Reawaken Your Love For PURE Heavy Metal:
An Interview With ONWARD Guitarist Toby Knapp
People often say, "they don't make them like they used to."
In my opinion, Onward shatter that myth, that close minded thought
pattern that things can never improve or be done as well as they once
were. Onward play what I would call "heavy metal." Don't ask
what sub-genre of metal they are, because it's straight up heavy metal!
Something refreshing to hear! With the band's new album, REAWAKEN, I was
very impressed...so much so that I gave it a 5/5! So I was pretty
excited to get to have a lengthy chat with Onward's guitarist, Toby
Knapp about metal, guitar, the scene, etc.
So how's everything going?
Everything is going good. We're just getting ready for a record
release party here in Vegas this Saturday, so we're just trying to
spread the word. Sticking out flyers up everywhere. Just like the good
So the whole band is based out of Vegas eh?
We're all over the place, I mean right now it's a really weird
situation. My singer lives in LA and my rhythm section are in Montana
right now so it makes rehearsing a bit troublesome, but whenever we have
gigs everybody gets together and we rehearse extensively for a few days.
So we've been lucky so far.
Cool. I've got a bunch of questions and I've kind of got them in
chronological order, so we can start from the early days and bring it up
to the new album "Reawaken". So I'll get started...
I know you began playing guitar at a very early age. Were you the type
of guy who practiced five to seven hours every day, practicing scales
locked away in your room somewhere, or were you the type of guy who was
jamming in a band more, playing gigs when you were very young?
It was a little bit of both. When I first started playing guitar it
was just you know, strumming chords and not really taking it that
seriously, and then I started becoming obsessed with Jimmy Page and
started learning all the Zeppelin solos, and then it progressed from
there once I heard Yngwie Malmsteen and then it became a seven hours a
day type of ritual. It started out kind of easy-going and then for
awhile when I was like seventeen it was just, yeah, all day long you
Yeah. Was your focus when you were starting out always Metal, or
did you study any other styles or take lessons from teachers who were
probably not from the Rock or Metal arenas?
It's always pretty much been either Hard Rock or Metal. That's kind
of what got me going. Aside from Yngwie Malmsteen and the Shrapnel
shredders I had the influences of like, Jeff Beck and Hendrix and
Clapton and Jimmy Page. Those were my first heroes. So I guess you could
say that I've worked on blues quite a bit, because you sort of have to
have your blues stuff down to play those guys' material. So I'm really
glad, I think guitar players need to start with the blues and get a
handle on that before they progress to other things.
So tell me about how after awhile you were recording your own
material and somehow it wound up in the hands of Mike Varney at Shrapnel
Records and your album came out. Can you tell me a bit about how that
I was about sixteen or seventeen there was a point in time where the
only records I listened to were anything that Mike Varney released. I
was totally obsessed with that, and I was just determined that if I ever
got a record deal it had to be with Shrapnel Records. You know, that's
what a teenager thinks. They're naive. But yeah, so I was determined and
I didn't care about anything except catching this guys ear because it
would be a great honor to sign with his label. So I hit him pretty hard
for like three years, with demos. You know, I'd send him a demo every
few months, with absolutely no feedback from him but I just kept going
for years. Days became years, and then I finally got the phone call,
"Okay, I think you're ready to do a record!", and it amazed me
because he was actually listening to me the whole time. And I didn't
think he was. So that was a very nice day when that happened, haha.
How old were you when that happened?
I had just turned twenty, and the irony was I said to myself,
"If I'm not signed to Shrapnel Records by the time I'm twenty I'm
hanging it up and going to college", and like a few weeks after
turning twenty I was seriously considering doing something else, and I
got a phone call and I was like, "All right! I don't have to
fucking go to school", hehe!
So obviously you were a big fan of the albums that Mike Varney had
released during the day, like the Vinne Moore and The Cacaphony and all
Oh yeah, very excellent. That was such an exciting time for guitar,
unlike these days.
Yeah, I agree. I still often pull out my Marty Friedman DRAGON'S
KISS, the old albums that he did with Cacophony.
Oh yeah, they're just incredible.
I always pop it on and say "Man, how come no-one is releasing
anything like this, like even if it was two or three guys, but there's
Yeah. I think what happened is, I was lucky enough to be part of the
generation that had to shred to be taken seriously back in the eighties.
