Interview with TONY DOLAN – ‘Music is for the soul but Rock and Metal is even more in a way that no other music does..!’

7946We’d like to bring to your attention this exclusive interview with TONY DOLAN (aka The Demolition Man) – musician and actor, best known as bassist and vocalist of heavy metal bands Atomkraft & Venom. As of 2010 he is the lead vocalist and bassist of the thrash metal band M-Pire of Evil, with Venom’s guitarist Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn...

– Hi, Tony! Thank you for agreeing to talk to Rock Arena today! I’m quite curious – when and how did you discover metal music?

Tony: Hi Toni! Well in the late 1970’s I returned to England from Canada where my family had emigrated to. In Canada, I was listening to, FOREIGNER, KISS, AEROSMITH, TED NUGENT etc…but coming back to the UK at that time…Punk Rock was in full swing and although at first I was simply puzzled by it, not long after returning I realized it was speaking to me.

The speed, the aggression, the whole approach was unbridled and hit a nerve with me..then I saw a band by accident almost, called, MOTORHEAD and my life was changed forever.. I wanted ‘THAT’ bass guitar and wanted to emulate whatever it was they did on stage myself. The Power, the speed, the look, the whole feel..

– Which was the first metal album you bought?
Tony: OK well to be fair, I didn’t buy it….I stole it…QUEEN – News of the World. Why ‘that’ album? Because it was the one nearest to the door of the The next one I actually got given and it was KISS – Alive and the one I actually spent money on was The DICKIES – The Incredible Shrinking Dickies.

– Your first concert and band ever?

Tony: First ever? I think was SHOWADDYWADDY…and followed by SLADE, in Newcastle Upon Tyne..followed, bizarrely, by KISS in Detroit.. 1970..something.

(Metal Invasion VII, 18.-19.10.2013, Straubing, Germany)– How did your musical career which band?

Tony: I started around 1977 dreaming of being in a band but wasn’t until 1978 that I really began to talk to friends about it and we formed a kind of Punk outfit, naming ourselves MORAL FIBRE, then I saw and heard MOTORHEAD 1979 and that was that. We changed the band format and also our name, we became a Heavy Metal band and took the name ATOMKRAFT.

– What styles have you played?

Tony: Lemmy has a very Rock/Blues style, all be it much louder and more distorted soundwise and he plays like a rhythm guitarist. Geddy has a very Jazz oriented style and Geezer full of groove and very deep and classic low bass end. So I guess I play all three some ways.

– Which musicians did you learn from?

Tony: I suppose I looked up to the style and ability of 3 guys really, Lemmy from MOTORHEAD, Geddy Lee of RUSH and Geezer Butler of BLACK SABBATH. All affected me in different ways and I think my ‘style’ of playing is kind of a mixture of those 3 gentlemen still tot his day.

tonydolan2– Apart from being great musician you are a very good actor and played in films like the Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Dirty War (2004) and Battlefield Britain (2004)….How do you manage to share your passion between the musical and cinematographic art? …

Tony: I don’t. Both have their own distinct ways of fulfilment and I enjoy both however, having an audience to interact with musically is nothing you could ever experience even acting on for that..I lean towards music more these days.

-What are you like out of stage?

Tony: I also have do some acting and presenting on TV, Stage and in Motion Pictures. If I am not doing music, acting or presenting, I work as a Theatre technician backstage.

I am a carpenter and trained Automation Engineer. I have worked for everyone from the National Ballet, Scottish Opera and English National Opera as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company and then bands stage sets also, like RADIOHEAD and RAMMSTEIN to name a few.

I presented a whole series (20 or so) DVD’s on classic albums and bands for a company, ranging from THE BEATLES to NIRVANA, BAD COMPANY and including bands like PINK FLOYD and DEEP PURPLE, CREAM etc…I am a self confessed ‘workaholic’.

– Who would you like to play with someday?

Tony: many hero’s I am not sure…lol..MOTORHEAD would be amazing…! METALLICA would be cool too…working with or sharing a stage with Dave Lombardo or Billy Sheenan would be wicked…Zak Wild too..then there’s the none Rock/Metal stuff..ah everyone..hahahaha is that ok?
M-PIRE_01– What can fans expect from your band in a next few months?

Tony: AS for M:PIRE of EVIL? We have a LIVE CD and Vinyl album coming out in the next few weeks. The live release is titled…M:PIRE of EVIL – LIVE from L’audun…..followed but a split single CD and vinyl version of an old VENOM song, Manitou, we did as guests for a French band called GRAZED.

They recorded the backing track 15yrs ago but left it unfinished…they invited us in to help finish it when we were in southern France for a concert so we said sure but ended up doing almost all of the song as M:PIRE of EVIL with help from them.
Then we are finishing up out brand new studio album titled, UNLEASHED, which we will have out in the following months…

We have 2 festival appearances in Chaulnes France and near Paris in the next weeks and are planning our US and South American tours for October/November/December. We will have other European shows during the summer months once the album is complete but right now we are focused on the releases and finishing the album.

– What is the main message of Mpire Of Evil to the audience?

Tony: The main message? Bring us all back together under one flag! Music is for the soul but Rock and Metal is even more, it breeds a loyalty that no other music does, in a way that no other music does and we want to bring that all back together. There are so many split genre’s…and it’s a manipulation that is supported by labels..for monetary reasons…back in the day there was 1 – ACDC…1 – KISS…1 – IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, SLAYER, etc,etc….why now must there be 10…Johnny and the Death metal boyz…or….eat my lunch and the mofo’s and then 20 other soundalike Thrash acts.

The labels liked to capitalize on a genre as fast as they they bought up every band sounding…like they’d created big gaps in the audiences but on reality, we are only and idea or chord or tempo away from each other…let’s get back to being individual and as one great big family again…

Bring the music can still be Black, Death, Folk. Thrash, Grindcore but all is Metal….and fans will do as we do and did back then…like a song or a band or not…regardless…not because they are fashioned into a scene we are not supposed to cross over to like because we ourselves are this or that but just because we like that or don’t…

006_prev-Your final words/wishes for the fans and Rock Arena?..Maybe with some part of the lyrics of your songs?

Tony: I’d like to thank you for the time and the cool questions, wish the very best to Rock Arena…a huge thank you to our fans old and new…for supporting us and coming to see us.

WE shall see more of you Guys soon I swear and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and our official site too.

Some lyrics? OK..the following is from the song DEVIL off our debut album HELL TO THE HOLY..

I have chosen the first verse to illustrate that long before backward masking..Judas Priest songs, or Elvis, the devil sang his song….so if Heavy Metal is the Devil’s music…so goes all that followed..

” A widow on a sabbath day, the snake that did us wrong

Way before it all began the delta sang it’s song

A honey dripping hooker, drove me blind in muddy creek I was talking to the devil,

when I swear I heard my momma speak… she said don’t go down to the crossroads, it’ll take you straight to hell

Sold my soul at the crossroads, got me some of that 6 string hell



Interviewed by: Toni Rock