Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"ME"TAL 101 w/Jeff Scott Soto

We are excited this week to publish an incredible interview with Jeff Scott Soto, an iconic vocalist who's fronted a huge list of incredible bands that include a few bands you may have heard of like Journey, Talisman, Yngwie Malmsteen and the band Steel Dragon of the cult hit movie "Rockstar". It's an honor for me to speak with JSS about the great new album DIVAK by his solo band aptly named SOTO. We delve into DIVAK, Soto's career and get his thoughts on recent metal/rock news. After you check out the interview, pick up DIVAK, it's a must have album.

HMT: I'm really excited about your new album, Divak, the first track I heard off of it is your latest single "UNBLAMED". It sounds like your expanding on the foundation of your last album Inside the Vertigo. Is there anything on Divak that was written or originally recorded during the "Vertigo" sessions and was carried over to this album?

DIVAK available now
JSS: Thanks, actually no, everything on DIVAK was written for the album, there were no leftovers and I wouldn’t have used them anyway as this album had to be completely new and created by the band. It was the only way I could get the more ‘band’ feel behind it compared to ITV.

HMT: The band sounds so fresh and heavy. How important was it to pull together a young line up that can be part of a long lasting project and not just a one off with well known vets?

JSS: Well they’re young’er’ than me but not too young that they don’t have their own experiences to draw from. But the chemistry that’s progressed since these guys were my backup band for the solo years has molded the SOTO sound, they’re all great at what they do so together it comes together so easily.

HMT: I really enjoyed that you take on the media with "Cyber Masquerade". That bassline on this track is sick!!! Do you find that artists and entertainers have stopped trying to break new ground because they are too dialed into satiating the appetites of what people are into at the moment?

JSS: It’s an ever changing world especially in what people call entertainment. Social media has been a huge factor to who can be famous so yea, this is kind of my assessment of that, how a Kardashian can take over the world by basically doing nothing exciting or interesting.

HMT: I relate to many tracks on this album. This feels like a darker or solemn album. Tracks like "In My Darkest Hour" "Weight of the World" and "Umblame" deal with dark relationships. Was this album inspired by anything personally going on now or is this just pulled from total overall human experience?

JSS: Its more about the overall human experience than my own but sure, it draws from personal experience as well. The best things to write about are ones we can all relate to instead of what only one individual at a time can.

HMT: The deluxe version of this album contains some really killer bonus live material. Please tell me that you'll be touring North America this year, I need to hear the new material live as well.

JSS: We did a short east coast stint that got us warmed up for the Monsters Of Rock cruise but at the moment there is nothing planned in the US this year. The big picture is that we continue to chisel our place in people’s playlists so we eventually can conquer the world in terms of touring.

HMT: You've had an incredible career. There are many artists that get burned out staying put with one project or style. Your vocals are stellar on everything you do. Do you feel you that staying fluid and working with many different artists kept you on top of your game? What do you keep your voice so strong?

JSS: I just feel driven still after all these years, I still hunger and yearn for that brass ring so I keep chasing it. As far as the voice, its a no brainer, lots of sleep each night and limit the partying and concentrate more on health than fun.

HMT: I immediately tried finding the definiton of the album's title "DIVAK" online and came across a humourous urban dictionary defining it as being friend zoned after a failed courtship. Please define "Divak" for me and why it defines this album?

JSS: DIVAK is a Bulgarian word for ‘crazy, savage, wild’....like us, like our music. My wife uses this word all the time when our cat is going nuts, I loved how commanding and strong it sounded AND it makes for a better topic when discussing the album title!

Doyle, Soto, Jerry Only - Kryst The Conqueror
HMT: These are crazy times we live in. Misfits just announced they are reuniting for the first time in 30 years and Prince just passed away a few weeks ago. What were your thoughts about Prince's recent passing? You're cover of Purple Rain is one of the best I've heard. Also, thoughts on the Misfits news since you were the first to work with Doyle and Jerry on Kryst the Conqueror when the Misfits originally broke up?

JSS: Thank you, Prince was a MAJOR influence in my life! As far as the Misfits reunion, I feel everything and everyone who have history together eventually find truce and reason to bring that magic back at some point so no, it doesn’t surprise me, good for those guys, it will be special for them and their fans!

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