Free Reign is certainly one of the more intimidating-looking heavy metal bands currently on the scene. And with good reason, as three of the four band members are players in the National Football League.
Comprised of two Dallas Cowboys (singer Marc Colombo and bassist Leonard Davis) and a Miami Dolphin (drummer Cory Procter), Free Reign is rounded out by a non-footballer, guitarist virtuoso Justin Chapman, and have issued a pair of hard-hitting releases thus far, 2010’s ‘Tragedy’ and 2011’s ‘Heavier Than Metal’.
‘Heavier Than Metal’ releases on April 19th, 2011, and for one week starting Monday, April 18th, 2011 purchase the Free Reign release exclusively on Rock, Metal, Punk Download site LoudTrax.com for $6.66 Here.
The group has already won an award at the Golden God Awards [for “Most Metal Athletes”] and are making believers out of such headbanging notables as Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Vinnie Paul (Pantera), and Zakk Wylde.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned about the power of Free Reign!
Here is the interview.
LoudTrax.com: Let’s start form the beginning. How did you guys together to reach this point with an album being released? Give us a bit of history of the band, etc…
Cory Procter: Originally, this story begins with two wolves, adventurous and cunning. Their names were Cory and Marc or Fire and Ice as many like to call them. They were discussing many fine things in the world when destiny took hold and guided their futures into a new direction! Marc and I started a 2 man jam that took flight when we discovered that Leonard owned a bass guitar and showed interest in being part of our self proclaimed lords of the land. We actually played a few charity gigs for fellow teammates and began performing and having a lot of fun. We were still very garage bandish until Justin joined as our lead guitarist. Justin and Leonard actually grew up together so he fit in naturally with the guys and brought excellent musicianship and song ideas to the band. It was then when we started forming as a real band without knowing it. We played one show and that’s when everything took off! Since then we started taking it more seriously and trying to develop our skills.
LoudTrax.com: How long have each of you been playing your respective instruments?
Cory Procter: I’ve been in the percussion section since I began band in elementary school. I had my first kit in the 7th grade and have been playing off and on till we began the band in 2007. That’s when my passion for music really took off again. Marc has been playing guitar since college and was in a couple bands while in Chicago. Justin began guitar in high school and has developed into a great musician and has excellent songwriting abilities. Leonard actually began playing the bass just a few years ago and has come a long way. He takes lessons every week and is dedicated to practicing and getting better.
LoudTrax.com: As far as the song writing goes, was it an on going process or was it banged out in a few scheduled writing sessions?
Cory Procter: I guess you could say it was a little of both. It always starts with initial guitar riffs/songs put together mostly by Justin. We’ll each try to put our own pieces to it until we come together and hash out where we think the song wants to go and what it needs. All of this takes place until we go into the studio and our producer, Alex Gerst, whips us into shape and has some great ideas/input as to what is cool and what isn’t.
LoudTrax.com: What was the recording experience, and the whole experience been like for you?
Cory Procter: At first it was very nerve racking to me because you feel very naked and you’re wondering what everyone is thinking on every note. I eventually calmed down and became very comfortable. It wasn’t until then that I really relaxed and started laying down better grooves and coming up with better ideas. Our producer, Alex Gerst, is also a drummer at heart so he was able to help me a lot with what fit the riff and helping me become better as a drummer overall.
LoudTrax.com: It’s great that you guys are releasing this record. Aside from the upcoming shows, are there future plans for the band?
Cory Procter: We always have a general plan but it’s hard to secure much because of our football careers and the time it demands. After we’ve all completed our football careers we’d like to keep moving forward and write more as a band and see where this ride could take us!
LoudTrax.com: Were there any other football players you guys had in mind to ask to be in the band?
Cory Procter: No. Honestly, this whole thing happened very organically and wasn’t pushed at all. We’ve had a lot of fun and have a real passion for music and playing on stage.
LoudTrax.com: You guys have taken on the metal scene with this album. Now, if you had to pick a metal band to play football against and get some nice tackles in, who would you get a kick out of playing?
Cory Procter: I would have to say Slipknot because they have good numbers in the band which would help them compete against us! Although we have Leonard on our team and we could all just hide behind him and use him like a bulldozer! Slipknot wouldn’t have chance.
LoudTrax.com: Let’s get some musical tastes in from you. Can you name a few of your favorite records growing up?
Cory Procter: I’ve always liked metal/rock because it goes well with sports but I also love country music as well! When I was younger I mostly listened to George Strait or Alabama. When I got into sports I started listening to a lot more rock and metal. Started with Metallica (In justice for all, the Black album) and ranged to many others; Korn (issues, follow the leader), Slipknot (slipknot, wait and bleed, spit it out), Disturbed (the sickness), Limp Bizkit (significant other). These were just some of the awesomeness I listened to.
Cheers to Chip Ruggieri for hooking this up.