This is Lee Walker from www.PlanetMosh.com conducting an email interview with Bob “B.B” Ballinger from the band Power Theory
LW – Hi B B, for all of those people who are just coming into contact Power Theory as a result of this interview, how did the band come into existence ?
B B – I had formed a band called Night Myst back in 2005, it was a good band but the members involved pushed it to be more like a late 70’s UFO style hard rock sound and even though that is part of my roots, my vision was to play Classic or True Metal with a European Power Metal Touch to it. So we disbanded and the bass player followed me and I formed Power Theory in 2007. We added another good guitarist and solid drummer, and found a classic power metal singer with a lot of range in his voice. Everyone initially said they had the same vision I did, but as soon as we started to achieve a small level of success, personal issues and bi-polar insanity surfaced, and then 2 guys wanted to play a more progressive sound, also the other guitarist said he wanted to play Grunge (ugh). I also realized the singer was trying to put Christian messages into the lyrics and was not happy, I firmly believe that metal music should not be used as a religious or political platform. When we got some local airplay everybody was comparing us to Priest and Maiden because of the Vocals. So I shut down the line-up and started looking for new members that really had the same vision, the bass player followed me again and we found a solid drummer for session work and then auditioned Dave Santini. The minute he started signing it reminded me of John Oliva from Savatage with a bit of Blackie Lawless and it became clear that he would be the difference or edge not to get pigeon holed as another Priest or Maiden wanna be band. Dave and I came to quick terms that the following bass player had to go and we replaced him with Jason Tete who I did some recording session with in his old band.
LW –What bands/artists have influenced you musically ?
B B – Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, ( Deep Purple and Rainbow), Ted Nugent, Uli Roth, Michael Schenker and Ace Frehley were early on. Then Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and twin guitar attacks, and Rush up to Hemispheres, and then I saw Saxon open for them and it was like WOW this is it man this NWOBHM, and Maiden etc. Soon after I heard Manowar/Ross the Boss and Accept /Wolf Hoffman and it opened up a new world to me for the True and European Power Metal and I fell in love with bands like Grave Digger, Running Wild, Helloween, and Sacred Steel.
LW – Your demo “Metal Forever” is often quoted as being a huge milestone in terms of the bands career gaining both national and international radio play. How did the demo come together ?
B B – Those were songs that I had been recording different versions of with the different line-ups and they just never seemed to have any power until Dave came on board, he knew instantly how to make them “Heavy Metal Songs” right down to the new titles, and “Forever “ was one of Dave’s Songs that we added our style to and he liked how it was heavier and faster. I originally played guitars and bass on it but took my bass lines off when Jason joined. He had about 5 days to learn the songs before he recorded them. He did a great job too.
LW – I noticed that for your first album (“Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire”) you used the acclaimed producer Achim Koehler (Sacred Steel, Primal Fear, Sinner, Brainstorm etc). What made you choose Achim to produce this particular album ?
B B – That is almost correct. I really wanted to try and gear the sound toward the European/German Metal Market and knew we would stand a better chance finding a record label there based on the consistent strength of their Metal Underground. I’ve always loved Achim’s work and even the projects he only mastered were very strong and I’m not afraid to ask anybody for anything, ha-ha. So Achim agreed and “Mastered” the album for us. Actually, Jason Grosse from 1021 Studios from Bristol, PA engineered and produced it and is an underrated phenomenal producer who knows how to push Dave and My limits. He deserves to get the credit for his great mix and production work. That album sounds incredible. But wait until you hear the new one….
LW – What are your favourite songs on that album?
B B – Right now, “ This Madness is Mine”, “ Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire” and “Insane, Metal’s Part of My Brain”, Insane is kind of my life story, haha
LW – In terms of 2012 I believe you have plans to release a follow up album (“An Axe To Grind”). How is the album coming along ?
B B – We will be finished recording and mixing it by mid March. The cover artwork by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Gwar, Sodom) is amazing, and it’s going to be 9 songs. We have solidified the line-up with a new bass player, Jay “Berserker” Pekala and permanent drummer, Lorin “Bunsie” Savadove. Both guys are veterans of the Philly Metal Scene and are into the bands vision and the metal styles I like 125%.
LW – What should the Planetmosh readers expect from it ?
B B – Louder , Harder, Faster, Heavier, Deeper, and it definitely shows growth in the song writing and performance of the band.
LW – What are your favourite tracks from the album ?
B B – Deceiver, A Fist in the Face of God, and The Hammer Strikes (Mjolinir’s Song)
LW – Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans ?
B B – Yes, I want to take the time to sincerely thank them from the bottom of my heart soooo much for their support. It’s such an honour as an artist to have people enjoy and believe in what you’re doing, it makes it a worth while. I will continue to defend the underground and stay true to the metal as long as I live for them. \m/