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Psychoprism's Kevin Myers: "The underground will always, will always spring forth new talent. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age of disposable music, you have to really look for what you like and you will find it"

Interview with Kevin Myers from Psychoprism
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 February 2022, 1:05 AM

At times, people forget that the underground scene of Metal music is the majority, it has been bringing up new talents on a daily basis, unveiling great musicians, and bands, that may be the next promise from the music. On the other hand, in a world of industry and money, only the cherries, or supposed cherries, are looked upon, while mainly ignoring what lies beneath. Psychoprism has been one of the many underground bands that don't really need to prove that they are good at what they do. Their sophomore album, "R.I.S.E." atones to that. Steinmetal had a good talk with the band's veteran, Kevin Myers, about the experience of the album, and his views on the music.

Hello Kevin, it is great to have you for this conversation with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

How are you doing Lior? I’ve been doing okay and this is my pleasure.

It is undeniable to feel the impacts of the pandemic on our society, one of the particulars is the culture, the live scene music. It appears that there is a reliance on these short intermissions between waves in order to have some fun overall, to be loosen and taste some of the pre-pandemic days. What is your take on this? For how long do you think that people would stand this kind of life?

Yea, I’ll tell you one thing, it has been a very interesting thing to see what this has caused. I honestly, and this is just my opinion, I’m a bit amazed at how long people have stood for this. For me, one thing I’ve always loved about live music is the fact you could go out almost every weekend and see all these different and talented bands. I mean in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area, there were a lot of clubs you could go to. Today not so much, but that was like that even prior to the “pandemic”. But I will say that I know the band and a lot of bands are chomping at the bit to play live shows again

Talking about life, there is the mental state or also the motivation to do anything with one’s self other than abiding by the daily schedule of the routine, like going to work for instance. Nevertheless, when it comes to artists, and bands like you guys, you need a drive to do things, to create something new out of scratch. How would you sum up the impact of the pandemic on the Psychorism camp? What has been keeping you ticking?

Oh there is a drive to not sit still haha. Now I’m the old guy in the group. So I’m used to bands cranking out a new disc every year, give or take. But I know that has not been the mind-set of a lot of bands for the past few decades. It has hurt us in the fact that it caused our new disc R.I.S.E. to be delayed for release and not to be able to play live. And the single R.I.S.E. is a song that sort speaks from a place that we have to rise above this so to speak.

Five years after your debut album, “Creations”, and you return with a new burnt offering for both contemporary and old school Metalheads to feast upon. First off, I can assume that there was no pressure involved while making the new record, so what exactly made you sit down and start working towards this new album?

First there was a pressure for us to make sure we put out something that we felt surpassed Creation. And R.I.S.E. , we feel , does. Now I know every artist or band says that about every new release they put out, but being for me the first time I’ve recorded a second cd with the same band, I can say with pride that we did what we set out to do with this monster of a disc.

Titled “R.I.S.E.”, once again through your home at Pure Steel Records, along with the artwork, which gave way to quite a bit of signs, there is the phoenix, which can be imagined, or witnessed through your logo. With hopes that I am not completely out of course, what is that rising? Is this the rise of mankind from its current muddy situation?

First, I’m not really sure how the phoenix came about as our logo. If I remember correctly, Bill Sly who created it, he is friends with the band but he came up with a few ideas and showed them to the band and that was the one we all gravitated towards. And yes you are correct in thinking that about our current situation.

“R.I.S.E.”, as a one long record, clocking nearly 70 minutes, has a lot of stories to tell, nearly each tune portraying a thought pattern that shares questions that remain a mystery. In your view, and without the record being a concept, what is the main idea that unites the songs of the tracklist, binding them together as one?

Tell me about it. Hahahahaha. I’m not sure if it’s a concept or more a thought process on how you have to keep moving, no matter what, keep moving. I feel that to me is the one thing that unites all the songs.

In regards to the variety of themes circling the songs on the record, what can you say were philosophical influences that led to these ideas? In your opinion, what are the main morals that come out of “R.I.S.E.”?

No matter what your current situation is, whether you believe, all the bullshit. around the pandemic or whatever one's situation is, you have to keep moving forward. I remember a great quote from Glenn Tipton, he said “If you don’t keep moving, the sands of time will bury you”. I read that and it has stayed with me since. And I think the disc reflects that type of ideal.

The sharing of such utmost diversity, within the wide spectrum of melodic Metal, is quite special on “R.I.S.E.”, making it an effort that isn’t often heard. It is hard to ignore this summit of classic Metal, reminiscent of the grand US Metal scene of the 80s, along with fashionable modernized means that maintain the current Metal scene. How do you find this massive mixture between the old and the new? Would you say that on “R.I.S.E.” these two streams actually complement each other?

You know it’s funny. Bill and I did an interview not too far back and he actually got me to think about that thought. Now I’m very old school when it comes to writing and recording. And he’s been doing his own recordings for a while. He said that he thinks because of the way I am, I.E. old school and his I.E. modern school recording, that it just works. I really think it does just that.

