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Steel Prophet's Steve Kachinsky Blakmoor: "I tried to contact him, but he wouldn’t return phone calls or text messages, and so after a couple weeks we just took it as truth and moved on. Very strange, but not altogether unusual behavior for Rick!"

Interview with Steve Kachinsky Blakmoor from Steel Prophet
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 12 July 2019, 2:32 PM

Steel Prophet are back, and with one hell of a pound. New beginnings bore fruit, signing with a new label, recruiting an explosive frontman and releasing a formidable album, what can a band ask? Well, there are plenty of stuff of course, but a wicked starting point matters. Steinmetal had a talk with longtime band veteran, Steve Kachinsky Blakmoor, about the "The God Machine", signing with a new label, recruiting a badass vocalist, early vocalist, Heavy Metal, and a little Manowar

Greetings Steve, it is an honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. How have you been doing sir?

Oh, I’ve been doing well, and I hope you have too! The honor is mine, thanks for taking an interest in Steel Prophet.

A few months ago Steel Prophet returned with a brand new album, “The God Machine”, issued via a new label, Rock Of Angels Records, and as the cherry on top, it debuted a new voice. So many new beginnings, I imagine that it is quite exciting, even for a veteran band. How do you feel about all these events surrounding the new album?

I’m really excited by everything. The first thing was the vocals and melody writing of Lia, then the mix by Henrik Udd sounded killer. We had our first real Japanese release on the Marquee Avalon label, videos for three songs, and next we are doing animated videos for the remaining seven songs. The reviews have been strong and the fan response has been awesome!

Why title the album “The God Machine”? What was your initial intention with such a strong title?

To get people’s attention. We tie in a lot of our titles with the band name. When you have Prophet in your name, it lends itself to things like this. For instance, “Messiah”, “Book of the Dead”, “Omniscient”, etc.

How has the album been received up till now? Are you satisfied with the outcome?

Yeah, pretty satisfied. As usual some people love it and some hate it, but as long as people understand the intentions we had as musicians and songwriters I don’t care if they like it or not. I don’t like when critics think we were trying to do something we weren’t, and then they evaluate it incorrectly on that basis. Like “they want to sound fast and furious, and they screwed up by putting a doom song on the album.” You get a lot of weird ideas out there, or people that think they know what happens behind the scenes, but don’t actually know. Overall, it seems like it’s one of our top albums to the fans that buy the albums.

Your previous vocalist, Rick Mythiasin, has been a pillar in the band for years, other than Steel Prophet’s music, at least how I see it, he defined what Steel Prophet is with his great vocal abilities. I know that it might be a question that arises from time to time, but I have to ask the big “WHY”, what led to his departure from Steel Prophet? Was it lack of interest or plainly to move on?

We ask why too! He never spoke to myself, or Vince, or JT, or anyone in the band before he decided to leave. We only were told by one of his Facebook friends that he had promised he would never play with Steel Prophet again on his Facebook page. I tried to contact him, but he wouldn’t return phone calls or text messages, and so after a couple weeks we just took it as truth and moved on. Very strange, but not altogether unusual behavior for Rick!

With Rick Mythiasin, I believe that you earned yourself quite a powerhouse vocalist, in the image of Roberto D. Liapakis, leader of Mystic Prophecy and Devil’s Train. Since I have been listening to Mystic Prophecy for years now, I know how special this guy’s voice is, but I wonder, what did you find in him that made you realize that he is a Steel Prophet material?

All you need to do is listen to him sing and we probably both hear the same thing; the guy is a total vocal beast! Who wouldn’t want a voice like that in their band? I was lucky enough to have a previous relationship with him and be able to ask him to do it. He turned down my offer once or twice, but then something in the new songs I was sending him made him change his mind I guess. We were very fortunate to have a singer, writer and producer of his caliber join!

As mentioned, “The God Machine” was released via the Greek Label Rock Of Angels Records. Five years ago it was through the epic motivated label Cruz Del Sur Music. What made you shift labels? Were you approached by Rock Of Angels?

We had some different offers once Lia was involved and we were really impressed with the offer from ROAR. “Omniscient” was an ambitious concept, and Cruz was totally behind it, but it was rather poorly received in terms of sales. I think it was best to start fresh.

