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Blackguard’s Paul Zinay: The Gun Shy Interview

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Blackguard
Right now, Montreal-based melodic death metal outfit Blackguard are wrapping up a tour with Belphegor, Pathology, Neuraxis and fucking Deicide. It is a vastly different trek than they’re used to; they’ve mostly been opening for power metal acts like Epica.

“We’re almost regularly the heaviest band on the bill, and now, it’s the complete opposite,” admitted Blackguard frontman Paul Zinay. “It’s great to be playing in front of death metal crowds, because that’s what we want.”

Blackguard want crowds to react at their shows. They want pits to form, and dudes to stage-dive. And let’s be honest — that doesn’t usually happen at power metal shows, where air musicianship usually abounds. So, playing in front of serious death metal crowds is what Blackguard and Zinay want…that, and a sugar momma.

“The other night, I was joking that I wanted to go to the Rainbow Room in Los Angeles and have some old lady try to pick me up,” says Zinay. “I think it would be really funny to find my L.A. sugar momma. Actually, there was an older lady who tried to pick me up that night so…”

Whoa, dude…tell me you didn’t poke the granny?

“No, I steer clear of that,” Zinay tells me. “I have never been one for tour ass. It’s just not really my scene and I don’t do that. I have seen dudes who are totally into picking up chicks. They get a girl a night, and I have seen it on tour. It just doesn’t appeal to me.”

Blackguard have a new record called Firefight in stores March 29, and Zinay — currently suffering from road flu — tells me from the tour that this record is just the next chapter in the band’s musical evolution. The album’s chock full of riffs, epic synths, and Zinay’s awesomely abrasive voice. It sounds like Dragonforce meets Death.

The band will also be touring this spring with Nevermore and Symphony X, and are planning things out for this summer. As the band begins to wrap its trek with Deicide, I ask the singer for his favorite Glen Benton moment.

“I don’t know how many bands can claim they’ve done this with Glen, but we can,” Zinay starts. “When were were in Ontario, it had snowed a shit ton like maybe a couple of days prior, so there was a lot of snow on the ground, and at the end of the show, when everybody was loading out, Glen started pelting us with snowballs which eventually erupted into a 20-minute snow ball fight war with him and some of the Deicide crew. That was probably the funnest time we’ve ever had on tour, especially since its something you don’t expect. Glen is kind of a quiet guy, and keeps to himself a lot, so it was just a ‘What the fuck’ moment — like, did that just really happen?”

But the cherry on top of it all? “I pelted Glen in the face once,” says the singer.