INTENSE - Sean Hetherington

British Power Metal band INTENSE, was formed in the UK, in the early 90’s. Reviews talk about a “Nevermore meets Iced Earth and Savatage” band, while they keep becoming more and more popular, especially after the release of their latest full length album, “As our Army Grows”.
\r\nMetalzone conducted an interview with the vocalist of the band, Sean Hetherington, and here’s what he told us.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Hello Sean. Could you please tell us a few things about Intense for those who may not be aware of the band? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Hi Nicoleta, of course. Intense are a 5 piece Power Metal band from the UK influenced by the more US style of power metal (Nevermore, Iced Earth etc) plus of course the usual Maiden influences seen in most metal bands but probably more prevalent in UK bands (lol) . We’re currently on our 2nd label (Napalm Records) and have just signed a worldwide multi album deal with them. For more info on the band see www.intense-uk.com or www.myspace.com/intense we also have a channel on youtube. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: You have already released a self financed EP, and two full-length albums, “Second Sight” and “As our Army grows”, which was the latest one. How would you describe your music to someone who is just getting to know Intense? \r\n

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\r\nSean: We’d describe our music as “dark” power metal lol.. when you say purely power metal people usually think of the more light hearted stuff but we play the darker US influenced style of Power Metal. Our style has many tripleted riffs, clean vocals slow and fast paced songs and our lyrics aren’t
\r\nthe typical “fare” you often hear. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Is there some concept in particular regarding your lyrics? \r\n

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\r\nSean: On AOAG there is a trilogy at the end written by Nick Palmer (guitarist), that’s his celebration of David Kronenberg and is based on the film Videodrome, that’s probably the only concept part of the album. On all our releases I’ve written a song based on the Prophecy Series of Films, Dark Season on Dark Season, War of Angels on Second Sight and on the new album it’s Our Last Hope. Other than that I get inspired by life, fantasy,dreams etc. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What are your activities currently, after releasing your last album? \r\n

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\r\nSean: We really wanted to get out and promote the album by touring but got to a shortlist for a decent tour and waited and waited and then the tour collapsed so that was a little disappointing, we still had the chance last year to play with Leatherwolf, Dream Evil, Onslaught and Skyclad among other though. Right after the album was released I was tied up with promotion for a while doing interviews etc which was great. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: The reviews worldwide were very good and what definitely made the difference was the diversity of your music. How difficult is it for a band to achieve Press and fans recognition nowadays in your opinion? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Yeah we’re really happy with the feedback we’ve had from the world press so far. It’s a big market place the metal scene with many great bands so it’s hard work to get recognition. It takes a lot of effort and obviously having an album that you believe in.. you just have to get everyone else believing in it,and that takes a lot of effort.. you have to keep plugging away with promotion as much as possible. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Tell us a few things about the writing process; do all band members participate in it? \r\n

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\r\nSean: We have had core writers for the last 2 albums. Nick and Dave write most of the music , though I’ve written a couple of songs and I like to write the majority of the lyrics. Nick wrote 2 lyrics for SS and the trilogy on AOAG.
\r\nWhen we rehearse the songs if Neil or Steve comes up with an arrangement idea or whatever obviously we’ll use their input .. if it’s a good idea. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: You have played together with many bands so far. What was the best gig you remember? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Narrowing it down to one gig is quite hard but I’d have to say Bloodstock Indoor festival in 2004, we were on the bill with Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom, Freedom Call, Evergrey etc etc it was a real buzz to plain the main stage with such a great line up and we got a great reaction from the crowd too. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Obviously your music is very much influenced by Nevermore and Iced Earth. What other influences do you guys have? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Across the 5 of us there’s quite a mixture of listening tastes but I think the strongest influences are those you mentioned.. other influences would be Maiden, Dream Theater, the list could go on and on. Dave is into his older metal and classic rock, Nick likes a cross section of metal including, Power/Thrash/Prog, Neil is into Rock and Thrash and Steve is into Power/Thrash/Death stuff so it’s quite a mix.. I’m probably the less open minded one of the lot of us ha ha.. I’m into the Power stuff plus I like a bit of female fronted bands like Epica, Within Temptation etc We all agree on many bands though so I guess that’s why we work so well together to get the Intense sound. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: What are you currently listening to? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Currently in my car are Epica the Divine Conspiracy, the New Helloween album, a Sonata Arctica live album and the new Nightwish.. something for every mood of mine ha ha.. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Next steps or plans? \r\n

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\r\nSean: We’re looking at lining up quite a number of shows for 2008 to make up for a quiet year on the live front last year. We already have headline show in the UK planned for April, and an all dayer in Holland in March. Writing is also underway for the next album too. \r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Would you like to give a message to your fans and to Metalzone? \r\n

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\r\nSean: Thanks for reading the interview and if you haven’t checked us out visit myspace page and hear Anger of the Ancients (opener on the new album)
\r\nand catch the video for Fear too and hopefully then you’ll understand and like Intense.
\r\nHave a Great 2008 and hopefully see you on the Road… cheers!! \r\n

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\r\nNicoleta Sarantou \r\n

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\r\nwww.intense-uk.com \r\n

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\r\nhttp://www.myspace.com/intense \r\n

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\r\nINTENSE - "Fear Is Not Enough" \r\n

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