|Interviewer: Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
When you think of Thrashin Metal bands it’s always the same
handful that come to mind, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer &
of course the mighty Metal Church. Metal Church has been thrashing
it up to audiences across the world for over twenty years now and
the guys are showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. Last year
saw the release of ‘The Weight of the World’ which received
praise amongst metal audiences around the world. With a new line-up
announced the band was back, bigger, stronger & louder than ever!
Almost two years on I caught up with front man Ronny Munroe to speak
about his time with Metal church, recording ‘The Weight Of The
World’, the new still untitled album, the new dvd, possible
box set and much more! Ronny Munroe is defiantly not a new face in
the rock/metal world. Once front man for Rottweiler Ronny has been
singing up a storm on stage for over twenty years in various bands
until finding a permanent place in one of the worlds greatest heavy
metal bands! Metal Church! I hope you all enjoy the interview.
Metal Fanatix: Hi Ronny how's things mate?
Ronny Munroe: Things are great!
Metal Fanatix: First of all I want to thank you for
taking the time out to answer the following questions for our readers.
Ronny Munroe: No problem at all, anytime!
Metal Fanatix: I'd like to start by talking to you
about the show you guys played on September 2nd 2005. I believe you
filmed the show for a new Metal Church documentary. How did the show
go & what can you tell us about the documentary?
Ronny Munroe: The show went great; when we are on-stage
is when the Metal Flows, it’s great! The Documentary is going
to be called ‘Beyond the Black’. I believe it's going
to be about the history of Metal Church. How it has evolved from past
to present & a lot of other things as well!
Metal Fanatix: Has there been a release date set
Ronny Munroe: No, not yet but stay tuned!
Metal Fanatix: In 2004 you became the new vocalist
for Metal Church & released ‘The Weight of the World’
which will be known as one of the greatest Metal Church albums to
date. For those fans who don't know much about you, fill us in on
what you were doing up until the time you became a member of the band?
Ronny Munroe: Well, I've been around for a longtime,
in the Seattle Scene, I've done a lot of different projects over the
years & been in a lot of different bands but it wasn’t until
2001 that I really made a jump into the industry, I was asked to sing
for ‘Rottweiler’, who had been around since the early
eighties, they needed a singer to play the Wacken Festival in Germany
in 2002. After that we were in the Studio recording a new CD when
I met Kurdt Vanderhoof & he asked me if I was interested in Metal
Church & I said Hell yeah!
Metal Fanatix: When the guys approached you to audition
for the band did you think you would get the job & what was the
Ronny Munroe: I had a pretty good idea, because Kurdt
had heard my demos & friends of his also knew me & heard me
sing many times before. As far as the process, we had a rehearsal,
I sang one song & put the mic down & Kurdt asked me if I wanted
the job & the rest is history!
Metal Fanatix: I could never imagine how hard it
would be to replace a singer of any established band, the fans are
always going to be the biggest critics, how did they respond to you
at those first performances with Metal Church?
Ronny Munroe: It was very big shoes to fill! Both
previous singers were great. But I have a lot of confidence in my
abilities & I deserve to be here! As far as the first performance,
there was a lot of folded arms & prying eyes, but after the first
song that goes away & most of the naysayer's become believers.
There will always be some people who do not like my voice, because
as we all know it's hard to please everybody.
Metal Fanatix: Many fans may not realize that you
played a big part in Steve Unger becoming a member of Metal Church.
I believe you have played in bands with Steve in the past. Tell us
more about your relationship?
Ronny Munroe: Steve & I have been friends for
years & played in a few bands together. When we were looking for
a new bass player-he just seemed to be the obvious fit!
Metal Fanatix: It's no secret that Metal Church has
had a few line-up changes over the years. Do you feel confident that
the current line-up is here to stay?
Ronny Munroe: Yes! The line-up is set in stone! Were
gonna be around for a long time.
Metal Fanatix: Metal Church were recently on the
bill for the Metal Blast 2005 tour along with W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns
& Stephen Pearcy, how did you guys get involved with that?
Ronny Munroe: Through our agency, we all thought
it was a good idea to go out & expose ourselves to that market.
All the bands got along great & we had a killer time.
Metal Fanatix: You also recently did a tour of Europe.
Europe seems to be the new home of heavy metal how did the tour go?
Ronny Munroe: Actually, Metal never left Europe,
in the 90's when grunge took over here, Metal stayed strong in Europe,
& today is stronger than ever. Europe is a very important market
for Metal Church & they have some of the craziest fans in the
Metal Fanatix: Do you do anything specific to warm
up & prepare for a show?
Ronny Munroe: I do some vocal warm up’s, stretch
out a little, drink a beer & I am ready to go!
Metal Fanatix: Do you guys have any plans in the
future to tour Australia?
Ronny Munroe: We would love too! It has been talked
about but has not happened yet! I'm sure after the next album comes
out we will find our way down there. I'm sure the fans are great &
for me it's a place I have always wanted to play!
Metal Fanatix: When you're not in the studio or out
on the road what do you like to get up to?
Ronny Munroe: I like to go to the gym, spend time
with my kids & write music.
Metal Fanatix: What can you tell us a little about
the other members of Metal Church that we may not know?
Ronny Munroe: I'm gonna save this one for the documentary!
