Screamking Vocalist Joe Lawson Interviewed

On October 23rd 2011 ScreamKing made it’s debut performance opening for Canadian Metal Legends Anvil at Club Landing in South Bend, IN. Throughout 2012 the band spent the year writing material for  their first undertaking and entered Divine Underground Studios  to record and produce their first full length album entitled “Evilibrium”.  The band also released their first official music  video for the song “Deathwitch”.

Since the release of “Evilibrium” ScreamKing has shared the stage with Metal acts: Anvil, Raven, DSG  (David Shankle Group), Metal Church and Helstar to name a few.  Once again entering Divine Underground Studios after spending 2016 writing and recording the follow up to “Evilibrium”.  ScreamKing will release their second full length album that will be making waves throughout the Metal World entitled: “Tyranny of the Sea”, again produced and mixed by Rafael Hernandez and Joe Lawson, with mastering by Jon Scrip of Massive Mastering and featuring artwork from Chicago legendary artist Drake Mefestta.

How did you first get into music? Who turned you onto Rock/Metal?

I have loved music as long as I can remember, my Mother even wrote in my baby book that Joey loves to sing, so really it has been my passion since birth. My cousin Jeff Parsons turned me onto Rock and Metal music with bands like Wasp, Motley Crue, Metallica, Megadeth, etc…

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

I started off playing guitar then while in High school a band needed a singer, they heard me singing some old Motley Crue and asked me to join the band, I’ve been singing ever since. No I am not proficient in any other instruments although I do play a little guitar and piano.

What was the local scene in Illinois like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

The scene was really good years ago, a lot of great bands and talented people, support for bands was great and so was the pay. Bands I aspired to be like were national level bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, etc…. some of my favorite local bands from the early years for me was Tyrants Reign, Slauter Xstroyes. Favorite local bands now probably I would say are: Divinity Compromised, Reign, Wrath and Scars of Armageddon.

Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?

No, in my experience drugs and alcohol have only destroyed and derailed bands from growing and achieving success.

How would you best describe your sound?

I would describe ScreamKing as a Hybrid Heavy Metal band that incorporates elements of multiple genres into our sound from Power Metal to Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Progressive Metal and Classical Metal.

Is doing ticket pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?

It depends on how it is done, if a band feels it is in their best interest to play a show where they are required to sell tickets and the band gets at least a percentage of the ticket sales and its a higher profile show such as opening for a big national act then I say go for it.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?

First two albums I owned were AC/DC: Back in Black and Van Halen: 5150. I have bought Judas Priest Painkiller 3 times.

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

Depends on the deal offered, the question all bands need to ask themselves concerning a label is what is the label going to do directly for your band that you cannot do for yourself? Also of course to get everything in writing and make sure you understand what you are getting into. DIY is much easier now and a lot of bands are doing things themselves these days and if you are able to do that and be successful at it then more power to those bands.

What’s the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

Biggest show I ever played was at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul Minnesota. Yes I always still get a bit nervous before shows but its a good nervous and I feed on it like a rabid dog!

Is commercial Rock radio dead?

I’d say no, it has changed formats and styles but you still hear it across the country on many different stations.

Favorite songs on the new album and why?

For me I’d have to say End of the World because its one of the most challenging songs vocally I’ve ever recorded and I’m quite proud of how it turned out. Cannibals of Sacrifice maybe as well because it was just such a different vocal approach in certain parts and it has a Merciful Fate/King Diamond vibe to it in parts also that I really love. Faith Weapon because of all the layering of vocals, the lyrical content and the song really packs a punch!

Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

Syrena, a song I wrote about my daughter.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Screamking songs?

Nothing political, but social issues for sure a few.

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

Once we finished recording and mixing all the songs we try different orders and burn a bunch of cds and see what seems to work the best and go from there.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?

We are currently endorsed by Granger amps. There are several other company’s that the band are looking at and talking to about possible endorsements so I don’t want to mention any names until that all is worked out then we will make announcements in regards to all of that.

Bands you would love to tour with and musicians or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

A few bands that I personally would love to tour with would be: Testament, Overkill, Death Angel, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Denner Shermann, Accept. I would like to meet Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson and soak up all the knowledge and advice I could from them.

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Heart of a Champion and End of the World by ScreamKing. 3 albums to take with me would be the 3 full releases I’ve sang on so far. Thanks for the great questions and head over to and pick up the new Tyranny of the Sea record and checkout our great merch while your there!



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