Ninth Circle - DENNIS BROWN (GT LV) FRANK FORRAY (BG BV) RITCHIE “CAPTAIN BLACK” BROOKS (DR BV)
💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal NINTH CIRCLE! Welcome!!
Frank: Thanks for having us! Ninth Circle is here, the mighty metal force from LA! Ha, ha, we’re happy to be here with you today!
💿 On June 26th will be out your 4th full-length entitled ECHO BLACK, well- received on our pages. Can you tell us somethin'about its composition process and style?
Frank: Thank you very much! Yes, the long awaited, much anticipated ECHO BLACK will be available to everyone world-wide on June 26!
As far as the process and style, we always try to main that “Ninth Circle” sound. The “Ninth Circle” sound is heavy and melodic with great guitar playing, singing and ultimately songs that you will be signing after you hear it once!
As for the process of writing, it happens a couple of different ways. For example, I am constantly writing all time, but when I write something I think Dennis will really like I show it to him. If he likes it, then we are off and running with rehearsing it and preparing it for the record.
The other way is Dennis comes up with an idea and then he and I work on it… that’s how Forever More was created. He had the main idea and we built the rest of the song around that theme. We wrote that song in about 15 minutes.
Lyrically, I tend to write from my own experiences, great stories I have read about history or interesting way out there stuff and seems a bit crazy… like Echo Black. For example, Dance of Swords is about the young men who went off to war in the early days of WWI thinking they would be back in a few weeks and never returned after experiencing the horrors of war, especially in WWI.
After all the songs are rehearsed for recording and we enter the studio, our producer Jeff Prentice, assists with making the song as best as it possibly can be. He really pushes us hard in the recording studio! I think Echo Black proves that.
The great thing about Jeff, as much as he’s a metal head too with his own band from the 80’s, Predator, he also loves a lot dynamic top 40 music like Hall and Oates, Earth, Wind and Fire, Survivor and Rufus with Chaka Khan which brings a strong melodic perspective to our recording process.
💿 In your early times as musicians which artists influenced you the most?
Frank: In the early years it was the classics. You know, a healthy diet of Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Helloween, Yngwie, UFO, Y&T and Riot topped off with MTV! Later bands like Stratovarius, HammerFall and Primal Fear really advanced our sound.
Dennis: Interesting enough, that’s how Frank and I got together! Liking the same music. Remember the days after a big rock show when you would keep your eyes open for who was wearing a shirt from the show the night before? That was us. When I saw that Frank showed up with an Iron Maiden shirt, I knew I had to meet him and at first, talk music.
Frank: When Dennis and I were in our teens we turn each other on to new metal music all time! He got me into Yngwie, Racer X and Queensryche. I turned him onto bands like UFO and Riot. Plus, Richie musical tastes are very much the same too!
Richie: My influences are very close to what Frank mentioned but include Priest, Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Rush. I enjoy a lot of progressive rock and metal stuff.
💿 Can you tell us somethin about the birth of the band?
Frank: I never get tired of telling this story. I met Dennis in high school when we were about 14 or 15 years old. He was the first person I ever knew who had an electric guitar. That blew my mind! During our lunch break at school I had the idea to start the band with our friends, and before you knew it someone said they would sing, another said they would play rhythm guitar another said they would play drums. I remember turning to Dennis and saying, “man, it was my idea and now I’m out of the band since there’s no room for me”. Dennis calmly turned to me and said, “Why don’t you play bass”. My response was, “what’s that?” And 30 years later here we are!
Richie: I only WISH I had known them back in the day!
Frank: Me too Richie!
Dennis: Although the music landscape is quite different today, I think a lot of bands still start out that way. Friends getting together to jam and make music!
💿 How is difficult promote a new work after the lockdown drama? Do you believe can you return soon on stage?
Frank: Of all the stuff this band has gone through, this is a new one! I thought the 90’s with grunge was bad, but this is a new level. I think we’re lucky to have a lot media, like yourselves, who are interested in what Ninth Circle has to say and that means a lot to us! So that’s extremely helpful. The digital world helps too, like YouTube, as we just released our new video, Riding the Storm!
As for getting back on stage where we live and breathe our music in front of and with our fans, that’s the really disappointing part right now because we cannot bring the songs to life. Our hope is that things will soon open up and we can bring the new songs and line up to the fans and show everyone what we can do now that Richie is in the band! He’s given us a really good kick up the arse!
Richie: Ha ha ha! I REALLY love playing with these guys and can’t wait to get back out there and rock the masses!! I’ve gone through and learned almost the entire Ninth Circle library and I’m working on getting all the nuances just right so it sounds fabulous live!!!
Dennis: Growing up in California, we get our share of catastrophe’s, both man-made as well as Mother nature tapping us on the shoulder. This is a different time obviously but over the next several months we’re looking forward to things getting back to “normal”.
💿 Here at HARDROCKHEAVYMETAL we are strong defender of classic format..love for vintage or isn't there a future outside digital?
Frank: Thank God for media like yourselves who are carrying the torch for heavy metal! The metal gods salute you!
I think there is a growing community out there who are yearning to have something tangible in their hands, especially when it comes to heavy metal. Our video for Riding the Storm really tells that story. There is something special about holding a record in your hands. It’s experiential. It’s memorable. It is life altering! Your body connects with the music and the band in a physical and emotional way. And then when you see that band on stage it only solidifies the importance of great bands and music!
Dennis: Growing up in the Golden age of Metal, I still remember putting on a new cassette, album or CD! Everything was mysterious back then and it was SO cool to get a new release from one of your favorite bands.
💿 Your new album will be out on PURE STEEL RECORDS Group; Can you tell us somethin about the partnership with them?
Frank: The Pure Steel Records team have been tremendous partners. They have really pushed Ninth Circle into more corners of the world than we have ever been before! I can only hope this partnership continues for a long time! Cheers to Pure Steel!
💿 Can you tell us somethin about the great cover of new album?
Frank: Well the album cover concept came about as a result of the song, Echo Black. The song is about the fight between man and artificial intelligence and mankind winning back the world, thanks to Johnny our main character! The concept was worked on about a year ago. Then over the past summer we began working with Dusan Markovic and he brought the whole concept to life!
We hope everyone loves it as much as we do!
💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal, hoping to see you also on the stage as soon as possible.
Frank: Thank you for having us and keep the metal flag flying high and strong for years to come!
Richie: Thank you so much for having us, we really appreciate it!
Dennis: Thank YOU, it’s been a pleasure