Sunday, April 14, 2013

Breaking news!!!! Masque reforms!!!!

Several weeks back I promised I'd have great news in regards to a cult eighties heavy metal band and here it is: The Mighty Masque, whose "The Dead Of The Night" EP is simply one of the greatest traditional heavy metal albums of all time, has re-formed and are in the process of writing new material and preparing for the long overdo CD re-release of "The Dead Of The Night"!  Simply put Masque, who sadly only released the one lone EP before calling it quits, were the sound of pure heavy metal and their original vinyl-only release, an absolutely perfect example of true heavy metal, is a highly-sought after collector's item! Previously the only way you could hear this album was if you downloaded it online illegally or settled for cheaply issued CD bootlegs. Thankfully "The Dead Of The Night" will finally get the deluxe treatment that it rightly deserves and the band members themselves will be rewarded for their efforts. Along with the CD, which will tentatively come with one new track and a 16 page color booklet, the band will be issuing the re-release on vinyl so collectors of all shapes and sizes will be quite happy! The best news of all, especially if you live in the UK I'd say, is that the band has plans to embark an upcoming tour to promote the re-release! In the words of the band themselves: "A new era is unfolding. An upcoming tour be titled “Unfinished Business”, Masque are back, all new, all different - to settle the Unfinished Business!"

That was then...

And this is now!

(Amy and Pete in the studio)

New guitarist Hayden Bedwell lays down some sweet riffs!

Along with the news of the band re-forming comes the news that Masque has a new singer! Replacing original vocalist Jo Phipps is newcomer Amy Casson (the new version of Masque also features new guitarist Hayden Bedwell as well as "unofficial member" guitarist/keyboardist Gavin Hyatt) and, as an exclusive here at Heavy Metal Time Machine, we have her very first ever interview! The word is that Amy, who is a wonderfully down to earth woman, brings a new dimension to Masque and that the band sounds better then ever! I'd just like to thank founding member/chief song-writer (and all around insanely cool guy) bassist Pete Jensko for setting up this interview and of course Amy for taking the time to talk with us. Enjoy!

Andy-Could you introduce yourself please.  

Amy-Hey I'm Amy Casson, I'm 26 and am the lead vocalist in Masque and from a town called Witney In Oxfordshire.
Amy takes over the mic for Masque in epic fashion!

Andy-Fill us in on your background some if you would.
Amy-Been in Witney all my life, my childhood was mostly brought up by my mum and grandparents, I've been to college where I studied Music Technology, worked many jobs most of them rubbish, and currently as well as singing in Masque, I am studying a degree in Music Performance.

Andy-As a singer who influenced you? Are you a metal fan yourself?

Amy-There are many singers mostly strong fronted female singers such as Amy Lee from Evanescence, Sandra Nasić from Guano Apes, Cristina Scabbia from Lucuna Coil, Gwen Stefani when in No Doubt, Sharon Janny den Adel from within Temptation, Tarja Turunen former singer from Nightwish to name a few.I have a very wide taste in music and metal is definitely included in that.
Andy-Is Masque the first band you've fronted?

Amy-In a way it is, I have tried with a couple of other bands in the past but they did not get very far due to different factors, I have always been very particular in what band would suit me and vice versa and Masque felt like it was meant for me.

It's on!

Andy-As a women in rock have you struggle to be taken seriously because of your good looks? Have you experienced the stigma and, frankly, sexism that is still prevalent in too much of the heavy metal culture today?

Amy-As this is the first real band that I've fronted I haven't really given it much thought as didn't even consider my looks in the process and always focused on my voice and haven't come across this problem as of yet. However in general and being brutally honest I think your always gonna get some people who are sexist and if this is the case then in my mind if this is how they think then they don't take their music seriously and I would pity that and feel sorry them, as this is the 21stcentury and in today's world there's no time for being narrow minded.
Andy-How did you first come to hear about Masque?

Amy-Through an advert that was placed on line, I read it and sounds bizarre but it was like they were talking about me, so listened to some of the tracks and though straight away that's me I can do that, so messaged them, had a meeting with Pete, went for an audition and the rest is history as they say.
Andy-How does it feel to be fronting what many people consider to be a cult eighties band?

Amy-Doesn't bother me in the slightest, if that's what people want to think then let them think it but they would be wrong, cause I don't think the songs sound as if there from that time, if anything I don't think a lot of people were ready for Masque and missed out, when they see us and hear the songs they will soon change their minds, not sounding to cocky ha ha.

Andy-Is there more pressure in singing the older Masque songs (because of diehard fans of "The Dead Of The Night" EP) or in singing the new material because of people's anticipation/expectations?

Amy-There is pressure obviously as I don't want to disappoint fans, it makes me work that much harder and push myself to prove that I can meet their expectations and more, and that's a good thing in my eyes.

Andy-Have you played live with the band and if so how has the response been?  

Amy-We have our first opening small gig on the 23rd of May, so cant really say much on that. But the response already and we haven't even played has been truly amazing.
Andy-Do you feel like you have some big shoes to fill since you've replaced Jo Phipps?

The fire still burns for bassist Pete Jensko!

Amy-Ha Ha waiting for this question Jo is an amazing singer, and I'm flattered to be replacing her and obviously keeping up again to the fans expectations is gonna be something, but that just pushes me even harder to hopefully one day be even better then Jo. 

Andy-How is the new material coming together?

Amy-Its coming along really well, all very exciting people are gonna be blown away when they hear the material.

Andy-What should fans expect from the new version of Masque? How would you describe the new sound?
Amy-There is a lot of new and great material which they should be buzzed and excited about, the sound id say has still some of the old sound just revamped to keep up with the times.

Andy-With the re-release on the horizon are you prepared for the inevitable comparisons that will be made between the older material and the newer songs? 

Amy-Yeah of course I'm sure the fans will let us know exactly what they think ha ha but then that shows us that they care and are passionate about the band and songs and that is something truly great to see, but I'm sure and no doubt about it that they are gonna love the new material.

Andy-Are you ready for the next step? By that I mean let's say Masque suddenly goes huge and it's non-stop touring, interviews, etc and instant stardom. Would you be able to handle that kind of sudden life adjustment?  

Amy-This is something that I love and am passionate about, and have always wanted I wouldn't care if I was earning next to nothing, if all what you say above happens it would be incredible and I would just take it all in and think of it as an amazing experience, I wouldn't let it get to my head just roll with it, I just say bring it on!

Andy-What would you like to say to Masque fans?

Amy-Masque is back with a vengeance and has unfinished business!
Andy-Final words? I give you the mic Amy...

Amy-I wont let the new or old fans down I know what they want and will deliver and hope they except me as part of the Masque family like I do them.

Amy and Pete in preparation for the comeback.

Below you can read my original review of the killer "The Dead Of The Night" and be sure to check out the bands brand new Facebook page and "like it"! As soon as I have more information of the re-issue I will be sure to post it here.

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