The United States has a talent for many things. But in Heavy metal, it’s an extreme style. In others too, but it was only in the 90s and early 2000s that we saw the range opening up more. Today, we can say that northern metal -American is wider although the flagship is still the extreme. Leading cars aside, we speak today with a band that puts the density of Doom with the most stoned part which we call Stoner to break and do our 908 interview. They are Temptations Wings and they show us their second full album titled Marauders Of The Killing Moon. The band consists of: Micah Nix on Voice and Guitar, Chad Barnwell on other Guitar, Ryan Fox on bass and Jason Gardner on Drums. Micah and Jason answered our questions. Which, you will follow in all your emotions.
TC 1:Talking about the composition work in Marauders of the Killing Moon?
Micah Nix:This album has taken quite a while to bring to life. We had a handful of songs written for it when we recorded The Path in 2019. Covid-19 caused quite a delay in recording Marauders, and it ended up taking over a year to complete. We have a very broad range of influences, and when we were writing Marauders, we set out to make an album that covers a lot of different genres of metal. We have some doom elements, some traditional metal, some stoner, and some ambient pieces. We always set out to try and tell a good story with our songs, as well as set a good atmosphere, musically, to help convey the story.
Jason Gardner:Micah described it spot on!
TC 2:In the seventh song, did this child on the mountain really exist or did the band take her out of their beautiful minds?
Micah Nix:The lyrics for Child of the Mountain were inspired by stories of how the Dalai Lama is chosen. This gave me an idea about this child who has mystical abilities, and how people will travel from all over the world to get advice and wisdom from him. In the song, an aging warrior travels to meet the Child to get advice on how to retire from a life of battle. The Child has some very simple advice for him, but it makes the old warrior think very deeply on what is important in life.
Jason Gardner:I interpreted the lyrics totally different from Micah and to me Its like an instruction song for our young kids when they get older to just be grateful for what sacrifices were made for you and enjoy the rewards you can reap from it.
TC 3:We’ve always had many silent killers. But, today they don’t necessarily use guns, they just want to impose their truths on others. But is the band’s silent killer the criminal who kills in cold blood or is he an imposter of truths?
Micah Nix:Our killer in Silent Assassin is one who gets paid to take the lives of others. He doesn’t care who the target is, or what they’ve done, he only cares that he gets paid. Perhaps he doesn’t even view himself as a killer. He is merely the weapon his customer uses to accomplish their desire.
Jason Gardner: I envision it as Assassin’s Creed in song form. I really liked the early editions of that series. In those games you got to be quick and undetected and the tempo of the song certainly brings that feel to this song in particular.
TC 4:Is the third song a tribute to the band we see in the song or are they very different contexts?
Micah Nix:Altar of Sabbath came about from an idea Jason had. He said one day that we should cover a Black Sabbath song without actually covering a Black Sabbath song. So we tried to make the ultimate tribute song to one of our favorite bands. I think everyone will recognize where the lyrics came from!
Jason Gardner:It’s a unapologetic tribute song to the mighty Black Sabbath. I really love how it turned out personally.
TC 5:How come emerged the invites to Andy Bishop and Corey Hipps?
Jason Garner:Andy Bishop owns the studio we’ve recorded our past 4 projects so when he has ideas we just let him try them. They always turnout very cool. In fact on a song from our Skulthor Ebonblade album called To Forge a Legend .he suggested using an E Bow on a part and its the highlight of the song for me. So on the last song “Walk in the Woods” we had a rule that only acoustic instruments would be allowed so he grabbed an egg shaker and recorded that. Corey is my stepson who was 17 at the time he recorded his Cello he played in his high school strings. He actually recorded 2 different tracks for the song. And we used his 12 string guitar too.
TC 6:Some literature or film inspire the band?
Micah Nix:The Lord of the Rings books and movies have been a big inspiration for me. Norse and Greek mythology, and Conan the Barbarian are huge as well.
Jason Gardner:Any quality sci-fi, historical and fantasy inspires me whether its film, books or any other medium. I’m really getting into story podcasts also. Its a fun way to absorb a story.
TC 7:Why band use the Mandolin and Ukulele in this album?
Micah Nix:We thought it would add a nice texture to compliment the guitars. I actually wrote the intro piece to Child of the Mountain on the Mandolin, then we built the rest of the song around it.
TC 8:What kind of subject doesn’t deserve a Temptations Wings song?
