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Discussion in 'Morgana Lefay' started by Silkie, Dec 15, 2001.

  1. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Interesting.. I first got into (Morgana) Lefay upon securing FATA MORGANA, myself, back in 1998 (I later found, during a fortunate telephone interview with Charles Rytkönen [for Detritus online eZine], if I may name-drop, that the band had nothing to do with song selection for this), which blew my socks off, and I next began picking up the individual discs off of which my faves from the best of came.. Namely, I think I got KNOWING JUST AS I next and then MALEFICIUM & SECRET DOCTRINE. MALEFICIUM is indeed IMO the best overall pre-name-change disc. ...---... (SOS) is the better following the name change. You'll not go wrong..
     
  2. Vehemens

    Vehemens The Wayfarer

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    Just registered at UM. I'm into Lefay hardcore and it'd be cool to see their material a bit more widely circulated...the only way to get it here in NZ is to order it specially, which gets a bit inconvenient...

    I first found out about Lefay by accident...I was searching for something on the net and saw a site with mp3s of all sorts of power/semi-power metal bands on it and downloaded 'Bloodred Sky'. The singing took a bit to get used to but now I'm fully into Lefay, so it's allgood.

    Don't suppose there's any touring going on? I haven't checked the site for a while...
     
  3. Gaunerin

    Gaunerin vanquish the pain

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    HELLcome to the board! :)

    No touring plans right now as far as I know, the guys do play single shows in Sweden here and there though. We're all hoping for some new material to be released maybe next year.
     
  4. Vehemens

    Vehemens The Wayfarer

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    Yeah that'd be wicked. I've tried to get all my friends into Lefay, Iced Earth, Nevermore, In Flames, Opeth etc etc but it hasn't succeeded very well. Doesn't help that it's not easy to get a hold of any material from bands who are in the least bit 'obscure'...how I hate the mainstream music scene of New Zealand!
     
  5. BumZen

    BumZen Dictator of your ass

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    Give up already. All you can do is make them aware of the bands existence, and play a few tunes you dig. you cannot make them listen to it until they like it.... or... well you could but then they would most likely not be your friends anymore :)


    I can't wait for Lefay material btw... just to stay on topic :p


    Mads

    NP: Steel Prophet - Book of the dead
     
  6. Mad Messiah

    Mad Messiah Member

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    Hey I'm back and I'm looking forward to see Lefay in Borås and Bengtsfors!
     
  7. Henry169

    Henry169 Reborn

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    So, I'm back! :D
    With a new name (previously: Dawn), but with the same avatar.
    And what's about a new Lefay-cd?
    I have read, they are planing to record a demo to send it to the record-companys.
    So, maybe Robin can say a view words. ;)
     
  8. Gaunerin

    Gaunerin vanquish the pain

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    HELLcome back! Why the change of the nick if I may ask?
     
  9. Henry169

    Henry169 Reborn

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    Because this nick is the same nick in the chat of rockhard.de
    That's all ;)
     
  10. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    I was digging through my files looking for a memo, at which I was wholly unsuccessful, but I did find the following, which was a highlight of my early and more active times writing for the Detritus online webzine (now found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/detritus). I was given the enviable opportunity to interview Charles via phone, and it was great fun.. Hoping someone here gets a kick.. (forgive me if this is lengthy, but I must admit I'm proud of it and feeling a bit of vanity.. *heh heh* I'll delete if it's unwanted):

    [Subject: CHARLES RYTKÖNEN interview, 1999-07-25]

    I don't really know the extent of others' knowledge, or lack thereof, of Swedish power metallers LEFAY, known up until a recent and fortuitous label upgrade as MORGANA LEFAY, but I can tell you that I feel a lot better about my personal ignorance after my conversation with their outspoken and eloquent vocalist, CHARLES RYTKÖNEN, at the end of July. Turns out, not too many people know about them because of a cunningly orchestrated scheme by former record label, BLACK MARK, to bury them in obscurity. Well, perhaps I am exaggerrating, but you get the idea. These guys have surreptitiously produced perhaps *the* most quintessential, heavy as Unnilennium [atomic weight: 266] power metal that has been heard since Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning' demos sifted through the underground back in late '83 or early '84 [sue me, memories of those years don't possess the same resolution as they once did].

