Interview with Symphony X Bassist Michael Lepond
IMM: Hello Sir. Welcome to Indian Music Mug
Michael Lepond: Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to speak with you
IMM: So what’s hot and happening for you, lately?
Michael Lepond: Well right now Symphony X are writing songs for a new Album. In the meantime, I am working on a solo album, as well as doing numerous other projects.
IMM: Tell us about your biggest influences and what was your career defining moment?
Michael Lepond: My biggest band influences were Kiss, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, and many more. My career defining moment was when I saw KISS in concert as a kid. On that day I knew what I wanted to be.
IMM: Tell us about Symphony X and how you guys met?
Michael Lepond: I met the SYMX guys through a mutual friend. He gave Michael Romeo my phone number. We talked and scheduled an audition. I was very nervous but this was my dream so I had to go for it. Luckily, after 2 auditions I got the gig! Was a very happy day!
IMM: Tell us about the times spent recording and touring for Symphony X
Michael Lepond: Recording a CD takes many months of preparation for me. I make sure I am well rehearsed . The actual recording of bass will take about 4 long days. Touring is my favorite part. Playing on stage, meeting fans, traveling, are alwaysamazing to me. I wish we could tour all year.
IMM: In 2005, Symphony X was featured on the Gigantour along with the headlining acts Megadeth, Dream Theater, and Anthrax. How was that experience?
Michael Lepond: Fantastic experience! This tour finally gave us the exposure we needed in the USA. In addition, we met a lot of great people. Probably my favorite tour so far.
IMM: In 2012 you formed the progressive metal supergroup, Affector. Tell us a little about the band.
Michael Lepond: I met Daniel Fries in Germany while on tour. He had these great songs and wanted to record a CD. The CD also features some amazing prog musicians. I am very proud to be a part of this project.
IMM: In 2006, you underwent surgery for Crohn’s disease and came out fully recovered. How hard was it for you to go through that phase?
Michael Lepond: During that time we had to cancel some shows. It was really hard and I felt bad about it. This is a terrible disease with no cure. I have to have another surgery this year.
IMM: You were a part of the band, Rattlebone too. Tell us about your time with the band.
Michael Lepond: Rattlebone was a local unsigned band from my home state of New Jersey. We were a hard rock group in the style of Tesla and Skid Row. I was in the band from 1996 until 1999, when I joined Symphony X.
IMM: What equipment do you usually prefer playing?
Michael Lepond: Right now I am playing Jackson basses and Peavey amplifiers
IMM: What advice would you give too budding bassists?
Michael Lepond: Start out by learning the easy stuff first. Learn your scales and learn to lock in with a drummer. Use a metronome to practice timing.
IMM: Have you heard any Indian bands?
Michael Lepond: Unfortunately no, but I would love to discover some.
IMM: Any plans to tour India?
Michael Lepond: Right now we are writing songs, so there are no plans for India, yet.
IMM: Your take on the current global metal scene?
Michael Lepond: I believe metal is alive and well all over the world. We have fans in every country imaginable. There are many great Folk metal bands coming out of Europe and I think the future will be bright.
IMM: This is your space…Leave a message for your fans.
Michael Lepond: On behalf of Symphony X, I would like to thank all of our Indian fans for their support. We hope to play there as soon as possible and we love you all.