Archive for Symphony X

Interview with Mike LePond

Posted in Interview with tags , , on 18th November 2015 by izaforestspirit

Mike LePond, the legendary bass player of Symphony X released his first solo album ‘Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins‘ last year. Iza caught up with him to discuss the new project and his passion for epic tales and heavy metal.

Iza: Hi Mike. Could you tell me a bit more about your new solo album Mike LePond’s Silent Assasins? What’s the concept behind it?

Mike: There is no specific concept behind the album but every song has its own individual concept.

Iza: Who are the “silent assassins” and what is their purpose?

Mike: In this band the Silent Assassins have 2 meanings. In the actual title track, they are the Greeks hiding inside the Trojan horse. They are also meant to signify the guys I hired to play on the record.


Iza: This album has been described as a tribute to classic heavy metal, combining”all influences” of your favorite bands. Which bands have influenced you the most during the writing process and why?

Mike: For this particular CD, the bands that most influenced my writing were Judas Priest, Manowar, Metallica and Blackmore’s Night. I have so many more influences but these bands always dominate my writing.

Iza: You’re a busy man. In addition to this project and Symphony X, you’re also a member of several other bands including Waken Eyes, Elegacy and many more. How do you find the time for all of these? Have you encountered any problems or restrictions as a result of being involved in so many projects?

Mike: Yes it’s a tremendous amount of work but it’s a labor of love so I can always figure out a way to get these projects done. I have never run into problems in this area.

Iza: The line-up includes Alan Tecchio (Hades, Watchtower, Seven Witches) as the lead vocalist. What lead you to decide to work with him?

Mike: I met Alan in 2010 when we played together in a band called 7 Witches. His voice had so much power and yet he could sing very well. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Iza: One thing that occurred to me when I read some of the lyrics is that a lot of the themes are similar to those of Symphony X. For example there’s several references to mythology, especially Greek and Norse myths. Which came first, the lyrics or the music? Also, what made you choose these stories in particular?

Mike: I love history, mythology and literature and I believe these epic tales go perfect with heavy metal. I had a bunch of lyrics and also some musical pieces laying around. Basically I just matched the musical piece that fit the emotion of the lyric.

Iza: There’s been some discussion as to which genre Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins falls into. The album features elements of classic heavy metal, thrash metal and power metal. How would you describe this style?

Mike: I would just call this album heavy metal. It certainly does have traditional, thrash, Celtic, and doom in there.

Iza: Are you planning to go on tour with Silent Assassins or is this going to be a studio only project?

Mike: My goal is to do some high profile shows with this project. I am trying to coordinate that with Symphony X’s 2016 tour schedule

Iza: Do you have any plans for the future of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins?

Mike: I have already begun working on a second album. I want this to be a real working band.

Iza: Is there anything else that you would like to say to your fans and our readers?

Mike: I would like to say thank you to all The Symphony X and Silent Assassins fans out there. I appreciate your loyalty and support. I will see you all on tour soon!

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Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins album is out now via Moonlight Productions.


DragonForce complete writing of the follow-up album to 2012’s The Power Within

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 15th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

UK metal icons DragonForce have completed writing the follow up to last year’s release The Power Within album, which was their first with vocalist Marc Hudson. Since his live debut with the band in July of 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with the band in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with Iron Maiden as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the album.

With a new found wealth of experience for the new singer and two years of playing together, the DragonForce machine will be at it’s most powerful when they enter Fascination Studios in Sweden in May with Jens Bogren to start laying down tracks. Known for his work with the likes of Opeth, The Devin Townsend Project, Amon Amarth, Katatonia, Soilwork and Symphony X to name a few, a killer-sounding album will be the inevitable result.
Dragonforce’s own shredmaster Herman Li says: “Right now, everyone in the band is itching to get into the studio to record probably the most epic DragonForce music ever written. With so many ideas flying around and songs already written, we decided to team up with producer Jens Bogren to help us take the DF sound to the next level and beyond!

The band will perform at Download Festival at Donington Park June 14th – 16th.