All the questions the others are afraid to ask we made them and they were pleased to answer! Unveiling once and for all the characteristics of those who have been bringing forth the spirit of party/shock metal for over two decades helps us understand the reasons that bred so stubborn a record.
(Answers by singer Prophet)
-Hail mate! How you doin'? First off, seems to me that with the new album you sound like heavier and more focused as to the songwriting...
PROPHET: On this record everything just seemed to fall together. Everyone was in good spirits throughout the recording process and I think it really reflects in the finished product. Also the songwriting was incredible as well because we never had trouble writing material for "Vampires in the Church". The music just came together and looking back I will say that making this CD was the best Experience studio wise for me out of our 6 albums.
-Did it take you less time to write and record it because you are more experienced or more time because you had a higher available budget?
PROPHET: As the band has matured over the years we know more about what we are doing. ST. MADNESS is an independent band, we have always been on our own label, Nasty Prick Records. With each completed album we of course discover better more efficient ways to create our brand of Heavy Metal Art. We don't need a huge budget to make records as long as the band knows what it wants and we work with a good producer like Larry Elyea (he has co-produced a number of our records) at Mind's Eye Digital. We recorded "Vampires In The Church" in record time and it's (in my opinion) our best CD to date.
-Is it a fully digital-recorded CD or did you use any analog equipment?
PROPHET: We always mix it up. I love the old-school analog ways of recording as well as modern tech like Pro Tools. I like it all, so we use it all. For instance, we often record digitally first, then run it back through analog just to bring more warmth back into the recording. Pro Tools is also great. I have heard some people put Pro Tools down because it's an easier, more precise way to record. No matter what, if your song writing isn't good then no amount of over-producing or tricks will fix it. For me, good songwriting is number one.
-What category of people would you recommend your music?
PROPHET: Anyone who believes in Metal/Rock music and in having a good time! We are also in the studio recording a semi (mostly) acoustic record titled, "Death Drives A Buick". In this band, as far as song writing goes the doors are wide open. This new album is gonna be totally different in the sense that I am having some friends write and record this CD with us. Over the years, we have written some great tunes that aren't Metal so we are putting it all down on this album. Rather then letting good music go to waste, we choose to put it out there. Having said that, St. Madness is a Metal band to the end so NO WORRIES - we aren't changing into some acoustic act full-time. Our bone marrow is made of metal and that'll never change.
-Six albums without counting the beginning of your career under the monicker of Crown of Thorns. How many years have you been in the music biz? Can it turn out to be frustrating at times when you see that others had a faster career and surpassed you in terms of sales and popularity just because they rode the trendy sound of the moment?
PROPHET: I have personally been in Metal bands since the early 80's. I am very proud of this as Metal music is my life and my blood. It's not about popularity for me as much as it's about sincerity. Being true to the Metal music that lives in my heart. Every song that we have ever recorded we have given it our all. Not for the sake of money or fame (because if that is why we got into Metal, then why are we still here?). It's because making Metal music is one of the things that I am here to do on this planet. I care more about ST. MADNESS being respected by the fans of Metal for our songwriting. This (for me) is really what is lasting. Yes it has been frustrating at times, but that hasn't stopped us from doing what we want. I am also proud of the fact that we have achieved what we have on our own accord. I love being an entertainer and I have no desire to be a rock star. We never have had a label with lots of capital taking care of our career for us. We have worked hard on our own I feel honored to still be out there giving it my all for Metal music and for it's fans. As long as people enjoy listening to ST. MADNESS albums we will make as many as we can. If ST. MADNESS is meant to go big, then it will. We're just going to keep doing what we love and see where it takes us.
-Of course Arizona is your homeland and you love it, but what other states would you love to live in if you had to move and why?
I have already lived in Arizona, California, Kansas, Missouri, and Hawaii. For me I am good where ever my feet end up. New York, Los Angeles, it's all good!
-You appear to be quite a prolific band. Do you reject some songs or are you one of those that work on each raw song till it's satisfactory for all the members? And is there democracy within the band or do you need someone above the others to decide?
PROPHET: I am the founding member and I actually own the trademark to ST. MADNESS. However, when it comes to songwriting, I am very open-minded and we have always worked in a democratic way. All bands work differently, in our case I have final say but truly I have always respected the other members of ST. MADNESS and their feelings about our songwriting and recording. I wouldn't want any member of the band past or present to walk away from one of our records feeling slighted or unhappy with it. This has always worked for ST. MADNESS. When recording an album, I work very closely with our co-producers. This is why we always get a co-producer - to have an outsider's educated perspective.
-If you had to convince someone who has never listened to you, what would you say to explain to them why St. Madness differ from other Shock/Heavy/Thrash metal bands?
PROPHET: This is a really tough question for me because I let the music do the talking to new people so, if they don't like the music then I won't try to convince anyone otherwise. Again, I am only concerned with our own friends and fans. I don't like to try to downplay what other bands are doing just to get someone to listen to our music. I don't really feel competitive with other bands as we all are just out there doing what we love and working hard. ST. MADNESS has it's own niche and that's what I am most happy about.
-Are you party animals out of St. Madness too or is it something that comes out especially when wearing that face paint and when you're onstage or simply on tour?
PROPHET: Every member of the band past and present has loved to party! I don't think that a person who didn't like to party would even want to audition. It would not go well. However we don't have people in the band getting drunk at rehearsals or shows. Any other time is great. After-show parties are my favorite time to party!
