|Hey Derrick, thanks alot for allowing us some of your time. Its good to finally catch up to you guys. Man, you have really been on the move of late, playing shows all over the place in the last few weeks. Have you had a pretty good summer of touring thus far? |
Yeah, we've had a great summer. Everything has gone well and moving at a rapid pace. Looking forward to wrapping the "No Boundaries" tour up this Fall.
How did the gig go last week at the Metal Mindrage II in Baltimore? That fest really looked good on paper with Meliah Rage doing the reunion thing and some newer acts like Zandelle and Winterfell.
There is no doubt that the bands played well. Everyone had their "A Games" so to speak. The turnout was low, but with all of the bands from across the region, it came to be a good metal night in whole. We definitely enjoyed it and have received a lot of positive feedback from it.
Were there any bands there that really caught your ear or impressed you live?
I liked, "Twilight Odyssey", Pam has a great set of pipes. "Zandelle". I thought "Fatal Smile" was a strong show too.
Well I have been listening to the new Conquest record "No Boundaries" a lot lately, and I must say I really like what I'm hearing from the band. Like I mentioned in my review of the disc, I haven't heard Conquest since the "Killing Time" record years ago. What do you think is the biggest step or improvement the group has made since then?
We have just found our niche. I've been developing a sound with the changing members. The last 3 records have brought us to where we are now and now it's straight from the heart.
When was this album recorded and was it produced by the band?
It was recorded last winter and I produced it.
Did all of the band members contribute to the writing process for this release?
Basically, I write all of the songs and everyone else contributes their opinions. Mike Crook, lead guitar, occassionally throws in a hook here or there.
On the new offering, the band comes at you in different directions. Whether its hard hitting groove elements like Pantera or traditional metal like Priest and Maiden, the diversity is definitely there. A lot of metal fans in the US and even worldwide like a band to go one way. Either you are prog, power, thrash, or nu-metal. I don't think I've heard an album like "No Boundaries" since Priest released Jugulator back in 1997. The classic feel is certainly there, just done a million times heavier. Have you run into any fans who seem to want the groove elements minus the leads or the leads and melody minus the groove? In less confusing words, do you hear anyone say, "Wow, they can sound like Godsmack when they want too?" or "I really like those leads and melody, but they need to get rid of the jock-rock Pantera vibe"?
So far we haven't heard anything like that from "No Boundaries". It was equally done. We just play the songs. We don't worry if we are thrashing at a particular time or if we are going with a groove. If someone were to say they heard Godsmack and/or Pantera in our music I would respond with, "If you heard one of those bands in one of our songs - thanks for the compliment".
Is there a song or songs from the new album that you really enjoy performing live?
We like 'em all!! They are all fun to play. The energy from the fans feed us all we need to continue to play live. We prefer it. We have a strong live show because of this.
Has there been any label response to "No Boundaries"?
We have received strong praise for the record, which is overwhelming - to say the least. There has been a little bit of shuffle in the underground. We are striving hard and we have just started our attack, as it's only been a couple of months since we have released "No Boundaries". As far as the "big picture" - it takes a little longer to spread the word and we are certainly prepared to continue the quest.
With the major labels pretty much ignoring metal in the US, are you guys pretty happy just pushing your own product?
Well, I wasn't necessarily looking for a major label. But, if they are looking a different direction right now, there is nothing to say that won't change in the future. In the meantime, we get to meet a lot of new and different people. The entire journey, so to speak, has given us even more reason to continue doing what we love.
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| "We have just found our niche."|
It seems like metal has really survived on the power of the internet. Zines, discussion, tape trading, sound sampling, and concert promotion has never been easier. Conquest has a killer site online at www.conquestmetal.com. How well has internet promotion done for you guys?
It's the reason we are talking to you guys right now- It's working pretty well I'd say.(laughing) Our Webmaster/ Publicist, Jennifer Shipley, is doing a great job!
Taking a trip back in time for a minute, how long has Conquest existed?
Conquest has been around since the late 80's. We have a much stronger delivery today than we did 10 years ago. The proof is in the albums. If you get bored - come see a show. If you are TRUE fan of heavy metal, you'll appreciate what goes on.
How did the band originate and who decided on the name Conquest?
I wrote the song, "Conquest" before there was a band "Conquest". I wrote the song one night, at the kitchen table, and within 6 months - I was in the band "Conquest". An all original metal band from St. Louis, MO.
With the new record in the can, and touring in full swing for the record, when will you sit down and start writing for the next album?
We are currently in production of the next release hoping to be out late Fall. We are laying down the drum tracks now on our days home. No title has been discussed as of yet, but we are sure it please anyone who loves metal.
I know Judas Priest is one of your favorite bands so I have to ask you about the legendary "reunion". Are you pretty happy to see Halford come back to the fold?
I think anyone who is a real fan of metal - is totally ecstatic and should be. I expect good things and top quality from them. I'm looking forward to it more than anything else going on in the metal industry right now.
Were you a fan of Tim Owens?
I thought he did a fine job in replacing him. How do you fill someone's shoes who is considered a metal "God"? He did great for what he was up against.
Maiden is another Conquest favorite, have you had the opportunity to catch the US
No, since we have been out on the road so much. We haven't had the opportunity. However, we plan on it when the new album comes out. We usually catch all shows coming through when we are home.
I got to see Maiden in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago. The show was a complete sell out, but I really got to thinking about this tour. Iron Maiden are going to draw crowds, with or without openers. For this tour, they pick Dio and Motorhead. Both of those bands are excellent choices and both are very good live. But my biggest gripe with this selection is the fact that Dio and Motorhead have made their money and have already been in the metal spotlight for years. Why can't a band like Iron Maiden say they want Iced Earth, Conquest, or October 31 as their openers? Do you think they even realize there are bands in the underground waiting for the big break? Or do you think they feel there is no way a person is going to buy a ticket to watch Maiden and three underground bands?
Maiden probably could, but they don't set up the tour. Promoters do. Promoters want draw names. The underground bands couldn't pull in as many fans as Dio and Motorhead can. Even though I know it would help out the metal world enormously. Although, if you only see the verterans it would seem that our music style has lost it's luster. So, if you could see new blood - it brings a new life to the game. It would be an opportunity to be asked to do this. If a band like Iced Earth, Conquest, October 31 and many others were asked - they would be hungry enough to step up to the plate. By doing it that way - they could keep the prices of tickets down. Instead of 3 nationals - bring underground bands in on the mix and make the tickets cheaper.
Well Derrick, thanks for giving us some info on America's greatest export, Conquest. Good luck with the new record and let us know if there is anything we can do to
Thank you for the opportunity for the interview. Support metal. Support Conquest. Spread the word.