Johnny Stoj

After their latest release The Headless Horseman we squeezed our interview with Johnny Stoj in his programm...
Here's what he told us about the album and Pegazus in general...
By Fotis
September 16, 2002
Pegazus (Johnny Stoj) interview
First of all I would appreciate some details and studio errata on your latest album The Headless Horseman

Well, the new album was recorded in the same studio as our last 3 albums before this and that is right here in our hometown of Melbourne, Australia at St. Andrew Studios. We feel very comfortable in that surrounding and the atmosphere in there is very good for us. We are familiar with the equipment and the engineer Mark McCormack really knows the band and our sound. We always seem to work so well in there!

Could you give your own comment on the songs? I feel that Ballad Of A Thin Man has something to do with Thin Lizzy or am I wrong?

Yes, Ballad of a Thin Man is a special tribute song that was written about Philip Lynott and Thin Lizzy!

Phil Lynott is a very big inspiration to me, not just as a musician, but as a songwriter.

He is very talented and the diversity in Thin Lizzy's songs shows that.

Our new album and songs definitely sound much heavier than our previous albums. It has much more of a raw passionate feel and a bit more of a metal edge to it. You can really hear the band playing it's heart out here. The production itself has been a real positive this time too, as it truly has captured the band's very live essence and raw sound indeed. In the addition to having a new vocalist like Rob Thompson also, this has been a great influence too with the current songwriting to a certain point. The band still strongly maintains it's true roots of melodic classic heavy metal but with a bit more of a fresh vibe and's a real extension of maturity and growth from album to album!

How difficult was it for you to be Metal in a country that is far away from the main scene, namely Europe and US?

It's definitely very hard to be a Heavy Metal band in a country like Australia because it's very underground over here compared to the rest of the world and the actual metal scene is very small too. However, we as a band have always believed in the music we play and in ourselves from day one, and when Robbie and I put this band together back in 1993 the band kicked off playing original shows and we just stuck to it. We didn't care about the negative criticism towards old school heavy metal. Just believing in ourselves was enough! We always knew that the fans that would accept Pegazus anyway would be in Europe, so it was more of a matter of sticking it out and getting ourselves heard in Europe eventually. When we finally did make the right connection with the fans in 1998 when we were signed to Nuclear Blast it made the whole journey of hard work we've put in very worth while.

Some people like to compare you to Manowar. Your comments on that?

We basically take that as a very high compliment because Manowar is a phenomenal band and we've always been fans ourselves who have appreciated them over the years! Our band's actual influences are drawn from so many great bands that we all grew up listening to, bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy, Deep Purple, Wasp, Manowar, Dio, Black Sabbath, just to name a few and the list just goes on and on......

So many great bands have actually influenced and inspired Pegazus over the years!

I browsed through your site and I think that it is great. Your comments on the Internet and especially file sharing? I mean it is bad for business but is there another scope to it?

The Internet is a very important part of life nowadays. You can't turn your back on it, it's just the way the world is and it's not such a bad thing. Metal fans can now keep in touch with news and happenings on their favourite bands. They can also keep in touch with fans from all over the world. It keeps the metal community more united much more than it was ever before possible. As for MP3 file sharing, I don't really have a problem with it at all except for maybe people who are actually downloading whole albums by bands. Personally I don't mind people downloading a few songs off our albums. If they like the songs, we just hope they will do the right thing by actually buying the album and really supporting the band.

What made you move a whole castle from Scotland to Australia for a video clip? Wouldn't it be easier to go to Scotland and shoot the video?

I'm sorry brother, you mustn't have read the information from our website right?...hehehe )

We didn't actually move a castle from Scotland. The video clip for Wings of Steel was filmed at the already built Kryal Castle that is situated about one hour outside the city of Melbourne in a country town called Ballarat.

There is an old story that is said to be that this castle was actually transported to Australia all the way from Scotland over 100 years ago and it was done piece by piece. I don't know if it is actually 100% true, but the story is now something that has become like a legend or folklore?

What are your immediate plans after your latest album?

Touring !!! That's the one thing all bands are inspired to do straight after creating a new album! You spend anywhere from 6 to 12 months, writing, creating, and recording a new album. The best form of release for an artist is to be able to play the material live for the fans. So, that is what we are looking at hopefully doing sometime later this year...We definitely want to rip into playing some loud and wicked metal shows for the fans!!!

Are you indeed planning a European Tour? Will it be a small one covering only major countries or are you planning on visiting smaller ones too? (ie Greece)

When we toured in 1998 for the Wings Of Destiny album, we toured about 7 countries and we unfortunately did miss out on playing in Greece because we had to cut the tour short...

The headlining band of that tour, HammerFall, had to take off to play in America right away, otherwise we would have definitely played in Greece back then and possibly a few other countries too. One thing we definitely want to do next time we come back to Europe, is to play a much bigger tour and visit as many countries as possible and I think Greece will be a part of that touring plan and schedule for sure! )

Could you give us your view of Australia's Metal movement? I mean are there enough people to keep metal alive?

It does seem to be getting better in the last couple of years but it's always had an underground vibe.

As long as the fans are united together for heavy metal and want to see it prosper it can happen, but I don't think it will ever be as big as it is in Europe. From our very own personal experiences in Pegazus over the past 8 to 10 years, we have seen the metal scene in Australia very closely and what it's really like, so I can say it has gotten better in the last couple years for sure!

Is there anything that you would like to share with your fans all around the world? Especially to Europe and USA?

We hope that all you true metal fans and PEGAZUS WARRIORS out there are enjoying the pure metal that flows proudly and freely from our new album 'The Headless Horseman'...and remember to really crank it up fucking loud till your neighbours ears bleed...hahaha!!! )

We are also really looking forward to coming over to play some wicked live metal shows for you guys again hopefully sometime very soon......once again having a real wicked and wild time with our truest friends and fans!


Thank you very much and we sure hope to see you live in Europe soon!
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