Johnny : ใช่เลย ผมก็ว่ามันเจ๋งเหมือนกัน ผมว่าพรรคการเมืองแม่งน่าเอาคำนี้ไปทำเป็นสโลแกน่วะ ฮ่าๆๆ เฮฟวี่เมทัลคือสิ่งที่เราเป็นนับตั้งแต่วันแรกของ Pegazus เราไม่เคยคิดว่าจะเป็นอย่างอื่นหรือเปลี่ยนแปลงตัวเองไปตามกระแสดนตรีเลย ซึ่งผมว่าชื่ออัลบั้มนี้คือสิ่งที่ทางวงต้องการบอกกล่าวออกไปว่า พวกเราเป็นยังไง
Q : First of all, I just listened to Pegazus latest work and felt that this album is taking you back where the metal belongs. I mean, it’s very 80’s and has kind of an old school element than your previous work. Was this a plan to make an album that sounds like this?
Johnny : Our music and songs have always taken the listener and fans back to that 80’s metal feeling and style. We never plan to make an album like anything else but a Pegazus album. When we plug in to play, it just happens to sound that way! \m/
Q : This must be the question that you have to answer for a thousand times, but I still want to ask though. What happened while you were absent from the media attention? Many thought you quit playing metal, but then BOOM!!! the new album. Why does it take so long for releasing it and what did you do before that?
Johnny : We have been away from the media eye for quite awhile but in all that time we remained to be very active, playing mainly live shows in Australia. We also went through a tough period for a few years where there were some lineup changes within the band, due to some unfortunate personal issues. At the same time though, we did still remain focused and the new album was something that the band continued to work on behind the scenes, but yeah it took much longer than even we ourselves ever expected.
Q : I’m kind of surprised that Justin, once again, joined the group. What happened to Rob? How did you contact Justin to rejoin the group again?
Johnny : Justin has always been a very close friend of mine and the band, and with him rejoining Pegazus, it has also been a surprise for us too. None of us saw that coming. Rob Thompson was unable to continue in the band due to a very unfortunate personal situation. While the band continued to rehearse and work on the new album, I was in touch with Justin and while talking to him on the phone one night I actually asked him if he would like to come down and have a jam with us. Up until that time, we had been rehearsing as a musical 3 piece band without a vocalist for a couple of years, so when Justin came down it was exciting just to have someone singing the songs but little did we all know that Justin was going to be back in the band. The fact that we all knew each other and got along so well and also seeing how excited he was after hearing the new album material, that was the moment we all knew he was back.
Q : When I saw the album cover, I think of Painkiller!!! Was this your intention to design it to look like the classic Judas Priest release?
Johnny : I actually got the idea for the new album cover concept from an old pinball machine called ‘Centaur’ which I used to play a lot when I was still in High School back in the mid 80’s. The awesome graphics of Centaur was a half man beast/motorbike with a metal lookin’ chick on the back and that really blew me away, so that and a little of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album cover from 1976 were the main influences.
Q : I like the album name. It’s such a cool word, but again very simple and straight forward Metal. How did you come up with the name?
Johnny : Yeah, the title is pretty cool. Political leaders should use this slogan too…hahaha Heavy Metal is all we’ve ever been about from day one. We don’t pretend to be anything else and we’ve never had the thought to change because of some musical trend, so the title of the album clearly states what we as a band are all about.
Q : To be honest with you, I think “Haunting Me” is very different from your previous songs. It has a dark-felt element. Why did you choose this song to be the first single? Why wouldn’t it be a heavy metal song such as Metal Messiah or Road Warrior?
Johnny : Yeah, ‘Haunting Me’ is darker lyrically and a little different to the usual Pegazus metal anthems. When I had the original music arrangement for that song, I had envisioned it to be a song about war but that all changed once Justin heard the tune. He had a different vibe and vision with it lyrically, so I just let him go with it. I was very amazed when I heard the lyrics and rough vocal ideas he had, and so we ended up finishing the song together. It turned out really cool. Most people that heard the song while we were recording it suggested that ‘Haunting Me’ should be the first song released and so we shot a music video for it too. Road Warrior and Metal Messiah were also very high on the list and I think Road Warrior will most likely be the next release from the album with a music video too.
