Interview with Pantheon

Pantheon is a heavy metal band from York. Starting off as a five piece in early 2006 and after a difficult start with some line-up changes, Pantheon fought their way onto the local music scene and since then they’ve been building a following along the way. Now a four piece with a new drummer, Pantheon is now working well together and are more than ready to take the band on to new levels.

Pantheon doesn’t limit themselves to a specific sound, however, their influences range from older, more mature
Metal such as Iron Maiden, to newer and heavier sounds such as Death, Symphony X, and Megadeth. The band has much to offer with their approach to Metal, which seems to go down well with all types of fans of the genre.

Pantheon’s experience includes appearances with Evile, Diamond Head, and a recent slot with Kamelot. Pantheon regularly performs around England (as far away as London) and has played venues such as Leeds Rios and Manchester Academy 3. With the new release No Way Out now available, Pantheon is looking forward to continuing playing more shows this year at new venues and to continue building their fan base and interest, along with taking the band to new levels.

MER: How did you come up with the band name?

A week or so after we decided to put the band together we knew we needed a name and we didn’t want it to be anything too specific or a word that would bring a certain image to mind or limit our direction in any way … and at that point we hadn’t established a musical style.
We actually came up with the name as we sat on a bench in the rain, taking a break from a practice session. We had a few ideas written down but then when ‘Pantheon’ came to mind, it sounded good so we went with it.

MER: What are 3 bands that you feel were most influential to your band, and why?

We don’t really limit our influences too much – we all listen to a huge range of music, but when it comes to bands that inspired us to do what we do:

Iron Maiden – A main reason why Simon, Matt, and Dan (the original members of the band) got into Metal at an early age. The way Maiden structures songs and the bass/guitar work will always be an influence on Pantheon.

Testament – Chuck’s rough/singing style has definitely influenced us on the vocal side of things and since Simon took over the vocals (while on bass) he’s introduced more variety to the vocals. The New Order album also influenced some of the riffs in our earlier songs … some of which we’ve dropped, though, from our regular set.

Symphony X – Great live band and their material and lyrical themes have some brilliant imagination. Their songs particularly on the Odyssey album never get boring – time signature changes and experimenting with ideas is a part of how we compose material.

MER: What are the 5 best Metal/Hard Rock albums of all times, and why?

Difficult to narrow down, but as a band this is what we came up with:

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Best Iron Maiden album in our opinion — can listen to it from start to finish. If this album were never released, who knows, but Pantheon may never have been around.

Judas Priest – Painkiller
Priest are legends of British Metal that we owe a lot to as a British Metal band. We’re all fans of the old greats, but Painkiller also being one of the heavier albums, has so many different levels. We even covered “Hell Patrol” at a recent show.

Death – Symbolic
Flawless album … very original Technical Death Metal with the guitar work and vocals of a legend: Chuck Shuldiner.

Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. II
Very unique German Metal band that we’re all huge fans of. They’ve got a certain sense of humor to their music and the early album Keeper II with songs like “I Want Out” and “Eagle Fly Free” is one of the best.

Exodus – Bonded by Blood
It’s the best Thrash album of all time.

MER: What is the best concert you’ve ever attended, and why?

Kiss, Live in Paris ’08 – Traveled to the show with a certain expectation and with it being the first Kiss show, the atmosphere for me was very exciting – the band and show did not disappoint, delivering 110% both musically and in performance. Definitely a life changing gig!


Exodus, Live @ Jilly’s Rock World, Manchester ’06 – My first time to see Exodus and being able to go crazy in such a small venue with such a legendary Thrash band in arms reach of the fret boards.

Kiss, Live @ Hellfest ’10 – Awesome!

Iron Maiden, Live in Paris ’05 – First time I’d seen Maiden and traveling on a fan club trip to Paris made it really something. The size of the gig and the atmosphere of so many Maiden fans being in the same place and the energy of the show and live performance made it truly a great gig!

Hellfest ’10 – Nile for the sheer live performance and being able to see such a talented drummer in the flesh, although overall it was an excellent festival.

MER: What was the most memorable gig your band ever played, and why?

Our first show together with the latest line-up at the start of 2010 – it really gave us a boost like nothing before and a realization that we now have the best line-up ever and are ready to take the band forward. Also, a show we played on tour with Skull Branded Pirates @ The Gaff, London – due to the amazing crowd response and turnout, it made us feel great and it was a perfect way to end the tour.

MER: What is the craziest thing any member of your band has ever done for the sake of Metal/Hard Rock?

As an example, there was a Metal Zombie Beach Party Night in town (York), and before it started Simon walked into a real rough ‘old man pub’ called the Hansom Cab, wearing nothing but corpse paint and beech shorts – the tension and some of the looks the regulars gave him were priceless.

MER: If your band was appointed Rulers of the Metal World, what is the first law you’d make?

Motorway service station discounts for all traveling Metal bands!

MER: If you could tour with any band, who would that be, and why?

Testament – an awesome live and technical Thrash band that have influenced our music in a certain way. People listening to the latest EP have also loosely compared us to them.

MER: What do you think your fans and the music industry will say about your band in 10 years?

Pantheon … who?? Nah, just kidding … hopefully our fans will say we’re a great band, got what we deserved, and that the hard work we put in during the early days paid off. We’re gonna be around for quite some time yet and write a load of more material, so who knows …

MER: If you could have any wish fulfilled for the band, what would it be?

An arena tour with many more new releases sometime in the future …


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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