What can you tell about the band’s musical progress while forging “R.I.S.E.” in the songwriting sessions? How did you guys envision the album to sound direction wise, is it a maintaining of your previous effort or finding a new angle to perfect your methods?

The only thought we had was we need to make every bit as good and better than Creation. While we did feel these songs were just as special as Creation was, we also knew there was something more about them. This is the longest relationship I’ve had with any person let alone a band. Hahahahaha. So I can’t speak for everyone in the band, I wanted to make sure this was some of my best work. Not just for me, but for the songs and the band. Because as I said before, this is the only time I’ve recorded a second cd with a band. So I think it was a more conscious effort to make sure these songs were awesome and to do our best on them.

Due to the rather wide range of the music, there is a feeling of twists and turns of states of mind, and your vocalist, Jess Rittgers, also helps shape these dramatic edges. What can you comment about these twists going on the record? Would you say that this is a next step in your songwriting style?

No, that's just Jess hahahaha. No seriously, if you talk with Jess, he has stories about everything. And I mean everything. So I don’t think there will ever be a shortage of lyrics. I mean Adam wrote the lyrics to the opening track on Creation. And with the music Bill comes up with, one just has to have the imagination to go with those riffs. And Jess does. As far as the next step, we will see. Bill has already been sending us I think the 9th song for the next record. And we have also been talking about doing a covers cd. So we will see where that one goes.

Since it was my first time listening to you guys, I have to say that your guitarist, Bill Visser, nailed a series of shred soloing, taking into account the idea of a guitar hero. First, this guy is amazing, being the sole guitarist and coming up with amazing riffs, the soloing and licks are amazing, high level. How do you find the guitar work on “R.I.S.E.”? How did Visser’s efforts make an impact on how Psychoprism sounds?

Well since Bill is the main songwriter, yes he pretty much is the sound of the band. But it’s the 5 of us that make it that band. And yes the man kicks ass on that guitar. And yes I am being biased

Talking about a guitar hero, Whitesnake’s legendary David Coverdale stated that the new rock bands don’t really have guitar heroes. Probably he meant those he once had, and still has in a way. In light of Visser’s playing, what do you have to say to Mr. Coverdale?

Yea well the old guard never looks to the underground. That’s just my opinion. Just look at bands like Lizzy Borden or Metal Church. The underground will always, will always spring forth new talent. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age of disposable music, you have to really look for what you like and you will find it. I forget what year it was, I walked into Vintage Vinyl, a great music store here in New Jersey, that sadly no longer exists, you could find anything. And I mean anything. So Mr. Coverdale and a bunch of others need to look to the underground. The only one who probably does, is Alice Cooper.

You were part of some great bands of the US Metal scene, and also being an integral member of Psychoprism. You carry with you quite the experience. Nevertheless, there is always something new to learn on a daily basis. How did “R.I.S.E.” made you a better musician, and perhaps a better songwriter?

It pushed me to really listen to the song and to see what and how I could add to and make it a better song or lick or section. And I thank you for the compliment.

With the utmost toughness of the record, along with the flamboyant shredding, there is an oddity of a track, “The Answer Will Come”. I thought I was listening to Dokken, or a version of it with George Lynch still in. This is a heavy number for sure, but it's vibe is clearly Hard Rock driven. What can you tell about this song? How does it stand out?

Funny you mention that track. That was I think the first one we started to rehearse with. To me it reminded me of Stained Glass. Reason I say that is I’m more AOR rock friendly. Some of my favorite bands are KISS, Lizzy, Borden Savatage, Triumph Blue Oyster Cult, Slade, 3 Doors Down. Anything that has melody as well as a groove that works. I think we try to bridge the gap of all that influence us. There is a long span of time in this band. So Answer will come I think and feel is just an outreach of metal and our influences. Just as much as Turbulence is. And you also have to add in Bills influence because he is influenced by a lot of the 80’s shredders

It puzzled me quite a lot why in the world “Friendly (Re) Fire” ended up being a bonus track for “R.I.S.E.”. This passionate track is a strong contender to be the best of the track, your heavy balladry, right there for the taking. It reminded me of the patterns of slower Iced Earth tunes. Please indulge me, how did it not find its way to the tracklist? Is it a leftover?

No, it is not a leftover. It is on Creation and it is just an updated version with better production and what we thought were better sounds and playing for the time

I deem that “R.I.S.E.” has to be a record to be supported, yet with all the uncertainty with the pandemic, what are your plans to support the album?

To play where we can regardless of mandates or other reasons. I mean hell we shot the video for rise over a year ago hahaha. And there may be plans, maybe plans to do a covers cd. So we will see

Kevin, I thank you for your time for this talk, it was great to have your view and vision on things concerning the album. I wish you a great year, and thank you for one hell of an album. Cheers.

Thank you for the time to reach out to me. Cheers and have a great day. Thank you and have a great day and time also.


 



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Edited 06 December 2022
 

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