Ten Minutes With Dave Balfour from Metal Evilution

Hey Dave, thanks for your time mate, first up a little bit about you, what or who got you into heavy metal in the beginning? 

Always a pleasure Mick! I’m a passionate Heavy Metal fan and have been for the majority of my existence. KISS was the first heavyish band I obtained on record as a kid but it was a copy of IRON MAIDEN – Live After Death on cassette that hooked me and sealed my obsessive fate. The rest is history.

When and why did you start Metal Evilution? 

First official show was in December 2003 featuring DUNGEON but the idea was building a good 2 years before that. It started again purely for my desire to do more than just bang my head in the front row.hahaha I wanted to help the music I loved so much any way I could. It sounds really corny but Metal Evilution was and always will be only about helping promote the greatest style of music around.

You now promote and organise what a lot say is the best 2 day metal festival in Australia Steel Assassins in Sydney ,how did that all start? 

Who are these people and have they lost their collective minds?hahah

Again it started from the desire to do even more for Heavy Metal. After years of hosting shows and managing/booking bands I wanted an event that I hoped would become something a bit special for not only Sydney headbangers but nation wide. It was bold to even start it as a 2 day event from the get go but I think it paid off? Well it’s still going and growing so perhaps it really has?

This year marks the 6th year for Steel Assassins, it must get very hard selecting bands each year given that you don’t allow playing 2 years in a row, how do you select the bands from what must be a truckload of applications? 

6 years! Thanks Maniacs!!! The fans who turn up every year are the reason it has stayed and grown. Need to quickly thank every one of them!!

Incredibly hard! Sometimes I think bands who miss out can assume there is something wrong with them or that there is a political agenda but honestly the focus every year is to pick a mixture of current bands that are the best in the country plus the best of the new talent, an international guest or 2 and of course as many special reunions or rare appearances as I can get. The lineup needs to contain sets that won’t be seen every week or people will not get so excited, 

Away from Steel Assassins you book and promote several local shows a year, that must be getting harder and harder with the closure of venues in the city and surrounding suburbs, is it time to look to the outer suburbs now for venues?

 In a way yes I suppose but to be honest it’s always kind of been that way. Venues close and new avenues open. It may be true that Sydney has perhaps the least amount of options lately than in a long time but it will change again. That said, it is really important to take Metal to as many suburbs and towns as possible. There are Metal fans everywhere. I should know I have been almost everywhere.hahaha

Thanks for your time Dave, im sure ill catch you at a gig real soon.

 

Without a doubt Mick! Metal till death!!! Is that too MANOWAR??hahaha \m/

Steel Assassins Festival Facebook 

Metal Evilution Facebook

PEGAZUS + Temtris + PureEnvy @ The Vault Newcastle 12/05/17

By Mark Snedden,  Photos By MickG Photography

The Vault in Newcastle has been the epicentre of a resurgence of the metal scene for Novocastrians. Over the last few years more and more bands have established themselves on the live scene here in Newcastle, PurEnvy, being at the forefront of the local outfits. The venue has also hosted national metal bands such as Elm Street, Taberah, King Parrot and more. Tonight the venue is the platform for Pegazus, Temtris and PurEnvy. Battlegod Productions, a Sydney based promoter and label, have brought this gig together and this company is a bastion for local and international acts. We spent some time focussing on the three acts tonight with a brief interview and a review of each set.

PurEnvy

PureEnvy, as mentioned earlier are from “Newy” homeland. They are a band who are definitely metal, but who have flavours of hard rock, old school metal but also overtones of hardcore and early Pantera. The have a double melodic attack (Adam Kiefel & Josip Malkoc), that is balanced above the rhythm section of Dave Lewsam on bass and Zac Swan on drums. They are one of the tightest outfits to have come out of Newcastle, and have secured a number of high profile gigs in Sydney such as Mr Dave Balfour’s Steel Assassins. They are on the verge of releasing their sophomore album, following As the Light Fades released in 2012.

