Metal Heroes In Battle: A Candid Conversation With Sabaton Frontman Joakim Brodén

By Andrew Bansal

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Swedish battle-themed power metal warriors Sabaton have been a band since 1999, perhaps longer than some people realize. After several years of continued success in Europe, they finally embarked upon North American shores in 2011, and through constant touring, have enjoyed a steady rise in their popularity in the continent ever since. They’ve consistently written songs about battles, victories, sacrifices and heroes from history, and continue to do so on their eighth studio album ‘The Last Stand’ (released August 19th 2016 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment), but focusing lyrics on ancient battles on this one. Following the release of this bombastic set of tunes, Sabaton are now getting ready for a five-week US tour as main support to Trivium. On August 25th, vocalist Joakim Brodén spoke to Metal Assault in a candid conversation about the new album, lyrics, the use of backing tracks, the fans, the band’s own festival and cruise endeavors, and the upcoming US tour. Enjoy the chat below, along with three tracks from ‘The Last Stand’. Continue reading

Doomier Than Death: Asphyx Vocalist Talks About New Album

Interview by Nathan Hernandez

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Ever since their resurrection in 2007, Dutch death-doom pioneers Asphyx have been as inspired and powerful as they’ve ever been in their three-decade history, as proven by post-reunion albums ‘Death … The Brutal Way’ (2009) and ‘Deathhammer’ (2012). Fast-forward to 2016, Asphyx have been hard at work on the follow-up effort, and are finally ready to unveil their ninth full-length studio record ‘Incoming Death’ via Century Media Records on September 30th 2016. Our writer Nathan Hernandez recently spoke to vocalist Martin van Drunen at length about the album and much more. Enjoy the in-depth conversation below and while you’re at it, listen to the crushing new Asphyx track embedded within. Continue reading

Finding The Sweet Spot: Stryper Frontman Discusses New Solo Album & More

By Andrew Bansal

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While he continues to front legendary classic metal group Stryper, who’ve been going strong for the best part of three decades, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and producer Michael Sweet also has a well-established solo career. Sweet made his solo debut in 1992, and 24 years later, still devotes time to make his own music whenever he can find some out of his Stryper schedule. He’s ready to release his seventh full-length solo album ‘One Sided War’ on August 26th 2016 via Rat Pak Records, and along with his signature songwriting and performance, he has also included some competent guest musicians on it. Last Wednesday August 24th, Metal Assault had a detailed conversation with Michael Sweet to discuss the album, the guest players, his thoughts on melody in heavy music, his biggest metal influences, humorous lyrical themes, and much more. Enjoy the chat below, along with a taste of music from the new album. Continue reading

The Definitive Rock N’ Roll Queen: One-On-One With Lita Ford

By Andrew Bansal

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One of the most recognizable, admirable and respected rock n’ roll personalities, not only amongst women but in the world of hard rock and heavy metal as a whole, Los Angeles-based guitarist, singer and songwriter Lita Ford is still going strong after four decades in the business, and has proven herself as nothing short of a living legend. She did not let her role in the well-documented and extremely shortlived mid-70s all-girl band The Runaways be her only claim to fame, and carved out a successful solo career for herself over the past 30 years. Earlier this year, Ford released a throwback album called ‘Time Capsule’, a collection of tracks made from old demos and recorded fresh with high-profile guest musicians. 2016 also saw the release of her colorfully entertaining autobiography ‘Living Like A Runaway’. She has been touring actively, and now, besides working on new original music, she prepares to take part in the Sirius XM Hair Nation Festival at Irvine Meadows on September 17th. She was one of the judges for the ‘Battle For Hair Nation’ BOTB event at the Whisky-A-Go-Go last Wednesday August 17th, but before doing that, she spent some time at the Rainbow Bar & Grill with the press folk. She was much smarter than any of the other musicians and personalities being interviewed, as she secured her own booth in the cozy indoors of the Rainbow. Metal Assault sat down with her for a one-on-one conversation about a range of topics, aside from Hair Nation. Enjoy the chat below. Continue reading

Interviewing The Interviewer: Eddie Trunk Discusses Hair Nation, Veteran Rockers, ‘That Metal Show’ & More

By Andrew Bansal

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TV, radio and internet personality Eddie Trunk has been anchoring heavy metal talk shows and interviewing bands for over 30 years, best known for ‘That Metal Show’ which ran on VH1 Classic for as many as 14 seasons. The show was put on hold by the network earlier this year, but Trunk and his co-hosts Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine have brought a live stand-up version of ‘That Metal Show’ across stages in America. But besides that and his radio shows/podcasts, Eddie Trunk also hosts several hard rock/heavy metal concerts, festivals and cruises. He will be hosting the Sirius XM Hair Nation Festival at Irvine Meadows on September 17th 2016, and last Wednesday August 17th, he not only hosted and judged the ‘Battle For Hair Nation’ BOTB event at the Whisky-A-Go-Go, but before the show he was also at the Rainbow Bar & Grill to discuss his participation in the festival, among other things. Metal Assault caught up with Trunk for a brief chat about the state of the ‘hair metal’ genre, his picks for the best old rockers still standing, and more. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

Talent Unbound: Catching Up With 18-Year Old Metal Singing Prodigy Gabbie Rae

By Andrew Bansal

Photo by Carsten Steinhausen

Photo by Carsten Steinhausen

Unlike the days of metal legends like Dickinson, Halford and Dio making their mark as singers in the early years of their respective bands, it’s extremely rare to come across pure young singing talent in heavy metal in the modern era. Enter 18-year old Los Angeles-based Gabbie Rae. Inspired by the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Gabbie Rae has already established herself as an unbeatable, unmissable metal voice, opening shows for bands like Queensrÿche, Europe, Dio Disciples and many others, as well as appearing on festivals and concert cruises. Fronting her eponymous five-piece band and mainly performing hard rock/heavy metal covers with jaw-dropping perfection, she also throws in an original tune or two, and is now hard at work on a full-length album showcasing her own music. Gabbie Rae is part of the Sirius XM Hair Nation festival set to take place at Irvine Meadows on September 17th 2016, and was at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood last Wednesday August 17th to talk to journalists about the festival and more. Metal Assault caught up with her for a brief and precise conversation. Enjoy it below, and be on the lookout for much more from Gabbie Rae in the near and distant future. Continue reading