Saturday, August 4, 2018

interview: Lords of the Trident

Lords of the Trident is the most metal band in the universe, and the universe is scared of the infinite power of this band and their handsomeawesomeness. The lords of the rings and the lords of the flies and the lords of war have nothing—nothing, you hear!—on the Lords of the Trident. The latest chapter of the endless cycle of renewal is called Shadows from the Past. The Lords granted this publication an exclusive opportunity to do an interview. The band promises that they will never, ever again do an interview as long as they shall live in this life or the next or the one after that one, unless another publication requests an interview, in which case they will also grant another interview, but if they do not, then they won’t. Join the crusade of steel and iron!
Greetings, Lords! How is your Kingdom of Madisson von Wiskonssin? Who are the current knights of the round table, My Lords?
Hello! The Madison life is still fabulous, as we continue to rule over the city with an iron fist. The denizens of Madison live with equal fear and respect of their Lords. In essence - Life’s good!
The current lineup is as follows: Fang VonWrathenstein (me! Lead Vocals) and Asian Metal (Lead Guitar) are the last remaining original members, and we’ve been around since the dawn of time. Pontifex Mortis (Lead Bass) is the second oldest member, as he’s been in the band for around 8 years now. Baron Tauren Helleshaar (Lead Guitar) has been in the band for 3 years, and Master Hercule “Herc” Schlagzeuger (Lead Drums) has been in the band for about 1.5 years. He’s the youngin’.
The Lords have been working hard to improve on everything and it shows. The Lords have been active for ten years, right? Did you find a brave soul to take on your mighty music of steel, My Lords?
Thank you! We’ve been active far longer than 10 years, but took a short 750-year hiatus after our ill-fated 1342 European tour (now labeled the “black plague tour” due to the ill-advised promotions of a “free rat” with every ticket purchased), and reemerged in 2008. So 10 years since then, I suppose! We record all of our albums ourselves in our cavernous studio situated in the Mohorovičić discontinuity, 13.5 miles beneath the Earth’s crust. We had to move down here to prevent earthquakes when we broke a string. Our last three albums have been mixed by the stalwart Doug Olson, engineer for the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Cheap Trick. For mastering, we’ve had Dan Harjung at the helm. He’s worked with Megadeth, Robert Plant, and many other fantastic artists before. It took us a while to find reliable mortals to work with, as many engineers would die from exposure to our raw, unmixed material.
Back in 2008 and 2009 the Lords were doing everything by themselves, campaigning amongst the peasants and subjects in the Kingdom of Madisson von Wiskonssin and the Lords roamed the realm with swords, chains and fire. What is the situation for the band in 2018? Is Junko Johnson your own label, My Lords?
The situation is very much the same, although now we bring a minion army in our wake just about everywhere we go! We try to DIY as much as possible, because although we pillage every village we do battle in, sometimes the gold we find just isn’t enough for lavish things like music videos, shirts, and know, food. We also enjoy getting our hands dirty - both during battle AND in crafting the merch that minions proudly wear! Junko Johnson Records is our own home-grown label, and we publish all our music under this moniker.
Unfortunately, I have not witnessed the Lords live in action in a long time because I live in another dimension and my horses are unable to reach the great distance of the Kingdom of Madisson von Wiskonssin. Would you mind explaining what a live show by the Lords looks like in 2018? Do you have the power to harness fire? Have you been lifting weights to increase the size of your muscles for maximum attraction, My Lords?
Ah, but your horses shouldn’t have to go too far - you see, we’ve been busy touring all over! Thanks to the bravest of our warriors on Patreon, we’ve been able to afford a new TRIDENTMobile which, thankfully, doesn’t break down every 100 miles or so. This year we’ve covered the most distance ever, including shows in North Carolina, Colorado, and across Canada!