-What are the 1st and last album that you bought and what's the one that changed your life?
PROPHET: First album I ever bought was "KISS ALIVE" and the last was "Tenacious-D The Pick Of Destiny". The album that changed my life was "Judas Priest- Unleashed In The East". The beast that is the Priest was some amazing shit in the late 70's!!! The rest of the Rock world was looking at them like: "HOLY SHIT these guys are Heavy!!!"
-Which album would you give your best friend? Which your arch-enemy? And which would you use to seduce a woman?
PROPHET: I would give my best friend, "Vampires In The Church" and my arch-enemy I would give "Pat Boone's - In A Metal Mood!!!" To seduce a woman, I would give them anything by Andrea Bocelli.
-Coming back to your latest release, I was positively amazed by your vocal skills. Did you take pro lessons or are you self-taught? How could you achieve so large a vocal range and so big a power that only an opera baritone could boast?
PROPHET: I started singing when I was like 5 years old. I did take a few lessons back in 1982. I actually was also in a choir that sang for Pope John Paul II back in 1987. We sang in Latin opera style. I've never been afraid to learn more when it comes to singing and music in general. Lessons give one the basics and that (for me) is important. Also I don't like to be placed in anyone's box musically. There's so much music I love, so I'm willing to try many different types and styles of singing. I give it my all from my heart, as that's all I know how to do.
-How do you prepare before starting a tour? Any physical training or do you simply rehearse often?
PROPHET: Rehearse often and go to the gym a lot!!!
-Any hope to see a not live video clip? Will Nasty Prick assist you or is that a factor depending on the sales of the platter?
PROPHET: We actually have lot's of video stuff. We started as a band in May of 1993 so I have collected a shit load of video. I will have to send you some!!!
-Worst job you had out of the music biz? Or what would you like to do after St. Madness?
PROPHET: Dishwashing in a very busy upscale restaurant!!! This sucked!!! Tons of filthy dishes, pots and shit. The boss wanted it all cleaned RIGHT NOW!!! After ST. MADNESS I am not really sure, but I do love to write. I write poetry, short stories, and I started a vampire novel some years ago so I will finish it as well. I would also like to produce other bands. Perhaps work for a label or metal magazine.
-What's the stupidest thing you did when you were drunk?
PROPHET: Walking home drunk off my ass one early morning, I strolled out into the center of a normally very busy intersection and took a piss. I could have been killed but I didn't care! Luckily nobody was driving through that the time!
-And the most ridiculous thing occurred to you onstage?
PROPHET: I split my pants onstage two-thirds of the way through a show and I had to finish the concert with my balls hanging out!
-Do you ever receive crazy requests from fans?
PROPHET: Yes, when we played side stage for Van Halen I had a fan come up to me tell me that his wife would like to suck my dick. He told me she would be happy to share herself with me.
-What are your most expensive vices?
PROPHET: I like to smoke lots of WEED!!! I also enjoy a nice cigar sometimes.
-What's the strangest place where you had sex with a groupie?
PROPHET: In a band long ago I had sex with my guitar players girlfriends mom, while they were in the next room!!! Hey, the mom was hot and I drank a lot of Jack Daniels that night!!! Yes, mom was a groupie and lots of fun! The next morning I had to sneak out of the house all hung over and it sucked! I never told my band mate or his girlfriend about having my way with her mom, as I didn't want to hurt her. Ha Ha!!! Looking back it was some funny shit!!!
-I know you're a party band with barely no limits, nevertheless, do you ever happen to think about your childhood when you're alone? Do you have any regrets?
PROPHET: I think about my childhood alot and I have no regrets. My step-father and I didn't get along very well when I was growing up but the last 8 years of his life he and I became much closer. I loved him very much and I know that he loved me.
-In case your house would be on fire, who and what would you save first?
PROPHET: My family, my pets and that's it. Everything else can be replaceable.
-What would you like it to be written on your gravestone?
PROPHET: "Here lies Prophet and why not?"
-Do you have any recurrent nightmares?
PROPHET: I keep dreaming that my ex-wife wants me back!!! Just kidding, actually I haven't had a nightmare in many years.
-Please feel free to use all the place you need for updates, news or any other important message to your old and new fans.
PROPHET: First of all I would like to say THANK YOU to you Markus for asking me to do this interview and to allow me to share more about ST. MADNESS and myself with your readers!!! LONG LIVE THE BROTHERHOOD OF METAL!!! LONG LIVE THE FANS OF ROCK N ROLL!!!
Sincerely, Prophet/ST. MADNESS.
-Thank YOU Prophet for granting Rock Metal Bands this enlightening and exhaustive interview and sharing all of that lay behind your band. All the best for your career!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - January 2nd , 2007
Prophet, lyrics, v.
Dark Soul, d.
Altar Boy, lead g.
Mad Marvin, rhythm g.
Uno Mosh, b.
Amendment One Management: Margie Johnson/Nasty Prick records
PO Box 11614, Scottsdale, Arizona 85271 - USA
T: +1 (480) 5778674 or +1 (480) 4239891
-Loneliness Is Black (1996)
-Spiritual Visions (1997)
-God Bless America (1998)
-Scare the World (2000)
-We Make Evil Fun (2003)
-Vampires in the Church (2006)
-Carnimetal 1 (DVD)
-Carnimetal 2 (DVD)