I have always found Steel Prophet’s music to be a level up from your usual Euro or US styled Power Metal, closing in on progression rather than the traditional style songwriting. However, with “The God Machine” I sense that Lia brought in some of the aggressive manner into the band’s tunes, closer to Mystic Prophecy’s direction, took it further, and the songs are rather catchier. Do you agree with that assessment? Is a new type of Steel Prophet born?

Well, I think after “Omniscient” my songwriting was more to the point as I started this album. I was focusing on probably more my roots, and shorter, direct songs like Scorpions, Kiss, NWOBHM, Riot, Nugent, Starz, Aerosmith, Zep, Deep Purple, Sabbath, BOC, Van Halen stuff. Lia came in and took the songs I had, made some suggestions and edits to make them even catchier and with super melodies. It is a bit different in some ways. I like it. It’s not like we have to follow this formula for the rest of our career, but we will see how the writing develops for the next album, as we will start together instead of me giving him songs that already had final drums, bass, keyboards and guitars. With this album, I really wanted to make an album like the ones I loved best; vinyl where both side one and side two were listened to all the way through. No filler tracks you want to lift the needle on.

Which of the tunes on “The God Machine” do you find the most compelling? Which of them mean to you most? Please elaborate

I really like them all for different reasons. I like the solo and vocal chorus on “God Machine” a lot. “Crucify” has a great vocal in the chorus too, and I like the breakdown in the middle where it gets slow and heavy, and the use of the tambourine in it. I really like the catchiness of “Life=Love=God Machine”, and the Boston like guitar harmonies in the chorus. The ballad like “Buried and Broken” is cool for me too; I like the chordal half fills in the verses, and I like it when it gets Sabbath like in the second half. “Fight, Kill” has some cool guitar harmonies in the beginning, and it’s kind of modeled after “Tarot Woman” by Rainbow when you get to the verse parts, and then the break down is like “Symptom of the Universe”, and the creepy keyboards are cool. Love the chorus of “Damnation Calling”, and especially the vocal harmonies on the chorus of “Thrashed Relentlessly”. The guitar solo on that song reminds me of part of the solo in “Heaven and Hell”, but with counterpart guitar harmonies. The first riff in “Devil Inside” reminds me of “Hell Awaits” intro, and I like the heaviness of that.

Last month there was the big case with Manowar over cancelling their show at Hellfest Festival in France. Statements from both parties were scarce and accusations are flying, leading to a lawsuit from the Manowar camp. What do you think about this matter? Does a band have to play from its fans first and not for itself, no matter the costs or it should be the band’s needs first and then the audience that paid a lot to mainly see it. Does Manowar have a case against Hellfest?

I don’t really know the details of the case, but I think if the band worked out an agreement and the venue didn’t honor all the details they would have a case. From my own experience, we would just play if we were there and they were just small issues. If there were problems with sound and lighting, you can’t blame the band for refusing. Steel Prophet would certainly try and work it out to avoid a cancellation, but I don’t know what the issues really were.

As a veteran in the Metal scene, mainly in the US, but you also traveled Europe performing, do you think that there is a still a strong following for traditional Metal on its channels such as classic Metal and Power Metal or the current trends such as Djent for instance, are bound to take all the attention?

I think Maiden, Priest, Saxon, Metallica, Slayer, etc. are all still going strong. As far as new bands that play the classic style, it’s hard to make a living and get a following. It’s like a hobby for most of us these days. Djent and all the newer sub genres certainly have their following and may continue to grow, I can’t predict what gets popular, but the only constant is change.

To what bands have you been listening to recently? Any newcomers that are to be crowned as the next Metal gods in potential?

Striker, Night Demon, Pallbearer, Mastodon, Gygax, Riot City, Smoulder, Atlantean Kodex, Black Trip, Emerald, Haunt, Black Star Riders, etc. are all great bands that are ‘newer’. And there are hundreds more.

How do you intend to support “The God Machine”? Will there be a US tour along with a European leg?

I hope we do some dates here and abroad. We’ll see what happens!

Steve, I would like to thank you for this interview. “The God Machine” is a strong offering and I sure hope you would keep that new vocalist of yours, only good will come out of it. All the best

Thanks we will be holding on to Lia for sure! He really contributed to this being one of our most ass kicking albums so far.
 



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