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The smashing self-titled debut CD release by

If you are a head-banger that was thrashing around in the late 1980's and 90's you are probably familiar with the following album titles:
'KILL TO SURVIVE', 'LIVE KILL', 'SOLITARY SOLITUDE', and 'DEATH VALLEY DREAM'. Of course these are all incredible metal albums that were released by the band,

Like many of you, those great metal recordings were in heavy rotation on my CD player back then…leading to many nights of temporary whiplash, partial hearing loss and seriously damaged furnishings! Well, in case you haven't heard,
MELIAH RAGE is back at full force and preparing to record another killer album later this year (2003)…so break out the neck brace and be prepared to slam your head once again!

MELIAH RAGE release that you may not be quite as familiar with is 'UNFINISHED BUSINESS', an exceptional compilation of unreleased tracks that were recorded by the band between 1992 and 1996. The recording features the vocals of Mike Munro, guitar playing of Anthony Nichols and Jim Koury, bass thumping of Clark Lush and the stellar drumming of current GODSMACK leader, Sully Erna! A few of the original
'UNFINISHED BUSINESS' CDs slipped out to the public around 1999 and were gobbled up quickly by the voracious Meliah fans eager to get another taste of the band's work. Now the band has a brand new web site and a brand new look to the 2002 version of the 'Unfinished Business' CD which is now more readily available thanks to SCREAMINGFERRET.COM. For a mere $10 you can snatch up a copy of this phenomenal MELIAH RAGE CD (and they'll even kick in a FREE bonus CD too)… so now that you've heard the news, what are you waiting for??? Get your ass over to now and pick up a copy or two of MELIAH RAGE's 'Unfinished Business' !!!

Alright, now that you have your attention focused on MELIAH RAGE, let's go right to the source and hear what the guys had to say about their upcoming release and what's been going on with the band the past few years, in this exclusive interview with POWER PLAY RECORDS.


[POWER PLAY RECORDS (PPR)]: Hey Tony, thanks for giving me the opportunity to do an interview with your band. MELIAH RAGE has been one of my favorite metal bands for a long time and I was thrilled to hear that you guys are planning on putting out another album later this year! Before we get into that though, I thought it'd be cool if you introduce yourselves to younger metal-heads and those readers who may be less familiar with the band. Please tell everyone where the band is from and maybe give us a little more info about MELIAH RAGE.

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Well we're from the Boston (Massachusetts) area and we started back in 1987. After finalizing a lineup and recording a demo we signed a deal with EPIC RECORDS in 1988. Our first album was called 'KILL TO SURVIVE' and was released in late 1988. The year after we recorded a live album from Detroit that was not really planned. We did our first video in 1989 and it was played quite a bit on MTV's HEADBANGER'S BALL. In 1990 we did our second studio album for EPIC, 'SOLITARY SOLITUDE' and followed with a video for the song "The Witching". in the early 90's after losing the deal with EPIC we changed the rhythm section adding bassist KEITH VOGELE from St. Louis and Boston drummer SULLY ERNA (now of GODSMACK). We did an album's worth of demos but after 6 months everyone was doing side projects. After 3 years off, we signed with BACKSTREET RECORDS in 1996 and recorded 'DEATH VALLEY DREAM' (my favorite rage album). To the present we signed with SCREAMING FERRET WRECKORDS and released the songs we did with SULLY ERNA and are also working on a new album due in july 2003.

[PPR]: Let's talk about the band's past a little bit. 'KILL TO SURVIVE' and 'LIVE KILL' feature some really crazed looking Indian warriors on the cover artwork. How much of a role did the band play in devising the Indian skeleton cover themes and creating the artwork? (By the way, these covers are still some of the coolest looking album covers ever!)

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Mike and Stu were the Indian artwork guys. The rest of us didn't really care about the album covers. Part of the name came from a band I was in before us which was called MELIAH KRAZE.

