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Mike LePond (Mike LePond's Silent Assassins)

Interview with Mike LePond from Mike LePond's Silent Assassins
by Jean-Francois Poulin at 11 June 2018, 9:27 AM

Best known as the bassist for progressive metal giants SYMPHONY X, Mike LePond has stepped out on his own to front his own project, MIKE LEPOND's SILENT ASSASSINTS, an onslaught of true heavy metal in it’s purest form! Metal Temple's Jean-Francois Poulin has been seeing shows since 1999, some bands he has seen so many times, he kinda lost count. He is so thrilled and pumped to be able to interview one of the best bassists in Metal and the bassist of one of his favourite bands SYMPHONY X, the extremely talented Mike LePond!

I was so happy to hear that you were finally releasing a second solo album for MIKE LEPOND'S SILENT ASSASSINS. How was it different making this album compared to your first release in 2014?

For the first release, everything was new to me. I had to do the work of an entire band. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them. The hardest part for me was producing. With the new album, things ran much smoother, and that made the whole process less stressful and more fun. I still made some mistakes though, hahaha.

Any plans on releasing a new AFFECTOR album in the near future? I was pleasantly surprised to hear about that side project in 2012 and thought it went under the radar in it's initial release.

I loved that Affector album and I really wish it could have gotten some better attention. I have some news about this project. Daniel and Collin have decided to do another record and they asked me to play on it. Of course, I said yes! They haven’t sent me any music yet, but I can’t wait to start writing some bass lines for them. Incredibly talented and super nice guys as well.

I had the pleasure of seeing THEM in February 2016 opening for HELLOWEEN here in Montreal. They blew me away! How did the band come about? How was King Diamond an influence that drove you to have such a band?

When I was offered the THEM project, I immediately was interested. So many bands sound like Metallica, or Judas Priest etc, but I never heard a band that could do King Diamond, and do it really well. The songs were great, the concept was great, and the vocals were killer! And by the way, tonight I begin recording the next THEM album. It’s another masterpiece. That, I can promise you.

How did you discover Troy Norr? He is such an imposing figure and someone we don't really know much about to be perfectly honest!

I knew Troy because he originally had a King Diamond tribute band in the New York area. I would see his band and I would talk to him at other shows as well. Behind all that makeup, Troy is actually a very sweet, family man. He is extremely creative and passionate about his music. He always gives 100% to the albums and the shows.

Other than being a guest musician on their 2011 album, you produced the highly underrated band, SEVEN WITCHES. How was it, did you like the experience of producing other bands? Are you still a producer nowadays other than your solo outfit?

I love SEVEN WITCHES. Jack Frost, their founding member, is one of my best friends, and that is where I first met Alan Tecchio, the singer for Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins. I didn’t produce them, but I played bass on an album and toured with them many times. I am really not interested in producing other bands.

Is it true for the time being that SYMPHONY X is on hiatus? With Russell Allen's involvement in ADRENALINE MOB and your various projects, you guys are stepping away a bit?

Symphony X was never on a hiatus. Russell Allen decided that he would go off with the Adrenaline Mob, so we couldn’t tour. During that time the rest of us kept busy. Michael Romeo recorded a solo album and I toured with Ross the Boss. Within the next few months we will get together and start writing songs again for another album.

I have to ask about Russel Allen's horrible bus crash that happened a few months ago, have you been in contact with him and how is his recovery?

I have not talked Russell in a while. He was recently on tour with the Transiberian Orchestra, so I hope that is therapeutic for him.

Do you have any cool tour stories from your time in SYMPHONY X? You guys have toured with bands like DREAM THEATER, MEGADETH, EPICA, DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND amongst many others!

We have been lucky enough to tour with these great bands. All these experiences have left me with great memories that I will never forget. There were a lot of funny stories that I can remember, but it’s probably better just to keep them to myself so I don’t offend anyone. Looking back, I have been so blessed to be a part of this family.

Any musicians that you love and you would love to work with in the near future? You have been in so many bands and have dabbled in every style pretty much throughout the last two decades! You must have some people in mind you would love to work with?

In my heart, I will always be that high school kid who loved his heavy metal heroes. I would love to work with Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Glen Tipton and so many more. Recently, I got to work with Ross the Boss, and that was a true honor. Manowar was always one of my favorites.

Any plans on touring for the coming year for your solo band? Or what's in store for your in 2018?

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t tour to promote my first solo album. This time around, I am working with Frontiers Records and Symphony X’s manager to look for touring opportunities. Also in 2018, I will be doing some more touring with Ross the Boss, so I hope to see everyone soon.

Thank you so much, it's been a privilege and an honour of interviewing you for the Metal Temple!

My pleasure!


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