the kid. He’s lifted us all up and inspired us all and he’s definitely the guy you want in your band! Just feels like a really great time in TBDM history and feels like a real high point right now.

DJ: (having nearly shat himself with relief at getting a reasonably interesting question in before his already shaky confidence falls apart): That’s something that really shines through on the record I think. That kind of indefinable something where you can just tell that people are really enjoying playing that song, that’s what shines through on “Verminous”. That’s what makes it special I think.

TS: (doubtlessly relieved to be talking about the album instead of responding to Dark Juan metaphorically prostrating himself in front of him): Right on man, I’m glad that came across. It was fun to build from the ground up. Giving Brandon more control this time, with him recording most of the record, I think was a good move and gave us more control and able to take it really slow and look at things with a microscope. I think this is going to be our recording process from here on out because it was so successful. He stepped into the band and wanted to have a big piece of the pie and be creative and in control of things and we trusted him. We trusted him a lot on “Nightbringers” during the mix and he took a lot of control then and he just showed us what he could do, so this time we trusted him with more responsibility and the record is that much better for it. He’s just that kind of take charge kind of dude, man.

DJ: “Nightbringers” was such a massive success, you were touring that for two or three years, right? I mean, touring “Verminous” is kind of on hold because of coronavirus which means you could end up touring an album that’s a year old. What does that make you feel like? Do you feel the songs will stand the test of time or do you chalk “Verminous” up to experience and record a new album for the touring cycle?

TS: Um, I still think people are going to be excited to hear the songs and they have a lot of time to listen to it and fester on it. Honestly, from our point of view being in the band, there’s nothing better that could have happened during this than drop an album. That’s the ultimate content you could have and entertain all these bored people right now. The pace of life at the moment is so freaking slow. There’s time to enjoy art and absorb it, so in a weird way I think this has turned out to be advantageous, you know? Um, it’s just that it was nothing that we could foresee but we could have got caught at the end of a record cycle with no new content or anything else to offer up so honestly it’s turned out to be the best kind of thing that could have happened, I think. Honestly, it has hurt the sales a little bit, not being able to go to the record store, also we were booked to go on tour with Testament which would have been our biggest tour ever. But I’m hoping we can just jump back into this thing and pick up our momentum where we left off and hopefully people will be excited to hear these songs.

DJ: This record, I’ve found when I listen to it, third or fourth time through, you have so many different influences on it… Instead of the straight up melodeath on previous releases, there are so many disparate influences you have managed to weld into a cohesive whole and it could all so easily have sounded like a load of metal pans falling down the stairs. Has the songwriting taken longer than usual, or is it luck or judgement?

TS: It’s a lot of years of experience of writing Black Dahlia Murder songs. In the last few years, I think the goal has been to make the most dynamic music we can make. Music that really takes you on a ride and has different emotional flavours to it and I got to agree that we did add a lot of approaches that we didn’t have before. We got songs that are pretty rock injected where we close the high hat and just rock out and we have never done that before. You have “The Wereworm’s Feast” for example which is very King Diamond influenced, very classic heavy metal feel to it. Yeah, I think this record has a lot more style and we are becoming more comfortable and spreading our wings and focusing on that aspect of it. It is definitely a cocktail of that classic Black Dahlia Murder sound but also mining from different corners of heavy metal.

DJ: (having managed to obtain the dizzy heights of competence for all of seven minutes before plunging back down into the black murk of idiocy): I finished the review off by claiming that “Verminous” is the first metal album that doesn’t need more cowbell.

TS: (Laughs): We definitely did put some rock in there! It’s Brandon’s influence. He’s not like your normal 26 year old. He’s definitely a child of the 80’s and he’s very progressive in what he writes and he has pushed us all in that direction to be more creative with what we do and lifted us up and we are all just trying to keep up with him and he’s inspired Brian (Eschbach – guitar and vocals). Brian has turned out some of the best songs he’s ever written and it’s just a great line up right now. It’s the culmination of a lot of positivity, a lot of great times together – we toured together for three years off of “Nightbringers” together and had a great time and a lot of success. We just took all of that praise for that record and the positive vibe and just pushed it into this record and it made us very creative and something that felt new for us.

DJ: (in sensible question SHOCK!): Do you know what kind of response you had with online and pre-sales? Are you selling well?

TS: (Clearly wondering what sort of madman has been allowed to talk to him this time): Yeah man, we have hit the charts pretty hard which was surprising. I have to credit a lot of it to our fan club, the Blast Fiends, they have a Facebook group that really focused on collecting Black Dahlia stuff, vinyl variants and they are just total hounds for the record! So some of those guys showed up and bought a lot of copies and they are like our unofficial street team and they have really pulled for us so we could hit the charts hard, and we made some waves in the press because of it. Even during this pandemic we are able to make waves so that’s pretty cool.

DJ: Got any words for the Blast Fiends while you’re here?

TS: Thanks a lot guys, we really appreciate it. We do this for you guys and you are a huge part of it and we have yet another victory for the Black Dahlia campaign!

DJ: (still panicking like a schoolgirl but much less obviously now): “Verminous” – The title gave me the impression you were trying to evoke the seedy underbelly of life in general. Do you want to expand on this? Are we (the metal kids and the alternative people) the kind that are creeping out of the sewers to terrify the norms?

