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28th April 2007
MD: Was that like his entourage, or was that just generally…
MD: I think he still regrets being kicked out of Metallica.
MD: Have you seen ‘Some Kind of Monster’, the Metallica…
MD: He seemed quite bitter about that still.
MD: Opeth…
MD: Yeah?
MD: Ah, cool.
MD: You toured with them years ago in 95/96?
MD: They’re very nice people as well.
PA: It’s camera stuck in his face, and I’m thinking, well…people were like swearing at him left, right and centre, you know, actually in NAMM, and I’m thinking why don’t you just lose the bodyguards. Who the hell in here’s gonna wanna like…there’s no fans here, absolutely no fans whatsoever, they’re all industry people.
PA: Oh, I’d bloody be crying if I was him! [laughs]
PA: Yeah, I’ve seen it.
PA: Yeah, totally. And also, to be fair as well, that ‘Some Kind of Monster’, that’s one screwed up band! [laughs]
PA: I love Opeth.
PA: Yeah.
PA: Yeah, we played quite a few shows with them, you know.
PA: Something like that. We played with them in….Rock-am-Ring and Rock-im-Park festivals in Germany. We played with them there. We’ve played with them a few times at different fessies, which is brilliant. I love ‘em.
PA: Yeah, exactly, yeah.
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Paul onstage at Birmingham Academy, 18th December 2006
(Paul Allender on observing Dave Mustaine's extant ego at NAMM)
" I saw Dave Mustaine there, and bearing in mind they’re all musicians in there…he still walks along with like security guards pushing people out the way."
MD: Dream Theater, newly signed to Roadrunner…
PA: Are they really? I didn’t know that.
MD: Yeah, about a month ago I think.
PA: Cool. I like Dream Theater.
MD: Good stuff. Porcupine Tree…
PA: No.
MD: No?
PA: No.
MD: You heard them?
PA: No! [laughs] No, I have, but it’s just one of those tracks that you go - who the hell’s this? It’s Porcupine Tree, ah no.
MD: I saw them here on Sunday. I recommend the new album, it’s great. But if it aint your cup of tea, then…
PA: Yeah, I might take a leaf out of people who have never been into our stuff – we get a lot of people come to our gigs, never into the music, don’t like the music at all…come to see us live and say they absolutely love us live, but hate the music. You know, but they actually like the music live when we’re playing it, but won’t buy the albums. So I might give them a go then. [laughs]
MD: Okay, some of the bands you’ve toured with in recent years. Cathedral…
PA: Yeah, I love ‘em to bits.
MD: Yep. Do you know Lee Dorrian from the early days?
PA: Yeah, and Leo. I used to er….I basically grew up with Leo.
MD: Ah right, in Colchester?
PA: Yeah. I used to drink down the pub with him, sort of like all weekends and stuff. You know, do other stuff with him. [laughs]
MD: Deathstars…
PA: Yeah, they’re a really cool band.
MD: Arch Enemy…
PA: I like Arch Enemy, but they’re a bit too widdly for me, for my liking. You see, I’m not really into the whole widdle…look how fast I can play stuff. It bores me senseless.
MD: Was you into Carcass originally during Michael Amott’s days in Carcass?
PA: Yeah, yeah.
MD: 3 Inches of Blood…
PA: Love ‘em. Absolutely love ‘em to bits.
MD: You said you played on stage with them…
PA: Yeah, I played with them, yeah.
Photograph copyright © 2006 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
MD: Are there any bands you’re currently into that you think visitors to Metal Discovery should discover?
PA: Yeah, there’s a band called….well, Hanzel und Gretyl obviously….and there’s a band called…from Arizona, called Blessed Be Thy Name. They’re absolutely phenomenal.
MD: I’ve heard of them, I’ve heard nothing by them.
PA: They’ve released their own albums. They’re not signed or anything. We played in Tempe, and one of my friends says there’s a band on round the corner, jump in the car if you want to go and see them and we might catch the end of it. You know, and one of the guys said we’ll get in there, have a couple of beers and watch them, and I said okay. Got in there…fucking hell, what a band.
MD: So that’s the last gig you went to…
PA: Yeah, well, sort of. I don’t class that as a gig, do you know what I mean, ‘cause I was still playing. [laughs] But no, it’s…went there, caught the last two tracks, and they’re like er…they’re just all sorts of music. But they’re like extremely heavy. They’ve got all kinds of techno samples and everything going over the top. And the singer…he’s the best vocalist I’ve ever seen and heard.
MD: In what way? What kind of vocals?
PA: He does every style. Everything. And it’s all pitch perfect. You know, he does the death metal grunts, he does like…I mean, the vocals – he’ll leave Dan standing on that side of stuff. You know, he sings pitch perfect. He can sing like Rob Halford, he can sing normally, he’s…the guy is…I can’t praise him enough. And that’s one band that really does need to be signed ‘cause if they get signed, they’ll be massive.
MD: They’re unsigned at the moment?
PA: Yeah, they’re unsigned.
MD: I’ll check them out. I’ve heard of them, I haven’t heard anything by them.
PA: Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
MD: I’ll definitely check them out. A few personal questions now. You’ve recently embarked on a photography/digital art project called Vomitorium with Cindy Frey?
PA: Yep.
MD: How did that collaboration come about, and what’s it all about?
