Metal Church magic lured singer Howe back

Metal Church
Metal Church

Metal Church frontman Mike Howe has explained why he came out of retirement for a second stint with his old band.

The group released XI last month via Rat Pak – the first material with Howe on vocals since 1993’s Hanging In The Balance. And the singer says the lure of the old magic he had with the band was enough to persuade him to pick the mic back up.

He tells The Metal Voice: “It was guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof’s power of persuasion and hearing the amazing riffs and songs he put together in the demos stage – and the allure of getting together and having that magical writing and chemistry that we had back in the late 80s.”

It might have been a gap of 21 years between albums, but Howe reports that the recording process is better now than it was back then.

He continues: “I can’t say things have changed for the worst – honestly it’s all good. Computers to aid the writing process, keeping the chemistry from not having to stop and re-do things, that is an advantage – and a small record label.

“We can speak to the owner Joe O’Brien at Rat Pak anytime we want to on a daily basis and see what is going on with the work they are doing for us. That is a huge advantages from the past of being lost in a gigantic record company and not knowing if anybody cared or was doing anything for you, you weren’t actually allowed to talk to anybody.”

Metal Church will head back out on the road in support of XI next month with a run of shows across Europe.

Metal Church 2016 tour dates

May 06: Hamburg Klubsen, Germany
May 07: Hannover Musikzentrum, Germany
May 08: Saarbrucken Garage, Germany
May 10: London The Underworld, UK
May 12: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
May 13: Obertraubling Airport Obertraubling, Germany
May 14: Gelsenkirchen Rock Hard Festival, Germany
May 15: Berlin Columbia Theater, Germany
Jul 15: Baligen Bang Your Head Festival, Germany
Jul 16: Eindhoven Dynamo Metalfest, Netherlands
Aug 05: Pori Porispere Festival, Finland
Aug 06: Wacken Open Air, Germany
Aug 09: Ripatransone Beast Coast Festival, Italy
Aug 10: Fontaneto D’agogna Phenomenon, Italy
Aug 13: Kortrijk Alcatraz Metal Fest, Belgium
Aug 14: Kortrijk Sport Campus Lange Munte, Belgium
Oct 08: Tokyo Loud Park, Japan

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.