[PPR]: I really love the band's powerful, aggressive approach and crunchy, brutal metal sound. Songs like 'Beginning of the End', 'Bates Motel' [from KILL TO SURVIVE (1988)], 'Solitary Solitude', 'No Mind', and 'The Witching' [from SOLITARY SOLITUDE (1990)] really come right at you and kick you in the face and epitomize the MELIAH RAGE sound. The thing that really impressed me as a fan is the fact that you were always able to combine speed, aggressive vocals, catchy riffs, and great melodies all into one package. Where did you guys draw your influences from back then to fuel such a unique sound?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: We had different influences which will always help form a sound. I write most of the music and my influences are Metallica, AC/DC, old Riot (not Quiet Riot), Exodus, Maiden, Priest etc. When we came out everyone was doing the speed metal thing which we had our share of but we also had shorter catchier tunes. I also have some music training which always helps in the song writing. Mike wrote and arranged the majority of the vocals.

PPR]: The instrumental track 'Meliah Rage' (from KILL TO SURVIVE) is an amazing epic metal masterpiece. The song starts out very mellow with some clean guitars and then builds into a powerful, crushing anthem that blazes at full throttle! It is brilliant as an instrumental, but did you guys ever consider letting (singer) Mike Munro throw down some lyrics to the track and see what it would be like?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Not really. When EPIC came to see us play live before they signed us they had mentioned we should try that but the song just has too many changes to make it a good vocal song.


I was a little surprised when you followed up your debut release, 'KILL TO SURVIVE' (1988) only a year later with a live album, 'LIVE KILL' (that featured 4 songs off of the 'KILL TO SURVIVE' release). I thought this was rather early in your music careers to break out the live stuff. Was there any particular reason that you decided on a live release…(perhaps contract obligations)? … or was this more of something to keep the fans interested while you began writing for your next studio release ('SOLITARY SOLITUDE')?

We were opening for METAL CHURCH on tour in 1989 and we played Detroit where METAL CHURCH were doing a live broadcast from the Westwood mobil recording studio. They asked us if we would like to be recorded for the hell of it. EPIC heard the tapes and liked it. We didn't really care if they put it out or not, but they did, which caught us by surprise a bit.

[PPR]: In the late 80's the MELIAH RAGE metal machine was growing quickly and the band built intelligently on each of it's previous releases, culminating in 1990 when you released the incredible masterpiece, 'SOLITARY SOLITUDE'. To me this is a flawless album; providing a great blend of catchy guitar riffs, killer solos, powerful vocals, awesome drums and bottom-end work. The album really showcases the phenomenal music talents of the band. I think this album definitely deserves a special place reserved for it in the history of heavy metal music!

*See the POWER PLAY RECORDS review of MELIAH RAGE 'Solitary Solitude'


should have pushed MELIAH RAGE to the top of the metal scene in the 1990's … so I was totally surprised and caught off guard when there wasn't another MELIAH RAGE release until 1996 ('DEATH VALLEY DREAM' - Backstreet Records). What happened to the band in the time between 1990 and 1996?

Well thanx for the good words about 'SOLITARY SOLITUDE'. Like I mentioned before we did an albums worth of demos with a new drummer (SULLY ERNA from GODSMACK) in 1993 and the next thing we knew it was 1995. That's when we started working on 'DEATH VALLEY DREAM'.

[PPR]: I really think some of the topics for your lyrics and song titles are awesome! With tracks like "Bates Motel" (references to Norman Bates and the classic movie thriller, Psycho) and "Swallow your Soul" (based heavily on the amazing Sam Raimi horror flick, Evil Dead - a fantastic movie…go rent it today…it rules!) it appears that the band enjoys drawing from the occasional horror flick to get some of it's lyrical content. Is this basically the work of singer, Mike Munro… or does the band as whole come up with the topics and song themes before the lyrics are written?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]:  Mike comes up with most of the song titles with an occasional suggestion from some one else about a topic or title.

[PPR]: OK, enough about the past, let's get to the important stuff and talk about what you guys are doing now. I was thrilled to hear that MELIAH RAGE is back at full force and preparing to record and release a new studio album later this year (2003). Do you have a working title yet for the album?

