Malice - 31/05/2012

The legendary US metal band MALICE recently signed a worldwide deal with SPV / Steamhammer. MALICE was formed in 1981. To date, the band have released two albums: ‘In The Beginning’ (1985) and ‘License To Kill’ (1986) and one EP: ‘Crazy In The Night’ (1989). Malice also contributed - the only band with two songs -  to the first legendary "Metal Massacre"- Sampler in 1982. Malice toured in the US, Canada and Europe with bands like Alice Cooper, WASP and Slayer. Their most memorable gig was in 1982 when they played in Los Angeles at the Troubador Club - the support act was an unknown band called..... Metallica.

 

The original members Jay Reynolds (guitars), Mick Zane (guitars) and Mark Behn (bass) entered the Silver Cloud Studios in Los Angeles together with new singer James Rivera (Helstar) and the new drummer Pete Holmes (Black N´Blue) to re-record some of their classics, plus four new songs. The group recently entered the Silvercloud Recording studio in Redondo Beach, California with producer Joe Floyd (Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Warrior) to record the updated versions of eight classic MALICE metal anthems such as "Stellar Masters" and "Sinister Double" as well as four killer new tracks for the new album.
 

MALICE will also hit the road in the fall, with dates to be announced soon. Stepping in for Mark Behn on the live front will be Robert Cardenas (Agent Steel), who also laid down the bass tracks on the new songs in the studio.
 


In order to find out all there is to know about MALICE’s latest album we tracked down guitarist Jay Reynolds to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

 

First of all, congrats on your new album! How are you doing?

 

Jay: I am great, Summer is coming which means tour dates!
 

Could you start this interview off with a short update on Malice? What happened after Malice quit back in the day, and what made you decide to resurrect the band again?   

Jay: Well, in 2006 Metal Church was on tour at the same time as Michael Schenker’s band in Europe. They were a day or 2 in front or behind us at the same venues and we finally played together in Hamburg. The drummer, my old friend Pete Holmes, started talking about how much fun we were having. We thought at that point,  wouldn’t it be great to get our old friends Mick and Mark back out playing in MALICE. When we got back to the States we made the calls, started rehearsals, and by 2007 were playing shows!

 

Was it a difficult  job to get this band back together? How did you get in contact with the new members?

 

Jay: I had known James for a while, and we got a chance to work together in 2010 in a Las Vegas tribute to early metal called Denim and Leather. We had such a blast onstage, Malice was the logical next step. Bobby came in when Mark couldn’t commit to the band full time. Now we have the all star line up! James from Helstar, me from Metal Church, Robert from Agent Steel and Possessed, Pete from Michael Schenker’s band and Mick from Malice!!!

 

Its been many years since your latest release ‘Crazy In The Night’,  so what made you decide to record some new tunes? 

 

Jay: We released an album called ‘The Rare and Unreleased’ in 2010 and after reforming the band, that was our goal and SPV was game ….

 

How did you launch into writing the new material for New Breed Of Godz and how much time did you spend on the songs?

 

Jay: The new songs were literally written right before we went into the studio. Fresh, heavy and with a decidedly dark direction. They came easy and fast, so we can’t wait to do another album of all new stuff!!

 

Why did you decide to record only four new songs, or did you record songs that didn’t make it to the album?

 

Jay: We talked to the label and the idea was to re-introduce the fans to Malice. So we took the four heaviest songs off the first and second album, and  added four new songs. So what you have is the best of and the new direction all in one….

 

 

How hard was it to come up with new songs? What do you think are the main differences between these songs and the old albums?

 

Jay: The new songs are more metal and as I said before, it was so easy!

 

Besides the four new songs, you also re-recorded four songs off both the albums which you releases in the eighties. Why did you choose to re-record them, would it not have been easier to re-release both albums? 

 

Jay: The label wanted to reach the metal fans that don’t know who the band is and this is a great way to show metal heads Malice past, present and future ……

 

Which approach did you choose to create this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together different?  

 

Jay: We looked at what made the band what it was back in the day , what elements were Malice. We were careful to capture these elements but make them heavier to fit the new direction.
 

Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

 

Jay: Songs for me take all of an hour to write. Demo-ing the songs takes a little more time. If it was something that we had to labour over, it would be best left alone.

 

About song writing, how can we imagine you worked on the new songs, what's your typical writing process like?

 

Jay: We don’t have any set process, so it leaves the songwriting open for collaboration.

I actually co-wrote two of the new songs with Kurdt Vanderhoof. Next time, Mick and I will get more time to work together………

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record the new tracks, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Jay: We just wanted it to be Heavy and true to who we are!!

 

 

One of the most typical songs on the new album I think is “Slipping Through The Cracks”, a powerful song with very good vocal parts, which reminds me of Nevermore. Is this an influence you wish to develop more in the future, or do you prefer the more thrashy songs on the album  like “New Breed Of Godz” or do you prefer the emotional songs like “Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light)”?

 

Jay: That remains to be seen. Mick wrote “Slipping” , as where I wrote “New Breed”. The future holds no boundaries, we’ll see where it takes us.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘New Breed Of Godz, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Jay: ‘New Breed of Godz’ is conceptually about the year 2012. The Mayan calendar ends in December. Does it really signify a global paradigm shift or catastrophe? Only time will tell………….

 

Can you tell me something more about the songs and lyrics, are there any stories behind them?

 

Jay: Every song is open to the imagination of the listener. I hope they make people think about life and not take the world for granted.
 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?

 

Jay: Once again, about the year 2012. The Mayan calendar ends in December, what will you do with this year ?

 

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you?

 

Jay: The overall feel and vibe. The beat, the guitars and vocals.That Malice sound!

 

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?

 

Jay: It was killer, Joe Floyd did a great job and we spent about two months altogether .

 

What do you think are the most typical differences between Malice anno 2012 and Malice back in the eighties?

 

Jay: We are better players now, and it’s more relaxed and fun.

 

The new songs where produced by Joe Floyd. In which elements on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?

 

Jay: He is an old friend and his band Warrior and Malice played together in the 80’s. He had invaluable insight into reconstruction of the new sound   !
 

How would you describe Malice to someone that has never listened to the band before?

 

Jay: Priest on Steroids!!

 

Which element of the CD are you most proud of?

 

Jay: All of them! It’s a major accomplishment to make a great record .

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?

 

Jay: My life is what is reflected in my art, I’m not the sort who draws inspiration from reading, art, or other music. Reality is a far greater palate to draw from. I’ve seen and done it all and it’s never boring! That is what inspires my accomplishments …

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

 

Jay: Metal Church was a great highlight after Malice, I spent almost a decade in the band and did countless shows and tours. Malice was also the place where it all began.

Low points……drugs, jail, and not playing. Life always kicks your ass if you’re not doing what you were meant to do !

 

What makes Malice different from the other heavy metal bands out there?  

 

Jay: You decide, buy the album, come to the show and tell me, I’m all ears.

 

Which goals did you have when the band started out and how do those goals stand now?

 

Jay: Back in the day we wanted to sell a million albums, now I just want to make a modest living doing what I love.

 

Have you already launched into writing songs for a new album? If so, what will these songs sound like?

 

Jay: Will there be any new elements on it which weren't there on the previous ones? Yes, heavy, buy it and see! No, you’ll just have to wait. No one knows what will actually transpire in 2012!

 

What can we expect from Malice in the near future? Any touring plans?

 

Jay: Yes, we hit the road in July, and again in Fall –Winter 2012 …Tour till the end of time!

 

Anything left to say to our readers?

 

Jay: Give Malice a listen and come to the show, we will not disappoint you, we will deliver the goods! Horns up!

 

Thanks for your time,

Eugene Straver

 

 

Members:

James Rivera - Vocals

Jay Reynolds - Lead Guitar

Mick Zane - Lead Guitar

Robert Cardenas - Bass

Pete Holmes - Drums

 

Former members:

Mark Behn - Bass

James Neal - Vocals

Pete Laufman - Drums

Cliff Carothers - Drums

 

Albums:

1985 - In the Beginning...

1986 - Licence to Kill

1989 - Crazy in the Night (EP)

2008 - The Rare and Unreleased (Best of/Compilation)

2012 - New Breed of Godz