The land down under’s Joe Matera caught up with former Venom and Atomkraft bassist and frontman Tony Dolan to answer questions on post-Venom band Mpire of Evil.
Maximum Ink: Can you give us some background to how MPIRE OF EVIL came to be formed?
Tony Dolan: Well MPIRE of EVIL are myself, Mantas and Antton, all former Venom band mates. Mantas was doing his project called Dryll and needed a drummer to fill in as his had broken his ankle and Antton stepped in to lend a hand. They played a local show and did Venom’s Black Metal and people started saying, ‘what if they got Tony in, what would that be like?’ The boys thought that also and then I got a call. I said yes straight away as I have always enjoyed working with Mantas. He is a great player and so tight…it’s a joy to play with him especially live. As for Antton? Well, I’d never had a drummer that good and I loved his playing on the Resurrection album so it was for me a no brainer, we began to write and here we are. Actually what was bizarre was that after a few months of talking and writing, I got up to Newcastle (I live in London) and we thought we should have a rehearsal/jam to see what would happen. We played about 6 or 7 songs, one new and other Venom songs and it was like we’d been playing them as a band for years.
MI: Tell us about the upcoming EP?
TD: Well the thoughts on an EP were that we wanted to release something pre album so we could start doing shows but that hasn’t happened as it’s taken up all our time. But we will still release the EP and then a month or so later the full album. In true Neat/Venom tradition we have placed 2 tracks on the EP that will not appear on the album release initially and we have recorded another 4 tracks for the EP. The title is ’The Creatures of the Black’ and it features 6 tracks, including 4 covers by bands which influenced us to start playing and wanting to be in our own bands.
MI: The Creatures of the Black – Reptile – Mötorhead (Mötorhead) – Exciter (Judas Priest) – Hell Ain’t a bad Place to Be (AC/DC) and God of Thunder (KiSS).
TD: The EP will appear as a special Vinyl release through Iron Pegasus Records and the CD through Scarlet Records. People will ask why we’d do the covers but we wanted to make a statement that we weren’t attempting to be 21 again and to compete. We are what and who we are full stop. It’s not 1980 anymore but what great decades ,70’s,80’s, and what an influence on Metal/Rock?
MI: You’ve mentioned signing with Scarlett Records and a new album in the works…
TD: Yes, we have signed our deal with Scarlet and are very happy to be with Fil and the team. They will be releasing the EP first then the album which is called, ‘Hell To The Holy’ and it will feature that title track…and around 11 more…some titles include…Hellspawn - The 8th Gate – Wake Up Dead – The Circle Pit – Metal Messiah and others not yet defined.
MI: There is a tour also this summer, any plans for US dates?
TD: Yes right now we are planning the full tour for 2012, festival dates as well as 30 dates in Europe then we want to play the US and South America. We are talking to several booking agents right now. But basically we want to play as much as possible in 2012.
MI: And if so, would Madison, Wisconsin be on the schedule?
TD: It is NOW! If they want us?
MI: Will MPIRE OF EVIL be including any Venom material in the set list?
TD: Well we did speak at length about that and we are not Venom, there is a Venom out there but we all feel there are certain songs we would like to play live and why shouldn’t we? They are ones that Mantas, Myself and or Antton wrote, so yes.
MI: What music do you think kicks ass right now?
TD: Well I am into the underground so there are tonnes of acts, the list is too long. I try to help young or upcoming bands as much as possible, maybe one day I shall do the label thing myself. I am still loving Destruction, who are getting even better with age, Slayer, Rammstein but newer stuff I am really still liking some Black Metal and Death metal acts. Antton is still a huge Pantera guy and as Phil is a friend, he loves Down amongst many many others, as he is a HUGE metal fan as he always has been…and Mantas loves Machinehead, Slipknot, Zakk Wilde, As I Lay Dying…and lots more…
MI: Who is your favorite Porn star and why?
TD: Diamond Jackson hands down, why? Are you kidding me? Amazing body, amazing business mind, amazing woman and an Ebony dream - perfect! Can you hook me up?
MI: If you could take one food item to Wisconsin, what would it be?
TD: Marmite, just to watch peoples faces when I ask them to try some.