INTERVIEW: BLACKMASS MAFIA – TALKS CD, TOURING AND DRUMMER SEARCH
This past weekend I had the opportunity to hang out with Blackmass Mafia at their studio hidden deep in the backwoods of up state Pennsylvania. Upon arriving I had no expectations other than a very raw demo that contained three songs I received about a month ago.
While hanging out, throwing back a few White Mountain Dew’s (which tastes like green Mountain Dew by the way) I asked if they made any progress with their CD and to my surprise they played what is pretty much the finished version of it. Although the band gave me a copy, I am not posting a CD review at this time because I want to wait to hear the final mix. What I will say after hearing the CD and watching these guys rehearse is that Blackmass Mafia have to be one of the most brutal bands that Pennsylvania has to offer.
Check out the interview below and be on the look out for the CD review.
Blackmass Mafia Is:
Mikke Nugent: Guitars/Vocals
Shawn Meister: Rhythm Guitar
Blackmass Mafia Interview
RN: Let’s talk about you debut CD?
Shawn Meister: “Vol. 1 War Machine” This is going to kick you right in the balls.
RN: How far along in the recording process are you?
Mikke Nugent: It’s just about done. Right now we are in the mastering stage.
RN: What is the projected street date?
Mikke Nugent: We are shooting for September, the first day the tour starts is when the album will be released.
RN: How did the recording process go? Did you all have a part in it?
Mikke Nugent: I do guitars, vocals and keyboards, I produced the record. I engineered the recorded. Dan Fedele played drums on the record. He did an amazing job. We did 10 songs in 3 hours high as shit. And we are proud of that. We are poor so it was weed but high none the less.
RN: Tell me about some of the songs titles and some of the meaning behind them.
Mikke Nugent: “Never Say Goodbye” is about my old lady. It’s a track that you never expect a band like us to play. We have an orchestra playing on it and a choir. Then you have the heavy tunes like “Electric Mistress” it’s a 7 and a half minute tune and we don’t play 7 and a half minuet tunes. But that’s the life it took on. “Cleans The Sky” it’s an old school Pantera type groove.
RN: What about the song “War Machine”?
Mikke Nugent: What about it?
RN: What’s it about?
Mikke Nugent: “War Machine”. It’s not about the war or the government. It’s about how hateful the Philadelphia music scene is and how we go out there every fucking night and just crush. This whole album is a statement in it self. Telling certain people “fuck you”. This is us and if you don’t like it we don’t give a fuck.
Shawn Meister: It’s about being told for years by family member’s ex-wives ex-girl friends to give it up and get a real job and through the years we stuck with it. We continue to stick with it and we are going to continue to stick with it in till the day we die.
RN: How would you describe the sound of “Vol. 1 War Machine”?
Mikke Nugent: I feel that James Hetfield and Zakk Wylde are great in their own right for different things and I thought it would be very interesting to see if I could mesh these two guys together especially Black Label’s 1919 Eternal and Metallica’s …And Justice For All. It is what it is. My whole goal was to take the tight rhythms and chunk of Metallica and take the harmonic sequels and leads from Zakk and put them together and see what I could get.
RN: OK, from that response I take it that B.L.S. and Metallica are huge influences on you guys.
Best: Yeah man, Rex Brown, Metallica, Black Label Society and AC/DC
Mikke Nugent: I worshipped at the alter of Metallica for as long as I could remember. The first 2 albums I got were “No Rest For The Wicked” and “Ride The Lighting”. At that age most of the people I knew went back and got into AC/DC and Sabbath. I love those bands but I was more into Motorhead Tigers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Venom. I found a lot of different music and a lot of great players but at the end of the day it always came down to Zakk Wylde and James Hetfield.
RN: How about you Shawn?
Shawn Meister: I was about 6 or 7 years old and my mom took me to a Kiss concert. As I got older I got into Motley Crue, Britny Fox and Heaven’s Edge. And as soon as I heard Zakk Wylde on “No Rest For The Wicked” that changed my playing style 100%.
RN: When is your tour starting?
Shawn Meister: The tour starts September 1st. We are still booking dates. Keep checking our facebook page for updates. When the dates are confirmed we will make the announcement.
RN: The road can be brutal for a new band. Do you have any expectations?
Shawn Meister: The first time out it’s going to be rough. We are going out to get out name out there. But I have a strong feeling when we come back through and hit those same clubs there will be twice as many people but this time there will be a lot more love.
RN: What bands would you like to go out and play with?
Best: 98 Degrees and O Town (laughs)
Mikke Nugent: We really want to play with SPUR GANG. They are buddies of ours. Backwoods Payback another great band.
Shawn Meister: Bands that we see our selves playing with are bands that bust their balls and work hard.
RN: One last question. You guys are in need of a drummer correct?
Shawn Meister: Absolutely
RN: What kind of person/drummer are you looking for?
Shawn Meister: Someone who will bust their balls just as hard as we do every night and can keep up with us. Not just with the touring and all that comes with it but being able to play just like the album and can appreciate our style. Just someone who is just like us, huge fans of this band that we just happen to be apart of.
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