TS: Yes, that’s how I see it, man. The world on the album cover is sort of a metaphor for our place underground, literally underground. I look at metal, and especially death metal as this kind of hidden world, a secret that most people can’t see. They can’t see the value of it, they can’t see the culture of it and they can’t see the positivity of our scene, and how it’s like our lives and it’s so important to us and it’s a secret, a hidden world and it’s a plague we’re spreading, like a plague of knowledge and an awareness, an awakening to this world of freedom from religion, creativity, free thought and unfiltered art. I mean, death metal is not made for everybody – it’s made for a select few and it’s a labour of love. If we had any delusions of trying to become rich or hugely famous we would have been a totally different kind of band. It’s an act of love and something we pride ourselves on making this music and staying extreme. This is the culmination of years of hard work, trial and error when writing in the past and I feel like we are an older, wiser band right now but also that we are still young with regard to how creative we can be. I feel like this is the opening of a new chapter where we can be more creative as a band. We’ve been together for twenty years now of history with the band, but I still feel we have another 20 years. I can’t see us doing anything else. It’s been my entire life, this band, we’ve gone so hard in one direction and Brian especially, being the other original member, and we have to just see this through. We have to keep going and I feel honoured that people have stuck around and we have had so much success and that’s a big inspiration to make our music as good as we can and to keep our fans happy. It’s a never ending thing, man, and it keeps snowballing out of control, the success of this thing and we have to honour the initial opportunity Metal Blade (record label) gave us and just push it to the hilt.

DJ: (gotta hit those clichés!): Do you view “Verminous” as your “Reign In Blood moment”, or is it more your “Show No Mercy” moment and you are going to grow bigger and more expansive?

TS: (to his eternal credit, NOT rolling his eyes at the demented Englishman): I kinda see “Nightbringers” as more like “Reign In Blood”. It was more of an attack, attack all the time record with a lot of information crammed into it. More of a barrage, if you know what I mean. “Verminous” is more a “South Of Heaven”, where it has a lot more variety and is more dynamic. It still has its fast parts, but it’s much more like us opening our doors, spreading our wings and using this dynamic energy. We wanted the album to feel less samey and have real variety in the songs and let the songs stand out as their own entity. We tried to make the compositions more epic, this time around, definitely less intensity at times, perhaps some buildup, to have some tension, release and to have the chance to really emote this time round. We have a lot of melancholic songs that are gripping on that level and trying to be a more emotive package as a whole and really trying to elicit a response from the listener.

DJ: (now having calmed down somewhat and actually doing what he’s supposed to): Songwriting techniques – how do you go about it? Do ideas spring from a single riff, or a lyrical idea, or a title idea? How does The Black Dahlia Murder work as a musical entity?

TS: The lyrics come second. I’ll have a list of some ideas that I kick around but for the most part I’m reacting to what I hear in a song. Either guitar player will demo the song in ProTools and by the time I hear it, it has both guitars, it has bass and it has programmed drums that sound pretty good. Then our drummer rewrites the drums hit for hit what will end up on the album and then I’ll start writing with it. I’ll sit with it, I’ll listen to it a gazillion times in my fucking underwear and really it’s a challenge to me and something I look forward to. Listening to the song a million times and then plotting how the plotline is going to go up and down with the music. I try to make the story fit every moment of the music and it is a challenge to write in those confines but it’s also very cool when it all comes together. I try to make the lyrical climax come with the musical climax so it makes this bigger picture. I really care about the lyrics and it’s not just something I scribble down but I try to bring somebody in. I try to make the listener go to a different place or imagine a different character. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a hell of a challenge though. The rest of the guys pretty much write in solitude, either guitar player and it’s been this way for a long time now since we had members living out of state and we are pretty used to being spread out – there’s a lot of WhatsApp group texts that we talk to each other through, emails with ProTools files and we are used to this way of working now. Before we all used to write together in one room at band practice, but now we don’t have a traditional band practice anymore. We will get together before a tour all in the same spot and freshen up on things for a couple of days but now we rely on everyone looking after their own upkeep at home and keep their chops up on their own time and that’s a big responsibility but it’s just how this thing works now. The creative process is something I look forward to – every time I come back to it I’m excited to see where the band is musically and with every record there’s a big jump with creativity and I think the guys absorb a lot of information during three years of touring. We play a lot of music to each other, we play a lot of shows, see a lot of bands, so even though we are cranking out these records at a fairly alarming rate, there is a lot of growth between records and this is the most growth we have had between albums and a lot of it has come from “Nightbringers’ ” success. I’m looking forward to the future man. I see us pushing the boundaries further in the future.

DJ: I’m looking forward to seeing you tour in the UK as soon as this virus is done with. You’re going to be hungry. I expect you’ll be tearing my face off…

TS: There’s talk about maybe January for Europe and the UK. I think it might be our first tour back, but I’m not sure just yet.

DJ (who actually really does need to visit the lavatory at this point such is the relief of ending this extremely stressful experience): How different is Trevor Strnad, mad bastard throat with The Black Dahlia Murder, to Trevor Strnad sitting peacefully at home?

TS: I dunno man. I don’t really feel that I have two faces. I feel like I’m the same person here too (at home). A fun, easygoing metalhead. A lot of my life revolves around music, you know, collecting music and being a hound for the underground and checking out new bands and checking the scene… getting metal in the mail every day… I don’t look at what I do with The Black Dahlia Murder as a job, that’s an insult to it I think, it’s so fun. It is hard too, there’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hardships. Tours are largely very boring – there’s a lot of waiting around and shitty travel situations and you can liken it to camping at times. It’s not really glamorous and a lot of people don’t really think about or see the amount of work that it entails. I basically gave up my entire life to do this and I love it, I love staying in touch with the underground and it fuels my passion for The Black Dahlia Murder. I’m pretty much the same guy behind the scenes, you know, a big metal nerd!

DJ: Maybe a slightly quieter one than on stage…

TS: A little more reserved. There is a dark part and it’s a release for me to be on that stage and embodying the demonic characters that I have conjured up. Getting into that villain role – I feel that death metal is villain music and we’re the villains to societal norms and religion and it’s all about celebrating freedom, celebrating the underground and the friendship and the culture that’s there and there’s so much positivity there for “negative” music. I think people give us a bad rap, man.