And you know, once Nirvana came out the whole musician thing went out
the window. So now we're experiencing a generation of bands who were
influenced by Nirvana and stuff like that, and it just seems to be going
downhill. This is as far as the mainstream goes.
what kind of reaction did your album get after it came out, and what
types of live dates if any, or were there clinics or things like that
going on after it was put out?
The reaction to the record was pretty divided. The people who liked
the album really loved it, and are still into it all these years later,
and the people that despised it hated it very much, and there was no
middle ground. It was a love or hate type of thing because the album
didn't really focus on guitar solos, it focused on progressive Death
Metal influenced rhythms, because that hadn't really been done before
and Varney wanted to try something new. So he kind of told me what kind
of record I needed to make. I wished I had pushed harder to get more
solos in it, but I was just happy to be doing what I could do. And there
was really no touring for that because at that point in time Metal was
really in bad shape commercially and no booking agents wanted to book. I
was playing strictly instrumental music then, and no booking agents
wanted to mess with it. But I did get a few clinics in here and there. I
went to Minneapolis and did some clinics for awhile. That was kind of
fun. Good pay.
Yeah cool. So that came out in 1992 and I was reading your bio
trying to find out what you did between '92, and the next mention of you
is guest appearing or helping out in a band called Darken which were
Black Metal. That was '96.
After Guitar Distortion me and Varney were having disagreements about
what I should do next. He wanted me to form a band that had the Pantera
kind of sound. And you know, that's all good and well but that just
really wasn't in my heart. So I ended up asking "Let me go and
pursue something else", because I didn't want to be told what I
needed to play. So I just laid low for awhile, and sort of was like,
"Well I did my record and had my shot, so I'll just play in the
local bar from now on". But then when Black Metal came out and you
had these bands like Emperor and Mayhem and Abigor, they really caught
my attention as ground breaking music. So I just formed a little two man
Black Metal project, and it was just strictly for our own entertainment.
We weren't going to shop it to any record labels or anything, but just
for a gag we sent it out to the labels, and within a week we had two or
three offers. I was like "Well, I guess I'm back in the game."
So that was kind of cool. But we just did that one thing, and that sort
of led to the formation of Onward.
When you were playing in Darken I guess you were big time into the
Black Metal. Did it seem kind of foreign to you, or was it along the
lines of what you were listening to at the time?
Was Black Metal foreign?
Yeah. Was this something new that you wanted to try?
Yeah, it was something I wanted to try because musically there was so
many different things going on. They were using different chords,
different progressions, super fast blast beats, keyboards and the whole
nine yards. It was interesting, the way I sat down and learned the Led
Zeppelin licks in the early eighties, I was sitting down listening to
Emperor "In The Nightside Eclipse", going "Okay, what the
Hell is this guy doing", because I've not heard anything like this
before. So I studied it for awhile and tried to put my own spin on it.
Do you still listen to any Black Metal today or have any desire to
ever maybe play something remotely similar to that?
Yeah. We might do things with Darken in the future when the timing is
right. I'd really like to do something really aggressive again at some
point. I'm not sure when. I still do listen to Black Metal but I tend to
only listen to the stuff that was the first wave. I really don't get
into all the new stuff that's come out because I always think the first
wave was the best. The most purest form.
Back at that time your record label manager thought you might have
been better suited to playing a Metal band and at the time did he
convince you to do something besides the Black Metal gig or do a Heavy
Metal demo kind of thing I guess. Was that something you had in mind
anyway or did it take a bit of convincing?
It was definitely something I had in mind but I just never dreamed
that he would have encouraged it along because when I first met him and
started dealing with him I was under the impression that he was strictly
a Black/Death Metal enthusiast. And then we sort of realized that hey,
we're actually both into total traditional Heavy Metal and we started
talking about the old groups like Attacker and Accept and W.A.S.P. and
Lizzy Borden and stuff like that. The timing was just good. He said
"Instead of doing Darken, do you want to do something Heavy Metal
oriented?", and I was like "Yeah, that would be great!".
