Category: INTERVIEWS (page 1 of 3)

Take 5 With Angry Farmers

1- How has your music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

It’s not about evolving but rather than expressing the deepest emotions using simple and raw energy

2- What has been you biggest Challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so how?

You know the usual, time money instruments amps electricity shitty places and shitty people, its a long way…

Take 5 With Angry Farmers

3- What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

We wanna play till we die

4- What advise do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Be ready for sacrifices

5- How much are you looking forward to perform during Metal United World Wide on June 15th at The Palace Beirut?

We are very excited to be in this world wide event with the other bands and we are excited this being our first time live we wanna have fun.

Take 5 With Angry Farmers

 


Make sure not to miss Angry Farmers’s Performance during Metal United World Wide on June 15 at The Palace Hamra

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH Angry Farmers ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


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Take 5 With Armian

1- How has your music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

Humanity evolved through years so as the music that we played from keeping updated in listening to new music styles and new genres of course it also effected through aging in life…

2- What has been you biggest Challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so how?

The biggest challenge was and still is to survive playing music in these extreme conditions that we are living in Lebanon but for the love of music we keep on doing what we do, to overcome is to survive in  a way of course and yes by the music inspiration we have in these years with each member in his or her way, in the end music is more than a language and more than a feelings but it speaks in us all and that’s how we are doing it…Take 5 With Armian

3- What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

There are no directions but doors and we are trying to open any door stand in our way and hopping for best and about the fortune when we started to play any instrument we didn’t made a career choice on it but only for the love of the instrument and nothing more and when we are sharing the moment while playing together with our own instruments well we don’t need money or fame

4- What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Play what u love and play with your heart and never quit for small reasons

5- How much are you looking forward to perform during Metal United World Wide on June 15th at The Palace Beirut?

Well we are excited in the end its our 1st live performance but we only had a little time to be prepared for a live event but we will give our best and have fun, cheers.

Take 5 With Armian


Make sure not to miss Armian’s Performance during Metal United World Wide on June 15 at The Palace Hamra

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH Armian ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


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Take 5 With SaneSirens

1- How has your music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

Many factors play a role in our musical evolution since we first started playing together. Emerging as a university band had the biggest impact on us refining our stage show because we were faced with very tough crowds that listened mostly to Arabic music, thus we didn’t hit them at first with the all-out metal tunes. Nevertheless, and after many lineup changes, we stayed true to heavy metal and we continued covering legendary bands including mainly Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath hence their influence can be felt in our first EP album entitled “A Cry For Sanity” which will be released on the 29th of June.

2- What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so how?

Our biggest challenge was finding the resources to get our music heard and our message delivered. As a Lebanese local band, finding opportunities to reach our goals does not come at ease, yet we persevered and played many shows in order to be able to self-fund our musical projects.

Another big challenge was finding and retaining members who are true to the craft and are willing to commit and compromise for us to deliver our music in the best ways, and this problem took its toll on the band as it had its fair share of lineup changes.

Take 5 With SaneSirens

3- What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

We seek to deliver a message of hope and change especially regarding the Lebanese deteriorating situation through our words and music. If fame and fortune come along the way, it will definitely help in our goal. It’s been a fun ride during the entirety of our journey, we made great memories together and hopefully left a mark on some people. We want to be able to continue releasing music and do what we do.

4- What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

To the fellow musicians wanting to form a band, the best advice is to ensure the success of the band to be committed fully in order not to break when faced with the smallest of obstacles. A band needs a lot of time and dedication so wisely choose the people you want to share your greatest of memories with. 

5- How much are you looking forward to perform during Metal United Word Wide on June 15th at the Palace Beirut?

We are pleasured to take part in the Metal United Word Wide, a global event that ensures every year the place of our beloved capital city on the global metal map. Moreover, this is our first encounter with the metal community in Beirut for we are a North Governate based band, and we are looking forward to performing in front alongside amazing bands and in front of a great crowd.

We will be playing a couple of metal anthems especially dedicated to this event alongside some tracks of our upcoming EP.

