Hey Jon! Yes, it’s been quite a while and a lot of stuff has been going on. The album is out now and going fast! There’s a CD release on Stormspell Records and a vinyl release on A Forja (Label links at end). We’re very proud with the end result, it sounds fucking great and powerful and that’s what we wanted from the start – maddening Old School Metal Mayhem!
There’s been a line up change also, since Nasty Nightmare recorded the album and took off, so we have a new guitar player Johnny Kilmister, who is without any doubt the ultimate axe man for MIDNIGHT PRIEST. He’s mad, loud and nasty just like we all are, so we’re doing quite alright!
You said the album would be out in 2010 but I guess that got delayed. What happened that delayed the album for a full year?
That’s true, it took us almost a year to get the album out, and the main reason’s because we don’t have any management or whatsoever and must take care of every little detail by ourselves before the stuff goes to the pressing plant. We definitely want to have some control over our releases, from the cover artwork to the final mix. We’re lucky enough to have our good friend Zé Metálica - headbanger and graphic artist since the early days, to produce the exactly kind of art we wanted for the record and that took a while. Apart from this, we were waiting for the masters to arrive and had to make a couple of tweaks to the sound, since we wanted a very specific kind of production with a lot of detail and weren’t backing down on anything.
Fortunately the album has been out and doing very well, so go bang your head!!
Are there any songs on this debut full length that we have heard before from either the EP or 2009 cassette demo or will this album contain completely new songs? How would you compare these songs to the previous releases?
The album has a song ‘No Calor do Inferno’ (In The Heat of Hell) which dates back to the demo; we really wanted to make that song justice. ‘The Priest is Back’ demo was a shot in the dark when it came to production and the quality of the release compromised a lot. The label didn’t have much care for the dubbing quality and it came out pretty shitty I must say. Nevertheless it sold out very fast, but I’m still very pissed off with the end result. Nevertheless, power to the label, they put out very good underground bands.
There are only new songs on the album, apart from the above mentioned one, and they are of course MIDNIGHT PRIEST songs, with the same obscure atmosphere and nasty finesse the band always stood by. The production is great and it’s totally analogical, no modern equipment was used and that was our main goal production wise, no modern amps, gear or instruments, if anything further from1989 entered that studio, it got thrown in the fire no questions asked!
Compared to our previous releases, what really stands out is the technical abyss in musicianship. We actually had to learn how to play our instruments or else no album would ever be recorded, and that shows every second of the record; we grind our balls and it was worth every second of it. You take the heat and move on.
You have a track uploaded for people to check out called Sabado Negro. What is this track about? Tell me about why you chose this track to be the public's first glimpse at the album.
Actually it was the Iordan from Stormspell Records who chose that track for the preview. It was a challenge to put that song opening the album since it is almost 7 minutes long, not a lot of Heavy Metal albums start with such a long track, but it brings up that dark atmosphere which gets you into the record. It’s a prologue to insanity and it works pretty well.
The song ‘Sábado Negro’ means ‘Black Saturday’ and is inspired on Mario Bava’s work with Barbara Steel on Black Sunday, which is one of the finest movies ever made. In fact a lot of our songs are based upon horror movies and vintage Portuguese horror tales. There are also some lines on the lyrics taken from the ‘Portuguese Black Book of Magic’ which is an ancient manuscript used for spiritual séances and obscure burial rituals that take place since the XII century, there are a lot of burial sites and graveyards marked with inscriptions on tombs and they’re made to ward off people from those grounds which are said to be haunted.
All cemeteries are confined within heavy gates and walls, where ancient prayers have been written on rock, and they close down before the strike of midnight since a lot of dread and doom surround these places and a lot of obscure practices and covens still go on to this day.
What else could you ask for inspiration?
Any stories about this recording session. You told me an awesome story about voices appearing on Numa Campa last time we talked. Are there any interesting experiences associated with this album's recording as well?
There are no voices this time, but there sure are notable facts! Since we wanted an intro with keyboards, paying our respects to The King, we knew we had to do something special, so our producer arranged for that intro to actually be recorded at the church with a real church organ and real church choir. So we went to the Black Madonna Church, Jasna Góra in Czestochowa, Poland (which is the city where we recorded the album) and were fortunate enough to get this amazingly insane intro. It couldn’t have been better.
