Ronny Munroe Interview
By Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Ronny Munroe began his musical career as a vocalist with bands Moxi, Far Cry and Rottweiller. In 2004, Munroe was playing with Rottweiller when he was asked to audition by Kurdt Vanderhoff, the lead guitarist and founding member of Metal Church. Kurdt resurrected Metal Church with Munroe as their frontman. With Metal Church, Munroe release three studio CD’s, “The Weight of the World,” “A Light in the Dark,” and “This Present Wasteland.” He also released a solo EP in 2007 titled “Internal Quest,” and recently released “The Fire Within” this past April.
On July 7th, Metal Church announced on their website and myspace that they were “calling it quits.” They cancelled their upcoming tour dates and performed their last show July 9th at Rocklahoma.
Metal Babe Mayhem (MBM): On July 7th, Metal Church announced on their website and myspace that they were “calling it quits” and cancelled their upcoming tour dates. The July 9th performance at Rocklahoma was the final Metal Church performance. This seems rather sudden. Can you provide any further insight?
Ronny Munroe: I could talk for an hour on this, but I’ll give you the condensed version. Over the last couple of years, we as a band have had some injuries and problems with outside people that were supposed to be helping us, not hurt us. In the end it just became too much. Kurdt called me and said he couldn’t take it anymore and we all agreed.
MBM: How was Rocklahoma? I’ve seen footage and heard stories of the heat, but unfortunately couldn’t be there this year.
Ronny: It was great, but very hot. Also, it was a little sad being that it was Metal Church’s last show. But, I played solo on Saturday and that made up for the disappointment.
MBM: I wish I could have been there! Do you have plans to play any other solo shows or to tour in the near future?
Ronny: I am putting things together as we speak. As soon as shows are set up, people can go to my sites to and find out where and when.
(See below for Ronny’s websites.)
MBM: If you could pick the bands that you could tour with, who would you choose?
Ronny: Boy… Anybody that’s good! lol. Opening for Heaven and Hell would be awesome… Priest, Maiden. I would, of course, also open for smaller bands as well. I just want to play.
MBM: In 2007 you released your first solo EP, “Internal Quest,” and you just released your first full length solo CD, “The Fire Within” on April 20th of this year. How are Metal Church fans responding to your solo releases?
Ronny: Better than expected, but of course there are the ones that don’t want to see any solo stuff from any of us. They want Metal Church. To be honest, so do I, but it is what it is.
MBM: If you had to choose one of your favorite songs off “The Fire Within,” what would it be and why?
Ronny: I would choose “Desperate Man,” because it was the first song I wrote on guitar and because of the message.
MBM: What is the message?
Ronny: It’s about myself, and every other musician out there that has had to make many sacrifices to do what we do. It’s about perseverance, drive and a little insanity!
MBM: Michael Wilton (Queensryche) plays guitar on “Sea of Souls” and “What You Choose to Call Hell (I Call Home)?” off your latest CD. How did you connect with him and what made you decide to use him on these songs?
Ronny: We opened for Queensryche in Puerto Rico last August, that’s when we first met. A few months later Joe hooked us up and I asked him if he would contribute. He graciously said yes, and did a great job!
MBM: Tell us about your relationship with Rat-Pak Records and how it came about?
Ronny: I met Joe O’Brien a few years ago during an interview. We became friends, and now business partners. I went with Rat-Pak for a couple reasons. First, honesty. And second, Joe has his pulse on what’s going on with the Internet and he is a master of marketing. I can honestly say Rat-Pak has done more for me in less than a year than my previous label did in six.
MBM: I’m glad to hear things are going so well with Rat-Pak. What were the types of problems you had with your previous label?
RM: We were not the main focus. We were one of the many, which is the case with most labels at the level we were at, but they could have done more. Marketing is key. And that’s that! I truly believe that Metal Church was never given the respect they deserved, even before I was in the band.
MBM: What has been your biggest challenge as a solo artist? How are you able to overcome it?
RM: Starting over is the hardest, I think. I try to stay as upbeat as I can. You can’t let this business eat you alive. If you fret about every little thing, you’re not going to survive.
MBM: Can you tell us more about your future plans?
RM: To keep putting out music and playing live, that’s what I do. I will play wherever the fans want me.
MBM: I see you are doing a lot of upcoming promotions on radio/television. It looks like you are scheduled on a few shows in the U.S. and even one in Melbourne, Australia. Can you tell us more about this?
Ronny: The press is going well. I do have some here in the States, and abroad, thanks to Willy and the rest of the Team. I also have a bunch of European press right now due to the fact that “The fire Within” will be released in Europe September 25th via Metal Heaven.
MBM: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Ronny: Please go to my myspace and Ronny Munroe site for info on where to pick up “The Fire Within” and for show details.
MBM: Metal Babe Mayhem would like to thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with our readers. We also wish you a HUGE success with “The Fire Within” and hope to see a live solo show in the future.
Ronny: Thank you very much Alison for the interview. It was a pleasure!