Interview with RESISTANCE
The Band: Resistance
Throughout the years RESISTANCE performed everywhere, on many stages and international arenas, a long experience accumulated gig after gig. So, it was about time to get new material from these guys and certainly they have delivered the goods with their new album “Metal Machine”, the band is more than ready to hit and get your attention. Time to learn more about this great band that hopefully will be playing around again.
Hello guys, Resistance’s origin is not very clear, what can you tell us about your history? Some webs point out 1987 as your birth date, is it right?
Hello and thank you for the interview. We get this question a lot and it is a bit confusing. I’ll try and make it as short as possible. The core of RESISTANCE (Matt Ohnemus, Dan Luna, and myself, Paul Shigo) was born in 1986 through our collaboration together in several different bands, lineups, and name changes before officially choosing the name RESISTANCE in January of 2000. The three of us played together in the bands Heathen (not the bay area Heathen), Caustic Visage, and Anarchy Divine. We started Heathen together in 1986, so I suppose that would be our birthdate.
We self-released the first RESISTANCE EP “A Certain Sorrow” in 2002 and followed up with 2004’s “Lies in Black” (Lion Music), 2007’s “Patents of Control” (Lion Music) and 2015’s “Volume 1 Battle Scars” (MMR Records). Volume 1 Battle scars is interesting because it’s listed as an EP because of the number of tracks (6), however it’s the same running length as a full album. The song “Why so Frightened” is over (7) minutes long itself. We’ve also contributed tracks to (5) compilation CD’s. Most recently the track “Dirty Side Down” from the “Metal Machine” album was included on the “Music 4 Mexico Volume 4” CD compilation which donates the sales proceeds to help earthquake victims in Mexico.
In 2017 we signed a deal with No Remorse Records (Greece), who released our brand-new studio album, “Metal Machine” worldwide on June 27, 2017. “Metal Machine” is also scheduled to be released on limited edition vinyl.
Throughout the years RESISTANCE performed everywhere on stages and festivals both nationally and internationally including Germany’s “Head Bangers Open Air”, Greece’s “Up the Hammers Festival” Milwaukee Wisconsin’s “NYDM Spring Bash” and Ventura California’s “Frost and Fire Festival” all while gaining Legions of loyal fans worldwide. We’ve supported the bands Riot, Primal Fear, Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Exodus, Dokken, Ross the Boss, and Metal Church, just to name a few.
Until 2002 you didn’t release your first EP and till 2004 your first full album “Lies in Black”, so what happened, why so a long wait to get your first album released?
We started out at a very young age (we were all around 16 years old) and did not get a record deal until after we self-released our first EP. We actually have another EP that was recorded in 91-92 under the Anarchy Divine lineup that has never been released.
Resistance is formed by people with long experience in the business, how has it all influenced your sound?
We are all huge fans of music in general, but especially Heavy Metal Music. We were fortunate enough to have attended some legendary concerts and festivals at a very young age. Namely the US Festival in 83, Dio on the “Holy Diver” and “Last in Line” tours, and Judas Priest on the “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Defenders of the Faith” tours. Living in L.A. we were also a part of the Sunset Strip era explosion and we experienced the rise of Thrash Metal. It was a glorious time in Metal music history. I watched in person as girls pulled off their tops while Vince Neil and Nikki Six signed their breasts at the “To Fast for Love” Tower Records appearance in West Covina California where we grew up. Ha-ha.
We have also shared the stage with many legendary acts as I mentioned above, including opening for Dream Theater on the “Images and Words” tour on one of their California stops at The Marquee Theater. So all of these experiences and styles of music have influenced our sound. As a matter of fact our bio reads “The band delivers a full-on metal assault from a broad range of influences.” It’s a bit hard to pin down or categorize our style of Metal. I would call it a mix of US Metal, Traditional Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal, and Classic Metal. In short, it’s Heavy Metal.
Awesome. This year you have released your third album, “Metal Machine”, how do you feel about it?
Well I’m biased, ha-ha, but to me, “Metal Machine” is an absolute masterpiece. I feel it’s the best album we’ve ever done. There is something for everyone on this album. It has crushing duel guitars, big hooks, and huge sing along choruses. I feel it’s one of those rare compositions that will stand the test of time.
Comparing “Metal Machine” with your previous 2 albums what would you say?
