sábado, 7 de fevereiro de 2015

Interview: M:Pire of Evil - "Without Divisions, Just Only One Great M:Pire of Metal"

The english tornado M: Pire of Evil was formed in 2010, by two musicians who already have a long road in music, specifically in Metal, Jeff Dunn (Mantas), former member of Venom, and Tony "The Demolition Man" Dolan, former member of Atomkraft, and also taking passage in a renewed Venom, alongside Mantas and Abaddon, throwing together "Prime Evil" (1989), acclaimed by the specialized press, however reluctantly fans due to lack of Cronos. Tony and Abaddon, even after the departure of Mantas, released two more albums, not very accepted by critics and fans, resulting in the dissolution of Venom in 1993 (in 1995 there was a return of classical line-up).

Tony and Mantas returned to work together in Mantas project, which also came to have Antton (Venom drummer from 2000-2009), and soon after the trio returned, became the idea of forming a new band, forging a powerful sound . The new band initially be called "Prime Evil", but as had bands with the same name, using a play on words with the name chosen first, baptizing the group as M: Pire of Evil. Antton left the band, and now working as a duo, with guest drummers, Tony and Mantas are seeing the group growing in popularity among fans, occupying their space in the Metal scene, simply doing what they know, and raising the flag of a scene without divisions, as the Metal is one.

We had talked with Tony "The Demolition Man" Dolan to speak a little more about the band, the plans, the music industry, Atomkraft, Venom, cinema (Tony worked as an actor), and more, in a very interesting interview because Tony and Mantas have a lot of histories, but they want more!

RtM:Tony welcome to Road to Metal, particularly is more than an honor to have this interview with you.
TD: Well it's also a privilage for me to be asked..so thank you.

RtM: To begin our discussion, How you gave your "start" in music? What was the first band did you hear,  and what, or which bands  mades you feel that the Heavy Metal music will be in your life forever?
TD: Hahaha....I'm kinda old now...so the first music I heard was things form the 50's mainly my parents played. Things like Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bil Haley Little Richard...etc..but as I am a child of the 60's I was aware of the Mersey beat and of course the Rolling Stones as I grew..by the time I was a young guy in the 70's and really taking not of music, it was bands like The Sweet Slade early Queen Marc Bolan (T Rex) and by the time I emigrated toi Canada I was introduced to Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Kiss, Foreigner and the like.
Seeing Kiss back then was a shock but it wasn't until I witnessed Motorhead after returning to England in the late 70's, where I was totally into Punk Rock...Angelic Upstarts the Dickies, The Ruts, the UK Subs and that scene, that I knew whatever else I did with my life...I wanted to do music like that...Heavy and as Metal as I could..

RtM: In the beginning you had hope someday becomes your name globally recognized actually you are ?
TD: When I started doing this, I just wanted to be in a band and never really considered the future and what would happen. I mean..globally doing albums or being recognized doing movies or any of that stuff. I simply loved metal and wanted to play it to people. making the first album was so many year after I had been recording and playing shows that although it was a great feeling to eventually be releasing an album I rushed it too much and learnt how not to do it...and as it did not go out until 1985 I thought next to bands who had had the fortune to be recording albums long before we got Future Warriors released it was just not strong enough material to compare against more developed albums in 1985. We just got our timing wrong.
To think now how fortunate I was and infact am to be speaking to fans who were affected by the music I did...is...amazing and something I am greatful for every day but was there a vision for success or did I see a future back then? Nope just took it every minute that came along.

RtM: How is be  one of the founders of the "Atomkraft"? I ask you this because among my favorite albums its "Future Warriors"- ATOMKRAFT " 1985. Could you tell us a little more how did the band and the expectations that you had at the beginning?
TD: When it started I was into Punk and the drummer Paul was the metalhead. Once I discovered Motorhead that all changed for me. I changed the name to Atomkraft because there was a huge Nuclear Power movement back then and the threat of the cold war and Nukes ever present. I have always been a fan of the German language and way of being...so instead of calling us Nuclear Power...I like Atomkraft which in German means the same but sounded better to me. We had no expectations as far as I recall it was just about doing an album of our songs and getting out an playing that to anyone and everyone. The first show was weeks after the album went out...in London at the Marquee with Slayer then not long after we went out on tour with Venom and Exodus...even then...we still never considered what was or would happen..just assumed we would do more shows then do another album..like every band did..lol..we thought!

