November 15, 1999

Interview by Los + Mejores Magazine (Spain)

1.) Firstly, could you tell us something about your musical career?; What are the reasons that push you on?; Before Reign of Terror, which bands did you play on?; And, also, how did Reign of Terror arise or begin as a band?

JOE STUMP:Well, I grew up in New York and started playing guitar when I was 14 and was playing in bands and playing shows a year later. My early guitar influences were Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, UFO era Michael Schenker and Zeppelin. I played in bands all throughout high school then at 17 I attended Berklee College of Music and was exposed to and heavily influenced by jazz-rock players- Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin. After college I kicked around in various rock bands touring around the Northeast, then I formed Trash Broadway, a metal band in the style of Dokken, Motley Crue and Van Halen, but all of my favorite guitarists were European so it had a bit of a Euro-metal flavor as well. We got signed to Torrid Records, a New York based metal label and released our first album in 1989. After a few years the band broke up after only one record and some favorable press and touring and I started my solo career. After two very successful instrumental records, "Guitar Dominance" and "Night of the Living Shred", in 1994 I decided to start making records with a vocalist because I found the instrumental market too limiting- that's how the Reign of Terror arose. wanted to combine intense guitar playing with vocals and more accessible material. I wanted the band to be in the style of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Deep Purple and early Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force but with some power metal overtones.

2.) On the CD greetings we could read names so much different like Bach, Paganini, Y. Malmsteen or D. T. Chastain (and others). Are they Joe Stump's biggest musical influences?

Yes they are, guitarwise my influences are Ritchie Blackmore (my favorite), Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and I also love classical music especially Bach and Paganini. I've also been a huge fan of David T. Chastain's work for many years now.

3.) After we listened to the CD, we could notice all of those influences, but also a bigger range of sounds within the compositions ( harder in Speed Kills, or more melodic inn You Turn My World Around, for example). Do you listen to a lot of different music at home? Which normally?

Yes, definitely, "You Turn My World Around" is more of a commercial melodic Rainbow type of track while Speed Kills is a heavier dose of Megadeth mixed with European speed metal.

4.) Joe Stump is also the producer of this " Second Coming". Why yourself? Why don't you leave this work to other person?

I have a strong idea of what I want and don't feel the need to surrender control of the project to anyone else.

5.) Also, D.T. Chastain participates in some process like mastering, digital editing, etc. What is the relationship between Joe Stump and D.T. Chastain?

I have a close working relationship with David and seek out his advice on many things, mastering, editing and many times the sequencing of the tunes on the record. He's a good friend of mine and has been in the business quite a while so most of the time I have the good sense to listen to his advice.

6.) What do you think the evolution on this album (with regard to your past albums) is?

I think this record combines strong melodic heavy songs with an intense amount of guitar work. Some of the classical sections are my favorites and the improvised solos are some of the best I've ever recorded (All Things Must End" and "You Turn My World round").

7.) What has the contribution of each member of the band to your project? What are the virtues that made you decide the incorporation of each musician to the band?

I always try to use accomplished musicians on my albums. All of the musical ideas are mine but I leave an open mind so the players can be freed up to perform well. I always let the singer write the lyrics and melody lines- after all he's the one who has to sing them.

8.) Have you seen the Spanish cover of your album? What do you think about it?

I thing the Spanish cover I very cool. I like the futuristic gothic setting - and of course the woman is totally hot.

9.) Nowadays, how do you see the Hard Rock scene in the U.S.A.? Do you think a work like yours (pure Hard and Heavy Rock) could be more popular in places like Japan or Europe?

Yes. I've played in both Europe and Japan and my style of Hard Rock guitar is more appreciated over there. In the States many people are all caught up in trends and most of the stuff that's popular over here is complete crap. But there is a strong core audience of guitar fans in the U.S.- it's just more of an underground thing now.

10.) Have you begun the Second Coming tour? We suppose you have already begun the U.S.A. at least, so what about it? It will be possible to see Joe Stump's Reign of Terror in concert here in Spain?

I've played some shows in the States and would love to come to Spain to do a tour if the record does well enough there to support it.

11)Any last words?

I just wanted to sincerely thank all of my fans over there for their support and if you pick up the new record you certainly won't be disappointed. Hopefully, I'll see you all in person soon enough.