1. Hello Mike how are you doing? Attacker formed in 1983 and has been playing this real metal style since then. How does it feel starting in the early 80’s and going strong into 2016/2017?
Mike: I am doing really well here in New Jersey, thank you for asking. It really is a great thing to still be able to do what we truly love. Music and heavy metal is in our blood and we are very fortunate and blessed for what he have in the world of heavy metal!!
2. How has the music business changed since you guys started? Would say it’s been a double edged sword with illegal downloading but on the other hand you are also able to reach many people you may have not have been able to reach?
Mike: Well, there were much more opportunities to sell records back then. Labels were making more money could then put more into the bands. Today, label give bands much lees support and it’s up to the band to get their name out there. The internet has been blessing and a curse. As you said, we reach many more people but the downloading has really changed the entire landscape of the music business and not for the better. We just all have to make do with how the industry has changed and do our very best.
3. How has the reception been for ‘Sins of The World’ so far? I think it’s a really killer record and a great follow up to Giants of Canaan!
Mike: The response having been overwhelmingly positive, I don’t believe I have seen bad thing said about it. We had to do some serious work to put together an album to compete with the Canaan album. But, I think we achieved our goal of producing an album as good or even better than Canaan.
4. I want to talk about the lyrics a bit. This album has some interesting lyrics like the title track about man and “no respect for the gift that he gave”. Also, you have songs like ‘We Rise’ which talk about fighting the new order and Annunaki oppression. ‘World Destroyer’ is about Nibiru which reminds me of Wormwood from Revelations. Is this something all you guys are interested in?
Mike: That actually is all Bobby. He has a huge interest in all these subjects. I know about some of these things but it is his brain that put it all together. He has definitely come up with some very cool subject matter for these songs.
5. You are now the only original member. Does that put a lot of pressure on you to keep Attacker on the right track?
Mike: I don’t believe so. Mike Benetatos has been with Attacker since we 2000, played on 4 albums and has really embraced the Attacker style in keeping the writing in the vein that keeps us being Attacker. Bobby has the type of voice to handle past albums material and my style of drumming has been a constant throughout the bands history. It really has been no effort at all to keep Attacker right where it needs to be.
6. Can you tell us about the new members in the Attacker fold?
Mike: Absolutely. We have Brian Smith on bass who joined in 2014 after Jon Hanneman decided to leave and move to Nashville Tennessee. Brian was recommended to me by a drummer who he had played with for many years. We also just added Jon Hasselbrink this past July to replace longtime an original member Pat Marinelli. Jon played with Bobby in his old band Morbid Sin, so Booby thought of him first when we had to start looking. They have both stepped in to their respective roles and been doing an amazing job for Attacker.
7. What I always liked about is Attacker is your guys signature sound a little bit of speed, heavy, power and it just works so well! Would you agree that you guys mix classic metal and that’s what makes the Attacker sound?
Mike: We have definitely have a good mix of different types of metal while never straying too far to have fans question what we were doing. Our albums all have their own character but still have an Attacker sound as you said. We are lucky to be able to keep a style that is easily recognizable as Attacker.
8. In the songwriting process what is the biggest difference compared to Giants of Canaan and this new album?
Mike: I would say that having played with Bobby for a while now and obviously Mike Benetatos, we have jelled better as a writing group. On Canaan, we kind of threw things together much faster but on the new one, we had time to grow together with the songs and I think that it shows in the material.
9. How did you guys get involved with Metal on Metal records? They have put out a lot of killer metal albums it seems from what I saw.
Mike: One of the label owners, Jowita Kaminska-Peruzzi is a very talented artist who had done 2 covers for us previously as well as now Canaan and Sins of the World. When she started the label with her husband and she approached us, it made sense for us as we already had a working relationship through the cover artwork. They are great people to work with.
10: Do you guys plan to play any shows next year in support of the new album?
Mike: Yes, we have some U.S shows such as the Milwaukee Spring Bash, Rage of Armageddon Fest in Brooklyn, NY as well as European fests that include Pounding Metal Fest in Madrid, Spain, Up the Hammers in Athens, Greece and Headbangers Open Air near Hamburg, Germany. We will hopefully be adding more dates as they come in.
11. I really like the drum sound on this album it has a very good and natural sound. What's your opinion on drums that are triggered or get to the point where it's very produced and all you hear is clicking sounds from the bass drum?
Mike: I am not a fan of clicky triggered drum sounds, I always prefer real drum sounds. If you want the drums to sound like a drum machine, why bother having a drummer record, just program it in the drum machine. We have had many comments about the new album sounding very organic and real. We wouldn’t have it another way!
12. Is there any plans for a vinyl issue of the new album?
Mike: Definitely, it should be available in April for the Keep it True fest in Germany from what I hear from there label.
13. What's your opinion on the metal scene in the 80's and now? Would say it’s gotten better for Attacker?
Mike: Believe it or not, I think we are doing better now that back then. There was a lot more competition then and we kind of got lost a bit and never rose to where we wanted to be. Somehow, things are just better today. Maybe it’s because we are all grown men and have a different appreciation now than we did in the 80’s. We are a happy bunch of Attacker’s at the moment!!
14. Well I would like to say thank you for your time and do you have any last words?
Mike: Thank you this opportunity to speak about Attacker and we hope to see a lot of your readers at a show somewhere in 2017!!