Interview with Joe Block from Scarlet Anger

The Luxembourg-based Scarlet Anger are the latest edition to the world of thrash metal. Iza caught up with the singer Joe Block to discuss their new album Dark Reign, influences, aspirations for the future and the Luxembourgish metal scene.

Iza: Hi Joe!

Joe Block: Hi!

I:Could you tell me a little about what influenced your decision to start playing thrash metal as opposed to another

J.B.: Fred and Joe, who formed the band were always into thrash metal bands, so it was no question that they wanted to play that genre!

I: Which bands do you see as your biggest inspiration and why?

J.B.: We all have different influences such as KREATOR, ANNIHILATOR, older METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD or even IRON MAIDEN and many more, we are all very open minded musicians. We listen to a lot of Metal bands. We don’t try to sound like one band, We just write the music we like. We don’t try to concentrate on one style while writing songs. If it sounds good we keep it, if not we don’t.

I:So what’s the metal scene like in Luxembourg? Could you tell me a bit more about it?

J.B.:The metal scene in Luxembourg is quite big compared to the size of the country, we have a lot of metal bands! There are some great bands like Desdemonia, Abstract Rapture,… At the moment there exists also a lot of Metalcore bands. So there are bands for every type of metal!

I:Your debut album ‘Dark Reign’ was mastered by Jeff Waters from Annihilator. Is he someone with whom you would like to work with in the future?

J.B.:Well for the moment it’s hard to say, we were very satisfied with his work! We all know that Jeff is a perfectionist and pro! He got a lot of experience in mastering while mastering albums of his band Annihilator and other bands! So it was really nice to work with him! He helped us a lot to get the sound we were looking for! So it’s not impossible that we’ll work together again. Let’s say if he still is interested in working with us!

I:Based on the lyrics, ‘Dark Reign’ seems to tell a story about the overthrowing of a king. Was this intended to be a concept album and, if so how did you come up with this theme?

J.B.: No, it’s definitely no real concept album. The album should include the songs from the EP Kill The King, that was the request of the label. So the challenge was to incorporate these songs without giving up the concept of Kill The King. That’s how we came up with the idea to name the album Dark reign which is a more extensive idea than the EP’s name. Although the song titles could fit the theme “king and war”, there are no existing connections between the lyrics and the cover/title concept as one might think.

I: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

J.B.:To determine one highlight in our young career is very difficult. There are a few ones. One of the biggest highlight in our career was the moment where we signed our deal with our label! It was a big step forward for us! Another highlight was to share the stage with bands like CHANNEL ZERO and PRIMAL FEAR.
The next big highlights are, our previous shows with OVERKILL, RAGE, DESASTER,DIAMOND HEAD and many more.

I: Who has been your favorite band to tour with so far?

J.B. : Until now it was great to play with Primal Fear! They were very nice people to meet! As for now, we are really looking forward to play with Overkill, Rage and more!

I: If you could pick any band to tour with in the future who would it be?

J.B.:Ohhhhhhhh, that’s a real difficult question. There are so many amazing bands, but definitely Slayer, Kreator or Metallica. Any big thrash metal band would be great!

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

J.B.:James Hetfield (Metallica) and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) because they are great musicians, always moved on and never made any compromises!

I: Ok thanks for your time!

J.B.: Thanks!

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