I caught up with Adam for a chat before their set –

How did PurEnvy come about?

“It came about back in 2010, where I literally started talking and put an ad on Facebook for band members really. I had a drummer that I was mucking around with and we had a few jams and wrote a few songs and went from there. It was a real natural thing, just people who loved the same music and wanted to play”

What gigs, in your career stand out to date?

“Steel Assassins was amazing and the best we have done. We had a great experience and it worked very well for us we went over so well. The whole atmosphere of that festival is amazing and we were stoked to be on the bill alongside other great Aussie acts. We did a gig an hour and half north of Brisbane in Maryborough in 50-degree heat and that stands out! There were over one hundred people there and it went off. It was an outside beer garden and stage. We got this gig through some friends in Kold Kreature. We also did a gig with them in Lismore. We have actually been friends ever since and so that was a great experience and great to pick up some mates from it along the way.”

Focussing on As the Light Fades, how did the band write its material for this album?

“Usually it starts with either Jo or I with an idea. With the latest album, most are Jo’s riffs and then we sit down and just piece it together. There is no one who actually write a complete song, it is like jigsaw puzzle, and so we piece things together like that. After we have this structure we nut it out through rehearsals and arrange the songs that way. So an initial idea that is just explored through jamming and then arranged.”

I know that the band is on the verge of its second release, can you tell us when this album is coming out and what we can expect?

“The new album has been a huge project with so much going on. We are hoping to release it soon, you know, it comes down to other commitments and time. We have a lot of layers of guitars and vocals and it has been a huge project. We are very happy with it and can’t wait for it to be released. A lot of heart and soul has gone in to it and you know it has paid off. We can’t wait to get it out there!”

Where is PurEnvy headed?

“There is a definite game plan. We have short term goals, medium term goals and long term. The long term goal is longevity and we still want to be around at this time establishing that name, and we would really love to go overseas and really to become professional, this is the ultimate goal. So in thirty years’ time we are like Iron Maiden and still rocking out, you know. These are the type of bands who we all look up to and this is what they are doing, putting out great records and making it happen. You know short term is to release the new album and then to try and get on to a European tour. In between it is to try and do another record every three years.”

PurEnvy are such a reliable live act these days and have become so tight over the last twelve months or so from constant gigging. But I have never seen these guys on a bad day actually! Tonight, as the opening act they hit the floor and immediately had the punters in their hands. They have built their following on the backbone of tight, in your face and powerful sets. The energy tonight of their rhythm section really shone through, and with such an established bass player as Dave Lewsam, they can’t really go wrong. I need to mention Adam’s vocals, he has a really solid and powerful voice that resonates with strength and melody. His no nonsense approach to the lead role of the band is a breath of fresh air with no ego, no grace, just sincerity and conviction. Highlights for me tonight were the twin guitar melodies that navigate throughout so many tracks and they lift the darker, heavier pieces and provide a dynamic balance. The forty-five-minute set went extremely quickly and they really left the place hungry for more. What an awesome way to start the evening as on so many levels PurEnvy are now far from an opening act, in musicianship, song strength and performance.

Temtris

Temtris, hailing from the South Coast of NSW, was formed through the evolution of the heavy rock band Labyrinth. The band has released four albums to date, their latest being Enter the Asylum, being released in 2016. Temtris have established themselves as a heavy metal band with extreme versatility, with straight ahead metal songs, to more epic and narrative pieces. Temtris’ vocalist Genevieve Rodda, is an amazing vocalist, bringing both elements of power and melody to the sound of the band.

How has Enter the Asylum been received since its release last year?

“It is either been hot or cold. People are loving it in Australia. A lot of people in Europe are in to the Symphonic vocals and so there are some people who don’t know how to take it. The images of the band, for some fans portray an image, and then the music in some respects is much harder than they expect. We have literally made the album with grit and so some have struggled with that. So we just play what we play and write what feels right, but we are happy with how it has been received, for sure.”

You have played some amazing supports in Australia which one stands out for you and why?