    I'd heard the name quickly mentioned a time or two in the recent past, but no one had really imparted to me the urgency with which I now wish to convince you. Read my lips: "THESE GUYS SHRED UNMERCIFULLY UNLIKE ANY BEFORE THEM!" Of course, this is my opinion, but I hope to offer you a few pieces of evidence along the way.

    It began at one of Canada's largest chain music stores, HMV, in Montreal, last November. I was pretty much pacing goo-goo eyed up and down the metal aisle, marvelling at the collection of obscure and distinctly non-domestic US releases shelved there. They only had one disc by MORGANA LEFAY: 'FATA MORGANA' it was called. I went ahead and grabbed it, along with a few other things I knew I'd never see in a store in the US.

    It got a quick spin when I got home and immediately presented me with a tight, pounding rhythm section, and some innovative axework, impeccably produced and well arranged. I grabbed the jewel case to peruse the notes as I am wont to do when I'm taken by something. The almost complete lack of any usable information on the liner was a bit disappointing, to say the least, but of all things, there was the URL for BLACK MARK [begrudgingly provided to you now, though the editorial staff does not support them in their evil plans: http://www.blackmark.net/]. I surmised, because of the artwork which showed several apparent MORGANA LEFAY album covers, that this was a greatest hits disc. C'est la vie. I took note of the first two tracks, as they are powerful and catchy, but when I got to 'NOWHERE ISLAND,' I was transfixed. Again, the music was heavy, and the rhythm & melody were catchy, but what caught my attention was the lyric. My interpretation would be of a man trapped in Limbo at his time of judgement, positively brimming with regret for a life wasted. Check this out:

    "All the things I took for granted, I do now esteem,
    All the things that I neglected, I wish to redeem,
    In this silence on Nowhere Island, I can see the life I had passing by,
    In the place of dying, I'm weeping, crying, Too late to be forgiven for my sins and lies..."

    I don't know about you, but to me, that's more poignant and introspective than I'd ever imagine hearing or feeling in a heavy metal tune. It gave me pause to pay closer attention to the detail of this aural tapestry before me. The intertwining threads of the complementary guitar tracks, the syncopated percussive rhythms, and the haunting vocals full of power and personal anguish did weave themselves into a fabric so elaborately lush, and at the same time so immediately accessible, I was drawn into a state I haven't experienced since the first time I cranked VICIOUS RUMORS' 'LADY TOOK A CHANCE' to eleven on my Spinal-Tap-modified stereo.

    The music on this disc runs the gamut from slow and deliberate power to fast, almost thrashy metal, and the lyrical themes touched on Tolkienisms, Merlin the wizard, religious crusade, a serial murder trial involving a very disturbed man [who may or may not be a werewolf], and the aforementioned introspective anguish of the ordinary man. To these ears, absolute Nirvana. I figured I was onto something special with this, and I set about finding the individual discs whence came each of these tunes.

    What I found was a plethora of listings, mysteriously enough at US domestic prices, but several of them turned into backorders quickly. I found that Bill, or Rivethead as his e-mail alias suggests, at Restless and Wild Imports, www.80smetal.com, has a good selection of the discs available, but supplies are dwindling, and they may or may not be replenishable [not the only special result of being managed on the infamous BLACK MARK RECORDS].

    Anyway, I have developed this desire to go to the greatest lengths trying to make sure these guys get a shot of exposure now that they've been given a fresh start with a new name and on a new label, NOISE RECORDS. Recently, I was given the opportunity to speak with the vocalist and founding member about what it means to be in a heavy metal band in a small European country, on a small label, at a time when metal wasn't necessarily chic.

    Me: So tell me about MORGANA LEFAY.. My first exposure was only recently, and it was 'FATA MORGANA'..

