Interview with Matt Aub from TIMELORD (March 1st 2008)

Timelord is a band from Virginia playing speed/thrash- metal with Cacaphony-like solos and good vocals. Time to ask singer Matt Aub what's going on.

Could you please introduce yourself and the band to our readers?

Matt:  I am the guitarist/vocalist in the metal band Timelord. My bandmates are: Aaron Richert (guitar), Joe Konczal (bass) and Rick Hodes (drums).

The record has been out for some time, how are the reactions?

Matt: The reactions have been largely positive, which is cool. Fans of Megadeth, Iced Earth and older US metal acts seem to really like what we are doing.

I gave the record a rather high mark, I read in other reviews that lack of originality is the problem for some reviewers, what do you think of that?

Matt: Timelord doesn't fit perfectly into any single metal subgenre and this fact is quite frustrating to many reviewers. Our strong technical thrash-metal influences are often a turn-off for die-hard prog/power-metal fans. Likewise, fans of thrash-metal are not always pleased with Timelord's classic/traditional-metal vocal style. Making an album that was strictly power-metal, prog-metal or thrash-metal would have shown much more unoriginality on our part. It is very easy to be a cliché power-metal, prog-metal or thrash-metal band. The formulas for those subgenres are tried-and-true and are very easy to follow. We choose to forge our own path for better or for worse. We don't expect the 22-year olds in the "modern metal media" to give Timelord's records very high marks.

Is the record also coming out in Europe?

Matt:  There are no immediate plans to release the album in Europe. A couple of small labels offered us agreements, but they were unwilling (or unable) to front the 4.000 USD advance that Shrapnel Records requisted. 4.000 USD is not a lot of money considering the US to Euro exchange rate at the moment. No investment = no promotion = an album that doesn't sell. Record labels are not taking many risks anymore. They want established, trendy and/or cliché acts. A surplus of sub-par cookie-cutter bands is what is truly killing the record industry. There are too many mediocre bands being over-marketed, "Regeneration"was supposed to come out on Mascot Europe. Mascot however, changed their minds at the last minute... they have supposedly given up on metal. European fans can still get the disc for relatively cheap on Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.

Did you do a lot of gigs after releasing "Regeneration"?

Matt:  Not really. The crowds have consistently gotten bigger, however, since the album's release. We perform an average of once a month. Word-of-mouth is slowly getting around, we had the honour of supporting Gamma Ray one night on their last US Tour. If the oppurtunity of a US or Euro tour arises, we will jump on it. Right now, the record has only been out 6 months and is still building steam. Tour opportunities will hopefully arise after the second album is released.

On your homepage the band mentions over more than 50 bands of influences, but what bands are the main influences? And who are you personally influeced by?

Matt:  The main band influences are Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Helloween, Queensryche, King Diamond and early Iced Earth/Blind Guardian. My main guitar influences are Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Wolf Hoffman, Andy La Rocque, George Lynch, James Hetfield and Paul Gilbert. My favourite vocalists are Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate, Carl Albert and Bobby "Blitz".

What did you decide to play solo's in  style of the so called Mike Varney stable?

Matt:  Aaron Richert and I are huge Marty Friedman and Paul Gilbert fans. Shrapnel Records was looking for a new band to carry on the twin lead-guitar tradition of Cacaphony and Racer X. Those two groups had killer twin-guitar teams that could rip some seriously crazy harmonized runs. There is a similar twin-guitar dynamic between Aaron and I. Mike Varney liked what we were doing form a guitar perspective. In addition he liked the fact that our guitar solos were tasteful and within the confines of well-written metal songs. Constant over-the-top shred guitar nonsense is usually monotonous, boring and filled with cliché Yngwie licks. Aaron and I compose our solos with well-thought out melodic phrasing, interesting note choices and cool bends and vibrato. Mindless shredding is not really our thing.

What made you choose "Faster than the Speed of Light" as a coversong?

Matt: When I was young, my sister's boyfriend would leave all these import records at our house. This is how I first heard Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Raven, Accept, Tygers of Pantang and lots of other cool stuff. "Faster Than the Speed of Light" was one of my favourite tracks on Raven's "Wiped Out" disc. I still have the original Neat Records pressing somewhere.

Was it difficult to get in contact with Mr. Gallagher to sing the song himself?

Matt:  No. John Gallagher lives right down the road from us. We called him up and told him that we were covering Raven's "Faster than the Speed of Light" on our album. He dropped by the studio on a Saturday afternoon and recorded the lead-vocals on the track in ten minutes. We are extremely honoured that John Gallagher was kind enough to lend his voice on our tribute to his band.

What is the story behind the 3 hidden tracks?

Matt:  Shrapnel records thought the album wat too short. We did not want the extra tracks on the record, but the label insisted on more material. We quickly whipped up a song called "The Devil's Game" and a couple of instrumental tracks. The bonus tracks and lyrics were not supposed to be mentioned in the packaging anywhere. The label insisted on having "The Devil's Game" credited on the tray-card and CD label. They also wanted the lyrics printed in the folder. The two instumentals, however, were not supposed to be mentioned anywhere. They ended up being listed on the CD label. The funny thing is that one reviewer liked the bonus tracks more than the actual album material. A revamped version of  "The Devil's Game" will likely be on the second album.

Talking about the second album, what are the plans for the future?

Matt:  The second album is 80% composed. The lyrics and guitar solos are still being written. We plan on recording from March to August. Timelord II wil be a massive production. The next two albums will be important releases for us. An Oct/Nov 2008 release date is likely.

Will there be style changes?

Matt:  Yes, There will be more tempo and rhythmic variation on the second album. There will still be a great deal of early Megadeth/Helloween-style energy with technicality, heaviness and melody. We may have a mid-tempo heavy track with some doomy riffing a la Candlemass. There may be more acoustic guitar interludes and perhaps some banjo an mandolin accents. A hard-rock Thin Lizzy-style tune has been discussed as well. In addition, there may even be a Styx/Queen-type ballad with piano and strings. Our favourite bands are from the 70's and 80's. Timelord is basically a traditional speed/thrash-metal band with "art-rock tendencies" A little stylistic variation would be refreshing.

All the songs are written by you and Aaron, are you such dictators or are the other members to lazy?

Matt:  In the very early stages, there really was no band. It was just Aaron and I writing tunes in his basement. Aaron and I remain the principal songwriters, but not by force. Songs ideas are always welcome from any member of the band. Our drummer Rick plays guitar, so he may have some input on the next record. Joe will likely contribute some riffs next time around as well. Since I am the vocalist, it is easier for me to write the vocal melodies and lyrics.

With what bands do you definitely want to go on tour with?

Matt:  Iced Earth would be awesome to tour with. I sent Jon a CD a few months ago. Maybe we will get a call from Jon some day telling us to pack our bags! Touring with Iced Earth would be killer. Nevermore, Gamma Ray and Agent Steel would be cool too- those guys are awesome.

Which 5 records would you hear if this was your last day on earth?

Matt:  1. Metallica - Master of Puppets 2. King Diamond - Abigail 3. Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind 4. Queensryche - Rage for Order 5. Queen - Queen II

The last words to the fans and our readers are yours..

Matt: I would like to thank everyone that has purchased our album. Those of you that have not heard our music can hear full-length songs at our MySpace site.

interwiewed by Reinier de Vries

Timelord - Regeneration

Album available on Shrapnel Records.

For more info on Timelord: