For those that might not know the band, tell us how you came up with the band name?
The name came from The Smurfs believe it or not. It’s also one of the names for the angel of death, which is a bit metal. In The Smurfs, Azreal was Gargamal’s cat who would go out and catch the Smurfs and bring them home to Gargamal’s cauldron, kind of like his little angel of death.
How did each of you come to be in Azreal?
Luke (Vocals): Formed the band with original guitarist and Scotty sometime around 2006-7
Jimmy (Guitar): Joined the band in 2009 after the departure of original guitarist Mickey C
Scotty (Bass): Original member
Chris (Drums): Joined in 2013 after our first album was released and the departure of original drummer Robbie.
Do you have someone that was a huge inspiration to you who made you want to be in a band?
I think we originally formed the band to help alleviate or purge the stress and pressure of everyday working-life. It was something to look forward to, if you know what I mean. As far as influences go, I guess I’d have to say my love of Metallica as a kid would be a driving force. Most of us learned to play Metallica songs on guitar in high school and I imagine that’s where it all began.
Is it an easy task to be a metal band in Australia? Are there lots of metal fans there?
I’d say it’s easy to start a band in Australia. There are far fewer people in Australia compared to the States, but the metalhead ratio is still about the same. It’s hard to be a successful metal band in Australia, but if you can survive the first five or so years then you've got a fighting chance.
You are on tour right now with Devildriver, Death Angel, Winds of Plague, and The Agonist. How has the tour been going for you?
The tour has been nothing short of amazing for us. Not only do we get to travel across the country but we also get to play shows every night with some of the best there is. The fans, bands, and crews have all been great to us and we've made a shit ton of new friends along the way. It really is a first North American tour never to be forgotten.
Do you have a favourite city that you played so far?
They have all been awesome but if I had to pick one I’d say Denver, Dayton, and El Paso have been stand out shows for us.
Have you had any fun fan experience?
There have definitely been some characters along the way. One guy in El Paso wanted our merch queen, Karine, to sign his Azreal bandana. Vinnie Paul also showed up in Dallas, Texas. He can hardly be classified as a fan, but that was pretty damn cool nonetheless.
Tell me, how did you get to be on this tour?
We have had MGI management in the States working hard for us over the last little while so without that we would never had landed a tour like this.
Are you selling lots of merch?
We have been doing very well on merch, yes. So much of survival on this tour really depends on merch sales so we are always at the table peddling our wares. It’s also a good place to meet and connect with people who have enjoyed our set.
How about food, how has that been on this tour, good or bad?
Most of our band and crew have loved the food out on the road. Chris, our drummer, recommends In and Out Burger, Denny’s, and the Walmart Deli. He does not recommend Arby’s or Waffle House. I myself haven’t really eaten take-out at all on tour and have survived purely on Walmart frozen food and fruit. I think a big stand out for everyone was the food in Texas, too.
Are you sharing a bus with another band?
No, we have our own RV for this tour that we have affectionately named Veronica. We have a driver, a tour manager, a merch girl (Scotty’s wife) and a tech (our buddy Shaun from Oz) along for the ride. And a hell of a ride it’s been!
Is this your first North American tour? If not, who did you tour with before?
Yes, this is our first North American tour and we have loved every minute of it . . . even the breakdowns.
What will you do after this tour when you head home?
We will be hitting the studio to finish writing and recording our third full-length album, and working on getting out on the road again.
Tell us something about Azreal that no one knows?
Chris was born a woman, Jimmy eats ice cream before bed, Scotty does pilates while his wife mows the lawn, and I have never been snowboarding.
Do you have the time to enjoy attending concerts? Who is your favourite band to go watch?
We just missed the Cavalera Brothers on their Return to Roots tour in Baltimore. Also Suicidal Tendencies/Crowbar were travelling a couple venues behind us. Both of those shows would have been great to see. Some of my favourite bands to see live are Slayer, Lamb of God, Devildriver and Death Angel.
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview, that we might have missed asking you?
You can check out our music, merchandise and news at azreal.com.au , and thanks for your support.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us at Metaltitans. Enjoy the rest of the tour.