The New York “crossover” band Pro-Pain, long a staple of the heavy music scene in America, will release their 15th studio album, “Voice Of Rebellion”, in the U.S. on June 23.
“Crossover” is a fusion of Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk that was largely a product of the east coast music scene of the 1980s. Pro-Pain vocalist/bass player Gary Meskil, late of “The Crumbsuckers”, has been there from the beginning.
Meskil has been rocking hard with Pro-Pain since its formation in 1991, and although the lineup has changed regularly, one thing has remained the same. Gary Meskil grooving and driving on his bass, providing musical direction, and delivering his powerful vocals. The current lineup features Meskil, Marshall Stevens on rhythm guitar, Adam Phillips on lead guitar, and Jonas Sanders on drums.
The new album marks a return to a more collaborative songwriting approach. “The writing process for ‘Voice Of Rebellion’ was a complete collaborative effort, unlike its predecessor, so the end result is a multidimensional onslaught of heaviness” Phillips has said.
“This is a definitive album for Pro-Pain, as it speaks very well for us with regard to who we are and what we represent as a band” added Meskil.
“Voice Of Rebellion” is being released by SPV/Steamhammer and Pro-Pain has a brief European tour scheduled to promote it. After that the band will support it in the U.S. with as many club shows and festival appearances as possible.
You can find out more info on Pro-Pain, “Voice Of Aggression”, their other music, and upcoming tour dates at pro-pain.com
Pro-Pain founder Gary Meskil recently hooked IPO Radio up with an email interview…
IPO: How has New York influenced you as a person and as a musician?
Gary: Quite a bit, actually. They say that “you’re a product of your environment”, and I believe there is a certain amount of truth behind that phrase. My teenage years were spent being an active member of the NYHC scene, and that totally shaped and influenced my music. Considering that I come from Long Island, that also had it’s influence on my writing style, which ultimately became known as “Crossover”. New York are of the strongest roots to possess as a musician, and I’m very proud that I was fortunate enough to be involved in NYHC since the time of conception.
IPO: Do you have a family?….How has that affected your music/career?
Gary: Yes, I have a wife and a 20-year-old son. Touring was quite difficult when my son was much younger, but now things have eased up quite a bit. It takes a strong family to cope with such an unorthodox lifestyle, but it is a lifestyle which has worked well for us. Nothing is ever mundane, and that is good for people who are opposed to living a more regimented life. Having been playing music and touring longer than I haven’t, it’s become a huge part of who I am and who we are as a family.
IPO: What are your favorite bands and which ones influenced you the most?
Gary: Black Sabbath, Bad Brains, Negative Approach, Minor Threat, Kiss, and Rainbow to name a few.
IPO: Which era of the music business did you like more and why…Pre-Napster or post-Napster?
Gary: I can appreciate certain aspects of both sides. As a fan and as an artist, the post-Napster days offered a lot of exposure to aspiring artists who probably wouldn’t stand much of a chance at being recognized via the “old industry” ways. Pre-Napster was financially more lucrative for obvious reasons. I don’t like to complain about it though, because I can’t change it. We have to find creative ways to deal with a changing world. That’s just part of life, and I have always accepted that.
IPO: What so you think of the current “heavy music” landscape?….Waxing or waning?
Gary: Waxing. I think there’s more great talent out there than ever before, which can be intimidating at times for elder heavy music statesmen such as ourselves. We can be pretty competitive too though, so the great competition out there serves to keep us in shape and on our toes. Great to know that heavy music is alive and well in all genres and sub-genres.
IPO: How about the American Political Landscape?….Do you have a presidential candidate you’d like to see win?
Gary: Not at the moment, unfortunately. It seems that the public has been beaten into submission or into a state of “not caring”. That is worrisome. Is there a current candidate who is genuinely “for the people”? If there is please advise. One of the problems is that it’s a conflict of interest for a candidate to serve America in a globalized world. To serve a globalized world, it means that Americans must reduce their standard of living so that populations of poorer economies can live better. It’s sort of like the Eurozone mentality, but our politicians don’t like to admit that they are participating in it. If you are “nationalistic” in Europe you are labeled “right wing”, unless it’s World Cup time.
IPO: What’s the craziest situation you’ve encountered on the road?
Gary: Too many to count, but I’ll cite one of our crazier moments for the sake of this interview…Years ago we were on our way home from a gig at CBGB’s via a friend’s station wagon. We were all totally stoned, and our driver was going way too slow on a busy street in Baldwin, Long Island. An impatient car then sped past us on the left and subsequently “stop blocked” us. A guy walked up to our car and pulled a handgun on the driver. We were so stoned that we didn’t know what to make of the situation. A friend sitting in the backseat to my right (the brother of the driver) the says in a superhero-like voice “This is a job for Letter-Man! I will take the ‘n’ in gun and replace it with the letter ‘m’ and turn it into GUM!”…We were so stoned that we couldn’t help but break out into laughter while the guy was waving a pistol at all of us. He then turned around and walked back to his car and drove away. We lit up another joint and proceeded on our sluggish yet stoned journey home.
IPO: You’ve been making aggressive and heavy music for over 20 years….How do you keep that inner fire and drive you had in the beginning?
Gary: Being the son of an investigative organized crime journalist probably had something to do with it. My father was also an avid music lover (from Jazz to Hardcore), so I became a byproduct of his passion for current events, lust for adventure, dark side of journalism, and music. So, the inner fire has been perpetually burning since I was a child. I’m passionate about life and about the world, and I hope others feel that passion when listening to Pro-Pain.
IPO: What does the future hold for Pro-Pain?
Gary: Our new album “Voice of Rebellion” drops later this month via SPV/Steamhammer Records! We will support the album with as many club gigs and festivals as possible. For tour dates and more info go to pro-pain.com or visit us on Facebook at PRO PAIN Official.
Thanks for this interview and see you all on tour!!
\m/ Gary Meskil \m/
IPO: Thank YOU Gary!….Keep it rockin’ and stay safe out on the road….