Interviews: The Promise Of Plague

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Black Metal/Death Metal band The Promise Of Plague, from the USA. Check out this band and give them a like on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

I was writing about the institution of marriage and how you promise to love, you promise to cherish, you promise to protect and I was thinking about someone so fundamentally broken that all they can do is offer despair, offer guilt and misery, to offer hurt and shame, their love is the promise of plague. I never released the song but that idea stuck with me.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I've been in death metal bands, black metal bands, punk, goth, industrial, and electro-synth pop bands. I find my place in any project that puts an emphasis on creativity and originality, with anyone that strives to push a sound out of its comfort zone in an attempt at creating something new. As with most scenes, there's a lot of rigidity within the metal scene and a lot of stagnation with the sound. That stagnation creates a lot of space to experiment.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

I've written music with Jim Higgins (Abominant, Assisting Sorrow, Cataclysm, Coronach) since 1996. We were in Assisting Sorrow, Coronach, and Empyrean Asunder together as well as a few small project bands that never really materialized. Phil Garrett (MiseryMachine, Absolute Chaos) I've known since the late 90's as well, Assisting Sorrow had shared the stage with Absolute Chaos in the late 90s. He also owns a couple tattoo studios in the area and I had gotten a few tattoos from him throughout the years. Ashley Vega (Midnight Lounge Crew, Motivus Rex, Runaway Souls) I met while auditioning vocalists for the first The Promise of Plague release. She recently left the band to make her mark in the music scene performing with a multitude of bands from various genres. She has been replaced by Joanie Michele, Sam Padneau (Wolfstar, Nightshade, Norfallen, Witch's Oath) has joined as second guitarist and Mike Barnes (Abominant, Assisting Sorrow, Cataclysm, Fatal Step) who I've worked with in Assisting Sorrow and Fatal Step has also stepped in on vocals. This change in the lineup and their contributions will be heard in the next release.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Phil Garrett: Mercyful Fate/King Diamond

Joanie Michele: Judas Priest

Sam Padneau: Black Sabbath

Jim Higgins: 80s 90s death/black/doom metal

Mike Barnes: Iron Maiden

Jerry Barksdale: Anathema

5. Who or what inspired you to write songs?

When I was younger I felt the need to say something. To be heard. I'm not sure if I needed others to hear me, or if I needed to hear myself but music gave me that voice and that outlet. However, as I get older, the music is less and less about being heard and more about the act of creation. I no longer need those things so I just enjoy the process of creating.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last "show" was a live on-air performance on November 2019 for a local metal radio broadcast called The Metal Forge. The Promise of Plague has always been a studio project, we just recently decided to start booking live shows so we'll be focusing on that in the coming months.

7. Where would you like to perform?

We have no desire or ambition to tour but we'd love to play a decent festival or two.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

I think our sound would complement Paradise Lost, Arcturus, and Insomnium quite well.

9. Whom not?

I despise ego so I hate performing with bands that have that rock star attitude. Deceased, The Birthday Massacre, Thrill Kill Kult, Icon Of Coil, and Das Ich were some of the most down-to-earth and accommodating bands I've shared the stage with.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Jerry: Not at all, but I do freeze up if I have to speak in front of more than 3 or 4 people. Thankfully I'm not a vocalist.

Joanie: Yes, I get stage fright. I swear by deep breathing, yogic breath work, and maybe chanting to the center.

Sam: I keep in mind that even the best musicians will have an off night but keep going on. No one will remember or care if you miss a note but you'll be the talk of the town if you chicken out or rage quit.

Jim: Yes, until I hit that first beat and then I'm good.

Phil: Yes, remember: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is a little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." That's right, you go full dune on that shit!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Jerry Barksdale: Anathema, Sentenced, Lionel Ritchie, Cock Sparrer, Napalm Death, Mr. Mister, Skinny Puppy, Disrupt, Paradise Lost, Repulsion, Stray Cats, Thorns of the Carrion

Mike Barnes: Iron Maiden, Dio, Manowar, King Diamond, Elvis, Neil Diamond

Phil Garrett: Iron Maiden, Rush, Yes, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Megadeth, Danzig, Type O Negative

Sam Padneau: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Venom, Emperor, Rotting Christ, Bathory (late era), Amorphis, Night Wish, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Rhapsody of Fire

Joanie Michele: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Placebo, Van Halen, Warlock, and Doro's solo work, Satyricon, not a band but the stage show Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Meatloaf, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Wendy O Williams, Billy Idol, Nightwish

Jim Higgins: Officium Triste, Rush, Gorguts, Atrocity, Kvist

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

I do think that my gauge for what is and isn't weird is a bit broken. I'm trying hard to think of a story that I can post publicly without catching too much shit. I used to perform with a suspension group, we'd travel around hanging from hooks, sewing our lips or eyes shut, and doing random freak show-type shit. During this time I was in an industrial band called Absence of Faith and I'd occasionally hang from hooks while playing bass on stage. In one particular show, a random fan nearly convinced me to sew our bodies together, from head to toe. So we'd sew our lips together, our arms to each other's bodies, our legs together, all the way to our feet. I was completely down but was also pretty sore from the suspension so I passed on her offer. Kinda regret it now because it would have made for an interesting story.

13. What do you think of your fans?

I've been in bands where the accumulation of fans was paramount and I quickly realized how empty of a pursuit that is. My only goal in music is to create. If one person likes it or thousands it honestly makes no difference to me. I don't consider fans at all when I write. I want to create unique songs and I want to enjoy the process. If someone happens to like the end result then great, but that's not my focus.

14. What do you think of our site?

I only recently stumbled across it, since then though I've been checking out a lot of bands I've never heard of. I always appreciate being introduced to new bands and this site has a lot to offer in that regard. 

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