“Definitely Accept! It was our first major support and it was a hell of a lot of fun. We were nervous about how the audience would take us and it was an amazing night. It was a really cool atmosphere and everyone got in to it. Accept actually wanted us to come to Melbourne but unfortunately supports were already secured down there so it couldn’t happen. But this was an amazing gig for us!”

I know you have struggled with line-ups throughout your career, as most bands do, but tell me about the current line-up and how it compares to the past?

“Now we have five musicians, and five committed people, and that it is not just about rehearsing and putting on a complete show, its everything. Everyone is now on the same page and are willing to put in the time, energy and dedication that is required to move Temtris forward. So it feels really good at the moment and it feels right.”

Temtris is all about live performance, how do you prepare for a show?

“We rehearse very heavily three to four weeks beforehand and we also work through the set and make sure the songs connect. I have a routine where I stretch my vocal chords and the others have their routines before we actually go on. We are all passionate about what we do and we do what it takes to put the performance together and be right for the gig.”

Finally, what is the next major step for Temtris, is it an album, overseas touring…?

“We would love to go overseas but this is just beyond us at present. We have had a few offers but they haven’t been decent enough as we have bills to pay and the offer has to be right and balanced. We are on the Battlegod label but as distribution, so we have a good business relationship that is mutually beneficial, with no pressure, and this does give us a fair amount of freedom; this way we are supporting each other. The next album is on its way, six songs down with more to come. But we really would love to get overseas and play and start to work in those markets.”

Temtris hit the stage tonight with a real sense of purpose, they turned up to play. This outfit has become so professional over the course of the last few years. Every time I have seen them play they have taken their live show to a new level. It is hard to say what is in store for this outfit because in 2017 it seems like the sky is the limit. The band opened with Mind Games followed by Summoning and then Enter the Asylum in quick succession, and they immediately had the Newcastle punters eating out of their hands. The bands energy and pace has definitely benefited from the addition of Taso Vamiadakis on drums who commanded the songs from the back of the stage and set the upbeat pace of the set, he is an amazing musician at such a young age! The guitar duo of Anthony Hoffman and Anthony Fox have become so tight and their melodies, and even lead work, seem to complement each other as musicians so well; which is the benefit of playing together for so long. Genevieve was on fire, she commanded the stage, hit the notes and played to the punters all set. For me her highlights were Empty Room, Your Time Has Come and the rendition of Iron Maiden’s The Evil That Men Do. Ultimately there was no downtime in the set and tonight was proof that Temtris are here to stay and that they are not only a formidable national metal act, but an act who are poised and ready to take on the international metal stage.

Pegazus

Pegazus are one of the forefathers of the Australian metal scene forming in 1993 in Melbourne, and releasing over six Albums to date. The band was formed around Johnny Stoj (guitar and principle song writer) and his brother Robbie On drums. The band have always been received well and in 1998 they really started to impact on the international market with the release of Wings of Destiny, and then Breaking the Chains, which was distributed across all continents. On the back of this album the band toured in Europe with the likes of Hammerfall and cemented their place in the international metal world. The band’s latest offering, In Metal We Trust continues the bands tradition of true metal and I am hoping we don’t have to wait too long for the next release.

Johnny how does it feel to have Pegazus alive and strong in 2017, twenty-four years after you started?

“Feels good that we are still around. People still appreciate the music and that is all that matters really. We are happy to be here and still relevant. This is a difficult industry to survive in and so we don’t take that for granted. We still love what we do and have something to say and that’s great. You know it still feels right.”

What keeps things fresh for you, writing wise, how do you put songs together?

“By not playing too many gigs to be honest, in Australia you can’t overdo it for shows. You know we have our rehearsal regime and we know what we are doing. But also playing with different crowds and interacting with new people this also helps. But we are still passionate about what we do and we are doing what we love, so that keeps it fresh and sincere ultimately.”

To the latest album, In Metal We Trust, how do you see it fitting in to the bands back catalogue?

