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ROCKET Interviews Bassist Simon Hallett of PSYCHONAUT


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Perth, Western Australia metal act PSYCHONAUT have been electrifying the underground scene in their homeland with their awesome sound and over-the-top live performance. The group cites influences such as Mercyful Fate, Loudness, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, KISS, W.A.S.P. & Slayer. They combine a classic metal & rock sound with lyrical themes such as Star Wars, Horror plus Science Fiction. The band has already supported the likes of Death Angel, Exodus, Finntroll, Frankenbok, Lord, and Armored Saint.

A debut album called Masters Of Procrastination was recorded during late 2003 and released during early 2004. Last year in 2012, they unleashed a new record entitled Shock ’Em Dead!, which reveals 14 new tracks of power-speed-thrash-death-rock-metal.

The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted an exclusive interview with bassist Simon Hallett of PSYCHONAUT for his loyal worldwide Den Headz.

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ROCKET: Where were you born and raised?

SIMON: I was born and Raised in Perth Western Australia

ROCKET: Do you come from a musical family?

SIMON: No. Not at all. Both my parents served in the Military in the Royal Australian Air Force. My mum enlisted as a nurse and my dad as a pilot. However my mum did play music around the house. I was bought up on Dire Straits, Rolling Stones (mum worships Keith Richards) and Led Zeppelin. I also got my share of classical music in the house mainly Mozart, His Piano Concerto’s and his Opera Don Giovanni.

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ROCKET: Do you recall your first rock concert?

SIMON: I do indeed. When I was about 15 my friend won meet and greets to the Offspring at the entertainment Centre in Perth. “Smash” the album is one of my favourite albums of all time and I listened to it religiously every night from the age of 6, and 9 years later I got to see them in concert and go backstage and meet them. It was a blast!!

ROCKET: When did you first start playing the bass?

SIMON: I started playing bass at the age of 16. I was a very late starter indeed and I only started because a friend in high school wanted to start a band and he played guitar and he said “you should play bass”. I wasn’t really doing much with my life so I bought a bass and amp and we started jamming.

ROCKET: Who are some of your biggest playing influences?

SIMON: There is so many amazing bass players out there it’s hard to mention them all. Rock wise I’d have to say Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osboourne), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Greg Lake (Emmerson Lake and Palmer), and Dave Ellefson (Megadeth). And as for amazing players I’d say Louis Johnson (Brothers Johnson), Dane Alderson (Most underrated player of all time), Richard Bona and Victor Wooten.

ROCKET: PSYCHONAUT is preparing to release a debut music video for the track “False Metal” off your 2012 album “Shock ‘Em Dead”. Was it fun making the video?

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SIMON: It was done at a party with all the metal heads from Perth. We wanted to basically capture the old school thrasher party’s from the 80’s. It was pretty funny trying to get 150 drunk people in a room singing the same thing at the same time. Kinda like being a choir master for the sand people in Star Wars. But it was a great and messy night for all.

ROCKET: Who are some of the bigger metal acts from America that you dream to go on tour with the most?

SIMON: Well I’d love to tour with Metallica my favourite band of all time. That would be a dream come true for sure. But it would be amazing to tour with the other American gods of metal such as Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Manowar, Exodus and Death Angel.

ROCKET: What kind of basses are you currently playing live and in the studio?

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SIMON: I recorded the Album Shock Em Dead with my Fender Jazz Bass. I however got Perth Luthier Perry Ormsby (Who does amazing world class work) to make me a custom bass. Its hard being a left handed bass player and actually getting the gear you want. So Perry was kind enough to make me a 27 fret Multiscale 4 String Bass which rips.

ROCKET: What kind of amp rig?

SIMON: I currently am playing with a David Eden World Tour 405 and David Eden Speakers

ROCKET: Do you currently have any endorsements?

SIMON: No. I do not.

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ROCKET: Back to your album “False Metal”, which tracks off the record do you like to perform live the most?

SIMON: I love playing Planet of the Apes it’s got a great groove and I get to play some dissonant licks in the bridge part. Thrash Metal Zombies is awesome just for thrashing around and going nuts and Hummungus coz it’s an epic shred fest.

ROCKET: Where is the best place for fans to purchase a copy of “Shock ‘Em Dead” CD?

SIMON: You can get the goods from Firestarter Music, Itunes and from the website www.psychonaut-au.com.

ROCKET: I understand your band will not be touring the United States until 2014. Are you excited to play in America?

SIMON: I can’t wait for Psychonaut to play in America. We are quite a different style of metal. Almost every style of metal is played within our songs which can cater for all types. Those who like the heavy black metal style will still enjoy our songs as will the old school thrasher. I’d love to see the sort of reaction we would get from our live performances in America.

ROCKET: What are some of the upcoming PSYCHONAUT shows in 2013 fans need to watch out for?

SIMON: We just finished the Fringe Festival doing a laser show which was awesome really good vibe about the night and it was great to see Perth people coming out to support a metal act at a mainstream style arts festival. Our next show is called “MurderFest”. A 15 band 2 stage event which will be killer!!!

ROCKET: Thanks for rocking this out with me. Best of luck with your music. Any last words for your biggest supporters?

SIMON: Thanks for having me Rocket appreciate it. Thanks to all who support Psychonaut and what we stand for. Rock on and keep Metal ALIIIIIVEEEE!!!

http://www.psychonaut-au.com

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