– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with M-PIRE OF EVIL? If I’m not mistaken there’s currently a lot going on with the band, as you are working on new material; could you already tell us something about it?
A: Hi Sergio…it’s a pleasure…yes lots happening…well we are indeed working on a new recording..well the idea came as we found 2 tracks we had demoed back when we were Venom together…but never got released..then we looked at the old albums, that have long been on a shelf and people (fans) would tell me how much those old recordings would cost them as they were out of print and we thought fuck this…so we looked at getting them re-released but label politics stood in the way so we decided we’d throw it out to fans to say, if we’re recorded some material from 4 albums….which ones would you wanna hear M-PIRE do? As we were including some old tracks in our live set we thought it could be cool. Once everyone suggested their ‘best’ trax, we looked at our own choices and cross referenced and then narrowed it down to the two previously unreleased trax plus 9 others and then we began recording..
– What are we going to find new on the upcoming albums?
A: The new album is titled, ‘CRUCIFIED’ but we haven’t yet released the full track running order..but you can expect some of our best stuff…this is not some kind of rehash or a throw away album…this is legitimate and total..M-PIRE of EVIL….
– First off I would like you to tell us how did the band get started and what prompted you to form it.
A: Ah, well Mantas had his band DRYLL…they were due to play a show when the drummer had and accident that meant he couldn’t perform. Mantas drafted Antton in to cover and he stayed. They found themselves playing a show where as an encore they decided to play the song Black Metal..this got videoed and put on youtube, I think…anyway it wasn’t long before people started wondering as did Mantas and Antton, what if the the Demolition Man came in? That would be cool…so after a while, I got a call from Mantas, at first I wasn’t sure what he was suggesting but then realised, they wanted me to join them…so I said yes…let’s do it…the rest is history..lol
– You were first named PRIME EVIL and later PRIMEVIL, as the VENOM’s album. Why did you decide to name the band like this? And what caused your name changes to finally end up as M-PIRE OF EVIL?
A: Well, the Legions chose the name..we asked them what they thought we should be called and they all said it had to be Prime Evil but there was a band from the US who had also used that name and decided they wanted to reform to stop us using the name,it got kind of messy and I took all the blame but in the end they registered the name for several thousand dollars so we stopped using the name. WE had a deal already in place and artwork mantas had designed so I thought we should stay close to the name that had been chosen, so I looked at Prime Evil and saw an anagram…P R I M E….M P I R E…put a small of and there it was….MPIRE EVIL…PRIME EVIL.
People either Love ot or hate it but we don’t care…coz WE like it…lol
– What are the main musical influences for the band?
A: Influences? Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Motorhead…of course that is old school…as the world is ever changing and new artists make superb product I guess you are always influenced by great material so there is current material now too but it would be impossible to list everything…but let’s just say music but especially Metal is our influence..
– Though M-PIRE OF EVIL is a really young band, you are not newcomers at all so, do you think your well-known names into the scene can make things easier for the band?
A: Well I understand it may make people listen easier but I think there is almost more pressure to deliver…people who liked you want to see you can still do it and people who disliked you wanna see it they still dislike you…lol…It helps we’ve been here before but you still need performance and material because there are so many great acts and so much fantastic material available for everyone that you still have to deliver something people wanna hear…so that’s the part where it makes little difference if you are old or new…
– You’ve gotten overwhelming reviews with your first EP and with the full-length album released a few months ago, “Hell to the Holy”. Did you expect such a good acceptance?
A: NO, we liked the finished product and were excited to be releasing something but when the reviews began coming in…we were humbled, we hoped people would like the works but so many great reviews and great, great words…we were kind of shocked and really..happy and greatful.I think the new record is even better…I hope everyone agrees too…
– And what about the response you’ve got on your shows? As this summer you have played at different festivals such as Maratona Rock or Muskelrock.
A: Yes we only played 2 shows so far in Europe because we changed management and Booking agent and have taken time to build a map for 2013 plus decided to record the new record but both shows were fantastic..Maratona, Italy then Muskelrock, Sweden..great organisers, wonderful warm welcomes and great audiences…we weren’t able to do our whole Pyro show at either but we had a great time and 2 great shows..
– The “Creatures of the Black” EP contained several covers; why did you choose those ones specially? And what other songs would you like to cover someday?
A: We chose 4 covers for The Creatures of The Black as an introduction to the M-PIRE…to give people a clue as to which way we were going, we added 2 exclusive M-PIRE trax, Reptile and The Creatures of The Black…the cover were chosen by each of us and then one jointly…The Kiss track , God of Thunder because Venom used to cover it in the early days…Motorhead was my choice, Exciter was Mantas and Hell Ain’t a Bad Place by Antton…the idea was to pick a song that influenced us so much that it made us want to play in a band ourselves..and those were the trax. I think we may be releasing something through a magazine in Feb (a very well known one) that may have some special covers on…Metallica? Would that be cool? Stay tuned….