DJ: Thank you, Sir Trevor of Strnad, for putting up with me barking drunken questions at you and basically flailing desperately to appear like I know what I’m doing… You fucking legend.

TS: Thanks a lot, man, it was fun. Take care.

And that’s fucking that. If you need me, I’ll be in a darkened room with an IV of absinthe and 24 nubile young virgins. Knock before you enter, otherwise it’s at your own risk.

Buy “Verminous”. It’s awesome. And so is Trevor Strnad.

“Verminous” by The Black Dahlia Murder was released by Metal Blade Records on 17.04.2020.


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala
By Victor Augusto

Hi everyone, it’s Rick,

Our man in Brazil, Victor, recently got the chance to interview Brazilian Thrash Metallers Kamala! It’s about time that some of these hardworking and very professional bands got a chance to shine outside of their homeland, and in Kamala’s case, Mainland Europe is starting to take notice. I shall now hand you over to Victor and would like to thank, not only him, but Raphael and Isabela for this interview

Keeping a Heavy Metal band alive demands a lot of work and struggle, especially in countries where this genre is not a popular one, and this work in very honorable. Against all the odds, Brazilian Thrash Metal band Kamala, after 17 years on road, has been growing fast in the last few years, especially in Europe. Their singer/guitarist Raphael Olmos, along with drummer Isabela Moraes, explain how they conquered it and the next step for their upcoming album.

Victor: Please. Introduce yourself and tell us when you started to play your instruments and what made you want to create Kamala.

Isabela: Hi, I am Isabela Moraes, drummer for almost 14 years. I have loved this instrument since childhood, because I have a cousin that plays drums too, but I started to learn properly at 15 years old, when my older sister gave me my first drumsticks.

Raphael: Hey, I am Raphael Olmos, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of Kamala.

I started to play when I was 13 years old, after watch the VHS “…a year and a half” by Metallica, I knew that I wanted to be a professional musician when I was 15/16 years old.

And I created Kamala when I was 18 years old…to make the music and the band that I wanted to listen to as a metalhead.

Victor: Since the early days, Kamala showed a different concept, when playing Thrash Metal. The Oriental visuals and sounds have been present in your music since that time. Why did you create this concept for the band?

Raphael: Kamala was born in 2003, and when I created, I wanted to make a band that mixed the heaviness and the energy of metal, with beautiful oriental visuals and melodies…and positive lyrics.

The world is already too negative, and as an artist, when we release a song or an album, we have the responsibility for each person that is connected with the band… I am not talking about religion but, for me, the oriental culture influence is more about the energy stuff, and it is really something that I admire.

Victor: In 2012, Kamala released the third, and the bands last album, with two guitar players in the line-up, “The Seven Deadly Chakras”, and since “Mantra” album (2015); you are in a trio formation. What has been the biggest change in Kamala’s sonority?

Raphael: The biggest change for me, is the way we turned more thrash metal, and more organic. The string tuning turned from drop B to drop D, and the riffs was more ‘IN YOUR FACE! As a trio, we wanted to create something that we can play live, so we need to be better musicians and explore within ourselves the most intricate (that is possible to us) playing, whilst maintaining a strong presence on stage.

Victor: It is rare to find underground bands really fighting to be professional or that want to have a life on road. It demands that the members give up their regular jobs, and live far from family and friends, and you have been on this path since 2014, when the line-up changed to a power trio. How hard was it to find people like Allan Malavasi and Isabela Moraes that had the same desire to make Kamala a famous band?

Raphael: We still have side jobs, but the main point is the band, because the band is getting bigger and bigger, and we need to make more international tours, for example, to spend more time on the road…and a band like us, needs to have all the members with the same objective, to make that happen. Many people wish to live by playing music, but they don’t live for the music, you know. Playing well, is the minimum thing to have as a professional band, but there are many others points to look out for when you share your time and energy with other musicians.

Victor: Kamala has been touring a lot in Europe since the “Mantra” album. Nowadays, you often have more concerts scheduled in Europe than in Brazil. How did the band conquer this space in Europe?

Isabela: I think this happens because we have frequent release of new material, so this creates some expectations to watch the band in action and this opens some doors to showcase our work. We always try to be the most professional that we can in all stages of our jobs within the band. For example, on every tour, we make a specific set-list presentation for every single gig, all the things that we need to speak and songs that we will play in a 40 min, 60 min or 90 min set. We try to be always prepared for any situation on stage…

Victor: From all the countries you play in Europe, France is the one that has showed a true passion for the band. I remember in 2018, when you released your last studio album “Eyes of Creation”, some journalists, who were working at Hellfest, said that they lost the count of how many people they saw wearing Kamala t-shirts in the crowd. Do you know why Kamala became so huge in France?

Raphael: Yeahhh, this is fucking amazing! No, we never expected to be so big in France, and on our first European tour, in 2013, the crowd was a little “cold”…but we returned in 2015 and, since then, we fell in love with France and the French people with our art! Every European tour, we play in France, and in 2016 we made a full French tour…playing every type of gig that you can imagine, and the energy is always AWESOME!

Victor: Recently, some endorsements have appeared and you, Raphael, have become part of the Solar guitars (Sweden) and Evertune (USA) family. How did it happen, and do you think the fact that the band has been playing a lot outside of Brazil helped with the endorsement deals?

Raphael: For sure, being in a Brazilian band, that is constantly touring outside Brazil, helped to open the “eyes and ears” of both brands.

So, besides really good visual stuff, a band with a lot of shows per year and good social media numbers is important and all those points I think were important to brands that I dreamed of and loved. It turns out that these are the brands that trust and believe in my art and work. It is something that I’m really proud of it!

