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Interviews Slough Feg

Interview with Mike Scalzi (Guitars/Vocals)

Interview conducted by Sargon the Terrible

Date online: November 9, 2003

You can call them strange, you can call them old-fashioned, but you can't say they aren't original. Ever since their 1996 debut this Bay Area band has been doing things their own way, and inheriting the prophet's usual reward. Well I say no more, as it is time these guys were recognized for what they are: One of the best Heavy Metal bands on this or any planet. Mainman Mike Scalzi (Guitars/Vocals) was good enough to grant me a few words about the band in general, and about their latest CD "Traveller".

Sargon: Slough Feg have been around for along time, how did you get started? What keeps you going?

Mike: We got started in Pennsylvania the way most bands get started, four guys in the suburbs with nothing else to do who all really liked old style metal. What keeps it going is bitterness, anger, shattered dreams, disgust and disappointment--------general spite for everything about the music scene and business----we won't let them have the satisfaction of seeing us give up!

Sargon: Was it your intention to create the weirdest band possible, or did that just happen?

Mike: No, not at all. It was to create the best, most original metal band ever---to do something no one has done before. I don't think we're that weird, we just have a lot of influences that aren't metal. Some of them aren't even rock----we take inspiration from many sources, from Broadway musicals to progressive rock to Judas Priest----the whole way across the board, if someone thinks it's to weird they can go listen to Hammerfall or some other commercial, uninspired, talentless puke like that.

Sargon: Ouch! Your previous works have been very history/fantasy based. What led to the switch to sci-fi for "Traveller"? Was it just to shake people up?

Mike: Boredom with the same theme---it gets old after a while eating the same thing for dinner every night, right? Or being with the same woman for years and years? Doesn't it? So you need change. Everyone needs change---and I like old science fiction, the album is largely influenced by Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination.

Sargon: What bands and sounds led to the sound of Slough Feg? Do any modern bands have an influence on you?

Mike: No modern bands besides underground one's like Solstice, Sacred Steel, Blind Guardian. Obviously Iron Maiden are a huge influence, and Sabbath, Beatles, Hendrix, St. Vitus, Queen----pretty obvious stuff.

Sargon: What current bands do you enjoy?

Mike: Eh, I don't like the new Blind Guardian album, but I like their other stuff. I like a lot of non-metal stuff, like early Genesis, Elvis Costello, The Good Rate, weird old stuff that no one likes.

Sargon: You toured with Twisted Tower Dire last year, was that a good tour?

Mike: Yes, it was.

(Don't swamp us with details Mike!)

Sargon: What are your plans for shows now that "Traveller" is out?

Mike: Well, someone has offered to put us on tour in Greece in January, but I don't know if it will happen for sure. We have no tour support from Dragonheart, so they won't be putting us on tour. Next summer we've been asked to do some stuff in Ireland, so maybe we'lll do that, and the Greece thing. It's tough cause we don't get any tour support, so we can't do much without a lot of help from Underground sources. I get pissed off about it a lot but what can you do?

Sargon: So you don't throw raw meat into the crowd anymore. What does the current Lord Weird Slough Feg live show consist of? Any hope for the return of Lord Malco? (For the uninitiated, Lord Malco was a friend of the band who wore a cow's pelvis on his head and threw meat into the audience during the band's live shows)

Mike: Uh, well, we haven't thrown meat for a while cause that takes a lot of preperation and you can't carry much meat on planes----and it kinda messed up the music a bit-----Lord Malco is in Pittsburgh PA now living in a residence hotel, so I don't know.

Sargon: Are you guys big gamers? The plot from "Traveller" reads like an RPG adventure. What was the origin of that?

Mike: No, no one really plays games----I used to play a bunch in high school but I really don't have time anymore, I kinda wish I did.

Sargon: I'm curious, did you get permission from GDW for use of the Traveller name and game universe?

Mike: Well, we asked them----Marc Miller the creator, but I don't think we needed permission. I talked to him about using the original Traveller artwork, but he got a bit flakey about it so I gave up. I don't think they care much about it.

Sargon: You guys have been really underground for a loooong time. Do you get sick of seeing crap bands come up from nowhere with a sound that isn't as original as yours? What do you think of the anemic scene here in the US as compared with europe?

Mike: Yes, I get pissed about it a lot, but there's not much I can do about it besides keep playing and making records. I m mostly pissed because we can't tour much----I love to play live and we don't get to do it as much as I'd like.

Sargon: I was really impressed with the artwork on "Traveller", how did you get that? Is the artist a friend or did Dragonheart procure it?

Mike: No, he's a guy named Martin Hanford from England---he's done a lot of metal artwork. He's really good at that style, he's done Bal-Sagoth album covers, and Twisted Tower Dire among others.

Sargon: I see on your site you are out of copies of your old CDs, they aren't going out of print are they?

Mike: WE don't have many CD's ourselves, because we have a hard time getting them from Dragonheart. They deal with SPV almost exclusively so they don't sell small orders, it's hard to get like 20 or 100 copies out of them at wholesale price. It kinda sucks, cause we have no real US distro----which also pisses me off.

Sargon: Any ideas or plans yet for the next album? What's in the future for The Lord Weird Slough Feg?

Mike: We have a little over half an album written now----It's gonna be very different from Traveller----it might sound kinda like the first album. A lot of experimental ethnic sounding, music - total metal of course, but not as polished as Traveller, some more weird ideas and some more song-oriented stuff. I want to get back to writing songs that all sound different and have their own special identity---story bookish stuff with lots of strange characters-----sometimes it kinda feels like we're writing the songs for little kids----but children's stories are the best stories, and they last the longest too----

Sargon: The last question is open: is there anything I didn't ask about that you'd like to mention?

Mike: We're looking for a new record deal, our contract with Dragonheart is up, and we want to find someone who will put us on tour and give us US distro---any suggestions out there?

Other information about Slough Feg on this site
Review: Traveller
Review: Twilight Of The Idols
Review: Atavism
Review: The Lord Weird Slough Feg
Review: Down Among The Deadmen
Review: Hardworlder
Review: Hardworlder
Review: Twilight Of The Idols
Review: Ape Uprising!
Review: Ape Uprising!
Review: Ape Uprising!
Review: The Animal Spirits
Review: The Animal Spirits
Review: Digital Resistance
Review: New Organon
Interview with Mike Scalzi (Vocals, guitar) on December 22, 2010 (Interviewed by Adam Kohrman)

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