– After recording the “Hell to the Holy” album drummer Antton left the band. What was the main reason behind that decision?
A: He didn’t like the album. He wasn’t happy with the way things were going, he had his own band that took precedent basically. It seemed a great idea but I guess that’s why Venom could never stay as one thing for long, this was not going to end up like that or it would have been a waste of time and I could not be fucked to waste my time again, so we had to change things..now everyone is happy..
– And now Marc Jackson has joined you. What has he brought new to M-PIRE OF EVIL?
A: JAXN? He has youth of course but he is contemporary with tonnes of old school feel…live he is perfect…timing is exact and he is a great performer onstage..but….wait until you hear him on the new album….fuck me….you will really hear something as he has outplayed himself…amazing work..
– Getting a bit into the band’s concept; what do some of the lyrics on the full-length album deal with?
A: a few varied concepts, like DEVIL, the blues Delta and how Black Metal may have actually started with Robert Johnson at the crossroads…but mainly the concept is…man…from his violent assault on himself and others to his religious persecution of everyone outside a particular religious idea. Hell to the Holy itself is about bringing Hell to those who are evil to others…HELLSPAWN is about us and our fans…if Metal is the Devils music then we must be Hellspawn for playing and listening right? People expect Satanic stuff and read that into the album in a way…but it’s a bit beyond that but maybe only we will ever truly know that…
– Mantas himself produced the album; how positive do you think is for the band having an own members taking production duties? As I guess no one like you knows how M-PIRE OF EVIL is supposed to sound.
A: That is exactly right…it means we have control and we know how we want to sound…so as long as your member taking on those duties an actually do the job then it’s all good…fortunately Mantas is pretty ok at it..lol..
– On the other hand, the amazing artwork was crafted by Gyula Havancsák. How did you work on it and what did you want to express?
A: Yes well my friend Schmier introduced us…I have always love the Destruction covers and wanted Gyula if possible…he was very in demand but I was honoured when he agreed to do our cover…We all had some ideas and they were thrown around…but I simply wrote to Gyula, ‘think Pope, dirty cigarette in mouth’….Hell To The Holy…that was it and he delivered the most awesome work….we were so happy and the finished name logo is fucking incredible…he’s a fucking genius!!
– Despite a lot of people may think you are trying to copy what you once did with VENOM, you’ve showed you don’t. You play a nice heavy, really honest and rough Thrash Metal, but also updating a little bit the overall sound. Due to this I would like to know how does the songwriting process uses to be like in M-PIRE OF EVIL and if it does change from a band to another.
A: I agree…everyone thought they knew what we were going to do….lol…and we didn’t. We wanted to do what, WE, wanted to do, something that harked back to what we were inspired by and still keep a modern feel too…Classic Metal with a modern feel..Was the writing different than when we wrote as Venom? No, simply…lol…or ATOMKRAFT or DRYLLl or The MANTAS band….basically, we write how we write…someone has a riff, sometimes a lyric too, sometimes it is him and sometimes it is me…we don’t worry who comes up with something, if we like what we hear then that is the target. Mantas is a riff machine…and I write quickly but for the album we mixed it up…Mantas hammering out riff after riff and all were quality…when that happens, I don’t step in…why would I…when he runs dry then I would but while he is smashing out great riff.s then best to keep it going..Lyrics can happen during his riff stage, or we work together in the studio around the vocal recording or like with Metal Messiah….I wrote it in minutes and sent the lyrics to Mantas with the note…’think Priest’ and that was that….one of our favs..so you see we work in whatever way feels comfortable…and that changes constantly but one thing we never did and didn;t do again here with M-PIRE of EVIL, try and write songs to fit in with anything…we wrote what we wanted to hear and liked and that all you can do…be honest, there are no stars for trying to be a band you aren’t.
– In fact you manage to blend nicely different passages, as there are really Heavy Metal sounding tunes, while others hold an almost Doom feeling. Is versatility something you are aiming for?
A: Ah lol…I think I kind of touched on that in the question before. No we never pre conceive anything…it’s futile to do that because music fans but especially metal fans and our fans smell a fake from 10,000 fucking feet!! We write what we feel and put all of our selves into it…like it or not, we never give less that %100…you must give all or you are letting yourself and your fans down..nothing with M-PIRE is half arsed and we are not trying to be anyone but ourselves…The Doom of the 8th GATE just happened…an extension of the 7 GATES….fast slow, classic Metal, thrash…all the elements of who we are and what we listen to and like are present but not because we tried to shape it, simply that, that is who we are….