As I mentioned, I think “Metal Machine” is the best thing we’ve ever done. The song writing is more focused, refined, and precise than on our previous albums. We spent a lot of time trying to craft and write great songs. We weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel or be the heaviest, most technical, fasted, etc. We concentrated on writing memorable songs that encompassed our influences while maintaining the Resistance sound. This one’s going to leave a mark! We raised our own bar on this one. “Lies in Black” has more of an old school live feel to it and “Patents of Control” is a full on uncompromising thrash metal album set to a concept.
“Metal Machine” delivers a wonderful game of guitars in the vein of US power metal, one of your marks
Yes it does. Thanks for noticing. It showcases Dan Luna’s massive pile driving guitar tone that’s heavy and thick as hell while also maintaining melody and emotion. It’s definitely one of our trademarks.
You also count with an outstanding singer, Robert Hett, although we don’t know much about his career he proves to be the right guy for the band in every single song
Yes, you’re right, Robbie has been with us since 2002 and is the unmatched, classic voice of Resistance. His voice is like a blowtorch and his delivery like lightening in a bottle, yet also clean, powerful, and melodic. Along with this, he is one of the best front men in Metal today. In the early eighties he fronted a Sunset Strip era band called “Little Kid Twisted” which earned him his nickname, “the kid” ha-ha.
Haha the great kid… There is a point in the album when you start three songs in a row in the same way, this is with a guitar solo that makes me rise my fist, it’s kind of we are not going to leave anything in the saddles…
Once again you are right.
Who is more responsible for the composition tasks?
Our guitarist Dan Luna is the musical genius behind the compositions. He also engineered and produced the guitars and vocals on “Metal Machine.” We have all contributed to the Lyrics but our drummer, Matt Ohnemus writes the bulk of them.
How long have you been working on the album? Any especial difficulty to finish it up?
We worked on “Metal Machine” for about a year. The bass and drums were recorded with Bill Metoyer and the guitars and vocals were recorded in our own “Metal Room” studio by Dan. The final mix and master was done by Neil Kernon.
What are the lyrics about?
METAL MACHINE- Is a metaphorical lyrical theme. The Metal Machine represents Resistance as we continue to push forward and fight for our place in the Metal world and decimate all of those who are negative toward us and our music, tell us we can’t do something or try to block our path. Many “bigger” bands who followed us live on stage found this out first hand. The Metal Machine is also depicted as the robotic, warrior, knight, wielding the war hammer on the album cover.
HAIL TO THE HORNS- This song is a homage to Ronnie James Dio to express the impact and influence he had on each member of Resistance. It is a reminder to us that, although Ronnie does not walk the earth anymore, he is still with us through his music and still inspires us and many others.
RISE AND DEFEND- This one started off as yet another look at Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae and turned into a closer look at what motivated him and the 300. It delves into the gods and their lineage in how they inspired the 300 to stand firm and fight.
SOME GAVE ALL- Is a first-person perspective of a police officer who was willing to sacrifice his life, and did, to protect people he didn’t even know and even those who despised him for his selfless act of wanting to serve his fellow man/woman. The impact his death has on his family and the fear police officers set aside every day to fight the evil that threatens the quality of life and the freedoms most people take for granted every day.
DIRTY SIDE DOWN- A parting expression between bikers meaning ride safe. The lyrics are about the feeling you get when you’re out riding your motorcycle and enjoying the peace it can bring. Matt and Robbie are avid riders.
HEROES- A homage to all of our musical influence’s that have passed away and a plea to the Grim Reaper not to take anymore from us.
Great Picture. The last song in the album is a cover of Scorpions’ classic anthem Blackout, it would seem that it doesn’t fit so much with the rest of your pounding stuff, how did you decide to include it?
We have always wanted to include a cover song on one of our CD’s but could never agree on what song it should be. I was pushing for Triumph’s “Fight the Good Fight” but we ended up going with Scorpions “Blackout” which Robbie’s voice really complements. We wanted to take the song and make it our own while doing justice to the original version. I think we did that.
Resistance has already made some gigs around Europe, the Germany‘s “Headbangers Open Air”, Greece‘s “Up the Hammers Festival”, etc. We will see you through here soon again?
Yes, you will!!! We have some irons in the fire right now and are working on festival appearances for 2018. I do all the sheduling, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any bookings.
“Metal Machine” includes 7 songs of your own, have you kept something in the drawer for a new release coming soon?
Yes, we have. We are already working on the follow-up to “Metal Machine”
That’s the way! If you have to choose a specific year in history to play Metal, the best year you could name in Metal history would be…
Well that’s a tough question, but I would have to say anytime during the 80’s and right now.
I buy it! Thank you very much and congratulations for your new album!
We will see you on the road soon, Cheers and “Hail to the Horns”