JOE STUMP INTERVIEW
By Ricardo from Rock Brigade Magazine
1. "CONQUER & DIVIDE" HAS ELEMENTS OF POWER AND THRASH METAL. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO INCLUDE THESE INFLUENCES IN YOUR MUSIC?
Joe Stump: Elements of thrash and power metal have always been present on all of my recordings. You can hear it on previous Reign of Terror records as well as my solo material.
2. IN YOUR OPINION WHICH ARE THE OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN "CONQUER & DIVIDE" AND "SACRED GROUND"?
Joe Stump: Conquer and Divide is much more aggressive and quite a bit heavier than Sacred Ground. Sacred Ground was a more melodic and slicker type of record where Conquer and Divide is balls out and in your face. The new album is also much more of a guitar hero type affair as well.
3. "CONQUER & DIVIDE" SEEMS TO ME AMORE GUITAR ORIENTED THAN THE OTHER ALBUM - WHICH CONTAINS MORE VOCAL PARTS. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?
Joe Stump: Absolutely I intended it to be a real guitar hero type of record with long solos and complex instrumental sections. Strong, heavy tunes but tons of guitar. On Sacred Ground I think I was trying too hard to make a commercially successful album and having it fit in with a lot of those other Euro- metal bands. Where on Conquer and Divide I went back to doing what I do best which is play the hell out of the guitar.
4. THE SONG "NO FORGIVING" HAS A VERY BEAUTIFUL SOLO, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THAT WE'VE HEARD RECENTLY. I THINK THAT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO PLAY. IS IT CORRECT? HOW MANY HOURS DID YOU SPEND WRITING AND PRACTICING IT?
Joe Stump: Yes it is pretty complex and difficult to play. I love that solo and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. As far as composing it and practicing it goes, the solo section came together very quickly and I recorded it in one take the first pass through the track. Then I just went back and fixed a couple small bits of it and done. The track Forsaken also has one of my favorite solos as well.
5. I THINK THAT YOU ARE A GUITARIST WITH A STYLE. WHAT DO A MUSICIAN NEED TO DO TO CONQUER THIS STATUS?
Joe Stump: Well I love to play guitar, I play and practice constantly and I'm more excited about music and guitar as I've ever been. To play at a high level requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. So it's certainly something you have to dedicate your whole life to.
6. I READ SO MANY GOOD REVIEWS OF "CONQUER & DIVIDE". IS THIS YOUR MUST SUCCESSFUL ALBUM?
Joe Stump: I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and guitar-wise it's without a doubt my finest hour. It's very gratifying to see it getting such great press.
7. DID YOU DO A PROMO TOUR AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE CD? IF SO, IN WHICH COUNTRIES DID YOU PLAY AND WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE FROM THE AUDIENCE?
Joe Stump: We're just starting to play some shows in the states and the response has been cool. We're playing mostly stuff from the new album.
8. ARE YOU ALREADY WORKING ON A NEW SOLO ALBUM? IF SO, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
Joe Stump: All the material is written and I'll probably record it within the next few months. It'll have some insane classically influenced playing, some heavy speed metal and thrash metal riffage and also 3-4 Hendrix inspired retro types of tunes. Overall a cool mix of guitar stuff.
9. YOU HAVE RELEASED A LOT OF ALBUMS IN YOUR CAREER. WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE AMONG THEM?
Joe Stump: Conquer and Divide for sure, as far as my solo stuff goes Super Sonic Shred Machine and Rapid Fire Rondo. I'm also real fond of Guitar Dominance since it was my first solo effort. But I tend to have favorite tracks as opposed to whole albums.
10. DID YOU KNOW THAT EXISTS AN AUSTRALIAN DEATH METAL BAND NAMED REIGN OF TERROR?
Joe Stump: Yes I do, I think I found out sometime before Sacred Ground was released. I had never heard of them prior to that and I've never heard their albums.
11. WOULD YOU STRESS ANY NEW GUITARIST AS A BRIGHT HOPE IN THE SCENE? IF SO, WHO IS THIS GUY?
Joe Stump: I couldn't really say. I don't pay much attention to that type of stuff. If I'm gonna listen to guitar it'll be one of my heroes like Hendrix, Blackmore, Gary Moore, Yngwie, Michael Schenker or Uli Jon Roth. I still love to listen to all those guys. Nobody new is knocking me out playing wise that's for sure.
12. IS THE AMERICAN MARKET MORE OPEN TO HEAVY ROCK TODAY?
Joe Stump: It's starting to come around again these days. Younger kids are starting to want to listen to quality, intelligent metal and more technical oriented playing.
ROCK BRIGADE MAGAZINE IS A 21 YEAR OLD MAGAZINE(THE OLDEST OF SOUTH AMERICA) AND IN MARCH WE WILL RUN OUR #200 ISSUE! WE WILL RUN A SPECIAL ISSUE THIS MONTH AND WE WILL RUN A STORY WITH ARTISTS COMENTING THIS. MAY YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SPECIAL ISSUE?
Joe Stump: 21 years and still keeping it heavy, God bless you Rock Brigade, its a shame we don't have any cool metal fanzines like yours in the states. Best wishes for another 21 years of real metal.
Joe Stump's Dark Gifts "Rare and Unreleased Tracks"
Joe Stump (live) "Midwest Shredfest"