Interview with Mark "M.E." Edwards (guitar)
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: December 20, 2004
Overlorde broke up in the late 80s and now you're back - good! How did this reunion happen?
Hail Raider Michel! Thank you for the chance to do an interview with Metal Crypt, and for your support these past few years!
How did the reunion happen? Well, in December 1999 our drummer, Dave, was contacted to see if he had any leftover vinyl EPs. His PO Box was the one used on the EP cover and he still owned that PO box in 1999.
Kong, Dave and I met in February 2000 to discuss all this because we were quite shocked. Until that time we had no idea anyone outside the New Jersey area knew about Overlorde since our EP had been self released just in our area. So we decided to see if there was really an interest in us and if so, maybe we should reunite. At this time Manos Koufakis inquired about doing an interview with Dave in his magazine STEEL CONJURING and that got things really rolling. We made the reunion official in July 2000.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the line-up is slightly different than when the band split in the late 80s? Did you approach all of the former members when the idea came to re-form the band?
No, we did not approach Pat because he and Overlorde had parted ways, and we had gotten a new singer, even before we broke up in late 1988 or early 1989. We decided it would be best to invite neither singer and look for someone new.
Had Bobby Lucas already left Seven Witches when you approached him? How did he come to join Overlorde?
I believe he had just left the band or had decided he would be leaving. Kong and I met Bobby during our final 30 minutes attending POWERMAD Metalfest in Baltimore in August 2000. Bobby was also in another band called EXHIBITION at the same time as Seven Witches, and Exhibition was playing the next day.
Since Kong and I were there in part to meet singers, we ended up speaking with Bobby a bit. We found out he lived only a few towns away from me in New Jersey, and that he actually remembered seeing us in the 80's and wishing he was our singer! So we hooked up not too long after that, and the OVERLORDE 2000 demo was released in November. I guess it was destiny that we drove a few hundred miles to meet a singer that lived a few towns away from me and 30 minutes later we would have missed even meeting him.
What did you guys do between the breakup and the reunion? I understand you didn't exactly sit in front of the TV. :)
Kong, Dave and I stayed in contact, with Kong and I having a close friendship. We all pursued music in some form, but nobody ever made it to the point of signing with a label. Besides some cover bands, the most notable original acts we were in were PERSIA (Dave), FINAL PLEA (Kong) and I was in BREAKER M.E. as well as doing solo instrumental recordings.
I noticed that the larger metal labels do not seem to be interested much into classic heavy metal - they pretty much just sign the "flavor of the month" type of band nowadays - Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast and Century Media are good examples - they probably have too many bands on their roster anyway. What do you think of that? Will a band such as Overlorde be better served by a label the size of Sonic Age?
I think it is definitely true that a smaller label like Sonic Age is working out better for us. The people who run Sonic Age are dedicated and hard working. They have a focused vision. I think that for us, it has been a very good match. Hopefully our efforts will benefit each other and both the band and label can move forward successfully.
How did the deal with Sonic Age happen? I know you guys had been label-hunting for a while...
In the summer 0f 2003, Manos Koufakis contacted me. As I mentioned eariler, Manos had been the key person who originally inspired our reunion in 2000. He is one of the original Overlorde Force Recon "Pathfinders" and was the first to approach us about an interview back then. Anyway, between 2000 and 2003 he had started a label called CULT METAL CLASSICS on which he was re-releasing classic metal albums. He contacted me in the summer of 2003 to tell me he had begun releasing new recordings and was ready to talk to us about a deal. It all went from there, and Manos added the Sonic Age label basically to separate the re-releases from the new releases.
How long has the band worked on what became " Return of the Snow Giant"?
Depends on your definition of "working on". This album has really been in the works since the 80's. All the songs were written back when were were originally together from 1985 to 1988. Though Bobby contributed new lyrics to some in 2000 when he joined.
Who came up with the idea of using the CafePress web store for merchandising? There's quite a variety of items available there. Is that your only source for merchandising, or do you get t-shirts and other stuff made elsewhere too?
Dave came up with that. We do sell shirts that we have printed ourselves, and are also working out a merchandising deal for Europe.
