Interview By Ville Krannila / April 2007
First off the obvious question, why did you start a Priest tribute band and what does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?
It was inevitable, I think, because Priest rarely plays in Hungary. The Hungarian JP fans claim the live performances which we, the so called tribute bands guarantee for them (there are two more JP tribute bands in Hungary, the Judas Best and the Meltdown. They are more experienced than us). Last but not least, we muster a lot of youngsters and we have this music and our adored ideals loved by them. I am a real JP/Halford fanatic, a crazy guy, for me JP is a Metal Bible, they are my number one. I only listen to Malmsteen, Halford band and Fight records but mainly JP. I grew up on this music, and that must be my funeral march too (but I do hope that will be later).
Where did the name Metal Angel came from?
I am a real angel (hahahhah), that’s why the name was obvious. Seriously, I have been between life and death several times. I love fast cars and the rush. But on 26 th February 2004 I learned to fly and I crushed myself and I nearly died. After rising from coma I got to know that my bones were connected with metal screws, nails and discs. So, I became a real Metal Angel, a real heavy metal angel.
How long have you guys been Priest fans, how did it all begin?
My drummer Koko (Attila Kovács) has been for the early 80’s. My present band is new and very young, they are in their 20’s, they love it for few years. They listened to JP and they felt why it is good. It is important, because this kind of music needs to be felt, not only understood. .For me this year is the 28th, and I am very proud of that fact, I am a faithful JP fan. When I first heard them, I realized immediately that it was “my music.” I loved the music, the lyrics and the singing. It was in 1979. Later in the early 80’s, I formed my first band, called Code, and we played JP songs too. As their record came in 1984, soon after we played Freewheel Burning in concert.
Of course singing the songs originally done by the Metal God himself ain’t the easiest thing in the world. Do you practice the metal screams or do any vocal training?
I always try to do my best, sometimes I can “clone” Halford and I am successful, but sometimes I can’t. To imitate Rob Halford is a very hard thing. He has the best technique I have ever heard. I practice a lot to sing like him. He is the Metal God, my Master!
How much practice in general it takes to make a successful tribute act?
It depends on the songs. With my former band, with professional musicians, we complete 5 songs in 15 hours. Now, with the youngsters, we have been practicing 9 songs for 3 months. Two of them are the two new songs of the Halford band.
As I am getting older, it is harder to memorize the lyrics. Another problem is the members of my group live about 150 kilometres from me except my drummer. We can share our ideas and demos on the internet.
What “gear” are the players currently using?
István Kósa “Bobi”
Custom hand made bass
Behringer ultrabass BX 3000h amp
Attila Ádám “Cupi”
Behringer XV-amp effect
Ernie Ball strings
György Hoffmann “Hofi”
Floyd Rose DST-2 guitar
Behringer GMX 1200h amp
Marshall Jackhammer JH-1
Floyd Rose speedloader 9-12
Dean Markley strings
The drummer has a Sonor kit with Sabian cymbals and custom made sticks.
I use a wireless Russian Shure copy microphone. I can buy a better one, but this mic is in destroyable, a real “Metal Ivan”.(hahahhah)
What’s the hardest Priest song to play live? Which one took most work to get done?
The most difficult are the Painkiller, Green Manalishi, Electric Eye… There are several songs which are hard to interpret. The least difficult for me are Freewheel Burning , Riding On The Wind, Desert Plains and Angel. I love these songs!
If you could add any song to the Metal Angel set, which would it be?
It can be a long list… I am about to play songs from the newer records. We will play from the Turbo and Defenders of the Faith records, moreover from the Angel of Retribution, for example my favourite is Judas Rising. I have already paid attention to some songs from the Ripper-times, a lot of fans do not like him, but he was the singer of JP too.
Have you recorded any Priest songs in studio? If not, do you have plans to maybe cut some demo versions of Priest classics?
Of course! I have already recorded Angel, Worth Fighting For, The Ripper and Riding On The Wind. Before I give up singing, I would like to record a “Metal Angel’s tribute to JP” CD, with the best JP songs according to me. This year I will move to a studio where one of the best guitar players in Hungary and studio owner, Zsolt Daczi will be my helper.
What is the most memorable gig that you’ve played and what made it great?
The most memorable gig was on 31 st October, last year. I was the special guest of Tim Ripper Owens in Budapest. I practiced more and more before the concert. When he invited me to the stage I got a shock. The reason why it happened to me maybe was that, I had never stood on stage with a former JP singer. I have no idea what happened. I lost my voice and I forgot the lyrics to Living after Midnight.(!) There was nothing else to do, Tim sang the refrain and I sang the verse in Hungarian.(hahahhah) That was a great experience for the fans and for us the musicians, but the local media wrote some negative critic about me. That was my personal tragedy.
My most painful concert was on 30 th September 2006, because 5 days before the concert I had a car accident and I broke 3 of my ribs. I couldn’t cancel the concert, I sang it with my broken bones. I trembled from the pain, I will never forget it. You can see the clips of this concert on the net.
I have a lot! If I told you all, 100 pages wouldn’t be enough…But I tell you one from the golden age of communism. I was drunk as a rule and in my custom made Halford dress I sang Victim of Changes in the street around midnight. Somebody called the police, I was beaten by them heavily an I had to pay a fee for rioting.(hahahhah)
Have you ever seen other Priest tributes? What setsMetal Angel apart from other JP tribute bands?
I have only seen two Hungarian tribute bands live. Both were very good. I have only seen foreign tribute bands on video. One of my favourite is an American band called Xciter. There are not real differences between the Judas Priest tribute bands. Although, there are some who dress themselves up as Priest (like I do) or not. All of us salute playing Priest. That is what really matters. I think, the only difference between us and the others is that, we play the songs of the Halford band and Fight.
What’s up next for Metal Angel?
With my present band I will play in biker events, I plan to tour in summer, we would like to introduce ourselves in Slovakia, Romania, and Austria. In autumn, we will be the special guests for some famous English bands in Budapest, then I would like to go to the studio and record a tribute album. The greatest thing would be to meet the members of Judas Priest, and I am looking forward to the Nostradamus album. I would like to give my best wishes to the JP members for the recording session.
KEEP THE FAITH!!!
Thank You! Keep playing and keep bringing PRIEST fans an excellent tribute!
Check out www.themetalangel.gportal.hu for more info!