Metalhead Spotted: Hello Tony, what can you say about this 2013, and about your next steps?
TD: Hello, what can I say? 2013 started slower than anticipated or planned fo us but then ended in a great flourish! Brazil...after wanting to go there for 30yrs I finally go to visit..and was mazing for us..the greatest, warmest people, great food, drink everything...We did a European tour with Master, Tantra and Onslaught, which had issues, like Mantas injuring his back only days before the start, not getting paid..lots of nice things but the fans were amazing...and we had some great times too. Greece twice...Athens and Patra..amazing so great and Sardinia another stunning day...We missed the US tour with Raven as the immigration messed up the Visa form leaving us not enough time for re-application to do the tour... We released CRUCIFIED album and a 7” Vinyl DEMONE/TAKING IT ALL...it has been an eventful but fantastic year for us..
2014??? Brazil then the rest of South America from October..Japan and dates in Europe, including the Viking Funeral with Skyclad in London and Birmingham, and North America. We will release 3 albums this year and a 7” plus a limited edition box set at the end we are hoping..
Metalhead Spotted: Can you tell us your favourite 10 albums of this 2013?
TD: ah cool...well.... Black Sabbath - 13, Carcass - Surgical Steel, Dark Tranquility -Construct
VoiVod – Target Earth, Nails – Abandon All Life, Deicide – In The Minds Of Evil, Manilla Road -Mysterium, Fleshgod Apocolypse -Labyrinth, Children of Bodom -Halo Of Blood, Killswitch Engage -Disarm The Descent.
Metalhead Spotted:You did a lot of shows this year, and ofc played with a lot of bands, can you mention some bands that impressed you?
TD: We did and we are very lucky..ah..well Tantra from Scandinavia...great. Ultra Violence from Italy...fantastic...Noise Disorder- Greece...very cool..Grazed and GANG from France 2 great bands...Chaos Theory- Italy..Bloodfeast USA, Atomica -Brazil, Farscape -Sardinia, Sex Trash, Taurus – Brazil and I am sure I have left out many...just so many great great bands.. we had load of amazing bands...and we are lucky we all shared the stage together...:-)
Metalhead Spotted: I like a lot your attitude on stage and after the gig with the audience, tell me something about your connection with the fans.
TD: Thanx for that..It is ALL about the fans...without fans there are no bands full stop.Some bands could do with reminding themselves of that from time to time. I keep a Facebook account so I can be accessed by fans, because I think that's important also. I know when I was younger to have direct access and to be able to chat to bands and members I was following would have blew my mind so to be able to do that for our fans is great. The thing is...meeting the fans who come to see us play is important, our fans let us know what they like, what they don't, what they'd like us to do etc,etc..Our live set is part of the fan requests, the CRUCIFIED album this year was directly from fans as will be CRUCIFIED II this year..Of course we do what we want also but our relationship directly with our fans is paramount to us...I mean...M:PIRE of EVIL...you can't build and (E)M:PIRE alone can you, lol...We are all... Creatures of The Black!
Metalhead Spotted: During the years... How is changed the audience reaction at your shows?
TD: It hasn't really changed that much really I guess. Well except the older ones stand at the back now so the younger ones can mosh...lol...it used to be them but now..they leave a gap..it's just numbers at this level really. Back then there wasn't such a focus on genre metal, Black, Death, Folk, Doom, NU, Leggo, Playdough, etc...hahahaha So it seemed almost all metal fans went to almost all metal shows.These days, some fans go to some shows and not others because the acts don't fit the Genre profile...it's a shame coz some great metal is being missed...once that barrier is broken then all will see we are all in it together like back in the day...one brother/sisterhood...one ideology...METAL IS OUR MESSIAH!
Metalhead Spotted: Now one question About the band's equipment... Do you like to be always updated with new instruments? Do you have any favourite brands?
TD: Ah, I guess we try different things from time to time but we have our favourites and seem to fall back on them when we feel the need..I have my 2 old girls...my Rickenbacker 1971 4001 and my Overwater about 25yrs old or more but am right now talking to La Fey basses, which are fantastic! Mantas has an endorsement with Caparison Japan and is using those these days and they are great guitars but he was using his Epiphone les paul and SG which are 2 of his favourite guitars...so I guess we are open to finding new and great instruments...on the digital front we have found Line 6 hard to beat for us..and Tech 21 I love...
