ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
At first, how would you introduce yourself – and with who iam speaking to ?
You are speaking to Reggae -Vocalist and guitar player for Reign of Terror!
How would you describe your band ? When and how did you become a band
I would describe the band as a mixture of thrash, death, black and trad metal all blended into one. We call our style beer metal. Kind of like the style of “black metal” that Venom pioneered but more amber in colour. We like too many styles of metal to limit ourselves to one sub-genre! Life is short, have a beer … listen to metal and have some fun!
As far as forming the band, I was a kid when I came up with the idea. I formulated some lyrics, some art and the name Reign of Terror. That was around 1992 I think. Only problem was I couldn’t actually play anything. Some friends let me join a band of theirs if I bought a bass, so I started with that and it didn’t last too long, they were cool cats and I got thrown in the deep end, but thats how I learned to play, so you can’t complain! They were actually pretty good and a couple of us weren’t in the same league, so they continued on and I formed my own band with some other high school friends with the idea of getting Reign of Terror started. Only problem is at 15 or 16 years old none of us were that scary so (or talented) so we called the band “Brain Dead” instead. Much more fitting 😀 .
That fell apart so I started jamming again with others to get “Reign of Terror” going for real. We started playing late 1994 when I was a bit more confident on the instruments. It was a bit sloppy at first but we practiced and rehearsed and got decent and started releasing demo tapes and CD from then on in!
Fast forward 25 years, and a lot of beers and gigs later, Michael joined the band, and we recruited Danny. That was the last lineup that recorded. We need a drummer now as Danny moved to the Netherlands, but we’ve always managed to find drummers when we need them, so hopefully this wont be any different.
How would you describe your musical direction? What are the most common elements and themes in your songs (Lyrics) ?
Hard to say what the direction of the band really is. Me and Mike (our bass player / guitar player) are both into a wide variety of music and a lot of it comes out in the songs. Anything from ACDC, Metallica, Motley Crue, through to Carcass, Deicide, Venom Morbid Angel… and of course early Slayer records!
What is the progress during making your songs?
Basically we sit around and drink a heap of beer and talk shit. Somehow the songs happen. Nobody is quite sure how. I tend to write my songs in a simple straight forward metal style but with punk sensibilities, Ie: simple verse / Chorus / verse / bridge / Solo / verse / Chorus sort of thing style. Mike adds a lot of textures and orchestration to the songs, so its great having that secondary input where we both come from different angles but still create something that hangs together musically.. I have to say with the latest album Michael probs wrote half the music as well. Much easier to have a co-writer!!!!
Is there any special goal´s for your band ?
New album just came out so we’re hoping that it outsells the previous efforts. We’re really proud of it, and we think it has some of the best songs we’ve ever written. For the first time ever we’ve got a label to help us out so we’re hoping between the band and the label we reach new heights, or depths (depending on how you look at it) and get the music out further than it ever has. Judging by the pre sales this has a very good chance of happening.
Where do you get inspiration for your music ? Which band inspire you the most ?
For me its definitely Venom… Slayer… Sabbath… Metallica and Priest Both me and Mike are hugely influenced by the old guard of metal, like Metallica, Motley Crue, Sabbath, Ozzy … I probably sit at the more extreme end of what we do while Michael sort of brings the more Rock influences. We’ve both been metalheads for 30 + years so there’s a wide variety of influences to choose from. I think when you combine such diverse (well, it’s not that diverse its all metal) influences you tend to get a more original sound if nothing else.
Are there for example any books, movies or historical events which inspire your songs ?
As far as books a lot of it is inspired by the Necronomicon (and old Sumerian text from around around 5000 years ago… some believe it is real others believe it is written by HP Lovecraft). One song “The Human Centipede” is obviously inspired by the move… Theres a bit of biblical stuff in there, some other random occult stuff, there’s most likely going to be some more horror movie inspired songs I think down the line as well. Others are dreams and visions that I have and of course our biggest inspiration…. METAL!!!
How would you describe your hometown? Was there any interesting or important history events ?
