!!!OCCULT HEAVY METAL FROM THE USA!!!
We had a conversation with JR Preston (Vocals) & Scott Michaels (Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about VIRGIN IDOL (Members, Starting Year
JR Preston: We're a heavy metal band. We officially started in November of 2020z This band provides what any real metalhead would want. You get bombastic, ripping, tearing guitars provided by Scott Michaels. You get barnburning, apocalyptic, stormbringing drums brought to you by Chris Reed.
To top it off, bloodcurdling screams, courtesy of me.
You have recently released your album ''Virgin Idol''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
JR Preston: The feedback has been very loud.
Scott: The feedback has been incredible from people all over the world - Europe has been (for the most part) amazingly receptive to us. This is, of course, our first album - this style and raw production is not for everyone, and we understand that. There’s more to come. Press has been great for the most part! There are some jaded reviewers and some great ones - we just shrug at the negative and go on. It won’t keep us from doing what we do.
Label or DIY and why?
JR Preston: I like working with Super Sargasso Records. It's been a wonderful experience. So I'm going to go "label" on this question. Sometimes when I'm drinking blood at night, I think of the advantages of labels over DIY and I laugh.
Scott: Super Sargasso has been a wonderful label to work with. I think the advantages of a label over DIY are numerous. If it’s a good label, all you should have to focus on is the creative, vision-based, and musical aspect. We’ve been fortunate enough to fall in the hands of a great label.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
JR Preston: I prefer anything you can put music on. I just enjoy having ears and being able to hear music. Vinyl is extremely important to me. When I was a child, hearing "Don't Break the Oath" on an old turntable, that's real heavy metal power. Very dark power.
Scott: I collect all 3 physical formats! I miss the days of being a kid in the late 90’s looking for cool album covers and taking a chance on a band, to be honest.
Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)?
JR Preston: My favorite artist is me. My main influence is myself - but I grew up on stuff like King Diamond, Priest, and Accept.
Scott: Jeez.. so many influences to name. Sleaze Beez, Wildside, Dangerous Toys, Cinderella, W.A.S.P., London, Vain, Faster Pussycat, Pariah, first 2 Motley Crue albums, Pretty Maids, Hardline, Dokken, Ratt, Seduce, Bathory, Kreator, Sodom, Possessed, Tankard, Forbidden, Laaz Rockit, Heathen, Slayer, Exodus, Metal Church, Annihilator, Testament, King Diamond, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Mötorhead, Candlemass, Racer X, Rising Force…pretty much the tape and CD collection inherited from my dad and uncle as a 10 year old kid in 1998-1999.
Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
JR Preston: You sacrifice your soul for heavy metal or you aren't fucking heavy metal. Other than that, I've no comment on anything involving sacrifices.
Scott: Sacrifice means practice, rehearsal, writing/creative brainstorming, recording, professionalism, following up on commitments - and you have to connect with fans/media when they reach out, which I really enjoy. Sacrifice also means never falling short of your expectations whim to the desire of what reviewers and other personalities want to hear. Really, it’s sacrificing time and energy.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
JR Preston: The early Mercyful Fate shows... Alice Cooper... Kiss of course. These are the standard-bearers. A proper show is what our music needs. Going back to the previous question, I'm not willing to sacrifice the show aspect in an effort just to go out and play. It's bigger than that. It's metal.
Scott: The theatrical aspect needs to be there! Performers like King Diamond, Alice Cooper, WASP - they have it down to a science! That’s what heavy metal needs to be. That’s what it’s always been.
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
JR Preston: I don't care what other bands do. They should do whatever they want.
Scott: I agree. Music is a deeply personal expression. Who are we to tell anyone or even suggest to anyone what they should do? If it’s unique to them and it’s what they want to play, I support it! Our sound just kinda fell into place based on our individual styles, how we play, stuff we grew up listening to - let each band member have their own outlet and it will come together.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
JR Preston: I haven't thought about this that much. The business side of things is handled by others in my life but the internet certainly helped music.
Scott: We don’t really handle much of that side, but I agree - the internet has helped.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Champaign, Illinois (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
JR Preston: I don't think there is any metal scene in Central IL anymore. Actually now that I'm thinking of it, there never was one. All I ever saw were punk rock bands. We had good bands and occasional good festival shows 30 years ago but nothing like they had in the rest of the world.
Scott: Yeah, there honestly isn’t much here. The music scene is kind of a pyramid scheme in some ways. One band will do OK, the rest will copy and get a lesser result. Aside from that, we live near several major university towns - a lot of college alt rock stuff and lame country pop music.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
JR Preston: Yes and I know everyone wants to talk about Rotting Christ, which is a good band, but one of my favorite Black Metal albums is "Eosforos" by Thou Art Lord. Varathron of course. I used to listen to "His Majesty At The Swamp" before I would go to bed. Sometimes I would fall asleep to it. Not because it bored me. Because it was familiar, comforting. It's magical. Zemial. Necromantia. I love Greek Black Metal.
Scott: Flames, Thanatos Inc/Nigel Foxxe’s Inc, Ereshkigal, Thou Art Lord, Rotting Christ, Varathron, Necromantia, Zemial. All great stuff!
What are your future plans?
JR Preston: I will do my best to continue to make true heavy metal.
Scott: We’ll continue making music - if you liked side A of the debut album, you’ll love the 2nd album with more punch. We were very much finding our sound on this first album. Side B (Demon Night, Heartshaker, Russian Roulette) was our earliest material written/recorded.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
JR Preston: Thank you; it was an honor to be interviewed by you!
Scott: Awesome interview! Thank you for speaking with us - and stay tuned! Hope to speak again soon.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.
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