“Probably about three of the songs we still play live and they fit perfectly well with the classic songs. So we are very happy with it and how it turned out. It is a definite Pegazus album, it has all of our hall marks and it went over well on release.”

How has Jo fitted into the band as vocalist? And how did you come across him?

“Jo and I have bumped into each other for fifteen years or so. He is a quiet guy and he was always popping up at Pegazus gigs and when we made the transition Jo was in the right spot at the right time. I knew of his ability with his work in a Judas Priest concept band. To me the band actually now is probably the best it’s been as a whole unit, in more than fifteen years. The band had its peak time in the late nineties when Danny [Cecati, vocalist on Wings of Steel and Breaking the Chains] was in the band, but we have still had some great vocalists over the years. Jo sits between Rob [Thompson, vocalist on The Headless Horseman and Live! Thunder Down Under] and Danny, he is the first singer that we have had in a while who can sing those classic songs. Jo pulls it all off and allows us to access all of the material. It is really refreshing to hear the songs we haven’t played for so long, doing them justice, and how they originally were.”

Looking back over your career in Pegazus what stands out for you?

“The fact that we are doing what we love doing, musically. We might be independent, but there is no pressure for us, we are in charge of everything that we do and that is great. We still have the normal issues as all bands do, but we have stuck to what we have played from the beginning and this is what is important for me.”

Finally, before you go on, what does the future hold for Pegazus?

“It’s been lazy for a while and I like to move at snail’s pace. The moons have to align for us, to move on to something new. There is a new album in embryo stage, we are jamming riffs and just ideas. We do plan on recording later this year and we will hopefully take it overseas. The band is still yet to travel to certain places like Japan, the US and South America they are places that we would like to get to next year. We really want to keep moving up north to Sydney, Brisbane and other places. In the past other line-ups couldn’t commit to travel interstate and it could only be one show, we could only leave for one day at a time. This line-up has the freedom to string shows together and we haven’t had that for over fifteen years. We do plan to venture off to other cities you know, like Adelaide, Perth and even New Zealand.”

To see Pegazus live in Newcastle was a real treat for me and a set to remember. The band hit the stage as pure professionals, and they looked like a line-up who has been together for a long time, rather than just a year. The band opened the set with intensity, passion and sincerity. You know you are seeing a well-oiled machine in action as they play, the synchronicity and the band-audience connection is seamless, and this is what happened at The Vault tonight. Songs such as Cry Out, The Patriot, Dragon Slayer and The Crusade really stood out for me. Johnny was a pure professional, and is as engaging on stage as in person, and he plays with a passion as fresh as any international musician. He commands the stage and looks the audience in the eye, no ego, and no separation between performer and punter. Jo, to me, stole the show, he fits so well in to the mould of Pegazus and his fronting of classics such as Breaking the Chains, Metal Forever and, of course, Wings of Steel, were as if they were written for him. The band left the stage with heads held high and the punters went away very happy.

Tonight was such a successful metal event, and one that I hope is repeated again and again over the coming months and years. The Australian metal scene is strong and in good hands with the like of tonight’s bands and I am looking forward to their respective futures over the coming years. Thank you to Battlegod Productions for making this event happen and thank you to the bands and Novocastrian metal heads for making this gig one to remember.

Ten Minutes with Mark Garroway From Under Nights Cover

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Hey Mark, thanks for your time mate, tell us how did Under Nights Cover begin?


Back in 2008, shortly after I started listening to Metal Music, I was pretty keen to start a band. I didn’t really know anybody though. I was in an orchestra which I played in for nearly 10 years, and this new bloke named Alasdair joined on percussion. I soon found out that he was heavily into Parkway Drive, which I was obsessed with at the time, we became great friends, and founds heaps of cool bands together, and I eventually decided to ask him to join my “band” on drums.

