Steel Prophet’s Steve Kachinsky: What I’m Listening To

Sunday, 15th June 2014

I’ll tell you what I’m not listening to: Anything where a guy takes up oxygen in a band either talking, scratching records, grunting or growling.

In a small combo/orchestra situation, I think it’s a great idea to get four or five guys that can actually contribute musical performances that comprise all the basic elements of music: melody, harmony and rhythm.  I’m not about to let a guy join my band and just shake a maraca or tambourine.  Sorry.

So since that prerequisite takes away about 90% of modern metal, I’m not listening to some bands with great guitar playing and songwriting like Arch Enemy (sorry Michael), etc.

Now before you go getting all hostile on me and threaten to send Abbath or Cronos , etc. to my home to take care of the infidel, let me just say I have strong opinions.  You probably do to, and it just so happens I got asked to write this column, so keep your shorts on, okay?  Thank you, and back to what I was saying.

How would you like it if all your guitar players started just scraping their strings for a whole album or just hitting some dissonant crappy chord and whammy barring it for an album?  You’d probably feel cheated and disrespected, wouldn’t you?  But why don’t you feel that way when some putz that doesn’t know how to control his vocal chords just barks like a Tasmanian timber wolf at you for an entire album?  You want me to pay this fool?  Go learn some basic scales and come back when you can demonstrate some actual skill bruv.

Maybe you say “Well, he’s just expressing himself as an artist”?  Well, mooning a cop is self expression and performance ‘art’ at it’s finest if you ask me, but it gets old in a hurry and you’re probably gonna get busted for it…

While I’m at it, why do I need to listen to ‘new’ music?  It was all new at some time and there must be millions of albums available that are now considered ‘old’ music.  Is it somehow bad now that it’s six months old, or six years old?  Maybe I didn’t hear it when it came out.  Now I think you should listen to my new album, but that’s totally different.  It’s new AND brilliant.

Truthfully, I’m listening to a lot of Beethoven right now.  As an artist in a heavy/rock/prog/power/metal/whatever/ band there came a time when I didn’t want to listen to my contemporaries much.  I don’t want to be influenced by trends and current fashions and ideas.  To be an artist means to have a unique voice.  If you are easily and constantly influenced you are not so much an individual and an ‘influencer’.  I’m trying to explore my own ideas.  Truthfully, you can’t get rid of all your influences, especially the early ones.  You don’t create in a vacuum, but you can try to lessen the outside impact.

But, I have been listening to Night Demon.  They remind me of the first strains of NWOBHM, and how exciting it was to hear that music.   Venomous Maximus, they’re pretty cool Sabbathy rock and roll.  Astra; like early Rush with Pink Floyd, Genesis and King Crimson mashed up together.  Other than that it’s the classics from the 70’s.  When rock/metal music was still being innovated and there weren’t many genre specific rules, but actual musical talent was a prerequisite.  You actually had to be able to go into a studio then and perform without computers to fix your pitch or timing. You couldn’t copy one good section you lucked out on to multiple places in a song….I never would have made it.

Steel Prophet’s new album, Omniscient, is due July 4 in Europe, and July 11 in the United States via Cruz del Sur Music. The video for “666 is Everywhere (The Heavy Metal Blues)” can be viewed below.


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