Metal Nexus Interview:
Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck
CAGE: Ancient Evil (2015)
Death Dealer: Hallowed Ground (2015)
Denner / Shermann: Satan’s Tomb (2015)
Hello Sean! I know you are extremely busy and really appreciate you taking the time to interview with me. It is a real privilege for me to get to speak with such a uniquely talented artist! I really dig everything that you have done over your many years in the music business!
I would also like to thank you for all do to share yourself through your music. I know it takes much more effort, time, blood, sweat, tears and financial resources to do what you continue to do than most appreciate. As a fan, I sincerely appreciate it!
Odyssey: I see that you have been busy with at least three, late 2015 releases with CAGE, Death Dealer and Denner / Shermann. With that heavy load, do you find it difficult to switch gears and move between the bands when writing and playing?
Sean Peck: It is all kind of new still being in 3 bands. I was in CAGE for the majority of my career and now I have 3 killer bands going. Having CAGE just done a concept album compartmentalizing for that was easy but now I am moving into CAGE‘s new album, and Death Dealer new album territory so we will see. I think I will take one at a time. I just finished the new Denner/Shermann and now am on the next CAGE record then the Death Dealer.
Odyssey: What circumstances drew you into the Denner /Shermann project?
Sean Peck: I am a huge Mercyful Fate fan and King Diamond fan and when I heard they were doing a record with multiple singers I hit up Hank on Facebook. When he hit me back I was excited and months later he sent me a song. I immediately sent a chorus to him for the title track of the EP Satan’s Tomb and he liked it so much I got hired!
Odyssey: How does it feel to be playing with other, such legendary artists that you grew up idolizing?
Sean Peck: It is still hard to believe I am in a band with these guys. It is funny how things work out in life. I was just happy to get a message back from him on Facebook. I never thought I would be singing on their record. That being said I think I am a great fit for their writing style being a fan first. I know what the fans want to hear because I am one. So when writing the new full length album I really dug deep into the twisted dark side of reality. When the fans see the song titles alone they will freak out!
Odyssey: I know you authored a novella and that it eventually became the inspiration for the lyrics to CAGE’s “Ancient Evil” release. Was this originally inspired by the Denner / Shermann project? How has the novella been received since it’s publishing and release?
Sean Peck: No that was inspired first by a side project I got asked to do by some ex King Diamond members ironically before the DS thing. That fizzled out and I had this killer story and I took it to the CAGE guys they loved it and we ran with it.
Odyssey: What is your status/involvement with Warrior at this point in time?
Sean Peck: It looks like that is something that might pop up randomly. None of them are motivated to really be a band which is a shame, I really had fun with that. We started writing some songs and then the guys got busy with other things. Then I got into DS and I could not be happier. I don’t think 4 bands would be realistic ha!!
Odyssey: Do you have any other side projects in the works? If so, what can we be watching out for?
Sean Peck: Well the new album that the CAGE band is working on is referred to as “Project 1“. It is going to be really special and may be released under a different name for reasons that will become obvious once the big secret gets out! I had some songs with a guitarist from Syria of all places that we started, one called IRON EMPIRE but that is way on the back burner.
Odyssey: Is there anyone in particular that you would like to work with in the future if given the opportunity?
Sean Peck: Judas Priest, Maiden, Ha! I have teased around with a lot of well known bands in the past but never committed like Riot, Metal Church, Firwewind, Crimson Glory, Malice, and Fifth Angel all bands I love. But I am kind of proud that now I am in 3 original bands and I am not the replacement for anybody.
Odyssey: With your unique vocal range and tone, I am sure you are often approached for collaborations. How do you, as an artist, choose one over another?
Sean Peck: I have resisted a lot of offers, it has to really kick ass to me. Right now I have just done some guest lines on some charity songs but I am sticking with the three bands I have now.
Odyssey: When choosing projects, what lines will you not cross?
Sean Peck: Even though I am in DS, I am not down for singing a bunch of Satanic shit that is ridiculous. I like telling scary stories and tales of the Supernatural and wicked dread but some sort of black metal guys that were all about it I could not put my heart into. Rap? Maybe? Ha!
Odyssey: What unique qualities do all of your current projects give to you personally?
Sean Peck: I get to tell my stories that plague my imagination. And the power you get from this kind of metal is unmatched! There is nothing like it in the world.
Odyssey: Since you have been involved in music for so long, is there anything that you would like to try that you have not done before?
Sean Peck: Hmmm. I don’t know. Singing softly is a tough trick. I have pondered the idea of an album with all love songs and a joke album too. The joke album might actually happen. We already have like 4 great songs for it and some prank phone calls recorded.
