Updated: 07/20/02

Squealer is an unlikely name for a German metal band, but these guys can rock with the best of time. Their latest opus Under The Cross is being distributed here in the States by The End Records, featuring their rousing cover of the cult radio favorite In Zaire. Read on to learn more about the great Squealer!

HD: Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Squealer and how long the band has been together.

Michael Schiel: My name is Michael Schiel, and I've played guitar in Squealer since 1995. The Band started in 1989, but as a school band and with a totally different line up (except Henner). Squealer did a couple of demo recordings in this traditional power metal style, before they released their first album Wrong Time Wrong Place in 1995 which sounded a little bit thrashier and harder than the early demo releases. After many line up changes (I joined the band at this time) the line up was more constant and we released the album The Prophecy in 1999. Since this album we've tried to mix these thrashy parts with more traditional Power Metal influences. We worked very quickly with the new line up and we released the album Made For Eternity in the beginning of 2000. After playing a lot of gigs and Festivals, we recorded the album Under The Cross and I think the mix between Melodic Power Metal and Thrash Metal is nearly perfect and has become a trademark for Squealer.

HD: You recently went on tour with Judas Priest. What was that like and how did you wind up on the tour?

Micheal: The Judas Priest tour was totally fun and of course a big thing for Squealer. The co-operation between the two bands went perfectly. We got a soundcheck every evening, a good PA and monitor sound and also a good light show. Judas Priest are totally nice guys and we got very good resonances from the fans and from the Judas Priest musicians.

HD: What is the idea or inspiration behind the lyrics for the title track Under The Cross?

Michael: Under The Cross ís not a conceptual album, but a lot of the lyrics on the album and especially the lyrics of the song Under The Cross are talking about faith as itself. We think it's a good and positive thing to have your own faith (not especially in the church, you can believe in a lot of things), but we don't think its a good thing to use the word "faith" as a justification for aggressions. If you reflect that more people were killed "in the name of god" than in both world wars, you will start thinking twice.

HD: So what is this Painful Lust you are talking about here?

Michael: This song is talking about a masturbating monk, who has dedicated his life to God and who puts up with all privation. However, he cannot help to do it to himself in his chamber at night in secret.

HD: Is Thinking really Allowed?

Michael: It should be. I think, the more you will try to control and influence other people, the more aggressions you will produce.

HD: What made you decide to do a cover of the obscure 70's song In Zaire?

Michael: Andy (singer of Squealer) and I played in a cover band where we play a lot of "new metal" songs in this style. We played In Zaire with this cover band first, and everybody liked it so much that we played this song with Squealer too. It was planned for a bonus track first, but we liked the result so much that we wanted to put it on the regular album.

HD: I understand In Zaire was released as a single. What made you pick that song and how did it do?

Michael: The single was planned as a promotion release for discos, clubs and radio stations first. After receiving very good resonances from the media partners we decided to put the single out as a regular release, but only in a very limited edition.

HD: What do you think of the State of the current German metal scene?

Michael: I think there are a lot of excellent German Metal Bands, but I don't like these reunion things. I would much rather see some young Bands that are trying to find their own style. I also like bands as for example Blind Guardian and Helloween which played their music all over the years and became bigger and bigger from album to album (without any reunion), but I don't like the 148,317th Blind Guardian or Helloween copy band who is not able to create something new. Nobody needs these bands.

HD: Have you ever played here in the States, and if so, what were the shows like?

Michael: No, we didn't play in the States so far, but we are looking forward to do it sometimes.

HD: Any chance of Squealer coming over to do an American tour -- maybe even some Los Angeles shows?

Michael: If there is any possibility, we will do it, - let's wait and see.

HD: You had an album released here on Metal Blade a few years ago. What was the reaction like for that release here in the States?

Michael: Yes, The Prophecy was released on Metal Blade, but we didn't get any press that time, so the sales of the album were not that good. We got some great reviews with the new album in the States, maybe its possible to reach more people with this one.

HD: My cat had a toy mouse named Squealer when I was a wee little kid. Where did you get the idea for the name of the band -- surely not from a stuffed mouse... :-)

Michael: It is a warning signal. The customer of the CD has to expect a leading voice like a ...squealer.

HD: Do you agree with me that Britney Spears is the total goddess of all?

Michael: Yes, she´s sexy. Maybe we will ask her to do some backing vocals on our next record.

HD: What are the future plans for Squealer?

Michael: We are very satisfied with our success in Europe so far. Maybe it's possible to reach some more people in the U.S.A, and it would be great if there is a possibility to play a couple of gigs in the States.

HD: Any messages for those in the States who are Squealer fans or who might be interested in checking out your music?

Michael: Check out our next record, with Britney Spears on backing vocals!


AFM RECORDS: The Record Label for Squealer
THE END RECORDS: The American Record Label for Squealer
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