RtM: Still about Atomkraft, you have plans to release new albums?
TD: Yes this year...I have been trying since about 2004 but only get so far then have iost interest or the drive to complete.In a way too I was kind of lost. I had some good songs and even had other guys write material to look at but in the end I had to examine what Atomkraft was supposed to sound like who we were originally and who Atomkraft should be...then I had an epiphany and heard us...I mean Atomkraft...at a concert called Brofest in 2014 where I had been asked to play the whole of "Future Warriors". It was such fun with Krean Meier (Sacrificial) on Guitar and Paul Caffrey (Gamma Bomb) on drums and I even got Mantas up to play 'Heat and Pain' and 'Pour The Metal In' with us...but |I realized during that show who we were.....not Testament or Exodus but...Motorhead and Judas Priest kind of if you understand...more off to the side than in the bag with everyone else..So now I have almost completed the track for the new album and it is more...straight forward like "Future Warriors" and now...I hear it IS Atomkraft...%100

Rtm: Offstage, you're an actor. Do you believe that music connects us to other forms of artistic expression? What movie did you like to participate?
TD: I have done acting yes. The movie that I enjoyed the best as it was also the biggest was Master and Commander-Far Side Of The World with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany..because we shot for 5 months in Baja Mexico in the sunshine..which for an Englishman was fucking great!!! No Rain!!! Is there acting in music?? hahahha oh yes...not always...but some of the bigger acts...create what you read or see onstage and they are all out to make you believe they are what you want them to be...while meanwhile they are in reality far far from that..It is a kind of exchange and understanding between acts and fans most of the time...that this is what is happening...where it goes wrong is when the 'artist' begins to believ his performance as the character...and thinks he IS actually that...or when the fans acknowledege the 'faking fantasy' then they lose faith in the artist and the music from that artist. The key? Whatever the showmanship...make the music real from your soul...mean the words...fake nothing coz fans are not stupid and they will know...
Tony on "Master and Commander" movie
RtM: How do you see the film industry today? This "takes" of remakes we are having is positive or negative? Is there a director you want to work?
TD: I would love to work with Ridley Scott. I almost did but fell at the last fence and was fucking gutted but one day I will. The remakes? Well I like Judge Dredd...I was in the Stallone one directed by Danny Cannon but if didn't do so well..although I like dthe movie but the remake was better. I just saw the Robocop remake and really liked it better than the original. The planet of the Apoes was a big thing for me growing up but the remakes are incredible compared to the old ones...so I think some remakes are crazy good...King Kong..simply because we are able to create more onscreen now..but some...should not have been done..there was no reason..I won't cite the 2 in my head because i have friends in them lol but..some are pointless and do nothing more than what the original movies did as far as story or effect of the story goes. The industry has changed because of Netflix and the like but there are some incredible actors emerging and some magnificent films too...I think we are in an age of ultimate creativity right now.

RtM: Now back to music. The Brazilian Shinigami label will release the album here "Live" and "Manitou" M: PIRE OF EVIL, good news for the fans. The contract includes the distribution of future albums too?
TD: Yes it is the best news and we thank Tommy Moriello for helping to negotiate that deal for us. Willian and all at the label..We re mastered the material especially for South America..but the main thing was to get product direct to Brazil and our fans there. The deal will include the new album coming again to Brazil direct from Shinigami...and we are very pleased about that too.

RtM: How do you see the results of the band since its foundation until now? The results are walking the way you imagined and projected? How are you feeling the acceptance of fans, including those who already knew your and Mantas work in yours previous bands?
TD: As far as fans go we are incredibly respectful and honored the way they have come to M:PIRE of EVIL and how they are with us. Dedicated and loyal some came with us from our old bands Atomkraft and Venom and some a brand new. but with each and every week we discover new fans and they discover us and it is great and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts! Are the results as we planned? or the project moving as we imagined?? hahaha No. We have decided now not to have a 3rd permanent member..as Mantas and myself do all the business and the designs and the music and production. It was simpler to keep it all uncomplicated and especially exciting as we can use amazxing drummer for live and we have sevreal amazing drummer for our studio side also. That is something when we began M:PIRE we did not predict would happen but the world turn and paths change. Are we happy with how things are going? YES...without a corporate label behind us or any financial backing...we have been all over the world and achived great things already...so keep it coming...we intend to take the crown!! hahaha

