Thank you for giving us the opportunity. My name is Bob Eaglesham, and I play guitar and sing back vocals in Mad Parish. I have been with the band for about 7 years now. Mad Parish was started by Bobby Girard and Josh McConnell. We have just released our first album called Procession, it is available for digital download, and we are going to release it on vinyl as well. Mad Parish is what you might call Old School, in that we are primarily influenced by the classic bands from Heavy Metal’s heyday (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, etc.), but we are also looking forward musically as well.
2. What other bands have you played in previously?
I have been playing and writing music for almost thirty years, and I have pretty much been there, done that. I was in a reggae/funk/afrobeat/rock band called Ark of Infinity, I was in a pop band called Shine Like Stars, I was part of the original Bran Van 3000 collective, and I am also currently in other bands as well. The list is too long to name them all.
3. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
My influences are all over the map. For the most part, I am influenced by mostly older bands. In metal, my own influences are from bands like Virgin Steele, Attack, Saxon, Twisted Tower Dire, early Manowar. In other music, I’m a big fan of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Old Reggae and Ska, Wagner, Bach, Vivaldi, ELO, the list is endless.
4. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
The recording of Procession took over 2 years to complete, and it was done in 2 different studios. We were a band who never had any money, and its become kind of an internal joke with us. We would scrape up whatever money we could to go and do a session. We were lucky that we worked with people who understood that, and helped us out in many different ways. I remember recording guitar tracks one summer day, and it was a record breaking heat wave. There was no air conditioning in the studio, and we just sweat all day long. It was almost 50 degrees celsius. This is really the first time I was ever involved in the recording of an album from start to finish, and it was great hearing all the multiple layers of instrumentation and vocals coming together. We all worked really hard at it, and it shows in the end result.
5. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
Mad Parish is a band that prides itself on live performance, and I have pushed for that since I joined the group. The funny thing is that for a band like us who have a high energy stage act, we have played mostly on very small stages, without much room to move. Recently we got the opening slot for Skid Row when they came to Montreal, and it took place in the Corona theatre, a larger venue. I think that was the first time we were able to really move around and interact with each other on stage, and that was great fun. Having said that, there are shows we played in tiny clubs like Barfly in Montreal, where the audience is literally right in front of you, the windows are fogged up from the body heat, and there is literally almost no air left to breathe. Those shows are also fantastic.
6. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, lets open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
I think Judas Priest has to be mentioned as a seminal metal group, if for nothing else than their longevity. Iron Maiden also, their contribution cannot be ignored. I would also say Black Sabbath, even though they arent really a metal band, but countless metal bands cite them as their biggest influence. My final addition to the list would be Saxon. I am influenced by so many different bands and styles of music that narrowing it down to 4 bands for me is kind of pointless, my mind doesn’t work that way. The bands I’ve listed here are just ones that have a wide scope of influence because of their popularity, and their contribution to heavy music on a large scale.
7. What would be your dream supergroup? Again lets open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
On drums it would be John Bonham, with double bass drums. Bass would probably be a young Joey DeMaio. Guitars could be Marty Friedman and Glen Tipton. Vocals would be David DeFeis.
8. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
9. Now its time to get philisophical. What IS heavy metal?
Heavy Metal is the strongest music in the world. It combines technical skill with intense live performance. It uses all the devices found in most popular music, from classical, to rock, to pop, to jazz. It is music in extreme, raw form. Only a 100 piece orchestra can match the power of Heavy Metal music in my opinion. It is music that empowers you, and it is really the closest thing to life itself, which by its nature is extreme. Have you ever seen the fury of a tornado, or the might of a powerful thunderstorm? Have you been in a large arena where 10,000 people are all chanting and screaming? That’s Heavy Metal. It is power.
10. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
I am a disciple of True Metal. It is not only a form of music, but a way of life. When I get on stage, I give it everything I’ve got. If I’m not soaked with sweat at the end of a show, I’m not doing my job. Its akin to going into battle, except that my purpose is to conquer the audience, and have them take up our flag and join us. This has carried over into my personal life as well. It encourages me to try to always be the best I can be at whatever I’m doing, and to continuously improve at that. Through True Metal I try to live my life with some nobility, and to use Heavy Metal as a positive force to help people, to inspire them to toughen up and deal with things head on, and ultimately become stronger. We need strength now more than ever in this world, not to be weak. We need warriors.
11. Waht is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
My dream is to have True Metal in the mainstream, where it belongs. Music has been way too dumbed down in the last few decades, and we need to change that.
12. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
This is another interesting thing about heavy metal. I don’t really know any other music that can be so popular and so underground at the same time. I guess its because the mainstream music industry still sees heavy metal as a threat or a danger, a corruptive force. That is because the majority of it is false metal, music that is just about aggression wthout purpose. Replace that with True Metal and that problem will go away. People need to see that all heavy metal isnt like that. The problem I have with heavy metal these days is the fact that we feel the need to make categories for everything, and I think that’s a mistake. It’s either true or its false. Period.
13. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal. I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
What I am going to say about this can be said about any music in the digital age, not just metal. Technology has given us a wealth of tools and possibilities in terms of recording music, but its all about what we do with these things. Running vocals through auto tune is not the way to record music, it’s a cop out. In the early days, you gave it your best and that is what went on tape. The bands that stuck around were the bands that were good enough to do that. You can use technology to embellish your music, but don’t go overboard. Now we have a million bands that all sound the same, its overprocessed junk.
One thing I do like about the digital age is that I can go and download an album from a band that I like, directly from them. The record industry got ridiculously wealthy ripping people off, and ripping bands off. The cost of cds back in the day is one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on the public. Now in the digital age, it is coming back to bite them, and they are scrambling to try and fit into the new medium. All the record companies bellyaching about illegal downloads, I don’t feel sorry for them. I do feel sorry for the artists though, because once again it is them who get ripped off.
14. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
We live in a consumer based culture nowadays, so it is not surprising to me to hear this. However, I couldn’t disagree more. During the lifespan of a working band, their albums are a snapshot of where the band is at a given time, and to take the time to digest an album’s worth of material makes it far more lasting. Having a song here and there just cheapens it I find. I also think the album provides and even larger palette to work with, where the songs can tie into a common theme or story, and that is very interesting to me. It’s like watching a movie - there are high points, low points, and a finale. Even if there is no concept to the album, presenting it as a collection of songs gives the audience a clearer idea of what the band is about, instead of just one song.
15. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp. Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
We have a video that will be available by the time this is posted online, so we’re excited about that. Winter will soon be upon us, and we will be going into full writing mode shortly. We plan on having an album’s worth of songs completed by the spring, which we hope to record by the summer. There are grant applications being written, and we are determined to get to Europe and tour there as soon as we are able. I think our music should be well received there. If you are a fan of any NWOBHM bands, you will surely enjoy Mad Parish.
16. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
As I mentioned above, to tour in Europe is our most immediate short range goal.
17. What about ultimately any long range goals?
To be able to continue writing and playing heavy metal, and hopefully give anyone who listens to us the same feeling we get from listening to our favourite bands, that is my goal personally. As a band, we hope to create something unique and enjoyable for everyone, and maybe even leave our mark somewhere in the Great Halls of metal.
18. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here.
To our fans who support us and come to our shows, you have our eternal gratitude. We are nothing without you, because the fans are what breathe life into any band. Any heights we achieve are a direct result of fan support, it doesn’t come from us. We write the songs and hope that they will find favour with our audience. Apart from that, it is out of our hands. The fans will decide. So far they have shown nothing but dedication and encouragement to us, and we never want to let them down.
To the metal community, I have to say that for a musical style that has been so marginalized and demonized in the past, that has endured so much criticism and unjust stereotyping, metal artists have to be the among the most humble and unselfish people I have ever met. It is a testament to their strength and determination that no amount of criticism will stop them, or even slow them down. We are all firm believers in heavy metal, with all its power and glory. They can say whatever they want, heavy metal is not going away. Ever. Hail!