Seventh Calling Guitarist/Vocalist Steve Handel Interviewed

Seventh Calling is a 4 piece hard rock / heavy metal band based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota that has been churning out its very own unique brand of heavy music since the group’s debut album released in 2007 and who continue to deliver the American metallic hammer in 2016.

The band continue to perform their engaging original and unique brand of traditionally flavored heavy metal music style with shades of thrash and old school anthems, at full ear splitting power while showcasing their regal command of the stage..

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

“From the time I can remember I have always been into music. Hearing it on the radio back when I was a kid was exciting. Where I was growing up there was no easy access point for music, unlike today. But bands like Kiss, Judas Priest, Metal Church, Black Sabbath, Dio, and so many more are the bands that got me into the style.”

How did you become a guitarist / vocalist and are you proficient in any other instruments?

“Glenn and KK are who got me into wanting to throw down some heavy metal riffery. As far as being a vocalist, that was ultimately a decision I had made after going through a few singers working in various projects over the years. Got tired of the drama caused by most and started doing it on my own.”

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

“Oh in the early days it was the Pomp Room. That was the place to be and play on any night of the week. But that was basically the main place to perform. Then there was the Sunbird Lounge, but that was strictly a cover bar. Now there are alot of cover bars here but only a couple of places to perform originally. But it is a very busy original area. No there really was not a local group that I wanted to be like. I just enjoyed going and watching all of the different bands come through. As far as favorite local original groups now, no not really. I just like to go out and see what is happening.”

How would you best describe your sound?

“Sound, hmm I would say we sound like Seventh Calling. Our style of dual guitar heavy metal. People have compared us to similarities with other groups such as Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Savatage and so on, but not sounding like any of them at the same time.”

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

“It is not. Usually if you do presales this is how your band gets paid to perform on the gig. Pay to play means you simply drop bills to the promoter and you are on. No pay to you for playing, but you pay to play.”

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

“HA! Ok the first cassette I ever bought was Pyromania-Def Leppard. First vinyl was Fandango-ZZ TOP. From there it just turned into chaos! HA! The most replaced tape or CD that I have re purchased over and over is actually Keel-The Final Frontier. Great album and great tunes. Wore that dog out!!”

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

“We have been on a couple of labels at this point already. Our debut MONUMENTS was released through Melissa Records and then our follow up EPIDEMIC was released through Heaven and Hell Records. Our newest BATTLE CALL is done by ourselves at this point, and now for the next record. We shall see what happens.”

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

“There is always a degree of nervousness. Anyone that says different is full of it. There is always a minor possibility your rig, or your voice or your guitar or drums,,,blah blah. But you just hammer it out and deal with the events that take place as they come. Well the biggest? That is tough as we have performed with DORO, Symphony X, Belladonna, Michael Schenker, Ratt, Quiet Riot (Kevin Dubrow) LA GUNS, Metal Church, and so many more. We have had a good time so far, and plan on continuing.”

Is commercial rock radio dead?

“Commercial, no surely not. That is what runs our crappy airwaves today yet.”

Favorite songs on the new as yet to be finished album and why?

“At this point we have a few going on and of course you want to say, everything on it! But seriously at this point there is one song in particular that we are tentatively calling Mad Dreams. This one is a straight forward basher that spells it out in the first lyrical line. ‘The time has come again, join together now, shake your heads’. Dual solos and just power.”

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

“Each song is a story that we try to perform to the fullest, so we try to maintain the same level of emotion through the whole set. Not really any one song means more than another in story to myself personally.”

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Seventh Calling songs ?

“Not really that we are aware of. On purpose anyway. More of a storybook than anything else. Like for example: Battle Call and Stand are basically about step up! Fight and make sure that you are heard. Deliverance was inspired by the story of John Wayne Gacy. Then from there we have Perfect Silence which was inspired by true events in the news that I would always hear in the morning in Minneapolis MN as I would get ready for work. First line is about a kid getting killed for his shoes, and another getting beaten to almost death for wearing a red shirt! That gives the general idea of what we have on the Battle Call album.”

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

“Click Track with all guitar scratch parts and bass with scratch vocals as well first. Basically the full song without the drums for the drummer to listen to and create his tracks then. That is where we see if all the parts work together or if we need to change anything before finalization.”

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

“EV and Basson Cabinets are what we have had. Basson has closed it’s doors but I would still purchase these cabinets off of ebay or anywhere else. As far as what, any kind of endorsement would be great for the guys. We like to use stuff!”

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

“Any band pretty much that would be a great match in styles. But it would surely be awesome to tour with Metal Church. Just to name one among hundreds that come to mind. Metal Church, Death Dealer, Seventh Calling. Now that would perhaps be a cool tour!

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

“Song: Disturbing the Priest-Black Sabbath. Albums, 1. Defenders of The Faith-Judas Priest 2. The Dark-Metal Church 3. The next Seventh Calling album. HA!!”

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

“Metal fans stay true and keep the heavy metal faith alive!!!! Stop and give us a shout at Facebook grab our CD Battle Call out now on Itunes, Apple Music, Youtube Music, CD Baby and many more plus get your official back releases and other merchandise please visit us at Big Cartel.

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