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13th November 2010

hunny claire moat

Armand; that name is familiar/his face is alluring - 'Everything about me draws you in' - TWILIGHT...

Armand, in his long coat and flowing locks, looks brooding. No trace of a smile, just high cheek bones and an electric violin. Not of this world methinks.

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I ask him innocently if he believes in vampires and he tells me sweetly 'that he has yet to meet one'. I suspect he sleeps in the day and raise the question. He admits he does and then admonishes himself and says: "It's the most practical time for writing and to get musical stuff done".

Hmm... possibly after a good meal. I bite my lip and refrain from answering. I make a mental note to gatecrash the local font!

Armand talks more about his music and lists his influences that include Impellitteri, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, White Lion, Yngwie, and Def Lep, the list is endless. Indeed Rob Rock is a close friend and co-writer. Interesting, to say the least.

arqamnd melnbardis

Armand's work has an unnatural high preternatural energy to it and it rocks along at alarming speeds, knocking senses together to create a cataclysmic response.

I ask Armand about the fiddle and he says; "Why be the millionth and ninety-ninth guitar player when I can be one of only a few in history who can even attempt to play metal guitar with a violin bow?" He has a point, possibly even two!

Ever succinct he lists an astonishing amount of influeneces and laughs at my feeling of incredibility of it all.

I ask him where he got his fiddle (from the devil most likely in an X Factor type fiddle off). He tells me with oodles of enthusiasm that they are prototypes and designed by himself.

"They are all my own prototypes. Designed for a nice heavy sound. I'm currently working on a beast that's even more metal looking and sounding than the ones so far." Not just a pretty face then, but a mad professor to boot.

Which neatly lands me at the question of STRIPEY SOCKS - he laughs, clearly humoured, and says "all things stripey" and then mentions "zebras"... obvioulsy recounting his last vegetarian meal.

I tell him that stripey socks are an essential part of a musician's mojo! I leave the subject open and tell him Frankie Banali and Franklin Vanderbilt have socks on their Christmas list and that he had best follow suit. He laughs...

Armand plays Randy Rhoads' 'Crazy Train' guitar solo on the electric 7-string electric rock violin - note per note.

I ask him about his favourite colour and he tells me yellow... that figures...

Armand likes to sing and dance and wake the dead. He has help with the merry making from his friend Rob Rock who batters out vocals with a proverbial ram.

I ask when Armand will descend upon the UK and do his version of the Danse Macabre, as it were, on stage... he recounts "I have yet to do another Vio7 album before then. I was in the UK ten years ago as a classical musician..."

The UK is just about ready for Armand. The sun is rising and it's time to go, almost... interview with a possible musical vampire concluded.

Check out Armand's offerings... you won't be disappointed. Check out a veritable musical feast from the mean fiddler himself, the man that is Armand Melnbardis.

A breeze wafts by and a voice whispers "who told you I play fiddle? Thst's what country folks play. No fiddling in metal or classical music allowed..."

I consider myself told. Armand plays a mean violin with no mercy... If you want blood...



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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