Updated: 02/23/03

While Dushan Petrossi is a guitar hero over in Belgium, he and his band Magic Kingdom have achieved only cult status here in the States. His latest project Iron Mask has just released Revenge Is My Name through Lion Music, and there’s little doubt that everyone will know the name of Petrossi before too long. Here we talk to the man about his latest project…

What made you decide to do a concept album based on the classic novel The Man In The Iron Mask?

I've always loved epic stories or legends; it inspires me to write my own fantasy lyrics, which very often are metaphorical. The album is not a whole concept based on this novel but yes some songs are based on it

When writing the lyrics, how difficult was it to stick within the context of the story?

It was hard and in a way not so difficult to write these lyrics coz it's a simple story about vengeance and what a man can do to prove what the truth is, it's in a way our life, our fight against our former label.

Tell me about the recording process of the opening track Enemy Brother Overture.

I decided to record this operatic intro from Handel with a real orchestra, a lot of bands are using keys and samples but I wanted this real feeling, that when you start listening to the album you think you are in another age, in 1705 and the result is great. I composed the guitar solo which, of course, is not in the original Handel version and I think it sounds cool. The mother of Youri is a very famous classic pianist and we had the chance to get in touch with some classical musicians and a conductor thanks to her

In choosing band members and a vocalist, what were you looking for and what made you choose the people you did?

You know, the musicians are almost the same as in Magic Kingdom, even if I think that IM is more like a solo project. I think I took a great vocalist and the best musicians for the neo classical metal in Belgium, Vassili (bass) is a very old friend, and he’s been with me for a very long time.

What is the metal scene like in Belgium?

Well, [there is] a lot of trash death black metal bands and of course a lot of cover bands. We are the only (good, I hope) signed band in the neo classical metal style. Thanks to Lion for this.

Tell me about your main band Magic Kingdom and why there has been a delay on your second album. What is the current status of Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom is a bit more progressive with some more speed metal, I had to put our former label (Music Avenue) into court coz they were treating our new label (LMP) saying to Limb not to release our new album, Music Avenue also wanted to release our second album but there's no legal option for this album. We've signed for only one first album with this very small label from Belgium and we personally paid more than 15,000 dollars to record this new album without receiving a single dollar from them (m-avenue). You can imagine that Limb wanted some real legal proofs of our freedom before signing us and at the moment we're waiting for the judge's final decision. Musicians be aware: only sign for one album (your first album) and don't accept any kind of option without receiving an advance.

Tell me about your contribution to the Uli Jon Roth tribute album and how you became involved with that project.

Lasse Matson asked me if I wanted to take part in it, and I accepted. I recorded Yellow Raven from the early Scorpions stuff but I changed some melodies in the intro solos and of course recorded a very different lead solo in the second part of the song. I also recorded all rhythm guitars, Ian Haugland (Europe) recorded the drums

What other power metal acts do you admire and what do you think of other styles of metal such as death and black metal?

I like Symphony X, Malmsteen, old Stratovarius, Rhapsody, classic bands like Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Dio, some old trash bands like Annihilator and Slayer but I'm not into death or black metal, the vocal melody is very important for me. But I respect all kinds of metal and there's always something good for me when I listen to different music. I also composed and recorded a fourteen minute long metal opera song with five different kinds of metal singers for the second MK album Metallic Tragedy: (death voice, black voice, female soprano, classical baritone and a traditional metal singer a la Dio)

Any chance of the Iron Mask album being performed live anywhere?

To tour is expensive and first we have to see if people will buy enough albums in order to get enough money to tour. We just shot a video clip for Revenge Is My Name. It would be a dream for us to tour in the States! My uncle lives in Los Angeles but we've lost the contact a few years ago.

Tell me about the dedication you made on the last track Warchild Requiem.

You know when you're a kid, it's the best part of your life and I think there's still in our world too many children dying in wars or because of the irresponsible behavior of adults, some children are exploited. these kinds of things must stop.

If there was one thing you’d like a listener to remember most after hearing Iron Mask, what would it be?

This is a good band, with good songs!!!! We start to record the next IM album in March. There's 11 songs and probably two instrumentals.

Does your son show any signs of being an avid heavy metal head yet?

My son is now four years old and sometimes he takes my guitars trying to make some sound with the strings!!! He listens to metal almost every day with me, it seems metal is ok for him.

Do you have any messages for power metal fans here in the States?

Please stay metal and continue to support real metal bands, hope you enjoyed our album or the next, if we have the chance to come for some gigs in the states, come and see the show you'll love it. We all live for the music we love.

Revenge Is My Name, the new album from Dushan Petrossi's Iron Mask is now available worldwide from Lion Music!


LION MUSIC: The Record Label for Dushan Petrossi's Iron Mask!
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