Posted on October 10th. 2016
Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Stu ‘The Hammer’ Marshall is an Australian guitar player that fulfills all my shred guitar desires at a glance. He’s definitely one of the most promising guitarists at the moment, this fretboard racer contributed with bands like Dungeon, All Star project Empires Of Eden, Blasted To Static, Ross The Boss, Death Dealer, Lord, … now he features in a new Australian, female fronted Metal act called Night Legion. Stu is an all-rounder when it comes to technical axe wielding/excellent songwriting and the pleasure’s all mine having the next following conversation with him.
Q: Good day Stu, welcome at Metal To Infinity webzine Belgium ! How’s life in Sydney at the moment?
A: Thanks Guys! Great to chat with you – very hot day here, sun is shining.
Q: First and foremost I would like to ask where your passion for playing guitar comes from – at what age did you play your first chords?
A: Ace from Kiss was a huge influence on me and from there guitar playing seemed like a very natural thing to do. I started lessons about the age of 10 and was very lucky to find an incredible teacher back then, Dai Pritchard – who now plays in Rose Tattoo.. so he was a huge influence on me and a very patient teacher
Q: Back in the days, by whom you were influenced and who was your teacher?
A: As mentioned Dai Pritchard and also another amazing Australian rock player David Hinds who taught me during my teen years – he’s a great high energy blues player with incredible feel. From there I was influenced by Black sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy – the list goes on.
Q: There is yet other musical talents hidden in your family?
A: Not really.. no one else plays.
Q: Did you played in a band during your childhood?
A: My earliest formed band was a Glam Rock Metal band when I was 16 called “Ravaged Heart” – we were terrible but had a great time.
Q: Before teaming up with Dungeon, you were active in lots of tribute/cover bands… tell me some more about that period please.
A: I needed money.. but seriously it was a great time. The Bon Jovi show I was in was pretty cool as we played 4 nights a week ( I could eat) and also play Hair Metal during the 90’s which was almost impossible as Grunge was king – good times, great band.
Q: So, Dungeon was your first real band with whom you released a couple of studio albums and did a big tour across Australia, Europe and Japan. First I’d like to know, how did you get involved with them?
A: I had moved on from the cover bands and got a real job- one that payed me ok – and a very good friend of mine Zoran suggested to me to audition for a band, but didn’t reveal to much about the gig. I went down and auditioned – it was a great fit and a great feeling. Dungeon was on the rise and had just signed to a good label in Europe so I was very lucky.
Q: May I assume that you had the time of your life playing with Dungeon or at particular moments, things could went wrong as well?
A: Absolutely.. we had great management and toured a lot including European touring with Megadeth and multiple tours of Japan – the band was definitely on fire.
Q: Being a member of the band for several years, finally you decided to end the collaboration… how come?
A: It was a personality thing. The lead guy in Tim and I just didn’t get along very well after some time. I am as much to blame with the breakup and was sad to see that band finish. We were young…
Q: The great Dungeon disbanded and I am still unaware about the reason why Stu. Maybe you’re able to bring the only real truth to the table?
A: Sure, open and honestly I couldn’t work with Tim any longer and I’m sure he felt the same way – it happens sadly. We also had some industry struggles that weighed heavy on the band.
Q: I know you joined many other bands afterwards your Dungeon days, do you mind to give up the full list of all the acts you played with ever since?
A: Sure, I started a band called Paindivision just after Dungeon – think WASP meets Motorhead and you have a good picture. I didn’t want to copy what I did in Dungeon so it worked out very well. We toured Japan, released 2 albums and had a pretty spectacular blow up with a few members it was pretty crazy.
After that I started my solo band “Empires of Eden” – 4 albums later, the albums featured UDO, Rob Rock, Zak Stevens and a host of other stars. The albums received great reviews and minor label support.
