XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Norman: Hellscream recently released our second studio album “Hate Machine” through Pure Steel Records on July 26th. No shows are scheduled or announcements at this time. The band is ultimately a studio project so aside from writing and recording we to date have not done much else. We are all pretty busy with our other bands.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Norman: This particular band formed in 2012 I believe so about 7 years.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Norman: I saw being in a band as an adventure. It was by complete accident that I ended up singing with a band in a high school talent show but I caught the performance bug and continued with it. It’s been quite a ride.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Norman: I don’t play any instruments and have very limited professional training. I am mostly a self-taught vocalist but believe you can never stop improving.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Norman: Our music is made for real metalheads. Those that are out there at the concerts foot-stomping and headbanging with their fists and metal horns in the air. That is the image I see and I hope our music conveys just that.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Norman: Hellscream has no plans which shouldn’t surprise anyone given it was almost 6 years between releases. Dave and the guys have new albums in the works from their bands Cage & The Three Tremors plus a lot of touring. I also have new albums in the works for my bands Niviane & Skinner plus touring as well.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Norman: Me personally I plan to continue writing & recording albums as long as I can. Bigger and better touring opportunities will hopefully keep presenting themselves as well.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Norman: I love to perform but it’s the creative process that I gravitate towards so ultimately I would have to choose writing and recording new songs.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Norman: I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me. History, social interactions, other band’s music, movies, etc.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Norman: Most tours I have done have been relatively tame and very professional. There are some stories but I am sworn to secrecy.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Norman: Nothing too strange. Been asked to autograph many items that have nothing to do with the band or music but nothing too weird or outrageous. My fans have always been pretty awesome and respectful.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Norman: Yes, my mom has always been very supportive. Even back when I sucked really badly! LOL!
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Norman: Well since we have never performed any of our material live I can’t really answer that.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Norman: Since my performing happened by complete accident I can’t really say any 1 artist or band inspired me to start but I can say when I was much younger before joining a band I remember watching the video Girls, Girls, Girls by Motley Crue thinking… that’s what I want to do. Haha!
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Norman: Of course, this is totally self-indulgent but I would say Iced Earth, Primal Fear & Evergrey.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Norman: To date, I have released 15 studio albums worldwide. There are many bands and famous artists that can’t say they’ve done that. I have more on the way!
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Norman: Probably something artistic. Maybe design, writing, acting or something else within the music industry.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Norman: I am a Sennheiser guy. My wireless mic and wireless in-ear receiver are made by Sennheiser and my actual in-ear monitors are made by Ultimate Ears.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Norman: Locally in California, we have a very strong and thriving music scene. As for the United States, in general, the music scene is geared towards Hip-Hop, R&B and the like. No real attention is paid to metal.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Norman: Most Metalheads would be surprised that I am in so many bands at once. Many times, they are like… wait you’re in that band? Then I’m like yup, that’s me as well. I change the style I sing in different bands which is how I got the nickname “The Metal Chameleon”.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Norman: For Hellscream, one reviewer said we sounded like King Diamond on steroids which I’ve always loved. Another cool term was Hyper Power Metal. I say we sound like a cross between Judas Priest & Iced Earth.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Norman: Thank you so much for your ongoing support. The best way you can help the band is to continue to listen and follow us. Add us to your Spotify and other streaming services, YouTube etc. and of course buying merch direct from the band here: www.normanskinner.net/store
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!