Every once in a while a new band comes along that turns heads and snaps necks. Such is the case for Michigan’s metal titans, Battlecross. This month, the band embarks on its first tour of duty for Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. After a stunning Day 3 performance in Boise, Idaho, a weary Tony Asta sat down with The Examiner to discuss Mayhem, the band’s new album, new video, and touring drummer, Kevin Talley.
Asta formed the initial high school version of Battlecross in 2003 along with fellow guitarist, Hiran Deraniyagala. Drummer Michael Kreger would follow four years later followed by bassist Don Slater, and vocalist Kyle “Gumby” Gunther.
On July 9, Battlecross unleashed its sophomore album, “War of Will”. This marks the follow-up to the highly acclaimed 2011 Metal Blade debut, “Pursuit of Honor”. The album found the band a highly sought after touring act, including Trespass America with Five Finger Death Punch, Metallica’s Orion Music + More, and a major jaunts with In Flames, Origin, Cattle Decapitation, and Decrepit Birth.
This spring the band entered the studio to lay down “War of Will”. Drummer Kreger departed the band to pursue other interests so former All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder drummer Shannon Lucas laid down the stick work. The album was produced by Mark Lewis (Trivium, DevilDriver, Chimaira) and Jason Suecof (Whitechapel, Motionless in White, Job For a Cowboy). The latter also laid down some lead soloing on a track or two.
While the band is enjoying another summer of high-profile touring, the band was fortunate to tap drummer Kevin Talley (DAATH, Chimaira, Dying Fetus) to man the kit for the Mayhem Festival run.
The tour itself is off to a hot start figuratively and literally. With shows the first three shows all enduring triple digit heat, Battlecross, who shares its bus with Huntress, have already dealt with broken air conditioning and roadside breakdowns. In fact, both band’s nearly missed their Boise performances.
You can check out our full interview with Tony below, then get out and pick up your copy of “War of Will”! Better yet, get out to Mayhem and have them sign a copy for you \m/