I formed and named the band Death Dealer with vocalist Sean Peck. Alongside Ross the boss, Mike Davis (Lizzy Borden) and Steve Bolognese it’s the most successful act i have been involved with – we have 2 albums out and numerous European touring slots through places like Moscow and supporting Motorhead on their near final shows.
Blasted to static is a band I have with Racer X frontman Jeff Martin, it’s a high octane 70’s/80s rock band and we released our debut in May of this year.
My newest band is all Australian based “Night Legion” – a return to the true power metal of Dungeon with female vocals. Shannons voice is quite amazing and the band is working on the debut CD now.
Q: Speaking for myself, I was a big fun of Empires Of Eden and the release of “Reborn In Fire”. The line-up consisted of Zak Stevens, Steve Grimmett, Mike Viscera, Sean Peck a.o. Just another milestone in your career I suppose?
A: Yes, one of my fondest. Those albums are my pure musical expression. Sometimes in a band you need to compromise your vision but not on those albums – it was thrilling.
Q: Same story to tell about your activities with the band Death Dealer when you delivered the shred guitar movements alongside the great Ross The Boss and Sean Peck, still one of my favourite US Metal singers. How was it playing Metal with this band? Does the band still exist or not?
A: The band still exists absolutely with album #3 on the way – the respective members are all very active in other bands so we need to align schedules to bring it all together, but trust me.. it’s coming.
Q: Even your singing abilities are worth mentioning, not an issue to deliver backing vocals in a decent manner – once you took command over the lead vocals for a Thin Lizzy cover entitled ‘Waiting For An Alibi’. Never heard the song until now so hard to make a judgment, were you satisfied or not? Please give me your personal rating on a scale of 10and was it worth repeating?
A: Wow.. you did your research!! – Yes, I loved the song but my vocals are so limited with range and I think doesn’t work so well for Metal – I liked it personally.
Q: Finally we can start talking about your newest band named Night Legion. Who is responsible for the formation of this band Stu?
A: I started this band with a few local friends. I wanted to create some of the true power from the Dungeon period but of course it’s no Dungeon clone. Very excited about this band and the next stages.
Q: Describe the style we should expect from Night Legion?
A: True Power – think Primal Fear, Hammerfall and you get the feel.
Q: Night Legion has currently begun to work on recording their debut to be expected somewhere in 2017. Who will produce the effort actually?
A: I will be producing the album and we will be shopping the full album once complete so we can announce a label in the future.
Q: There is a free full MP3 song available THIS location. In my judgment this is a great song that reminds me of Chastain’s early days of existence, more specifically the “Mystery Of Illusion” era. This is all about purebred US Heavy/Power Metal music in my opinion, how have fans reacted so far?
A: Great reactions.. we had about 1000 new friends on facebook within a few days of the bands launch and yes, so far so good.
Q: Do you have any idea with regards to the official release date?
A: Not as yet, once we have a label we can work this all out together.
Q: In anticipation of the album, do you have other plans in store for us?
A: Yes, we are working with a very well known video producer and will have news on that soon, so a debut video is in the works.
Q: During your rich filled career, what were the most unforgettable experiences?
A: The friendships. I have met so many amazing people.. Ross the Boss was and is an idol of mine so becoming buddies and jamming has been one of the great experiences in my life. Of course my brother Mike Davis in DD is another, but so many friends.
The touring of Moscow was crazy, multiple Japanese tours blew my mind so I have been very lucky.
Q: We’re one question removed from the end of this conversation, do you have other pursuits keeping you busy besides making Metal music… maybe a daily job to fulfill?
A: Yes I work fulltime (sadly) there is just no sustainable serious cash flow unless you tour all year round. I love UFC and MMA also.
Q: Thanks a lot for the precious time and willingness doing the past conversation Stu, all the very best and keep me posted on your future activities… I’ very interested ! One last word for our readers?
A: Thank you for the great questions and I hope everyone enjoyed the read – please drop by facebook/nightlegionmetal