Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine. How are you Rich, Hazer, Derek & Joe? I’m Keith Clement the Head and CEO of the magazine.
Rich – I’m great Keith. Things are going really well with Metonic.
Hazer – Things are pretty good. I’ve been studying music theory and practicing techniques on guitar to make them sharper.
Joe – Feeling really good about our current lineup.
Derek – I’m doing good. I’m recently divorced so I took the opportunity to jump back into music.
On July 8th you released an amazing album “The Priest” can you tell me about the songwriting and production behind the new album?
Rich – Song writing comes very natural to me. I sit down with a guitar and just play. If I like what I’m hearing, I demo it at home and start on lyrics. The music is the most import thing to me, but the lyrical content is pretty important too. The idea is to have a subject or a title in mind first, then write to fit the music. I like to tell the stories I see in my head and the words just sort of come out and flow. The process for Deceiver was a little differen.t I wrote on while playing my bass. Like everything else, it just kind of came out while I was jamming in my home studio. We recorded “The Priest” at Session Works Studio in Hurst, TX. Jeff Mount is the go-to guy for anything I record.
Was there any particular concept that went behind the album?
Rich – There isn’t any particular concept, but a lot of the lyrics are based on good versus evil or some sort of internal/external conflict. The song High is a little different, but I bet you can figure out the influence for that one.
Would you help me understand the cover-art as i feel the artwork is fascinating?
Rich – The cover art is directly related to the title track, “The Priest.” It’s about a priest who has been excommunicated from the church for speaking about the eventual uprising of The Beast he foresees and how to battle him when The Beast makes his appearance. No one believed him. When The Priest returns, he steps enters a church and confronts his nemesis. That’s when the walls of the church catch fire and the battle begins. I think it would be a cool movie, lol.
7 Mind-Blowing Heavy Metal anthems, each song is perfectly done and a magnificent end result has come out. How as a band do you feel about the outcome of the album?
Rich – Thank you for saying that. I am very happy with the result. I work with amazing musicians and their performances made it what it is.
Hazer – I feel great about the album, I personally believe it’s a breath of fresh air to all the other music coming out! The songs are catchy while still showing some complexity. The music has a lot of points where it will make you stop what you’re doing and just listen.
Joe – I feel the recording went well, everyone brought their “A” game. In hindsight, I would have added more drum fills.
Derek – I was a little nervous about the end result due to only being in the band for 2 weeks before hitting the studio. I had to learn all the material and write my parts in a very short time frame, and I am proud of my work.
- The Priest
- Rise Up
- Live Fast
- Hell Hounds
- Righteous Torment
Metonic was formed in 2020, how has the last two years been for you guys?
Rich – The self-tiled EP was written and recorded in 2020. Metonic played as much as we could through the pandemic, and like lots of other things, some changes need to be made. So, there have been some lineup changes, but for sure this is the best group of guys I have ever had the pleasure to make music with. They helped bring Metonic to the next level. For the last year we have been out playing shows while working on the new material we just released for “The Priest.” We were very fortunate to find Derek to play the bass. He came on very late and has performed well beyond my expectations. We just signed on to Curtain Call Records this year too. And that is very exciting.
How are the touring plans for Metonic?
Rich – At this time we are mainly playing shows in and around Texas but should have some festival opportunities through Curtain Call Records very soon.
Would you like to share some of the great moments you had in the last two years?
Rich – For me the best part of the last couple of years has been playing with the guys and spreading the music throughout the metal community. Oh, and before Derek came aboard, we went out as a three piece a couple of times. Playing the bass live while singing was interesting. It’s always nice to hear your own music on the radio too. Curtain Call has us being played around the world on various radio stations. There have been many highlights.
Hazer – Having all the guys together to sign to Curtain Call was a big moment for me. Although, I would still say every practice and show with them is memorable since it’s always fun.
Joe – My most memorable moment was our 1st gig together.
Derek – Being the newest member I don’t have a ton of moments to discuss, but so far my favorite was when I tracked my bass solo in The Priest the sound engineers jaw hit the floor and he just said damn.
Rich – Yes Derek, all of our jaws hit the floor when you nailed that bass solo.
