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Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet)

Interview with Rick Mythiasin from Steel Prophet
by Orpheus Spiliotopoulos at 13 May 2001, 1:00 AM

Book of the Dead, a strong indication that the band is always alive (for almost more than a decade now) and kickin'! We interviewed Steel Prophet's singer, Rick Mythiasin, a very looney guy! Behold the madness revealed before your very own eyes! (Oh…yeah and all the info about the band and the new album hehe)

First question for you Rick: What’s you relationship with the Internet?

My relationship with the Internet? I’ve only had a computer for like six months only and I’m absolutely addicted to it. It’s a necessary tool to get your music or any kind of business you have. It’s an operation for advertising. You can be exposed to anything…I mean, the Net is totally your friend. Yeah, It’s a necessary evil!

Do you think it’s something like the television?

Well, you can get access to anything you want! Anything! Any perversion, any kind of thing your into…anything!

Perversion? (laughter)

Yeah! Hahaha!

So, ok, I bet you’ve heard about MP3s and all the fuss going on lately with Napster and Metallica…and blah blah blah

Fuck Metallica! Fuck Metallica!…I used to like them but now they have too much money and you know…I’m jealous! (laughter) They’re fucking abusing their power too much.

You think that’s why Jason Newsted left the band?

Yeah, I guess so. Congrats to him, he’s a great songwriter. I can’t wait to hear what he’s got to offer…you know, on a solo thing.

…maybe he’ll do something with Flotsam & Jetsam…

I hope so! I hope so! He’s gonna kick everybody’s ass. That dude is gonna fucking come back…

What’s your opinion on MP3s?

I really don’t know! I think it’s great! I think it’s a great avenue for people who want to check out sounds and other bands. I think it’s awesome! Sometimes when I hear something about a band, I’ve got to hear it you know, I’ve got to see for myself what I’m gonna buy. I think it’s a perfect avenue for advertising. Definitely! Especially in places where you can’t find the Record…just order it now on CD.COM.

Now tell me…between us…do you download whole albums on your computer?

Hell no!

No?

Fuck no! I don’t have the time. I don’t have a fucking DSL. I can’t just sit there for half an hour and download a whole album. There’s other people in my family who want to use the phone, you know…(laughter) If I were to download an album, I’d just go and buy the CD! And if I don’t like it, I go to the warehouse and turn it in for something else.

Exactly…you’ve got that kind of stuff there where you can change something you don’t like.

Yeah, you can just…return it you know. So I want something else you know…

Like this sucks and I wanna give it back…

Well I don’t say that directly to them. I actually say I’d like to exchange this for this record…you know like I’d like my money back please. That’s just the way it goes.

New members in the band. Williams…

Williams is a fucking shred-mobile! He’s an awesome player, he’s classically trained and he’s perfect for us. He has fit in so fast, so well and we’ve got an awesome drummer by the name of Karl Rosqvisk…

I though it was Karl Roqvist…How do you pronounce it?

Rosqvisk I think…Um, Swedish names you know…Ushka Buska Dushka Burger

(I can’t help laughing my ass off as he reminds me of the Swedish Chef of the Muppet Show) hahaha…the Swedish Chef!

Hehe, yeah, do you remember the Swedish Chef on the Muppets? (imitation of the Swedish Chef - haha, so damn funny)

(always laughing) You’ve got Peter next to you, right? (Peter Wildoer - drummer of Darkane - was sitting right next to Rick) Careful what you say about the Swedes, haha…

Yeah, I know. He’s cool. I don’t mean to be making fun of anybody…I’m not a racist in any way. I love the European connection I’ve been having in the past two years. It really opened my mind and helped me learn a lot. And you know, there’s a lot of great Metal coming from Sweden!

Plenty of Death Metal right?

Yes but there’s also Power Metal coming from Sweden. Like Tad Morose…they’re fucking awesome. Also Le Fay…have you heard of Le Fay?

Of course…

We toured with them! Those guys rule but they broke up sadly. I’m sure they’ll resurface into something else.

Maybe, why not. Next question for you Rick. Did the new members adapt quickly?

Yeah, they had to! They had no choice! (laughter). We were preparing Book of the Dead because we had to go on tour and we were like Hi! Welcome to the band! By the way you’ll have to learn this and this and this… (laughter)
No, we didn’t do that. They’re very good musicians and they caught on really quick, adapted very well and I’m very proud of them. We’re very happy to have them aboard. I hope they will stay with us.

So…you weren’t standing over them with a whip or something…

No…please \[Rick laughs satanically]

(should I mention all the laughter? Hehe)…Ok…

They can stand over me with a whip. I wouldn’t mind…
(laughter)…Kidding!

Were you satisfied with the Recording of Book of the Dead? Were there any problems during the Recordings?

