INTERVIEW WITH MIKE LEPOND
«We try to write songs people can remember. Quality songs.»
Mike LePond is one of the most reknown bassist in the international heavy metal scene, mainly known for his work with SYMPHONY X. But Mike also have other interesting projects, as SILENT ASSASSINS, which debut LP we would review and about which we talk extensively in this interview, along with discusing SYMPHONY X a few weeks before «Underworld» was released.
What can you tell us about this new project of yours SILENT ASSASSINS?
I have always wanted to do a solo album, what gave me the opportunity was after SYMPHONY X put out the record Iconoclast . I decided it was time to work in my project. While I was touring with SYMPHONY X , I wrote all songs and lyrics, so I had everything ready and I just recorded it them. I work out really well.
What was your main inspiration for this record?
My first love has always been classical heavy metal and trash, I have always wanted to write an album of those Metal styles that they don´t fix with SYMPHONY X , and they needed to go somewhere, it is a tribute to all my favourite bands such as JUDAS PRIEST and METALLICA.
What can you tell us about Out of honor (Song included in SILENT ASSASSINS new record)?
When I was writing the lyrics for this song I was really interested in King Author and his stories. I wanted to write something inspired in medieval times. It´s a ten minutes song, the first minutes I want to give the impression that you are in a church with all the knights. Some parts remind me to MANOWAR or even QUEEN. I have always wanted to write a long song without being boring, I think it fits very well.
How do you feel about your fans response to this album?
When I first finish the album, I was nervous because I didn´t know how my fans will react to this genre, but the reaction has been really positive and I have received very good feedback from the press.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would change in this album?
I don´t think so, because It took me three years to write all these songs, I really wanted to create a piece of arte. Maybe I would put a bit of orchestra on it.
Are you planning to write a second album with SILENT ASSASSINS in the future?
Yes. Actually, I have already fifteen songs written, I will choose the best nine songs, it will be the same kind of style. It´s just so much fun to create music.
Would you do it with the same line up in the band?
Well, I definitely want to use the same singer Alan Tecchio( HADES, WATCHTOWER) but I think I might try other musicians, just to change it up a little bit.
Aside from SILENT ASSASSINS and SYMPHONY X you are also known for other projects like SEVEN WITCHES and DEAD ON ARRIVAL , is there anything new we might not know?
I do almost a new project every month, at the moment I am working in writing songs for a very cool Black Metal band called THE MORTE and recording songs for them.
As for SYMPHONY X we got some recent news that you will be releasing a new album called Underworld , What can you tell us about it?
It is a collection of eleven songs that we have been working on for about one year, which is for us very quick (Laughs). It´s not as heavy as Iconoclast the sound is more like Paradise lost or The odyssey sound like. A lot of good solo songs, good chords, it´s a very cloudy album.
Will be any suites in Underworld?
Originally we wanted to, but at the end it just didn´t happened.
Underworld is inspired in Dante´s Divine Comedy Inferno, go in and out of hell, what these things mean for you?
We combined Dante´s Inferno with the Greek myth of Orpheous. He loses his love Euridyce, he goes to hell and take his love back. It´s like an Odyssey under water. All of them talk about the levels of hell.
Underworld´s Art cover is one of the darkest cover SYMPHONY X has ever presented. Any reason for that?
Our artist is Warren Flanagan. We told him the story and send some songs; it looks almost like a black metal album cover. The symbols of the cover represent a different level of hell.
Michael Romeo said that Underworld is an album to defend the concept of album as a whole, whereas the music industry is trying to demise,what is your opinion on this matter?
We feel like the music industry is making albums not to be that important anymore, fans just download songs. When SYMPHONY X writes an album, is a piece of art, if you download individual songs you are missing what we are trying to do. We want to listen to the album from the beginning to the end.
What qualities do you think Underworld has comparing to others albums of the same style that might come out there?
Well I think this album has some classical SYMPHONY X in a Metal format, we tried to make all its songs as best as we can be. We want to write songs that people will remember. Every song is really a though out.
Who or what was the reason to make you play Bass?
It´s a funny story, when I was 13 years I went to see KISS with my dad, for me one of the most amazing things in this world. I was watching Gene Simmons and after that I wanted to be like him.
Even though there are now on-line magazines proven to be more effective than printed ones. Printed magazines always remain more prestigious , What is your opinion about this subject?
Online magazines you can get information very fast, when printed magazines, you can feel them, touch them, it´s in your hands, it feels better. I feel the same about a record and downloading an album.
Are you planning to visit Spain with SYMPHONY X soon?
Absolutely, we always like to tour in Spain. We are planning on visiting you in early winter.
Any kind words to your fans and Metalcry readers?
Thank you for being so loyal to us, we are so lucky to have you, we will see you next year and have a good time together.