So in that aspect some of the Onward stuff sort of has, at least to my
ear, a little bit of Black Metal influence. Like the chord progression
in "Eye of the Nightmare" was the progression I was going to
use in a Darken tune. Put Micheal's vocals over it and it becomes Power
So the demo's you did eventually led you to Sentinel
Steel Records where the owner put you in touch with vocalist Micheal
Grant. Can you tell me a bit about your first meeting with Micheal, and
what did you know about him before the suggestion came up for him to be
part of your new band?
weren't aware of each other. He had done something for Dennis for Legend
Maker and I had heard some of his demos and he called me up one day and
we just agreed that we're going to work together, and at that point all
the music for EverMoving
was already written, it just needed vocals. So we sent him a tape and a
couple weeks later he sends it back with his vocals on it. I didn't even
have to tell him anything, he just took the music and ran with it. We
just have a really good artistic camaraderie. It was really great to
meet him and start working with him.
So he didn't have an actual formal tryout with the band, it was
more like you talked to him and said "You're in" kind of deal?
Pretty much. It was just like that one conversation. Originally when
we were thinking that were were going to be on Sentinel Steel we were
looking at this as one album project, just a one shot thing. Of course
when Century Media got involved we were like, maybe we should go ahead
and do this permanently. Haha.
So where did you come up with the name Onward and what does it
Micheal is sort of the guy who's in charge of the lyrics and the
imagery and titles and stuff. He came up with the name Onward because he
had wrote a song called Onward and we were just having trouble figuring
out a name and somebody suggested it to him. Actually it was Dan Delushi
from Destiny's End, "Why don't you just name your band Onward? And
the album Ever Moving?". So there it was, you know. It was so hard
to find a name at that point I didn't even give a shit what we were
going to call the band. I wanted to call it Toby Knapp's Rising Force,
Hehe. But Onward is great so...
So as you said, Sentinel Steel shopped the demo around a bit and
Century Media picked you up. How many albums did they sign the band up
I think their standard deal is like four, so I think we're going to
do four, and a lot of bands on that label seem to do more than that. The
thing that's great about Century Media, the bands just pump out those
albums every year, and you don't have to wait too long to get the next
record. So that's been really cool, so we're definitely already excited
to get number three out of the way and see what happens.
After the release of the first album was there any touring done? I
know you've played in some festival type situations.
Oh, we came so close to jumping on so many tours and they were so
tentative and things would fall apart at the last minute. Right after EverMoving
came out there was a strong possibility we were going to go out with
Lizzy Borden, to the point where I was talking to this place called
Digger International and it looked like a done deal but at the last
minute, I don't know, it was a money issue or whatever but things just
fell apart and that didn't happen. And then we've been up for other
bands since then and things just aren't panning out. We did festivals
like November to Dismember, Prog Power and Ultrasound, and then just a
few gigs we booked on our own in between. So we kept as busy as we
So onwards to the new album Reawaken,
how much time went into the writing of the album?
album actually was written pretty quick. What's funny is, that album was
written before EverMoving
was released because EverMoving
traded so many hands through labels. It took so much time to get it out,
that we were bored.
We probably spent two or three weeks on the music, it just all came
really fast, and then Michael probably spent a month with it. It was
real quick, almost like it was channeled from somewhere else. Because
now I can't come up with anything just because I'm now in the writing
mode or some damn thing.
Right. Can you tell me a bit about the title "Reawaken",
and what it refers to?
Well, our whole thing with Reawaken
is, we would love to wake more people up to just traditional Heavy
Metal, and that's sort of what musically the whole album is all about.
For instance the first lyric on the record is "I recall the day of
the fall", and what that meant to Michael when he wrote it was the
day that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" got aired on MTV for the
first time. That's what we refer to as the day of the end. We just hope
that Heavy Metal can be reawakened and give more of a stronghold in the
mainstream so that it can reach more people, because this Creed stuff
has to stop! Hehe!!
There's a lot of crap out there man, haha.
The thing about Creed is, I know it's all about record sales but I
don't know why this guy is on the cover of Guitar World all the time.
Yeah, I haven't bought a Guitar for the Practicing Musician or any
Guitar magazine since probably '92.
Same with me because it really has nothing to do with guitar the way
that magazine... well it's not about the magazine it's about record
sales. You know, if they put the big band on the cover all the kids are
going to buy it.
