Jeff Dunn - Mpire Of Evil
Key members of Venom have undergone a resurrection of prime evil proportions. Thawing from the temples of isolation, Guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn and Tony "The Demolition Man" Nolan have resurfaced in Mpire Of Evil, and these diehard mettle creatures of the black are bringing hell to the holy.
I nearly went insane when I was granted the opportunity to have a one on one with "Mantas" the vociferous legend himself. This metal messiah and myself had quite an interesting dialogue sure to send shockwaves to all who read, as we wake the dead with words of wisdom and warning!
With bloodlust and sincerity, and countless blathering, we entered the snake pit and faced the 8th gate...come hither and lend an ear...all hail!
MettleAngel: Hey Brother, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this impromptu and unplanned interview.
MettleAngel: I am a little nervous, as you are such a thrash icon to me, but I will do my best to make it worth your while, as ill prepared as I am.
MettleAngel: So do I! A few years ago I had this conversation with Andy Sneap, Martin Walkyier, and Giz from English Dogs about how Venom invented thrash.
MettleAngel: Yeah, it was when Sabbat came to Chicago.
MettleAngel: I am so glad to hear that! Anyway, Giz claimed that Motörhead were deserving of that honour. When I saw Venom with Goatwhore, I spoke with Cronos who took credit for creating Black Metal, to which I attribute that to Quarthon.
MettleAngel: When I first heard Venom, I was a Christian, and I actually feared the band. I did not then realize that it was all tongue in cheek.
MettleAngel: My first experience with Venom was when I saw a crazy video on the USA Network on a program called "Nightflight Videos" in the early '80s.
MettleAngel: Then I bought a cassette compilation called 'Metal City' that had Venom songs on it along with Saracen (UK) and Rage (UK). Those songs on there really got me interested in the band. My first Venom CD though was 'Prime Evil'.
MettleAngel: Now I have the re-masters.
MettleAngel: I love all the classic Venom, but not so much the last few albums with only Cronos as the original member. 'Fallen Angels' fell short for me. When I first saw Venom and spoke with Cronos, they only played 35 minutes.
MettleAngel: Yeah, it was the 'Metal Black' Tour in Cleveland. We drove four hours, and paid 60 bucks for tickets for that short set. We were supposed to be on the guest list, but it fell through. My wife also got an $80 speeding ticket trying to get us there on time!
MettleAngel: I hear you open with my favourite Venom song "Countess Bathory". I am a big fan of Mpire Of Evil. Once I heard the 'Creatures Of The Black' (EP) with all those covers, I was very excited for the full length - 'Hell To The Holy'.
MettleAngel: Hell Yeah! I love that 'Prime Evil' edge, but I also like the rockin' vibe which reminds me a bit of Chrome Division.
MettleAngel: There is that real heavy feel similar to what you do with Venom, but there is also a rockin' intensity like ted Nugent or Motörhead. All the bands you cover on the (EP) sound like the perfect mixture of influence.
MettleAngel: Well I think that it has paid off in aces and spades! I assume the tour it going well then too, with all these diehard fans supporting you?
MettleAngel: That was smart thinking showcasing two originals and several decent covers.
MettleAngel: That is awesome!
MettleAngel: I am sure the fans really appreciate that!
MettleAngel: Wow being from England, and being in Venom I would have assumed your paths would have crossed.
MettleAngel: That would make for a great T-shirt cover design!
MettleAngel: I cannot believe you never met Ken.
MettleAngel: I assume you are meaning you would shit your pants...
MettleAngel: You mean before he passed?
MettleAngel: What about Michael Schenker? I got to meet Carmine Appice and Michael Schenker on the same night, it was quite an honour. I was very giddy!
MettleAngel: My interview with him was not what one would normally expect. It was very cerebral and almost metaphysical, but it was still amazing.
MettleAngel: Now here I am with you, and I can see this interview evolving. I am just so glad that now I can enjoy Venom, and not worry about all the "evil" shit that I once feared. I now see how over the top and tongue in cheek you really were. I just recently played "School Daze" and it reminded me of Van Halen and W.A.S.P.
MettleAngel: Oh, I know.
MettleAngel: Yeah, well we saw the album covers and we were naive, young and innocent, so we did not know what to think. We were freaked out because we were raised with this very strict dualism type belief system that there is only good and evil in the world. We thought Venom were evil. Lyrics really held bearing, and some seemed quite serious.
MettleAngel: I assume you mean the fantasy based style like he did with Rainbow?
MettleAngel: Cronos still tries to continue the gimmick with Venom and have those questionable lyrics, but what is your intent with Mpire Of Evil?
