John Macko of FIFTH ANGEL talks about new album

Fifth Angel was one of the most exciting melodic metal band in the 80’s. Their two albums, ‘Fifth Angel’ and ‘Time Will Tell’ are timeless classics, including great songs like ‘Cathedral’, ‘In the Fallout’ and ‘Fifth Angel’. Unfortunately band members went their separate ways in 1990.   

After a long time without Fifth Angel some signs of life were noticeable in 2010. Things got even more exciting when the band recently announced that they inked a new record deal with Nuclear Blast with a new album being on its way. This is enough reason to check for some additional news and info about this recent development. MHMB had the chance to ask some questions to the band and it was bassist John Macko that gave insights into the current work and the upcoming album. Fifth Angels is back, that’s for sure.


Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: Hello everybody. This is Markus from Markus’ Heavy Music Blog and it’s great having the chance to get some insights about what’s happening at the moment when it comes to Fifth Angel. I hope things are going well at the moment.

John Macko: Yes, thank you Markus! We would happy to fill you in!


MHMB: There are some exciting news about Fifth Angel having inked a deal with Nuclear Blast for a new Fifth Angel album. Can you tell a bit about how this cooperation was established?

JM: Jaap Wagemaker, head of A&R for Nuclear Blast was present for our performance at the 2017 KIT festival and he was very impressed with our show and wound up speaking to a few us afterwards and heard some of Kendall’s demos, which prompted him to ask if we would want to make a new record with them, so over the course of several months we sent them 3 new demos which sparked the contract offer.


MHMB: There was a lot of positive feedback when the deal was announced. Were you surprised that there are still so many Fifth Angel fans around after an absence of almost three decades?

JM: Absolutely! We had no idea! But we are grateful they hung in there!


MHMB: Such a new deal also means that a new longplayer is on its way. Can you mention in some words what fans can expect of a new Fifth Angel album?

JM: They can expect another great record like the first two with great songs, melodies and lyrics that will hopefully move them. This record is definitely heavier than “Time Will Tell”, probably leaning more towards the first record.


MHMB: The kick-start for re-vitalizing the band was in 2010 when you played the KIT festival in Germany. Was it planned as a one-time show or have there already been plans to bring Fifth Angel back to life?

JM: Initially it was just a one-time thing, but after that show we did try to bring the band back to life, but for one reason after another, things just didn’t fall into place and the momentum died out.


MHMB: How easy or difficult was it to bring the band together for such a show?

JM: Well for both shows, it wasn’t easy! We didn’t have all the original members and it had been a long time since we performed. There is a lot of work in putting a show together, especially when you headline!


MHMB: Was there something special with this show that sparked the fire? It seems like things felt extremely good for each of you and that the show created hunger for more Fifth Angel.

JM: I’m assuming you are referring to the 2017 KIT show? I wouldn’t say there was anything special other than we were a bit more prepared having done the festival in 2010. I think we were just in better shape musically and mentally and a bit more relaxed on stage.


MHMB: Fifth Angel has released two albums in the second half of the eighties. These records created some magic and still belong to the best, melodic heavy metal brought up to surface. It’s almost 30 years that ‘Time Will Tell’ has seen the light of day and how would you describe the sound from these early days compared with the new material for the next album.

JM: As I mentioned before, we wanted to stay true to the old style as much as possible focusing on what Fifth Angel does best, and that is write great songs! Songs that are memorable and have strong hook lines that the fans can sing along too. The main difference is going to be modern production; this record is going to sound bigger and more in your face!


MHMB: Another question is about the line-up. Who is currently in the band?

JM: At this point in time it is just Kendall Bechtel, Ken Mary and John Macko. Ed Archer decided to step down for personal reasons.


MHMB: Next to a new album there has been a reissue of the first two longplayers via Metal Blade. How does it feel, having these two records again back in the offer?

JM: We are thrilled for the fans!


MHMB: We mentioned the 2010 KIT show and the question is if Fifth Angel planned, with all the current activities, some upcoming Fifth Angel live shows?

JM: We defiantly would like to play more shows and hope that there will be some touring in the near future, but we have to see first how the new record will be received?


MHMB: Is there anything more you want to share with the readers and fans?

JM: We want them to know that even though past band members are no longer with us that we did our best to stay true to first two records, while bringing it into current times.  We have all changed over the years with life experiences and new ideas, nobody stays the same and it’s impossible to re-create the past. There is only the now and the future. Our goal with this record was to try to create art that had a great energy and emotion, and capture that special quality that you cannot put into words.  You know it when you hear it. Sometimes you put on a record for the first time and you just hear that something magical has happened. That is what we wanted to do with this album, and for us we feel very, very strongly that we put everything we have into this album. We only hope our fans agree!!


MHMB: Thanks a lot for spending some time with Markus’ Heavy Music Blog and I’m very much looking forward to the new album.

JM: Thank you Markus for supporting us!


Photo: Nuclear Blast (Promo)

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