Nah, there was really no problems. I’m very satisfied. It’s probably our best sound in record. Very crystal clear…a very good production. My only complaint is I wish we had more songs! But to be honest with you, we wanted it to be short, simple and sweet. We basically want quality in our music and not quantity. I wouldn’t want to have a bunch of failures so we want to have something that’s direct into the point. Trust me, once we’ve got one record finished, we’ve already got the next one written.

Tell me bout Book of the Dead

Well…basically Steve and I wanted to have this as a concept album but things never really came together. We’ve always been inspired by esoteric type of knowledge and especially Egyptian hieroglyphics. Book of the Dead is something that resulted from our reading books and stuff…

That sounds a bit like…

Kind of over everybody’s head…

Well, I mean Egypt and stuff…

That’s only the cover. Let me explain further. Book of the Dead basically, the twelve songs…actually there’s eight of them with vocals and they all tell a story. Each story is about a person’s experiences, the dark side of humanity…Failure, Doom, alienation…Things like that! We love lyrics that talk to people…we want people to think. We don’t like making lyrics that people won’t understand. The reason why the title Book of the Dead came about is basically that we wanted to tell stories that deal with really disturbing subjects.

Book of the Dead was the Egyptian bible or something right?

Yes, it talked about the afterlife and stuff but none of the songs have anything to do with that. It’s basically the idea about the Artwork and stuff…to look…you know…METAL! (with a rather loud and brutal voice hehe) I don’t wanna mislead anybody in any way. If we were to do that, there are bands that obviously do it better, like Nile. We’re not like Death Metal. We don’t wanna get people into the wrong impression of us. We could do a Death Metal Record by the way…

Are you capable of singing Death Metal vocals? I’m just wondering…don’t take it as an insult or anything.

No, no, no, no. \[Rick starts singing some bastard saints and other words I couldn’t make out…in Death Metal vocals, hahaha)

Cool!

The thing is I can’t fucking talk for like a week after that! I guess I could do certain things but I certainly couldn’t do it night after night. That’s what I really admire and respect in Death Metal and Black Metal singers. Their voices are so demonic! God I don’t know how they fucking wake up and swallow their breakfast without really seriously causing serious damage to their vocal chords! (laughter)

So…like what’s your favorite Black Metal band or Death Metal band?

I LOVE DIMMU BORGIR! They’re my absolute favorite right now! They’re so fucking good!

They’re superb! Have you listened to Susperia?

I haven’t heard them yet but if they’re like ex-members of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child they must sure kick ass!

Tjodalv, the drummer…

Oh yeah! I love Black Metal! I love European Metal. I could go on and on for like hours about bands I like…We’re already stealing enough from Iron Maiden (laughter - Rick was joking), I’ll have to talk to Steve about that! (laughter) So I don’t know…I kind of wanna escape that. I have to talk to Steve about that one. I don’t know why every album of ours has something that reminds people of Iron Maiden…don’t you think?

I can’t find something really similar to Iron Maiden in ‘Book of the Dead…My opinion is that Book of the Dead is purely your style.

Oh…now that’s something different! (laughter) I’ve been defending it all day cause like the song Escaped is very Iron Maiden-ish.

I heard that people think it reminds them of the Trooper song or something but I haven’t tried to…

No, not the Trooper…You know that riff \[Rick sings a riff I didn’t remember listening to anywhere in their album]…that’s from Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Yeah…

\[Rick Sings] Yeahhh…Hallowed be Thy Name…

Hahaha!

You should have seen me in the studio when I was recording that! I was pissing Steve off!

You were?

Oh yeah! Cause I was like I don’t wanna record the song! It’s so Maiden-ish! and he was like \[Heck! I don’t know! Rick is a man of a million weird noises! Hahaha]…and then I was like Ok…SCREAM FOR ME LONG-BEACH ARENA! (laughter - what else hehe) and Steve was like Ok God damn it! Stop fucking around here!.

Hehehe…I don’t know why you remind me so much of Southpark…

I want you to suck my balls! \[Rick does an imitation of Cartman’s voice and Trust me he’s the best! Hahaha]

\[At this point I’d like to note that the interview was mostly laughter - I’ve never laughed that much during an Interview]

How would you like to suck my balls Mr. Garrison?

(I keep on rolling on the floor…laughing my butt off)

I like Metallica, Steele prophet…I Don’t know, Iron Maiden…they tend to suck! Fuck that! I’m not fair!

\[ the laugh-panic stops…and I thank Rick for all the laughter he’s given me tonight]

I’m a fuckin’ little demon. You either like me or you hate me. All you have to do is tell me stop it - go away and I’ll, I’ll I’ll, I’ll, I’ll…go (laughter)

It’s cool…I don’t mind but we’ve got to finish this interview.

Hehe…ok, ok. I’ll be serious now, I promise.

Damn, I’ve lost the correct order of the questions! Hahaha!

I’m sorry…I’m sorry (in an acting sort of way haha. Very funny as usual)

Tour plans! Give me Tour plans!

