Interview By Ville Krannila / June 2015
Steel Mill is happy to present another excellent Priest Tribute in the form of Victim of Changes from New York. With plans to perform Unleashed In The East in it’s entirity, this cover band is an act not to be missed!
First off, why did you start a Priest tribute band and what does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?
We are all huge Judas Priest fans who grew up on the classic Priest tunes. It’s been a total blast going out and playing these songs live getting to relive some of the good old times.
© Victim of Changes
How long have you guys been Priest fans, how did it all begin?
Eddie: My brother had “Unleashed in the East” on cassette, I wore that thing out… at 10 years old, I was hooked. First saw them live in ’84 at the infamous “seat cushion riot” at MSG.
Butch: 1978 my friend found “Stained Class” in a record store. When the needle dropped on “Exciter” and the drums kicked in, I knew I was hooked.
Glenn: It was in 1979 going to my first concert- Kiss. Out came some band I never heard called Judas Priest- I was blown away. Next day walked to a record store and bought “Sin After Sin” on cassette. They got a fan for life.
Of course singing the songs originally done by the Metal God himself isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Do you practice the metal screams or do any vocal training?
John: I took vocal lessons with Don Lawrence and definitely practice the Metal Gods screams. I do a lot of my practicing while driving around NYC.
© Victim of Changes
How much practice in general it takes to make a successful tribute act?
We get together at least once week to practice/rehearse. We are trying to get the songs down as accurately as possible. To get the music, sound, look and vibe down takes a lot of work. We enjoy playing it and keep trying to improve on it.
What “gear” are the players currently using?
Eddie Catterson -Tama, Sabian
Butch Judge – Fender, Orange amps
Glenn Anderson – Gibson, Jackson, Engl, Bogner this list could go on..
Eddie Campbell – ESP, Gibson, Laney, Marshall
John O’Malley – Shure mics
© Victim of Changes
What can you tell us about the club scene in New York these days? Is it easy for a tribute band to get good gigs?
There are quite a few places to play. Metal is still alive and well in the NY Tri-State area. We’re looking to get out more in 2015 and play some bigger shows with other tribute acts. Where ever the road can take us, we will go.
What’s the hardest Priest song to play live? Which one took most work to get done?
“Sinner” took the most work, but that’s a really fun song to play live… lots of odd breaks and timings.
You are focusing on the classic Priest-era of 1970’s and early 1980’s. What is the reason behind this and have you had any thoughts on including also more stuff from more recent Priest?
It’s the music we grew up with and love, classic hard rocking Judas Priest. So far we have made it up to the “Painkiller” album. “Night Crawler” is in the set. Coming up is “Unleashed in the East” in its entirety with all the extra tracks from that tour. But any song from the entire Priest catalog is a possibility.
© DM Photography
If you could add any song to the Victim Of Changes set, which would it be?
Hard to pick just one, “Deceiver,” “Never Satisfied,” “Raw Deal…” We’ve been thinking of adding an acoustic/electric “Before The Dawn.” The entire “Stained Class” album has been discussed. So many great choices.
Have you recorded any Priest songs in studio? If not, do you have plans tomaybe cut some demo versions of Priest classics?
We record every practice and show. We’ve recorded a few tunes in the studio and will being doing more for sure.
What is the most memorable gig that you’ve played and what made it great?
The first gig with our new guitarist Edward Campbell… it was the first time everything really fell into place live. It sounded the way Priest is supposed to sound. Kick Ass!
Are there any interesting “Victim Of Changes on the road” stories to tell?
Some things are better left untold…
Have you ever seen other Priest tributes? What sets Victim Of Changes apart from other JP tribute bands?
Yeah we love to check out JP tribute bands. In person or on YouTube. There are some great JP tributes out there. You have to love everyone who is out there “Defending The Faith”. VOC gives you a heavy dose of Vintage Priest- “Starbreaker,” “Dissident Aggressor,” “Tyrant,” “Delivering The Goods,” Beyond The Realms Of Death,” “Sinner” and many more.
Any final words for the readers of Steel Mill?
Thanks for having us. Hopefully you can come out to a show have a drinkor two or three. Rock out to some Judas Priest Heavy Metal. We can be reached at our Facebook page or email@example.com