    Charles: Oh.. That was a bad thing to start off with..

    Me: But it's a 'best of', right?

    Charles: True, but we didn't say yes to that disc. BLACK MARK RECORDS released that on their own.. Myself, I think it sucks to release a 'greatest hits' package when you're not yet dead, so this was a little premature. It has some good songs on it, but we didn't get to choose them. It's a mixture of songs from all the albums, so perhaps it's a good one to hear if you want to get an idea of our sound.

    Me: One of the things that really struck me was the consistency. There aren't any notations of any kind, beyond song titles, on the liner, so I didn't even know it was a compilation right away. Having no idea, at that time, which songs might have come from what, I was and still am floored at the continuity you've demonstrated in your sound through the first four label releases [now the fifth with the SEVENTH SEAL through NOISE], and even a lineup change or two. It seems that Morgana started out with awesome songwriting, arrangement, and production, and just didn't stop..

    Charles: Oh, I don't know.. We are playing what we like, we do it because it's fun, and hopefully, other people will like it as well. In the end, perhaps we'll earn a living.

    Me: uh, you haven't started doing that yet?

    Charles: Actually, [the contract we had until recently was not very lucrative for the band]

    Me: Oh! So BLACK MARK wasn't the cat's meow for you guys then?

    Charles: Well.. [let's just say that] we didn't see any money, that's for sure. We were disappointed with them.. You can write about that.. I think they know we feel this way.. heh heh.. We had lawyers involved, and they were fighting for something like nine months, and we weren't allowed to say anything to the media about anything. That was one of the most frustrating things to deal with, to just sit here in our little town in the middle of Sweden and.. we were really hungry! We couldn't do anything except write more songs for ourselves. People here in our town knew about it, [a tiny few] outside as well, but most were afraid that we had committed suicide or something. But we didn't. We're still here.

    Me: So am I correct in thinking the reason for shortening the name was all part of getting away from BLACK MARK?

    Charles: Yeah. As part of this fucked up struggle between the lawyers, they came to the conclusion that we had to change the name. We were really pissed about it, so we were thinking at that time, for a short while we considered getting ourselves a totally new name, a totally different name. But we were only able to come up with stupid ideas like the FUCK BLACK MARK BAND, and very naive things there, because we were so pissed. But then again, we said to ourselves, "Why should we change the name at all? We want to keep it." But we had to change it, so we made as small a change as possible [dropping the MORGANA and making life miserable for all of us who like to catalogue our discs!]. We kept the same artist for the new NOISE album that we've used all along, except the FATA MORGANA album. We have maintained a consistent style with our covers which always, for instance, include the hourglass in some capacity. We are confident that with NOISE, our distribution will greatly improve, and hopefully, the name and label change won't displace the current fan base.

    Me: The Tower Records I visit on occasion has a pretty large metal section and they carry a good deal of NUCLEAR BLAST, CENTURY MEDIA, PAVEMENT MUSIC, and some NOISE product, but I haven't seen the SEVENTH SEAL there yet..

    Charles: Well it was just released in the US a couple of days ago I think.

    Me: [DUH! ..my stupid brain again] Well, that explains it then, doesn't it?

    Here I moved changed direction from the label woes of the band and moved to the background information:

    Moving along then.. Give me the Reader's Digest abbreviated history of the band.. The where, when and how...

    Charles: and why? heh heh heh.. Well it started, I believe the band as MORGANA LEFAY started in 1987 or 1988. First we were called DAMAGE but we changed the name.. We were just a bunch of guys who wanted to play music. We had played before in different bands.

    Me: Any bands of note?

    Charles: No.. It was just some local shit.. But because of that we came to this position, so, it was a start.

    Me: Well, I think, of the Swedish metal bands I've heard, I haven't yet heard 'shit', so maybe your shit is our gold?

    Charles: heh heh, OK.. Well, in the next couple of years we played and wrote a lot of songs, and then we had this wish that we wanted to see ourselves 'spinning on vinyl', so that's what we did. We recorded and then printed an album in 537 copies, and that was 'Symphony of the Damned'.. Now we have recently re-recorded that.

