METAL CHURCH’s Mike Howe talks about ‘Damned if You Do’

The mighty Metal Church releases the new album ‘Damned if You Do’ on December 7th – a good reason to contact frontman Mike Howe for getting some more insights and information about the new longplayer.

As with all the previous Metal Church records with Mike Howe on vocal duties also this time it was the singer together with Kurdt Vanderhoof that wrote the tracks for Metal Church’s 12th album a record. According to Howe the album reflects Metal Church with 100%: “I believe the fans will get what they have come to expect from Metal Church. A straight forward slamming heavy metal record.”

The new disc has a bit of an unusual start with the ‘hmmm’s’, inspired by Mike Howe’s passion for yoga. “I do yoga so I always wanted to incorporate some sort of chant into a song. So I experimented on this song and we were both very happy with the end result. I think it adds a cool element to the entire song and ties it all together.”

Furthermore, lyrics are inspired by “things around us in life. The state of politics, what’s happening in our personal life etc. and write songs to get our frustrations out. I believe that’s what heavy metal is about. Getting out your frustrations in a constructive and healthy way.” In this context the title and the artwork of ‘Damned if You Do’ can be interpreted very widely and individually. The original thinking behind the name still remains a ‘secret’, but I guess that everybody has an individual interpretation of why you’re damned if you do something specific.

Metal Church and its five band members, that is a very strong unit. It’s certainly one of the main factors for releasing great metal records and the frontman describes it as: “We are all very fond and respectful of each other.”

This brings us to planned touring activities. Some dates, like a show at Bang Your Head festival in Germany, are already confirmed and according to Mike Howe, Metal Church is “currently working on all touring matters right now.”   The setlist of these shows will be for sure an exciting one and there is one thing almost for certain. Metal Church isn’t interested in following a trend of playing earlier band classics in its entirety. The quintet lives very much in the here and now, something that also doesn’t lead to comparisons between old an new records. Mike Howe explains: “I tend not to look back and live in the moment. I’m back in the band for new music. I’m not one for nostalgia. Also we are too close to the music to have that kind of perspective. So I guess I would have to say the new album is the freshest most exciting one to date. “

Photo: Melissa Castro 

Last but not least Mike Howe also has a message for all Metal Church fans: “As always I am forever grateful to all of the Metal Church fans who allow us to keep our music alive. Peace.” What could better round off an article than such a statement?

In case you want to know more about the album and the songs, don’t miss the review of Metal Church’s ‘Damned if You Do’ on MHMB.

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