21 Tales of Tastemakers: Jordan Munson
by Jordan Munson (Music Industry), published November 11th 2010
The date was April 4, 2008, the location was the Middle East Downstairs and it was my first assignment as a Tastemaker outside of CD and show reviews. My task was to interview the legendary Michael Romeo of Symphony X, creator of one of the most badass album intros ever created (their song ‘Inferno (Unleash The Fire)’ from 2006′s The Odyssey). The bill was filled top to bottom with bands I already loved: Symphony X, Into Eternity, and Epica. The show itself, however, was not the highlight of the night.
Somewhat early into the evening (well, before the show, as Epica was still soundchecking at that point), I arrived to the Cambridge area and got in touch with Symphony X’s tour manager. We met up and he led me to the downstairs dressing room (what would prove to be the quietest area of the venue to conduct an interview). If you’ve never been to the Middle East Downstairs dressing room, it seems quite sketchy at first; it certainly set an interesting mood for the interview to be conducted in.
As I walked into the dressing room, I saw but one person in the room – Michael Romeo himself. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t really be that big of a surprise, but the scene was perfect; it was almost like something on the cover of a power metal romance novel. There he was, sitting on the couch, black silk shirt open at he top, fan blowing his hair in the wind, as he shredded on his guitar mindlessly. He paused playing his guitar only to shake my hand and, even then, his other hand was still playing.
The interview went well (though my questions could have been a tad bit better). He was an awesome dude and all the bands put on an awesome show, but I’ll never forget that scene. I can thank Tastemakers for one of the more awesome and/or hilarious things I’ve ever seen.