What would be some of the upcoming plans for the band?
Rich – We will be shooting a video for The Priest with-in the next 30 days. We will continue to play live shows and promote the new album. I’m already writing new material and when it’s ready, we will start working on that too.
Moving forward how does Metonic look into the future?
Rich – The future is bright. We will continue to book shows and play our style of old school metal. In about a year or so we will hit the studio again and release the next Metonic album. As always, we will continue to Forge the Metal.
Any plans for a tour outside of US?
Rich – The realities of the world right now make international plans difficult. We have no plans out of the US at this time. But if the right opportunity presents itself, we’ll jump right on it.
Finally What would be the message for the fans?
Rich – Thank you for your support. Because of the fans, The Metal will never die.
Hazer – Thank you for jamming our stuff, keep rockin, and I hope to see you guys soon!
Joe – To our fans, thank you for being there for us…and bring your friends.
Derek – Thank you for your support. Hope you are well. Rock on.
LEAD VOCALS/LEAD GUITAR
Rich Stafford has been in and out of live bands since he was 17 years old and has performed all over the Western United States. Mostly cover bands, but there were always originals mixed in. Rich appeared as a guest vocalist/guitarist/writer for the Badlands Badass release of “One for You” in 2006. In 2012 Rich recorded a solo release (RSP, THE RICH STAFFORD PROJECT) at Dog Haus Records in Spring Creek, Nevada. It is more of a guitar showpiece than anything else, but there are a few songs with vocals. The single “Talk Out Your Face” was played on radio stations across the globe and made it as high as #79 in the nation on the ReverbNation charts. In 2016 Rich was a founding member of DFW’s Iron Jaw where he served as the lead vocalist and lyricist. Iron Jaw recorded a four song demo and started building a solid reputation in DFW. After parting ways with Iron Jaw in 2019, Rich started looking for like minded musicians and eventually the Metonic lineup was complete. Rich uses ESP/LTD Guitars, Marshall Amplifiers, and Shure microphones.
COLE HAZER HILLIARD
Hazer has come a long way in a short period of time. As the youngest member of Metonic he started out learning blues to the likes of SRV, Hendrix, Page, etc. Shortly thereafter gravitating to 80’s heavy metal and progressing into all things metal in general. As his skills increased, he began studying techniques of the likes of Marty Friedman, Buckethead, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker and John Petrucci. With an insane work ethic his soloing techniques have become ferocious. In addition to the guitarists mentioned, other main influences include Dimebag, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and too many others to list. Prior to joining Metonic Hazer had his own garage band Hollow Creek doing covers & writing his own original songs.
Equipment: Jackson Guitars, Dean Guitars, DR Strings, Dunlop Jazz III picks, EVH III heads, Marshall cabinets w/ Celestion Vintage 30 speakers, Dunlop Original Crybaby wah, MXR 10-Band EQ and Munder Amplification overdrive along with various reverbs and delays.
Derek is a multi-instrumentalist, his main being bass guitar with 20 years of playing experience despite his young age. Starting off with trombone in concert band at school, he quickly discovered his love for bass guitar in jazz band, along with his main influences Cliff Burton and Jaco Pastorious. Classically trained, in addition to studying jazz at a collegiate level,he is an incredibly diverse and capable musician.
2015 Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray 5HH, MOD DWARF, Markbass Little Mark Vintage, Markbass Traveler’s 102, Markbass New York 121
Joe Miranda started out playing the accordion in his youth. He then went on to start playing the drums in his high school marching band and also playing in copy bands. After a few years in the military he got back into drumming. Joining a band called 13th Hour they started out as a copy band, quickly switching to all originals and playing the Hollywood clubs such as Gazzarri’s, The Whisky, The Roxy and clubs in San Pedro and Orange County in CA. After moving around for a few years and settling in Fort Worth he was in and out of copy bands. Taking a break for a while he decided to start playing again.
Looking for a good original band he was given an opportunity to join Metonic and hasn’t looked back. Sighting drumming influences he says most any drummer can be an influence if they make the song sound good but his favorites are Cozy Powell, Ansley Dunbar, Tommy Aldridge, Simon Kirke and Phil Rudd.