Jukebo.cx recently conducted an interview with guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD, PAINMUSEUM, SEBASTIAN BACH). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Jukebox: The first time I heard the debut HALFORD record, "Resurrection", it stunned me. To me, that record was a defining moment in metal for the 21st century. Not just because of the good songs, but the playing. It was the first time I'd heard yourself, or Bobby [Jarzombek, ICED EARTH], and it was amazing. How did you become involved with The Metal God?
"Metal" Mike Chlasciak: "I heard from a friend of mine that Rob was looking for a guitar player. I did not know whether it was a metal or whatever person that he was looking for. I sent Rob's management my first solo album, 'Isolation Chamber - Grind Textural Abstraction', from 1996 and some videos from when I opened concerts as a solo instrumental artist in the New York Area. I supported YNGWIE (MALMSTEEN), STEVE MORSE, RONNIE MONTROSE, SAVATAGE …. they loved it and I believe they saw the truth in it, the innocence of someone just playing great guitar for the sake of it. I think that appealed to Rob and well, I came out to Los Angeles and wrote some songs with Rob and the rest of the band. 'Resurrection' album was next and the rest you know."
Jukebox: How is the new HALFORD album progressing? And who else is in the band besides yourself, Rob and presumably Bobby?
"Metal" Mike Chlasciak: "HALFORD band is: Rob, myself, Roy Z, Mike Davis and Bobby Jarzombek. We are currently in production of the next album."
Jukebox: Are you still in contact with Joacim Cans [HAMMERFALL singer]? Is there likely to be another CANS album?
"Metal" Mike Chlasciak: "Yeah, Joacim is really a killer guy. Great singer and very professional. I really enjoyed working with him on the 'Beyond the Gates' album. I wish that CD was a bit more known in the U.S.. I like the album. It contains good songs. Some people really love the CD. But, to answer your question, yes, Joacim and I talked about a very possible second CANS album and I’ll write some music for it as well."
Jukebox: OK, onto Sebastian Bach. What’s it like working with yet another heavy metal singing legend? And how have the live shows you’ve done so far gone?
"Metal" Mike Chlasciak: "It's the most rock 'n' roll experience with that crazy fucking demon. A lot of fun. Sebastian is really excited about the music, and we have become good friends. You know, in order for me to take time away from PAINMUSEUM, I must play with a fucking world-class singer. It must be really important. So, with Bach — yeah I’ll tour and record with Bach — because he's a world-class singer and he rips on stage and he's a pure guy. Besides, the amount of women we get at each show is fucking unbelievable and it's all hell breaking loose at all times. I like that and I like him as a person. Outside that, the guys that are helping him out in the band are friends of mine, which makes the travel and the long hours worth it, and it's a real bonding experience. It's different than my past experiences. People getting along, no assholes in the band. Imagine that. I'm having a great time, honestly. I enjoy the cool band experience, the love of the music. It's the only way I can do things now. I can't deal with bullshit anymore, my life is too important."
Jukebox: Finally, where do you stand with TESTAMENT? There was talk of a new album, but now the reunion tour has taken over. What's your involvement now?
"Metal" Mike Chlasciak: "I wish TESTAMENT a continued good time with the reunion. I think they are having a fun time with it and I think it's really cool for the fans to see that if they can. I think they should when they get a chance. I might help out the guys on some of their touring, but honestly I have so much going on with PAINMUSEUM, HALFORD and BACH that I do not spend too much time thinking about it."
Read the entire interview at Jukebo.cx.