Emo Mowery of Tiwanaku and ex-Nocturnus - interview by Nailer

For those who aren't familiar or too lazy to use Google, can you decribe where the band's name came from:

Tiwanaku (tee-wa-na-koo), also spelled Tiahuanaco, lies in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia near the Southern Peruvian border. There have been mixed reports on how old this site actually is. I tend to believe the report that it is about 17,000 years old!! Yes, that’s older than they say Stonehenge is which makes Tiwanaku the oldest known site still standing in the world. This ancient site is rumored to have been a focal point for the arrival of extra-terrestrials thousands of years ago on this planet. There is also rumors that these ancient visitors are the ancestors of man. The main focal point of this tremendous city is a monolith called “The Gateway to the Sun”. Ancient legends tell tales that this gateway was used as a door for transportation to other dimensions.

There is a bunch of information out there about this killer location that we have named our band after!! To me it just seemed a fitting name for the band!! Since I was a kid, and now, I have loved to read, write and watch about ancient archeological sites, UFO, strange phenomena, religious hoaxes, Sci-fi and Sci-fact stuff. I am also one that is searching for the true origin of the human race. Yeah, I know good luck right!!?? HAHA! But all of this stuff will intrigue me until the day I die!! A very fitting name for the band due to our song topics and background.

Can you describe the music on the demo:

To me the music on the demo is like a metal gumbo. You will hear many different genres of metal in these songs. With 2 totally different styles of vocals, our musical possibilities are endless. I think the focal point of the band is the whole picture and not just one thing. With the technical riffing to the groove riffing, the wacked out keyboards, and awesome guitar solos and drumming. I feel we present the whole package very well. The one thing that I think people will recognize right off the bat is how we blend our vocal styles. The power of both vocals will push your speakers to the limits of buckling under the pressure!! HAHA! Wade and I both, even before we met, wanted to do a dual vocal thing with singers of each of our likes!! We got what we both were looking for!!!

Is Tiwanaku going to be a full-time band or more of a side project?

Tiwanaku will be a full-time band. We also have a progressive metal band called Leash Law which will be a full-time band as well. I mean I guess its all in the way you look at it. With Richard in Iced Earth and Rick in the Rob Rock band our scheduling will have to be carefully planned. But we have all seen musicians playing in many different bands haven’t we? I don’t foresee a huge problem with the coordination of it all. Like anything you do in this fucked up world, for certain times and there are certain priorities that have to be considered. It’s all a matter of patience and having a good coordinating head on our shoulders. It’s been done before.

Whose idea was it to combine your growling vocals with Wade's Halford-esq pipes?

I can say that I initiated the idea and got the ball rolling on it. But like I said before Wade and I both wanted to do something like this before we met so generally it was both of us that had the idea.

Knowing that you're looking for a deal, how has the response been from the industry?

Well the reactions, for the most part, have been very good! Don’t get me wrong though! There have been some bad ones!! HAHA! To me, so far, it seems like this band is going to be a love or hate band. Just for the fact that the vocals styles are so different. I think if listeners are open minded enough to understand what the band is about then they should be open minded enough to accept us for what we are and what we sound like.

So far there have been a few offers from the industry but nothing super solid yet. The market is pretty slow right now. I believe that there are many labels that would like to pick us up but they are reluctant to take the chance on something as experimental as this band. We will find the right label for this band!! Time is not important to us!! The right label that wants to work with us is what is important to us!! We are willing to be patient and do the right thing and not jump the gun just to get signed.

Can you write a little about the songs on the demo:

Illusion – This song is about how closed minded many people are in this world about religion. Religion is a man-made thing as far as I am concerned. Who is to say one thing is true and another isn’t? Is all of this shit really true? To be honest with you I am just not quite sure!! Who can actually say that, 100%, they know what they are reading and being told is true? No one! I have to see something to truly believe it and that’s what this song is about. Was this an “illusion” that was put here, on this planet, thousands of years ago to stray us all of the truth of what happens when you die? Or where mankind came from? We are not talking about any particular religion here either! It’s all of them!

So, do you personally practice any standardized religion, Emo?

No, I do not.

Magnacore – This song is a story about a planetary imbalance at the core of the earth. The human race fights to save the planet while other unknown forces fight against the human race to let the planet die. With having to drill through to the core of the earth to release a pressure built up over centuries of churning, mankind fights through the obstacles to do this. I will leave the end of this story to the listener’s imagination and reading of the lyrics when they come out.

Shockwaves – Shockwaves is about the curtain that was drawn between mankind and the powers that actually run this world. The Illuminati. This can also be read about in books and all over the internet.

A secret cabal that is running the world right now. Could this really occur given the diversity and selfishness of individual human interests in the world?

I'm sure there's a possibility that something like this is going on but then again who am I to say there really is? There may not be and the curtain I talk about is merely wrapped around my neck cutting off my circulation!! HAHA! People can take the TIWANAKU song content however they want to, whether they want it to be fictional or non-fictional. It's up to them. I'm not doing this to preach anything to anyone that's for sure!!