    [Note: in one of the more entertaining discography discussions I've ever read, LEFAY have this to say on the NOISE RECORDS webpage
    <http://www.noiserecords.com/ourbands/metal/lefay/symphony/cd.html> for this album:

    WARNING! This is a re-recording! It can be infected by a virus that will turn your CD player into a gramophone! If you hear any mistakes we recommend you to drink some. Then play it again. If the mistake still is there,..get another attitude!! The original was recorded in four days 1990 at the FS studio in SÖDERHHAMN - Sweden. It was printed on vinyl in only 537 copies. We did this re-recording for one reason: MONEY! Our goal is to sell at least 538 copys of this one! That would make us so rich that we could buy some new guitarstrings for Tony and Peter! Or perhaps pay the rent for our rehearsal room. We did this re-recording for one reason: We like to re-record things! There is only one reason why we did this re-recording: We really like to repeat ourselves. And the only reason why we did this re-recording is because we like to have fun. It wasn't funny at all to re-record this album because it was like a re-repeating of something... .that we have done before! That's great. We like that! We had fun!]

    Charles: We did this for the die-hard fans here in Europe, in the first place, but also we wanted to dedicate it to the former members of the band. We have had lineup changes, but we're still good friends with all these guys.. There's never been any hard feelings. But, getting back to our story, we did that album, and in a couple more years we recorded a demo tape which was called RUMOURS OF RAIN, and we sent that one to BLACK MARK. Joakim [Lundberg], the bass player that we had at that time, called them up and asked, "Have you listened to the demo?"

    [BM rep] "No. Fuck off.. We don't have the time. We have a busload of demos, so get the hell out of here."

    So he hung up and five minutes later, he called him again.. "Hey.. Have you listened to the tape?"

    [BM rep] "Oh man! OK.. I will listen to it.."

    And five minutes later, BLACK MARK called US up and said, "Hey! You're SIGNED!" So that's pretty much the story.

    [in my next question, I unwittingly directed Charles away from what I started to ask but managed to move our discussion to another question very pertinent to those who hate when their favorite band 'sells out'.. I was curious how they got to sound so good right away and, without warning, be so friggin' good at production, but..]

    Me: So where'd you get your recording know-how? How did you know from the start how to make the albums sound so good & heavy? I mean, as I said before, FATA MORGANA [a multi-release retrospective] sounds like a cohesive, consistent album, so your sound basically hasn't changed really at all..

    Charles: We don't think it's changed, but perhaps we don't have that distance from it. I think it's easier for the listener to judge. Some people think that we have changed on the SEVENTH SEAL album, but we don't think so.. I guess the reason that the songs sound this way is because we just do things that we like. We don't try to sound like any other bands and we don't attempt to be trendy. We just play our thing. It's good, of course, if other people like it as well.

    Me: I certainly hope that NOISE does much more for you, because, in all objectivity [how objective can you be about art?] and humility, I don't understand, after hearing what I've heard, why you aren't as big as Metallica.. Really.. [hey, I'm not brown-nosing here.. I like this shit!]

    Charles: Ooh.. I soiled myself there.. heh heh.. That would be awesome.. But of course, it could be a problem as well. To be that famous if you want to stick to this kind of music. I mean, in the end, perhaps you are forced to change it a little bit to be somewhat trendy, and that can destroy your soul, I'm afraid. Perhaps Metallica changed of their own volition, I mean, they have toured like hell every single day for I don't know how many years, so perhaps it was a natural progression for them. They should do what they think is best for them, but I don't know.. I hope that we don't change that much.

    [note: aaaaaaah-MEN!]

    Me: I hope not as well.. Especially if I'm now able, through NOISE, to get your discs more easily, I might be disappointed if I get one and it doesn't sound like you..

    Charles: In that case, I don't think that we should continue under the name LEFAY, actually. If we changed our music so drastically that people would not recognize it, I think that we should perhaps change the name of the band.

