Keeping The Heavy Metal Faith:
Interview with Steve Handel of Seventh Calling
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Traditional heavy metal band Seventh Calling started out in Minneapolis in 2007, spent a few years right here in Las Vegas, and is currently based in South Dakota. The band has been playing a lot of shows lately, and learning new material as they progress towards their next release. Check out my interview with founding member Steve Handel to learn more about Seventh Calling, and make sure to listen to their song “Fate’s Hammer” on the current Metal Babe Mayhem Monthly Playlist!
ALISON “METALBABE” COHEN: Hi Steve. I have to tell you, I really love new ‘Battle Call’ CD and everything else that I’ve seen and heard online, so I’m glad we are doing this interview today.
STEVE HANDEL: I am happy to be a part of it! Thanks for having me speak with you. And also, thank you for the compliment. I am happy you dig it!
METAL BABE: I totally do! Tell me a little bit about the band. You formed in 2007 and have released three full-length CDs and two EPs to date?
STEVE: Yes, that is correct. Our debut CD ‘Monuments’ was released in 2007 when I had the group in Minneapolis, MN. Then, I instantly went to work on the next material with new members. Ultimately bringing me to Las Vegas to work with Heaven and Hell Records on our next two official releases. We did release a three-song EP titled ‘Prelude to Madness’ in 2009 that included a video, and then the follow up full-length CD ‘Epidemic.’ We did some touring after that for a time and then I began working on the material for our next record ‘Battle Call.’
METAL BABE: You have an entirely different line-up now that you’re in South Dakota. Who is currently in the band and how did you all come together?
STEVE: Yes, once I had moved back to Sioux Falls I started where I left off with the writing of ‘Battle Call.’ At this time, the group is Mike Walters (Bass), Steve Handel (Lead Vocals/Guitar), and Chad Pliska (Drums). These are the full-time members with us, and are working in a fourth member Mike Handel (Guitar).
METAL BABE: How long were you a Vegas band and what venues did you play here?
STEVE: I started in Vegas in 2009 and moved to Sioux Falls in June of 2012. In that time we performed at The Cheyenne, Bikini Bar, Vamp’d, Lucy’s, and a few more local clubs.
METAL BABE: Very cool. Why did you decide to make the move from Las Vegas to South Dakota? How do the two scenes compare/differ most?
STEVE: The move was a choice that my son Derrick actually requested. I moved back to my home area and he began living with me. It was the only choice to make. The scene here is very busy also. A lot of activity each night, and a very diverse mix of different styles of music. But Vegas never sleeps, so it can become a bit slow during the weeknights here when you’re used to Vegas.
METAL BABE: Definitely. Who is your main influence as a vocalist, and also as a guitarist?
STEVE: Vocalist… Hmm, tough one to pin to just one person. I personally would say late and great David Wayne, (RIP) who was the original vocalist of Metal Church. When I first put on Metal Church’s debut album and heard the song “Beyond the Black,” it was all over for me. When it comes to guitar, Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest is my personal favorite guitarist ever.
METAL BABE: Awesome. What is it like being a ‘newer metal band’ in today’s music scene? What’s your fanbase like?
STEVE: It is challenging. With so many different styles going on nowadays, it is very challenging. Our fanbase has been dedicated, and each time we perform we are adding more to it. As far as CD and merch sales go, we have been sending stuff all over the globe. It has been good watching things take off after the group has been off the grid for so long.
METAL BABE: That’s great. I’m glad that the band is taking off! Tell me about your most recent CD ‘Battle Call,’ which was released about this time last year.
STEVE: The CD, in my opinion, is a bit of a call to the traditional style heavy metal with some new Seventh Calling twists added in. Starting with the opening track “Perfect Silence” forging through and finishing with “Say Your Prayers.”
METAL BABE: How does it compare musically to your previous releases?
STEVE: Right in with them. Musically this would land right where it is. Number three. It has a bit more of a refined sound in production when compared to our previous releases.
METAL BABE: What can you tell us about the lyrical content of ‘Battle Call?’ What is your writing process like?
STEVE: The lyrical content covers a wide array of directions. True life tragic events, science fiction, anthems, revenge… These are the topics that make up the ‘Battle Call’ album. The process of writing usually starts with a musical idea and then I go after the lyrical content. For myself, this makes it easier to structure a song.
METAL BABE: Great! What final words would you like to say to your fans?
STEVE: Thank you for your continued support. It means everything to our group! We will be back! Our ‘Battle Call’ CD is available at CD Baby, iTunes, Apple Music, IheartRadio, Napster, Amazon and Mp3. You can also order direct at our SeventhCallingOfficial.bigcartel.com online store, in addition to shirts, patches, and more releases. Until next time, keep the heavy metal faith!
METAL BABE: Thank you Steve. I look forward to seeing you out on the west coast and I promise to ‘keep the metal faith!’