Take 5 With SaneSirens

Make sure not to miss SaneSirens’s Performance during Metal United World Wide on June 15 at The Palace Hamra

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH SaneSirens ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


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Take 5 With PHENOMY

  1. How has the music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

    There’s always new ideas when it comes to music composition. The first album, Once And For All, was mainly influenced by the bands we used to listen to when we started (Metallica, Pantera, Testament…). The second album, T.W.O, was more defined and we took some inspirations from Tribal music. The third one will definitely sound different, we are defining our sound in this one, it’s gonna be extremely heavy, watch out!

  2. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

    Every day is a challenge being in a Lebanese metal band and being located in Lebanon. Travelling, making deals or getting heard of is really tough. But we are thriving for that and we are doing our best to make it out there in the metal music industry.

    Take 5 with Phenomy

  3. What’s the ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

    Just being able to make music and play in front of more people is what we enjoy doing. Making a living out of it will be all that we ask for. But the whole journey is fun with its highs and lows and we’re really enjoying every side of it.

  4. What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

    Consistency and Passion. Be unique, and if you appreciate what you’re doing, just do it, the rest will come with time.

  5. How Much are you looking forward to perform during Metal United World Wide on June 15th at The Palace Beirut – Hamra?

    We love to stay active and play frequently here and we are really excited about this event, not only because this event is happening all over the world on the same day but also because we will perform a new song from our upcoming album. We really took a huge turn on this one and we can’t wait to play it for the first time on June 15th.


Make sure not to miss Phenomy’s Performance during Metal United World Wide on June 15 at The Palace Hamra

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH PHENOMY ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


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Take 5 With KIMAERA

1) How has your music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

It’s been two decades. Everything evolved in and around us, not just our music.
With time, we expanded our tastes and of course we got more mature on a musical and personal level, besides the fact that we had new blood coming to the band every now and then, which made our music more versatile and it would be hard to classify or label it under one Genre.
Our music now has a mix of Doom, death, symphonic and even some black metal elements, and for the record, we started off as a heavy metal band. Quite a change.

2) What has been you biggest Challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so how?

The first thing that would come to mind would be the lineup, and finding the right musicians in the right time. Being in Kimaera always demanded extreme dedication, time and some sort of sacrifice.
We changed a lot of members throughout the years, m the only the surviving member of the original line up since I formed the band in 2000. And that caused us many setbacks in the past 20 years, though things have been a bit more stable for the past 7 years, the current lineup is simply perfect.
We overcame that through patience and perseverance.

Take 5 With Kimaera

3) What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

Fame and Fortune? For a metal band?
Metal is a passion, and most of the time it makes us lose money. We simply do it because we love it.

4) What advise do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Don’t. It is a lot of hard work and you will probably split in no time.

5) How much are you looking forward to perform during Legion event on June 11th at Metro Al Madina? Are you preparing something special for this event?

It is always exciting playing here between our friends. And this concert will be our first performance with actual backing tracks… something we have been discussing for a long time, since our music has too many layers so we wanted to incorporate this to give it its value, and to have our old female vocals back in live concerts! Pretty awesome stuff coming up!
Cheers, thank you!


Make sure not to miss Kimaera’s performance during Legion Metal Concert V1 on June 11 at Metro Al Madina.
(Keep your ticket of the concert to get 50% off Metal United World Wide ticket on June 15 at The Palace Hamra)

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH KIMAERA ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Take 5 With Kimaera


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Take 5 With NOCTURNA

1) How has your music evolved since you first began playing music until now?

Since we started playing music we had many influences over the years and now we’re more open to experimenting with different styles and approaches in making music, we no longer restrict ourselves into one genre. But overall we still keep our melodic approach since it’s what we’re mainly into.

2) What has been you biggest Challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so how?

Our biggest challenge as a band is that all of us have day jobs so sometimes you find yourself burnt out and not being able to progress with your music.

Another challenge is to find members that shares your vision of the music and future of the band.

As always we keep on overcoming whatever challenges we face since we were all friends for a very long time and we are all passionate about the music.