– All this being said; how could you describe “Hell to the Holy” in just 3 words?
– Moving to another topic; how do you see the state of the current Metal scene? Any new bands you could suggest?
A: ALLERJEN (UK), EVERSIN (Italy), ULTRA VIOLENCE (Italy), BLOODWRATH (UK) some cool ones I like…:-) I think we are a little overloaded because of the internet and because everyone can put themselves and their music out there without a label but it is also amazing as there is some amazing quality and so many great bands that it is all the better. The scene as a total does need some patching up I think as it is too fragmented so looks like it lacks strength but if it was all brought together then everyone would realise how healthy everything is…everyone has got into the habit of putting everything in categories….and it is alienating..Metal is the bad boy, is the alienation..all as one, we don’t need to alienate ourselves from the fucking inside do we?
– And what are your thoughts on technology and tools as the Internet? What kind of impact do you think is this having on the whole music industry? I’m not just talking about free downloads, but also about creativity, as there are a lot of bands but maybe the good old spirit, originality and honesty is gone?
A: Again I pre empted the question somewhat..lol…no…I think the net is healthy…downloads can be a problem, if bands can;t see music then they will die…everyone has to survive and if everyone is ripping…then no one will be able to do it professionally and survive…as shame but as far as new bands and music…it is amazing…everyone can be heard by someone..how cool is that…we never had that…Originality…? well some yes but it seems that a lot of bands want to be their hero’s so much they simply try to be them, that shit never works…because the hero’s were hero’s because their was only them with that identity….some bands think in order to be original they need to have their own genre….so we get 100 genre’s, no, no your don’t..call yourself Metal and just be yourself…if it sounds Doomy, Black, Thrash…so fuck….it is all METAL….HELL YES!!! ALL HAIL!!
– After so many years into the music world you’ve shared stage with several bands but, what band would you like to play with that you haven’t done it yet?
A: Ahhhh..:-)…you mean onstage or just sharing a show with..before or after them….well…onstage…I’d fucking love to join in with Metallica or Slayer….play Mad Butcher with Destruction…Exodus with Exodus…Motorhead with Lemmy, (we covered it on, The Creatures Of The Black mini Lp)..as far as just sharing…stages? Maiden, Priest, Ozzy, Megadeth, etc, etc, etc…everyone….Immortal, Mayhem, Rammstein…I mean an endless list…man, you got me fucking excited now….can we do it…2013…can I join them all…? Please? lol
– Throughout so many years of musical career you’ve played in different bands but; what does M-PIRE OF EVIL provides you other bands can’t (or couldn’t)?
A: WE are in control this time…no middle men and no time wasters. If it doesn’t work we move on, simple. There was always someone else making decisions before and we were always being compromised by others, which is why it always ended..never because of ourselves directly..this is ours, exclusively ours and that’s how it will stay.
– In fact you are seasoned artists that have set trend so, after so many years, what have been your personal best and worst moments (musically)?
A: Ahahaha..some bad musical decisions I guess….meaning, some tracks liked better than others…but I think on the whole we liked what we did…Best moment for Mantas…probably walking onstage to a huge festival audience Venom were not playing in front of but who were shown the Witching Hour/Bloodlust video and then Venom appeared to say hi…the place went fucking crazy,..and they didn’t even play a note how cool was that? Lol…Worst moment..ahh…he is writing something as we speak…that will be published so maybe we should leave it until then maybe..
For me…1988 with ATOMKRAFT in Poland at the Spodek Arena…20,000 people or something like that…and British flags all over…when we entered…amazing…I’ll never forget it…worst? That same tour.,…the band was falling apart and we didn’t even see it properly…great tour, truly the best we did but ended sadly..
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
A: Play every show we can in every country we can from 2013 and beyond…we are currently recording the next piece titled CRUCIFIED now which is a best of lost trax from us and 2 never before heard trax from the day and then the new album…after that…for early 2013. We have a video in production , a live disc…something special for one of the British Mags…and a very special DVD compilation working on too..so a busy life to come…;-)
– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
A: That was great fun, thanx a million…keep Metal Alive…I would only like to add..we need to bring everyone together under one flag as we were back in the old days, only then can we have true strength..let’s leave hate and all that shit to fucking governments and bankers eh? Metal brought us together and together we can stand tall….We will see you on the dancefloor….don;t forget…to ‘Bang Your Head’ it is good for your soul….lol…Cheers and ALL HAIL!