Around the same time I met Alasdair, I went to a party and met Jacob. I saw this guy with long hair and a Metallica belt buckle. I walked by him playing a Bullet For My Valentine Song on a shitty acoustic guitar and I spoke to him for a while. I became decent friends with the guy, and he introduced me to huge amounts of bands and guitarists. Shortly after I asked him to join the band as well and we tried to organise a practise.

At the time I didn’t play bass yet, so I was tentatively “The Singer”. When we finally organised a practice, in December 2008 we played for about 5 hours. The first song we jammed on from memory was Jump In The Fire, by Metallica, and we played pretty much a sole repertoire of Parkway Drive and Metallica covers

I received a bass guitar for Christmas that year and from then on the three of us pushed each other as musicians for the next few years until we had a full lineup and decent back catalogue!
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You guys were pretty busy with shows in 2014-15 and took a bit of a break in 2016, what`s in store for 2017?

 

We really pushed hard in those years 2014/15 properly playing shows. We were pretty ordinary in the beginning, a lot went wrong at our first show at the Factory Floor. So we said yes to every gig opportunity that came up to essentially practice our stage craft. And I know it worked, we are all pretty confident in each other’s abilities and presence on stage now and we won a few fans in the process.

We tapered off a little bit in 2016, we played a few shows early, our first interstate show at Brisbane, and a few out of Sydney shows at Newcastle and Katoomba. After that we were a bit drained from a frenetic pace of playing shows and we backed off for a little while to recharge. We had some good shows throughout the year which culminated in playing the Steel Assassins 2016 show, something we’d wanted to do for a couple of years.

What’s in store for 2017? We’ve got a big announcement in the works, that should come in the middle of the year I would expect. That’s all I’ll say on that

So who is the writing force behind Under Nights Cover or is it a joint effort?

 

Writing for Under Night’s Cover mainly comes from Jacob. We’re lucky enough to have someone in the band who is such a gifted composer of music. He usually kick-starts songs with a few ideas, be it a riff, or most of a song. And then it will go through a filter of sorts as we all learn it, offer suggestions to try and improve transitions, or insert riffs of our own. The end result is the song goes in a completely different direction to the initial plan for it, and we get songs that cover quite a bit of ground and styles before they finish.

Lyrics are generally written after the song is nearly finished. Instrumental parts have always been written first in UNC and when we’re writing vocal parts we usually write them to accompany the music rather than the other way around. It is probably something we’d like to experiment with, writing music to accompany the vocals, but for the time being I feel this has worked for us.

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You released the EP “March Of Avernus” which contained the track “Oubliette” which contains a lot of references to Dungeon/LORD where they a big influence on you guys in starting Under Nights Cover?


This kind of started out as a bit of a gag at practice. We always have working titles for songs, which never end up as the final titles. Oubliette was the working title for a couple of years. An Oubliette is actually a type of dungeon, with a hole at the top and people bracketed to the walls at the bottom. When we needed to put lyrics to this song I jokingly said we should make them all from Lord and Dungeon titles. We did it as a joke, but we loved the lyrics and they actually tell a separate story about a man losing faith in religion, so we kept them.

LORD were the first local band I ever heard. I saw they were from Wollongong and thought it was awesome such a cool (and relatively unknown at that time unfortunately) band could be from so close by. I saw them for the first time at the Liverpool PCYC on Halloween 2009 or 2010 and loved them from there. UNC was already rehearsing then, so they weren’t a huge influence on us forming, but I can say they have easily been the biggest influence upon the band. From seeking endless advice from Andy, and playing support slots with them, they’ve really impacted the history of UNC.

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What`s the most memorable moment so far for you with the band?

There’s a million honestly. The first time we played live at Cherrybrook Community Centre in a band competition was great, the first time we played a show with the current lineup after a 1.5year hiatus in 2013 was something I’ll always remember. Sitting on the couch as the mastering studio listening to our EP for the first time was amazing.

In terms of shows, there are two that come to mind. The first was a show we did at UTS. It was the final gig of the UTS headbangers society and there was a huge bar tab and huge crowd. That was by far our craziest crowd and I got to do a countdown for a wall of death which is something I had always wanted to do.