Micah Nix:We have always said that we would never do a song about a romantic relationship, whether it’s a love song or a falling-out-of-love song. We’ve always wanted to tell stories about warriors and adventure.
Jason Gardner:We will never have a love song ballad or any modern political opinions in our songs.
TC 9:Before music, what the bands loves to doing?
Micah Nix:I like to go fishing when I have the chance. I like to play video games and watch baseball and football as well.
Jason Gardner:Hanging out with my family, games, writing lyrics or other forms of literature.
TC 10:How did the band arrive to Electric Talon Records?
Jason Gardner:We’ve been a DIY band from day 1 but we knew this album needed to reach more people. I started really looking at smaller labels once principle recording was finished. Electric Talon really stood out because for one it sounded metal as hell! But also I really like the diverse roster and really liked what Stephen had to offer. It was like talking to myself about music promotion ideas and philosophies but with better contacts and more professional methods of music promotion. In the short time we have worked with Stephen, we’ve really had to break old habits and trust in his guidance for the best way to release this album.
TC 11:Why the band have this name?
Micah Nix:We borrowed the name from the Down song. When we were forming the band I was really into that first album of theirs, and the name just stuck.
Jason Gardner: I joined after the name had been established but I loved the first Down album at the time and still do.
TC 12:The band feel differences between The Path and now in Marauders of the Killing Moon?
Micah Nix:I think we are a lot more comfortable with each other’s presence and role in the band now. Marauders came together very naturally and organically. We had recently become a four piece when we wrote and recorded The Path. I love those two songs, but I feel like Marauders is the best work we have ever done.
Jason Gardner:Just writing more together and trying out ideas the other band members threw out. I think we really expanded our boundries of what we could do on this album. Chad and myself are big fans of those big 80’s metal style riffs which “Silent Assassin was totally inspired by. Ryan really likes a lot of progressive stuff which Cosmos and some parts of Sea of Woe and “Shadow of the Moon” have a lot of influence of that style of music. And of course the twin axe attack we now use!
TC 13:How is Temptations Wings different from your previous bands?
Micah Nix:My previous band was my high school band that played all covers. We played mostly radio hits and Metallica songs. TW is even quite a bit different now than when we started. We have been doing this for 13 or 14 years now, and sound quite different than we did in 2007-2008.
Jason Gardner: This is my second band and it’s just much more comfortable for me. Like Micah said, you would never guess this was the same band from 2007-2008 era.
TC 14:What ´s the idea behind artwork ´s album?
Micah Nix:Big shout out to Waclaw Traier of Dr(O)))ned Artworks for his fantastic work! Something about Waclaw’s style just speaks to me on a very primal level and I am a huge fan of his work. We wanted some very grotesque looking warriors that are obviously up to no good, and he nailed it. Each band member is represented by a warrior and Corey Hipps is represented by the goblin servant on the far right. Corey helped with quite a few things on the album, including editing our videos, and we felt like he should be represented in the artwork as an honorary member of the band.
Jason Gardner:With exception of our Skulthor Ebonblade album and the companion live album “Savage Tales”, we have used a different artist for all of our releases. Its not that we didn’t love what they did, we just feel each project is different and we like to change it up.
TC 15:Is this album is conceptual? Yes or No and why?
Micah Nix:Our 2017 album Skulthor Ebonblade was a true concept album and it was a really tough feat to pull off. It took years to get that story written and assembled into the story it became. This time around, we felt like it would be fun to just have a collection of songs. Although I will say that the narrator of the song Warlords is the same warrior that goes to visit the Child of the Mountain.
Jason Gardner:We definitely took a break from the concept idea but I’m sure we will revisit it in the future.
TC 16:What does the band mean with Sea of Woe?
Micah Nix:Sea of Woe is about being stranded at sea and feeling completely lost and helpless. There are Sirens calling in the distance, and an ancient evil at the bottom of the ocean, and it’s also night and pitch black outside. The only light is from the stars. The narrator feels like drowning himself might be the only way to free himself from the torment he’s enduring.
Jason Gardner:It just has a feeling of despair that the opening riff immediately sets the tone that this is not a happy song by any measure. Again all these songs are just stories and not about any social commentary.
TC 17:Message to the fans guys. .interview is done!
Micah Nix:We want to thank everyone who has supported us up to this point, and to thank everyone new who might be hearing us for the first time! We want to thank the Electric Talon Records crew for standing with us, and for helping us spread our music to all corners of the globe. Stay metal and stay safe!