Victor: Kamala has recently released its first live album called “Live in France”. You recorded this during the last Kamala’s show of the sixth European tour, in October of last year and released it in December, just 2 months after the show. How did you decide on that and how was the process to record it?

Isabela: Actually, we didn’t know that we would be recorded, we just knew that the owner of the venue planned to make a live broadcast of our concert on Facebook.

And we were really tight because it was our last gig on this tour. We played and when we were done, he told us that he had recorded our performance in multitrack…It was a big surprise for all of us when we listened. The sound was amazing and in that same moment, we decided to use this material!

Victor: The band has already started the process of recording the new album. What could we expect from the music on this album and when will you release it?

Isabela: The new album is done and ready. Now, with this pandemic situation, we are waiting for a better moment to release, but the album is really beautiful, and the songs are powerful, with intense lyrics, heavy riffs and too much groove. We loved the result and we are extremely excited to show it to all of you.

Victor: I have to say, it is so impressive how Kamala have become so huge in Brazil and in Europe without any label support. Everything you do is independent. Pure work! Do you feel that now is the right time to have one big label help you reach the next level, for example playing European festivals?

Raphael: Yes…a loooooooot of work! And for sure, we feel that we are ready for this next level, to sign with a good international label, play in summer European festivals and make full tours supporting bigger bands. We have lived all the tests through these years, and we know that with a label, the KAMALA name will become bigger and bigger, because a label searches for a band that can be on the road many days/months per year, to promote the releases, and we work a lot for this too!

Victor: Thanks a lot, and please use this space to leave a message.

Isabela: Thanks, one more time, for all the support and opportunity. It is always a pleasure to be part of this. Thanks to all the fans around the world, who have followed us all these years. Stay at home, be safe and healthy. Soon we will be together to bang our heads!!

Raphael Olmos – Vocals and Guitar
Allan Malavasi – Vocals and bass
Isabela Moraes – Drums


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate
By Tammy Lomax

Hi Everyone, Rick Here,

In the underground extreme music scene Irish Deathgrind outfit Abaddon Incarnate could be considered a seminal band within the genre. They’ve been around for over 25 years now but there have been some interesting developments of late. Our very own Tammy recently got the chance to have a chat with Drummer Olan and Guitarist Steve about not only these, but also the bands history!

Tammy: Firstly, congratulations on the recent news with being signed to Transcending Obscurity Records for a multiple album deal. How are you feeling about this? And what will this entail for 2020 and the future?

Olan: Thank you, Tammy; yeah it is great news and great timing. We were planning to record in 2020 anyway but now to have an official platform through which we can release it is amazing. I have known of TO records for a long time and always admired Kunal’s drive and his dedication to real underground bands and really heavy stuff too, almost like the Indian Relapse Records. So, in June we are heading to Foel Studios to record with Chris Fielding which is awesome. I have worked with Chris several times now. He is just great, a thorough professional and just gets heavy dirty music. He has good history with Irish bands too having recorded with both Primordial and Mourning Beloveth. With regard to the future, who knows, Abaddon have always been an unknown quantity, but history has shown that we ‘do not go gentle into the good night’ so I would expect something ferocious for full length no 6.

Tammy: Kunal Chokski (owner of TO records) mentions that he has been a huge fan of Abaddon Incarnate since the release of “Nadir” in 2001. What is your favourite track on this album and why? And can you guide us through the process of how you wrote the album?

Olan: Ha heavy question; I of course have several! I’m going to pick two if I may? Opener ‘I Will Nail You In’ has got to be up there. It’s just relentless from start to finish and the lyrics match, just full on without being overly graphic, but full of genuine vitriol. Ironically the title came about from a joke which I will tell you in person one day. It’s still a staple in the live set, our ‘Angel Of Death’ if you will. I also love ‘Unclean’ I think as a contrast it is a bit more mid paced but with a real groovy middle 8 but it literally is unclean, it feels it, it’s a filthy song, again the subject matter is quite dark! I wrote the lyrics for this one, and I love exploring the blackness within humans and the depravity that we are capable of.

The writing of “Nadir”, once it got underway happened quite quickly. We actually had about 10 tracks written for an album and thought we were almost there with the process. It felt strained and not very natural though, we hadn’t quite crossed the line into Grindcore at this stage but we were all getting into more extreme stuff, I was really loving Brutal Truth’s, Extreme Conditions and Need To Control, and we were all getting into Nasum circa Inhale Exhale and Human 2.0. So, one rehearsal Bill came in with the main riff for ‘I Will Nail You In’ and that was it, game changer. We scrapped the whole album and started re-writing and it was Deathgrind from then on. And due to the Nasum influence we asked Mieszko (RIP) would he be interested in working with us and the rest is history. “Nadir” was recorded over 2 weeks or so in his studio in Sweden.

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate have been going for 25 years. As you might expect, during this time, some members have come, gone and returned. What inspires you to keep motivated regardless of setbacks?

Steve: I’m pretty stubborn, so setbacks motivate me. It’s sad to lose old members but people move on, the exciting part is when you get a new line-up; you get new ideas and energy!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate were the first extreme Irish band to play in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. What advice and tips can you give to up and coming bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Steve: We were approached by South American promoters “Guts n Blood”. He did a magazine feature and the tour arose from that. Similar to our first Australian tour! If you want to get your name out there you need good distribution and good PR. Labels will do PR work but sometimes it’s worth investing in a bit more PR. We have a few individuals who do good work for us.

Tammy: You guys have had some huge achievements, like supporting massive bands Obituary, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower etc…What has been the most memorable and rewarding so far?

Steve: Playing with all these bands is great. But the most memorable gigs are the DIY tours we headline ourselves like the Australian, South American or Russian tours we did.

