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Fifth Angel Interview


In 1984, high school friends Ted Pilot (vocalist) and Ed Archer (guitarist) teamed up with lead guitarist James Byrd. They filled out the lineup with drummer Ken Mary and bassist John Macko. Fifth Angel crafted the incredible debut album “Fifth Angel.” 

This recording was initially an independent release funded and produced by the band, and co-produced by the famed Terry Date. The album was first released in Europe through a fledgling label named RoadRunner Records.


Epic Records in New York City caught wind of the band, and were so impressed with “Fifth Angel” they signed the band to a seven album, $21 million dollar deal. Re-mastering the original independent recording and re-releasing the album, Epic introduced Fifth Angel onto the worldwide stage in 1988.


The band entered the studio in 1988,  with producer Terry Brown (Rush), and Epic released “Time Will Tell” in August of 1989. “Time Will Tell” saw the departure of lead guitarist James Byrd, and the introduction of guitar prodigy Kendall Bechtel.

The video for “Time Will Tell” was released from the album and went into rotation on MTV, and the track “Midnight Love” became the theme song for shock jock Howard Stern’s #1 ranked radio show for over four years. 


In 2010 “Fifth Angel,” got asked to headline the “Keep It True” festival in Lauda-Koenigshofen, Germany. Gathering many of the core members and adding Heir Apparent vocalist Peter Orullian. Fifth Angel played blistering set of songs from the first two albums.


The reception was incredible, with the sold-out crowd singing the lyrics to every song. Fifth Angel again headlined the sold out 2017 “Keep It True” festival as well, and this positive momentum planted the seeds for a new album.


A few of the members began writing and recording together, and the collective enthusiasm was very strong over the music that was being created. Nuclear Blast signed the band to a new record contract based on a three song demo that was submitted.

Fifth Angel recently put the finishing touches on their first new album in almost 30 years “The Third Secret,” which will be released in August of 2018. The album features the incredible talents of guitarist and lead vocalist Kendall Bechtel, bassist John Macko and drummer and backing vocalist Ken Mary.


Twinmusix got to speak to John Macko from Fifth Angel about there new upcoming album and more.



TM - You just about to bring out your new album The Third Secret are you excited and how have fans responded to your singles so far?


JM - The press has been very good and very favourable for our new album. Our fan have been positive with our singles so hopefully, they like the CD when it is released tomorrow.



TM - What was your writing and recording process for The Third Secret?


JM - We started last summer after we played a festival in Germany, Nuclear Blast records contacted us and were interested in doing a new record and Kendall our guitar player had a couple of demos half-written up so we decided to finish three of those songs and send them to Nuclear Blast and see what the reaction would be. They loved them so they said let's do a record and signed us to a contract. The whole process started about a year ago and it took us about 6 months to write the songs.


We are all spread out here in the USA, thank god for the technology these days we were all able to collaborate using our own home Studios everyone would work on their own ideas and then we would upload the files when was make changes until we got two songs to were everyone wanted them to and then we would move on to the next song.


TM - That is cool, I have spoken to a few metal bands that collaborate that way.



TM - If you could play any European music festival what would it be and why?


 JM - Waken open Air is on my bucket list.


TM - You should also look at Hellfest in France.


JM - Yeah I have to throw that one to my booking agent and see if he can get us in there.


TM - You definitely should, hopefully you do a whole European circuit next year.


JM - Yeah we are doing a festival in Germany in early June.


TM - That is cool, I love European festivals.



TM - How did you come up with your album cover for The Third Secret?


JM - We designed it that was basically our concept. We translated that concept to a artist from Prague called Sophie and she designed it for us. She was incredible, she took the design and nailed it pretty quickly. Basically how that type of artwork came up originally we were going to make it more complex, we were going to take more of the actual description of The Third Secret so if you go on Wikipedia and you look up the secrets of Fátima the descriptions of each secret under third one is pretty intense but its very descriptive played the rounded that and it got a little bit complicated especially if you try and put it on a T-Shirt.


We tried to simplify it and take a few elements from that description because the been out of the scene for so long some of the fans would like some stuff from our previous artworks. We always liked the artwork from our first recorded that was Re Released on Epic Records that well with us so we thought we would take some of the elements from that artwork and bring that into the new one so the fans would have something familiar.



TM - You haven't released an album in such a long time what made you want to start writing again to release a new record ?


JM - We know a lot of our fan base are old school and we know they still listen to records which is why we know our record label. We also pressed vinyl and I think with European audiences that also Rings dare to them we have plenty of material so it's not like we were trying to come up with songs and that's something we felt comfortable with.



TM - If you could have any band play one of your song's what band would it be what song and in your style or theirs?


JM - Iron Maiden playing one of us song.



TM - If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and why?


JM - Is that me on a personal level or us as Fifth Angel


TM - Both


JM - Me personally I would like to collaborate with my good friend Jeff Loomis, we collaborated on some song ideas a few years ago but I've always wanted to do something with him again.


As Fifth Angel maybe Accept I would love to open for Accept.


TM - That is cool, Accept are such a nice group of guys, I would love to see you write a song with those guys.


JM- yeah, I know one of them, we will see what happens.


TM - Sweet, send it my way if it happens, I would love to hear it.



TM - Anything else you want to announce to your fans?


JM - I think this record will this record will touch base with a lot of the old fans and will bring in new fans but I think this is a good album that bridges the old school and the new school.


TM - Thank you for this Interview today, we look forward to seeing your new album on our shelves in Australia and hopefully you get to tour here soon.


JM - We would love to do an Australian tour.


TM - Fingers crossed we see you soon.


Album Information Link Here - Fifth Angel Album Link


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