Metal Fanatix: I found it amazing that on your first
Metal Church album ‘The Weight of the World’, you wrote
the majority of the lyrics. With most major bands the newest members
never really get to contribute much to their first album. In most
cases the majority of an album would have been written etc. You must
have been very pleased to have so much input in ‘The Weight
of the World’?
Ronny Munroe: That is the case most times, but after
Kurdt gave me some songs, & I wrote lyrics to them, he looked
them over & liked them. I was surprised & very pleased about
that because that was a huge compliment to me coming from such a legend
from the industry.
Metal Fanatix: I'd like to talk to you about song
writing. Tracks such as Hero's Soul & Sunless Sky are just two
of the tracks that evolved from your own experiences. Do you feel
that as a writer it is more important to write from what you have
experienced rather than writing from another perspective?
Ronny Munroe: I write what I'm feeling from the music.
My mood & feelings at the time. I also write a lot about life’s
struggles & obstacles & one thing I always try to do is keep
it positive. There is enough negativity in the world without me adding
Metal Fanatix: Every artist has there own ways of
creating music, when it comes time to prepare for a new album what
comes first the lyrics or the music?
Ronny Munroe: Usually the music, Kurdt gives me a
cd with a couple of songs and I listen to them and then start writing
what I feel.
Metal Fanatix: Now you guys are currently working
on a new album. How many songs do you guys currently have in the works
& can you tell us any of the working titles you have floating
Ronny Munroe: We are tossing around about twenty
five songs at this time & as far as working titles, the fan's
will have to wait until we are further along until I can divulge any
Metal Fanatix: What different factors have surrounded
writing the material for the new album?
Ronny Munroe: Being on the road and just life the
last couple of years, every year is another year of knowledge.
Metal Fanatix: Will the new album be heading in the
same direction that you guys took with ‘The Weight of the World’?
Ronny Munroe: As always we are going to keep it heavy
& try to top the ‘Weight of the World’. We are really
going to focus on the roots of Metal Church, the first two albums
& try & recapture some of that magic.
Metal Fanatix: You mentioned that you guys are currently
working on about 25 songs the new album. It's obvious that only 10
- 13 tracks will make the final cut. What I want to know is will the
tracks that don't make it ever get released along with other demos
etc from past albums as part of a metal church box set?
Ronny Munroe: We've been tossing around ideas for
awhile now and I think a Box Set is a great idea and that's what we'll
probably do, we'll keep you posted on MetalChurch.com.
Metal Fanatix: To become a star these days it seems
the only way to make it would be to go on a reality music show like
Idol or Pop stars (if you wanna call it that), Rock Star Inxs etc.
What do you think about the mass wave of reality shows looking for
so called "Talent" and do you watch any of them?
Ronny Munroe: I watched ‘American Idol’
because there were Rockers on it & I've watched ‘Rock Star
Inxs’ a couple of times, what a great way to get their name
back out there, great marketing! But all in all I think people should
get out of the house & go to your local bar or venue & support
the local talent. There is a lot of talent everywhere!
Metal Fanatix: During the eighties I can remember
seeing so many different hard rock & metal videos hit our television
screens but these days they are few & far between, do you feel
it is still important to spend so much money making film clips that
don't get anywhere near the airplay they deserve?
Ronny Munroe: I say if you can afford to make one,
do it, any exposure will help your Band and you can make some cheap
videos, So no I don't think you need a lot of money on your video.
Metal Fanatix: Some of your biggest influences are
Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, & Steve Perry
all of which are fantastic singers; What is it about those guys that
made you want to become a singer?
Ronny Munroe: Well they all have technique &
power, melody, and they are all great performers. Each one has his
own uniqueness. I respect all of them very much!
Metal Fanatix: In your honest opinion what do you
think about the direction that Hard Rock & Heavy Metal music has
taken over the last few years?
Ronny Munroe: I think there is a lot of good music
and a lot of crap, but as long as you have the love for music, if
it's crap or if it's good, it doesn't matter. Because your still making
music & that's what counts. Music is always evolving.
Metal Fanatix: : Are you currently listening to any
of the newer bands if so who?
Ronny Munroe: There’s so many, one that I like
is Three Inches of Blood, they're really good. Other than that I stick
to the classics.
Metal Fanatix: What advice would you give to up and
coming rock/metal bands?
Ronny Munroe: Stick to your guns, settle your differences
like adults, write good songs & don't give up, it took me twenty
years to get here, it can happen to you too!
Metal Fanatix: After all these years in the business
what goals have you set for yourself these days?
Ronny Munroe: To continue to raise my worth in the
industry, write good songs have a good time and be able to support
myself and my kids. Those are my goals for right now.
Metal Fanatix: If you could put a band together consisting
of musicians passed and/or present who would they be and what would
you call the band?
Ronny Munroe: I'm happy with Kurdt Vanderhoof, Kirk
Arrington, Jay Reynolds and Steve Unger & that Band Would Be Metal
Metal Fanatix: Any last words you want to share with
Ronny Munroe: Support your local metal scene &
most importantly... Keep Metal Alive & We Will See You Soon! Cheers!
To keep up with all the latest from the Metal Church camp
check out the following websites:
- Official website
- Metal Church MySpace website
- Dedicated to 40 years of pure hard rock & metal music
© Cameron Edney October 2005 Not to be re-printed in
any form without written permission.