Category Archives: Features

Parent category for all our assorted feature narratives. Each is filed under its proper theme.

PiercingMetal’s Editorial For 2005

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Editorial: The Year In “Review” for 2005

As I look back on 2005 I would have to say that it was an absolutely killer year for Metal Music and actually music in general when you look at a lot of the goings on that we were treated to. As most of my Readers know, I decided to launch PiercingMetal.com to increase my involvement in what I was writing for the other fine sites I am a part of and the kick off of the site in April was my main highlight of the year. I had no idea on how it would be received but was happy to see our delivery and content a continually visited and supported site by some of the industries finest press people. The fans of metal deserve kudos of their own because they very simply kick ass and resultant of their surfing the site has been hit by 70 Countries and received over One-Million hits. Our most dominating visitor of course is the United States and they are followed very closely by Sweden, Holland, UK and Canada. It’s nice to know the worldly nature of the site especially since a lot of the shows are in NYC. Let’s recap some of the highlights as I saw them and if you agree or disagree then that’s awesome – I just love a good dialogue.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Stryper’s Michael Sweet (10-24-2004)

Artist: Michael Sweet, Stryper
Date: 10/20/2004
Interviewer: Ken Pierce

Michael Sweet is the Singer/Guitarist for the band Stryper. The band was known for their ability to deliver the message of Jesus Christ inside Hard Rock music and had a string of hit records in the “Big Metal Eighties” and were a staple on the MTV channel back during this original heyday. After several years of absence from the public eye the band reunited and toured once again in support of their Greatest Hits package “7: The Best Of Stryper”. From this short tour a live album was recorded and released entitled “7 Weeks Live In America”. Around the time of the release I had the chance to speak with Michael on the telephone. We discussed life, music, Stryper and his solo efforts. Below is the transcription of this conversation.

KP – Hello Michael how are you man?

MS – Hey how you doing, I am fine and just getting ready for the game tonight you know.
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PiercingMetal Talks To King Diamond (10/7/2004)

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Artist: King Diamond
Interview Date: 10/7/2004
Label: Metal Blade Records
Interviewer: Ken Pierce

King Diamond……..need I say more? King Diamond is truly the Master Of Terror when it comes to Heavy Metal music. The man is a legend in Metal and not only for his work with Mercyful Fate but also for the prolific solo career which he embarked on afterward. For years he has been weaving tales of despair and intrigue and like the mere mortals we are, we follow him into the Darkness on a continual basis. I had the sinister pleasure of speaking to King Diamond via the telephone about his recent release of “Deadly Lullaby’s – Live” and whatever else came to mind. Here is a transcription of that conversation.

KP – Hello King Diamond how are you today

King Diamond – Good how are you Ken

KP – Great man, I totally expected a different voice on the phone, you know something a little more sinister.

King Diamond – (changes his tone dramatically) Oh you mean like thisssss.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer

Artist: Jon Schaffer
Interview Date: 5/20/2005
Label: SPV Records

Jon Schaffer has been a busy man for a long time. Most noted for his excellence in Heavy Metal as the Founder of Iced Earth, the guitarist has just completed the DVD “Gettysburg” which is a great companion to the CD “The Glorious Burden”. This CD has received a large amount of critical acclaim and features Tim Owens, from Judas Priest as Vocalist. In addition to this, Jon has finished the latest epic from Demons & Wizards, a Power Metal project with Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian. Thanks to SPV Records I was able to sit down with Jon and discuss these and other matters of Metal. Below is the transcription of our conversation.

KP – Jon it’s a great honor to sit with you and cover a few topics today be they Iced Earth or Demons & Wizards and some other stuff that’s on your mind. Let me start it all by asking how your health has been these days, especially your back as we know you had all that stuff going on with the surgery and all.

SCHAFFER – Yeah It’s better than it had been in awhile in fact I guess when we were touring which was the wrapping up of the first leg of the “Glorious Burden” tour I was really suffering and by the end of the American Shows and doing the European Festival that we did it was really bad so I did have another surgery back in November of 2004 and I have had a lot of physical therapy and I think we are on the road to recovery here. It’s just it’s a long process and it’s (pauses) one thing to say it’s not that performing on stage makes it bad but it’s everything you have to do to perform onstage makes it bad . You know, traveling in a bus and bouncing around all night in a bunk and it’s not very restful. It never is when you are on tour doing that kind of stuff so you know that’s the problem is that this stuff always seems to inflame it when we go on tour and it makes it harder. But I think what I’m doing now and the kind of therapy that I am doing is the right thing and this all is obviously not related to my neck. That was a different problem from when I injured it back in 1996 back in Berlin and I had surgery in 2000. That actually has been doing really well and I’ve been doing pretty well with that. The low-back thing started a few years ago and it has just gotten progressively towards a pretty serious problem. Yet it seems like we’re on the right track. I’ve had a couple of months here where I’m in more comfortable than I have been in a long time and that’s a good thing. So we’ll see I just have to keep up the therapy.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Force Of Evil’s Hank Shermann

Photo - Hank Shermann - Force Of Evil

Guitarist Hank Shermann has long been a powerful creative force in Heavy Metal music. For years he combined efforts with King Diamond in Mercyful Fate and brought a sense of horror and evil to the front for Metal fans worldwide. Now, working with long time collaborator Michael Denner he has formed Force Of Evil. This no nonsense act is sure to please all fans of his work. Currently their release “Black Empire” (the second CD by the group) is receiving critical acclaim and a tour is being discussed. Hank took the time to answer a number of questions and we present them to you now.

PIERCINGMETAL: Hank it is great to get the chance to talk to you about your newest band “Force Of Evil”. The first CD was a very exciting and heavy piece of music. Now with “Black Empire” being released tell me about the response you have been getting from the followers you have had over the years.

HANK SHERMANN: Everyone seems to “dig” the new piece of music, which of course makes everyone in the proud. We always do our best at the moment of recording, so positive feedback is a nice reward.
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