Once more we would like to present you some cool new acts at the metal scene. This time we are traveling towards shores of USA and we are meeting with the band called Professor Emeritus.
Professor Emeritus has just issued their debut record ‘Take me to the Gallows’. So, could you tell us something about your debut record from your point of view of course.
Lee: The band formed in 2010, with only myself and Tyler Herring as members. We worked on material for several years. In 2012 I met Pat Gloeckle (drums) and he joined in 2013, followed by MP Papai (vocals) in 2015. The four of us are the lineup that is featured on the album. The album was recorded in sporadic sessions between Fall 2013 and Spring 2017.
Tyler Herring had to step back earlier this year and was replaced by Tyler Antram on guitar. Around the same time Jose Salazar came on board, playing bass. I had previously been in bands with all of these guys, so the full lineup was able to smoothly fall into place.
Patrick: All the music on the album was written by Lee. We played together in Ancient Dreams beginning in 2012 and I think it was all written by that time except “Chaos Bearer.” Lee played some of the tracks for me and asked me to join and help with drums. I also contributed by writing a lot of the lyrics and vocal melodies. MP also joined in on the lyrics. I think the unique thing about the album is his emotive and powerful vocals, which I love and why I started the band Moros Nyx with him.
Could you present the band Professor Emeritus to our readers since this is the very first time that we have a chance to have an interview with you? How did you actually found this name for the band?
Lee: The name came from seeing the Emeritus Faculty office while I was in college. I thought Professor Emeritus sounded like an interesting band name, and there didn’t seem to be any or many other bands with similar names.
Could you make some parallels with some other bands that have influenced you? How would you like to describe your style of playing? All in all you are traditional heavy doom metal band…
Lee: My biggest influences are Iron Maiden and Candlemass. I feel that our sound sits somewhere between these two bands. I am heavily into traditional metal and doom metal. I’d say that Argus, Solstice, The Gates of Slumber, Thin Lizzy, Manilla Road, and Death are some other major influences.
But I really think that you are subconsciously influenced by everything you hear. Everything gets absorbed and your output is then affected by varying degrees by what you have taken in.
Patrick: Lee had programmed drums for all the songs by the time I heard them so they guided me on how to approach the songs. I followed closely to his template but had freedom to follow my intuition originally after I had watched a video of a Helloween fan visiting Ingo Ingo Schwichtenberg’s grave. It was about how we visit gravesites and even though it is just dust and bones we still feel a connection that we really invent in our heads. But still we feel something by visiting these places. Eventually MP re-wrote parts of it and the meaning changed.
Since we are not so familiar with the band are there any plans for the live shows in USA or beyond in a years to come? Do you have anything like that in your mind?
Lee: We recently played our first show, opening for Manilla Road in Chicago. We are working on setting up a few things for 2018. We would love to one day play in Europe. Pat and Jose were able to play in Germany earlier this year at the amazing Keep It True festival with Satan’s Hallow.
Patrick: It is difficult because MP lives about 6 hours away. Hopefully we will set up an album release show early in 2018. It would be great to get back to Germany if they want us there! The Trveheim festival looks very cool as an up and coming festival. But for young bands it is difficult because we have to cover our flight expenses. We will see what the future holds!
There are many good bands that have just come out from USA and yet their style is complete based on traditional heavy metal influences. Eternal Champion is one of the most prominent but also there are lots of others. How would you explain this phenomenon?
Patrick: Chicago seems to have something going for heavy metal as it is home for many great bands including what I would say is one of the most successful ones, High Spirits. But you also have Zuul, Superchrist, Dawnbringer, Bible of the Devil who have been playing for maybe 10+ years. In addition to that, the Ragnarokkr Festival (now Legions of Metal) started in Chicago in 2012 and the first one I think had about 40-50 people. Each year it grew and grew and the last few years have been around 400 people I think. Now you have fests on the east with Defenders of the Old and the west with Frost and Fire which seem to have been very successful. And there are new fests popping up as well like the Northwest Metal Fest. Hopefully they will grow and be as big as the European fests like KIT. These fests have been bringing some classic cult bands along with young, new bands. Eventually the 80’s bands will no longer be able to play so it is great to see new bands gaining a higher status. Who will be playing at Keep It True in 25 years?
- Interview by Marko Miranovic