|Maximum Metal: Well Frank, you and I have been talking for over a year now, with you plotting the course of Legion and me being the simple watching eye. The band finally got a big break recently by signing to Majestic Rock Records late last year. But before we get to that, let's get everyone up to speed on the band as of right now. When did Legion form and who were the founding members?|
Frank: Sure, well let's see....I had actually formed the band in the mid 90's with a drummer from the previous band I was in. My idea was to involve my brother Joe into the project and have a supped-up, classic twin guitar attack with a very aggressive edge. Not long after Joe's arrival, the drummer left. So the both of us were on our own for while, exchanging ideas and working up material. About a year later we hooked up with Collin Bianchi. The three of us hit it off right away and we became the musical nucleus of Legion. At that point, we wanted to expand into a full band. So the next few years were like line-up musical chairs. We had constant auditions, with singers and bass players coming and going. In the meantime...the three of us were working hard on our material, which we eventually recorded. We then started shopping it around as an instrumental demo, in the hopes of either attracting some label interest, or finding a suitable front man. After a few more failed line-up attempts, we wiped the slate clean and started working on the material that would become "Shadow of the King". Finally we met up with Mike Bunk, and after just one brilliant rehearsal everything came into place. It was like the perfect storm.
MM: What sort of musical inspirations went into the sound early on, and how would you compare the band's sound?
Frank: We were always fans of Classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Of course bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Malmsteen were huge influences on all of us. So our sound was always firmly rooted in that style. But, in our earlier days we also incorporated elements of Thrash, Power and Prog-Metal into the mix. I would say our sound now has evolved into a much more focused style.
MM: The band's debut album, "Shadow Of The King" was self-released in 2005. Had the album sold well with you and the other members being the sole promoters?
Frank: Without any help of promotion and very limited exposure....we couldn't have asked for more. Once we started getting some notice in the press, everything snowballed. We then started getting more and more inquiries about the album.
MM: Every where I turned last year I spotted the CD. from places like Sentinel Steel to Hell Bent for Records, it looked like folks were trying to move some copies. How was the overall response for the album? What sort of feedback were you getting?
Frank: The feedback we got was incredible, especially in Germany and Italy. It seemed like everyday we were shipping out copies to fans and distributors from all over the world. It was a great year for the band, but it took a lot of hard work. I think appearing on the Metal Crusade XI CD in Germany really showed us we were moving in the right direction.
MM: At some point Majestic Rock Records got involved with this release? Tell us how that came about.
Frank: That came from out of the blue. Sometime in late October I had received a message from Geoff Gillespie in Japan, apparently someone had informed him about us. From there we sent him a promo. He really liked what he heard. So we started working out the details through November and December of 2005.
MM: Recently it was disclosed to Maximum Metal that Majestic Rock will reissue the debut album as a re-master plus a bonus cut. How much will the sound change? I really liked the sound of Collin Bianchi drums on the original recording.
|"Once we started getting some notice in the press, everything snowballed."|
Frank: Thanks Bro....Drum sounds are usually tough to record, so we spent a lot of time on them and it really paid off. We'll be working closely with Geoff and Majestic Rock on the re-master....Since it was done on a very limited budget. It'll sound much better than the original.
MM: What will be the bonus cut?
Frank: The bonus cut will appear exclusively for the Japanese release. It will be an alternate version of "Heart Of Stone". An earlier version we recorded as a demo, with different vocal, bass and keyboards tracks.
MM: You had also mentioned some alternate artwork. What sort of art concept are they looking at?
Frank: It's definitely going to be something more bold, modern, and aggressive looking, also the booklet will be expanded to eight pages. Majestic Rock obviously wants it to stand out. We're confident they'll do a great job.
MM: This year I would love to see Legion hit some bigger venues and maybe get involved in a tour package or two. what sort of plans are in the works for touring? It would be great to see a young band like Legion team up with the likes of Icarus Witch and maybe a big band like Edguy or Rob Rock.
Frank: Absolutely, that would be great. At the moment there is nothing confirmed yet, but I'm sure that Majestic Rock is going to want us to promote the album once it's released. Of course most of the demand for the band has been from overseas, but it would be cool to get involved in a tour or two over here as well.
MM: Any chance for the Classic Metal Fest in Chicago this year?
Frank: If there's a spot open and the offer is there....sure, why not?
MM: How long will this deal with Majestic Rock last? Will they be on board for the next release?
Frank: Without getting too far into specifics, the deal for "Shadow Of The King" will be with Majestic Rock for the next few years. As far as the next release, we'll both wait and see how everything goes. We hope to have a new album ready later this year.
MM: Besides smoking stages with traditional heavy metal power, what do you do for regular employment?
Frank: I do maintenance work. I also run my own custom painting business on the side.
MM: What metal albums are you looking forward to this year besides your own?
Frank: I will definitely check out the new Queensryche album, Ronnie James Dio as Dr.X ?...That should be interesting.
MM: If this was 1981, who would Legion be on stage with?
Frank: 1981? Like everyone else at that time, we probably would have been based in either Los Angeles or England, scrambling for a record deal.....Who we would be onstage with?....Lets see,....I think we'd fit nicely with Black Sabbath on the Mob Rules tour. Or maybe the Monsters of Rock festival with Rainbow, Scorpions, and Judas Priest....So many great bands at that time....Of course, we would be honored to have played with any of those groups
MM: Okay Frank, Thanks for your time and we wish the band the best of luck! We have always tried to support the band and we look for great things to come. keep the faith brother!
Frank: Thanks Eric...You guys have always been great to us and we really appreciate the support. Keep up the good work!!...........Maximum Metal Rules!!