RtM: What about the sound and the lyrics themes of M: Pire of Evil? What are the main characteristics of everything that makes up the band and the differences with respect to your previous bands? We elaborate this issue by and for the presentation of the band to new fans, and also for the fans of the bands that you were part, realize that the M: Pire of Evil is a band that is fully capable of making their own stories, without holding -If the past.
TD: It is kind of hard not to have parts sounding a little Atomkraft or a little Venom in our music...after all mantas wrote almost all of the first 2 Venom albums Welcome to Hell and Black Metal and we wrote Prime Evil Temples of Ice and The Wastelands together...for Venom so..it would be hard to not be ourselves and wrote the way we have done in the past but we see M:PIRE as a little dark like Venom but with more of a voice about Humankind like Atomkraft...with a dash of pure classic Hevay Metal thrown in and you get M:PIRE of EVIL..We comment on religious faith, war, politics, human interaction and propoganda..basically we voice opinion that everyone thinks but set it to music..as well as speaking to our fans and underlining the thought that Metal should not be split into so many factions. Styles will be styles but they are ONE and all come together under one the one titled METAL...if we had one mantra for M:PIRE of EVIL it is that....and M:PIRE of METAL..ONE BIG WORLDWIDE ARMY OF METALHEADS!!

RtM: About the time in VENOM, which are the main strengths and good times highlight?
TD: Doing the first album Prime Evil. It was fresh and Mantas, Abaddon and I were on fire...and great friends so it was a great period. We recorded at Brian Johnsons (AC/DC) studio in Newcastle and finished in the South of England at a residential studio where apparently the drummer form Def Leppard was the week before getting one single snare sound, then we come fumbling in with our chaos and sound...ah great days. Strengths? Solid band, powerful with the 3 of us...less ragged than before and more focused.

RtM: What about the negatives? And that main reasons causing its output? Can you go back to work with  Venom?
TD: Negatives were decisions we made, all bad!!! Well, not all but...we lost our way I think. We missed opportunities and did not capitalize on others..in the end the contract with Music For Nations came to an end after The Wastelands album and I had already relocated to London while Mantas and Abaddon were  up in Newcastle...so I decided as I had a great job in London and had kind of lost interest in the way we were working that I'd just stop there..So I did. Can I go back? Hahaha...for sure...why not..playing with Mantas for so many years anyway...we are as close as it gets...if we added Abaddon...we'd be the same band we were during Prime Evil anyway.

RtM: And as you see Venom today compared to that of the early band? The band had a historical importance, despite technical limitations, eventually drawing attention for trying something new, also using up a good visual appeal, the connotation "Satanic" which aroused curiosity, the Title "Black Metal". The band, for a moment, thought only of business?
TD: I don't think back then they only thought business...they just wanted to be different..and that is what they chose from the oevr the top shows ala Kiss to the Satanic imagery..almost Sabbath but more Black Widow..and the album title Black Metal to stand them apart from Heavy Metal..they put it all together and that was Venom...different...and we need the Venom's in this world. Perfect is great, but ugly makes you think and feel alive. Now? There is no comparison, but how could there be? Too much has happened and back then it was real. Now?Sometimes it's not got the same...well....Venom as it did..I guess, but that's just coming from me as a fan of the old stuff.

RtM: Coincidence that you are now working with the "Cronos Entertainment", hehe! Taking the fun aside with the coincidence of the producer's name, I'm sure it will bring good results, with the possibility of more band concerts in South America, right?
TD: Yes hahahaha.. I liked that. He is a great agent..our main agent is Rodrigo Scelza and I liked what C. Entertainment was doing...so wanted them both with us..as they are both fantastic..and will work on a great South American tour for November/December 2015 with some fine shows in Brazil. I love Brazil so much and cannot wait. I was very disappointed we did not get there in 2014 but...maybe the wait is best...I know you will think it was worth it! I did like the irony though of the name 'Cronos Entertainment'.

RtM: What about the current scenario? We realize that many bands use other technologies, with their albums sounding cold and "perfect" too, and it is not rare bands who can not live play what you hear on the CD. I realize also that lack feeling, the passion of making music, which often confused with some being overly technical. What do you think about it all?
TD: I agree %100. As I said above..it cannot be faked, fans are not stupid. Pretending to be something you are not? Will always fail in the end..you are conning people into believing something untrue. Some will alwyas remain fans no matter what, not for what is being done but for what was done way back when. For me it has to be real and with passion and embrace the available technology sure to make things even better, but remove the feeling and replace with digital perfection??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo!!! KILLS it right there. Then get on stage and use samples, triggers...or mime or whatever..? or even worse, not even be able to play tracks live...no fucking way...that is not what bands or musicians are supposed to be is it? That's producers not musicians..I know some fantastic musicians by the way who use triggers etc...but I know they can also play...so they use it for sounds they want to achieve...but I have also seen some people using aids to mask where they fall short sonically too..Just keep it real...