Yeah like Yngwie put out his new album last year and you'd figure
he'd make one of the covers throughout the year. But you look at the guy
"Munky", or whatever the fucking guy's name is from one of
those bands, I'm like "They don't even play lead! What are they
Uh huh, and then what really pisses me off is, these magazines come
with pullout posters and I remember when it'd be Stevie Ray Vaughan, or
Yngwie or some damned thing like that, the little bonus poster, and now
you get a fucking Punk band who just bash three chords. You know, that's
No, not to me. One man's art is another man's...
Bullshit! Haha! Yeah exactly.
You know that's the other thing is there's all this happy Punk stuff
going on, and why do people listen to this? I don't understand.
So that's one thing you mentioned, you want to reawaken people to
the traditional Metal, and that's one thing that I kind of got out of
the band, when I first heard your your first album I was kind of like
"Yeah, this is a Power Metal band", but after listening to
"Reawaken" few times I don't think Power Metal, I'm thinking
"this is Heavy Metal".
Yeah it's just Metal. Just spikes, and black, and Heavy Metal. I mean
we're a relatively young band, and I think we're probably the youngest
band in the US who have decided "we're going to go totally against
the grain". There's a dress code. Everybody's got to have the hair,
we got to have the the spikes, the whole thing, and just you know, the
way that Judas Priest and Iron Maiden did it. You know, it's such a
valid form of music itself and nobody's really carried on just a pure
strain of Metal. Most of the Metal has influence of all kinds of things,
and we're just like "We love Wasp and Accept and Dokken and
Loudness and we want to pay tribute to that".
Do you think there's any other bands in the States right now,
newer types of bands that are kind of in line of what you're doing, who
are actually playing Heavy Metal?
There's a lot of good bands who are doing Metal, but nobody is doing
it as traditional as we are, I don't think. Some bands will fall in line
with what we're doing but maybe they'll be a bit more progressive. Or
maybe they'll be total, I don't know, either more progressive or tuning
their instruments down. I don't know, I think we're the only ones but I
could be wrong.
There's always some band somewhere in someone's garage. You never
Yeah, there's got to be. There's got to be.
So about the recording of the new album, you said you wrote it
fairly quickly. How long did it actually take to record?
Well, I think in a week and a half we got it all down. The drums were
recorded in one day. The guitars probably four or five days at the most,
and Michael only had three or four days to get his vocals down, so it
was real rushed. The actual recording process was fast and furious. But,
the mixing process and the mastering and all that, is what we spent more
time on, trying to get it to sound really good. More was focused on the
recording quality aspect of it so people would enjoy hearing it.
When you record your leads, do you ever consciously sit down and
tab everything out, or is it a kind of "go for it" feel?
It's half and half. Usually when we're preparing for a record I'll
sit down with my four track and play along with the chord progressions
and try to come up with a preconceived solo. And whenever I can do that,
I try to do it, if I like it. It saves time in the studio as well. But
there's always a couple songs where I just can't come up with anything
so I have to "wing it" in the studio, and luckily that works
out. Actually I think the two best solos on the record were things that
were just first take, just winging through it. Like "In Due
Time", I had no idea what the Hell to play over that, and I just
spit something out and it sounded alright. And then with "Who Saw
the Last Star Fall", the solos in there were not worked out, but
they sound like they're worked out, hopefully.
So have you gone back and listened to what you did and say
"Well I got to play it like that live"?
Yeah, I've been trying to play the record live but sometimes it just
doesn't happen. I like to improvise. You know like Yngwie does, he'll
have a theme of the solo he'll stick to, but then he'll just let loose.
When you're recording your solos or writing do you ever hold back
or say "That's too over the top", or do you ever look at it
Um, yeah I suppose so. There's things that we could do, but we won't
at this point in time, like doing odd time signatures and stuff like
that. I love progressive bands but for the average fan, the people we're
trying to reach, if things get too progressive they loose it. So we try
to keep everything catchy and don't veer, and don't get too weird. Maybe
eventually we will. But if you heard Guitar
Distortion a lot of people complain that "I can't follow
this. Every time I hear a riff that I like it's already gone, and it
doesn't show up again".
Do you think your style, not you rhythm style but your lead style,
has evolved? Or how would you say it has evolved since you did your solo
album with Shrapnel?