3) What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

Our ultimate direction of the band is to reach as many people as we can with our music (via streaming platforms or being able to travel on decent tours) and to make people feel what we do when we play our music and to keep doing this for as long as we can and evolve as musicians.

4) What advise do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Do it for the fun of it, let it be your escape from your daily stress and invest in yourselves to improve your music and your shows.

5) How much are you looking forward to perform during Legion event on June 11th at Metro Al Madina? Are you preparing something special for this event?

We are very excited about this event since we are fans of all the performing bands who have always been there for us as supporters and friends.

We have something special prepared that will please metal fans of all genres and ages. So we hope to see many of you there!


Make sure not to miss Nocturna’s performance during Legion Metal Concert V1 on June 11 at Metro Al Madina.
(Keep your ticket of the concert to get 50% off Metal United World Wide ticket on June 15 at The Palace Hamra)

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH NOCTURNA ON: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Take 5 With Nocturna


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An Interview With Khavar

Hello and thank you for granting us the opportunity to interview you.

Hey guys, thank you for this opportunity.

1) Let’s start the interview with something simple, like the name of the band. What does Khavar mean? And why did you choose that name?

Khavar is an Armenian name, it means total darkness. I chose this name because it has the right meaning for the band, its dark and its sounds darker too haha. Exactly like the music we want to make: “dark”.

2) Was Khavar a new project that was born because of the disbanding of Weeping Willow, or was it a separate project in progress that would have happened regardless of Weeping Willow’s departure from the scene?

Khavar was born where Weeping willow had no future to continue what I started 20 plus years ago. I killed it and moved on with Khavar. Khavar is the new Weeping Willow and we will keep playing some of my favorite songs of that era.

3) Would you look at Khavar as an all-Star band since it is harboring band members from Legendary local and international bands like Element 26, Nervecell/Innerguilt, Weeping Willow of course, and Ex-Nile drummer Derek Roddy?

Yes it definitely is, all the guys are great musicians and motivated, still hungry for it. Everything we do is challenging, having those guys is a blessing for me.

4) The band’s youngest and freshest member would be Yousef Helayel, The N-Jam Music School graduate who was the last addition to the band. How did Yousef join the band?

Youssef joined after I asked my longtime friend Elias Njeim [Owner of N-Jam Music School] about wanting a crazy ass guitar player. [Elias] knows me very well, and he knows that I needed someone to keep up with my driving force lol.

Youssef is not just a guitar player, his a main force in the band, and a great guy that has a lot to show for and do.

5) Was there any challenges or obstacles for Yousef to become part of and get synchronized with the band considering that the line-up is from very big names in the local metal scene? Or did it all come naturally?

He has more talent and musical ear/taste than many of the experienced musicians. So he managed things like a boss. He is 24 [years old] and ready to kill!

6) The band started in August 2018, and you guys haven’t been wasting any time, already released 3 singles and a drum playthrough with Derek Roddy. Does that mean we are expecting the album to be out soon?

Yes the album should be ready soon, Derek [Roddy] is taking care of all the studio stuff which is awesome.

I wasted some time before but now no time to waste, haha!

7) What does the three singles already released: “Death Card Dealer”, “Red Snakes”, “The Prey” discuss in terms of theme and lyrics?

“Death card dealer”: is a very personal song, since it talks about the death of Weeping Willow and questioning the future.

“Red Snakes”: Kamal had a great, political war oriented, idea for [the song]. It talkes about rivers of blood and what actually is the truth… He will take you deep into it, trust me.

“The Prey”: is about the predator and the prey. Killer lyrics from Kamal and awesome mood.

I think we should put some lyrics out there, haha.

8) What should we expect from the album? How many tracks (if there is a ready track list, can we have the titles of the songs?)?

The album will be a is mixture of everything we love, no standards or limits or anyone to please lol. Just straight out darkness and aggression.

The album should be 8 tracks, we will be releasing something soon hopefully after the concert. We don’t know all the titles for now, we have to ask Kamal haha, he will come up with sick stuff I’m sure.

9) Do you have anyone in particular that will be working on the Album art? If yes, can we know who?

No idea about the cover art for now, but yeah its a trend now to have someone famous doing it right?

