Seattle metal historian Brian Heaton — the curator of BreakdownRoom.net, a database of Seattle rockers' QUEENSRŸCHE's live concert history, and the man behind FifthAngel.net, the unofficial home to all information regarding the Seattle metal band FIFTH ANGEL — recently conducted an interview with FIFTH ANGEL bassist John Macko and guitarist Kendall Bechtel. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
On the departure of drummer Ken Mary and FIFTH ANGEL's eventual breakup:
Bechtel: "There was no animosity, but I was really disappointed because the band was crumbling and there wasn't much I could do about it. We had a hard time replacing Ken. We tried several drummers, but nobody really worked out. Then Ed [Archer, rhythm guitarist] quit and the band just fell apart."
On Ken Mary's replacement Richard Stuverud, who appeared in the band's video for "Time Will Tell":
Macko: "He was real good and played the songs pretty close to the way Ken played them. Unknown to us, however, Richard had slipped a demo tape of a band he was working with called WAR BABIES to one of the Epic people which I think was his main motivation for doing the video and joining the band. We held more auditions, but by this time everyone was getting worn down and … that pretty much wrapped it up."
On working with producer Terry Brown (RUSH) on "Time Will Tell":
Bechtel: "Working with Terry was a pleasure, to say the least. He was very warm and personable and became a father figure to us because of his experience, so I'd just refer to him as 'Father Brown.'"
Macko: "He was a real kick to work with and a lot of fun as far as I was concerned. He would always have a smile on his face, a Heineken in his hand and was always making jokes."
On why FIFTH ANGEL never went out on tour in support of either of its records:
Macko: "This was always a big deal to me and to this day, I can't believe that we never played gigs. For whatever reason, Ted, Ed and Ken never felt it was important to play live gigs unless it was for stadium or arena crowds. I think their school of thought was that playing clubs or small venues was a waste of time because it wouldn't generate enough record or merchandise sales to warrant the time or money spent to play such places.
"[That was] a huge mistake. METALLICA and PANTERA … proved that theory dead wrong and went on to sell millions by playing the shit out of clubs and small venues."
On Macko's post-FIFTH ANGEL musical activities:
Macko: "I tried to put a band together with material that I was writing with Jeff Loomis (NEVERMORE guitarist) and Gary Thompson from Q5. I was writing this heavy progressive stuff that at the time no one was interested in! We did some demos but couldn't find a singer … and after about a year of failed projects I got burned out on the whole thing. I went back to school which led me to the computer field, which I'm currently in."
On the possibility of a FIFTH ANGEL reunion:
Bechtel: "I think it would be a blast, and if people are out there to receive it, I would be only too happy to deliver."
Macko: "I would love to do some shows, but I don't think Ted will ever do it. But I really do appreciate the folks out there that still enjoy the music. Regardless of what happened in the past … the bottom line is the music was great and that's all that really matters."
Read the entire interview at www.fifthangel.net.