And our first international support at the mighty Rooty Hill RSL supporting Uriah Heep. Playing on a huge stage in front of several hundred people was bloody great. And the fact a good amount of the crowd were oldies who weren’t expecting such an energetic young band made it even better.

Thanks for your time mate, hope to catch up with you soon

Under Nights Cover Facebook

Photos © MickG Photography

Ten Minutes With Tom Brockman Of Taberah

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Hey Tom thanks for your time, when did the writing for the new album begin, and who were the main writers?

JB is constantly writing bits and pieces to be honest, and I believe he had been sitting on these tracks for a fair while. Sadly we had delay after delay actually getting around to recording this album and then when we finally got into it we were working around Psycroptic’s touring haha. There is also a few bits of Flash’s writing on the album too which adds a nice contrast.

How do you rate this album against The Light and Necromamcer?

This is our best album ever! That’s what you’re supposed to say yeah? Haha. But seriously, I personally believe that it’s incredible. Working with Joe Haley who lets us run wild with overdubs and doesn’t question us when we want to do layers upon layers of finger clicks, combined with Lord Tim’s mixing and guidance has been perfect for us. The production is phenomenal, the tracks are catchy as fuck and we tried some new things musically and artistically. Usually I’m pretty sick of the songs after months of recording them, but since we got the final masters the cd hasn’t left my car! Any indication on a release date and title as yet? We’re looking at around the middle of the year. The last two album releases we’ve kinda rushed into, probably out of excitement more than anything, but this time we’ve planned our moves a bit better and have a really detailed plan. It will be worth the wait though.

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You’re playing the Legions Of Steel festival in late May, is that part of a tour for the album?

It might be. It might not be. You’ll just have to wait and see won’t you haha. You had a big year touring wise in 2016 playing Stormrider, Legions Of Steel and Steel Assassins as well as a national support spot with Nightwish as well as your own shows, will 2017 see similar touring schedule, once the album is released? Well I’m pretty sure Nightwish aren’t coming back, and we’re not allowed to be the #MAINEVENT of Steel Assassins again, but it will be pretty similar haha. Back in the day we used to just jump at every offer we got to travel, but nowadays we’re a lot more smart about what we do. It’s fun as hell to travel, but we have to come all the way from Tassie and we’re not in the business of losing money anymore haha. With this album we have literally planned out every stage of the build up and promo and have a master plan of what we want to accomplish and where we want to go. Hopefully it will be a very productive 12 months.

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You often refer to yourselves as the “Best Friends Brigade” how long have you been mates and together?

Some say too long, but that’s just mostly Dave. He actually used to hate JB and myself when we were in high school. He was a year above us and we were just too badass and he was just super jealous of us I assume. Who knows? But JB and I have known each other since we were 13 and are now going on 28, so it’s been a while. I think this current lineup has been going about 7-8 years now and we just click really. We annoy the fuck out of each other, but we know each other’s breaking points after all these years haha.

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You’ve covered Iron Maiden and Metallica live a bit this year any chance that one of those tracks makes it on to the album as a bonus track?

We have recorded our take on an absolute classic track for the album, but no, it’s not Maiden or Metallica. It’s not even a by a metal band to be honest and after having a look on YouTube we couldn’t find anything remotely similar to what we’ve done. It’ll be very divisive I reckon haha. Some people get a bit funny when you play around with an absolute classic haha. Only time will tell though I guess.

Where did the name “Taberah” come from?

Well back in high school when we performed at lunch time concerts and whatnot we were just referred to as “Jono’s Band” haha. There isn’t much of a story behind it after that. We needed a band name, JB was looking through some literature, pulled out a bible for some reason and found the word “TABERAH”. It’s means “burning” in Hebrew I believe.

Taberah Facebook Page 

Taberah Big Cartel

Ten Minutes With Anthony Fox From Temtris

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Hey Fox, thanks for your time mate,  firstly, a brief history of Temtris?

