"There is just so much compassion and feeling that you can express with metal music, and it truly is a way of life.... This music is not simply a genre, metal is a lifestyle."
Following up from the review we gave these talented Americans of whom play Heavy Metal in a form that eluded me, such is the greatness of experimentation.
The band have their own special comic and so this is what they had to say about it:
"Metalcult Comix is created, written, and illustrated by me. The first issue was published in 2011, and so far we're up to issue #4. The latest issue, Metalcult Comix Special #1, is in production now with a projected publication date of February 2013. To my knowledge, we are the first band to do something like this. I know there are a lot of bands who have had comic books, but never like what we're doing. In fact, I believe Cult of Dionysis is the only band in existence to offer a comic book series which chronicles the adventures of the band utilizing a semi-autobiographical account, while combining elements of Superhero Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Action, Horror, and Comedic satire. So there's a lot of fabrication and storytelling going on in this series, but we also tie in our music, tours, and various real-time events taking place in the band. Eventually, I could see Metalcult Comix developed into an animated series, a movie, or even a bad ass video game! The potential for expanding "metal" into the public consciousness is endless. Metalcult Comix is just another aspect of our campaign to deliver this music to the world. We will stop at nothing to get Metalcult into the ears and brains of every metal head on the planet!"
As for the interview, here comes the epic digestion.
How long has the band been going, how did it form and what does the band name mean?
(Scott Mays) "Band name? My interpretation is that we are the Justice League of Heavy Metal so we have to have a cool moniker. Our main superhero is Dionysis and we are his merry "Cult" followers!"
(Dionysis) "How can I top that?!? What he said! Actually it all started in 2006 with a passion to form a band that would stand the test of time. Most groups form with a common goal, but then over time the membership drifts away. People lose interest, or quit for various reasons, and then the band breaks up. Those who want to continue moving forward with their music are left to start all over with a different project. After experiencing this cycle in several band incarnations, I decided I'd had enough. I wanted to be a part of something that would not implode or die when a member decides to leave. How does one go about creating such a thing? Well, to keep people interested indefinitely and generate a never ending supply of musician recruits, you have to build something bigger than just a band. It almost needs to be a "religion" to have that kind of longevity. So rather than yet another "band", I created the "Metal Cult of Dionysis". To my complete amazement, the plan seems to be working! I carried the project on my back by myself for a couple of years. I shot a music video, released the "CCCXXXIII" EP, and went through several lineups.
Then in 2008 Bassist / Vocalist James Huff joined and lit this group on fire! Yet more members came and went, but all the while Huff stuck with the Metalcult and helped push the band further and further. By 2010 we had recorded our first LP "Alchemy", began production for our "Metalcult Comix" book, and recruited Guitarist Scott Mays. When he joined the group it was like another piece of the puzzle just fell into place. Since then, yet more band members have come and gone, but the Metalcult just keeps progressing, getting stronger and stronger. Last year we had the incredible privilege of working with producer Peter Wichers to create the "Behind The Mask" single. Then about halfway through 2012 Guitarist Heath Hash jumped on board this crazy electric circus. His talent and energy has completely rejuvenated the band. That brings us roughly up to now, and I'm very excited to find out what the future holds for the Metalcult."
What inspired you to play the style of music you play?
(Mays) "I love the powerful sounds of metal. It's almost like war or superhero battles in audio!"
(James Huff) "I discovered metal at a young age. It helped pull me through a lot of life's everyday struggles, and got me through some hard times. It just opened something inside me that I had never felt before, and fueled my soul. I immediately knew I wanted to learn and play this style. There is just so much compassion and feeling that you can express with metal music, and it truly is a way of life."
(D) "Exactly! This music is not simply a genre, metal is a lifestyle."
What is your local town/city scene like?
(Mays) "Great! Supportive. Our local fans dig what we do."
(D) "Yeah, our hometown supporters are one of the diving forces behind this group. Galax, VA is a really small town located in the southern Appalachian mountains of Virginia in the USA. The place is best known for bluegrass music, but there really is a diversity of sounds in the area. You can also find a lot of Punk, Rock, and Heavy Metal bands making killer original music in these mountains. Plus, even though it is a remote area, it's within relatively close distance to some larger cities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Tennessee. So we tend to trade shows with a lot of bands in the region to spread out as far as we can. Eventually we'd love to branch out even more and go farther North, South, and West in the USA...possibly across the seas to the UK! Watch out Rhys, we could be destroying a stage near you one day soon!" (ed: lets hope our promoters listen up).
