Whoever built the Death Star’s detention cells didn’t put much thought into comfort. Lying in a needlessly seductive position on a glorified bench, Hammer awaits an audience with none other than Galactic Empire’s Dark Vader, lead guitarist in the heaviest thing to come from a galaxy far, far away since Jabba himself, to get the scoop on why the Emperor’s unstoppable legions have given up losing scraps with cute bears and turned instead to the heavy metal dark side.
Heavy footsteps make a clattering approach on metal grating. We shiver, not because we’re scared, honest, but because we’re cold. We only wore our (obscure Star Wars themed grinders) Zuckuss shirt in an effort to impress the dark lord. Turns out he’s never heard of their killer tune Rancor Rimjob either. Oh well. The cell door glides open. Vader looms, his black silhouette snuffing out the light, his mechanical doom breath freezing our soul. He stoops to step inside, banging his helmet on the doorframe and mumbling irritably to himself. We pretend not to notice. Drummer Boba Sett ghosts silently in behind, making the background look implacably cool, which is pretty much all he did in the films anyway…
So, Vader and Boba, as orphans of science and sorcery, is it the shared affinity of your similar pasts that made you want to work together?
Vader: “The answer is no. While Boba is a most competent bounty drummer, what is left of my frail body still has tons of Midiclorians – or are they Metalcorians? Hahahaha. But seriously, I have magic stuff in my body; he’s just a clone.”
Seriously though, what made you quit your day jobs of terror to start a band?
Vader: “Overthrowing galaxies and laying waste to pathetic human brains with crushing sonic annihilation are one and the same. This new campaign of musical darkness is merely an extension of our efforts to rule the Galaxy.”
Metal’s been channelling the dark side for years now.
Vader: “When the Emperor devised this technological terror, he sought out the most reviled villains in the galaxy to form the mighty Galactic Empire. Unfortunately, they were busy or not interested, so I got some underlings to play with me. They’re still pretty evil, so it’s cool. The Emperor has commanded our music be as sinister as possible, so naturally we were inclined to play heavy metal.”
Is it hard to play in those gloves/costumes?
Vader: “Well I don’t know about the others, but half of my body actually is this costume.”
Who would win in a fight between you and Boba?
Vader: “I have the force. I can choke dudes and make stuff break off the walls and hit people. Boba has some tricks up his sleeve though, like accidentally getting tapped on the jetpack and then flying uncontrollably into a huge sandy butthole monster.”
[Boba and Vader stare at each other for a silent moment]
Do you think it’s important to pass your musical tastes down to your children?
Vader: “I mean, I tried. When Luke was going through his midlife crisis or whatever, trying to fight me all the time, I kept telling him he should get a punching bag and blast some Meshuggah to let some aggression out, you know? I’m pretty sure he listens to Coldplay. My grandson Kylo… I don’t know what to say. He listens to stuff like Staind and Coal Chamber; I’m not sure I can help him.”
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Who are the Emperor’s favourite bands?
Vader: “He likes the black metal band Emperor, but I’ve a feeling he just says that to look cool. He always talks about his eclectic tastes, saying he listens to ‘a lot of hip-hop, too’ but I only ever hear him listening to Belle & Sebastian.”
Are Stormtroopers better at playing the right notes than they are at firing blasters accurately?
Vader: “No. But our Stormtrooper is the exception. A few months ago, we gave puny earth television channel E! Entertainment the opportunity to feature us playing on live TV. Base Commander realised about one hour before that he needed to learn the song, which he managed to do with me force choking him throughout.”
Vader, do you feel misrepresented as a whiny teenager in the prequels?
Vader: “[Breathy Pause] Listen, we’ve all done embarrassing things in the past. Boba told me when he was little he used to tease the other clones and say hurtful stuff like, ‘I’m unaltered, you’re not’ or ‘I have a dad’. He’s not proud. [Boba shakes his head] I’ve grown a lot as a person, so I’ll just say that at the time, I really did have reason to complain. How would you feel if you came this close to being trained by Liam Neeson and then got passed off to the guy from Big Fish?”
Boba, what’s the better earner, hunting down interstellar bounty or playing drums in a metal band?
[Boba stares ahead blankly]
Fair enough. We believe you intend to launch an invasion tour of Earth. What are your plans?
Vader: “Our unstoppable fleet of darkness shall rain pure sonic terror down upon all of the United Kingdom this December along with our mighty ally, Nick Johnston. Dates across your United States of America are forthcoming and you will receive them in due time.”
Galactic Empire tour the UK this December. Dates below.