Sean Peck talks The Three Tremors with PCN
Interview by Stevie Shred/PCN Correspondent
I got a chance to catch up with Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck, and discuss the history, upcoming US tour, and possible future of The Three Tremors, his Heavy Metal vocalist super group that features Peck, Tim “Ripper” Owens, and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin sharing vocal duties.
Shred: “How did The Three Tremors project come into being?”
Peck: “I’ve always tried to innovate in the idea department as far as heavy metal goes. If you try to innovate too much, you know, with heavy metal, you’ll lose the essence of what makes heavy metal great. To me, if you get too crazy musically, no one’s ever heard this before is, it’s just too weird. And so I always try and innovate in the idea department. And then there was the urban legend, basically of the three tremors, which originally Geoff Tate, Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson were theoretically going to do that. I knew some of the players that were involved early on and some of the inside stories of why it didn’t happen. I was just sitting there one day like, man, you know, those guys are never going to do it. But what if I put together the 2019/2020 version of it. And also, it did end up being the American version with three American singers. So I hit up Ripper and I hit up Harry. And I go, hey, man, are you guys into this? And, you know, Ripper was totally into it. I was a big fan boy, and now, you know, we’re really good friends and it worked man. And we’ve been doing a lot of shows and made it a live thing instead of just like a “project”, Whenever you put together a project, no one really cares about it. So we’re like, hey, man, we’re touring with this. And it’s caused a lot of excitement and it’s been growing really cool. So I was right about the idea. I’m a fan of this kind of music and this kind of singing. If I went to a show like this, I would just be stoked on it, and the fan reaction has been good to the idea I had and it’s fucking great”.
Shred: “What were some of the advantages and some of the challenges having three very well known lead singers in the same group?”
Peck: “There’s no ego or no one’s trying to out sing each other or anything. You know, we kind of make it a point like when one guy ends a note, we all end the note. So not one guys like (SINGS) AHHHHHHHHH still going on when the others stop. And we didn’t really say anything about that, it’s just kind of how we do it, we’ve got a lot of respect for each other. And the main thing is this is fun. And the band was my band Cage. So we had five guys that we knew got along good. We toured together and we have a really good time every time we’re hanging out. So it was just kind of to see how Harry and Tim personality wise worked into it. And so that worked. You know, we’re all like a band. We’re like a heavy metal street gang now. Everyone’s like, we’re all pros and know we’ve traveled a lot of miles together already. And so one of the advantages is also, it’s kind of easier as a singer. We’ve got three people, so if one guy’s not feeling good, that night you go, Hey, man, you’re gonna take this part this night or something like that. It’s funny, cause you know what? Harry is just a monster. He could have laryngitis and he’s singing to the roof. He’s like a freak of nature. And like me and Tim, might be like “I don’t know if I’m feelin that tonight”. And then when we get onstage, we’re just like,(sings) YEEAHHHHH just wailing, and I’m like, I thought you weren’t feeling it tonight, You’re like frickin wailing your head off! So it’s an advantage to have three guys, you know, just from a long tour standpoint, you’ve got the other guys you can use as a crutch. But we never seem to use each other as a crutch! Every night we just go for it. Disadvantages. Sometimes you just sit there like, man, I really want to sing this part, you know, and you got to kind of hang back. But its fun man, and we’ve really gotten good at it and we still kind of ad lib in a lot of parts. So that kind of makes it fun, too. We have a way that we do all the songs, but every night a little bit different, especially with Harry, you never know what part he’s gonna sing. He’ll start singing my part, and me and Tim will look at each other like what the hell dude? (laughs) It’s always an adventure. There really aren’t any disadvantages. And like I said, you want to sing and you want to perform and you don’t get to sing as much as you do when you’re by yourself, but sometimes some nights, you know, you want it that way.”
Shred: “The band that you recorded with is the same guys that are in your band Cage. Did you approach this record differently than you would the writing process for a Cage record?”
Peck: “Well, we first we were going to use all different kinds of friends and stuff. Musicians from all around the world. I hit up seven or eight guitar player friends of mine that are pretty well known. You know, like hey, man, I’m going to do this thing, you want to throw some riffs this way, and everybody was like totally into it. And then I pulled back and I go, man, I think we should keep this in-house because it’s gonna be really hard just to make this first record period, let alone organizing all these people from around the world. So it was a really smart idea to go like, OK, we’re going to pull it in. This is gonna be the band because we can play these songs in the rehearsal room. We’re all in the same city and can vibe them out, too, which was cool, while we wrote the album. And again, we were confident as a songwriting team that we would make killer songs. They didn’t have to worry about any uncharted territory with any guitar players they hadn’t really worked very much with. As far as the difference. My writing style for vocals and melodies, I kind of overlap myself a lot, so my style kind of lends itself really well to having multiple singers. A couple of the songs I really was directing in the lyrical and vocal melody way. Saying, ok I really want something where we have the three guys do something specific, but mostly it was just writing the riffs and songs. We didn’t say like, oh, this has to be a Three Tremors song. We just wanted good songs and we knew that if they’re good heavy metal songs, we would find a way to, fit it into the Tremors album. And everything ended up being really fast and speedy. We didn’t have a whole lot of mid tempo songs on the first album. And some of the reviews were like, oh, it’s too much. We got SO many reviews. Like, it’s too much, its too much. By putting out The Three Tremors album, we found out just how many pussies there are left in heavy metal. Unbelievable. When I was taught about heavy metal from my heavy metal mentors, the first they taught me is there’s no such thing as “too much” in heavy metal. That’s why Heavy metal fucking exists. The too much thing is just fucking ridiculous. The advantage we have from the media was even though we got more bad reviews on this record than any record I’ve ever done by far, there’s lots and lots of great ones. And we got album the year awards, and lots of people that absolutely love the record. It sold really, really well. But we had toured 17 shows where we played the entire album live before the album was even out, before there was even one review. So we had already played this stuff cold in front of 17 crowds and they just absolutely loved the material. So I had that advantage, you know, reading a bad review. I’m like well, that’s cute. You know, you in your in your bedroom that you’re saying that, but, you know, I just played it in 11 countries, 17 shows and all those metal heads would beg to differ with you. So, you know, it didn’t sting quite as bad. Some of the reviews like, they went out of their way to give us like 2 out of 10. “This is the worst!” Like some dude was on there. He had like a 30 minute YouTube rant on how there were no hooks in the songs, and the songs didn’t make any sense, it was ridiculous. But like I said, having done that tour before the album that really helped. I’ve never really experienced a wave of negative reviews. We’ve always had incredible reviews. We’ve been kind of spoiled that way. And so it was an interesting, interesting journey on this record.”
