Knightmare Interview

Knightmare Interview

By: Andrew Gleason, Contributing Writer

 

 

American power metal. What is that you ask? Well, ladies and gents, that's Knightmare. Four good ol' Carolina boys, united to give Raleigh and the rest of the world their own spin on a classic, time tested and honored sound. Storming out of the gates, Knightmare was created to rock your mind and give you a blast from the past with a good touch of modern and pioneering infused sounds, giving you slamming drums, killer bass, and of course, the twin guitar attack. An act that you will not easily forget, their live shows are full of energy and show a passion for music. Raise the banner and smash down the gates, let’s bring back the days of heavy metal!

With Reid Rogers and Jared Mountz on guitars, Peter Lemeiux behind the kit, and Anthony Micale hitting the bass and taking lead vocals, Knightmare are a force to be reckoned with.

 Reigning from Raleigh, North Carolina, Knightmare have been gaining momentum throughout the metal underground and are now in the studio recording their second album. With many people waiting to hear their sophomore release, Metal Mayhem Underground decided to track the four of them down and shoot a few questions their way.

 

 

Metal Mayhem Underground: “First thing’s first, you guys just played at the annual North Carolina Metalfest… How was the experience?”

 

Reid: “Man, it was fucking awesome, probably one of the best and biggest shows we’ve ever played, it was great to be a part of it.”

 

Jared: “We had played the NC Metalfest a couple years back in Wilson, so it was an honor to be part of another one. The guys that ran this show were obviously experienced at handling a chaotic metal fest. As far as playing it goes… It was the biggest crowd that we’ve ever played in front of so we got to lay it all on the line and do what we do best.”

 

Peter: “Yeah, it was amazing! The show of support by so many fans, some local and some not so local was overwhelming. I didn’t know whether to be more stoked to perform or to spectate!”

 

Anthony: “The coolest part was that it was all Carolina local bands, so there was a real strong sense of brotherhood throughout the entire festival. It's a great feeling to see metal so alive and kicking in our state.”

 

MMU: “I see you guys have a few exciting things coming up, a few shows to look forward to, but I want to dive into your history a little bit. What inspired the name Knightmare?”

 

Jared: “Knightmare wasn’t an original name as we bounced between ideas like Vanguard, Maelstrom, Citadel, and countless others. All of a sudden one day, when apparently it was ‘crunch time’ to figure out a band name, our third guitar player at the time brought the name Knightmare to the table. We all seemed so tired of thinking of names that we all thought, ‘Hey, that’ll work.’ The name seemed like a joke at first to us, but after we established a little bit of our identity, we really began to live through the name Knightmare and it truly became a part of us.”

 

Anthony: “I liked ‘Doom Troll in the Citadel’! [laughs]. But it was quick to grow on me, it grew on all of us. Knightmare went from a name we kind of joked about, to the lifeblood of four guys. I remember at a battle of the bands a few years back, some young scene kid was joking about our name on the ballot, saying “Who the fuck is Kuh-nightmare?? What a dumb fucking name’. Well, we won in what I would say was pretty damn close to a landslide, and the kid came up to Reid and wouldn't shut up about how awesome ‘Kuh-nightmare’ was [laughs]. So the name grew as we grew, and now we have something going that we are truly proud of.”

 

MMU: “You’ve been through a few line-up changes. What’s the main difference between being a twin-guitar attack versus having three guitarists playing in the band?”

 

Reid: “Well, there’s not a huge difference to me personally. The only thing that is noticeable is that we don’t have the backing rhythms anymore when we do the dual guitar harmonies, but Anthony is a hell of a bass player you know, everybody knows that. He has no problem holding that down. I feel like this is the best line-up we’ve had so far.”

 

Anthony: “Yep, we've gone through a few changes in our time. I'm still very close with our former band mates, we were brothers in rock ‘n’ roll, and we remain that.”

 

Jared: “There are two big differences to me: first off, it’s easier. Second off, it sounds cleaner. Reid and I have never had a problem playing together and have always been tight. The hard part was working in another guitar at parts in a song where we didn’t need three guitars and we hardly needed two. I think the dual guitar attack has been much more efficient and appealing. Oh yeah, and we have more room on stage! [laughs]”

 

Anthony: “A huge factor in Knightmare moving forward was when Peter joined us. Peter is the best drummer anyone could ask for, and I would put him up against anyone. His entrance into the band really spring boarded us to greater heights of ability and drive. We used to call him Joe Jackson, ‘cause he whipped us into shape! [laughs] As the bass player it's really important that the drummer and I click. I've never played with a drummer who I can follow and groove with like Pete.”

