Iron Man - Al Morris III, Screaming Mad Dee

Iron Man - Al Morris III, Screaming Mad Dee

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Being in the underground scene for more than two decades is a really big thing, especially when you are carrying the magic fingers of such talented band. IRON MAN, started in the end of 80s as a BLACK SABBATH tribute band and lots of water ran under the bridge until nowadays where they hit us with the unbelievable self released “Dominance” EP. Their visit in ‘Days Of The Doomed’ festival as headliners of the second day was an awesome chance to know better the ‘roots of evil’, Al Morris III and the ‘new blood’ behind the mic, Screaming Mad Dee. So here it is what we talked about and more. Enjoy!


Has the “Dominance” EP been released or did METAL KAOZ receive a promo copy?
Dee: No, it has been released for everyone and it’s available through our website (www.ironmanband.com).

Does this mean that you do not have a record deal to distribute the EP?
Dee: We just did this independently and it is self-financed. We wanted to put something out there featuring the new lineup.

So, is this the current plan, to release your music independently?
Dee: Hopefully not (laughs).

On the other hand many bands choose to go that path and have their music as self-financed releases. You can avoid some bumps this way...
Dee: It is true that you have more creative freedom that way; you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder. You can do things your way and that’s the advantage of it. But having a record label backing you up, offers more possibilities.

And it is difficult for the band to survive economically by going out independently...
Dee: It takes a lot of work since there are a lot of stuff to juggle; family stuff, our daily jobs and, obviously, we are not 20 years old anymore. We cannot say, “mom and dad see you in a couple of weeks” and get on the road.

Yeah you are right! So, how long did it take you to write the material for the new EP?
Dee: Just a couple of months I guess.

Al: We got the ideas, Dee got the vocals together and we started working in the studio for about two weeks. It was really a team effort.

Dee, how difficult was to write the lyrics for IRON MAN?
Dee: The truth is that the three songs feature lyrics that I had already written. I have tons of lyrics already written and when I listen to a riff, I can choose the best to fit that and maybe change them a little.

So, is it different for you to write lyrics for a Doom Metal band?
Dee: Well, my stuff has always been dark to begin with. I like to think the band is open enough to other elements... ok, I wouldn’t be writing about nursing puppies, unless there is a murderer involved in the end (laughs). Seriously now, I think my dark way of writing has always been Doom!

IRON MAN started as a BLACK SABBATH tribute band; so, how do you think from you point of view IRON MAN has built a personal sound?
Al: Well, we started as a tribute in 1988, but we have been writing original music at the same time. And by 1992, Hellhound Records got a demo with some original stuff and offered us a record deal. We always wanted to release original music and to tell you the truth, it was hard to start from that sound and build our own. Of course, we tried to keep the connection with BLACK SABBATH and at the same time make it kind of modern but always heavy!

Dee in the vocals and Mike Rix are the new members in the band. So, how difficult was for you to fit your singing style in IRON MAN?
Dee: It was very easy because I was given artistic freedom from the very beginning. When I joined the band many were asking me if I was to change my style to fit their music. But these guys made me understand that they brought me in the band to bring something new.

Did you find difficulties singing the old material?
Dee: No.

Al: In fact we did not change something in the music. I consider every member as very talented and I simply letting that flow smoothly. IRON MAN is a democratic band and everyone does what comes from the soul. And that is our secret.

That’s new I think, since when a new member comes in a lineup of a long time running band, he feels like the outsider and he has to adapt or even change his style.
Dee: This was not the case at all. I have been always a lyricist and there are “horror” stories like in the movie “Rock Star” when Mark Wahlberg gets back in the lineup telling everyone he is ready to go, but the rest of the band tells him that things have change and that they write all the music.

That’s really great! So, what is next for IRON MAN?
Al: We want to do a full length album and get a good distribution deal. Actually, there will be some conversations about this matter today at the festival's grounds. We are looking for a world wide distribution because in a different case is like muffling ourselves trying to spread our music around.

What about Shadow Kingdom Records?
Al: Hmm, we are not that well connected. They are not in that level we want. We want to go beyond that.

Dee: We are not saying that in a bad way of course. They are what they are and they did a good job with “I Have Returned”.

Does this mean that you have all the music written for the new album?
Dee: We have structures for almost ten songs. We just have to sit down and decide which of them we need to have them done. We like to have more music available to choose what to include in the album while in the studio.

Can we expect a release during this year?
Al: We are going to set release date after the record deal has been signed.

Ok, guys thank you for your time; please feel free to add some words of yours.
Al: Well, I have to say that I read your review to our EP and I want to say that I appreciate your in depth view.

Dee: Yeah, we like reading opinions from fans and not by some journalists sitting in an office who are just looking at the commercial value of the album. And that what is wrong with music in America right now. I mean, in “American Idol” you watch people singing other people’s songs... There aren’t real musicians anymore, just performers.