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Texas Metal Outlaws - An Interview with Robert Williams the Vision and Tenacity to Gather 24 Performers on one Record


Texas Metal Outlaws Heavy Metal Savant Robert Williams (Ignitor, Witches Mark,) has performed a feat most would consider miraculous. The logistics, timing, recording, finding out where 24 working musicians will be at any given time - take a special person. The best part - this record is fantastic.

Having spent 3 years in Texas, I am here to tell you that the cities of San Antonio, and Austin (sight of the SXSW music festival) - a town that already boasts 100 bands a night on the legendary 6th Street downtown. The Texas Metal Outlaws take a little from every quarter of this great state and San Antonio is clearly a metal town, being the first place I had ever seen RIOT, Saxon, Metal Church, every weekend there was a theatre act, an arena act or both. I was pleased to catch up with the Robert Williams (Witches Mark/Ignitor) and ask a few questions…

1.THE GAUNTLET: When I lived in Texas, I was pleased, shocked and impressed by the number of bands and the lineage of metal backing it up. Why do you think this happened?

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: In the late seventies and early eighties there was a DJ based out of San Antonio called “The Godfather” Joe Anthony who introduced thousands of Texans to band’s like Saxon, Moxy, Riot, April Wine, Legs Diamond and many more.

Soon bands like S.A. Slayer, Syrus and Byfist would emerge onto the extremely competitive San Antonio metal scene.
The Austin metal scene really took off in the early eighties after Metallica released “Kill Em’ All” and bands like the original Watchtower, Militia and Agony Column became inspired and quickly formed followings of their own.
Helstar were already active in Houston as far back as 1981. Texas has always had such a rich talent pool of expertly trained heavy metal assassins to work with. Might be something in the water down here.

2.THE GUANTLET: Are you sir a native of the 6-flag bearing state? Are most of this collection of musicians also or did they just land there, which is just as important...

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: No, I wasn’t born in Texas. I was born in San Jose, California and I grew up in Portland, Oregon until I was fifteen when my family moved to Sugarland, Texas outside of Houston. I’ve lived in Austin, Texas since 1997 which is where I’ve spent the majority of my life, so I proudly call Texas my home.

Everyone on the album lives in Texas with the exception of my friends Robb Bockman and Ross The Boss Friedman. I highly value both of their musical contributions and strongly felt they should be part of such an epic record, regardless of where they’re from.

Did you know that Billy The Kid was born in Manhattan, New York City? That’s just the way some of these Wild West Outlaw gangs operate.

Texas Metal Outlaws


3.THEGAUNTLET: What was your primary objective in setting up this massive collection of metal artists, and this fucker is massive.

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: Well, if you’re at all familiar with my other band Witches Mark; we released our “Witching Metal Ritual” album in 2013 and that record really opened up a lot of doors for us. Our drummer Scott was asked to join Byfist, the other guitarist/vocalist Robb Bockman was asked to join the black metal band Uada and I was asked to join my favorite Texas metal band Ignitor.

I had been hanging out and partying with the Ignitor guys a lot before I joined the band. Ignitor’s guitarist Stuart Laurence owns his own studio and has worked with countless Texas metal acts. Considering the Witches Mark guys were all pretty busy and I had a few songs kicking around I asked Stuart to help me demo them out and then we started making suggestions of who we could get to play drums, bass and vocals and just like that the title-track came together.

The original idea was to record an A side and B side and our RIOT cover for “Running From The Law” was intended to be the B side. I shopped the idea around but vinyl is so expensive everyone I talked to basically said “Come back when you have a whole record” so I continued writing songs and reaching out to my favorite Texas players and four years later we had an entire album in the can.

Texas Metal Outlaws

4. THEGAUNTLET: How were the logistics on such a massive collection of artists, and this fucker is massive.

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: It was a very, very ambitious project. There were all kinds of scheduling issues to accommodate. I had to stay on top of things and made a lot of phone calls, sent a lot of emails and scheduled a lot of studio time. The end result is an album that I feel cannot be duplicated, it’s a very special one full-length time offering for heavy metal collectors and I’m extremely proud of this album. Everyone gave 110% and the performances on hand are just amazing and unforgettable. What’s also interesting to note is that Ignitor recorded the “Haunted By Rock N’ Roll” album during the exact same time period so Stuart and I basically never left the studio for four years and now that we’re writing for the new Ignitor album I feel like we couldn’t be any stronger as a songwriting unit.

5. THEGAUNTLET: I really enjoy the way “That’s What Friends Are For” starts fairly visceral is there a story behind why that particular piece was chosen?

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: You’ve got an album where all of the players are each other’s peers. We perform shows together, we attend each other’s concerts. Are we competitive? Hell yes, we are; but we’re also all friends at the end of the day. I wanted a song to commemorate the friendship and the unity of being part of the Texas Metal Outlaws gang.

The Dionne Warwick song was a great choice because no one could imagine it as a metal song at first but if you grew up in the eighties you would definitely have remembered that song.

6. THEGAUNTLET: Are any of these tracks recorded live in studio?

TEXAS METAL OUTLAWS: Pretty much every single performance was recorded live in the studio. Stuart has a very comfortable studio built in his home and I’m over there so much they should charge me for rent and groceries.

Texas Metal Outlaws

9: These are the last 3 questions:
I have an immortality pill. I am offering it to you. Do you want it?

No.

Do you have a theory of what to expect beyond the wall of earthly death?

The immortal Ronnie James Dio said it best “Heaven and
Hell”.

This last question you can take some time to think. of it but watching this interview as fans and potential new fans. In fact, you can add me as a new fan. You have the floor and you can tell them anything you want.

Thank you very,very much for your support. Please help
keep real heavy metal alive. Keep purchasing CD’s and
vinyl. Keep attending concerts. Turn up your stereo! Learn
how to play an instrument. Metal is forever and this is our
lives! Let’s give it all we got!






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Tags:  InterviewRobert Williams Texas Metal Outlaws  

    November 06, 2018

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