Stu, tell us a little about the influences of the band
Many of the typical suspects are there: - Priest, Maiden, Helloween. But I think some modern bands have really influenced me from the project side like Ayreon, Avantasia and edguy. I am constantly listening to new metal.
After being in a band like dungeon how does the new band and projects feel to you?
In short great!. Dungeon was a working touring band where Empires of Eden is more of a project situation and, allows me more time to spend on composition. I am writing for some of the biggest names in metal and that's a great thing.
Obviously you have toured extensivesly through out Europe and beyond, how does Australia compare to this and what could Australia do to improve its scene here, conversely what could Europe do to improve its scene over there?
The first thing, we live in the most liveable country on the planet, no doubt. When you consider the small population, we have a very powerful metal scene. Our scene is smaller, but just as dedicated. Europe really has the best metal scene and is very well suited to touring, great summer festivals and well organised touring companies. There’s not much to be critical of there.
What bands are rockin' your world at the moment?
The latest 'CAGE' album (Supremacy of steel) is just kicking my ass right now - Onslaught (Sounds of violence) and the latest Pagans Mind album is just jaw dropping.
How is the band faring on the internet? Do you feel you are spreading the good word further or just getting ripped off and downloaded by freeloaders?
It's a mixed bag that one and it depends on the size of the band as to how you affected. While stopping people downloading might seem like the answer, I don't think it will force people to buy it - they'll just work out other ways to get it.
My view is acts need to work on more value, give people a reason to buy. I'll sell a cd for $20 including global shipping - you get the handsigned product and free promo cards signed by most of the singers.. That's how I respond to that and it's doing great. Offer more or suffer.
After knowing you for some years I feel that you are a band that musicians appreciate and look up to... what gear is the band using and why?
Well thank you – We have endorsements with Laboga amps, these are just the cutting edge best metal tones I have heard, very well built from Poland. We are using that gear exclusively on the Grimmett tour. Concerning guitars, I am working with company now called Radix. We are developing a custom model of my own design so that is pretty cool, it's very metal and aggressive so we will see how that turns out.
Obviously you guys are playing an older school of metal... where do you see the future of metal going from here and how does it affect you?
You know, I have no idea. I am just playing the music that comes from within, wearing the influences on the sleeve if you will. I think it's just got to be honest.
I don't care about sales, it's purely for the art and everything comes a second that is the gods honest truth. If it changes too much it becomes... not metal. I read reviews on some metal complaining that it's nothing new but hell, how does it need to be different? - there’s enough movement in the genre to keep it true.
I've noticed you've gotten a whole heap of ink since I've seen you last, what's all this about and what appeals to you about tattoos and how do you think this ties in with the metal culture?
Simply I love tatts. Good ones.. hahah I'm into colours, good art and images that can really express. I heard once that it's like a drug, once you get one, you want a hundred and it's true for me. I'll keep getting them as time goes on.
I think they fit really well into the metal culture, evil - skulls and the devil!
Any links you want to share to let listeners hear some of the stuff you've been working on?
Definitely, please check out empiresofeden.com - we have all the links there and hit me up on facebook.
How do you feel the various high profile musicians you've worked with have influenced your playing?
That's a great question. They have influenced me professionally. You can learn so much from the guys doing this 24/7. Dave Mustaine was incredible for instance. He took great care of the band and was a real gentleman. I saw how much the guy cared about us as an opening act and he went out of his way to help us.
It's weird the bigger the band usually the cooler the guys.
With two band 'Empires of Eden' and 'Pain Division' what is the focus of each band and how do they differ? Do you feel that you have difficulty deciding what material goes in each band?
Man, it's like listening to Slayer and Priest. For me, it's easy to be in both, give 100% and also find the differences. The focus for Paindivision has been less for the last two years as all members had other serious projects happening, so instead of killing everyone and stressing we simply waited until the time was right again, and now it is.
Any future plans for the 'Grimmett' collaboration?
Steve will be featured on the next Empires of Eden cd, and we are planning to perform his new song live. It's going to be a great tour.
Empires of Eden www.empiresofeden.com
Featuring the vocals of Sean Peck (Cage), this arrangement of the classic Christmas anthem is taken into an epic realm of heavy metal. All proceeds from Itunes will go to the charity "Metal For Cancer" to support cancer research. This is available for a strictly limited time.
Source: Obscure Chaos Zine
Obscure Chaos Zine Interview Page