Hahaha.

10) Next stop would be your first performance ever as Khavar headlining the Legion event that will take place at Metro Al Madina on June 11. What should we expect from Khavar during the concert?

Yes first time for Khavar but many times for us, we are so exited specially having Derek fucking Roddy behind you like a tank! That alone makes my blood boil haha!!

We will be performing  surprise songs from Weeping willow, ahh sorry not a surprise anymore, haha, and also some Khavar for you. We hope everyone shows up to the show, enjoys the bands headbangs and drinks some cold beer with Us.

Expect aggression!

Thank you for your time and see you at Legion Metal Concert VI.

Thank you Metal Bell, you guys rule, see you at the gig.

 


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An Interview With Sound Of DeGeneration

– Hello and thank you for granting us the opportunity to interview you.

1. Let’s start with the band name first. What did inspire the band’s name “Sound Of DeGeneration”? Was the name change from “RebellioN” to “S.O.D.” because you switched from performing covers to only performing original songs?

“Sound Of DeGeneration” was originally a song of ours that we wrote for the album. It talks about the music scene nowadays, and when we were finalizing the theme of the album and the band, we crossed minds that since the name Rebellion is already taken and Sound Of DeGeneration (song) was maybe the exact identity that we were looking for, we decided to name the band Sound Of Degeneration or S.O.D. And since we still play somehow traditional Heavy Metal, the name did fit us perfectly.

And regarding switching from covers to originals, well we were always a band that played originals along with some covers here and there. We just wanted to express our disapproval of music nowadays starting with the band’s name, we are still a rebellion against what is marketed as music on radios and TVs.

2. Why did you choose to compose 80’s-influenced metal music rather than going into a more modern sound?

It wasn’t a matter of “choice” to write 80’s metal. We all listen to or prefer that genre or color of music individually and at some point it helped us to get through life. When we met as musicians, we agreed on that, since nowadays there are few bands that still do 80’s heavy metal, we can make our new music with the 80’s taste, maybe it’s somehow a payback gesture to honor those legends that made all this beautiful music.

3. The album has been in the making for a while and you guys posted a Demo last July, when can we expect the album to be released?

The album, yes, it has been in the making for a while, we are rerecording some parts of the songs and we will send them to get a professional mixing and mastering. Hopefully we can release it this summer, since it’s a self-funded effort and it wasn’t easy finding the right balance.

 

4. What will the album be about? What are the subjects that it will cover? And what to expect musically from it?

The album will be rebellious as we pointed before. Life, music, and our daily sufferings. Somehow giving hope in life to our listeners, with our heavy tunes and a bit aggressive vocal lines, hopefully our message will be delivered.

5. You have performed in several events and lately you graced Metal Bell’s 6th Anniversary stage. What is your favorite memory or story from the shows you have performed so far?

Every show has its own beautiful memory. We remember every single one of them and if we’re gonna tell stories about them, I don’t think this interview will be enough, lol.

6. What should the people expect from your upcoming shows? Will they be the same or are you going to give each event a different flavor?

People should expect loudness and heaviness, that’s guaranteed. Our show as we are known by it now, we will be dynamic, we will do our best to be worthy of people’s time and money. In every show, we try to make it different from the other, it depends on the location and space where we have to perform our show.An Interview With Sound Of DeGeneration

7. Do you think people prefer Rebellion or Sound Of Degeneration more? Meaning do they prefer when you used to play covers or when you play originals more?

We think people got it by now that there is really no difference between S.O.D and Rebellion. At the end of the day, we are the same style, same concept, same show. Just the name sounds better now.

8. Next stop is Loud N Heavy event at The Palace and then Legion at Metro Al Madina, what should we expect from Sound Of Degeneration during both concerts?

Yes, we do have 2 upcoming shows and we promise we will do the same effort in both shows. We will be playing the entire set of our upcoming album with 2 new songs added, one of them is our vocalist’s old band ObliVioN’s original (Flying High) and our latest composed song Rebellion. We will be announcing that finally our lineup is complete with 2 new members, Ralph as a drummer and Jack on guitar.

