interview DungeonAustralia, apart being the land of kangaroos, koalas and the Bush, is also the country of rock music. Such bands as AC/DC, Midnight Oil or INXS have proved it. But, what people don’t know is that Australia is also the country of metal, of which Dungeon was one of the most famous and best power-metal bands. Tim Lord answered my questions, giving some surprising revelations about the band !!

Can you tell the story of your band to the readers of Spirit of Metal webzine who don’t know you?

Sure! Dungeon began in 1989 in the Australian outback where Mad Max was filmed. Eventually we relocated to Sydney and recorded several albums and began to tour the country. By 2003, we were touring internationally and sharing the stage with bands like Megadeth, Nightwish, Opeth, Edguy and Nevermore. In December 2005, Dungeon split up. There’s a press-release explaining why up at but the good news is that my new project, LORD, will be continuing to play the Dungeon songs and write music along the same style.

What was the feedback of your “preceding” album ‘One Step Beyond’?

It was pretty good ? the biggest complaint people had about it was that it wasn’t anything ground-breaking or new, but that’s not what we were trying to do with that album. Our intention was to write an album of good, solid heavy metal songs that we enjoyed listening to as much as we enjoyed playing and for that I think we succeeded. The scores we got in the reviews were mostly really good.

You just have released your “new” album, ‘Resurrection’, which is in fact a re-recorded version of the same name 1999’s album, but with a different tracklist containing the same songs. Why?

OK, when we originally recorded the Resurrection album, we were very disappointed with how it sounded because we had very limited time and money to record with. When we signed to LMP, they wanted to release our back-catalogue which included the Resurrection album. We knew that the original version was nowhere near good enough to compete with the current production of metal albums so we chose to re-record it during the same sessions as One Step Beyond. There was one song that changed from the original version; that was Severed Ties. The song it replaced is being used by our bass player from that album in his current project and we thought it would be best to let him use it in peace, plus I think the original Resurrection album needed a song like Severed Ties to make it more balanced.

Your music is a very powerful melodic power metal, more than the Gamma Ray’s one (I preferred ‘Ressurection’ to ‘Majestic’), influenced by Iron Maiden (the touch in the soli), Gamma Ray, a bit of Hammerfall, etc…Nevertheless, the structure of the songs, especially the choruses’ one, different from what the other bands do obviously, and I find them stronger than in this style. Man can remains of the choruses easily and the will to put on the album again after two or three listenings…How did you make this magic tour?

I think that growing up listening to the classic hard rock bands from the 80s like Dokken really make me think about how important a strong chorus is. There’s no reason you can’t have a memorable melodic chorus like those bands did in powerful, almost thrash metal type of music. The thrash elements give the songs the power and the hard rock elements give the songs the melody.

The songs, especially “Resurrection”, “Paradise”, “No Way Out”, “Fight” and “Judgment Day” have a special aura, surely due to, as I said before, to the choruses. Man has the impression that some of them are directly inspired from the ones used in the metal of 70’s and 80’s, it means sumperimposed choruses, very canon-like. Would you be fans of the pioneers of the metal, and especially of Queen?

Actually, no. As much as I respect Queen, I was never really a big fan. Most of our big chorus ideas come from bands like Dokken, Leatherwolf, Def Leppard and bands like that. I would imagine that those bands would be influenced by Queen to a point, though.

What was the writing/composing and recording process of the album in 1999? Was it the same as you used today? Did it evolute?

The original Resurrection was written between 1993 and 1998 and had songs which had stood the test of time and life on the road. When we went into the studio, the band was already really familiar with the songs because we had been playing them live for years. These days, because we have such a short time between albums, we collect as many ideas as we can in the time between the albums, usually between tours too, and come together with everything we have and see what we can create out of them. The last ?new? Dungeon album was One Step Beyond and it was entirely written by ideas from myself and (guitarist) Stu in about 3 months. Unlike earlier albums, we hadn’t actually played out of these songs live before recording them in the studio.

Is there a concept hidden behind the album title?

On every Dungeon album, the title is one of the first things that is decided upon, even before the songs. Oddly enough, there always seems to be a song which has the same name as the title of the album and it’s always written well after the title of the album is decided. I’m not sure how that works but it’s certainly convenient! The idea behind Resurrection was that it was a resurrection of the band at the time (we had suffered another line-up change and we’d just signed a new record deal) and it was also about heavy metal ? around that time, people were starting to get bored with Grunge music and they were rediscovering true heavy metal.

All your songs last less than 5 minutes 30, except the last title, the epic “Legend Of Huma”, which count more than 7 minutes?Do you prefer shortest and fast titles or epic and long songs? Which ones according to you are more simple to write?

It really depends on the song. I hate songs that over-stay their welcome and are just long because they drag on for no reason. If you have a lot of things to say in a song, it can still sound interesting if it’s long. Some of the longest songs we’ve ever written have been some of the easiest to write because they’ve just flowed well.

Man can also notice that there is a ballad on this album, the wonderful ?Severed Ties? (my favourite song)?Was it the 1st time you composed (in 1999) a quiet and almost ?romantic? song?

That song was actually a new one written in 2004 while we were writing One Step Beyond but it suited Resurrection better so we put it on there instead. I enjoy writing songs like this and have written quite a few of them in the past, but none that really ended up on Dungeon albums. I’m planning to record an 80s inspired hard rock album sometime where I can use a lot of these ideas.

The most suprising title is ?I Am Death?, with its guttural vocal lines. Once again, I must ask you why did you choose to put some death vocals? Who does them?

I did the vocals and they’re not as heavy as stuff like Traumatised which was on our 2003 album, A Rise To Power ? that was really black/death in style. Certain songs need a certain type of vocal to get the message across. We don’t want to feel limited by what we do. Even though people would call us a power metal band, I would hate to just do up-tempo double-bass songs with clean vocals? it would get very boring after a while.

Extreme metal fans, then?

Absolutely! But also fans of the lightest AOR too. We’re fans of all styles of metal and hard rock, so we like to include all of our influences in our writing.

Do you have good reviews for the re-recorded version?

Yeah, they’ve been fantastic ? even better than the reviews we had for One Step Beyond and A Rise To Power.

More personal questions now : first, can you reveal us what is your musical background and the bands (and musicians) which gaves you the will to play music?

I originally began getting into music because of bands like Duran Duran and 80s pop bands. From there I discovered Queensryche, Dokken, Dio and WASP, which led to discovering Slayer, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and eventually Kreator, Blind Guardian, Soilwork and lots more.

What are, according to you, the 10 best metal albums of 2005? And the albums of all times?

Ooh, that’s one thing I couldn’t answer. I was so busy during 2005 I just didn’t get a chance to really listen to anything other than Dungeon. Of all time? I’m not sure if these are the best albums but the ones I really like would be (in no real order):

Queensryche: Rage For Order

Helloween: Keeper Of The Seven Keys (part 1)

Iron Maiden: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

Slayer: Reign In Blood

Blind Guardian: Somewhere Far Beyond

Dokken: Under Lock And Key

Leatherwolf: Street Ready

Soilwork: Natural Born Chaos

Metallica: Ride The Lightning

Judas Priest: Painkiller

This list changes a bit all of the time but these are usually in or near my top 10 albums ever.

Until 2004, your albums have only been distributed in Australia and New-Zealand. Then, you signed a deal with Limb Music. Was it a relief for you?

It was 2003 for our A Rise To Power album actually, and yes, it was nice to be able to finally have a product available worldwide.

Is it simple for a melodic power metal band to find a way out from Australia, when living in this vast and desert country, more well-known for its rock’n'roll bands as AC/DC, Midnight Oil or INXS (now Green Dollar Colour), than for its power metal bands? Isn’t the distance a handicap?

The unfortunate thing about Australia is that it’s so isolated from the rest of the world, which makes any international touring extremely expensive and sadly out of reach for most metal bands here. The advantage of this is that most Australian metal bands have developed their own flavour and aggression that comes from being isolated and doing it very tough.

What is your view about the metal situation in Australia? In Europe ? In USA ?

I think in Europe the scene is very flooded right now, with many bands competing for the same tours and shows. In the USA, it’s better but they also have to compete with a lot of the NuMetal acts that have got a much larger push from the major record labels. Here in Australia, the scene is very small but we have some of the best bands in the world down here that no one has ever heard of and some of the most dedicated fans anywhere.

Do you have booked some european dates ?

Dungeon just returned from a European tour with Megadeth and has since broken up, so there won’t be any new Dungeon dates at all. However, there will be one final Dungeon album recorded very soon for release this year and the new LORD band will be touring and playing songs from that album, as well as the new LORD material. We hope that we will be able to return to Europe this year but if that doesn’t happen, definitely in 2007.

What is for you the Spirit of Metal?

For me, it’s freedom: the freedom to play the most diverse style of music in existence that isn’t following any trends or made to sound like anything other than how you want it to be. The true spirit of metal, really, is honesty.

Do you have a last thing to say to the fans?

I would just like to say thank you for all of the support throughout the years of Dungeon. I hope you enjoy the final Dungeon album and give LORD the same kind of support as you did with Dungeon. Hopefully we’ll see you on the road very soon and keep an eye on for all of the latest news. Cheers! :)

En savoir plus sur Dungeon


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