Have you played alongside any big bands, if so who? If not who would you like to play alongside?
(D) "It depends upon which bands are considered to be "big"! I've been navigating the heavy metal underground in the USA for quite some time now. In some of my previous groups I've performed opening gigs with various bands you may have heard of such as Manowar, Saxon, D.R.I., Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse, Marduk, Diamond Head, Amon Amarth, and quite a few others. Unfortunately, the Metalcult has not yet landed a gig with a big name act as yet. We've come really close, though. I feel 2013 is going to be the year that we finally break through and get some invitations to perform with more well known bands. If I could have my pick of bands we can perform with, I'd have to choose some of our heroes. Lamb of God, Corrosion of Conformity, Queensryche, Gojira, Anthrax, Cradle of Filth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest...Hell, might as well go for broke! We want a tour opening for BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, AND KISS! There it is. Have your people contact their people, those people can communicate with our people, we'll sign on the dotted line to make it happen."
(Huff) "We would share the stage with anyone, really. Metal is a community and brotherhood. So big name or no name, I would play a show with anyone."
Has the band got any plans for 2013?
(Heath Hash) "WE REALLY NEED TO RECORD!"
(Mays) "A new full length CD will be nice. The band's success so far has come from music created by previous musicians. So I'm eager to see If the music that Heath and I have been a part of creating in the band will be popular as well."
(D) "No doubt. The band has been through a lot of changes since it began. No matter, I'm confident the lineup we have right now is the strongest Cult of Dionysis has ever had. When people hear the new material the band has been working on, they are going to be very, very pleased. The Metalcult has no official label, management, booking agent, outside financial support, or corporate contributions of any kind. We run this show 100% underground as a "Do It Yourself" organization, and we do the best we can with the limited budget we have to work with. So on average we publish a couple of comic books a year, a new recording every couple of years, and we manufacture normal band products such as T-shirts as money becomes available. We're already booking 2013 live shows around Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It's about time for us to deliver a new record, and you can count on at least a couple more issues of Metalcult Comix in 2013. It would be nice to become "discovered" and finally get some kind of industry support, but truthfully...FUCK IT! We're going to continue making this music and keeping the true believers happy whether the music industry notices Cult of Dionysis or not."
Finally any thank you's, hello's and any other messages you wish to say?
(D) "Wow, there are just so many people who deserve to be thanked. I'll try to be brief and wrap this up quick, or we could be here awhile! First of all, there are a lot of people who have contributed to the band, but are no longer working with us now. They deserve credit, and we'll never forget 'em. So if you ever played a live show or wrote a song with Cult of Dionysis...THANK YOU! Also, we all have very patient, understanding, and dedicated family members and friends who support this band. If you are a band member's wife, girlfriend, mother, father, grandparent, brother, sister, child, or just a longtime pal constantly providing positive energy and encouragement...THANK YOU! There are a lot of bands around the region working their asses off to get somewhere in the music biz. They've helped us and we wanna return the love. Here's a shout out to our brothers & sisters in bands who have been helping to build a stronger metal music scene: Doom Syndicate, The Ziggurat, The Reasons Were Legion, Luna's Lament, Hellblock 13, Mindjakked, War Torn Angel, Torment Garden, Lifemare, The Dirty South Revolutionaries, 3 Quarters Dead, White Knuckle Black Out, Monstrok, Dread...I'm probably forgetting a few, my apologies to any that have been left out!
We would also like to sincerely thank you, Rhys, for giving a bunch of nobodies from nowhere a chance to be heard. It's people like you who introduce underground bands like us to the world. Without you, we'd have no voice, no way of bringing our metal to the masses (ed: That's what Global Metal Apocalypse is all about, bringing metal to the masses)
Finally, a message I truly want to deliver to the people of planet earth is this: NEVER GIVE UP! Artists. Musicians. Writers. Anyone with a dream. There will always be obstacles, trials to overcome, people standing in your way. Do not despair! Be smart, stay positive, figure out ways to adapt to change and beat the odds. All the hard work is worth it in the end, and people need your creativity. Human beings can draw energy from your creations, and the whole world will benefit, so hold on to the dreams! Bless you, each and everyone!"