Interview with guitarist Glenn Rogers
This past week I've had the pleasure of talking with legendary guitarist Glenn Rogers. For those of you who might not be familiar with his name let me start off by saying that Glenn has quite the resume and has played with such bands as Hero (U.S.A.),Vengeance/Vengeance Rising, Once Dead, Deliverance, Steal Vengeance and of course Hirax. While Glenn Rogers might not be a household name for everyone there is no doubt he played a vital role in the early development of Christian thrash. He has also proven to be an excellent gunslinger for hire as seen by his recent work with cult band Hirax. Glenn was kind enough to talk with me about how he got started in music and what he has planned for the future. Not only is Glenn Rogers a great guitar player but he is also a real down to Earth guy and it was fun catching up with him.
Andy-Glenn, could you tell me a little about how you got into metal and what your early influences were?
Glenn-I started playing guitar before there was Heavy Metal. The first bands I was into were The Beatles and Stones.Then came Led Zeppelin and UFO. Later I picked up a copy of Iron Maidens Killers lp and that was it. I was hooked.
Andy-Was Deliverance your first band?
Glenn-My first band was called Caution. We were a cover band that played a few original songs. Mostly sixties covers. I do have studio recordings of that band. As for Metal bands I played in some local groups before I started with Doug Thieme and Roger Martin in the band that would become Vengeance Rising in 1986 or early 87. After we split I joined HERO for a short time,and then joined Deliverance.
Andy-Your resume includes stints in not only Christian metal bands Deliverance and Vengeance Rising but also secular acts Hirax and Steel Vengeance. Has the scene changed making it more acceptable for musicians to play for both sides if you will or is it just that more musicians are starting to branch out and realize it's just all metal?
Glenn-For me I felt all along that there should be no line drawn. Christian or non Christian band. We should have been just a band,and let everyone figure it out.. All the bands would have been more successful if we we're on regular labels. Instead we all got stuck in book stores where Metal fans don't go to buy Metal records. How are going to reach non Christians in a Christian book store?
Andy-While online sites like Amazon killed small bookstores it has made music more readily available to fan's who live in out of the way places with nothing around other than a Walmart for buying metal. I've always thought that good metal is good metal regardless of it's color tag! You've been in so many great bands Glenn. What were some of the highlights so far and low points?
Glenn-The highest I would say is when Hirax played Bang Your Head fest 2003 in Germany. It was great,we shared the stage with Dio, Twisted Sister, U.D.O.. Got to jam with Jack Starr,and are featured on the BYH best of DVD. The lowest was saying goodbye to Deliverance. That band should have been BIG.
Andy-I've always thought that the problem Deliverance had was that they couldn't hold onto a stable line-up. Between that and the shift away from thrash towards more progressive metal I think kept them from being huge. Weapons Of Our Warfare is hands down one of the best Christian speed metal/thrash albums ever. That was then though and now your involved in several new projects. Want to fill everyone in for what's in store?
Glenn-Well I parted way with Hirax,and started up a new band called FINAL DECREE. The line up is Kevin Goocher ex member of Omen and lead singer of Phantom X on vocals. Daniel Cordova who was in the touring line up for Vengeance Rising on bass, Dave Watson ex Hirax on guitar,and helping us out on drums is Jorge Icabellis from Hirax.I was also asked to play guitar for former Metal Blade artist Viking.
Andy-Yes, I've heard that cult thrashers Viking have reformed. It will be cool to see you playing with one of my favorite eighties thrash bands. Final Decree sounds like it is going to be killer. You've got a great group of musicians involved. I read that you were writing a bunch of songs and hope to do some recording in the near future. Are you looking to make Final Decree a full time project?
Glenn-Yes Final Decree will be my main band.We have started recording a demo and will let people hear it when it's done.My role in Viking will be lead guitarist. That's Ron's baby,so it's his musical direction I will follow. I will do live shows when they come up,and record solo tracks for the record.
Andy-Well as much as I look forward to Viking it's Final Decree that's I can't wait to hear. I hope you'll be kind enough to send Heavy Metal Time Machine a copy!
Glenn-Yes I will send one too you. The band will be a mix of Thrash and Power Metal. I hope you will enjoy it. I also want to thank our Jackson, EVH and DW drums for their support.
Andy-Glenn, I'd just like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and get your fan's caught up with what's new with you. Heavy Metal Time Machine would like to wish you luck with Final Decree and we look forward to not only hearing the demo but also to seeing Final Decree take the metal community by storm!
Be sure to keep an eye out for Final Decree in 2011. Heavy Metal Time Machine will let everyone know when we get any more updates from the band. Also watch for the reformed Viking and if you haven't already check out their Do Or Die and Man Of Straw albums.