At the moment, right now, there’s really nothing scheduled as far as Europe. Now, there is some talk about a West Coast tour in the US. We were supposed to play in some Festival in America in Kalamazoo but the guy couldn’t guarantee us flight tickets there and Hotel accommodations so we told him to blow it…Now from what I understand we’re scheduled to play in some festival in Hungary.

Hungary?

Yeah, that’s what I hear. I’ve never been to Hungary…I’m Hungary…I’m so Hungary \[he pronounced it fast so it was more like hungry haha]. So, we’re supposed to do that but as far as tour plans…there’s nothing really that I can tell you.

Now tell me something else. Why do people in American, when it comes to music, listen to crap? I mean, the majority.

Because America is huge and everybody’s generic and everybody’s weaned on fucking crap. Generally the masses…if they found something that has a really appealing image like Sex…

Like Britney Spears and stuff…

Yeah…the world spins around a big cock! (laughter) And everybody loves…SEX. And that’s what really markets you know…so, I don’t know. America, go figure! And there are these bands right now…they’re calling themselves Metal…

Yes, calling Korn for example Metal! It’s absurd! Or Limp Bizzkit.

Yeah…Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin…watcha gonna do now?…I wanna kick that cocksucker in the balls!

Hehe. If you went back in time and went up to someone during the eighties and went like listen to this…ok…Korn…Isn’t it heavy metal?…he’d slap you up the face man!

I’m telling you! I’m telling you…what the…\[Rick imitates a bit of Korn and we laugh again]. I don’t know man. They’re making money and I’m not and I’m fucking mad so…that’s just the way it is.

Well, I guess always the mass had this tendency to listen to crap and only the few listened to good music…

What ever happened to the good music? Remember how you felt when a Piece of Mind came out? Or waiting after Number of the Beast to go get the next Maiden and when Dio first joined Sabbath and you went like wow! Fuck!…and opening the sleeves of the record and going wow!. What happened to all that?

Well not exactly…How old are you Rick?

34! I’m just an old man singing… \[Rick imitates an old man’s voice] I remember…when I was your age

Haha, no man, you’re cool! You got to keep it up that way for the rest of your life!

Haha thanks. I’m a fucking complete clown!

No…haha…you’re ok. It wouldn’t have been that fun if the interview was strictly serious.

Well, some interviews are like so damn boring and some others …I can hardly understand them, they can hardly speak English…I don’t blame them…they’re like asking some really in depth questions and I have to really pay attention to what they’re doing. But to be quite honest with you…like after the three last interviews…I start drinking! I start drinking!

I at least hope you’re enjoying this interview!

Trust me, I am enjoying it very much! (laughter) I have to say I’ve heard the most phenomenal things about Greece. I mean, from Gamma Ray they told me You know what? You can barely leave your bus! The kids wanna meet you, they wanna touch you, they want something… and I was like cool! I can’t wait to be in Greece! I want to be taken over! hahaha!

So Rick, maybe in a future tour you’ll stop by.

I would like to do a live album in Greece like…Iced Earth!

But you do know that to make a live album like that in Greece…you have to win a lot of fans…and I mean…like…A LOT!

I know what you’re saying. I just hope that Book of the Dead won’t be turned off by the fans. Our previous album had a lot of speed Metal element…it had a lot of fastness. It was quite a different record. Now, Book of the Dead is a complete step for us. Hopefully in the right direction. I hope that fans will understand that we’re trying to grow as songwriters as well. Hopefully they won’t think that we’re wimping out and that we’re becoming…pussy-like, you know.

You’re playing style is mainly Power Metal but you’ve got many influences from Heavy and a few from Thrash. Do you think that alternative styles of playing which result from combining different styles are more interesting than raw heavy or raw power for example?

Yeah, absolutely. I think we can dive into anything we wanna do pretty much. If we set our minds to do it, we can achieve it. I’ve got the type of voice where I can pretty much do anything and I’m not trying to brag or say oh, I’m so special. I think I’m possessed by demons…I like get this strong feel and it like comes out of my throat and I go oh my God! Did I just do that?. It’s kind of like that. I’m hopping that we can grow and that our music will remain timeless.

Do you think that Steve Kachinsky has contributed as much as artists like Ozzy, Bruce, Malmsteen etc? Cause he’s been around since the early eighties.

I don’t know. Time will tell my friend. I can’t really answer that. \[Rick gets a deadline from the Promotion Company…because we had already been talking for ages!]

Closing up this Interview, I’d like a word from you to all the fans that will stop by and read this Interview.

Basically I just wanna say that I can’t wait to play live in Greece. I’ve heard so many good things. Please, if you’ve got the money and you’ve got the time…pick up Book of the Dead and you won’t be disappointed. Hopefully we’ll see you soon!

Rick thank you so much for this… more than enjoying Interview! Have a nice dinner and take care man!

Oh, we’re going to a Greek restaurant by the way! I’m going to eat gyro! Hahaha! So, man, it was a pleasure talking to ya! Take care yourself!



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