Rock Overdose and Zisis Pekkanas had an interesting conversation with MALEVOLENT CREATION’s singer Lee Wollenschlaeger , who said a lot about the band's new album "The 13th Beast" about his favorite albums and also about Greece and the Greek bands he knows.
Rock Overdose: Hello Lee and welcome to Rock Overdose, Greece! How’s it going?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Good, man! Thanks a lot!
Rock Overdose: First of all, I have to give you my congratulations about your new song, and the lyric video for the song “Mandatory Butchery”. What is the feedback of the Press and the fans about the song so far?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Everything seems really positive. We’ve been getting a lot of good responses for the song we released.
Rock Overdose: So, we have a new album on 18 January, your first one with Malevolent Creation. How do you feel about playing in such a historical band?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: It’s great, man! I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. [Laughs] It’s going really well. We’re releasing a new music video on Friday and we’re also filming a new music video next week. So, we’ve got two new videos coming out soon, as well. Things are going really well, man.
Rock Overdose: You had a very difficult job here, taking over the vocals from the late great Brett Hoffman who passed away. Are you afraid of the comparison and the fans’ reactions about this?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Not really. In the beginning, I was a bit worried. But when we released the song the other day, the responses have been good. People seem to like my vocals, so I’m very happy. It’s all been pretty positive, so there’s been nothing to complain about. Like I said, in the beginning, I was a bit worried. As you said, Brett was a legend and stepping into his shoes is a difficult task, but… Yeah, the response has been great.
Rock Overdose: So, Lee, what should the fans expect to listen to in this new album? You said that this album is going to shock a lot of people.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yes, it is! It’s really intense. Have you listened to it yet?
Rock Overdose: Not really… I have the album, but I haven’t had the time to listen to it.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: It’s really aggressive; it’s a really angry record. I really think the fans are gonna be a bit shocked; it’s a really heavy album.
Rock Overdose: That’s great for the fans, I believe. Could you tell us a few things about the title, “The 13th Beast”, and the lyrical content of the album?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Well, the lyrical content is mainly about serial killers as always- what Malevolent usually sings about. There’s one song that introduces you to a war, but it’s mainly about serial killers and what goes on in the mind of serial killers. The title doesn’t really have a special meaning except for meaning that the Beast is returning for the thirteenth time.
Rock Overdose: I see. How was the writing and recording procedure? It would be great if you could give us a few details about how you created and recorded the album.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: We all– because all of us live in different places… I live in South Africa, [Philip] Cancilla lives in Las Vegas and the other guys live in Florida. It was a bit difficult because we actually did it all by file-sharing, which Phil isn’t used to. It’s a completely new concept for him. So, I think – for him – it was a bit difficult this time. But we got through it and everything came out really well.
Rock Overdose: And we have a great result- a great album.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yeah, we’re all very happy with the album!
Rock Overdose: What about the touring plans after the release of the album?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: We are planning to do some extensive touring next year, probably starting around May or June. No dates are set yet, but our manager is setting up all the touring and everything at the moment.
Rock Overdose: Is there any chance you’ll be visiting Greece?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: I always wanted to go to Greece; I look forward to coming to Greece. That’s gonna be great! [Laughs] We’re gonna have some great food. I’ve heard there’s some good food there.
Rock Overdose: The no. 1 thing every musician says about Greece: food! [Laughs]
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Baklava? Is that what it’s called? I know there’s good food in Greece. I’m looking forward to it!
Rock Overdose: You will become fatter if you come here.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: [Laughs] I’m already fat so I’m careful.
Rock Overdose: So… You were a fan of the band before joining them.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: I’m 40 years old and I’ve been listening to Malevolent Creation since I was about 13, 14, years old. They’ve been one of my favourite bands all my life.
Rock Overdose: So, is this a dream come true?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yeah! Big time, man. I completely agree- a real dream.
Rock Overdose: That’s great! Which is your all-time favourite album of the band?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Oh, that’s a difficult question! Either “Ten Commandments” (1991) or “Eternal” (1995)… It’s either one of the two… Or, maybe, “The Will To Kill” (2002)… It’s one of those three; I always go back between those three albums. Fantastic albums!
Rock Overdose: I have to agree with you! Which elements made you become a fan of this band?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Everything- I loved everything about the band! The aggression… As the band got older and older, the music just got faster and faster, and more aggressive and pissed-off, which I loved. I like it when bands progress and, eventually, turn… Because, if you take “Ten Commandments” and compare that to “Dead Man’s Path” (2015), you can still hear the Malevolent Creation sound, but it’s two completely different sounds. It’s still worthy, retaining the Malevolent sound. What else can I say, man?
Rock Overdose: So, talking about dreams, what are your dreams and goals with Malevolent Creation?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Well, my dreams are coming true at the moment. Just to release albums, make people happy, and play good shows and make people happy at shows… That’s pretty much all I can say is- just to make the fans happy. It’s a big task, just to keep all the fans happy.
Rock Overdose: So, what about metal music nowadays? Do you see any great bands, like Iron Maiden, Metallica, or are the metal days fading? Will any new bands become legends like Iron Maiden and Metallica?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: That’s difficult because the days of the traditional rockstar… Those days are over. The last band that sounds like it’s gonna reach that status is Ghost. A lot of people hate that band, but they’ve had, like, four albums and they’ve become so big. You don’t really see that in the metal world anymore. The days of Metallicas and Iron Maidens- I think those days are over.
I think, when eventually Metallica and Iron Maiden – like all the bigger bands, a good example is Slayer – announce that they’re just about to break up, those days are coming to an end. That’s really unfortunate! I’ve heard that the rock and metal world gets a revival; I think it will, eventually. People will start getting enough of the secondary shit and they’ll start seeing what real music is. Instead of somebody standing behind a fucking laptop and pushing buttons, they’re gonna need a musician.
Rock Overdose: I think we are lucky to have seen all these great old metal bands, and young people should, too.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yeah!
Rock Overdose: Are you aware of any Greek metal bands, such as Rotting Christ and Septicflesh?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yeah, Rotting Christ, Septicflesh… I know George Kollias comes from Greece. I don’t really know any Greek metal bands… The two that you just mentioned are great bands. I love both of them, especially Septicflesh. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the ‘90s, as well. I love that band so much!
Rock Overdose: There’s also Gus G who was the lead guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne.
Lee Wollenschlaeger: OK, I didn’t even know…
Rock Overdose: So, is there any other news you would like to reveal in this interview?
Lee Wollenschlaeger: Yeah, we posted it on our Facebook page, that we’re releasing a new music video on Friday. The song is called “Decimated”. It’s a pretty brutal song and I think you guys are gonna like it.
Rock Overdose: Thanks very much for the interview and for your time!
Lee Wollenschlaeger: It was a pleasure, man!
For Rock Overdose
Interview: Zisis Petkanas
Tapescript: Stergios Gkoutsidis