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Interviews : “We want to meet everybody and say thanks” – An interview with Kurdt Vanderhoof (Metal Church)

By on August 13, 2019

Metal Church is a no-bones thrash band from Seattle via San Francisco who have produced exceptional heavy metal for well over a quarter of a century. Through that expanse of time, and except for his absence from The Human Factor (’91), guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof has been the easily recognisable spokesman for the band. He’s fended off trends and navigated the notorious music business. He’s suffered the insolence of ad-hominem attacks from so-called grunge and alternative music luminaries, and through it all, he’s fought to ensure the name Metal Church will long feature as an essential band in any serious metal aficionado’s collection.

The band released Damned If You Do via Nuclear Blast Records in late 2018 and since then, courtesy of the excellence of said album and the quality of the back-catalogue, the band is surging in popularity. Vanderhoof is thrilled the band is still riveting audiences, however, the notion of the group as a rock star common causes a few laughs.

“Sometimes it seems like they (fans) are talking to somebody else because, when you’re in (the band), it’s kinda hard to realise when you don’t live like a rock star or think you are a rock star or any of that kind of stuff,” said Vanderhoof.

Talking about comparisons, Vanderhoof regards his hero’s in the same light that many of Metal Church‘s fans appreciate him. So, it is surreal for him to hear the compliments offered by fans.

“We always do meet and greets after our shows, and we want to meet everybody and say thanks and everything, and that’s important to us,” said Vanderhoof.

“I think in terms of what some people have said to me, and then I think in terms of who I would say stuff like that too and that would be, Pete Townsend (The Who), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Alex Lifeson (Rush), and to have people say that kind of stuff (to me), then if I stop and think like, wait a minute, you mean to tell me I mean that much to this guy? That’s just weird. I mean, it’s beyond flattering, but sometimes I can’t process that. It’s incredible.”

Metal Church are genuinely enjoying their renewed success and public praise, no doubt. Just ask Vanderhoof to talk about what’s happening in his life right now, and he’s quick to tell you, playing music and travelling with his comrades to far-flung destinations is a real treat.

“I’m living! I get to go to Australia for the first time. We’re going to do a couple of shows in Japan. We go back to Europe next week for four or five festivals, so it’s like I’m living off playing music, and people appreciate it and compliment me and say super nice things. They scream and yell at our shows when we play their favourite song. Do you know? I mean, hell, it doesn’t get any better than that, and I’m so lucky and so grateful for it. It’s not lost on us at all.”

Catch Metal Church on their late August Australian tour. Dates and ticket details below.

METAL CHURCH August 2019 Australian Tour Dates:

Wednesday 28TH – MELBOURNE – Northcote Social Club – TICKETS
Thursday 29th August – MELBOURNE – Northcote Social Club – SOLD OUT
Friday 30th August – SYDNEY – Crowbar – TICKETS
Saturday 31st August – BRISBANE – Crowbar – TICKETS


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith