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A Dirty Dozen with MATT PEPPE from ROYAL HELL – September 2019

| 4 September 2019 | Reply


According to the bands bio: “ROYAL HELL hailing from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Northeastern Pennsylvania was established in the summer of 2016. The band lives and dies by the sword of Rock n’ Roll and Heavy Metal! They have released a handful of songs to date and will enter the studio to record a proper album in 2019. They have shared the stage with Dokken, Warrant, Hinder, Anti-Flag, D.R.I., Flaw, Killcode, Attacker, Black Water Rising, The Mendenhall Experiment, Northern Ghost, Glass Houses, Scattered Hamlet, Extinction AD, Aaron Fink (Breaking Benjamin), Brian Quinn (Candlebox) and many other talented local and regional bands.” We get singer Matt to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We filmed a video for our single “Higher Court” from our upcoming album with Camp Rattler.  James Callahan at Camp Rattler has great vision and he wove a magical tale of good and evil around our song, which is basically about being judged by higher powers outside the human understanding. We live in a world of dueling power of light and dark that are eternally at battle. That is where I try to pull the magic from when writing songs. There is subliminal imagery targeting your subconscious in the video.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When I was a child I heard The DOORS “RIDERS ON THE STORM” and it stuck in my head for weeks.  The lyrics and the melody just hypnotized me.  When I was 7 years old, my best friend had older brothers who turned me onto Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth and those bands hit me so hard I never recovered.  In my eyes, they were doing the single best and most important thing on this planet so that’s what I set out to do for myself.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Metallica in the 80’s, TOOL in the 90’s, and Katatonia in the 2000’s.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Metallica, Slayer, Sabbath, TOOL, and Deadsy. There are so many but those bands are on top of the pile.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Id love to work with Elijah Blue Allman from Deadsy.  I love the way he weaves his influences together and his lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever heard.   In my opinion he is a genius song smith.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I think Royal Hell has elements of 70’s classic hard rock and 80’s traditional metal and thrash metal and we pepper in some modern sounds here and there.  We’ve been told we sound like old Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Misfits, The Cult and that is the fuel that keeps us going. Some girl came to a show and said we sounded like Avenged Sevenfold. I wasn’t mad I think Avenged is pretty cool it just wasn’t a band I ever thought of us sounding like.


7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Creating.  Pulling something our of thin air and crafting the song.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Rob our drummer is probably both the cook and the campfire guitar man.  Gene our axe man brings drink and Davey on bass is our tech guy/level headed ninja.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Saw the Stones last month and some dude gave us Golden Bracelets and brought us up front.  Seeing Mick and Keith that close was unreal.  Still can’t believe that happened.  We were in the GOLDEN CIRCLE.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I’d be an Anthropologist.  I’m always digging into history trying to put the pieces together.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I gave up on doing the band thing for about 5 years from 2007 – 2012.  I was still doing solo acoustic music under The Italian School of Poison but not writing with a band is a loss.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction. That record has so much energy and passion and anger and everything I love about music and rock n’ roll.  That album changed my life.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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