How hard is it to name your band? What makes a great band name?
-A band name is difficult to get right. You want to try and convey a meaning or a vision but in the end it will always mean something different for the individual. If it’s the meaning of a song or the name of a band. Its up to the individual to interpret what it means. A great band name is something that needs to get someone’s attention to make them want to investigate it further. I think the artwork needs to get your attention as well. The first time I saw Iron Maiden’s Eddie, I had to find out more about the band and the art alone made me buy it.
For those like me that have no clue about Cyanide Scream could you please give us an introduction into the band?
-We are a straight ahead hard rock/heavy metal band that does not shy away from what made us want to play music in the first place. Everything we do or will do is based off what made us want to listen to music in the first place. Something that is really hard to describe in words. Its more of a feeling and attitude. If the music makes us feel a certain way and we can get that feeling across to our fans then we have done our job.
What is your theory on why British heavy metal differs from American heavy metal, especially during the 80s?
-British Heavy Metal seems to be a little more honest and has a darker aggressive feeling to it. 80’s metal kind of took the edge off of it and made it more accessible to the masses. More women got into it during the hair metal days of 80’s for all the pretty boys and to me for all the wrong reasons.
Where do you derive most of your influence from? Anything in particular that you get more inspiration from?
-I grew up listening to Ted Nugent, Foghat, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Angel, UFO and Kiss to name a few. Later discovered bands like Diamond Head, Saxon, Motorhead, Angel Witch, Helloween, Accept, Riot, Raven and the list goes on…. The heavier it got the better it got to me. As far as inspiration goes with the music I really enjoy German metal bands with lyrics its varied from personal experiences to things going on in the world around me.
What is the heavy metal scene like in the States? How does it differ in different regions/states?
-The metal scene is varied but it’s not what it used to be. I can’t really comment on all the different states or regions but some bands continue to do well in areas that they always have. On the same tour they will play in front of a crowd of 1500-2500 one night and the next to maybe twenty. I am talking major acts that have been releasing albums for years that don’t come to the USA that often. Maybe its promoters not really pushing the shows, bad management, money issues for fans or all of the above. If you’re a band on the radio and have a song being rammed down everyone’s throat everyday it’s a different story but those bands are to mainstream for me.
“Unfinished Business” is your first album as Cyanide Scream. What have your experience from older bands brought to this new one?
-I think everything I have learned along the way as far as song writing, recording, performance and every other aspect of music gets better with each release. That’s my goal at least. I try to do better and learn from any mistakes that I made previously. The one thing about me is that it sticks in my head so it doesn’t happen again. It’s a learning process and as a person or a musician you can only get better by correcting things that are wrong so they don’t happen again. We all learn something new everyday.
What is it that makes people keep trying, writing music and releasing it year after year when the rewards are so small?
-If you are doing it for the rewards meaning money you are doing it for all the wrong reason. I didn’t get into music for money or fame it was something that was inside of me that needed to get out. I never had a way to express my emotions until I picked up a guitar. Once I did I could let every emotion flow. It didn’t matter if it was happiness or anger it was released. I feel sorry for people that don’t have an outlet and have to keep all those emotions locked up inside.
How much influence does the place you live play a part in the music you create? How different is the desert of Arizona to the urban environment of a big metropolis like NY?
-It all depends on the environment around you. If everything around you is perfect you’re not going to write and aggressive song. You’ll probably write about flowers, your dog or truck and maybe throw in the blue sky which is good for some but not for me. The Arizona desert is very different from New York. When I first came to Arizona I thought I was on another planet. No real change of the seasons and its hot or way too f-ing hot. I do miss the change of the seasons but I do not miss the snow.
If you could only rescue the 5 greatest American and the 5 greatest European metal bands from a fire what would they be?
-Wow that is a hard one and I don’t want to make anyone feel left out but here goes. I’m not sure if these would be considered metal.American Metal Bands: really more hard rock but I have to go with what started it all for me and made me want pick up a guitar
Kiss-Ace Frehley and Peter Criss version.
Cheap Trick-not metal but an all time favorite.
European Metal Bands. Not enough room here because I could come up with a ton more.
UFO-Schenker version. If not UFO then Judas Priest or Saxon. I’m going to save them all if I can.
From what I understand you are hard at work on your second album. What can we expect from Cyanide Scream in the future?
-The new album is completed. I took a break from it so I can listen with fresh ears. I want to make sure the mixes are good and the running order of the songs flows together. It’s funny because I put the CD in today to listen again today and so far so good. I really don’t know what the future holds. I can only hope that people will go out and buy it and help spread the word so we can continue to put out new music for our fans. On a last note I want to thank you for your support by doing this interview. To all my fans thank you and see you soon if all goes well.