Regarding the fan club, who came up with the concept of Force Recon? Could you describe the various "ranks"? (yeah, I know, you've been asked this many times before :))
Hey, no more so than any other question! But it was me who came up with the concept. When Kong, Dave and I met in February 2000 to discuss a possible reunion, we decided to start www.overlorde.com and get fan feedback before deciding to reunite for sure. As part of that, we started Force Recon. Sort of a fan club/cyber street team/community. This to help us decide upon the reunion. We figured if people were signing up, then it might be worth making the reunion official. "Force Recon" was a cool name for it since it was a good military tie-in to the name Overlorde. The ranks, or more appropriately "unit designations", correspond to the membership number. They go in groups of 100. The first 100 are "Pathfinders". Just like airborne pathfinders, who are the first to drop behind enemy lines and prepare the landing zone, these were the first fans to join and it was their encouragement that convinced us to reunite, thus "preparing the landing zone". The subsequent designations have been RANGERS, RAIDERS, and now MARAUDERS are currently being recruited. Each designation reflects a famous military unit known for going the extra mile. Just as you have by your continued support! Your designation is RAIDER.
How's the fan club doing so far? Do you have any kind of statistics as to where there are more members?
We are up to member number 308, so we have just started recruiting the Marauders. The slight majority are here in the USA because the few live shows we've played since we reunited have been here in the USA.
I've seen one place that sells your 1987 EP for US$200. Of course the band has nothing to do with this, but do you have any thoughts on that?
Its a mixed thing for us. Yeah, we hate seeing people have to pay that much. But on the other hand, this helped create the buzz that eventually got us this record deal.
Have you thought of re-issuing the 1987 EP? I think that was only available on vinyl? (I don't mind that, but there are a lot of whiny digital kids out there - hehe.)
It has been discussed. No definite plans yet, though. Of course the obvious label to do so would be Cult Metal Classics...
The new album includes the songs from the 2000 demo. Is the demo still available for those who want it?
Yes, we do still have copies left over along with some other merchandise at www.overlorde.com.
Did you play a lot of shows back in the 80s? What are your best and worst memories?
We played a lot in the NJ/NY area. Best memory? Maybe the PARK VILLA II in Staten Island. The P.A. system had such great bottom end that it made the stage rumble and it was a great crowd. Worst memory? Hmmm... maybe our very first show at THE SHOWPLACE in Dover NJ. I wore glasses back then and they fogged up on me. I played the entire set having to look out this one little clear section at the bottom of my left lens!
How did you like playing at the Classic Metal Fest in Cleveland back in 2002, despite the low attendance?
The crowd was great. It was a fun time for sure. I got to have my picture taken with Lips from ANVIL, with us crossing our Flying V's backstage.
You recently played in New Hampshire. How did things go? How was the crowd's reaction to your set?
That would be METAL NATION: NORTHERN AGGRESSION I. Once again the crowd was very receptive.
Are any of you guys currently into any other bands or side-projects?
Bobby has reformed his old band MORBID SIN. Neither Dave or Kong has another original band currently. I have some things I'd like to work on but only when time finally allows. Though I do have my instrumental CDr demo, "G.W.A.(Guitar with Attitude)" available for sale.
What's been on your playlist lately, say the 5 albums you've been listening to the most recently?
IRON MAIDEN- Dance of Death
IRON MAIDEN- Brave New World
MELIAH RAGE- Barely Human
SEVEN WITCHES- Year of the Witch
FALCONER (the debut)
Well will you look at that, I'm out of questions! Thanks for your time! Would you like to add anything else?
Just to thank you once again for the opportunity to do this interview, and to thank you for the great review of RETURN OF THE SNOW GIANT. I'd also like to send a "Hail and Huzzah!" out to all the members of Force Recon, and encourage any new fans to visit www.overlorde.com and sign up!
Across the sea amidst the horizon, Overlorde forever binds us!
|Other information about Overlorde on this site|
|Review: Overlorde 2000|
|Review: Return of the Snow Giant|
|Video: Snow Giant|
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