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Kurt Vanderhoof – Guitars for Metal Church

Date: 6/29/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. Your latest release “A Light in the Dark” is the second album with singer Ronnie Munroe and he is also the third Metal Church singer. How has the reaction been to a third singer and are listeners and journalists giving the music a fair shot?

KURT: Actually the response has been great, I mean I know how difficult it is for a band that has been around as long as we have and to go through three singers but its been great. He has his own style and he does so well with the old stuff its been going good. There are fans that aren't gonna want to listen because its not the old singer but for the most part its been good.

2. Do people consider this not Metal Church since you are the only existing original member?

KURT: Maybe on paper maybe but I have never heard anybody complain when it came to the music. The proof is in the pudding because we still sound like Metal Church .

3. How would you compare this to “Weight of the World”?

KURT: This is definitely more cohesive because the band has been working together longer now since this is our second record with this lineup. Ronnie is developing a bit more and even with our new drummer Jeff Plate musically everything came together better than it did for “Weight of the World”. Just having time to work and grow together just made for a better album.

4. Are you writing all the music and the lyrics?

KURT: Yeah I am writing all the music, doing a little bit with our guitarist Jay and Ronnie is doing most of the lyrics. I wrote the music and lyrics to “ Temples of the Sea”.

5. Compare “A Light in the Dark” to older Metal Church .

KURT: A lot of people are definitely comparing this album to our older stuff. I really didn't go into writing this album trying to do something specifically to make it follow the older stuff. I wanted to keep it old school metal, maybe I just didn't want to draw from any modern influences while I was writing. I just wanted to do what came naturally.

6. When Metal Church reformed with David Wayne for “Masterpiece” what are your thoughts looking back on that recording? Did you achieve what you wanted to on that album?

KURT: No we didn't at all, it all fell apart in the studio. It looked good on paper but it just didn't work and unfortunately the record suffered. I like some stuff on it but it just didn't turn out the way we wanted it to.

7. Do you ever perform any songs from it live?

KURT: We havn't yet but I am not opposed to it because like I said I do like some songs off it. Right now we are really enjoying playing the older stronger songs.

8. Aside from the “Live” cd from 1984 released in 1998, is there any other official live recordings that may be released on DVD? Will it include all your promo videos?

KURT: There is a show with Mike Howe singing that will come out in the near future . Nothing yet that will include our videos but we are taping shows from this tour, European festival performances, and we are working on a documentary movie as well for a future DVD.

9. Any plans on reissuing and remastering your back catalogue with bonus tracks?

KURT: Yes I am working on that with Atlantic . It will probably be everything up to “The Human Factor” because “Hanging” was on a different label. But yes I would like to see those remastered with some bonus tracks but I am not sure what type of bonus material it would include as of yet.

10. What is the story behind the artwork for “Hanging in the Balance”?

KURT: Really I don't know because I didn't play on that album.

11. Can you tell us some of your favorite and strongest moments in Metal Church 's history?

KURT: Recording the first record was exciting, it was done in ten days and look how great it turned out. I know it's a favorite with the fans and has some great songs. Getting signed to a major label for “The Dark” is another good memory and our tour of Europe for that album. Working with Mike Howe was great and we did a couple strong records with him also, wrote some really cool songs. He was a lot of fun to work with and when I started trying to get Metal Church back together after “Masterpiece” I contacted him but scheduling around his personal life just wasn't allowing it. Its not that easy when you get older because everyone gets married and has families so that becomes the priority and you don't have the time to commit to a band.

Playing Sweden Rock this year was awesome and a year before that when we did the Rock Hard festival that was really important for us as far as proving ourselves as a band with the new lineup.

12. Plans to tour the States soon?

KURT: Yes we will be touring our home country finally Hahaha in September/October maybe with Beyond Fear. Its about time we do some significant in America because we have been spending a lot of time over seas.

13. Any other projects happening in 2006?

KURT: Yeah I will releasing another Presto Ballet record, that's my seventies prog rock experiment Hahaha. Its got a Kansas , Rush, Yes, Genesis type vibe. That's it for now considering the new Metal Church just came out a few days ago so supporting that will be a priority for the rest of the year.

Official website: www.metalchurch.com

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