Shred: “For those that don’t know, Pledge Music was a crowdfunding platform that basically raised funds for bands to make records, and they went out of business very suddenly, taking people’s contributions without giving the money to the bands. The Three Tremors were one of the bands affected this huge rip off. How did you handle that?”
Peck: “We were one of the victims of PledgeMusic. You know, we had several hundred orders. Then pledge collected the money for and then filed bankruptcy and they kept all the money. While the other artists were just telling their fans, sorry, better luck next time we sent out a product to every one of those orders. I mean, thousands of dollars of product CD shirts, finals at our own expense. We got zero compensation for it, but we didn’t want these fans to get fucked over. They paid their money to support us, so we made sure they got what they paid for. We made sure to keep up our end of the deal, because we love our fans. And we love interacting with the fans on the social media platforms. And, you know, if you message any of us, we are gonna hit you back. And every time someone puts a picture of the C.D. they bought up just like, you know. Thanks for your support. We need you to know, we need each and every fan and each and every fan is completely precious to us.”
Shred: “What can people expect from The Three Tremors live show?”
Peck: “The cool thing about this is if you’re a fan of this kind of music and singing like this, I would want to see this show. I wish I could sit in the audience and watch this. Literally, this isn’t like no joke. two or three people every show came up to me like with a heavy German accent. (speaks with German accent) “May I speak to you for a second? I’ve been to over 1000 shows and this was in my top three shows of my life. This was absolutely amazing.” So it’s absolutely a unique thing. You know, you don’t see a heavy metal show like this. Like with three like high octane vocalists, you know, interweaving, and then with good songs. too, you know, You can have the best musicians, but if the songs are garbage it’s no good. So, you know, the people that see the live show are just blown away. And it’s really serious when the music’s going, but it’s just a joke fest between the songs. In between the songs. we’re making jokes over each other and just having fun. And, you know, it’s real casual. But when the music’s going it’s just like, you know, deadly, lethal. We play four or five cover songs. We do a Cage song, a Jag Panzer song, a song off ‘Jugulator’. And we do a couple other covers.. So that’s cool. And then, you know, a heavy dose of our debut album. The skeptics that come out and they go like, yeah, we came out here thinking this was gonna be shit. We just want to see it. They end up saying you guys completely changed my mind. So live it’s just really strong in every sense.”
Shred: “So this is gonna be the first U.S. leg that’s coming up?”
Peck: “So we’re playing some territories we’ve never played before. You know, we haven’t played Texas, we haven’t played Florida. There’s some other spots on the second leg we haven’t done before. Well, you know, the demand of the second U.S. leg was really strong. So we just kept adding shows and adding shows. And it seems like we’re really building it. We might just keep focusing on the U.S. and Europe might have to wait a little longer because the demand and response from the United States has been great, which is which is great to see for this kind of old school metal, it’s like power thrash. I mean, there’s a lot of speed to it. But yes, to see young kids and older dudes come out and buy the tickets. And then like I said, that the products of selling great. We just put up the solo versions and we had to repress it like right away, which we totally didn’t expect. I was just going to be more of a collector thing on the first run and it’s just gone. So that’s a good problem to have in this day and age.”
Shred: “What do you think the future holds for The Three Tremors?”
Peck: “Well, we’re we’re already probably three quarters of the way done writing the second record already. We don’t know when that’s going to come out. Maybe, I don’t know, second quarter next year. We were going to get it out this summer, but we just decided to slow it down a little bit. And you know, Ripper is 100 percent committed to it. He loves the band. Harry loves the band. You know, Ripper has really taken some cool ownership of it. He’s like, this is OUR stuff. And he digs the songs and I just sent him a new song yesterday and he’s like “dude I love this song.” So I think we’re definitely going to keep rolling with this for a while. We’re gonna do a second album. And that’s going to mean another U.S. run and another Europe run and probably get to some other territory, South America. We just got an offer for a show. It’s cool, man. It’s a fun celebration and it’s unique, and there’s so many bands out there. You got Ripper Owens and you got Harry Conklin, two of the greatest metal vocalists ever. I mean, Harry is a beast, and Tim, I’m a huge fan of, and then I just try not to embarrass myself and tag along to hang out the back! The sky’s the limit. The train is picking up speed now. And at least one more record, you know. Yeah. And maybe beyond that, we just we just keep writing music. So we’ve got to put it somewhere.”
The US leg of The Three Tremors Tour kicks off January 27, 2020 in Austin TX. For more info check out www.thethreetremors.com.