 

MMU: “The new album is coming out soon, and after seeing you play some of the new songs live, I sense a bit of a heavier direction on this release. Songs like ‘Demon’s Waltz’ really have a heavy, dirty groove to them. Did you make it a point to get grittier on this album or was it a natural evolution from your debut, Damned and Forsaken?”

 

Anthony: “It is very rare that we ever have a game plan for anything [laughs].”

 

Reid: “It was just a natural transition. We matured as songwriters and are moving forward. It’s different at times but we didn’t make it a point to get heavier.”

 

Jared:  “We don’t go into it with an attitude like ‘This is going to be the heaviest song on the album’, but we really just let the song write itself. One of the thrashiest songs on the album, ‘Days of the King’, just sort of formed out of nowhere and I can’t believe how it turned out. I never pictured Knightmare playing a song that fast and with that many damn notes! [laughs] I really believe that a song can only be written a couple ways that are ‘correct’ and the songs just take care of themselves. So to answer your question, it seems that it was a natural evolution from the first album.”

 

Peter: “The ever-changing scene itself influences the sound as well. So many of my favorite bands are local acts.”

 

Anthony: “This new album is truly a reflection of what we want; our rendition and tribute to heavy metal and what it means to us.”

 

MMU: “Speaking about the new album, can you tell us where you are recording at and which producer you are working with?”

 

Reid: “We played a Bond Park charity event and met this guy, Andrew Masters, who runs The Arcade Studio. Its killer, and I think our scratch tracks, just the rough cuts we’ve done live, are sounding 10 times better than our first album already and that’s with no mixing or editing done to them.”

 

Anthony: “These guys have a great set up, a low pressure feel and a great atmosphere. Andrew owns and operates with a lot of help from his great studio wizard Mike Schons. Mike is fantastic.”

 

MMU: “One thing I noticed is that I see a lot of passing of the mic. Reid sings at least two verses in these new songs live, and I know Peter also sings live. Will you both be gracing the vocal tracks on the upcoming album?”

 

Reid: “Yeah, I actually sing the lead on the chorus in the song ‘Savage Den’, and then on ‘Scourge of the Seven Seas’, I sing the verse. So we’ve got two or three people singing lead on the album, which is cool.”

 

Peter: “I’m going to be all over the album [laughs]. Reid, Anthony, and I all have extensive brainstorms going on for gang vocals, harmonies, falsettos, and even guest vocalists.”

 

Anthony: “I've always thought that it is super awesome when you see a band and all the members are up there singing their ass off. Especially in power metal. I'm lucky to have other guys who can sing because it adds another dimension to our music, like a metal Boston if you will [laughs]. The goal is to have a bunch of different vocal parts,  much like Queen or Boston.”

 

MMU: “You are clearly growing as musicians and as people, is there any word on a release date or a title for your sophomore release?”

 

Peter: “I am trying not to get too optimistic, but I think November could be a fair month to see it hitting the shelves."

 

Anthony: “We've had couple titles thrown around, but nothing set in stone yet. We want the title to really encompass what we are working on, and be relevant to our journey in some way or another. Recording can be a walk in the park or a pain in the neck. We will surely be keeping everyone posted every step of the way.”

 

MMU: “Any other plans for the Knightmare crew? Perhaps a small tour in support of the new release?”

 

Reid: “We’ll be looking at touring after this album comes out. We’ll see what things look like then.”

 

Jared: “Knightmare always has big plans and ideas, some of which we can’t even talk about because they are too big and exciting! [laughs] We would love to tour the east coast soon, which may happen early 2015. Other than that, we tend to stay focused on the task at hand; upcoming shows and most importantly, the new album.”

 

 

Peter: “But don't count us out! We're pretty hungry for the road.” ∆

 

 

You can expect their new album to drop very soon, and you can find Knightmare on Facebook at facebook.com/knightmareband and on Reverbnation at reverbnation.com/officialknightmare. You can also follow the guys on Twitter and Instagram @knightmareusa.

Check THIS clock for show times!