Interview with Oceancloud from Pavillon666 and Chad Fisher, guitarist of Armory, in original english:
1.Hello Armory. Can you present the band? Who are you? Were do you come from? How was Armory born?
Hi, Oceancloud! We are a sextet based in Townsend, Massachusetts, USA, and we're comprised of Adam Kurland on vocals, Joe Kurland on Guitars (who also played drums on "The Dawn Of Enlightenment"), myself (Chad Fisher) on Guitars, Thomas Preziosi on Bass, Peter Rutcho ..boards (who also recorded and engineered "The Dawn Of Enlightenment"), and Tom Vieira who plays drums live. Armory was started by Joe and I in high school in the summer of 2001. I was 17 and Joe was 19. Then one by one, the other members joined, most of whom we went to high school with also. First Tom P. joined, then Adam. By 2002 we were a quartet, struggling to play shows because we didn't have a keyboardist, and Joe would have had to play drums, which meant only one guitar live, which we didn't want. When we decided to rerecord the demo, we did so with Pete because we already were familiar with his talents as a sound engineer (through other local bands) and also as a great keyboardist and guitarist, so it was a perfect fit to have him record our CD and also play keyboards on it. Lastly, we welcomed in Tom Vieira, another high school friend, to play drums live. And there you have it – the legend is born!
2." The dawn of enlightenment " was originaly a demo CD. Can you tell the story of the first release of " The dawn... "? Did you satisfied by it?
We were all kind of disappointed with how much effort went into it and how bad it sounded in the end. Obviously, the song writing and musicianship was solid, but it severely lacked from a production and packaging standpoint. This may not make sense, but it seems like the quality of the recording on the demo is what happens when you overproduce something when you really don't know what you're doing, especially from a hardware perspective. We also kept adding guitars and harmonies until it muddied up the sound and made everything hard to hear individually. Plus, the keyboards were programmed. It was basically a step up from the days when we programmed everything except the guitars and the songs had no vocals. I guess we didn't realize how serious we wanted to be until after the demo came out.
3.Why did you decided to re-record this album? Why don't you made new songs?
We didn't want to give up on the original ten songs because we felt they deserved better production and had a dream of hearing them the way they were meant to be heard. We had actually written a good part of the music for the second album before we re-recorded "TDOE" again professionally. Though we were anxious to record the second album, it was originally Joe's idea to put the second album on hold and re-record the first album with Pete, and I'm really glad we did. Most of the reviews we got of the demo said the sound quality hindered it, and so far the response for the re-recording of it has been incredible, with many of them praising the production.
4.The new release of " The dawn of enlightenment " is very professional. How did you record it? Did you rework the compositions?
We recorded it with Pete the second time around because he had a lot of experience and an impressive resume from recording other local metal bands. The way we did it is perhaps a bit unorthodox – the studio came to us instead of the other way around. Pete brought his laptop and equipment to Townsend and we actually recorded it in the same place as we did the demo. You wouldn't know it by hearing it, though. It was good for us because we weren't pressed for time like in a studio and we were very comfortable in our surroundings (Joe's and Adam's basement). The compositions were reworked, mostly months before re-recording, but some were changed in the studio on the fly as we were recording. There were many changes to the vocal melodies, and other minor changes, like altering some of the solos and song structures a bit.
5.Are you satisfied by the new version of " The dawn... "?
Yes, we all definitely are; if not just for the sound quality, but also for the album artwork, which was painted by Texas artist Steve Goad. Add a professional pressing and packaging and the 2007 re-release of TFOE is now light years ahead of the demo. If there's one thing about the rerecording that we'd like to improve on the second album, I would say the guitar tone. Joe and I will be working on that in the coming months before we enter the studio again. The second album will have a fuller, richer, and more dominant guitar sound.
6.Why did you make " The dawn... " as a self produced album? Is there no label which want to sign you?
Apparently not. We sent the demo off to 15 or 20 labels around the world, and no response. So, we said, fuck it, we'll do it ourselves. And we did. Sure, a budget from a label now would help to get the word out with promotion and all that. But for the recording, we got the sound quality we wanted, and all it took was the passion to make it happen and some money. We still are currently unsigned, and we're not holding our breaths. We're promoting ourselves. Sure, it's time consuming, but again, all it requires is a will to make it happen. And we're satisfied with the response we've got just self-promoting it. The music will sell itself eventually; it will just take a little more time for word to spread without the benefit of a major label backing us.
7.The technical level of the band seems to be very good. Have the band members a big experience in music, before play in Armory?
As far as previous bands go, I was in a couple bands with the Toms before Armory, and Pete has obviously been in a few (Blistered Earth, etc.). As far as lessons go, we are for the most part self-taught. Tom Vieira and Pete are the only ones, I think, that have taken lessons. I think the technical ability comes from the wide array of influences we all have, and our desire to better ourselves as musicians. Who knows, for our next show, you might also see us all switch instruments on one of the songs…
8.Which bands are most influent on your music? Did you try to take away from this influences?
The list is endless. I'd say Iron Maiden is definitely a main influence, as well as Helloween. It's not like we try to take this and that from band A and band B (although there are a few bands out there that blatantly do that). I think it's impossible not to be influenced by another band on a subconscious level. We were all fans of metal before we were musicians, so what we relate to most comes out the most in our music, whether we intend for that to happen or not.
9.Do you know another US bands which play european heavy metal? Is there a large public to this kind of metal in your country?
There aren't many, but they do exist here. Bands like Cellador, who just got signed to Metal Blade, for instance. And there are also local bands like Ravage and In Harm's Way who play a European-influenced style, and From The Shadows, who play more classic heavy metal. Ultimately though, I think the ratio of bands in America that actually play power metal compared to the American fans of the power metal genre is way too low; much lower than in Europe. But it's hard for the fans AND the bands here, when it seems that all they play on the radio in the United States is rap, country, and Britney Spears.
10.What are your projects now? Will you go in foreign countries to play live?
We'd love to play around the world. Personally, it has always been a dream of mine to see Europe, let alone play there and other parts of the world. And it would be great to visit the countries from which our sound was influenced. Obviously, there is a sacrifice to be made, as most of us have full time jobs outside of the band. But, there is a market for it in Europe, more so than America, and I could definitely see us playing abroad in the future.
11.Thank you Armory. If you have a message to make pass to your metal fans, it is to you!
Thank you, Oceancloud, for doing this interview with us, and as always, thank you to all our fans! Thank you for sharing our vision in music and supporting us, old and new fans alike. Thanks to all the review websites, magazines, and radio stations around the world for helping to spread the word that true metal is still alive in this world, and yes, even in America.