We come from Canberra, Australia. It’s a pretty laid back town. It’s the capital of Australia and can at times be a bit snooty. It’s one of the most expensive towns in Australia and its really hard to function in this city if you don’t have a good income. But the live scene is pretty cool, there’s a bar we both go to called “The Basement” which we play at and they have kept the live scene alive for a while in this town. Those guys have done the hard yards!
Which sights and places in your hometown can you recommend? Do you have any favourite places (bars, restaurants, music clubs etc..) in your hometown?
Basically just the basement if you like loud heavy metal thats the place to go. They have other stuff (rock, pop etc…) but they’ve consistently supported the metal scene here in Australia so big ups to those guys. Plus great people that attend the place as well.
How would you describe music scene in your hometown ? And which bands and singers from your hometown do you like most? Are there any interesting music festival in you country and your hometown ?
To be honest, we’ve been brought to our knees this year by the Corona virus. So music stuff like gigs etc… is just starting to kick off again. As with festivals there’s not much in the way of metal but there is one planned for early next year so fingers crossed for the guys who organised that. I can see both sides of it though. Festivals cost a lot of money to organise and host. I personally wouldn’t be taking the risk until the government comes up with a clear policy about what they are going to do in the event of another Covid outbreak.
As far as the bands there’s some great ones. My current favorates are Witchskull, Shockwave (who’ve yet to play a show but I’ve been to a couple of their rehearsals) and a newly formed Snakewitch, who feature an ex- Reign of Terror member who I think will make some good waves. Also Our label, Eschatonic Records has also signed Auld and Black Mountain both from this city and they both deliver great live shows and quality music!
How much has the corona crisis affected your music plans ?
Its smacked us around big time. We haven’t been able to play a lot, and even stuff like manufacturing discs and waiting for shipments to come in. For example we’ve heard a couple of people have our new album but we’re still waiting for the band copies to be delivered. But not much we can do as everyone is running behind and having to deal with Covid stuff
In which countries did you have a live gig, where did you like it most ?
We’re Australian so obviously we play here. But unfortunately we’ve never played outside the country. Would love to, but with financial constraints and now the Covid stuff who knows when that could happen
How would you describe your discography lyrically and musically? Does have your albums any special concepts?
This album was basically called “Beer Metal” so a lot of it revolves around Beer and Metal. A couple of songs are tributes to fallen heavy metal legends Dimebag Darrell and Malcolm Young. This album is a little less occult than the other albums but thats just how it worked out. Not a concious thing but just the way it went.
Which your songs are best by your opinion and you like them most?
Its hard to say because I’m involved but I like an old one, “I will always Dismember You” plus ones like “Tormentor of Lost Souls” and “Human Centipede” … Definitely “Under Blackened Skies” is a crowd fave as well as the cover we do of Venoms “In League with Satan” But really I like it all or I wouldn’t have released it or played it ya know!
Do you have sone next plans (for example new album, ep, single, music video or live gig?
Of course! We’ve been busy in lockdown sneaking a few beers in and recording the foundation of the next release and would you believe it the riff structures of the next one after that are getting sorted too! So there’s still a lot of material to come out from us yet!
Can you recommend some movies from your country? Which food and drinks from your country do you like most?
Movies From Australia? I’d Recommend Mad Max, Bad Boy Bubby and Razorback…. All hard hitting movies from different genres but all worth watching if you’re not easily offended. Myself and Michael are both huge Movie buffs. He’s a bit more Sci-Fi and I’m a bit more horror orientated.
If you’re drinking Aussie beer… Drink Melbourne Bitter or James Boags. Realistically I drink whatever says “Sale” on it. Hahah! Most Aussie beer is good, except the ones that come in clear bottles.
Would you like to add something, at the end of our interview ?
Thanks for reading this if you made it this far! Be sure to drop by the band website at https://www.beermetal.com and our band camp at http://reignofterrorbeermetal.bandcamp.com and check out our tunes! Even if you don’t buy it we appreciate that you took the time to listen! But defs buy it if you can 😀