Genevieve Rodda (Vocals) and I formed Temtris around 2002. We had the usual difficulties beginning bands encounter trying to find like-minded musicians in the early days, but we still managed to record and release two albums – Threshold (which was self released, and available only at our live shows), and, after joining with Battlegod Productions, Masquerade.

It was 10 years or so of great memories and frustration, Genevieve and I held on to our dreams and fought through the bullshit, because each time, Temtris emerged a more powerful entity – I sometimes wonder if we should’ve called the band Phoenix (It inspired a song on the latest album!)

Finally in 2012, we had established a line-up that was starting to deliver. The reputation of the band was gathering momentum. We were able to complete a solid tour and then record and release our third album ‘Shallow Grave’ in 2014. With tracks such as ‘Slave to the System’, and ‘Shallow Grave’ quickly achieving high rotation on metal radio stations worldwide we were playing to bigger and bigger audiences, culminating in a performance that earned us rave reviews in front of over 1,000 metalheads in support of German metal legends ‘Accept’ at Sydney’s Factory Theatre.

Working to this level of intensity is not for the faint hearted and 2015 began with another big shuffle of musicians but this time we had the momentum to keep rolling on and in 2016 we recorded and released our fourth album ‘Enter the Asylum’. The album received excellent reviews and the Enter the Asylum tour was the biggest and best so far.

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With the Album out for a while now and the tour pretty much over, what’s next for Temtris

We are trying to get to a few places that were missed on the original tour in Australia and then we hope to take advantage of some offers of overseas shows. In amongst all that we are hard at work writing album number 5!

Who were/are your biggest influences in becoming a musician?

My early years was spent copying composers like Mike Oldfield on an old piano before I switched to guitar in high school and started playing along to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Helloween, Kreator and the like. I have always been drawn to the heavier and darker end of the musical spectrum, but mostly I enjoy music that has some element of emotional connection and storytelling. This is what drives my own compositional style when writing for Temtris and also my guitar playing

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If you (Temtris) could support one band in one venue, who would it be and why?

Difficult to say. Temtris is so diverse in sound that we are a good match for a lot of different heavy metal bands. At a pinch I’d go for Flotsam & Jetsam as a good match – venue? Very tough. Somewhere where we can take advantage of a huge and professionally operated P.A. and lighting rig and we can play our full show, then get into the crowd with all our friends and party hard.

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I hear writing has started on a new album, is that something that will come to life in 2017, and with Mitch and Taso now in the band have they had an input to new material?

It’s too early to start setting dates for the next release as yet, but it is progressing well. We have the potential to produce a quality album every year, but sadly not the time or financial support. Taso (Drummer) and Mitch (Bass player) are highly talented musicians and are already heavily involved in the songwriting process. It’s early stages, as I said, but it’s hard not to be excited by the skill and energy of the musicians I am working with at the moment. Standing on stage in front of a rhythm section featuring Taso and Mitch, shredding through the riffs and solos with a guitarist of the quality of big Hoff, and screaming with the crowd as Genevieve Rodda belts out the vocals is just amazing.

Thanks for your time mate, hope to catch up with you soon

Great to chat with you. Thanks to you for all your hard work and the support you give to the heavy metal bands and the wider music community. See you out there! \m/ \m/

Temtris Facebook 

Temtris Website 

Photos by MickG Photogrpahy

Ten Minutes With Denis From Espionage

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Hey Den, thanks for your time mate. Firstly, a brief history of Espionage?

Cheers for having me, mate! The idea for Espionage was born during the final days of my old band Seppuku. We played a show with Darker Half and NZ’s Razorwyre in November, 2013, and I was just blown away by the high, soaring vocals and insane falsettos from both bands. No one in Melbourne (to my knowledge at the time) was doing that kind of thing. In a city that seemed to have an endless supply of thrash metal bands, it seemed like the next logical step for me to take as a musician. A few days after the show, I started writing and demoing songs for Espionage (don’t ask me where I got the name from), and then put out a call to arms on Facebook and a couple of other places. Frosty (lead vocals/bass) jumped on the project almost immediately as a bassist originally, before he took control of lead vocals. We had a couple of other people we were jamming with during the first few months, but we don’t talk about them haha. We played our first show at the very first Legions Of Steel Festival in 2013, and it’s been a ball ever since!