Odyssey: Since you are involved with multiple musical endeavors, your real estate job, your home life, time with your girlfriend, how do you find balance?
Sean Peck: Never enough time. My profession allows me to be productive and effective anywhere I have a phone so I can go all over and still make things happen. Real estate work can be alright to support your music aspirations and if you’re looking to work at an Equity Experts type company just make sure to do a little research into how they operate. You know, see if you would be able to get the room to work on music like I can with my job. I’m always on the go with my work and my girlfriend has gotten used to it and still loves me for some reason ha! I am highly motivated and when I put my mind to a project I keep it rocking until its done. I abandoned some of those other band opportunities I mentioned before because they were too slow with writing, communicating and getting stuff done. That is why working with Hank, Stu Marshall, and Dave Garcia is so great they are all soldiers of steel.
Odyssey: After dropping the big labels and creating your own company, what doors have been opened to you that were formally closed? Which ones have closed now that were formerly open?
Sean Peck: Now we are on a great new label SMG, but being on our own label was great thanks to our killer loyal fans! If you can sell enough records on your own it is the way to go. But starting out it takes years to really pound the road enough to get traction to survive.
Odyssey: Has the modern music industry and the way listeners digest music (online streaming services, etc.) helped or hindered you?
Sean Peck: Well we have moved to packaging and collectables so that the hard core fans can get incredible stuff that was never before possible. I wish bands back in the day offered stuff like they do today. I am not a fan of the streaming services but everything else is cool. It does seem like there is just a ton of bands out there now so you better kick ass!
Odyssey: With the advent of Pro Tools, small bands can now self-produce their releases which has resulted in an astonishing expansion of the musical landscape. Being in the business as long as you have, how do you stay in front of this?
Sean Peck: It has allowed me to record albums with people all over the world so technology in that respect is great. I record all my vocals at home so it is very economical. The good news is that they have not invented singing computers that people want to listen to yet so I am not obsolete!
Odyssey: What, in your mind, is the biggest obstacle you face even though your talent is almost universally well reviewed and received?
Sean Peck: Just the fact that as a band or bands we would have to really tour relentlessly to really climb the ladder I believe. That is what kept CAGE down is that we did not tour Europe enough in the early day. The flip side of that is that we are not broke musicians in our later years with no fall back career. We have the best of both worlds.
Odyssey: Do you find comparisons to other vocalists flattering or disrespectful? (As a point of reference, I generally try not to do direct comparisons between artists because I believe almost everyone brings something new and unique to the subjective table.)
Sean Peck: Well anytime I get compared to Halford I love it ha!! I played some all star shows one recently for the Lemmy Tribute in Hollywood where the media wrote up that I was Halford! Bald with a goatee I guess. I don’t have a problem with any of that it is awesome praise.
Odyssey: Is there anybody new that is currently influencing you?
Sean Peck: I still love Ripper. Kelly Sundown Carpenter is really good and the new singer in Heir Apparent, Will something. [MN: Will Shaw]
Odyssey: Is there anybody that you would like to share that we need to watch out for; maybe even from your own label?
Sean Peck: Hmmm. Not really I like some newer bands like RAM, Holy Grail my buddies, all still in the genre I like heavy aggressive power metal.
(Odyssey – I have to second Holy Grail. I recently saw them with Marty Friedman and they are simply incredible!)
Odyssey: Who do you listen to right now when you have down time?
Sean Peck: Those were some right there but also the classics like King Diamond, Wolf and Grand Magus.
Odyssey: I have much respect for your choice to remain an “underground” artist. Since you are not under the thumb of a corporate entity, I am curious about your perspective.. advice you would give emerging artists?
Sean Peck: It is tough. They need to understand being an original artist in any form is the toughest challenge to make a living. Therefore have simultaneous income and career going that allows you the freedom to rock. To truly break out you have to tour 200 days a year and be good enough that people take notice. Don’t follow any trends just do the style that you love and if someone else thinks its cool that is just a bonus.
Odyssey: Up to this point in your musical career, what do you hold as your biggest accomplishment(s)? Any regret(s)?
Sean Peck: I would saying opening for Priest, Maiden, and Dio several times definitely is up there. Me playing with the Metal Titans show in Israel recently was cool as I was accepted into the all star ranks. Some huge arenas in Mexico were great, and some of the smallest shows I have done were the most memorable too.
Odyssey: And finally, as is traditional for any Metal Nexus interview, the floor is open to you (rants, anything else you would like to share, parting words, etc.)
Sean Peck: Great interview thanks a lot and please hit us up on Facebook and watch our killer music videos on YouTube!
Please see the following links for more information on Mr. Peck and his related projects: