ALLEGIANCE TO METAL played last night (Friday September 2) at Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The band’s setlist included music by ALLEGIANCE TO METALthe eponymous album of, “Fallen Heroes” PE and “Volume II – Power Drunk Majesty”as well as a special set of ANTHRAX and WILL covers chosen just for this show.
In ALLEGIANCE TO METAL fashion, an all-star lineup made in Rio De Janeiro, featuring core members Mike Portnoy (ex-DREAM THEATER) and Alex Skolnick (WILL), as well as Phil Demmel (VIOLENCEex-MACHINE HEAD),Jack Gibson (EXODUS),chuck billy (WILL) and John Bush (SAINT IN ARMORex-ANTHRAX).
Coming from a first idea in 2011, ALLEGIANCE TO METAL was born as a way to unite a collection of the most outstanding hard rock and heavy metal musicians in a framework born under the same ideal, the love of music and the stage.
Gathered by ALLEGIANCE TO METAL main partner Marc Menghithe original material for the project came from the creative minds of portnoy, Skolnick and formerMEGADETH bass player David Ellefsonnext to menghi. The four writers then reached out through their metallic rolodexes to a diverse range of performers, each adding their own personal musical imprint to the songs.
As for how the songs on ALLEGIANCE TO METALthe first album of met, Skolnick Told The Rock Pit“For me, it all started with [MOTÖRHEAD‘s] Motorboat [cruise in 2014]this official [METAL ALLEGIANCE] concert, because WILL was also on the boat and I was brought on board as a special guest to ALLEGIANCE TO METAL and we just hit if off. A few days later, they came up with the idea of writing and working on original songs and then it went so well, it went really fast. And I think while the four of us were writing the tunes – me, To mark, Dave Ellefson and Mike Portnoy – we were discussing certain types of voices but we never specifically decided on a specific voice until the songs were finished and we had a chance to talk to the people we had in mind to sing them. We played them the song, discussed schedules [and whether this] can even work logistically, and it happened very naturally.”
In April 2019, Ellefson says that one of the keys to ALLEGIANCE TO METAL wrote “really compelling music”, which allows him and his bandmates to be more selective when it comes to determining which guest vocalists will sing to their songs. In an interview with Global Media A-Z, Ellefson we asked why ALLEGIANCE TO METAL does not follow the traditional band format and prefers to use guest vocalists instead. He replied, “To go out and play covers, what we were doing with MASTERS OF METAL for a few years and the first ALLEGIANCE TO METAL show, technically it was on the Motorboat cruise, but we’re all original artists and we’re songwriters and we’ve all got record deals and that’s what we grew up knowing as professionals. I think when Mike Portnoy, we go to his house in Pennsylvania and write an album, we were all in, that is to say the “core four”. That’s what really defines you as an artist, is writing and creating together. The fact that we come from these different genres — I’m a thrash/rock guy; Skolnick is a jazz/thrash guy; portnoy is a progressive musician and Marc Menghiwe didn’t really know what he was because he was our friend, but he brought that kind of mid-tempo PANTHER, BLACK SABBATH bluster that really none of the other three of us did. It was such a collaboration between us and the fact that we wrote really compelling music – first we write songs, then we think about who we want them to sing. I think we do it the right way, because it’s always about the music and the friendship, and then it’s about adding other people to contribute. It’s not something where we sit down and go, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could have all these famous guys? Oh yes, then we have to write songs. I think we’re doing it the right way and the two albums that we’ve put out, both albums and the EP, were really based on writing really good music and then from there on getting the right voice. I will try to invite John Bush sing along to the song “Bound by Silence”. You obtain Max Cavalera [SOULFLY] to collaborate with us on ‘Bonus Voodoo’. It’s really about having the right pieces of fabric, not just having someone who’s famous.”
Repetitions w @metalalliance went awesome! I can’t wait for the big show tomorrow at @rockinrio! Our lineup for this show is myself, Alex Skolnick and Chuck Billy from Testament, Phil Demmel from Vio-lence, John Bush from Armored Saint and Jack Gibson from Exodus. It’s going to be MASSIVE pic.twitter.com/eoFam1L9je
—Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) September 1, 2022