Interview with Atorc

Interview with Atorc
by Sheri Bicheno

After witnessing Atorc for the first time at Warhorns Festival in 2018, I’ve noticed these guy stand out more and more. I have previously reviewed their latest album “Under The Raven Banner”, seen them play across the UK at many Folk and Viking Metal themed events and befriended some of the band through mutual people, so I was more than happy to sit down with the Suffolk based tribe and have a chat!

Atorc are one of the UK’s most well-known underground Folk Metal bands and I was intrigued to know a bit more about their story…

Sheri: Hello guys!

Atorc: Hello Sheri!!!

Sheri: I did a review of “Under The Raven Banner” last year for Ever Metal and loved it, For our readers, tell us a bit about the roots of Atorc and how you decided on the concept of the band?

Battlebeast: Well the roots of Atorc really stem from when I got into folk metal and I thought there’s not really a lot of folk metal bands in the UK. I had contact with Tom Scales and we basically formed Atorc together with our old drummer and violinist and basically from there evolved into what we are today!

Boudikath: We had the line-up changes so everyone brought their own influences.

Battlebeast: Yeah, everyone brought in their own influences with what they’ve listened to over the years. With Andy, there are elements of Power Metal in the band, which is very interesting and with Jack, he added a sense of a much darker, black metal vibe with the rhythms. So, it’s been quite interesting with the mixture of music tastes all around.

Boudikath: And also, some classical backgrounds.

Sheri: That brings me onto the next question actually – your sound is quite entangled in metal, folk – most notably in the Viking and Battle elements, with some pretty big Power vocals. You certainly have your own identity – do you have any influences both musically and historically?

*HELBARD THEN ENTERS THE DOMAIN.*

Helbard: Hellooooooooo! There are different people, different backgrounds, different influences. I’m really like a classic metal kinda guy. I’m more sort of Maiden, Priest, Queensrÿche, Dio – that kind of thing. I have done a lot of different music projects before this as well, covering quite a lot of different backgrounds musically. I mean I was mainly a guitarist before I joined this band on vocals. Before that I was a gigging bass player for quite a while in a band playing like Cheap Trick power pop stuff. That was the first album I ever recorded as a bass player. So, I’ve been all over the map really and I’ve written for everything I’ve been involved with as well. So, it’s really trying to kinda be a well-rounded musician and much like Jack is, Jack has done a lot of different stuff as well. Just trying to bring some sensibility from that, you know…you can always learn skills playing any kind of music that you can take with you and transfer to anything else you do.

Sheri: What about you, Kath, you play the keys and you do backing vocals, have you done anything previous?

Boudikath: To be honest this is the first proper band I’ve been in but I did study Popular Music at University along University bands and that kind of thing but I came in completely new to metal, I mean when I first joined the band, the guys made me watch The Headbangers Guide to Metal, which is a documentary – they were like “she needs to know more!” hahaha. To be honest, I was more into Coldplay, David Gray, 80’s Pop so I was thrown in the deep end as it were haha. But I can say now I quite enjoy listening to things like Iron Maiden, Priest and those kinds of bands.

Sheri: What song or performance do you feel best represents Atorc?

Boudikath: To be honest, we’ve got the one that…

Battlebeast: EVERYONE…

*Blistyg laughs*

Boudikath: Yeah everyone likes it.

Battlebeast: And its repetitive all the fucking time haha.

Helbard: Is that not actually Shieldwall though?

Blistyg: Is this the one that begins with “T”? Hahaha.

Helbard: What THE Shieldwall? Hahaha.

Blistyg: We play it at every gig…it’s our Smoke on The Water I think haha. I do still enjoy playing it, sometimes haha.

Boudikath: I do enjoy playing it, it’s just very much, that every time we HAVE to play it.

Blistyg: Watching the crowd while we play it…

Helbard: I think by the time we play that song in a set, we’ve already been going for 30 or 40 minutes and everyone’s on board at that point.