Tammy: What is the most Bizarre thing that has happened on stage on a tour?

Olan: I can only speak for myself here of course but there have been a few. One gig, years ago, a guy jumped up on stage, smashed a beer glass and started cutting himself while we were playing. I also remember a gig in the Czech Republic at this small bar in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived there was no one about. No cars, chickens running around…all very weird. But come gig time people came from all over and filled the place. We had this support band and they had this dude playing guitar who had lost his arms and legs when he got run over by a train. He had this little rig fashioned where he had his plectrum attached to his stump, and he played with that…amazing! That place had some of the weirdest coloured drinks I’ve ever seen. But probably the most memorable bizarre thing for me was on that same tour. Not on stage however, but we were out with Desecration and this was towards the end of this tour. We had decided to stay in a hotel after this gig; it might even have been the last show. But we finished late, like midnight or 1am and we went back to this Hotel. It was all locked up but there was a cellar bar open there so down we went. The barman was sitting on this couch with this topless girl and watching porn, drinking a bottle of champagne. He was a very friendly chap though and brought us over a bottle of Absinthe, genuine Absinthe. I don’t think any of us had had the real shit before, but we got stuck into it. After whatever amount of time, the door burst open and these two rather large policemen barged in, guns and all, and next thing we were all up against the wall getting searched as they were roaring at the barman. But I’ll never forget just looking at the guys and everyone was pissing themselves laughing, it was so surreal, none of us had I.D. on us…nothing, it could have been a really serious situation but at the time it was the funniest thing ever. Thankfully they just kicked us out and we went to our room. I haven’t had any Absinthe since that night!!

Tammy: With some help and guidance from Zero Tolerance Magazine, in 2013, you made your stamp in Australia and have set up tours like ‘The Drunks and Convicts Tour 2017’ and a vast amount of others. Can you explain the pros and cons regarding the Australian underground scene and if there are any similarities to any of the other countries you’ve played?

Steve: I love Australia. The bands over there are quality and the scene is pretty awesome especially in places like Melbourne! We play a lot of small shows over there too but in Melbourne we always manage to do at least two gigs and get a sizeable crowd. The last tour we did there for example we did 3 Melbourne gigs in 2 weeks. Melbourne is an arty creative place. Australia is really unlike anywhere else. There is a unique vibe to the place.

Tammy: London Deathfest, Dublin Deathfest and headlining Carnage Festival in Switzerland are amongst some of the festivals you have previously played. What festivals would you like to play in the future?

Olan: I guess any of the big ones have to be on the list. Hellfest or Wacken would be awesome. Personally, I would love to get to Maryland Deathfest. But also, festivals like Fuck The Commerce and Obscene Extreme are just brilliant for showcasing the filthiest bands on the planet. But it’s important to support smaller festivals as they will be the festivals of the future. Metaldays in Slovenia for example! That is definitely one of the better new festivals. Great country too!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate was reformed from thrash legends Bereaved. What were the reasons for you changing the name and who made the decision?

Olan: I think it was mainly due to the change of direction, musically. We felt that the name Bereaved, while a cool name, didn’t suit the heavier, more aggressive direction the band was headed in. So, I think the decision was a collective one. We had several variations but eventually settled on Abaddon Incarnate. It suited our themes and mind-set at the time. Lyrically things have moved on, but the basic ideologies and motivations are the same. I still quite like the original logo which I designed (I use that word loosely) I can still remember the 30 or so attempts over a couple of days to get it to what it is now, Brutal Truth’s logo was the inspiration. I can still remember bringing it to rehearsals for approval, and Steve saying, “it looks like a coffee stain”, but they must have liked it because we still use it today.

Tammy: If you could all select one Icon to invite over for a good few beers and fine dining who would it be and why?

Olan: Well unfortunately, I can only speak for myself here. I would love to sit drink and talk with Reinhold Messner. Many people will know that he was the first mountaineer to summit all fourteen 8000 metre peaks and the first to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen as well as the first solo summit of Everest, the list goes on. It is an incredible feat today but absolutely unthinkable back in the days that he did it. He has written over 80 books and runs a mountaineering museum in the South Tyrol. I just think he would be fascinating to talk to. However, I could be wrong. Maybe he is sick of talking about mountains and would just want to get pissed. But that in itself would be a cool story!

Rick here again;

I’d like to thank Tammy, Olan and Steve for the interview and I, for one, cannot wait to hear the new album when it is ready. If you want to find out more about Abaddon Incarnate then click on the links below




Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Roadrash


Interview With Roadrash by Arturs Feists

Local speed metal band Roadrash (RR) from Vancouver, BC, Canada just have announced Limited-Edition Self-Titled 7” Vinyl LP.  Ever Metal had the privilege to ask few questions to the band.

Ever Metal: First, congrats on new LP record. Wondering, will this record make all posers scream and yell?

RR: Thank you! Our brand new 7” inch record can be played on your turntable but can also be used to decapitate posers before they even get a breath. Poser don’t know THE DEAL & they never will!

Ever Metal: To embarrass posers even more, can we anticipate a full length and full strength speed metal album soon?

RR: We’ve been buckled down at Speed Metal HQ working on new material. The Hammer our primary songwriter is brewing a batch poser poison that will be sure to leave them red, raw & bleeding.

Ever Metal: Roadrash history – what happened for a speed metal band come to life in Vancouver, BC, Canada? Was it an accident or intentional action?

RR: Roadrash was an evolution of several projects & members. The core has been established now & will stop at nothing to bring legitimacy back to a dying scene. This is no accident, it’s malicious intent.

Ever Metal: Roadrash, as ambassadors of the Canadian speed metal, will travel to Sweden later this year -for Muskelrock 2020 on May 28. Besides that, any shows coming up outside the Canada/North America?