Metalhead Spotted:I would like to take advantages of your great experience, let's do some considerations...
TD: Hahaha see, genre's! Ok...METAL that is my favourite...lol..well I like so much and am quite eclectic really...from Hellhammer to Zak Wild but I guess something I still just love because of the guitar sounds and construction would have to be Thrash Metal.
Metalhead Spotted:You are into music since a lot of years, and you saw its evolution under a lot of aspects (genres, bands, technology, business), can you tell us what you love and hate.
TD: I love the progression, the inventiveness...the way music has moved and grown..in all directions..some good some bad...I love the digital age which gives young musicians and bands an advantage over not managing to get a label for their home, they can still record at low cost and build free sites to expose their band to the world..
I hate the fragmentation of what should be ONE...YOU...Genres are fine, doesn't mean the rest isn't..the internet has made everyone a critic from blogs to forums and it's sad to be missing this great time and great cacaphony of sounds from all over the world just becasue they aren't, 'Black, Doom, Nu..or whatever' Metal... We are all one, we are all Metal...shouldn't we shove that shit right up the man's nose again like one big motherfucking Metal Army?!
Metalhead Spotted: If you think that you and Jeff Dunn were inspiring for a lot of musicians, especially thrash and Black Metal, what do you feel?
TD: I think only know is Mantas realising who he is...lol..for me it is always a shock when I hear people were so affected by anything I have done.It is truly amazing and very humbling to hear things like that from people, but you know..it is something we both find inspiring, to ourselves, to know that what we do inspires others..that is great. People had told us stories of how we saved them via our music and that is so incredible to think that what you did kept someone, not only, alive but determined to achieve...that because of you someone not only joined a band but went on to succeed, like Rob Flynn Machinehead, who saw Venom as a boy and, well...did ok.. or many others...lol
Metalhead Spotted: Go back at the beginning of your career, how hard was it and which are the differences between your start and the nowadays bands?
TD: Back then? There weren't too many places to play so you had to be inventive...lol these days same thing..I hear that everywhere in the world...bands everywhere tell me, it's hard to get shows..Back then no one payed to play though and that invention sux fucking ass...wtf!!! Pay and then don't forget to bring your own crowd too. oh yes and advertise the show as well..?? Some festivals won't even give bands transport costs...coz YOU should be privilaged to be able to play there, or they are giving young bands a 'chance'..lol..what??? ...Merch is a BIG industry now..back then it was just something extra if you saw a band live..we used to tape trade then, that was how the underground worked, tape traders and home made fanzines...now..bands deal on downloads and mp3's on the net and it seems every demo band has a full range of merch too..hahaha...how fucking fantastic is that? We just need more promoters who do honest work , Agents who are actual agents and not con men and more great venues...on the whole...
Metalhead Spotted: Some of the emerging bands' biggest problems are to play shows, stay on tour, or just play in their own Region/country, cause sometimes it's very hard to find gigs, be payed by the clubs, and Also we can add things as pay to play, buy slots, fake promoters...
You play a lot across the world, what do you suggest to a young band?
TD: And as if by Majic, I answered most of this in the question above without realizing...lol..
A suggestion for young bands..Mmm..well, be wary of 'promoters', someone who owns a bar isn't a promoter...just an owner...make flyers, post them all over the city for a show..never pay someone to play....NEVER....go to metal shows and hand out flyers and put 3 trax on CDR and make a cover and hand some out at shows you go to, free...keep an eye on the net and your band pages...take full use of social media...and just keep making great music...at the very end of the day...fans make bands not fucking industry wannabe managers, agents and labels...if the fans base say yes those guys will all agree, don't let someone else have power over you just because you want it so bad...that will kill you eventually if not within the first year...be patient...Metallica (like em or not) did not make it overnight...ACDC, had a singer before Brian and hadn't broke America...etc,etc...just believe in yourself %100 and go for it...anything worth having is not easy to get...but that is part of the joy, getting there..just have fun...
Metalhead Spotted: So Tony thank you very much for your time, it was a pleasure to talk with you and I hope to have you again on Metalhead Spotted. Feel free to say what you want to our readers...
TD: I'd just like to thank our fans for their endless support and say hello to readers who as yet have not me us...some may like us and some will not but that's the greatness of music...something for everyone...check us out on Facebook or here for all things M:PIRE of evil..
See you out there sometime somewhere...ALL HAIL!!