When you’re the current frontman of Doom legends Trouble and you’ve also lent your leather lungs to a lost 90’s classic (Floodgate’s Penalty), a modern Southern metal stormer (Alabama Thunderpussy’s Open Fire) and two albums that defined thrash AND invented groove metal (Exhorder’s Slaughter In The Vatican & The Law) , there’s surely nothing that can phase you? Or so Kyle Thomas – one of the finest throats in metal – thought before he faced up to Worship Metal’s 10 Questions Of Biblical Proportions….
1. So….what are you up to then?
“Well, on a personal level just doing what I do every day, being a husband and a father. Work, kids in school, kids in extracurricular activities, etc. Musically I am still singing with Trouble, Devil’s Highway and Pitts vs. Preps as far as 100% original music acts are concerned. A new album is on the horizon for each project. I also have a cover band called Riptide that I work with. They are great guys, and we have a great time playing great stuff like Judas Priest, Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy as well as some of their original music. When I’m not doing that, I’m singing in the French Quarter on Bourbon Street with a cover band called St. Rock. That band primarily plays huge radio hits of power rock and classic rock from the 60s through the 90s. Basically I never get bored!”
2. Which album/artist/gig/experience made you first realise you ‘Worshipped’ Metal?
“Wow, that’s pretty tough to say. As A young child listening to the radio, the first bands that did it for me were Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Queen, KISS, Alice Cooper and the list could go on and on. KISS and Queen where the first bands I idolized and wanted to be like. Once I got older and discovered Ozzy Osbourne, that eventually led me to my favorite band of all time, Black Sabbath. My first concert was Ozzy Osbourne and Vandenberg in 1983 right before I turned 13. That ruined me for good I think. Once I started playing bass, it eventually led me to emulating these bands as well as Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche , Judas Priest, and so many more. Once I discovered that I could sing, it was all over with because no one would let me quit.”
3. Name the one album that epitomises Heavy Metal over all others.
“One? Ouch. If we are going to go on pure heavy metal – and not an album that eventually all heavy metal bands spawned from, like the first Black Sabbath – I would have to say the most heavy metal album of all time, for pure heavy metal, is Screaming For Vengeance by Judas Priest.”
4. Which guilty pleasure album do you listen to the most? Be honest now.
“Strangely enough in my adulthood, I don’t have one that I listen to a whole lot more than the others. Mostly what I do now is try to discover a lot of music that I missed when I was younger. Early Scorpions, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Humble Pie are all things that you can probably find me listening to for pleasure now.”
5. You have one opportunity to introduce your band to the entire world, which album from your back catalogue do you blast them away with?
“You ask some hard questions. My career is so dynamically different from beginning to end, it would have to be contingent upon what type of music fan the person was that I was trying to impress. For sheer extreme technical brutality and attitude, it would have to be Slaughter in the Vatican. For the best production and most mature songwriting for me musically, it would have to be The Distortion Field (the latest release from Doom Metal legends Trouble – Ed).”
6. You find yourselves booked on a mammoth, 12 month, non stop, around the world tour, what 5 essential items do you take with you in order to survive?
“I carry a little tin containing little amulets and figurines that various people in my family have given me as keepsakes. One of my sons gave me one of Tigger from Winner the Pooh when he was about three years old and it has gone on every tour with me ever since. I also have to have my laptop in order to stay in communication with my children and my wife. Plenty of changes of clothes, as well as vitamins and herbs to help me stay healthy. Aside from that everything else I need is provided on the road. A hat for when it is cold and a coat as well. Singers have to stay healthy!”
7. What’s been your most memorable experience on the road?
“So many. As far as performances go, of course the arena gigs and festivals stand out, but sometimes you get that 500 to 1000 capacity club that is so intimate, those are the ones that you forget the least. Venice, Italy on an off day was absolutely unbelievable. Watching someone die in the El Paso, Texas bus station was quite sombre. I’ve seen a lot, good and bad.”
8. You’re given the chance to handpick the ultimate 4-piece Rock and Metal supergroup (living or deceased). Who’s in the line-up?
“I used to think about these supergroups a lot. If you are talking straight up heavy rock, it would be Ian Gillan on vocals, Randy Rhoads on guitar, Steve Marriott on guitar and vocals, Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals, Jon Lord on the organ, and I’m going to be selfish and go with my homeboy Chris Nail on drums. Many people may not realize it, but Chris is a fully trained jazz drummer on top of being an extraordinary thrash metal drummer. Better than just about everyone you have ever heard of. Even though there are bass players I hold in higher regard then Glenn, not to take anything away from him, he gets the nod for his vocals.”
9. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal is blatantly the greatest thing ever invented but what’s the second greatest invention of all time?
“The 12-year-old boy in me would say either pizza or pornography, but the realistic human in me would have to say vaccinations.”
10. It turns out Ozzy’s luscious long hair is imbued with time-travelling qualities and just one stroke of his lion’s mane can transport you back to any Rock/Metal gig of your choice. Who do you go and see?
“Why does it always have to be just one? You’re a horrible person! Ha ha, let me think. To get the most bang for my buck with a quality show of grade A musicianship, it would probably have to be Deep Purple Mark II or III. I can’t just pick one, dammit!”