RR: We’re working on some dates around the festival but everything is up in the air right now. Once the plan is in place heavy maniacs far & wide will know!

Ever Metal: Your collaboration with the Metal Assault Records – how did it start?

RR: Metal Assault records is a Californian based label. They’re just getting their stick on the ice & we’re very excited to work with a fresh company. When we recorded these songs last year I knew they needed to be given to the proper channels. Metal Assault is an established brand already worldwide (created by metal maniac Andrew Bansal) & along with his partner Sebastian Vazquez they’ve committed to bring heavy sounds to the masses – they were an obvious choice.

Ever Metal: Anything else Ever Metal Magazine readers should know about Roadrash?

RR: We are coming for you all! You will know the DEAL!

Order your RR record here:

ROADRASH Limited-Edition Self-Titled 7″ Vinyl EP (Pre-Order)



Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Arturs Feists and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQs with Aspherium


EMQs with Aspherium

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQs interview with Aspherium. Huge thanks to guitarist, Marius for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hey! My name is Marius, I play guitar and sing in the progressive death metal band Aspherium. We started out in 2007, and have released three albums. The latest one The Embers of Eternity which just recently was released!

How did you come up with your band name?

The name just appeared when trying to figure out a band name. I was trying to combine different words and finding something cool, and somehow I ended up with Aspherium. We thought it sounded nice, and it wasn’t taken by anybody else since we just made it up!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We are from Norway, and as is well known around the world, black metal is a pretty major thing here. But Norway has a lot of great bands in most genres. We have played with so many great Norwegian bands, and we have made really good friends in the Norwegian metal scene.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We recently released out third album The Embers of Eternity! It’s a concept album where our planet has ended up in a pretty dystopian future. The whole albums flows as a cohesive piece, and we are super proud of this album. It has everything from death and black metal sections to acoustic guitars and even a synth solo. We blend a lot of different elements together, but we work really hard on the arrangements and how well everything flows together naturally.

Who have been your greatest influences?

I’d say band like Metallica, Opeth, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Pantera, Nile and Meshuggah. I don’t think we sound a lot like those bands, but those bands helped shape us as musicians, and have definitely influenced how we write and play.

What first got you into music?

I’ve always loved music ever since I was a kid, and that love just kept growing as I got older. I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was 9, and tried that for a while, but it didn’t really stick. But when I got into Metallica at age 11, I knew I needed a guitar, and from that point it has been a major part of my life.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

It would be amazing to do something with Devin Townsend, if we could get him to something really brutal and epic that would be awesome. Also it would be fantastic to do something with Marty O’Donnell who used to work for Bungie and who did the Halo soundtracks. He and Halo in general has been huge inspirations for us, so that would be perfect.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

It would be really cool to do something huge like Rock in Rio, Download festival or Wacken. We have played a few festivals in Norway, but never at the big stage and at a good time slot, so to have the opportunity to play for such a huge crowd would really get our music in front of so many new potential fans, it would be amazing.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We haven’t really received anything weird. I think alcohol is the one we get, and that’s just appreciated!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

I just want to let them know how much we appreciate that they take the time to listen to our music and help spread the word a out the band. And the people who buy music and merch, we can’t thank you enough!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I think it would have to be Dimebag. That’s the one that affected me the most. Dimebag and Pantera were huge inspirations when I was getting into metal and learning to play guitar. If Dime never died, I think Pantera definitely would have gotten back together and made more great music.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

The most enjoyable is the journey that you take with the music. From creating it, to recording it and then finally playing it live. It’s so cool to create something from nothing and then end up playing it live for people who love it.

What I hate is working really hard and spending countless hours working, only to end up with nothing. Not in regards to writing music, this is more the business and industry side of things.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The most obvious thing would be that bands would actually get paid decently on streaming services.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Opeth – Still Life. Pretty close to a perfect album! The songs are amazing, very intricate, but also brutal and beautiful. I really dig the concept, and everything on the album works so well together to create this amazing musical journey.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl for the experience! I feel like you appreciate it more when you have a physical part to relate to. You put the album on and look at the artwork when you listen. And you can’t just skip to another song, or any other artist in the world for that matter… You have to get up and flip to the b side. I really love the whole experience. That said, I love the convenience of streaming. I stream music every day when I’m out walking and doing stuff. It’s a great way to check out, and find new artists. And extremely easy access to pretty much all the music you can think of.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

The one that comes to mind first is Paris a few years ago in a fairly small club. We won the crowd over and they went crazy with crowd surfing and stuff. It was very cool to see how they went from “Who the f are these guys? ” to “This is amazing!” in just a few minutes.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist, so maybe that? More likely I would probably make video games, music videos or maybe photography.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Gordon Ramsay can make the food, Mikael Åkerfeldt can play acoustic guitar to set the mood and then James Hetfield, Robb Flynn and Devin Townsend can tell stories from the road.

What’s next for the band?

Right now we are waiting for our drummer to get done with some surgeries on his hands. So we will be back on the road next year. We are working on promoting the new album, so since we can’t play live right now we are trying to more online stuff, like interviews like this one 😉 We will also try to make more video content to promote the music. So tell your local promoters that you want Aspherium to come to your town next year!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We are on most social media platforms, but Facebook and Instagram are probably the main ones. And Spotify for the music streaming.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa Cakes are clearly biscuits designed to infiltrate the cake community, and try to convert them to biscuiteers. It worked for a while, but growth has stagnated somewhat the last few years.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you take the time to listen to our new album The Embers of Eternity! Be sure to let us know what you think on social media!






Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQs with Acid Reign


EMQs with Acid Reign

Hi everyone. Welcome to our new EMQs interview with Acid Reign. Huge thanks to vocalist Howard H Smith for taking park!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Howard H Smith and I am vocalist with UK thrash band Acid Reign. We go back to the 80’s so history available here   It’s too much to type! 😊

How did you come up with your band name?

Bass player came up with it.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

England. All good thanks, thriving.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

New album “The Age Of Entitlement” was out on September 27th 2019.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Fish from Marillion.

What first got you into music?

Marillion made me fall in love with music. I already liked music but they were my first love.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

We are collaborating with one of my favourite artists Suzanne Vega on our new album.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Goodwood Festival of Speed, some of the most awesome cars you will ever see all gathered in one place. Heaven.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A handmade Acid Reign lighter for my 47th birthday in Almera Spain.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

See you out on the road!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Dave Mustaine. Too soon?

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Performing live and creating new music. People moaning on social media because bands do not plan their careers/tours/releases around THEIR wishes. Hence The Age Of Entitlement”.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Festivals/venues taking a percentage of merch sales.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Reign In Fucking Blood!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s for the car, Vinyl for the house and Downloads on the move.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Bloodstock 2015, hands down the best show this band has EVER played.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I have been a stand-up comedian for 25 years and still am!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Mohammed Ali, Gore Vidal, Bill Hicks, Salvador Dali and Jeff Hanneman

What’s next for the band?

Touring our first album for 29 years, festivals and all that good stuff.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Here you go:

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s a biscuit! You can tell by the shape and size, it’s a cake in name only.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for the support and to all of you reading this. It feels great to be back with a new album after all these years. If you haven’t heard it please seek out The Age Of Entitlement I promise it’s not shit! 😊

Thanks that was a lot of fun with some cool and unique questions.


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.


EMQ’s with Forged In Black


EMQ’s with Forged In Black

Hi everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Forged In Black. Huge thanks to vocalist Stoz for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi guys, Stoz here lead singer of Forged in Black. We’ve been forging away creating our style of British Heavy Metal for 10 years now, since schoolboys Kieron Rochester and Andy Songhurst started the band. Our members are Kev on drums, Bone on guitar, Andy on lead guitar and Kieron on bass. We’ve just celebrated our 10th anniversary with a home town show in Southend on sea Essex to finish the decade in style.

How did you come up with your band name?

Originally the band was named “Merciless Fail” by Kieron and Andy. In 2013 we felt the name wasn’t as strong as the band were becoming so we changed it to our most anthemic song title from our first release “Forged In Black”.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are all from Southend-On-Sea in England. Nationally, we believe the metal is strong in the veins of our Country men and women, and there are so many fantastic bands about. With festivals such as Bloodstock giving smaller bands opportunities it is opening the local scenes up to exposure that just wouldn’t be there without them, due to venue closures.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

This year we released our second album “Descent of the Serpent” produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon) and released via Fighter Records. It’s released worldwide via all streaming site and our website. We have a couple of music videos up if you check out our Youtube and Facebook

Who have been your greatest influences?

All 5 of us have our own favourite styles, artists and genres. To name a few of them collectively I’d say, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, Pantera and some Death metal thrown in there for Bone.

What first got you into music?

My mother has always had love for music, so I grew up with the Beatles, Doors and everyone during 60’s-80’s blasting out on the car radio or on in the house.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

We recently opened up for the Three Tremors at a show in London, so we’d love Tim Ripper Owens to jump on a track in the future. That would work great and he’s such a fantastic singer. I’ve been a big fan for years.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

To be honest we’d like to play them all!! They are great fun and the fans are there for one reason and that’s to bang their heads to Metal.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I can’t think of any weird ones.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We love you and thank you for supporting us for the last 10 years. See you in 2020 for bigger and better things.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

For me it would 100% have to be the master, Ronnie James Dio. To talk to him about all his creative and magical ways.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

It has to be playing live, the energy of that and the execution of our performance in front of great people all there to rock. Hate, it would have to be the long drives.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Bigger pay-outs from streaming sites.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Candlemass – I love the doom, the songs and the singing by Johan Langquist. I always have a copy in the car.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I think I prefer CDs. It comes with artwork you can behold and admire, lyrics or information inside. So for me, yes CDs. Until I leave them laying around and break them.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

This year we headlined the Serpents lair VIP stage at Bloodstock, so that’s the best so far and this year. Great fun and a great festival.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We all have day jobs, so I guess we’d just be doing them with a large Forged in Black hole in our lives.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Kev, Andy, Bone, Kieron and James Hetfield, that would be interesting.

What’s next for the band?

Up next for us as we storm into 2020, is a lot of social media behind the scenes bits and bobs. As we release new gig dates, record more music videos for tracks off “Descent of the Serpent” and continue writing album number 3! So make sure you are on our Facebook, Instagram and twitter pages for great new content.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can check us out on our website with links to all social media and online stores.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Clues in the title for me, a cake and not on my shopping list.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for your questions and we hope to speak more in 2020.



Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.


Calendar cover


We recently approached Kiara Laetitia, former vocalist with Italian power metal band Skylark, to do a feature about her new book and calendar, which were released at the beginning of December.

Here is our interview with the lady herself:

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Kiara. How are you today?

KIARA: I’m great! How are you?

So, you have a new book out titled “Never Give Up – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” – how is that being received so far by both readers and critics?

KIARA: Actually, pretty good! Especially by musicians who found it really insightful and honest. I’m happy cause they really grasped the essence of this book, as my intent was to be very straightforward. “NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” is not a manual for success, no-one can teach you that. This book is rather a checklist of the fundamental topics every musician should know to start a career in today’s music business. I also interviewed several musicians to hear their thoughts about the new music business, so I sat down with members from Ministry, Powerman 5000, Delain, Lordi (and more), but also managers and booking agents.

“NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” could have easily be 500 pages long  and it’s not, because I wanted it to be accessible to as many people as possible. So, for these reasons, this book isn’t omni-comprehensive, which is why I decided to also share advice on YouTube and social media starting on January.

What made you write the book in the first place?

KIARA: Many reasons. The first being that I wish I had someone be this straightforward to me when I started out. I wish I had known all of this about the music industry. I had to learn it the hard way, by making mistakes, and failing. The second reason and what really pushed me to write this book was a couple of specific experiences as a label owner and coach who made me realize that many musicians have little knowledge of the music industry and how things work out. This makes the relationship between the industry and musicians very complicated. I’d like to share my experience, my mistakes and give insights on an industry that has been inaccurately portrayed by TV and movies.

It’s definitely a good thing that you are offering advice to new musicians. Do you wish you had this sort of reference when you were first starting out?

KIARA: Yes exactly. These days there are many books on the music industry, even though I haven’t found a single book that talks about buy-on, for instance. I didn’t start that long ago, but back in 2002/03 there was no information and the people around me didn’t offer any type of advice. At the same time, I’m glad I learned things through trial and error, because it made me who I am today. With my book, I would like to start making a change in the mentality around the music industry and offer practical help.

Where can readers get a copy of the book (and the calendar)?

KIARA: For now, they’re both available through my online shop. The book has both e-book and hard copy version. It can all be found here:

Part of the profits of the book (and the calendar, which we will talk about in a mo.) are going towards Mental Health Illnesses. What made you choose this charity?

KIARA: In the past several years, I’ve been very vocal and active about mental health awareness. The reason is that I’m a mental illness survivor myself. I started suffering of panic attacks when I was 19, which then led to depression, and they went on and off for quite some time. It was in 2014 that I finally took action and worked on myself and taking care of my mental health. You see, we all talk about physical health, if we break an arm we go to the doctor and have it fixed, but we pay little to no attention to our mental health, to the point that, if we get mentally sick, we’re called crazy and don’t seek the help of a doctor. This stigma must finish. Our mental health is as important as our physical health and it should be treated as such! People who never dealt with mental illness think that those who have or had a mental illness are weak, while it’s actually quite the opposite. Those suffering of depression or panic attacks are actually some of the strongest people I know, as it takes a lot of strength and willpower to even get out of bed every single morning. My intention is to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and finding a way to offer financial help to those who cannot afford a psychologist or proper medication.

Mental health issues are definitely at an all-time high, aren’t they? We all need to do what we can to raise awareness.

KIARA: I think mental illnesses have always been there. Simply, like a century or even fifty years ago, people wouldn’t talk about it and would die for unknown causes. If we read certain poets and writers, we can totally see they were heavily depressed. There wasn’t awareness back then, and there was a lot of shame surrounding this topic: people were just called crazy. Shame is still there nowadays, but it’s getting better and luckily more and more people from the entertainment industry are being vocal about it, so other people don’t feel ashamed in saying. “Hey I’m bulimic! Or I’m depressed! I need help.”

Along with the book, you have also released a calendar. Where did the idea come for that?

KIARA: I’ve been wanting to do a calendar for a few years now. In the summer, I was going through some ideas on how to visually represent the book, represent a strong woman in the music industry, represent the idea of not giving up…and I though the calendar could be a great idea. All the pictures in the calendar give a sense of strength and passion, which is one of the concepts present in my book “NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry”.

You’ve modelled for a few big names. Is modelling something you would get back into?

KIARA: I have. Would I model again? Well, I’ve done it for the calendar. I guess if a cause or brand I believe in would ask I’d definitely do it, but working again as a full-time pro model I’d say no.

Do you have any plans in the pipeline for the music side of things or are you concentrating on the book and calendar at the moment?

KIARA: I released a cover version of “The Power Of Love” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) for Christmas, a duet with Sonny Ensabella from Queenmania. In 2020, I’ll focus more on new songs and have something released musically speaking. But 2020, will also see me promote my book.

I know we are not supposed to mention a lady’s age, but you turned 40 this year. Do you have any plans of slowing down or will you just keep going with all your endeavours?

KIARA: Then don’t mention it!!! Hahaha! Why should I slow down? I don’t feel 40, so age is just a number: I know several 20-year-olds that look and think much older than a 60-year-old! Our age is more dictated by the way we feel, how we treat our body, what we eat, our lifestyle. I know that a woman past the age of 30 is considered damaged goods in the music business, but luckily more and more women are setting an example and are showing the world that age is just a number and that women kick ass despite their age! Look at Cristina Scabbia (47), Tarja Turunen (42), Sharon Den Adel (45), Doro Pesch (55), they’re all past their 40s and they still rock the world (and will continue to do so for many years!!!). So, I have every intention of joining my fellow metal ladies in setting an example and kicking some asses for a bit longer…

As a woman the wrong side of 40 myself, I am quite in awe of everything you do and have achieved. Do you consider yourself a bit of a role model and do you have any advice for women of a certain age looking to fulfil their dreams?

KIARA: First of all, thank you! I think that the main point we should consider is the wording “a certain age”. As a linguist, I do pay a lot of attention to words… Have you noticed that people say “a certain age” referring to women but it’s less used for men? We still live in a world that pays too much attention to a woman’s age; when a woman is not in her 20s anymore, she gets old while men become interesting. This is absolutely wrong and sexist from our society. I don’t consider myself as a role model but I definitely wanna tell all the women out there to fulfil their dreams, to change career if they want to, even if they’re 50, to believe in themselves, to not let anyone tell them they’re too old to do what they want. We have time and hope until our last breath. Never Give Up. Love yourself, fully and intensely.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

KIARA: Thank you for this chat. Never Give Up!



Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.