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Sceptor's Bob Mitchell: "We are a Heavy Metal band in the deepest tradition, but the key to a successful release is how we will be marketed"

Interview with Bob Mitchell from Sceptor
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 22 January 2022, 8:24 PM

Essentially one can do everything in music, and survive, depending on public support. Of course, it doesn't mean that artists can't be unique and produce something that is less popular, because art doesn't have to be like everything else, it more up and personal and less for grabs. Sceptor, generating a Heavy Metal style that has a direct contact to the US Metal prowess of the 80s, have been adamant in their direction, and lately producing one of their best albums under the moniker, "Rise To The Light". Talk about optimism, yet with a heavier punch. Steinmetal had the honors with a short talk with the renowned vocalist, Bob Mitchell, about his performance on the record, the album's music and more…

Hello Bob, it is a pleasure for me to have you for an interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing?

Never better my friend. It's gratifying to know that after all these years in our Profession, that I have been blessed with a Great Group of Musicians that have worked hard to produce an album that everyone seems to be Enjoying.

At one of the lowest points in human history, which I aim at the Covid, it appears that you have been tested. Perhaps to see how much of our social order will survive after such a turmoil, where do you stand with this notion guys? How have you been coping with the situation?

I have had no issues. In fact, I have worked through it all as I have a family to provide for and fortunately it has afforded us, our band, to write the album we have now presented to the World.

One good thing that happened though, Sceptor wise, was the resurface of the band after it disbanded seven years ago. Let’s take it back a bit.  Why did Sceptor cease back in the day? Was it mainly due to lineup issues or just because that the mojo that you had just didn’t want to play part anymore?

From my perspective, it seems that it was time to take a rest and regroup which we have done. To dwell on the how and why is pointless. The great thing about it all is that we are back, stronger than we could have ever imagined.

Out of the dark and into the light, as it has been said countless of times, Sceptor is back and nearly with a brand new lineup, along with you Bob, even though you were already a member for a short time earlier on. I believe it would be obvious to ask, how does it feel to be back?

In my heart I never left as Sceptor was always a part of me and have been in my heart and now we have been given another opportunity to shine. It goes without saying that it Feels great of course and I feel as though the time was right for this to happen again. For many Years, the single we did has gained traction again, so we made contact and got the ball rolling again and we created this album that has evolved into something quite special.

And as a continuance, I have to know, along with the readers, what made you make that comeback? What was that itch that you couldn’t live with?

The friendship of 20 years that Todd and I share is what I believe has made our return inevitable.

Signing with Pure Steel Records was a guaranteed choice, with the band being one with the label’s main subgenre preference in Metal, and here we are with “Rise To The Light”. From what you have been hearing and seeing, how has it been received so far?

The advance reviews have been great in fact beyond our expectations and it's a rewarding feeling to know that, for me personally, after all these years,  I have the privilege of being on an Album that has, thus far, been so well received. This can only get better from here.

The first thing that caught my eye was the artwork, which I found to be as if it were a picture of two different layers, the background and the images. I have to admit that the title of the album is more or less the opposite of the constant battle I am witnessing in the artwork. It appears that war has been part of man since the dawn of time and it will continue in the future. So where is the light in that?

I love the Artwork and it depicts what can come out of a tumultuous situation. Inner strength will get you out of horrid conditions. The Light is Within yourself. For all that is currently occurring, it is inner strength that will set you and those you love apart from all the rest.

In overall, what is the chief narrative, even though I know that the album itself isn’t a concept album, that drives the album forward? Around what theme do the songs converge?

There is nothing hidden here. The album is nothing more than a collection of good Heavy Metal songs. It is the listener who will determine what the album is about. We just wrote the music and the lyrics I write are never planned. They eventually become a topic but from what perspective, well…. it's like asking "what is Love Me Do about"?

What forms of questions, or answers, do you raise through “Rise To The Light”? What were you trying to imply or perhaps even find out through the course of the record?

Nothing really. As I said, we wanted to make a good solid album of music and that is what we did.

US Metal in its old school format isn’t that overly common nowadays since we are not in the 80s anymore. Nonetheless, I believe that you are one of these bands that were able to revamp the spirit of the past, yet indulging yourself with a modern based sound in order to forge barrages of both heaviness and melody. How do you think that you went forward musically through the songwriting process of “Rise To The Light”?

We have channelled our influences and brought forth what you hear now. It's quite simple. It's Metal and it's foundation is Rock n Roll.

A little offshoot, Bob, we talked about the rather few old school driven Metal bands in the US, in comparison to the past, do you think there is a comeback being made by the younger bands or there is no way for the past is back to kick our ass?

I am at point in my musical career that I have become known, stylistically, to sing in a certain way and that is what I bring to Sceptor. Can the 80's style survive? Well, it can if marketed properly. I mean, why are the Beatles still popular? It's Marketing. Our album is going to depend on that and of course, we will do our best to keep that style alive. We are a Heavy Metal band in the deepest tradition, but the key to a successful release is how we will be marketed. Certainly, there is an audience for our style of Music. It is the style we do best, so our aim is to capitalize on it. There are bands from the 60's that are still performing and pulling in houses so why can't a band like Sceptor that perform in the Style of 80's Heavy Metal.

Since I have always been a sucker for heavy riffs, the heavily armoured balladry “Armor Black” sure developed some intense moments. Certainly, one of the heaviest songs that I listen to of late. What can you tell about this song?

It's one of my personal favorite songs. I write according to the mood of the music and the results are what you hear. For me personally there is no Formula, no planning. If the music Rocks so will the singing if it's a Ballad type of song then I will croon

I was glad to see that you announced a support tour for “Rise To The Light” for 2022. Where you will be heading, is it the US or maybe the festival season in Europe?

I look forward to performing with my band mates in Europe which is where most of our appearances will be. The US maybe in 2023 but for 2022 it's Europe all the way. The last time I was there was in 2008. So, for me it will be a homecoming as I miss the fans and the Friends I have made. It will be a tour everyone will talk about for a long time.

Bob, I wish to thank you a lot for the effort on this interview and of course your time. “Rise To The Light” is a great listen, a great album and I am waiting for more. All the best

Thank you


 



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