Interview by EvilG, JP and Celtic Bob
I would like to begin by saying the new album is excellent. Why a solo album now in such a short period since GENERATION NOTHING?
Thank you. My solo record was already written before Kurdt and I decided to put MC back together…and I put way to much hard work into it to not release it. I am the singer of Metal Church but I am also a solo artist.
The new album is very similar to Metal Church. Is this a chance to say something that you cannot do in the band?
Not at all. My songs are much more concise and focus on the vocals more than MC. Vanderhoof writes longer more intricate songs that focus on the music more.
Why did you feel the need to do a solo album at this point?
As I already said, I had this record almost completed when MC got back together and it’s to good not to let my fans hear it.
How did you hook up with Rat Pak Records?
I’ve known Joe at Rat Pak for a few years now and he is an honest and hard working guy. So is the rest of his staff. So when he asked to release my first solo record “The Fire Within” I trusted him and went for it. He never lets me down.
Is it more beneficial to have the support of a label behind you vs. Independent?
Rat Pak is an independent label. I at this point in my career need to have someone like Joe and his team running things for me.
Tell us a bit about how you chose the musicians for your solo project including some of the well-known guests you have on the album!
I wrote all of the record but one song with Paul Kleff and during that time he and I made some calls to friends and that is how we put the band together. I could not ask for a better bunch of musicians and friends to have around me. There is Sean Baker, Tony Rossi and David Donigian…as well as Paul Kleff. As far as the guest spots … Joe and I discussed that and he made it happen and being that we are all label mates didn’t hurt either.
Do you plan to do any form of live playing to support your solo album, if so can you give us some details on when and what places you’ll likely play?
I have done one show so far and plan to do some more on the East coast in Oct. I would love to play everywhere if I could but MC takes first priority.
Were you and the Metal Church band happy with fan reception of the return with 2013’s Generation Nothing?
We have had a great response right out of the gate. Kurdt and I are very happy with the response.
What is the plans/status for the next Church record?
We have something special planned. You will have to wait and find out.
Do you feel a bit of pressure from the band or fans to stick to older Metal Church material in the set-list.
No, no pressure at all. It’s expected of us to play the old songs. I love singing the old stuff. It’s what got the band where it is today.
What was it like performing on 70, 000 Tons?
Incredible, and what a way to bring the band back. In front of press and bands from 40 different countries. It was great and I am looking forward to having another chance to do it in the future.
You are now officially the longest standing singer of all the Metal Church vocalists with four studio albums under your belt. Do you encounter fans who are stuck in the past and won’t recognize your excellent contributions to the legacy of the band?
Fans being stuck in the past is never going to change and it does not bother me. I am secure with my legacy in MC and will keep doing my best to keep the fans that I do have because of it, happy.
Just a point of curiosity, do you or the members of MC keep in contact with former vocalist Mike Howe, and if so, what’s he been up to and does he have plans to ever sing/preform again?
I don’t, but I’m sure Kurdt has on occasion. Mike is a family man and contractor these days and has been for a long time.
I’ve read that in October 2011 that you joined the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as a vocalist? Can you give us some more details on that such as did you play live with them just for the 2011 fall/xmas tour, do you still or have you been asked to again, did you get to do lead vocals or just backing, recording plans with them, etc?
I did two tours with TSO. Winter 2011 and Spring 2012. It was a great experience and afforded me the chance to do something I have not done before. At this time I do not know if and when I will go back. My focus is on my new solo record ‘Elecrtic Wake’ and MC.
What is the status of the 70’s prog rock band Presto Ballet that you were in with Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof? Is it on hold now that MC is back?
I left Presto to do TSO and Kurdt is still moving forward with a new singer.
Any other projects in the works that you’d like to share?
I have a new T-shirt line coming out soon through ‘RockBiz’. Keep watching my sites for details. I will also be doing some other things that I cannot mention at this point and time.
In closing I would like to thank you for taking the time in answering these questions for us and is there anything you’d like to say to the fans and readers out there?
Thank you for the interview and a huge thank you to all the fans out there that have supported myself and MC over the years. Pick up your Pre-order of “Electric Wake” now. CHEERS.