Written by John Guarnieri
Fallen Blue recently spoke with Sean Peck, the voice of American, metal giants, Cage. We discussed the epic new album, Surpremacy Of Steel, as well as a prank that rest of the guys in the band played on him that involved an on-duty police officer.
1. If Cage could only be remembered for one song, what would that song be and why?
'Hell Destroyer'? I do not know very tough question. That one encompasses a lot of what we do so it is a good one to choose. The title sounds badass too.
2. Your album covers are phenomenal works of art; what were some of your favorite album covers from other bands, growing up?
Well the Maiden covers were always great. Painkiller from Judas Priest. Funny because JP has always had mediocre album covers overall except for the iconic British Steel cover. Also Crimson Glory’s Transcendence is one of my favorites also. If you do not know it, it is one phenomenal album and cover. Ozzy’s Ultimate sin by Boris is also great. As you can tell from our artwork I love killer comic-like paintings.
3. Does the band have any stories of dealing with police officers while being on the road?
The funniest one was when the guys played a trick on me. I was in the Bus sleeping and outside the band had made friends with a cop who was in the parking lot. I think it was in New York. I hear this big pounding on the door of the bus and the officer yells “police open up.” I open the door and he says to me “are you fat Halford?” I started laughing but he played it deadpan and said “Are you him do not laugh and put your hands on that wall.” He was serious so I did it and I then looked around and the band guys were over on the side laughing at me. The gig was up, and it was funny as hell. He also bought a cd from us; it was classic.
4. What can the fans of Cage expect in 2012? Any tours lined up?
Always working on tours, and fans can expect us to play more live shows than ever before. We are also working on the next record already as well.
5. 'Supremacy Of Steel' has garnered the band some of your best reviews; what is it about this record that makes it such a classic metal album?
Not sure always the songs need to be great and that is where it all starts. I am always really worried if the new cd will exceed what we have done before since the whole catalog has gotten so much praise over the years. I think there is something about the cover art, the song 'Metal Empire', and 'Bloodsteel' that has us really putting our money where our mouth was for our commitment to metal. It somehow really solidified our existence and street credit with the media for some reason. The reaction has been met with words like “extreme, over the top, and even borderline cheesy” but that is what metal is and always been for us. I was very shocked about being called extreme considering what metal has packed in it.
6. How have you been able to maintain your powerful vocal dominance? As you have gotten older, have you felt it more difficult to vocally prepare for a show?
No actually I am at my peak performance right now. I am singing better now than at any point in my life. It is strange how that is but I can do things now that I never could before. We had been playing a 15 song set with lots of songs from the last two records which was basically a speed metal scream set. It was very challenging as we only took 2 breaks in the entire thing and eventually I could blaze through it at a very high level. We took it on the road and the voice held up great so I am very pleased where I am right now with my voice.
7. Many fans might not have thought it would be possible for "Hell Destroyer vs. Metal Devil" to be as epic as its predecessor, but you knocked it out of the park. When you wanted to do a sequel to one of your biggest hits, were you afraid you might take away from the original if it wasn't as well-received?
Ha! Yes such a great album needed an epic follow up and sequels are usually failures in metal (Operation:Mindcrime II, Keeper of the Seven Keys 2, Abigail 2 for example). But we waited an entire record to do it as the material was not up to par to garner the title of the song. I thought the straight forward title was an awesome idea and the song came out killer too. Stu Marshall helped us with the orchestration on that as well as 'Bloodsteel' and also gave us the killer sample for the boom sound which could be my favorite part of the record.
8. Marc Sasso nailed the cover to 'Supremacy Of Steel". Do you work with him throughout the whole process, or do you give him an idea and he just creates a masterpiece?
No I have been very active in the creation of the cover art. Marc and I work great together and I have always sketched the cover out myself ahead of time and send it to him. I need to dig those out and post them as we always have a good laugh at my third grade art attempts. He does a great job translating my visions into amazing metal covers. He is a big Metalhead himself which always helps. Science of Annihilation was a piece that he already had put together so I did not have anything to do with that one.
9. What pre-show rituals does the band go through? What is the craziest thing the band as requested on a rider?
We are not big rider guys but Norm warms up like crazy and has an entire ritual. He is a seasoned pro committed heavily to his craft. He goes through a specific set of exercises and his click track machine plays loudly backstage which really is annoying as hell but what can you do? I do not warm up at all I just walk up and the first note is usually something crazy.
10. What song in the band's catalog do you thing best personifies a day in the life of a police officer?
'Stranger in Black' I know would be the antithesis of that, bu,t hmm let me think. How about 'Kill The Devil'? My Dad was in law enforcement so I have always had a great amount of respect for the uncertain day to day journey the Law takes as they go about their operations.
For more information on Cage, check out: http://cageheavymetal.com/