|Posted by Kibitzer on April 13, 2011 at 9:26 AM|
Interview with Joel Wood of Forgotten Legacy
By The Kibitzer 4/13/2011
Hey there kiddies! The Kibitzer here with my first interview for KarlsMetal.com and I would like to introduce to you the vocalist of Forgotten Legacy, Joel Wood!! I saw Forgotten Legacy live last year and those of you not familiar with them, let me tell you that they kick ass! Joel, how are things going with you and the band?!
Joel: Things are going as well as they can in an area where metal like ours is pretty much non-existent. But we have seen an uprising of power metal bands in the area. Currently we're just happy writing, recording, and playing as often as we can. We have a strong passion for what we do and that makes all the guys in the band happy. And recently we've been searching for a 2nd guitarist.
Let’s start off with the inception of Forgotten Legacy and how it came to be. When you and your band mates wanted to start a band, did you know automatically what style of Metal you guys wanted to play or did you guys let it come naturally?
Joel: We ALL knew that we wanted to play REAL heavy metal for true metal people. We knew that we were going to have limited places to play, and fans were going to be hard to come by in the area until the band started making a name for itself. We still don't know what kind of metal we want to play because we all have such a wide range of influences. We like to think of ourselves as just being HEAVY METAL. No labels, no sub-genres. Just METAL. Period! The band actually came to be when two former member of Beyond Fallen, Mike Johnson, and Chuck Donahue, lost their vocalist due to him leaving the area. An older band I was in opened for Beyond Fallen, and I must've left an impression as they called me as soon as the old guy left and asked if I'd like to be in the band. Since the band has overseas experience, I immediately said, "yes.!" After a few lineup changes, and the addition of John Jez, it was no longer Beyond Fallen. Hence the birth of Forgotten Legacy.
How long have you guys been together?
Joel: This June it'll be two years. And we couldn't be happier with the progress we've made albeit slow at times.
Have you been in other bands prior to joining Forgotten Legacy? If you were, how different did you want Forgotten Legacy to be from any of the other bands that you were in?
Joel: I have always been in metal bands over the years. The problem laid in past members commitments to the band, lack of professionalism, guys quitting, and the lack of passion I have for metal. Forgotten legacy is my dream band. They all equally share my enthusiasm, commitment, and passion for the music I love.
Since I myself am pretty new to Forgotten Legacy’s music, what are some of the major influences that you and some of the other members have in common and how do you guys incorporate those influences and ideas within Forgotten Legacy without accidentally sounding like another band?
Joel: Our influences are vast, but most of the main influences we have in common are bands like: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Primus, GWAR, Primal Fear, Queensryche, Slayer, Megadeth, and if I continued, I'd confuse you because they are so vast and at times very different. Accidentally sounding like another band can be tricky, especially since we feel almost everything has been done. The one thing that hasn't been done is sounding like ALL of our influences. When you listen to a F.L. song, you may think Queensryche, and Maiden, and then you'll hear another and think Slayer, Death, and then yet another sounding like Helloween, and Halford. We really go out of our way to write songs that will appeal to the entire heavy metal audience. You may not like one song, but you'll love another. There's something for everyone without ever leaving being a true metal band.
How does the songwriting process begin for you guys? Where do you guys get most of your ideas from?
Joel: I'd say 90% if not 95% of the songs just come from playing a simple guitar riff at rehearsals. From there, the ideas flow like water because of the rare chemistry the band shares. The cool thing about F.L. is that we have written many songs that we scrapped over several months just because it was garbage. We really want the fans to get and pay for our best, so why write songs for filler on an album just to get an album out? Every song you hear on the next album will be crafted like a fine beer. We will take our time, we will be overly critical of ourselves, and you will get our best.
Do you feel any real pressure when you guys are in writing mode to stay true to the band’s ways of writing songs? Is there a particular formula that you guys stick to when writing songs?
Joel: The band couldn't write a song that wasn't true to us if we tried, and if we did, the song would be scrapped. The formula is always the same: Come up with riff, add on to riff, get main song down, send to email for vocal writing, bring vocals into rehearsal, adjust the song for vocals, and then add or delete aspects of the song over time.
Could you please tell us a little more about the band’s latest CD, “The Oracle”? Is it concept album?
Joel: It is not a concept album, just simply a 5-song EP to get the name of the band and the music heard. The Oracle showcases the bands talents to it's extremes at times, so you'll surely hear what the band is capable of, yet the song-writing makes the songs listenable, and enjoyable. Our only regret is that we wrote the Oracle fast. We wish we could’ve spent more time and been more critical like we are now.
How has the response been with the CD? Have you heard any other responses from other parts of the world other than the United States such as Europe or Asia?
Joel: The CD is getting extremely good reviews overseas. The US is obviously a little tougher because of the sh***y music scene in the States, but overall the album is getting very good remarks. The only bad: Recording, and the need for a 2nd guitarist which we are now trying to fix. Hey, you live and you learn, and you get better the next time round.
Even with today’s technology with the Internet and all, do you think that there is still a lot more work to do in order to expose more people to Forgotten Legacy’s music? What other steps have you taken?
Joel: Absolutely! Because there is so many bands...most complete shit...it's hard to get your music heard because people hear so much garbage it's easy to overlook good bands.