RtM: Well, we talked to you a few days ago, and you (like us) was very disappointed with the events involving cancellations in Zoombie Ritual Festival in Brazil. Can you tell us more about it? The producers gave some explanation for you, or contacted after the cancellation?
TD: Ah yeah...that was not exaclty Zombie Fest that was our problem although the agent who brought us to Brazil the first time took over to bring us back and he sold us to Zombie Ritual and the said there was no communication from them, it was more about the agent..he promised 3 weeks of shows but did not act until it was too late...then wanted me to do as Atomkraft and M:PIRE of EVIL but failed to secure any shows for that. so went back to just M:PIRE of EVIL and reduced the dates from 3 weeks to 1 and eventually with weeks to go down to only 4 shows!!! 

Then 2 weeks or so out from coming we still had no flights, so it was clear we were not going to come to play. I pushed him on that point and he conceeded it was too late and made no sense..I had started 2014 coming to Brazil at the end of the year...planned a full South America tour..had contacts and everything..were to come in May with Rodrigo Scelza's help to Rio for promotions...and all fell apart because the "Agent" wanted to handle it all and said he worked alone...well in the end after wasting my year waiting for nothing...he was working alone...totally alone, without M:PIRE. Now we have new people who are on the ball, so this wont happen again!

RtM: When did you realize that something was wrong with the festival ???
TD:When I kept askign the agent for information...and nothing came, he just kept sayign all is ok. After I realized we were not getting flight tickets so were about to be cancelled from our tour..I wrote on my facebook about the festival and organization as I knew someone would come to speak and I was right the ZR promoter came to me and asked why I was saying bad about him or the festival, I explained our situtuation and let himtell me his side and we left it at that...but I was angry about the whole fucked up tour...4 dates??? No good...and then band after band begand to cancel at ZR so I am afraid there was a chain reaction...I did try and warn people from ZR  but I guess they did not want to listen..It was a great great shame it would have been an amazing bill..at least some fantastic Brazilina bands still played so all was not lost.

RtM: Having been part of bands of relevant importance, and has also lived with diverse people in the music scene, which abilities and characteristics a leader of a band need to have?
TD: I think belief in what you are doing of course. You need to have think skin..too hahaha..for all who will love you some will hate you. I had one guy speak to a fan about our show in Sao Paulo in 2013 which was fucking killer by the way, say...he refused to even look at ME onstage...he focused on Mantas...hahaha..each has their opinion and that I respect because I also have mine and demand respect for my own too. You need to be genuine and open but above all you need to respect your fans be available to them, of they want a picture then take one, if they want everything signed then take your time and sign all for them...without the fans there is no YOU...it cannot work one way...and that should be your job. To thank them listen to them and give them the very best you have to give. If you are honest and real the fans, the true fans will respetc that and thankyou for being there with them and for them. That is the M:PIRE of EVIL way and how we are.

RtM: For you Tony, What Metal means? And how do you see the bands that return only the activities aimed at the business side?
TD: Metal means everything. It is a way of being, once in your soul it cannot be taken away. Metal fans are the most loyal for their whole lives. It never leaves you. Music is an industry...the corporations titled it, 'the Music Industry' but while that is true, as the big labels made all their money from music, on the ground where the bands are growing..it is industrious yes but they do not see it as an industry, they see music and being able to perform, on recordings or live and they are being strangled by people trying to make only business. Some promoters even asking bands to pay them to be able to play. I mean..really?? Is that what is has come to in 2015??? 

As for band coming only to make money from unknowing victims who thought they were simply fans and are being used for profit only? I do not agree with it. Band need money to survive...but they always did. If a band cannot make money then they cannot buy strings book shows that they cannot get to or even eat. It should be an exchange fans go to shows buy tickets and merch and the band uses that money to survive and do more. Once prices are too high, merch overpriced or even promoters paying little or nothing for shows then it becomes impossible.

RtM: Finalizing Tony, thanks for your availability, and we want to congratulate you for the attitude that the band have with your fans, answering them on social networks, serving all in the late shows, always seeking a closeness with their audience, and is the end space for you to send a message to your fans.
TDThank you those words they mean a lot to me and also to Mantas. I cannot do everything I wish but what I can do, I do. I am open to fans, support the underground and speak to all who whish to come and speak to me. Take photo's if they want them sign anything they ask me to sign and meet all I can. I do this because I am aware that without them, there is no Demolition Man...they are my blood, my air and I am greatful.

RtM: Thanks Tony!
TD: Thank you Carlos and Fernanda...see you soon and total respect!

Interview by: Carlos Garcia and Fernanda Luísa Vidotto
Photos: Bands's files

Official Site
Tony Dolan's Web Site

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