MEGADETH Bassist: 'I'm Still Working On My Metal Side'

Confront magazine recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist James Lomenzo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.

Confront: How did you get to play with this band?

James: Three points of reference. First there was this club I used to hang out at in Brooklyn that was late '70s, early '80s. They played heavy music and there I got to play and see a lot of great metal bands. Later, I played in rock bands but didn't know a lot about MEGADETH. In 1995 I was in Japan on tour with another band and I got to see them play, that's when I realized that these were amazing musicians. Finally, I was asked to put together a CD for MEGADETH, they were looking for a new bass player, and here I am

Confront: That's a cool story, have you enjoyed the past two years?

James: This has been a blast. I started thinking I was just going to do an album with them, now I've been touring with them and it's great. We put the new album together and the fans have been super supportive, it's been great. It's like a rebirth for MEGADETH, it's been awesome.

Confront: Yeah, talking about rebirth, just a few years ago the metal scene had become fairly unpopular; it seemed that for a while, everyone in the business end of music were talking about it as being a dead trend in music. Metal disappeared from the mainstream popular consciousness for a while. But lately, there's really been a resurgence of its popularity in general, and it's starting to enjoy much more mass appeal. What do you attribute to this change in public opinion on metal?

James: My heart of hearts wants to think that it's more guitar-oriented; there is a more traditionalist vibe that the younger bands have. I still don't quite get the vocal side of it, which might be due to my age I feel that the musicality is there. It gives me a feeling that it's the outcast coming into the mainstream the tattoo parlor people, the motorcyclists, the outsider hip hop gangster guys, they were all on the outside of society and now all are looking in and asking themselves, "You know that, metal was pretty cool!" It brought itself back, there is also most probably a lot of nostalgia from the older generation, now they can afford to come and see their favorite bands play you know

Confront: What drew you to metal? Because you didn't start with metal music, right?

James: To be frank with you, I'm still working on my metal side. I love rock and roll and I was around when Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and THE BEATLES were around and to me this is a spinoff of the stuff that I love and I'm enjoying it very much. I learned more about the metal bands by playing covers with other bands. This is an addition to my musical career.

Confront: That's great. You guys have an official website and a MySpace page; how important has the new media been in your success? Of course you weren't around then but MEGADETH was popular before the new media was big. How do you feel it affects your careers?

James: It's essential; this is now the common speak of the world. It's advertising in the modern age. There is no way we could still be doing this if we were not up to date with the new media. We get to talk to the fans, get their opinions and take them into consideration. Of course, the word to mouth is always going to be the best but the new media is great.

Read the entire interview at Confront magazine.

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