    Me: I notice that, though he's not a member of the band, Ulf Peterson's name springs up a lot in the liner notes of your discs.. [he's credited also with all keyboard programming & performance on SEVENTH SEAL] Is he the sixth band member or a friend who happens to be in the technical end of things or what?

    Charles: He has become a very good friend of ours. He runs the studio, which is called WAVESTATION. It's a small studio, like a demo studio actually, but he's really good with his equipment there.

    Me: Do you think you'll ever do a concept cd, or are any of the ones you've already done a conceptual piece?

    Charles: We have done a concept cd. The MALEFICIUM album is a concept album. [only AFTER the interview had taken place was I able to land a copy of this, so gimme a break, ok?..] That's about the Inquisition here in Europe, when they burned all of the witches at the stake for evils of which I suppose they really weren't guilty. It was really hard for us to do that one... to make a single story from the first song to the last, and to make it understandable in English. It would be easier for us to write it in Swedish, but you can't do heavy metal in Swedish. I think that it's important that people everywhere understand the music, and I think in that case it should be sung in English. That's for rock and roll, and hard rock and metal. That's the way it is for me. It would be impossible for me to sing in Swedish; I would feel so stupid, actually... Even though perhaps some of our lyrics grammatically could be very bad. I think we've managed to write good lyrics, I hope it's understandable.

    Me: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every foreign [to me] lyricist who chooses to write in English, because if I had been expected to conduct this interview in, say, Swedish, it just wouldn't be happening. It's as simple as that.

    Charles: I guess not.. Swedish isn't very easy to learn. But in Sweden, we are taught English starting in the third grade, so it's like our second language.

    Me: It's obvious, after one reads the liner notes, that you guys have a well-developed sense of humour as well. [I point out to Charles how I was caught off guard by the song, STATE OF INTOXICATION from the SECRET DOCTRINE album]

    Charles: [much chortling comes through the phone..] Well, you know we're from Sweden, and we have a good time playing around with English. We're perhaps not so good at it, but in that case we had absolutely no ideas at all what to write for that song. Me and our former guitar player, Tommi [Karppanen], went to a cafe, and sat there with paper and pencil, and we started to fool around with all that. "Hey.. What about some stupid lyric instead of a serious lyric?" OK, so it went, 'you're nude, you're screwed, your dick is in pain, but you're in a good mood..' Yeah.. You know.. We're sitting there throwing these lines to each other, and.. eh... There you have it.

    Me: So how widely have you toured?

    Charles: It has been limited to Europe so far, but we wish to go to the states. I can imagine it would be pretty tough to tour there, since we're virtually unknown, but it would be great. We've talked to NOISE about a small tour there in support of someone like NEVERMORE [who were interested in bringing us over], but we'll see. I think that NOISE wants to wait a while and see if we can't sell the new record there, but we want to do it the other way around. We want to go over and play to push the new record.

    Me: I think I prefer your logic there myself. Without huge advertising budgets behind a release, I think a great way to become noticed would be to just get out in our faces and ears. Do you see things changing for metal in the near future? I only have the limited scope of my e-mail discussion lists and the local record stores so I don't know what it's like for a signed band, but it really seems things are looking up from here. Do you see it getting better for lesser-known bands in Europe coming over here or going to Japan?

    Charles: It's still very underground. I can only speak for the situation in Sweden now, and it's very undergound, but it's growing. HAMMERFALL really gave a boost to the metal scene in Sweden, but it isn't big yet. There are a lot of headbangers here who're hiding somewhere I think. They say that it is bad in Germany as well, but I think they still have a good scene. Greece seems to be very good. We've never played there, but we've heard from some who have and it seems to be big.

    Me: I get the impression that in most places it isn't that there isn't a market, but that the target audience just doesn't know the music's still around because it's being buried by the media.

    Charles: I think, for the last ten years or so, everything's been happening so fast. Today you have Ricky Martin, and tomorrow he's gone and you have some new girl group jumping around or something. Everything has to be so trendy and the media has to follow that. Metal has no chance to compete there.

