Angels On The Battlefield: Epic Instrumental Metal
I caught up with Los Angeles local, Angels On The Battlefield, an instrumental project. Guitarist, JD McGibney tells us his passion and goals for his band. JD is currently on he’s currently on the road hanging out with Nekrogoblikon. Find out more about this up and coming band here…
Introduce yourself and reveal the most embarrassing song on your phone or ipod!
Hi! My name is JD McGibney, I love music, I play guitar, and it seems that all pictures of me happen to be in an epic power stance. And the most embarassing song on my iPod is “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada. That’s not really that embarrassing; Cascada writes thrash metal in disguise.
What are some of the band’s major musical influences and what are your favorite bands?
This is tough; there are so many great bands out there! Our favorite bands are the ones that don’t hold any punches in their writing. Whether it be embodying the the spirit of JRR Tolkien and summoning a dragon through epic guitar riffs, expressing the sorrow and monstrous acts of Dracula, or pushing the limit of musicianship. The short answer for this would be “a lot.’
If you were to get signed, which label would you wish to sign to and why?
The most important thing would be the chemistry between AOTB and the members of the label. Essentially it’s the combining of two teams to make an even bigger team; everyoe should be able to work well together. Century Media and Roadrunner both have some epic artists on their rosters, a bunch which have been with them for quite some time. The fact that the artists and labels have shown that kind of loyalty to each other, and they keep putting out quality material really says a lot.
Do you think you’ll have an actual band and play shows anytime soon?
AOTB is an interesting collective, really. There is a studio band which does the writing and recording, and then a collective of performing/touring artists. It keeps the flow of creativity fresh, the ideas new, and the performances energetic and surprising. I really like this set up a lot because it’s different than all of the other projects I’ve worked with in the past.
What would you say fans should expect from a live performance if it happens?
Live shows are very energetic. Often times some of us end up playing songs while standing in the crowd. One of my favorite performances was playing a guitar solo in the middle of a circle pit. It was epic.
What is your dream tour?
My dream tour/performance is to play Wacken. In my mind that festival is the epitome of epic and heavy music. So many of the bands and musicians that inspired me have performed on that stage. To me, playing Wacken would be sharing an experience with some of my idols.
What’s your favorite song to play and why?
My FAVORITE song to play is an AOTB song called “Leap of Faith.” Every time I play it I can’t help but smile and feel reassured that I can tackle any obstacle!
Being that you’re the only songwriter since this is a solo project, is it easier for you or harder? I’m sure you have more creative control over your sound, but I feel maybe at times you wish you had the opinion of someone else to see how maybe a certain riff fits a song or not.
Angels on the Battlefield is more of an idea; a collective of musicians, really. The studio guys write the songs and the live guys perform them. I’m in an interesting position because I get to collaborate and work with a bunch of new musicians, and it definitely keeps things fresh with each new composition.
Is there a certain tone you go for in all your songs or do you try and keep everyone of them a bit different?
There isn’t any specific tone or subject matter that the songs revolve around. What ever the strings tell me to play I just play! The songs tend to write themselves.
When you write are there themes/concepts behind the music?
The overall concept behind AOTB is to ultimately find confidence and comfort with yourself. There are many things that we each find inspiring, and there are many things that we struggle with. AOTB pushes the message that we each need to be aware of all of that, and push forward from there in order to reach our full potential.
When you write do you take into consideration what your listeners would want?
The main focus when writing is always on “the song.” Like I had mentioned before, we like letting the songs write themselves, and by doing so, it definitely lets the emotional moral come through clearly to the listener.
What kind of goals do you set for the band?
Same as most bands: Write music that we would enjoy experiencing along side our listeners, start a dairy farm, master sorcery, and be able to forge our own weapons in the heart of a volcano! There really isn’t anything quite like being able to connect on a deep emotional level with a complete stranger through music. And also having the ability to tell people you MADE that awesome broadsword that you’re carrying on your back.
When can listeners expect an actual album from Angels On The Battlefield?
We post all of our updates on our website (AOTBband.com). There’s also links to all our social media up there so everyone can see behind the scenes!
What’s the best and worst thing about being an instrumental band?
The best thing is that there aren’t really any limits to write about because all the ssongs are open to interpretation. The worst thing is that there’s this one dragon that keeps swinging by the band office asking for autographs. It’s kinda weird.
When did you start playing guitar?
I started playing guitar when I was fourteen after I discovered Ozzy Osbourne. Up until then I had only really listened to the music my parents put on the radio (it usually ended up being Bubblegum Pop from the ’60s), which never really clicked with me. Once I heard “Over the Mountain,” and Randy Rhoads tearing up those guitar riffs, I was hooked on heavy music and the guitar. I immediately asked my parents for one, and got one after a few months of constant asking. It helped me get through those tough adolescent years, it helped me learn focus and patience, and it’s lead me to pursing my dreams by giving me the confidence in myself to do so.
If you were to choose one company to get an endorsement with, who would it be?
Schecter. I love Schecter guitars; hands down my favorite. The tones that come out of them are so perfect. Their sound is very warm and smooth and make you feel like you’re being cradled gentle by the notes, where the distorted tone makes you feel like you’re battling for your life amid a horde of vikings somewhere in Europe… but in a very articulate, and polite manner.
What do you see in the future for Angels On The Battlefield?
Conquering battlefields, spreading a love for music and imagination, and all things epic!
(Interview and Photo by Talia Farber)
Angels On The Battlefield on Facebook