Theocracy started as a one-man project created by Matt Smith, who played and sang everything on the self-titled debut album released at the end of 2003 on Metal Ages Records. The album received great reviews for its epic, melodic Power Metal.
What you find on each of Theocracy’s albums is a spectrum of different progressions, which will tantalize every metal heads senses. From crushing guitars, to soaring vocals, Theocracy brings the goods but most importantly, melodies that get stuck in your head.
Since his start as a one-man show Matt has added a complete and very impressive line-up of musicians
Jonathan Hinds –Guitar Val Allen Wood- Lead Guitar Jared Oldham-Bass
Now, the latest chapter in Theocracy’s career is here with Ghost Ship. The band comes out firing on all cylinders across ten tracks where every song is iconic and strong enough to potentially be someone’s favorite. The album was conceived, in the words of Smith, as “a song-oriented album where each track stands alone, and.” The result features everything a Theocracy fan could wish for; the band looks forward to taking the new material to stages across the globe. I sat down with Matt for a few questions and one from one of their many fans.
PN: I was wondering about the name of your band, how did you choose it and what is the significance for you or towards your music.
Matt: We’re a Christian band, so the lyrics all come from that worldview, and the name is a different twist on that. The word “theocracy” means a government ruled directly by God instead of men, but we use it in a different way: instead of a governmental system, it’s an individual life. So it’s personal: Theocracy within. It made sense for our music, and also sounded cool for a band name!
PN: Who are your biggest influences (collectively )
Matt: Well, with five different personali- ties, there is a huge variety of influences, but for me Queensryche was the big one. They were doing things that were so much more intelligent and complex than most metal bands, and that had a big influence on me as a youth. From there it was everything from Metallica to Iron Maiden to Edguy to Neal Morse. As long as the songs are great, and the music is powerful and melodic, we can usually enjoy it. Personally, I’m still influenced by great songwriters more than anything.
PN: Where do you gather your songwriting inspiration
Matt: It really varies, but it always has to be something that has meaning to me personally. We always want to avoid the clichéd version of what a lot of people think of as “Christian lyrics,” so we try to find angles that haven’t been done to death on the topics we tackle. Some songs are about something I’ve gone through, or something that happened in the life of a friend. Sometimes we cover more historical topics, such as in the songs “Nailed” or “Ichthus.” But there always has to be an emotional thread to latch onto.
PN: This question is from one of your many fans (Matthew Leroux ) The Song “Lay the Demon to Rest” What inspired those lyrics/was it written from a personal experience
Matt: Yes, it was from personal experiences, but I tried to make it universal. It’s a song about temptation, but I didn’t want to make it about anything specific, because that can change from day to day and from person to person. So we made it more symbolic, metaphoric and allegorical, and I think that was the right decision because people constantly talk about how much that song helps them, regardless of their struggle. I struggle with a variety of things from time to time, so I didn’t write it about any one thing in particular, but just about temptation in gene.
You can check out Theocracy July 28th at the BFE club in Houston. This is one show I will refuse to miss.