Now given the fact that we were five clueless dirty slobs trying to pull off a record of our asses in five days on a top studio, I figure the situation speaks for itself! A lot of shit happened, hadn’t we the dirtiest of reputations around! Between gallons of vodka, arrests, women and barely managing to get out of the country alive, I think we did pretty well. Not to say that Poland is the main amphetamine exporter in Europe and that stuff is cheaper to get than a pack of cigars! I don’t remember sleeping at all, Dalton also, we were on instant coffee, cigars and heavy duty studio work through the whole week; and I would be very happy do it all over again many times.
On a different, more obscure note, if you give the album cover the right angle, you will see something really creepy. And who knows how it got there…!
How have your recent live shows gone? You've played a handful of shows recently. Who have you played with? I saw you did a show with Portrait?
MIDNIGHT PRIEST shows have been growing immensely in crowd attendance and die hard fans. There was a somewhat dead spot for us within the more sceptical part of the underground scene and even though Portuguese magazines still don’t want to believe that we’re the biggest Heavy Metal act in Portugal, we’ve been doing pretty well here, the last MIDNIGHT PRIEST show of the year got 200 metal maniacs screaming their lungs out and partying hard, singing our songs and going mad all over the place! What a fucking badass atmosphere… and taking a few exceptions, I really think the Portuguese metal scene stinks - band wise. There’s no fire, no balls, it looks more like a graduation party if you ask me, but we sure know how to give people a great fucking time, and that’s all we care for; if live shows suck, there’s no point for the band to exist. We aren’t ego masturbators and we don’t live of the “glories from the past” we’re straight forward Heavy Metal Machine and we’ll drink, fight and fuck in the oldest of ways. We’re Punks in league with Satan and a lot of people don’t get that!
Now, on the Ireland shows with Portrait, we actually didn’t make it out there because there was a misunderstanding with the promoter. It turned out that we had to pay for the whole thing, we already had paid for the trips and that’s fine, but it turned out that even transporting and food had to be financed; not to mention shelter because any sewer will do just as any good as any hotel suite. But come one, just take a look at any tabloid and figure out why we can’t afford these kind of touring, we’re even more miserable than we ever were, and it’s impossible to pay for everything. We will go anywhere, I mean ANYWHERE, but you got to give us at least some beer. And been that said, I sincerely hope that we will play in Ireland one day, I know of a lot of MIDNIGHT PRIEST fans in Cork, Dublin, Belfast, all over the place. Cheers!!
You also just put out a T-shirt! How many of these are available? How can people interested in the shirt get one!?
The t-shirt was printed on very short stock, like 30 pieces or so, and they’re all gone, but I guess we’ll print some new ones with new artwork and improved quality. Anyway, anyone interested in merchandise can email the band and we will see what we can do, we want to spread the word out as far as we possibly can, and a few new releases will be out next year in Brazil and Greece, so stay tuned!
What else is there that you would like to say about Midnight Priest? Any touring planned for overseas this year? Possibly the USA?
This year we’ll have a couple of shows in Spain, and are plans are that we will be in Greece too, we have been planning a tour for quite a while and hopefully it will happen this upcoming year of 2012. All Hell Breaks Loose!!!
It would be a fucking blast to play in the USA, what a highlight that would be! I guess my brains would gore out from the excitement!! Man that would be the ultimate thing I’m sure. And if anyone has enough interest to make it happen please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’re up for anything, and anything will fly for MIDNIGHT PRIEST. We’ll eat sawdust and drink metal for all we care!
Having received several emails from people in the States asking for shows and distributing our stuff overseas, and being our label based in California, I don’t see why not. There’s an uprising legion of fans in the NY, NJ area and on the West Coast, so I figure this would be absolutely doable no doubt about it. And I tell you, you guys will have a great fucking time!!
The Heavy Metal Machine is burning HOT & HEAVY!!
THE PRIEST IS BACK!!!
Thank you so much for having us Jon, and hope to meet you very soon, total support and dedication to the US Metal Underground; it’s all our pleasure to be part of its interest.
And to all the Metal Maniacs out the in the US, we’ll meet you one day and burn those stages to the fucking ground, we were born to fucking ROCK!!!
Thanks again for the interview!
For more info on MIDNIGHT PRIEST:
Headbang to our album online: HereFor shows, interviews and hate mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Myspace: Here
Official Facebook: Here
Ze Metalica: Here
Buy our records or be damned!!!