    Me: But do you think the media's following it or do you think it's generating it. I'm starting to think it's the other way around. I don't understand why they seem to be targetting who they are. What do you think is the more profitable consumer demographic: kids from ten to eighteen years old or maybe people from the early twenties to early thirties?

    Charles: I'd say the latter there. But it's hard to say, because I know many younger people who blow lots of money, but they have none of their own to spend. I think the reason they're the target is because the younger kids are easier to convince. If a business can sell product to the 15-year-old, they can be confident that they have a consumer for another fifteen years perhaps. I guess that's the way the they are thinking.

    Me: So, in conclusion, what do you want the world to know about LEFAY? If you could get one message out through this interview, what would it be?

    Charles: The one thing I'd like to make people aware of, and it's not just about us, but everybody on the whole planet actually...: BE NORMAL! and down to earth and friendly.. That will do it in the long run. As a band, we don't follow trends, and we don't believe in the inflated image of the rock star. The image shouldn't be bigger than the music. If there were less posing, posturing and butt-kissing, the world be so much better of a place.

    Words of wisdom from the voice of Sweden's best kept secret. If you are in the market for something incomparable in today's heavy metal market, I would urge you to seek out THE SEVENTH SEAL by LEFAY from your favorite local, or online, music retailer. You just may never be the same again.
     
  11. Charlatan

    Charlatan New Metal Member

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    I remember that one! :)
    :headbang:
    C-ya!
     
  12. abbe666

    abbe666 runka

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    Damn, Morgana Lefay kicks ass!! \,,/
    Fan, Morgana Lefay sparkar arsle!! \,,/

    Finally came to realise that!
     
  13. TwstDrSteph

    TwstDrSteph Official Pagan Goddess

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    Greetings everyone! First time at this forum, so please go easy on the newbie!! Heh heh...

    Like MRNot, I was also a regular contributer to Detritus, and remember being jealous as hell that I didn't get to do the interview with Charles!! Just kidding, my friend. :Spin:

    Hope to hear some new music from the guys in the near future. It's been too long!

    Rock on...

    Steph
     
  14. Gaunerin

    Gaunerin vanquish the pain

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    HELLcome everybody :D
     
  15. JonnyD

    JonnyD Chef Metal

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    Hi! I'm Old and new to the band and Brand new to this forum But I'm no nOOb I raise Hell in the Old School Forum so yeah Hi!:wave: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
     
  16. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Hey, now.. Why didn't I get a notification when this message was posted.. Welcome aboard, Steph. Sorry I stole your thunder there, but what can I say. Tim felt sorry for me 'cause my salary was a fraction of everyone else's at the time.. (yes, technically, 0 is a valid fraction of 0)
     
  17. Korkil

    Korkil Robin Jonsson

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    Weeee...we beat that 2010 thingy...by 5 years *lol*
     
  18. Jeroen Z

    Jeroen Z New Metal Member

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    To all the dutch Morgana Lefay fans: Right now you can request songs on the radio for money for a good goal (www.3fm.nl) and I sent them an mp3 from ML. They will play "Battle of Evermore" so ML will be in the air. Happy new year to all of you!!
     
  19. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    ...well, I'm not new to the UM (we share a forum here as well :Spin: ) But I'm new posting here, in fact I didn't realize this forum was on UM until just recently! o_O

    I wish I had explored a bit more... or I'd have posted here sooner!
    Just thought I'd jump in and say hello :wave:
    ...and that I'm a n00bie to the Lefay forum.

    Cheers!
    \m/
    Dustin
     
  20. stevekachinsky

    stevekachinsky Steel Prophet - Gtr

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
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    Trophy Points:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Glad to hear Lefay is back!!! I have a lot of respect for these guys after touring with them on the Metal Attack 2000 Tour. It was a great tour with Lefay, Steel Prophet, Angel Dust and Stormhammer... A great live band even when they're out of their minds drunk; great to see you guys back!
     

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