Q : Why did you decide to cover “Metal Gods”? I heard that you have an influence of Judas Priest and Manowar. Have you been interested to play a Manowar cover too?
Johnny : We usually will play at least one cover song by one of our favorite bands at our live shows and ‘Metal Gods’ was the most recent one added to the live list. Every time we played it live, it went down so well and we loved playing it, so when we were deciding on the new album track listing, we decided to record it. It turned out so well that we all decided to add it to the album. It also seemed to sit very well amongst our original songs and really suited the whole ‘In Metal We Trust’ theme.
Pegazus as a band has always been influenced greatly from the glorious Heavy Metal bands of the 80’s and although there are so many to mention, our sound and style is a little piece of everyone from that time in some way. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy would have to be the 4 most influential bands to us in general.
Q : I like the lyrics of Old Skool Metal Dayz. It’s very 80s. What do you think about metal today? How’s different from Old School Metal Day?
Johnny : ‘Old Skool Metal Dayz’ is our tribute to that glorious 80’s era that spawned a whole generation of great metal bands and music that still inspires us and kicks ass today!
The lyrics and music of the song reflect heavily on that special period in the 80’s where it was all about a generation’s movement for a music called Heavy Metal and the whole generation of fans that embraced it!
Q : It seems that in the 90s, metal music lost to grunge and nu metal stuff, but Pegazus is the one who was still running Old School Metal in the 90s Era. Was it hard in that time to be accepted? Do the kids, in that period, think your music is kind of old fashioned?
Johnny : We began playing live shows in 1994 and yeah, it was an extremely hard time to be a Heavy Metal band around then because grunge and nu-metal were so huge and a band like us was looked upon as old fashioned and outdated but we didn’t care about any of that bullshit. We just enjoyed doing what we set out to do and that was basically it really. We stuck to our guns with our ideals and beliefs as a band and the rest just happened naturally. After 17 years, we’ve seen so many bands come and go but we still remain, bigger, better and stronger than ever!
We are constantly getting new fans of all ages at every live show and all it takes for them is to witness and experience a Pegazus live show and they’re converted. How can they not be when you’re bombarded with heavy metal anthem after anthem? \m/
Q : Do you still listen to the new music? I mean the new bands in the heavy metal scene.
Johnny : No, not really but that’s just me personally. I much prefer listening to bands and music from my huge collection of classic 70’s and 80’s rock and metal bands. That music still kicks my ass and keeps inspiring me to continue doing what I love to do in Pegazus. I also like to rediscover some old artists and music that I may have somehow missed because there is just so much out there.
Q : Do you think that when Metal Mind reissued your previous albums that this would help Pegazus to be known again by the young fan who just got into the True Metal scene? How did they contact you to reissue these albums?
Johnny : Metal Mind contacted us directly wanting to re-issue the last 3 studio albums and since those albums were out of circulation for some years, we thought why not get them released and out there again for the new generation of true metal fans. These re-issues are a special and once off, limited to 2000 copies each, re-mastered onto gold discs and include many unreleased and some hard to find bonus tracks. It also seemed like a great idea leading up to releasing the new album ‘In Metal We Trust’.
Q : Finally, please say something to Pegazus fans in Thailand (I’m also one of them heehee) and thank you for interviewing with us.
Johnny : Well, I can personally say that I do love your country. I have been there twice on holiday. I got to travel around Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket and I would really like to come back for another visit, hopefully a live Pegazus show one day soon…now, that would totally ROCK!
Thanks for the interview my friend and I hope we will meet with you and all the metal fans of Thailand on the PEGAZUS - In Metal We Trust Tour 2011.