What If – What If is a song that asks the listener what they would think this world would be like without all the government cover-ups, lies, hoaxes and also asks: what If all these subjects that this band talks about in the songs were true or not true? It’s scary to think about what this world would be like if we weren’t under all of this deception and untruth.

Can you walk us through your recording process for the demo?

Well we recorded all of the drum tracks at Audio Hammer Studios in Orlando. Then we brought the finished drum tracks back to my home studio and put the rest on top of them. With the exception of Rick's solos. He recorded those, very tastefully, at his home in Orlando and then mailed them, on a cd, to me and I put them in there. I did the rhythm guitars first, then the bass, then the keys, and then Wade and I did our vocals. Then Chris Anderson, Wade, and I mixed it and then Chris Anderson and I mastered it.

In the demo notes, you're encouraging people to spread your music around by the Internet and other means. I'm assuming that to you, the songs are value-added pieces that are helping to sell the total band experience (concerts, merchandise, etc). Is this an accurate statement?

The reason we put that on the back of the cd was just to let people know that the band doesn’t mind this demo going into file sharing programs or being burnt and passed. We want Tiwanaku to be heard! This is the fastest way to do that these days. Not that we are in a hurry but the faster we are heard and enjoyed by people, the faster we will have the ability to get out there and show them what we are all about live. Don’t get me wrong we have sent out a shitload of cds but I knew there would be a time when the cds ran out.

Do you think more bands are going to have to use songs this way or do you forsee a healthy compromise with the industry?

Not necessarily. It seems most bands out there are just trying to do what they love to do. I know there are many musicians out there that just change their style to meet the popular thing that is going on at the time. But who am I to say that bands will start doing the same thing that we are doing. I can’t predict that. I would love to see the metal industry produce something new and fresh but all I can say there is good fucking luck! Soooo much has already been done. We just put our own twist on this.

Wade Black - vocals
Emo Mowery - guitar/vocals
Rick Renstrom - guitars
Richard Christy - drums

Band Website
Email (serious inquiries please)

Since the industry still seems to be dominated by the same commercial acts from a few years ago (Disturbed, Godsmack, Manson, Korn, etc.), do you see any new trends developing in the underground?

I don't see any new trends catching on quite yet but it sure would be nice to hear some fresh metal!! I also would love to hear the guitar solo come back into the mix a little more often than not. I mean don't get me wrong, to put a solo in a song "just to do it" isn't the way I would like to hear it, but to completely forget that they exist and not put them in the music at all is insane!!

So, how does the studio time get paid for?

I guess you are either asking if we have a financial backer or what we do to make money. Well, we don’t have a backer. Actually, our backer is us right now. Financially, Wade and I take care of what needs to be paid for, for Tiwanaku. I have a degree in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and have a job doing so. Wade owns his business with his Dad. It’s an automotive type company. They buy, sell, restore and detail vehicles. As you know though we are looking for a recording deal to help us take care of some of these expenses and get the name out there, among other things.

Emo, what led to the breakup of your prior band Nocturnus?

There were a lot of reasons. We were working on material for the next release and we started running into the same problems we were before we broke up in 1993. Lineup changes and people not showing up for practice on a regular basis were the first things to start. Another reason was the fact that I was the only one who wanted to tour. This made it very hard for me. I wasn’t just this though. I think the main reason was that there was conflict of interest in which direction to take the music which made the situation really hard to deal with for everyone and in turn made more problems occur like disbanding.

"...the band doesn’t mind this demo going into file sharing programs or being burnt and passed."
Don’t get me wrong on this!!! Playing in Nocturnus was the door that finally opened me up to the metal scene. I appreciate being given the shot to play with the band. I did get to tour with them back in 1992, got to do the Alter Reality video, and recorded the Possess the Priest EP and Ethereal Tomb cd. I got a lot out of the whole situation!! I very much enjoyed playing with the band and do miss it sometimes. RIP Nocturnus! But metal must go on!!

Changing the pace a little: What performer would you like to perform with that you haven't already?

Shit man that list could be a mile long!! HAHA! To tell you the truth I would rather be doing my own thing musically, like I am, but if I had the chance to perform a song or show with someone it would have to be a toss up between Mr. Halford, Mr. Dickinson, or Mr. Ozbourne!! The band I would want to perform with would be Hollenthon. Martin’s music is fucking awesome and would be very fun to play!!

Who can put away more beer in one sitting: you or Wade Black?

HAHAHAHAHA!! Well I guess it would depend on the day of the week!! We both can put away a LOT of beers!! It would depend on which one of us had a few the night before I guess!! HAHA! I would say it would probably me though. I am bigger than Wade. More room!! HAHA!

Have you talked him into detailing your car for free yet?

