Free Reign

Football and metal -- it's a marriage made in heavy metal hell for Free Reign, which features Dallas Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo on vocals, right guard Leonard Davis on bass and center/guard Cory Procter on drums. The big guys, which released 'Tragedy' via Riot Entertainment on Jan. 26, are ready to be embraced by the metal scene that Colombo holds so dear.

"I had a few bands I was in when I was on the Chicago Bears for four years," Colombo told Noisecreep. "I played guitar. Then when I joined the Cowboys, I was making up songs, singing, recording and do stuff on my own, when my teammate Cory -- who became my drummer and is my fellow offensive lineman -- who I hung out with, played at my house and we were better than we thought we were going to be. It was rough at first, though!"

Things eventually fell into place and came together for Free Reign. "I started singing and playing guitar and Cory drummed, and it took off from there," Colombo said. "We have similar interests in music and one of our teammates and linemates, Leonard, played bass. He had picked it up recently and we weren't sure. But when he came and played with us, it went well.

That's when things started cooking. "It turned into a textbook garage band playing for each other and word got around -- and we got serious. We started playing little shows, and we asked one of Leonard's high school friends, the professional in the band, Justin Chapman, to join the band. And he is a good guitarist! He and I are musically on the same page and have the same influences: Pantera, Metallica, that whole crop. We do a lot of writing, and that's pretty much how we formed and we went from small shows to headlining a House of Blues show."

Colombo said that he is proud to be a part of the other side of the heavy metal scene, since he has been a fan his whole life. "Heavy metal is a cool community," he said. "Scott Ian is like my idol growing up, and I am a huge thrash metal fan from the '80s, so that was my inspiration growing up."

Ian was actually quoted in a press release for the band, saying, "These guys scare the crap out of me!" Coming from Scott Ian, for Free Reign, that's a very, very good thing.

Free Reign's 'Tragedy' is out now.

More From Noisecreep