Working on the album as we speak. No official title yet though names have been thrown around. Keep an eye on the website for more details -->

[PPR]: I'm sure this is going to be an incredibly heavy album with some kick-ass material! What are some of the song titles and/or themes of the new album that we can look forward to? Can you describe the sound of the album so far?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Well a lot of folks have asked if were going to do new metal record. What does that mean? We only know how to make a MELIAH RAGE album. Heavy guitars with guitar harmonies and some dark clean guitar, double kick drums and hard ass vocals. We think you're gonna like it. A couple of songs titles that are definite are Bloodbath and Motorpsycho.

[PPR]: Who is in the current lineup of MELIAH RAGE?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Well MIKE MUNRO has called it quits after 15 years with the band. The new vocalist is PAUL SOUZA who Jim and I have worked with before on side projects. He kicks ass, trust me. Jim and I will be handling the guitars as always. JESSE JOHNSON will be back on bass and BARRY SPILLBERG (formely of WARGASM) on drums.

[PPR]: Are you guys planning on touring to support the new album, or possibly a video? What does MELIAH RAGE have in store for us this year and in the near future?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]:  We will be on the road during the summer in the U.S. A video is being talked about but we're not sure if it's worth doing with the lack of video play in the states. Europe is also in the works for the fall. Keep an eye on the website for more details.

[PPR]: ]: I really like the design and look of your new MELIAH RAGE web site I think every metal fan should check out the site and see what's going on in the world of MELIAH RAGE. I noticed that your main home page uses the cover of the recently issued MELIAH RAGE "Unfinished Business" CD as the background image. Very cool cover and a great CD…(you know, all you metal fans out there should get out a pick up a copy of this CD before they're all gone!!!). Do you guys have any comments that you'd like to make about "Unfinished Business" that people should know about?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: Well like I said before it's mainly a bunch of demos that were never intended to be released but people seem to like it. It's raw and aggressive so if you like it that way check it out.

[PPR]: The heavy metal music scene has really changed drastically (some may say for the better, some for the worst) between the late 1980's when MELIAH RAGE began and today (2003). Has MELIAH RAGE changed it's sound or approach to recording at all to keep up with the sounds of the newer extreme metal bands or have you ignored these changes and stuck to the MELIAH RAGE sound that we've come to expect? Are you guys introducing any new instruments/sounds into the mix (like sampling, keyboards, synthesizers, new equipment, etc.)?

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]: The day we do a rap metal record or Seattle metal record is the day Iraq beats the United States on the battle field. It will be a MELIAH RAGE album and nothing else.

[PPR]: Well, before we wrap things up I just wanted to say that I'm REALLY excited that MELIAH RAGE will be back in the studio soon to record their new album and am certainly looking forward to it's release! I hope everything goes as planned and that the CD is a killer success!!!

Would you guys like to add any final parting comments? Feel free to speak your minds about anything that you'd like.

[MELIAH RAGE - TONY NICHOLS]:  I know it's been a while since we've released an album or toured but be assured we have not forgotten how to lay down pure heavy metal. Stay tuned.

[PPR]: OK…time for me to head out…but before I go I just wanted to take a moment to THANK all of the guys in MELIAH RAGE, especially Tony Nichols, for allowing POWER PLAY RECORDS this opportunity to do an exclusive interview with the band. Best of luck with the recording and release of upcoming MELIAH RAGE album, I know it's gonna kick-ass and be awesome! Please feel free to contact us any time and be sure to drop us a line so that we can let everyone know when the new album hits the streets! Thanks guys…keep it heavy!!!


Tony Nichols - Guitars

Paul Souza - Lead Vocals

Jesse Johnson - Bass

Barry Spillberg - Drums

Jim Koury - Guitars

***Photos are copyright and property of MELIAH RAGE used by permission, courtesy of Tony Nichols.

Power Play Records would like to thank Tony Nichols for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our interview questions (thanks as well goes to the rest of the members of MELIAH RAGE ). Keep up the great work guys and drop us a line from time to time to let us know what MELIAH RAGE is up to!

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