Interviews: Siege Perilous

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Epic Power Metal band Siege Perilous from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

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

The band's name came from Scott Hancock, our guitarist. The Siege Perilous in Arthurian legend is the seat that can only be sat upon by the Knight who successfully retrieves the Holy Grail. It pops up elsewhere in popular culture. A lot of people think we named ourselves after the Kamelot album, Siege Perilous, which isn’t a bad assumption as we do love Kamelot and pull a lot of ideas from them but it comes more directly from Le Morte d’Arthur. The Siege Perilous also is a prominent device in the Marvel universe which I believe exists as a gateway to the multiverse. Some people also think it’s just about a dangerous siege, which also works. I love that if you do know the lore then it gives people a little extra buy-in to what we’re doing as I assure you we are that nerdy (see aforementioned comments about LARPing) but I think without it it’s also clear what we are going for: medieval fantasy power metal.

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

This genre has inspired me for over 20 years and I’m so glad to finally be able to write and play Power Metal. When I discovered metal it was the mid 00’s and most of the popular forms of “rock” had started to transform into both kinds of indie/hipster and emo, both of which kind of just relished and celebrated being sad and while, if people like it fair enough, I really hated that. When I discovered power metal and its empowering themes of standing up and fighting and being triumphant and victorious when challenges came your way I was immediately massively inspired. I still find myself when the chips seem down using Manowar or Hammerfall lyrics as a mantra as I have to grit my teeth and push forward through a lot of life’s challenges. This music has made me tougher and more resilient which I think has, overall, made my life more rich as a result.

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

Yes. So Eric has been my bandmate in our Celtic folk band The Stubby Shillelaghs for over 10 years now. I met Mark through Eric years ago while playing a Star Wars Roleplaying game. Eventually, I dragged them both to the LARP (Live Action Roleplaying Game) I had gotten into which is where I met Scott whose character was totally the Legolas to my Gimli. Cody I’ve known for years through mutual friends and he’s been a part of the Northern Colorado metal scene for a long time. 

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Me (Shaughnessy): Manowar or Hammerfall

Scott: Dio, Sabaton, or Iron Maiden

Eric: Battle Beast

Mark: Avenged Sevenfold

Cody: Tool or anything Devin Townsend is involved with

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

We pull songs from a variety of places. Quite a few of our songs are adapted from different storylines we played out at our LARP which I think is a really great way to translate those stories in a way that can be enjoyed by a larger audience. “Brothers of the Five” off our upcoming EP was based on a TTRPG character and faction. We also pull from history in different ways. Sometimes it's directly like our upcoming Roman Epic “Across the Rubicon” but also indirectly like how “Sons of the Verdant” takes a universal historical story, that of native resistance to invasion, and gives it a fantasy spin. I think a lot of it is that we as bandmates inspire each other and build off of each other’s ideas really well.

6. Where was your last gig? 

It was at a venue in Fort Collins, Colorado called The Coast we were opening for metalcore band Contortion who was touring through. It was a Tuesday night which is not always historically the best but actually, we had a solid crowd who got super into the show and loved what we were doing, and that’s what it’s all about. 

7. Where would you like to act?

There are lots of places I’d love to play. I think especially in the genre of power metal the dream is getting out to Europe where there’s just a much more established base of power metal fans. The US Power Metal community has been rising through the concerted efforts of some really amazing people like Ty Christian from Lords of the Trident and through bands like Seven Kingdoms and Seven Spires, but I would love to even just play small clubs in Italy, Germany, Sweden, etc. Anywhere where there are people who would like our music.

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

There are so many people I’d love to work with. Wind Rose and Twilight Force are both huge inspirations especially as newer bands have risen to the top (granted that’s still the culmination of 10+ years of hard work on their part). There are a couple songs on the new album that we are writing that call for a second vocalist and I’m hoping maybe we can get a couple of the amazing female vocalists in the genre to join us on the album. Would love to work with Brittany Slayes from Unleash the Archers or Adrienne Cowan from Seven Spires.

9. Whom not? 

There’s nobody at this point that I wouldn’t want to work with. Everybody that we’ve done business with has been at least courteous and professional and almost all of them have been extremely kind and supportive. The power metal community is really cooperative and I can’t wait to keep working with them. The only type of people I wouldn’t want to work with are people who aren’t polite and professional but I haven’t encountered any of that at this point.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

I think the only way to beat stage fright is to get up there and play a lot. I’ve always been a stage performer but as a teenager, most of that was acting which never scared me but performing music did for a long time. But between the different bands I’ve been in I’ve played hundreds of shows (maybe close to 1,000?) and so I’ve seen everything that can possibly go wrong go wrong and seen how to handle it. It’s like anything, experience breeds confidence.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Manowar and Hammerfall were big influences on me both as a musician and in my life in general. Also would be remiss to not mention Iron Maiden who I love so much. As I previously stated, a lot of the power metal from kind of the early to mid 00s really boosted my confidence and gave me a very positive and victorious mindset. Does that mean I always succeeded? Hell no! But it did mean that when things were going poorly I knew that the secret to getting through it was perseverance.

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

Not in this band but in my Celtic folk band there was definitely a fan propositioning me to go home with her for the evening and really doubled down when I told her I was a happily married man. Sorry ladies, still monogamous even on the road.

13. What do you think of your fans?

They are a small but dedicated group of people that I couldn’t be more grateful for. Starting a project like this you spend so much time thinking that maybe nobody will like or respond to your music and that you’re basically just creating into a void with no purpose. And then bit by bit you start finding people who like what you do and it really puts the wind back in your sails and pushes you onward to making even better things. I don’t need a massive quantity of fans (don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy if we did have them) but you do need a few high-quality fans and we’ve already achieved that and I’m super thankful for them.

14. What do you think of our site?

I think it’s really great I love the unique approach with the track-by-track breakdowns and the art breakdowns. Also having the metal horns as the cursor is just a wonderful little cherry on top!

15. Something to add?

Just that I’m super thankful to you guys for talking with us and thankful to our fans for their support it’s been a pretty great adventure to go on and I think we’re just stepping out of the Shire so to speak so the biggest things are definitely ahead!

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