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Interview - Michael Scalzi (Slough Feg)

Interview with Michael Scalzi from Slough Feg
by Emily Coulter at 11 March 2014, 2:47 PM

After 20 years of being at the top of America's underground Metal scene it was about time that SLOUGH FEG got picked up by one of the biggest Metal label's around, Metal Blade Records, proving that hard work does pay off after a long time they have toured everywhere and impossible to not enjoy their sound. Releasing their 9th album ''Digital Resistance'', lead vocalist and guitarist Micheal Scalzi talks to Emily Coulter about keeping the group together through instability, inspiration for lyrical content and his instrumental talents. 

How excited are you for SLOUGH FEG's new album ''Digital Resistance''?

I'm excited but not as excited as a kid on Christmas, I've had my excitable moments.

Will the new album sound like your previous work?

It sounds like a SLOUGH FEG album so it's not that different, it's not a straight forward heavy metal record. I get bored easily making the same music over and over again so this was made to entertain myself.

It's been 4 years since the last record, why did it take so long?

After 8 records it gets slower to create I guess, how often do IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST put records out? They've done quite a lot. With the first few records you have a lot of stuff you've just been playing around with and a lot of inspiration, when you put your first album out you have around 2/3 albums worth of music but after a while your label just says to you ''oh you need to write a new album'' and it just gets tiring.

What's the inspiration behind ''Digital Resistance''?

The lyrical content is about technology, people changing and resisting to chang e but how people aren't using their mind as much due to having technology around all the time. There were so many science fiction books about this in the 1950's but everyone seems to have forgotten about it even though people are becoming like those books, not being able to think their own thoughts.

Was the album easy or hard to write?

Well it's always hard to write but gets easier with every album, with ''Digital Resistance'' it was as hard as it could be.

You already released ''Laser Enforcer'' from the album, do you think you've got a good response to it?

Underground music normally seems to get a good response, people are very loyal to the new wave British heavy metal sound so we put out a single on vinyl and people really seemed to like it.

What are your favourite songs from the album?

If I had to pick it would be ''Analogue Avengers'' as it has everything I enjoy featured on it.

Do you have any plans for touring the new album?

We do but only have time to do a few short tours due to budget and time restrictions but we're doing some shows in Europe, festivals and a few shows in America.

It's your first album signed to Metal Blade Records, do you think it's been a good partnership so far?

Yes absolutely, no problems at all! It hasn't been any different to any other labels we've been signed to in the past but people have said that once you end up on these big labels that they have a reputation for exploiting the bands but so far no problems have occurred. Metal Blade gave us a similar deal like our old contracts with budget and promotional stuff but it's much more exhausting.

SLOUGH FEG has been going for 20 years and you're the last original member. How has it been for you?

The original SLOUGH FEG line up only lasted 6-8 months before we brought brand new people in and only two of us were left when we went to California where we had a steady line up for around 5 years then the other original member left so for most of the journey. The band has pretty much always been my idea, people have contributed ideas which has helped a lot but the past 10 years there hasn't been much change line up wise but due to doing SLOUGH FEG since forever it's just become my idea.

How have you kept the group going?

Me and my stubborn attitude I guess but for most of the years it was anger and no one wanting to hear heavy metal.

What's the meaning behind the name SLOUGH FEG?

It's inspired by Irish mythology but there was a comic called 2000 A.D and a character in it is called Slough Feg, they just did a 30 year hard back where they mentioned the band.

You also play guitar aswell as doing vocals for the band, what gear do you play?

I use a Gisbon Les Paul, 1960's re-issue and a old 1977 Marshall amp. I plug right in and turn it up as loud as I can go!

What made you start playing guitar?

As a kid my parent's made me learn to play piano which I hated when I was around 7 but after grade school I began playing American football so I couldn't do the piano lessons any longer but as years went on I quit football so they said I had to take up an instrument again. We had an acoustic guitar lying around the house so I started playing around with books and had lessons for 2 years. It took quite a while to pick up an electric guitar as I had to buy it myself.

For people who've never listened to your music before, how would you describe it?

It sounds like good old British heavy metal but really you have to listen to it and judge.

Who are the inspirations for SLOUGH FEG's music?

It's pretty obvious who it is but JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN.

Thanks a lot Mike for your time, good luck on the road ahead

Cheers Emily



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