Ronny Munroe - Metal Church, Rottweiler - Back
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 yet?

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 process like?

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 world.

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! Next Please!

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 to it.

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 around?

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 of those.

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 Church!

Metal Fanatix: Any last words you want to share with our readers?

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:

http://www.metalchurch.com - Official website
http://www.myspace.com/metalchurch - Metal Church MySpace website
http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com - 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.