I think I've just gained a lot of confidence that I'm an okay guitar
player, and it's matured. It's so important now to try and make a solo
that is really melodic and is catchy, where back when I was starting if
you look at Guitar Distortion,
it didn't have any solos on it but the demos I was doing, I was trying
to do all this Alan Holdzworth stuff and just get it a difficult as I
could, and that's musician's music strictly for musicians, and from what
I know that music doesn't sell a whole bunch. I can tell you that first
So in terms of the types of guitars that you play, do you only
play Fender Strats?
and I've tried several times to switch to other guitars just to change
things up a little bit, and even when I knew EverMoving
was going to be released I tried to switch to a Gibson Explorer because
I thought it looked cool, and I tried a Flying "V" and stuff
like that, because immediately when somebody sees somebody with a Strat
playing that kind of music they're automatically going to say
"Yngwie clone", so I was like "I gotta get rid of the
Strat or I'm going to get trouble." But I tried all these other
instruments and the Strat is the only thing I can play, or am
So what is it about the Strat? Is it just the neck or just the
Just everything. I mean I think it looks great. As far as the Strat
goes, it was another decision like, I decided that if I get a record
deal it has to be with Shrapnel and I have to play a Strat because I did
want to be and Yngwie clone at that point. So when I finally got a
Stratocaster I couldn't play the fucking thing but I had spent so much
money on it, saved, that I HAD to learn how to play it correctly, and
once I started feeling comfortable on it then I can't play any other
guitar. So I'm kind of stuck with it but that's all right.
So what modifications do you make to the Strat that you buy off
the shelf? Or do you actually even own the Yngwie signature series or
anything like that?
No. On both the Onward albums I use the completely stock Stratocaster
that didn't have anything done to it at all. Lately I've been putting
new pickups in them and swapping necks around and stuff like that, but
for the most part it's right off the shelf.
Right. And how many Strats do you own by now? You must own a few.
Well, there was a point in time where I had like thirteen or fourteen
and then I moved, kept relocating and was just tired of dragging all
these things around, and so I've cut the arsenal down to seven. It's
like the more guitars you have, the more it costs to keep them
maintained because you're always destroying a toggle switch or dropping
the damn thing and breaking a nut.
On the new album you covered "Clockwork Toy" by
Loudness. I was wondering why you picked, say "Clockwork Toy"
and not "Wok and Woll Cwazee Nights" or something.
It's kind of one of the songs that, like I never was a huge
Loudness fan but that's not one of the songs that I remember. I more
remember the ones they had videos for in the eighties that I liked.
Right. Yeah I've liked pretty much everything I've ever heard from
Loudness in the eighties and early nineties. Well, "Clockwork
Toy" for me was, I bought "Thunder in the East" early in
my development and was just amazed at this album; this guitar playing. I
used to play "Clockwork Toy", I'd get my tennis racket out or
some damned thing and pretend I was playing it, thinking "I'll
never play this godamned thing". And so, it's just kind of like my
own personal triumph. You know, that little kid who couldn't play it,
now has recorded it. Everybody is like "Why the hell? Why that
song?", but then when they hear it, it totally takes them back to
Have you any idea if anyone from the recording line-up for that
Loudness song has heard it?
I hope so! I hope somebody hears it and we can get an opinion on it.
It was really funny recording that thing in the studio because I played
all the bass and guitar, and as I was laying down, I had laid down both
guitars and I was recording the bass line, I like, had a weird vision of
being in a studio in 1984 with Loudness. I think I thought I was their
bass player just for a split second, like some weird cosmic thing. I was
crazy because in the studio it was starting to sound really close to the
actual "Clockwork Toy", and then when Mike laid down his
vocals, I mean we were just grinning ear to ear. It was the most fun
thing I've ever recorded.
Is it something you will add to your setlist?
Yeah we always play that one, definitely.
Cool. Were you playing it even before you recorded it?
Yeah. When Onward came together we all picked out a couple favorite
songs that we'd learn on our own and then get together and play them, as
like homework, and I remember I picked "Clockwork Toy". So
that was one of the first songs we played as a full band. The reason we
recorded it is we did it at Prog Power in Chicago and the crowd went
absolutely nuts. So we were like "Well, we gotta record it so that
we can keep playing it".