MettleAngel: I can see that and let us not forget "Angel Heart" with Mickey Rorke and Deniro as Luis Cipher.
MettleAngel: That is why the only news I watch is weather reports.
MettleAngel: Is that song dealing with Man's inhumanity to man?
MettleAngel: Please explain...
MettleAngel: I get it, as it reminds me of the scene in "Empire Strikes Back".
MettleAngel: I agree, which is why I do not let it connect with me. I acknowledge it then I put my shield up. I face enough bullshit in my life everyday as it is.
MettleAngel: That is fine. I do my best not to judge.
MettleAngel: I totally agree with that theory!
MettleAngel: Right, as Martin claims it is all mythhistory...
MettleAngel: You mean the supposed great war in Heaven where Lucifer was cast out, taking his minions with him? This is the source of many Metal songs!
MettleAngel: That is like the Running Wild song "Victim Of States Power"! I personally do not believe in the Devil. You should read a great book called The Biography Of Satan. This dispels all the myths.
MettleAngel: That is an excellent philosophy!
MettleAngel: That is so noble.
MettleAngel: Wow! Hearing your wise counsel is akin to listening to Blaze Bayley's lyrics, after all he has been through the past few years. He is always about never giving up and never surrendering to that victim mentality. I am inspired by him and I always focus on service.
MettleAngel: Life can be very challenging. My friend in the amazing one man thrash act from Sweden called The Porridgeface wrote a song called "God Of Shit". I at first thought this title was a bit beneath him, until he shared the tragedy which inspired it. Then once he sent me the lyrics, I was really moved, and truly understood what it took for him to write this heartfelt song, questioning God and his divine plan.
MettleAngel: Oh really, that is truly tragic...
MettleAngel: Like Billy Joel says, "Only The Good Die Young!"
MettleAngel: Man, I am so sorry. It is like what Nuclear Assault claims, "In this world, there is no justice!"
MettleAngel: My grandmother who was from England died young, and my grandfather never remarried...
MettleAngel: Whoa! My grandfather had a bad fall and was hospitalized, and then they discovered he too had lung cancer.
MettleAngel: Man Jeff, I feel for you...
MettleAngel: I did not know you were into martial arts, not to change such a delicate subject...
MettleAngel: Your existential struggle reminds me of the Skyclad lyrics, "Who am I, what am I, why am I here?" It moves me to tears to hear you open up to me like this.
MettleAngel: I can definitely relate...
MettleAngel: When one door shuts, a window opens.
MettleAngel: Now that is serendipity!
MettleAngel: It sounds like you have the spirit of happiness, and are possessed by the good demons, as the Greeks once believed, if you read your Plato.
MettleAngel: Absolutely! I am more than pleased to help you express your emotions, even if this is not what was originally intended. Damn this is becoming like the Michael Schenker interview!
MettleAngel: If you want me to print this, I will!
MettleAngel: I whole-heartedly agree! We are all one. We all bleed red!
MettleAngel: Oh my God, you have also read the Conversation With God Books! Dude, those are some of my favourite wisdom works of all time! That is amazing. I just mentioned these to Ben of Goatwhore when we talked about Death being worshipped as a deity.
MettleAngel: I would too! I totally love his discussions on "The Illusions Of Need". Wow this is a real metanoia, and truly catholic or universal experience!
MettleAngel: I hear you. It all comes down to our beliefs! We need to focus more on the aspect of "be", and not the "lie" and "if". We need to get over this my God is better than your God bullshit.
MettleAngel: Exactly! It becomes very personal, and open to interpretation.
MettleAngel: It is like watching the finale of the TV show "Lost". That sure did create major controversy.
MettleAngel: That is like what Carcass did with "Pedigree Butchery", or even "Incarnated Solvent Abuse". Sure it is brutal, but they are really having a laugh, and demonstrating their animal activist tendencies. I am still amazed and reeling over how the ex-guitarist of Venom has read the Conversations With God series!
MettleAngel: Basically all faith is blind faith! Faith is a crutch, a Band-Aid on an open lesion. People should focus on service and reciprocity. Doing just one altruistic task a day will work miracles.
MettleAngel: This may appear to be the case, but this too is just an illusion. Like CWG encourages, God does not want anything from anyone else, there is more than enough of everything to go around, and there is nothing we are supposed to be doing. This is mettle, and this is the way to celebrate the moribund dance of death!
MettleAngel: It is I who should be thanking you! WOW. This is so not what I expected. Thank You so much for bearing your soul to me Jeff. It truly has been a unique and unforgettable experience!
See also: review of the album Hell To The Holy