Mega Colossus Guitarist Bill Fischer Interviewed
A wonder of the ancient world, the Colossus was constructed out of a single slab of marble and erected over the harbor in the island of Rhodes. Alas, as all things mighty must tumble, Colossus eventually shattered–after weary centuries standing sentry-into six pieces which sunk into the ocean.
The six Mini-Colossoi are slaves to the power of the lord Poseidon, and must do his bidding. He commands us to rock unsuspecting youth in your bars and houses, drinking your beer and crushing your skulls with thundering beats, baroque polyphony, galloping basses, and soaring vocals–all of which testify to the awesome power of mighty Poseidon.
How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?
I’ve always been fascinated by music. My Dad was into 50’s era rock n roll, and always was playing his old record collections, and I was always blown away by the classical music that was always on when a certain family friend was around. My sister came home with a Queen 7” when I was really little, and that was pretty huge. I think whether conscious or not music has always been my favorite artistic thing to experience.
How did you become a guitarist? Are you proficient in any other instruments ?
I was in love with the sound of electric guitar from before I could identify who was playing it. But I actually learned trumpet first, for school.
What was the local scene in North Carolina like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
There have been and are tons of good bands in our area. Way back, there weren’t a lot of metal bands, it was mostly punk and indie stuff. Confessor was an early local heavy band I was pretty into. Now it’s really on an upswing with bands like Children of the Reptile, Knightmare, Salvacion, Widow, DemonEye, I could go on and on. So lucky to be part of this scene, for sure.
Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?
Haha, well, beneficial may not be the best term. Or maybe it is. The term booze-fueled has been thrown around (not by us). We like to raise a glass from time to time. We feel that rock shows are supposed to be parties, with all the fun stuff that accompanies that.
How would you best describe your sound?
We thought we’d come up with an apt term: “adventure metal”. I think it was actually already in use. Soooo many subgenera…. Party/sci-fi-heavy-rock? Doesn’t really roll off the tounge, but maybe a good description.
Is doing ticket pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?
Depends where the money goes. It’s awesome to allow folks an opportunity to purchase a spot early, but when there is a room fee and the bands are the only people responsible for promoting and the only money for bands is through ticket pre-sales, then yeah, that’s pay to play under a less shitty name. That is a bar renting itself out to a band and still charging for drinks. I know that it’s increasingly the situation, but seems like no better than renting a warehouse and getting some kegs.
What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?
I think maybe the first LP I bought was a Dire Straits record. I have bought lots of stuff in multiple formats. I was a cassette kid, and those didn’t age really well. i have multiple versions of a few things, mostly Iron Maiden and Van Halen. I try to upgrade anything I have on cd to LP when I have the funds and opportunity.
DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?
We are on Killer Metal Records out of Oldenburg Germany, actually, but they allow us the freedom to behave in a very DIY fashion. We’ve worked with a few labels, but it has always been that kind of situation. It’s nice to be in charge of your own stuff, but that does make things progress more slowly. I would never rule out working with a label that was interested in helping with some of the “not music” parts of promotion and media. That stuff is not what we’re good at, so I definitely see the need for labels that are involved with their bands’ situation. Depends on who and how, for sure.
Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?
I just get really stoked before a show. Plus there is always so much to do leading right up to playing that usually it just suddenly is happening. So not really nervous, just excited. Not sure what is Mega Colossus’ biggest. We’ve opened some good ones, High on Fire and Pentagram come to mind. I’ve played large venues in front of a few thousand with other bands, and it doesn’t feel that different, just more room to run around, which is cool.
Is commercial rock radio dead?
I haven’t had an antenna on my car for more than a decade, so for me, I think that says something. I love the idea of people in a geographical area being connected by a common listening experience, but I’m afraid it’s long gone. Online entertainment makes everyone very specific about what they want to hear and when, so that the experience is individual and convenient. Not saying that’s bad, but I truly don’t know how broadcast radio stations pay their bills.
Favorite songs on the new album and why?
That’s like having a favorite child, really, so really difficult to say. Sea of Stars is really fun to play. Lyrically I’m most proud of Star Wranglers and Betta Master, because I like the stories they tell and they are original fiction as opposed to being based on a book, movie, or video game, which we are prone to do.
Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?
Same deal, but again, Sea of Stars is really exciting to play, feels like the musical equivalent of running and jumping. It’s also a buddy song about traveling rapscallions, so it feels like a celebration of what we’re doing when we play shows.
Are there any political or social issues hidden in Mega Colossus songs ?
That’s not something we do intentionally, but I think inherently subject matter may reflect our views in a subtle way. On the new record there are a couple songs that relate to resource conservation. Gods and Demons is about being connected to and respectful of the Earth, while Star Wranglers is about a pretty bleak future where man has failed to do just that. I think you gravitate toward stories that speak on your personal wavelength and you write about what you’re thinking about, so inevitably some of your opinions are reflected. For example, I’m working on a song about an episode of Star Trek in which a parasitic intruder aboard the enterprise creates strife and discord, exploiting people’s fear of those not like them in order to feed on the energy from their hatred. Probably won’t be too hard to draw a connection to current events from that one. The episode resonates with me for obvious reasons, but is also kickass rock subject matter.
What was the process of putting the songs in order?
It is kind of trial and error. I feel like you need to balance continuity and flow with creating a sense of variety, which are a bit in opposition. Once you’ve thoroughly overthought things you could probably just shuffle the deck and go with that too. I think we did ok on this last one though.
What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?
Getting endorsements is a skill some bands have, and we are not one of those bands, hahah! I just scoured town for a slightly unusual gauge set of d’addario strings, so that would be nice of course. Doza loves his DW drums; all drummers need cymbal endorsements. Ry plays flat wound strings, them shits is expensive! Marshall!!! Ampeg!!! Sprinter!!! Taco Bell!!! Miller Brewing company!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve definitely earned that last one, what’s up miller!!!!????
Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate.
Since this is a fantasy question, I am not bound by the laws of time, so Motorhead. But I think most of all I’d like to meet Steve Harris. He seems like a cool dude to hang with while at the same time having a fantastic sense of what rules about music and shows and a supreme ability to get shit done. These are all honorable traits.
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
Albums, always a hard one to narrow down. Here goes… Van Halen’s Fair Warning, Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack. That was hard. Funeral song. Hmmm… The Sea Wolf by Slough Feg. But that’s just this week.
Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
Current top thank you in a constantly revolving and growing list: Raphael Paebst, our rock brother in Germany who is busting ass to nail down the final details on the HyperGlaive Eurotour 2017. Thanks to him we will be rocking 6 countries in 10 days next month. It’s gonna rule! Check out our website, http://www.meltedfaces.com, It’s got ways to get our weird march as well as the latest tour info. Europe, we’re coming to get you!!!
Oh, favorite joke (maybe). Why do you wrap gerbils in duct tape? (Dramatic pause)… so they don’t explode when you fuck them.
That last one dates me a little bit. Hey, thanks for your time and interest, and rock on!