METAL CHURCH To Work On Next Studio Album In Late 2024

December 2, 2023

In a new interview with Metal Wani, METAL CHURCH singer Marc Lopes was asked if he and his bandmates will be doing any touring in 2024. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh God, tons. Oh, it'll be from March all the way to October, November of next year; we're gonna be touring all year. And then the plan is right now to go and do the next record at the end of the year. It's something that we've already been talking about. I've got a list of titles and concepts and stuff. We're already ahead of the curve. Me and Kurdt [Vanderhoof, guitar] have been toying with some fun stuff to hopefully put together for the spring tour, to kind of push that along, if time permits. It'll be really cool. I'm hoping it happens, 'cause it's gonna be fun. It's definitely a cool thing — definitely something we're gonna throw a loop at you on, but a lot of fun."

Asked how he takes care of his singing voice, Marc said: "I work out all the time. I eat good. I rest as much as I can. It's a mindset too. And just try to stay mentally healthy too, 'cause that's probably one of the biggest parts of the battle; a lot of people don't understand. I know, 'cause I know at the beginning of this METAL CHURCH stuff, I was a mess — the stress and the amount of anxiety I had. I mean, the first batch of shows, I could barely get notes out, there was so much stress. I felt like everybody was just weighing on my chest. And now [I feel] just a lot more comfortable in my footing and having a lot more fun."

METAL CHURCH made its live debut with Lopes on June 3 at the Legions Of Metal festival at Reggies in Chicago, Illinois.

Lopes joined METAL CHURCH in the summer of 2022 as the replacement for Mike Howe, who tragically passed away in July of 2021. The band's current lineup is rounded out by founding guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, guitarist Rick Van Zandt, bassist Steve Unger and drummer Stet Howland.

Lopes's first studio album with METAL CHURCH, "Congregation Of Annihilation", came out on May 26 via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe). The LP was produced by Vanderhoof.

Earlier in the year, prior to "Congregation Of Annihilation"'s arrival, Lopes spoke about the inevitable barrage of criticism that he would receive as a result of stepping into the role previously occupied by Howe, David Wayne and Ronny Munroe. He told Chris Akin Presents: "Being in ROSS THE BOSS [the band led by former MANOWAR guitarist Ross 'The Boss' Friedman], I have faced so much stupid bullshit from fans, from MANOWAR fans. At the beginning, it bothered me, years back. Now I can give two shits; I don't fucking care. Because, you know what? If you fucking start worrying about what other people think, you'll never get anywhere. And the way I look at it is, it's, like, look, if you like it, great. If you don't, then fucking go somewhere else. I don't really give a shit. I know that I'm giving it everything that I have to do it and make it sound as best as possible. And if you don't like it, why am I gonna sit here and try to fucking satisfy you? I don't fucking care. I mean, obviously, if everybody fucking hates it, then probably I shouldn't do the gig. But with much respect to the METAL CHURCH community, they've been amazing; they love this new stuff.

"I've gotta be honest — the anticipation is insane, and it's making me more… I'm definitely nervous," Marc admitted. "But at the same time, I'm, like, look, I've gotta go out and do my thing. And the reason that I was put in charge of doing this new era of the band was because I am putting my own spin on it. Am I gonna sound like David Wayne? Maybe in some aspects. Am I gonna sound like Mike Howe? Maybe in some aspects. Am I gonna sound like Marc Lopes? Abso-fucking-lutely. And that's really what it comes down to.

"If this is my era of the band, then I have to do what I do best. Trying to imitate it isn't gonna do anybody any good. And the funny thing is, Ronny Munroe is amazing — he's a great vocalist — and he sounded more like David Wayne than me.

"I've gotta be honest: at first, I was, like, 'Fuck, man. How am I gonna do this?' [Then I was, like], 'Wait a minute. You're already approaching it wrong.' Kurdt would always be, like, 'You're already approaching it wrong.'

"Those guys are not imitatable because they are who they are… And Ronny has his own style too, and the stuff that he did was great. It just was a weird era for the band, I think, in the totality part of it…

"I already know there are gonna be the haters," Marc added. "And I don't care. And for those people — if you wanna waste your time with that kind of shit, then go for it. There's way more things to spend time on in life than being out there going, 'I hate this.' It's kind of ridiculous.

"The biggest joke is I'm a huge IRON MAIDEN fan and I never liked the Blaze Bayley era. And we always used to joke about it. I was, like, I'm a huge MAIDEN fan. Do I spend my time going, 'Oh my God. I hate that. And I hate this.' It's, like, why? I don't listen to it. [Laughs] Not everybody's gonna like everything you do. It's just the way it is."

When Lopes's addition to METAL CHURCH was first announced in early February, Vanderhoof wrote in a social media post: "We auditioned a handful of vocalists and while they were all great, Marc quickly became the clear choice.

"Both David Wayne and Mike Howe had a very unique, irreplaceable quality to their voices, so we were not looking for a clone of either. We wanted someone new, who could embrace the past, and also bring something fresh and exciting to the mix.

"Marc brings a very classic yet modern feel to the songs."

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