9. Any last words, news that you would like to share with our readers?

Our last words will be: We love you all, we hope you will enjoy our show, and we hope that you are excited as much as we are. It will be a night to remember.

Thank you for your time and see you at both shows Loud N Heavy and Legion.

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An Interview With Reigen

– Hello and thank you for granting us the opportunity to interview you.
1. To start the interview, we would like to ask some basic routine questions. So let’s start with the band name first. According to your biography, the band was called “Reigen Beast”, but now the name was changed to simply “Reigen”. Can you tell us why you chose this name, and why killing the beast?

The choice of the name came from the influence the Japanese culture had on Ghaith, as Reigen means heartless in Japanese. The name was chosen to emphasize the corruption of the “system”. So Reigen Beast was Heartless beast.

The word beast was dropped recently, as we have chosen to not stick to one idea in our songs: Criticizing the system. Though one of Ghaith’s dreams is to slay such beasts in the most non-violent way.

2. Reigen started in 2008 and disbanded in 2014, although we haven’t noticed an activity for the band at least in the bigger local scene. Tell us about the band’s journey during these years. Where did you perform and what is your favorite memory of that era?

From 2008 until 2014, Reigen was partially active. Those years were very tough for the band as we had a lot of line-up changes. During that time, the band performed in many events; ones organized by the LYC, others were self-organized and some were very special events such as playing for the municipality of Roumieh once, and another time in support of the Lebanese Red cross. We used to perform at Nova pub alongside the Lebanese band Rebellion (now Sound of Degeneration) before the pub transformed into whatever it is now. We also performed at Quadrangle in 2014 which was that era’s last performance.

Ghaith’s favorite memories of the time was actually when he had to pick up all the members in his GMC Suburban to go and perform in a gig or in a practice. He says it was fun to have all the members and equipment fit in one car and just hit the road.

3. What was the reason for the band to disband in 2014 and what was the reason for it to reform in 2017?

The band was disbanded due to many factors. We used to practice at LYC which demanded membership payments that some of the members couldn’t afford. The first drummer had to leave to maintain his grades at university, then the second drummer who didn’t own a drum kit couldn’t afford his own cymbals, keys players whose dreams were too big to play in a Metal band. Finally, the last drummer of that era, Jad Abi Khalil, performed his last gig with us in 2014 and then left the country for good afterwards, thus the band was disbanded.

4. The band jumped styles from covering Heavy Metal anthems to composing your own progressive originals. Why the sudden style change?

The change was not sudden. Actually, Ghaith had already composed a song with Mike El Khoury for Reigen Beast: “The Land Between the Two Rivers” since 2008. Ghaith kept coming up with some riffs but he never had people like Mike around him to share his ideas of writing. And then came Mark Bitar, who is now, alongside Mike, the main composer of the band. Ghaith found in Mark and Mike’s compositions what he always wanted to write but couldn’t. Most members are influenced by Opeth, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and other progressive bands, and Ghaith likes that and he also loves Metallica, Megadeth, and Savatage. A mix of those influences has given birth to our Originals. Thus, once we had enough material, we decided to go from a Full cover band to a Full original songs band.

5. Your first show after the reformation was at AUB Outdoors 2017, how was it to be back on stage, and did you get a good reaction from the crowd?

Being on stage at the AUB Outdoors was great; our performance was not bad at all though we played only covers and we had back then another Vocalist, Chris Attieh, and no keyboards. The problem is… the crowd was limited to some of our friends and relatives. We hadn’t marketed our performance the right way before that day. We had performed:

  • Revelations – Iron Maiden
  • A Tout Le Monde – Megadeth
  • 18 and Life – Skidrow
  • Turn The Page- Metallica
6. Two years later, your show at Quadrangle, the place was packed, great feedback came after the show. Tell us about the whole experience.

