Please tell our readers about the band history and discography?
THEM began as a King Diamond Tribute back in 2008 named “Them – The King Diamond Tribute”. As a KD tribute, the band performed 3.5 years and well over 20 shows in the tri state NY as well as Michigan and Ohio. 2 members from KD had performed with us. Mike Wead performed 2 shows during our 2nd show and Hal Patino performed 4 full sets with us in the tri state area of NY. Sometime between 2009 and 2010 I wanted to gravitate towards an original off shoot of what we were doing. It took a while for the other members to become interested. In 2011 after our final 4 shows, I convinced the band to move to an original path. Unfortunately, I had to put it all aside to revive my child hood band for one last go around. “Coldsteel” re-released all of their previously recorded material and release a new EP titled “America Idle”. Sometime during 2011, I had a dinner meeting with one of the label owners re releasing Coldsteel music. At the meeting were members of the band Lanfear including Markus Ullrich. Markus watched and listened as I showed the label owner my ideas for the new Coldsteel album as well as ideas for the original THEM. Fast forward to after the dinner, Markus and I had become friends and offered to write the album with me when he found out the existing members decided to not continue in an original direction with me. I accepted so we began to write “Sweet Hollow”. The other members of THEM fell into place one at a time. Kevin Talley was interested after hearing demos that Markus and I created. Markus Johansson was in 4Arm and Sylencer. He was recommended by Kevin Talley. Mike Lepond had known me from the King Diamond Tribute days and Richie Seibel came as a recommendation from Markus Ullrich since he performed in Lanfear with him already! We went on to record our debut “Sweet Hollow”. After the completion of the album, we were included as direct support for Helloween’s North America/Canadian tour in early spring of 2016. Since the album was not ready for distribution, we released a 3 song EP entitled “Fear Them” which included 3 songs off of the full length album. On Sept 30, 2016, Empire Records released “Sweet Hollow” to the masses!
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-When it was time to move forward as an original act, the name THEM said it all for me. A band name is very important especially how the logo is written. Originally the KD tribute band was named after my favorite KD album “Them”. When it was time I had two artists work on the logo. Travis Smith developed the initial simple THEM logo and Jan from Darkgrove.net created the stone version.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-Just by listening to the album many people believe I am the #1 KD fan in the world. However I am not. King Diamond is a brilliant mastermind songwriter and story teller. Yes, King is an influence. Yes, King is one of my favorite heavy metal artists. But my influences stem from classic metal ranging from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, old metallica. Even though I love the versatility of how I perform in THEM, my passion is derived from Thrash Metal. Outside of Heavy Metal, some favs of mine are Lenny Kravitz, Queen and Billy Joel. King Diamond stuck with me over the years especially when I was a teenager painting heavy metal jackets. I loved to listen to King Diamond while creating art. His music was so inspiring for me to create art myself!
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Well before any music or vocal patterns are written, we usually come up with the bpms (beats per measure). When creating a concept album like “Sweet Hollow” you must think about how the songs will flow from one to the other since the music will assist in relaying the mood of the story.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-When we perform live we inject theatrical elements into our performance. We really could always use at least a medium sized stage but the bigger the better since we have additional cast members that frequent on and off the stage at different times during the performance.
Everybody seems to be disappointed with something once they have released a recording. What would you have liked done differently the last time around?
-Aside from recording all together…nothing. The project exceeded all of our expectations!
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-It isn’t hard but it is time consuming. We use them666.com and facebook.com/thembandofficial. We try to respond to all fans of our music. It is important to remain connected.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great Front Cover is artwork that makes you look at it and think. If I am thinking about what is happening in the artwork on the front cover the mission was accomplished!
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for music in your country?
-From the guage of our reviews and coverage we are definitely an international buzz at the moment. I would say it is a small buzz. If we record a second good album the buzz will increase. in the USA, the crowds really enjoyed out performances. Most people were so excited once we finished performing. Lots of people would gather at our merch booth!
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-A PR company is detrimental to the success of an act. We have 2. 1 pr company works for the label and we also employ another pr company that gets additional print and radio interviews.
What does the future hold?
-A European tour in 2017 and in 2018 the release of our second album titled “Manor of the Se7en Gables”