Battlebeast: To be honest, I just wrote a basic folk metal song about drinking and I thought “this isn’t gonna catch on” like it’s just gonna be a throw away song…but everyone loves it.

Blistyg: This is like our Rum song.

Sheri: It’s probably the Mead Hall for me hahaha

Helbard: That’s another drinking song! Haha.

Battlebeast: Fun fact – I’m writing another drinking song for the next album.

Sheri: Oh, you are!? Well I was going to ask you about that anyway! From your first release, which was – EP “Pure Folking Metal”, how do you feel you have developed since then? You’ve had a line-up change since then and have found your fit – take us through the development.

Battlebeast: I think we have. With the first line up we had, it was OK, I wasn’t really happy with how things were going. But when the former singer and violinist drop out, Andy and Kath came in, which I thought was the perfect fit with everything that we had been doing so far – with Andy’s vocals and Kath’s keyboards.

Blistyg: And quite good friends we have become too!

Battlebeast: Yes, we have. Then we had Helen brought in and her Violin skills were amazing for us as well and then when our former drummer left, we brought in Jack and his blend of dark, black metal, y’know, influences of drums – they just perfectly fit.

Blistyg: We’re like the perfect BLT hahaha.

*everyone laughs*

Helbard: I’ll tell you something too, those line-up changes from me and Kath coming into the band to having the line-up we have now, I think that took about maybe two years. We hadn’t changed drummers and taken Helen on board until about the end of 2016.

Boudikath: We joined around the beginning of 2015 then Helen came on board for the Seven Tales when we did the recording and then Jack came in about a year later.

Blistyg: Do you guys remember our first gig with Andy and Kath?

Battlebeast: The Evil Scarecrow gig…

Boudikath: It was Evil Scarecrow, it was amazing. We had only been in the band about a month and a bit!

Battlebeast: Yeah it was! Haha.

Boudikath: Literally, we had been in the band a month and we supported Evil Scarecrow at The Waterfront.

Sheri: So, you were pretty much thrown into the deep end that’s amazing haha!

Boudikath: Yeah haha. We showed up and it was like “Oh by the way guys, your gig next month is at the Waterfront in Norwich.” We were like WHAT?!

Helbard: It wasn’t…Well, It wasn’t really confirmed until about a week before. The promoter was…we had problems trying to get money from him.

Boudikath: I remember the venue being big. In terms of development, we definitely have darker tones to “Under The Raven Banner”. The Seven Tales was fun, but we’ve come a little bit darker since then. I think we might be going down a bit more of a darker route with things to come – keeping some of the fun in there – but in general a bit darker.

Helbard: Another thing is that Seven Tales was pretty much – well the songs were written before Kath and I joined the band.

Boudikath: Yea there were two songs in there I think, that were written after and then we added to some of them.

Helbard: “Under The Raven Banner” is a bit more progressive, it was written sort of mainly by Jack and I did the lyrics and there are a few songs on there that I wrote almost entirely and that is probably a reason why some of them sounds almost completely different to Seven Tales album.

Sheri: It was last April you released Under the Raven Banner and as we’ve just discussed, this album is a lot more raw than “Seven Tales Of Swords And Ale” and you highlight some of the difference in songwriting and the sound. Are there any challenges you faced whilst doing that?

Boudikath: I think it was more Andy’s writing style more than anything. Andy got involved with writing on “Under The Raven Banner” and basically, we come along with a riff, an example is Hammer to Anvil – Andy developed on that. In producing the guitar/violin mix that wasn’t so much written in that first one…

Blistyg: When I’m writing riffs and stuff, I don’t really think much about making a structure so to speak. It’s mainly just riffed and then I rely on everyone else to help fit it all together sort of thing.

Thor: Also, the album is more produced than the EP because we spent more time on it. So, there’s more production involved than on the EP where we kind of didn’t play to a click so there’s more tightness and more cleanness with some spick and spam production with the second one more so than the first.

Helbard: Yeah, the first started on a weekend.

Boudikath: 8 songs in 2 days!!

Sheri: Wow…!

