Posted on October 12th. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello Joe and welcome To Metal To Infinity. I’d like to thank you for agreeing to take time out of your very, busy schedule to speak with us. It really is very much appreciated. You are the lead singer for the Chicago based band ScreamKing. I’d like to start this interview off by asking you is there much of a Rock scene in Chicago these days? I ask because I know for years Chicago has been known as The Blues Capitol of the world.
Joe: There is a strong underground Metal scene here still and we are very fortunate and proud to be a part of it.
Jason: In regards to Chicago it’s always being reported on the news that the murder rate in Chicago is really out of control. Is it really as bad as current news reports have us believing? Is there anything you feel could be done to decrease the high-murder rate in Chicago?
Joe: There is a problem with high crime rate and murder in Chicago. Yes, get rid of the gun free zones and that whole attitude because the problem is when you take away guns from law abiding people the only people left with guns are the criminals.
Jason: Joe I have to ask you who were the Singers / bands who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?
Joe: Vince Neil (when I was very young starting out) Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, King Diamond.
Jason: Do you remember how old you were when you first started singing?
Joe: Started singing at 15 in my first band.
Jason: Could you please share with us what year ScreamKing was formed and how the band initially first came together?
Joe: October of 2011, the band started with the simple notion of forming a pure raw heavy metal band and never giving up on it. I was tired of putting in all the hard work, money, time and effort into bands that would split up and starting all over again every time that happened.
Jason: I understand that that band’s debut show was opening for ANVIL. What do you remember most about that gig and how exciting was it for you and the rest of the band to be opening for Anvil for your very, first gig.
Joe: Of course it was an honor for us to be opening up for Anvil and we were excited about that, but I remember being equally excited to be playing that particular venue and seeing our name on a giant project screen.
Jason: I have to ask being that you opened for Anvil if you ever saw the Anvil movie and if so what did you think of the film?
Joe: Yes I did see the film and I thought it was very good and I feel like I can relate to a lot of it.
Jason: I saw on your facebook page Joe that you mentioned you knew some people who lived in Florida and were affected by the recent hurricane. I’d like to ask if you’ve heard at all in regards to how your friends are doing?
Joe: Yes I have heard from them and fortunately they are all safe. Thank-you for asking that.
Jason: How many CDs has the band released to date?
Joe: So far the band has only released two cds: Evilibrium-2013 and Tyranny of the Sea-2017.
Jason: Has Screamking had the opportunity to tour outside of your local Chicago area?
Joe: Yes, we have played shows in a few surrounding states and plan to expand on that more soon.
Jason: A lot of times musicians when they are just starting out, start out performing other people’s music. I know you’re the band’s lead singer and primary songwriter, so I have to ask you how old were you when you first started writing your own songs?
Joe: I wrote my very first song when I was 12 years old. Thankfully my song writing has improved since then.
Jason: I have to ask you when you first writing your own songs, what was it like for you to write a song that was your own original song and then to go into the studio to record that song?
Joe: It is a feeling you never forget and its very contagious. Once you release your first record you can’t wait to go in and do it all over again. I hope I will always feel that way.
Jason: Now for any band that hopes to have any kind of success most bands have that goal or writing / recording their own original material. Being that you’re a songwriter / vocalist I have to ask you to talk a little bit about that rush when you hit the stage and are performing one of your own songs and you get that immediate reaction, you know the roar of the crowd during a live performance?
Joe: It is an adrenaline rush for sure, especially when the band is firing on all cylinders you feel a fire surge through your veins and we feed off of that energy from a true Metal crowd. It is a feeling of accomplishment, reward and success.
Jason: Is there an album in your collection that you would say had a major impact / influence on you that you can point to and say that’s the album that really had a major impact on me and has played a major role in me doing what I’m doing today?
Joe: Oh wow, actually I’m sure there are many albums I could say that about I will mention a few: Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil, WASP: The Headless Children, Judas Priest: Painkiller and King Diamond: Conspiracy.
Jason: How important is it for you to interact with your fans online and respond to e-mail messages that they send you?
Joe: I personally think that it is very important to respond to fans and show them your appreciation and respect and to build a bond with them.
Jason: Can you tell us the story of how the band came to be named ScreamKing?
Joe: The name ScreamKing came from a local editor Tom Lounges who was doing a write up on me and called me the ScreamKing and I thought the name had a nice ring to it and would make a good band name.
Jason: With the state of the music industry being what it is today, many bands have made the decision to just perform live and live off the catalog of music they already have; because let’s be honest people don’t buy music like they once did. That’s why I have a ton of respect for bands that continue to put out new music. Being that the music industry is the way it is today, what motivates ScreamKing to continue to put out new music?
Joe: For us really we do this because we truly love writing, creating, recording and performing music. Of course we hope to be successful, but truthfully Metal has always been underground for the most part and we will continue to be who we are and put out the best Metal that we can for as long as we can.
Jason: What is currently going on with the band?
Joe: Currently we are playing shows in support of our new record “Tyranny of the Sea”. This winter we will begin pre-production, writing and recording a new album.
Jason: Is there anything else you’d like to say to all the Joe Lawson / ScreamKing fans out there?
God Bless you all!