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With the EP out and the tour pretty much over, what’s next for Espionage?

We’ve got a few shows left on the tour, and a couple of things I’m not allowed to get into just yet, so I’ll try to keep it brief! We’ve got an album coming out later this year. I’ve been writing and demoing songs since the release of our Wings Of Thunder EP in August 2016, and I’ve got 12 tracks ready to go! It’s just a matter of rehearsing them and possibly doing some last minute changes to them before heading back into the studio with Chris Themelco at Monolith Studios to get stuck into it! Hopefully we’ll have that out for your listening pleasure before the year ends, and then we’ll tour some more. We’re really keen to hit Japan and Europe, so who knows what’s in store!?

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Who were/are your biggest influences in becoming a musician?

I think I started playing guitar back in 2006, where I was mainly just teaching myself classical and flamenco guitar. Then I got into Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen and it all changed forever! Along came Megadeth, Pantera, Testament, Arch Enemy and all that heavier sort of stuff, and I just couldn’t get enough of it, so I started searching for more and more stuff. Some bigger influences are probably just friends and family members that I was jamming with in my earlier days of playing. In terms of my biggest guitar heroes who influenced me, you’ve got the aforementioned Randy and Eddie. Marty Friedman, Gary Moore, Jason Becker, George Lynch, John Norum… Anyone who has tasty vibrato and melody in their playing, really. As for Espionage, we’re not afraid to show our influences, which is basically anything 80s haha!

If you (Espionage) could support one band in one venue, who would it be and where?

That’s a hard one! In a dream world, probably Judas Priest (Frosty will argue Iron Maiden). Venue doesn’t matter. Budokan, perhaps?

You’re currently running/promoting the Legions Of Steel Festival in Melbourne, which has grown considerably. How did it come to life back in 2014?

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Legions Of Steel Festival was pretty much born alongside Espionage. Prior to that, I had been booking and promoting shows since around 2010, and tried my luck with a couple of “fest” type shows, but they never really went anywhere. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing back then haha! I kept seeing all these local festivals, and to a degree, even larger ones such as Soundwave, and for me; the line-ups were always so disappointing. The traditional heavy metal/power metal scene was still kind of new to me, as I was a thrash head, and I think Dave Balfour’s Steel Assassins Festival opened my eyes to all these great bands that I didn’t know about otherwise. That, and his consistently good line-ups! So once Espionage kicked off, we wanted to play a huge debut show, and what a perfect excuse to pull a festival out of my arse! It was a success too!


What is your selection process involve in selecting bands for Legions, it must be a tough task?

If their logos look good on the poster, I book them. Haha. Joking aside, you’re right. It’s a very tough task indeed. Frosty once said “We basically just book a bunch of bands that we want to play with”. He’s right in a way. There are certain bands I know I can always count on, and it’s always a safe bet putting them on the bill, hence some repeat offenders such as Harlott, Taberah and In Malice’s Wake. Not to mention that band Espio-something that seems to play every year… Seriously though, these days I have an idea of the line-up of bands I want roughly mapped out, then fill the remaining slots with bands who have sent through submissions. I try to have at least 2 interstate bands minimum, and a mixture of sub-genres. The hardest part is having to say no to bands.


With a good steady increase in the popularity of Legions, where would you like to see it in 3 or 4 years’ time?

There are two things that come to mind. 1) I want an international band to headline in the near future. And 2) I wouldn’t mind taking the festival itself to Japan… So for those people reading this – buy a ticket and help me achieve this!

Thanks for your time, Den. It’s appreciated and all the best for “Legions Of Steel 2017” see you in May.

Cheers mate! See you then!

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