PA: Right, first of all we played Graspop, and then I met Cindy, ‘cause Dave knows Cindy, well he knew her better than I did at the time, and she was just talking to Dave, and we had like a band photo shoot before going on stage and stuff. She comes up to me after we had the photo shoot and says oh, erm, you know, we just got talking about artwork and Photoshop and stuff, and I just said, well I’ll send you some stuff and see what you think. She said yeah, no problem, and I sent her some stuff and about six months later she wrote back saying "oh my god, this is amazing…do you fancy doing some stuff together." So I said yeah, why not, you know. And it just all pretty much took off from there. I came up with a name for it, and set a website up, and we’re selling prints now. It’s all like erm…
MD: She does the photography side, and you do like the manipulation of the images?
PA: Yeah, totally. She takes…basically, what will happen is I’ll…she’ll either come to England or I’ll go to Belgium, and we set up photo shoots. You know, and we’ve got like, er…basically, we’ve got…it’s almost like a diary, a book of models and stuff. So what we’ll do is choose who we wanna hire, and then photograph them, and I’ll go over and direct it and say right, I want that arm in that direction, and that bit in that direction, and all this sort of stuff. And then after about a couple of hours, and stupid amounts of photographs, I’ll then take it back home and completely mess it all up in Photoshop. [laughs]
MD: So it’s a commercial venture then?
PA: Oh, totally, yeah, because…
MD: You wanna make money out of it as well?
PA: Yeah, we’re selling prints at the moment. We’re selling A3 prints at the moment. All the frames are engraved, all the glass is engraved with the Vomitorium logo and everything, they’re all numbered, ‘cause we only do 50 pieces and then there’s no more. We’ve got a calendar coming out next year. We’re doing posters now, and we’ve been approached for a clothing line as well.
MD: Right, it’s quite a successful venture then…
PA: Yeah, it’s gone…just up, which is brilliant.
MD: Do you think that’s partly the Cradle connection?
PA: Oh yeah, obviously, of course it is, yeah. Absolutely, you know. But luckily people are looking at it as it’s nothing to do with Cradle, which it isn’t. They’re looking at it as solely mine and Cindy’s.
MD: People that are into Cradle then will look at that and hopefully…
PA: Yeah, totally. We’ve actually started getting people who are not into the band come on board and say that’s really good, blah, blah, blah, and send me stuff, and…the whole website’s being redone at the moment, which is basically, its gonna act like a MySpace page – it’s gonna be our own personal website. And we’ve got a forum set up and ready to go so people can chat online. There’s a whole tutorial section in there ‘cause I’m gonna get other artists…top name artists involved and do tutorials…
MD: For Photoshop?
PA: Yeah, for Photoshop and different styles of art and everything, you know.
MD: You’ve never used Paint Shop Pro then, you went straight on to Photoshop?
PA: Straight on to Photoshop. Yeah, I’ve been using it for about ten years now.
MD: I’ve heard you’ve done some t-shirt designs for Angtoria as well?
PA: Oh, that was just a quick logo. That was about it really, nothing…
MD: Have you done any Cradle designs for t-shirts?
PA: All of ‘em.
MD: All of them?
PA: Yeah, that’s what I do! That’s what I do when I’m at home, I do…
MD: Is Dani the caption man, and you’re like the…
PA: Yeah, pretty much, yeah, yeah. Dan comes up with the slogans on the back, and I put the whole things together with all the artwork for him.
MD: What about CD covers?
PA: No, I haven’t got time to do them. So basically what I do, I do the merch with Dan; I author and make all the DVDs; I do the website. Just pretty much everything, you know. I’m just about to do…I’m doing a tour diary at the moment for a DVD to go out with a special edition of this album which is going to come out later on.
MD: That seems to be quite a Roadrunner running theme – release the album, then a special edition…
PA: Yeah. With the special edition this time, I wanted to make it worthwhile, because I was really disappointed with the last one. It had just a few songs on and a different cover, and as far as I was concerned it wasn’t worth the money. So this time, I said right, let’s put a bloody DVD on there, let’s make it a two disc thing. We’ve got like 5 or 6 extra songs on there – new ones. And then we’ve got the DVD on there, and also I’m shooting a live video at the moment that I’ve got to edit when I get home as well for ‘Tonight In Flames’. So that’s all been professionally shot and that’s going on there as well.
MD: Are there any covers in the songs?
PA: Yeah, ‘Stay’ – Shakespeares Sister.
MD: And were those all recorded during the ‘Thornography’ sessions?
PA: Yeah.
METAL DISCOVERY: If I could run some bands by you now and ask your opinion of them?
PAUL ALLENDER: Yeah, yeah.
MD: Some of your label mates – Megadeth, obviously newly signed to Roadrunner.
PA: Yeah, I like Megadeth, but I don’t like the new stuff.
MD: I was gonna say, do you see them as still relevant at all?
PA: No, not at all.
MD: Have you heard they’ve done a duet with Cristina from Lacuna Coil on the new album?
PA: That’s weird. You see, the thing is, I always class Megadeth….every time I think of Megadeth is always like ‘Peace Sells…’ or ‘So Far, So Good…So What!’.
MD: Or even ‘Rust in Peace’. ‘Hangar 18’ – you don’t get a much better metal song than that.
PA: Yeah, totally, you know. That’s the sort of era when people talk about Megadeth now. I always remember seeing Dave Mustaine ‘cause I went to NAMM at the beginning of this year for the release of my guitar and I saw Dave Mustaine there, and bearing in mind they’re all musicians in there…the whole place is just industry, there’s no fans, no nothing, and he still walks along with like security guards pushing people out the way, even though they’re all musicians.