Interview with Guitarist/Producer Stu "The Hammer" Marshall (Night Legion, Death Dealer)

by Mick Michaels

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of connecting with Stu "The Hammer" Marshall, famed Australian producer and guitarist of such legendary acts as Death Dealer, Empires of Eden and most recently Night Legion

COSMICK VIEW: Hello Stu! Welcome to the Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.

CV: You are consistently working. There is always a new project in the works. What drives you to continue to create?
STU MARSHALL: Mate I LOVE writing music and it’s always pouring out of me. So it’s easy to draw on different influences and then have a large pool to draw from, but yes – I’m always writing music.

CV: What drew you to music? Was it your first love? 
SM: It would have to be KISS like millions of others in the 70’s. Overall it’s heavy metal music for me – I have always been drawn to the power of the music. Adding to this my obsession for guitars and all seems to make sense.

CV: Was your family supportive?
SM: Always. I had great supportive parents. I guess they were happy I was tucked away playing guitar somewhere…

CV: Has music made you the person you are today?
SM: I’d like to believe so... I think the experiences I have had through music have certainly shaped me and the lifelong friendships we develop along the way.

CV: Looking back can you see yourself doing something completely different other than music?
SM: I have always worked…so Music sits in the love category for me. It’s almost impossible to take music as a career in Australia and eat well…

CV: Do you see yourself becoming a modern-day rock n roll icon?
SM: Oh no. I’ll take the money – you take the fame ;-). For me I’d rather be a background guy than a fame whore – it’s not my thing at all.

CV: With the current state of the world, does safety play a large role in the way and where your performances/tours are booked? Is it a major concern for you?
SM: In some cases yes. I have refused to travel to certain parts of the world to play based on real concerns but, I think we need to keep our eyes open. After Dimebag I think we all freaked out a little but by the other side, you gotta live your life.

CV: There has been a lot of commentsfrom established rockers these days saying that young bands don't stand a chance at making a career with music into today's industry... what do you think?  Is there still hope?
SM: This is because the financial support of a label isn’t there anymore.
In the 80’s bands were getting 20 Million dollar *advances* - This is done. I think a small number of bands can survive but the legacy acts are the ones doing best.

CV: Is it more than just “luck” to make it? Can you make it on talent alone? Does strategy and planning play a major role in music success? Or is it a right place, right time scenario?
SM: Great question. Talent is required but timing, relationships and hard cash funding is how you make it. Everything costs and that’s the boring side no one wants to talk about.
For an Australian band playing with a medium act in Europe, the costs can easily exceed 20k out of pocket. How do you get that back?

CV: Who are your heroes? Which artist do you feel has inspired you the most?
SM: The big names like Gary Moore, Steve Lukather and of course Eddie. IT’s been amazing to play with one of my idols *Ross the Boss* in our band Death Dealer, that’s been a highlight.

CV: What do you believe sets the new debut Night Legion album apart from the other projects you have been involved in?
SM: It’s a more melodic act overall that kits the classic Priest and Maiden style heavy metal. I guess it can carry a thread through as I write the material but we are very lucky to have an amazing vocalist.

CV: When is the new album slated to release? Has a record label been decided upon?
SM: October is the release date via Massacre Records.

CV: Who are the new artists/bands are you listening to these days?
SM: I would have to admit I’m not listening to a lot of new metal but our label mates Calderia are pretty amazing.

CV: Artist or band… who would you like most to work with if given the opportunity?
SM: Definitely Rob Halford. I’d like to write an album for him that would be armor plated steel.

CV: What do you feel are your strengths?
SM: I turn up on time (laughs)…it’s always hard to tell. You’d need to ask my bandmates their views I think to get an honest answer.

CV: What’s the one thing that you feel makes you unique as an artist?
SM: My musical voice. We all have one as musicians and I try to tune into that honestly when I’m writing.

CV: If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be?
SM: I want my long hair back. Damn getting older.

CV: To date, what do you believe is your greatest accomplishment?
SM: Playing Moscow was amazing – Jamming with Ross the Boss and seeing the world. It’s been amazing and I’m very lucky.

CV: How would you define success as an artist?
SM: For me it’s simply tuning into the self. Writing good honest material not driven by a dollar sign.

CV: What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
SM: “Fuck what they think!”

CV: Thank you again Stu for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and much success with the new album.

Check out Stu and  Night Legion at:


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