On January 8, 2022 six bands will scrap. Two will head north to Seattle for the semi final round. Dante’s is the place. Tickets on sale now.
MIRP had a chance to talk with Splintered Throne.
Splintered Throne’s high energy performances have captivated audiences on the West Coast for over a decade. The line-up of Lisa Mann /vocals, J~Mo/Guitar, Matt Dorado/Guitar, Kris Holboke/Drums and Brian Bailey/bass, have refined the bands’ sounds to something very unique; a combination of classic – old-school metal, hard rock and progressive fusion. The evolution of this sound can be heard taking shape on the 2014 version of the “Shattered” EP, the full length follow up release, “The Octagon”, in 2014 and the 2018 full length release, “Redline”. The band recently released Immortal 2020 as a single with plans for another full-length release in 2022 titled “Greater Good of Man.” Splintered Throne have supported some of the very best including: Primal Fear, Metal Church, P.O.D., Flotsam & Jetsam, Lita Ford, Pat Travers, Armored Saint, Tony MacAlpine, Gary Hoey, Points North, Sanctuary, Bruce Bouillet and more.
MIRP: Tell me what it would mean to you to perform at Wacken 2022?
ST: I have wanted to go to Wacken ever since I was a kid. It is the heart of what I believe the European metal scene to be, and I grew up on that shit…Accept, Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Helloween. For years I have been wanting to get this band in front of a European audience and this would be a bucket list event. We’ve had numerous friends and fans tell us “Splintered Throne needs to go to Europe.” Here’s our chance.
MIRP: Sizing up your competition in a friendly manner…who are you most worried about?
ST: I wouldn’t really say we’re worried about anyone in particular. All the bands on this bill really bring something unique to the table. I think it’s a very good cross-section of what the Portland hard rock and metal scene have to offer. What it comes down to is who can bring their A-game that night to meet all the judging criteria.
MIRP: During the Covid 19 pandemic, what highs or lows did the band experience?
ST: Well, we were not able to play out, that was a super low! We have a new lineup with a new singer and guitar player that came about during COVID, and the high was that we were able to write and record the next record with lots of time to be in writing mode, as opposed to the usual write/play/write/play that is typical of a lot of bands. We had time to work on some really good songs with hooks that, for anyone who has been a fan of the band, are some of the strongest songs we’ve yet to put out.
MIRP: Playing this battle of the bands…what will you do differently now that there is a big prize at stake?
ST: Nothing. We try and deliver 100% all the time, and we will continue to do so. We always perform like it is the most important gig, whether it’s the Tonic (RIP) or a big festival, you never know when that break is going to happen. Always be prepared.
MIRP: If you are chosen as the band to go to Wacken, how do you feel about performing in front of 75,000 – 100,000 people?
ST: Like the highest of highs is coming our way! We would be honored and humbled to be selected for this.
MIRP: Who was the first band that made you want to be a musician?
ST: Speaking for myself, it was Ozzy and more specifically, Randy Rhoads.
MIRP: If you could only pick two bands to listen to for the next year, who would you choose?
ST: Geez, that’s tough. Given I had access to their whole catalog, Metallica and Iron Maiden would be the obvious off the top of my head for just about any occasion. Now if I was stuck on a desert island in the tropics, Ballyhoo and The Expendables would be my choice.
MIRP: Tell me what the dream is if you were chosen to play at Wacken 2022?
ST: Well, we get the flight over and are able to hang out for a bit as opposed to get here/play/go home. Meet some of our fav bands, maybe find a way to book a few a few other shows since we are in the neighborhood, enjoy some good beer, sell a ton of merch, and come back with a bucketload of new fans and some industry contacts who want to toss some coin our way for the next release.
MIRP: In the list of performers below, who have you seen before?
ST: We’ve seen Death Angel multiple times.
MIRP: What is currently in your playlist?
ST: I am all over the place. I like everything from Brad Paisley to Slayer to Oingo Boingo to Jinjer to Ballyhoo. It just depends on my mood. This whole band is like that. We all have influences from everywhere.
MIRP: What would people be surprised to know you listen to?
ST: Ballyhoo. They are by far one of my fav bands and just kill it live.
MIRP: Preparing for the Battle in January, what is the emotion most felt by the band?
ST: Determination. There are some good bands on this bill, and will continue to be if we move forward; it won’t come easy.
MIRP: Regarding the Battle in January, have you already picked the music you’ll play?
ST: The setlist is dialed in!
MIRP: What goes in to picking the music? Heaviest? Oldest? Newest? Most Technical?
ST: We wanted at least one older tune and the rest will be all new material. All of it is pretty upbeat, quick-tempo stuff, plus we wanted to make sure we got a few of the dual guitar harmony songs in that we are known for. We don’t sound like any other band on the bill.
MIRP: What do you think it is about your band that would be the best fit?
ST: We have been playing traditional heavy metal since Kris and I joined the band in 2010. Since day 1 I have been in Splintered Throne, the goal has been to get to Europe and play our unique brand of heavy metal. I think we would be the perfect mix of old school but not dated re-hash, and with Lisa singing the way she does, we will definitely sound unique and represent the Pacific NW the way it should be represented!
MIRP: Any final words?
ST: Thanks for reaching out for an interview, it’s been a while since we’ve done one! We are so looking forward to this show, as it is the first one with our newest members. Thanks to the judges who picked us!
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Splintered Throne is:
Bass: Brian Bailey
Drums: Kris Holboke
Guitar: Matt Dorado
Vocals: Lisa Mann