And what about on another album? Do you think you'd always throw
on one cover song?
Yeah I think we will. I think we will always like to do a cover song.
And they'll probably always be a bit obscure; trying to pick something
that nobody would dream of. The other day I was toying with the
idea....Do you remember that band called Death Dealer?
I remember their name but I didn't have any of their albums.
Yeah, I was thinking of doing one of their tunes. The people who
would be familiar with that would go, "what the hell?!?!"
Yeah, like "where did they dig that up"??
Yeah, like there are songs I hear and think, "Onward can do
that". Maybe another Loudness song.
I noticed that you did some guitar lessons that were available
through Century Media's web site. Is that just a one off thing or is it
going to be more coming, or on the Onward web site?
If there is a demand for it. If enough people show interest in it,
I'll do it. But they requested me to sit down and show some licks, so I
did it. It wasn't anything that I decided or suggested or pushed for.
They are really marking this album as a guitar hero album, and when I
was recording it I was like, "this is NOT a guitar hero
album". So I'm happy they're doing that; it strokes my ego a little
bit. I thought it was just pure heavy metal. The guitar playing is ok,
but this is just heavy metal.
A real heavy metal man has to have guitar hero quality leads
anyway, even if it's not throughout the entire song.
The critics and the reviewers are digging the guitar playing and I'm
getting a lot of comparisons to Randy Rhodes (RIP), which makes me feel
great. And also it pushes me...Since I'm being called a guitar virtuoso,
I better damned well practice my instrument and not let anybody down. I
don't consider myself a virtuoso at all, but I strive to be one now.
So you practice everyday?
Once I sorta have the technique that I like and felt that I was ok, I
got lazy. Whenever there's a gig or recording session coming up, I'll
sit down and work really hard to get everything back in order. But now
since there's all this "Toby Knapp Guitar Hero" stuff, I've
been practicing a lot more.
In terms of guitar playing, before Onward maybe you had a little
more time; were you teaching guitar lessons?
Yeah that's how I survived through the 90's. I was really lucky
because I never had to get a "real job". I was living in a
little town in Wyoming and managed to have 30 students a week. So that
was great because it was paying my rent. But I actually got burned out
on it because when you give guitar lessons, this might have been the
reason that I stopped practicing; when you give guitar lessons all day
and then put the guitar down, you want to do something else; you want to
drink beer. I then started looking at my instrument as my "work
tool". So I actually kind of got away from teaching guitar just so
that it would become more exciting again.
Right. Play for yourself.
Yeah. And I was giving so many licks away!!
So now there's like 10 people in Sheridan who sound like me. haha!
Hahaha. So when did you make the move out of Wyoming to Las Vegas?
This was last summer, and it's really funny. Everybody like all my
friends from the last decade said, "If you want to do anything you
have to get the hell out of Wyoming". (more laughter)
And I never would. I was like, "well I don't really care and if
it's meant to happen it will happen no matter where I'm from". But
finally it was like, "ok, if I don't make the move now I'll never
make it". And I came to Vegas and it was the greatest decision in
my life career wise. Things are busier and going better than they ever
have, and living in Vegas is a big part of that.
Is there more of a metal scene or metal related things happening
Yeah. There's more places to play, I'm right next to LA, which is
great for heavy metal. The recording studio was awesome here. It's just
better to be here than out in the boonies somewhere.
Yeah haha. Did you look at your options? Or was it just like,
"That is the place to go".
Um, it was sorta like, I wanted to live closer to Mike so that we
could rehearse more and be more of a unified band. But I wasn't quite
ready to go to LA because initially that place scared the hell out of
me. But I had been to Vegas a few times and I was comfortable here; it
doesn't have a big city feel to it. It's not a huge metropolis, so I get
the best of both worlds. But the thing that sucks is I moved here with
my rhythm section to Vegas and they hated it. They could only hang for 3
months and then they were like, "we can't fucking take this. We
gotta go back to Montana." That's where their friends are and the
jobs that they're used to doing. So they left and I was like, "well
I'm staying here and I'm going to fire you guys unless you come at the
drop of a dime anytime I say". And so they're like, "well,
ok". So they moved, and a week later I called them and said,
"Guess what? You gotta come back cause I booked a gig." Just a
little torture thing for them. So they hopped in the car and got their
ass here. We're well rehearsed and ready to go, so right now this
arrangement is working, but it's ridiculous. From Montana to Vegas is
like 14 hours and they've had to make the drive 3 times in the last 2
months. I sure as hell wouldn't do that. But it's working for now.