HAHAHAHAHA!! No. He actually has offered but I have been too lazy to take my Jeep down there!

What kind of CDs are in Emo's player currently?

My cd player has a number of different cds in it or around it. I guess what I am listening to the most right now is the new Dimmu Borgir (Death Cult Armageddon). It’s the newest thing I have. Also would be an array of Pink Floyd cds, Judas Priest (Screaming for Vengeance), Hollenthon (With Vilest Worms to Dwell), and a number of cds with new Tiwanaku and Leash Law material/riffs on them.

So, what do you like to do when you're not playing metal and doing computer work?

I also play guitar in a prog band with the rest of the Tiwanaku members called Leash Law!! Here check it out for yourselves!! --[Link]-- The song up there is a demo song. But between work, two bands, reading and watching the books and the videos that I like (mentioned in another question), and a few beers here and there, that keeps me ultra-busy. But when there's time I like to watch football!! Go Steelers!! You'd think I was from the metal city of Pittsburgh but I am not. Just liked that team since I was a kid. Ironic huh? I also like hockey!! Go Lightning!! Isn't it funny that a Floridian "ice hockey" team got me into hockey!! Also the occasional video game is a cool thing too!!

Does it ever bug you that your first name is the same as that trendy "emo" movement?

HAHAHHA! Damn!! You’re killing me man! No it really doesn’t bug me. I mean at first I was a little perturbed that this music got that name but I realized that I have had this name a lot longer than that style of music has been called that so fuck it.

Do you believe that we've been visited by aliens from other planets other than Danzig?

Yes indeed! For a lot longer than we know!

You said earlier that you have "to see something to believe it," though. Do you have some information we don't?

No I don't necessarily have any info that can't be found elsewhere!! HAHA! Naw I have seen some things before, like many people, that I could not explain and neither could the people I was with, but it's all in what your perception is on these things. But no, I don't know anything that anyone else doesn't hahaha!

Would you rather just live quietly in ignorant bliss or be told the absolute Truth of how the world is run if it would bring mental torment?

To know the truth about things is what I have always strived for. If it were to bring on mental torment than so be it! I'd rather know the truth!! My mental torment is not knowing!! So whether I know the truth or not, and the truth is tormenting, I guess I will be tormented for the rest of my life huh??!! HAHA!

What one question would you like to ask these metal gods:

Okay man these are all off the top of my head here!! HAHA!

Ozzy – Any way you could squeeze us into Ozzfest man?
Rob Halford – Hows it feel to be the metal king?
Bruce Dickinson – How do you keep that power and stamina that you have vocally?
Ronnie Dio – Did you know that I got my ass kicked at my first Dio concert, when I was 14, by a HUGE mexican fella? HAHA!
Gene Simmons – 10,000 chicks huh?
James Hetfield – Did you invent the word “YEAHH-HHEEEEAAAAAUHHHHHH!!!?
Steven Tyler – Did you like, uhhh huh huh, get to bang Britney Spears after that Superbowl halftime show n stuff? Uhhh huh huh!
David Lee Roth – Did you rip your nutsack with those splits you used to do?
Angus Young – How many SG’s have you gone through?
Vince Neil – Why don’t you race cars anymore?
Ted Nuget – Got any fresh game to throw on the grill?
King Diamond – Is it good to be the king?
King Fowley – Never heard of him? Sorry!
Wade Black – Can you hand me a beer out of that cooler dude?

Any plans for touring or playing some gigs from you guys?

Yes we plan to do it all! Live gigs are in the not so far away future and touring is on the list of to do’s for us too!!

How can somebody get a copy of your demo or your music?

If you go to http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/630/tiwanakuband.html you can hear three songs off of the demo. Soon there will be an official Tiwanaku website with the whole thing to hear and see!! It’s under construction right now but it will be www.tiwanakuband.com when the time comes.

What's next for Tiwanaku?

Well, right this minute a few beers!! Its Friday, man!! HAHA! Naw really, the objective right now, and until it happens, is to find a good working situation with a good label. Also, we are working on new material and plan to play some live shows.

Where do you plan to play your shows--the Florida area?

Yes. More than likely our first shows will be here in Florida. But we want to tour wherever we can so I'm sure we will eventually branch out when the time comes!!

Any final thoughts?

Yes I would like to thank you and www.maximummetal.com for the interview and review of our latest demo!! Also I would like to thank everyone, you all know who you are, that helped us get this demo finished!! Especially Chris Anderson for all of the recording tips over the years and the mixing and mastering help!! Hey! Hey what’s up deeed!!!??? Hey! Hey what’s up deeed!!!??? Er, er, er er, er er er!! Plus all of the people that have been listening to this demo and all of their great comments whether they were good or bad. Be on the lookout for Tiwanaku and Leash Law people!! We’re coming!!!!! And we are going to bring it on strong!!


Emo MoweryFrank Hill10/6/2003

Frank Hill8/29/2003

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