A Lords show is truly a spectacle to behold. Yes - we do have fire. A LOT of fire. But we also have swords, sparks, armor, weapons, LEDs, and a lot of crowd participation. It’s unlike any show mortals have ever seen. For some, it’s the last show they’ll ever see, because many in the front row perish due to face-melting-syndrome. And yes - we’ve been lifting heavy rocks over and over again to try to seduce the womenfolk as best we can.
Speaking of concerts, what are your plans for bringing your show to other realms and kingdoms in 2018 and 2019? After all, you have a new album and it is only fair that you crusade for it, My Lords.
We’ve got a number of shows lined up for the remainder of 2018, including a CD release with our friends Green Death out of Des Moines. In addition, we’re currently putting plans together for 2019 touring. We tend to try to do at least one longer journey per month for pillaging purposes, and next year we’re attempting our Longest Journey (excuse the pun) ever - Japan! Failing that, we’re hitting up Germany. There will be a large number of miles put on the TRIDENTMobile next year, that’s for certain!
I keep receiving messages from Manowar, and they beg me to ask you that you please turn down your music. I told them I could check in on that request, but that I cannot make any guarantees because, well, the Lords do what they want. Are you willing to tone it down a bit, and be less metal, for Manowar’s sake, My Lords?!
Absolutely NOT! Those cowards still REFUSE to face us in battle. We’ve told them MULTIPLE times that we will take them on, band vs. band, in a steel cage. They’ve never gotten back to us! I think they’re scared, personally. “Loudest band on earth” my butt.
You have done a lyric video for the song “Burn it Down (With Fire)” and you have some guest vocals on it. Who is the guest you speak of, My Lords?
The guest is none other than Brittney Slayes from the band Unleash the Archers. We shared the stage with Archers a few years back, and invited them back to our lair to spend the night drinking and telling stories of conquest. Brittney and I hit it off while talking about opera, and I asked if she might lend her mighty vocals to our latest album. Thankfully, she agreed. I couldn’t ask for a more fantastic guest appearance on this album. She’s truly one of the strongest vocal warriors around.
Do you have more videos on the way? The first three songs “Death Dealer,” “Zero Hour” and “Tormentor” all would be good candidates for the video treatment, My Lords.
In fact, all three of those songs DO have music videos on the way! We’ve got six music videos planned for this album, and four of them are complete as of the time of this writing. I’m hard at work on #5 right now. Keep our eyes peeled for those debuts...I’m especially excited about Zero Hour’s video, as it was shot in 360 and is VR-compatible!
The song “Figaro” has some sweet shredding, but it’s really in the whole album. It’s probably the most ear-friendly song on the album, too. Your guitarists can shred, but how do you manage to keep things in proportion: Are there sword battles in the band to decide how much shredding is too much shredding and how much shredding is the perfect amount of shredding, My Lords?
The phrase “bull in a china shop” could describe the shredding capabilities of both the Baron AND Asian Metal, but strangely, their unlimited power seems to keep each other in check somehow. Don’t ask me must be a guitarist thing. They will look each other in the eyes and wordlessly, somehow...they’ll just know what the PERFECT amount of shred would be for a certain song. That being said, if you’ve ever seen the Baron do a solo guitar performance, it’s like...unbridled shred for 4-5 hours at a time.
If we’re ever in doubt, we’ll start by playing a song in front of a concrete wall and stop RIGHT when cracks start forming. Usually that’s just about the perfect amount of shred.
What is the mystery to keeping the Lords continuing making music, My Lords?
Honestly, the secret is the amazing support of our fans! While it’s very true that music doesn’t make money by traditional means (i.e. CD sales) anymore, it’s an AMAZING time to be in a band due to services like Patreon. Fans will give small (or large) amounts to us month-to-month via this “fan club” model, and in exchange they get amazing perks, like free shirts, behind-the-scenes access, fully mixed-and-mastered acoustic re-recordings of our hits monthly, official bootlegs, and much more. Due to the income we’ve got coming in via Patreon, we’ve been able to play more shows, make more music, and travel further. In essence - the income frees us to take risks. Those risks almost always mean more cool stuff happens more often.
However, I’ll never discount the impact of merchandise sales! Since we make our own shirts and DIY a lot of our own merch, a lot of the income at our merch booth goes back into the band directly. If you enjoy an artist, the best way to support them is by purchasing something from their booth!
Is money the biggest obstacle to keeping your band going, in your experience? Or, is it chemistry in the band? Or, what about the willingness of band members after all these years to keep crusading? What do you when someone’s will is getting weaker, My Lords?
It’s true - much like most things in life, money is the largest obstacle. Although we have a LOT of support on platforms like Patreon, we all still have to toil incognito during the day as mortals in day jobs. The will of all the members is clearly there, and is unwavering. The limit is just money and time. If we were all able to pursue Lords full-time, I can’t even IMAGINE how much content we’d be making! We’d be putting out so much material, people would get sick of how many albums dropped every year.
And if someone in the band IS getting a bit burnt (either mentally, or by my constant flame-throwing), I find it’s best to let them refuel in their own way. For many of us, a little alone time is all we really need. Creativity is a lot like a pitcher - you can’t constantly pour it out. It’ll eventually run out. During those times, it’s important to take time to refill the pitcher in whatever way works for you.
When you write songs, do you like to watch the Kentucky Derby a lot? The last half of the album has lots of galloping riffs. It is great music for headbanging and also for riding horses, My Lords.
Ha! You know what’s funny - we had this exact conversation last year when we were touring through Louisville during the Kentucky Derby. Did you know one of the horses was named “J-Boy’s Echo”? If you ever wanted a horse with a frat-boy name, that’s the one. But I digress…
During the recording of this album, The Baron came to us with a spreadsheet (gosh do I LOVE spreadsheets) which laid out the tempos, timestamps, and general motifs of all the songs we’d written so far. We decided that we should try to push the boundaries a bit on this release, so a lot of these songs are way more challenging musically than those in the past. I think that manifests itself in those galloping, intensity-laden riffs you hear in the music. Slow songs are just fine, as long as they’re still METAL. I mean, “Haze of the Battlefield” was 90BPM. That’s pretty slow!
Where can people hear your albums, My Lords?
Those who DARE to listen can hear our albums just about anywhere on the internet - YouTube, BandCamp, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora - we’re EVERYWHERE. Just type “Lords of the Trident” into google and we’re the first 50 pages. After that, it gets a little weird. However, If you want a one-stop-shop for everything Lords of the Trident related, our website is the best spot.
What else would you like mention, My Lords?
I’d encourage everyone to check out our Patreon. Also, we run a yearly metal festival here in Madison called MAD WITH POWER! We fill a local venue to the brim with free-play classic arcade games and pinball, and invite some of the best metal bands from all across the US to play. This year’s lineup is INCREDIBLE, and it’s also our CD release party! You can check out all the details at
Oh, wait! One more question: Aaron Rodgers told me that it is his life’s goal to watch the Lords live in action one day, but his day job keeps him busy. I told him: “You’ll get your chance, Aaron. R-E-L-A-X.” So, has he shown up at your concerts yet, My Lords?
No, but for some reason I keep seeing him all over billboards for car dealerships in Madison. Makes me wonder if he ACTUALLY endorses the local Honda dealership, or they just downloaded a stock photo of him and put it in on the billboard without telling him. Hey Aaron, if you need a crew to pillage the local Honda dealership for improper use of your persona, just let us know. I could use a new car or five.
No, wait! One more question: Can you please make a prediction about the upcoming Kingdom of Greene Baye Packers season? How far will they go?! Does your crystal ball tell you that another Lombardi trophy is coming to the Kingdom of Greene Baye von Wiskonssin again, My Lords?
I have a feeling that the man with the ball will throw it to the other band with the hands who will run in for a touchback halftime down there’s the game!
(The Baron would probably be better equipped to answer this question, Fang doesn’t pay attention to any sports that don’t involve swordfighting)

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