So that's both John and Chris live in Montana right?
Well maybe if the band gets big enough they'll........
Well what plenty of people think is it always shocks them. They think
that we're making money and big because we're split up everywhere like a
famous rock band like Led Zeppelin or something. "well you guys
live all over the place, you must be the shit." Well that's not the
case at all.
So you're release party is this weekend. Is it in LA or is it in
We did one in LA a couple of weeks ago and now we have one for Vegas.
And you have played Vegas before I assume obviously.
Do you have a good following there?
The first time we played here it was late in the summer and there
wasn't a following at our show. We didn't think there would be either.
But this time it's like our fan base has increased since the release of Reawaken
with good press. Cuz we're playing down at this place called The
Junkyard, and they've been getting a lot of phone calls and people
dropping in saying, "Are Onward really going to be there?".
Last time around nobody gave two shits. So we're actually going to have
fans on hand around this time, so it should be nice.
Awesome. So after the release party will there be talk of some
kind of touring for the band?
Yup. Century Media have options that they're looking at because they
really want to get us out there. Right now the condition in the U.S. is
hard for the traditional heavy metal band to do a tour here. But I think
it's going to happen cuz there are some good prospects. They're talking
about possibly doing something with Angel Dust, since our albums are out
at the same time. So hopefully that pans out. If it doesn't, we'll just
book our own shows and try to get all over the place on our own.
Any dates set for festivals in the states or even Europe or
We don't have anything in stone. The label told us to go get our
passports, but that's the only thing they've said. So we're just
assuming they've got something up their sleeve.
Hopefully you get some kind of tour this time. That's how you get
the fans I guess more than anything.
Yeah, we love playing live, and every time we play we reach more
people and that's what we're basically living for; holding our breath to
get out there. We know that the conditions are going to be rough, but
we're dying to do it.
So do you see this type of traditional heavy metal making some
form of resurgence or anything?
I really think it is. It's just that it feels like there's something
magic in the air where some band is going to bring it back, and I really
believe that because the 10 year period that Nirvana started is over.
And all the bands on MTV and the radio are monotonous as hell.
We did an interview with a Vegas paper here a couple days ago; a really
big paper, and we read the journalist's article and he directly linked
it with "Nirvana started something in 1991, and who better to lead
the next resurgence than Onward".
So it's like FUCK!!!!! Those are pretty big words.
Yeah that's good press.
I was wondering if you saw the movie Rock Star?
That bring back memories?
Yeah, yeah. I was a good movie. Me and Mike watched it and thought
this was going to be such a great tribute to metal. But we were
disappointed because at the end of the movie metal had lost the fight.
Yeah, I know....I loved the movie up till the last 15 minutes.
Yeah, then your heart sinks and you have to live it all over again.
Yeah, Nirvana all over again. Greasy hair...
.......baggy pants. And now it's bald heads and goatees out a mile.
Haha, yeah. And the baggy two-man pants!
Yeah, you could use 'em for a tent.
Well man that's all the questions I had for you! Are there any
other news or things going on that you want me to pass along to people?
Our main goal is to get out on the road soon, so hopefully we'll
reach our audience in the U.S. this year.
Is your biggest audience the U.S. so far?
As far as numbers go, interestingly enough we've sold more records in
the U.S. than anywhere. Initially I think everybody assumed that Germany
would be where it's selling, but we saw the numbers and we're doing more
here. Which is pretty cool.
Great! I know it is because there is a lot of bands that go over
to Europe and Germany and they do their big tours and come back here and
they're lucky if they play at all.
It's amazing. That's something that just fucks with my head; that
people can be mega rock stars over there and then come back here and
resume laying tiles.
Hahaha and that's gonna fuck with the artists head as well.
True! Well man, thanks alot for your time.
All the best of luck.
Ok man. Thanks and take it easy.
Onward CD Reviews
Thanks to Ronnie and Joel for the