Before going to Quadrangle, we had recently started playing our originals as Ex-founder Karl Diab had left the band and Mike stepped in to fill his role as a composer and Lead guitarist. As soon as we had some material done, we decided to hit the stage. We marketed it the right way, especially from Charbel Ghafary’s side, who has good public relations skills. We prepared for that event as if we were preparing for a performance at the World’s biggest stage. First impression of us that we give to the crowd was all that matters. And as you have heard, it went well. We got epic feedback, we were very satisfied with our performance, though if the quality of the sound was a little better, we could have enjoyed it to the max.

7. During Quadrangle concert, you played some originals, how was the reception of the crowd for the originals and did you get any feedback that made you want to adjust or change some of the music you composed?

Well, the audience loved the originals more than the covers to be honest. We had some feedback from M. Bassem Deaibess [Blaakyum frontman] as he once attended one of our practices and helped us make some changes in some parts of the songs. But the crowd never complained about any of the songs performed on that day. And the end result was the huge success of that event.

8. Next stop is Loud N Heavy event at The Palace, what are we expecting from Reigen during the concert? 

For the Loud N Heavy performance, Reigen will give the crowd 2 new originals alongside the 4 that were played at Quadrangle, and 2 covers, one dedicated for the mainstream metal fans and the other would satisfy the less mainstream fans.

The originals in no particular order:

  • Fall of an Empire
  • Rivers Running Red
  • Behind the Curtains
  • The Land Between the Two Rivers
  • When the Bell Strikes Midnight (New song)
  • Oriental Rise (New song)
9. You just released your debut single to the world, “The Land Between The Two Rivers”. Sounds Biblical if I might say. What is the song about, and how do you describe the music?

The song has been released now and can be found on YouTube. It does sound very biblical by title, but it isn’t by content. It actually talks about a land that once visited, you can see the beauty and the magic of this place (1st verse), the more you spend time there, the more sinister things you can see underneath the outer beauty (2nd verse in particular), and finally the 3rd verse is the representation of the corruption and evil in this land. The song has another completely different hidden meaning, that Ghaith (who wrote the lyrics) had shared only with one person in his life, even the other members of Reigen have no clue of it. The song is quite long, 8 minutes 25 seconds, we had some complaints about the length. The thing is we couldn’t remove any parts of the song as the music evolves with the lyrics. We also feel that it gives it its “magical” mood. We hope you like it and hope we can get some comments from your side on it.

– Thank you for your time and see you at Loud N’ Heavy.

It was a pleasure doing this interview. Thank you for your support.


 

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Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal From Sons Of Apollo Talks Touring With Dream Theater And The New Album

During Hellfest, we had the chance to sit down and talk to Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal from Sons Of Apollo about the current tour, the new album, and so many other things, you can read the whole conversation below and view the photos from their performance.

Metal Bell: Thank you so much for this opportunity to chat during the first show in Europe, it was a great show, congratulations.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Thank you so much.

Metal Bell: So how does it feel to play your first show at Hellfest?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Oh it is a great way to start a European tour, that’s for sure, no better way to start so we are very happy, to start a tour in front of 30,000 people I guess it’s ok (laughs).

Metal Bell: Have you ever played Hellfest before?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Yeah six years ago with Guns, we headlined it, it is nice to be here doing it with people that are close to you, friends with whom we wrote together, we recorded together, and it’s great.

Metal Bell: Your tour started in February, how is the reception so far?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Oh it is wonderful, this is our 42nd show I believe, it’s been great. We started off on the cruise to the edge, and then from there we went to the east coast and did like a week and a half of shows. And then April and May we did a big US tour, actually, we did South America, Mexico, Canada, and all around in the US. Nothing beats getting on the road, that’s what every band used to do to become who they are, being together every night and do it.

Metal Bell: How do I put this question, tell me how did

you come up or assemble The Avengers of Prog?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: (laughs) That was very easy, we all knew each other and played together over the years.
Me and Billy were playing for years doing these jams with Ray Luzier from KORN and with Mike. Me, Mike, and Billy would be this core band and we’d play like big events in New York, with guys from Anthrax and Kiss joining us. I laid guest solos on Metal Allegiance’s first album with Mike and another album that Billy produced for Madame Mayhem, a great artist that I laid 4 guitar solos for her album.