The first time that I saw you guys was at the Iron and Steel Festival II Fest back in October 2010. You guys had a great show that night too by the way and looking at what you guys bring to the stage, what is it that you always try to change or do every time you step on stage?
Joel: Well, currently we're trying to perfect our onstage look. I believe that people pay not only to hear music but to see a show. I like to get people involved at every show. If you come to a Forgotten Legacy show, be prepared to have a mic shoved in your face!
Are you guys going to be playing any more fests for the rest of 2011 or are you going to just stick to only playing local shows?
Joel: Our main goal is Germany. Some of the guys have overseas experience, and that's where our main audience is. If we're asked to play the fests, we go out of our way to make it happen. At this moment there are no more fests booked this year, but we're mainly concerned at this point to get the new songs in order so we can hit the studio sometime this summer.
Have you guys ever played outside of the United States?
Joel: Mike and Chuck have played in Germany, yes.
What was your favorite Forgotten Legacy show? Is it one that is recent or something that you guys did in the past?
Joel: My favorite show was the Warriors of Metal fest in Chillicothe Ohio last summer. The fans, and the other bands were just incredible and the friends we made those few days were something I'll never forget. A true rock star experience. Definitely check out WOM Fest this year. You won't be disappointed.
What do you think would be the ultimate gig for you guys?
Joel: Hahaha. 100,000 people in the middle of a huge football staduim...for me anyway.
In your opinion, is Forgotten Legacy’s live sound and studio sound two different animals or do you guys try to sound the same throughout? Overall I’m still impressed.
Joel: I always say, "You can tell a good band from a half-assed band by how well they sound live. If they sound like they do on the CD, they're pretty good. If not, you know a lot of studio magic was in play." I think we sound fairly close to our recorded sound. You decide.
Just straying off topic for a second here, I’ll be honest with you, the first time I heard you sing on stage I was really shocked that voice came out of you! You look more like a professional wrestler! By the way, that ties in to my next question. The last time I spoke to you, you had stated that you use to be one yourself. Could you please share a little bit of that with the audience for those of us that aren’t familiar with your background?
Joel: LOL, yes, at one time I trained to be a pro wrestler. Something that never panned out for me. Our bassist Chuck used to do hardcore wrestling himself. And I always get "Man, I can't believe you sound the way you do!" If you didn't know Ronnie James Dio, you'd never think that gigantic voice came out of him either lol.
Did you really want to make it to the bigger wrestling federations or was this something that was only temporary?
Joel: t one time, I really wanted to be in the WWE. But there's only one thing I've ever excelled at, and that's singing.
If you had a choice between being a singer vs. a professional wrestler, which would you choose and why?
Joel: See answer above. It's not even close.
When did you get your first calling to become a singer in a band? Did it start out with Metal or did that decision come later on in life?
Joel: I've wanted to sing in a band since I was very young. Unfortunately, I wasn't born with a good voice. I had to learn how to use it over many years. I was in my first band at age 16, and I was HORRIBLE! lol Luckily, it didn't stop me from getting better.
Back to the band, what other plans do you have for the rest of this year as a band?
Joel: The recording studio is calling. And we need that 2nd guitarist. Those are our short-term plans.
Are you guys working on some new material the next CD? Any conceptual ideas or are you guys going to go freestyle on this one and just have a bunch of songs speak for themselves on the next CD?
Joel: We write about anything and everything. All I know is that this next album is gonna make us, or break us. But we are all doing our best to not write garbage songs.
Seeing that Heavy Metal is a multifaceted form of music, do you guys see yourselves incorporating other styles of Metal within your music or do you think that you guys will stick to what you know?
Joel: We will always sound like Forgotten Legacy, but you'll always hear the many influences, that’s what makes us Forgotten Legacy
What is your opinion on the state of Metal in 2011? Do you think that it’s doing well or do you think it needs an overhaul?
Joel: I think it needs the attitude it once had. Too many Dungeons and Dragons bands out there. Sometimes it's like listening to Harry Potter stories. I'm here to kick fucking ass. I don't care if you like me, or my music. Just leave me the f**k alone if you don't. As the lyrics in our song "This Is Metal" go, "Don't care what you like and never will." I live those words. If you're with me, you're my brother/sister.
What do you think about the Metal scene here in the United States? There's a metal scene in the States?
Joel: Lol, in all seriousness, it's starting to come around. More kids are getting into good metal bands and finding out (Thanks to Rock Band and Guitar Hero) that this shit is hard to play and are gaining a respect for it. Metal will never die, no matter what the States think of it.
What do you listen to nowadays? Is your IPod filled with nothing but Metal or does your taste for music vary?
Joel: No IPOD here, but my car is filled with Manowar, Priest, Fates Warning, Maiden, Primal Fear, Type O, Slayer etc...There is nothing but metal in my car, but I sometimes like some classical music, and opera.
Well Joel, I want to thank you again for giving us the opportunity to chat with you here and granting us some of your time to hear your thoughts about everything and anything. Do you have any last parting words to all of the Metal Heads out there or anything that you would like to plug?
Joel: Thank you sir, for your interests in the band, and your kind words. We look forward to seeing you at a show soon. Check us out on Facebook and at www.reverbnation.com/forgottenlegacy