STEEL ASSASSIN "Forged In Hellfire, Born of Metal"

By Theron Moore

Full disclosure.  I’ve known about STEEL ASSASSIN for years, going all the way back to the 80’s, but I didn’t truly lock into them until 2016 when I started listening to, WWII: Metal of Honor, which is flat out brilliant and one of the best records of pure, traditional metal made in the last 20 years.  Four years later I still listen to WWII: Metal of Honor just about every week – it’s on my gym playlist, it’s that damn good.

Musically, STEEL ASSASSIN is no nonsense, straight forward metal.  Their music is hard, heavy, and bombastic.  No punches are pulled, no fucks are given. STEEL ASSASSIN plug in, crank up and wave the banner of heavy metal proudly.  You want the best, you got the best:  STEEL ASSASSIN.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: What did 2020 look like for STEEL ASSASSIN before the modern-day black plague (Covid-19) struck planet Earth? Was there a record in the works, maybe a tour being planned, festivals booked? 

MIKE MOONEY: Very quiet for us this year, we’ve been idle for the last few years with some talks of new material, but nothing solid has taken shape. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Is the band currently signed to a label right now? I thought I heard you guys had a deal with High Roller Records?

MIKE MOONEY: We were signed to High Roller back in the late 2000’s when we did the War of the Eight Saints record.  Since then, everything has been independent with only some distro deals for each record. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Going back to the 80’s, it seems like the band was on a trajectory to land a record deal, yet STEEL ASSASSIN broke up in ’85. Can you take us back to that era and walk us through what happened with the band? 

MIKE MOONEY: We were dealing with management, consultants, record companies, you name it.  They had a different vision on how SA should sound or look. We started as a heavy, thrashy, power metal band, and that’s what the five of us did best, but folks started getting in our heads and the direction wavered somewhat until OUR original vision had been diluted so much that a few guys were disillusioned and because of that some personal changes happened and finally just disbanded. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Post the breakup of STEEL ASSASSIN, did you remain in music and join other bands or leave music altogether? 

KEVIN CURRAN: We’ve all stayed pretty active musically. Mike and I are huge THINK LIZZY fans, and have a LIZZY cover band called VAGABOND KINGS. We’ve played at the “Vibe for Philo” in Dublin a couple of times, as well as lots of shows in the Boston, South Shore area. None of us really stopped playing, fortunately. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Was STEEL ASSASSIN always based out of Massachusetts? If so, was there any talk of relocating to LA to be in the heart of the action of Sunset Strip back in the 80’s?

KEVIN CURRAN: The band was always Boston based. I don’t think we ever considered relocating. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: What were the circumstances that brought 4 out of 5 original band members back together again? Was it immediate that you guys decided that this was the right time to reunite or was it a lot of talking and negotiating? 

KEVIN CURRAN: We felt like the time was right and saw that we had a unique opportunity to write some new metal. No negotiating whatsoever….it was pretty positive and straightforward. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: How soon did John Falzone enter the picture after the band gets back together again in 2005, and how did you guys find him? his voice is perfect for STEEL ASSASSIN. 

MIKE MOONEY: We had actually completed all recording of the WOTES album in 2006 and just needed vox.  We had someone in mind but he wasn’t jiving with our musical direction and vision, so we nixed that and started looking for someone new and John was the perfect fit for the ferocity we were looking for. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Getting back together, writing music, plugging in and playing live, did the musical direction of STEEL ASSASSIN happen organically or was it a lot of rehearsing and rebuilding chemistry to get the sound and attitude that we heard on your reunion record, “War of the Eight Saints?” 

KEVIN CURRAN: Very much organic. We finally had the opportunity to write the way we really wanted to, with no limitations, no external input from management, labels etc.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  Creatively speaking, whose idea was it / where did the inspiration come from to do a World War II themed Record, "WWII: Metal of Honor"? 

MIKE MOONEY: I think Kev probably spurred it on, but we all agreed that it would be a great idea for a record. Almost all of our lyrics are historical so we thought a themed album of one moment in time would be great, and what better than the war that all of our dads took part in in some way or another. If you look at the gatefold for the vinyl and CD, all of the WWII pics included were of family members of someone in the band. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: A big question that a lot of STEEL ASSASSIN fans have had, me included – why was that last record you guys made, 8 years ago? What’s been happening with the band since then? Have there been obstacles preventing all of you from writing and recording in the interim? 

KEVIN CURRAN: Several factors contribute to the suspension of activity in the band. Mainly, some of the band members live in different parts of the country. John lives in Tennessee; Phil spends a lot of time in Florida. There are periodic discussions about new material. We’re unsure what the next steps might be at this time. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Traditional or classic metal has made quite the comeback in the last five years or so. Older bands from the 80’s like SENTINEL BEAST and THRUST as well as newer bands like ETERNAL CHAMPION, SACRED LEATHER and IRON KINGDOM are enjoying a surge in popularity and success. I’d like to get your feedback on what you think of this resurgence and if you’ve been checking out some of these newer, aforementioned bands? 

MIKE MOONEY: I’m not going to lie, I don’t listen to a lot of new metal bands and was never myself very concerned about peers or other bands in our genre. As for the resurgence, hey, people need something to listen to and what’s better than good metal! Always was, always is, and always will be there for you! 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Final question. From your vantage point of being in a band and having been in the scene since the 80’s, how do you see bands and labels surviving the Covid19 epidemic? Do you see a lot of bands and labels breaking up / folding because of the financial aspect of the pandemic or maybe the opposite? 

MIKE MOONEY: I was talking about this with a few friends in the industry, and they assure me that music will be just fine. I can’t imagine anyone disbanding because of the pandemic, a few months either way will not hurt a band, at least not any of the ones I know, but if they do, there was probably issues anyway. 

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: I’m giving this opportunity to you to say whatever you’d like to your fans worldwide. What would you like to say, or, what information would you like to share that we didn’t touch on? 

MIKE MOONEY: Well first of all, I am completely humbled that STEEL ASSASSIN is remembered to this day, you have no idea how that makes me and me bandmates feel. In the few times we visited Europe we were blown away by the response we got, and we’ve often joked we should have moved to Europe in the 80s where our music would have been overwhelmingly welcomed. If we choose to do more music, I’m confident the fans will still be there, and I’m sure it will be as metal as ever!!! Cheers!