Me, Mike, Derek, and Billy played together at Prog Nation 4 years ago, so we all have this background and we’ve done things together, so it was a no-brainer. When Mike wanted to do this band, he sent me an email, it was January 2017, he said: hey, how we always talked about putting a band together! Well me and Derek have this idea and we want to go into the studio in March and just write on the spot, record on the spot, we all play together and mark it, record it the way bands used to do it, the right way, it’s the real thing. And we’ve written spontaneously, we did that, we spent 10 days at the studio, we wrote, recorded and made the album in 10 days.

So it was me, Mike, and Derek in the studio, and then Billy cut off his Mr. Big’s tour halfway through and joined us, then we all just recorded. Jeff finished his touring, then he recorded his vocals at my studio where I laid my

guitar solos on everything, and that was it. And then we just waited for the right moment to go out and announce the band and put out the album. The label is wonderful (Inside Out), they’ve been a fantastic record label, so supportive and really a good team.

Metal Bell: So basically You, Mike, and Derek wrote the majority of the album?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Yeah it started with us and then Billy joined, then Jeff wrote everything you hear sung, that’s Jeff, he was really the key ingredient to turn it from a cold prog album to songs, things you can sing along you know, melodies that stick, that’s what Jeff does, he’s the guy.

Metal Bell: Today the band is less than a year old, considering all of your projects and involvements, will Sons Of Apollo be a long-term project?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: That’s the question everyone has, is this another quick project or is it a band that’s gonna be around.

Our intentions are for it to be a band that’s gonna be around, but at the same time, we can’t completely neglect everything else we have, we can’t do that. It is also not fair for the other people in our life that are waiting for us so we still have to do other things. This year we’ll do a lot of Sons Of Apollo, next year we’re gonna have to do some other things, but you know we are already writing for the second album, it really goes down to business, not amongst each other, but we can’t just afford to be in a start-up band, put everything else aside, and get this off the ground. We are not 20-year old kids in a van you know, so it’s tough, but we are giving it our best and our intentions are to be a band that puts out a lot of albums and keeps on going and going. So as long as everyone on our team does the right thing, you know we are depending on managers, the label and on each other, all it takes is one person to fuck it all up and then we are all screwed, it could be anybody that we are depending on if they don’t do the right thing.

What we want for this band is to continue and we are doing everything possible to keep that going even when odds are against us, we want to keep going, we do.

Metal Bell: We do hope so too, you know how prog fans are so attached.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Sure yeah, and we made a pact with them, we said this is a band, we are obligated to keep our words to them and to ourselves.

Metal Bell: The history between Derek, Mike, and Dream Theater, would you ever consider a tour with them?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: I would love to do it, I have such tremendous respect for Dream Theater as a band and individuals. I love John Petrucci, we’ve met before, we’ve chatted, he’s a wonderful guy. I also played on Jordan’s solo record in 2009, he was just incredible. That would be a wonderful thing.

And honestly I feel like there would be no Sons Of Apollo if there was no Dream Theater, you know you have to respect where this came from and everything that leads up to it, the influences and the history, and I do, I tremendously do.

It’d be wonderful to play together, I doubt it would ever happen, that would be really something interesting to the fans to see that. I would love it to be taken not as a competition in any way, we are all branches of Dream Theater’s tree and I’m grateful to them, I respect and admire them.

Metal Bell: Your second album is called Sophomore, is there already a date in mind?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Well I mean Derek has written things, he sends me videos and things like hey check out this riff I came up with, and we’ve talked to the label about it but nothing is definite yet. Right now, it’s just let us finish up what we have here and once it’s all clear and done, everything goes ok, we will then think about the next step. Even though now is the time to think about it, we are just staying focused and looking ahead, so we are thinking about this leg of the tour, then the next leg, and the leg after that so there’s no definitive time. We’ve talked about November going into the studio but I know Mike has something to do in November so it might be January, but hopefully not too far too long.

Metal Bell: Well thank you very much for the chat, it’s been wonderful talking to you and the best of luck for the rest of the tour.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Thank you very much. It was an absolute pleasure.

Interview and Photos by Sharbel Kanoun

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