Boudikath: hahaha. So, I dont think we can complain about how it came out haha.

Helbard: If we had done another two days on it, it might have been great! Hahaha. It might have been a classic you know! Haha.

Sheri: Are you working on anything at the moment? Tilly you mentioned that you’re writing for a new album so are you working on anything else whilst we are waiting on 2020 to do one?

Battlebeast: Yeah, I’ve been writing some lyrics so what I’ve done so far, I’ve sent to Andy. So, he will have a look over and see what he can do with them. I mentioned I’m doing another drinking song – cuz why the hell not. I’ve been also researching a lot of other Viking events, you know, the Norse mythology and everything. Basically, everything I can whilst we’ve been in The Great Plague of 2020. Just plodding along trying to get some new material out or make new material and do the best we can.

Boudikath: It very much works lyrically doesn’t it that you do all the research, Tilly… and that goes to Andy so Andy can create lyrics around it.

Battlebeast: Scales (Tom) and I have been working on some riffs as well and we’re basically going with that. Just trying to make new music during these times.

Boudikath: Scales has also got a new toy that he got over lockdown as well! Someone’s got a pretty seven string, haven’t they??

Blistyg: Kath! Shhhhh! Hahaha.

Helbard: We do have a very few rough demo’s knocking about and we’re kind of maybe considering different ways of doing an album this time. Obviously, it’s easier than ever to make music off your own back so to speak. We might see what we can do to do something as no one knows what is going to happen as we get through this. We might see what we can get done off our own back. So I mean, the facility to record at home, me and Scales also have a recording interface so there’s always stuff you can do. It will be a little bit of a learning curve.

Boudikath: It’s not just a drummer and couple of guitarists, its everything and it makes it difficult.

Sheri: You have quite a big UK following where Viking Folk metal genres are concerned, I’ve seen you play multiple times, the first time I remember was at Warhorns 2018 and I could see loads of faces in the crowd donning your trademark blue warpaint. When you have fans and supporters that turn up to live events taking part in your theatrics, what is that like for you?

All: It’s the best thing ever!

Boudikath: Honestly when you get people coming up to you and they’re like “OMG I’ve seen you so many times, please sign this!”

Battlebeast: Yeah when they want your autograph, it’s just like WTF!

Boudikath: HRH Vikings was the best.

Battlebeast: That was one of our top gigs, best thing ever.

Blistyg: We had a good last year. Even though it was really really good, Vikings just topped it off really.

Boudikath: The last gig we did actually was really good as well. The last gig we did was this year in February, where we did a headline show in York. That was a sold-out show in York.

Helbard: OAKENSHIELD.

Boudikath: We want these gigs back. We were meant to do, the gigs we were meant to do Sheri, were the Isle of Wight in July, Power Metal Quest Fest in September…

Battlebeast: And we had other gigs lined up, its just all gone! Just like that. It’s just the waiting now you know – waiting for all this crap to go away.

Boudikath: I mean it will be at least kind of middle of next year, I think…

Sheri: It’s the same here with us at Rabidfest. We are at the end of the year and we are at the stage where we have to hold tight and wait until we know if it’s in the best interests of running the event.

Boudikath: I think the people who held off the longest was Jim Beerman (Beermageddon) and now Badgerfest have also had to sadly postpone.

Sheri: I think we will just have to completely write off 2020, in the case of events.

Blistyg: I think it’s a time where you can learn new skills.

Sheri: Absolutely. We were talking about your writing and your challenges! What are your best memories as a band? I mean you’ve played some pretty cool places and festivals…

Blistyg: Manchester and York are always fun. York is the one that stands out.

Battlebeast: North is always the best to play for me, Manchester and so on… I know Birmingham isn’t technically north but we like playing in Birmingham, Nottingham or Manchester and Sheffield. It just feels better. We just have a larger audience. Whereas if you’re playing local here, you get like… two guys and a dog. Haha!

Boudikath: Down here it’s all Thrash really isn’t it?

Battlebeast: Yeah that’s the thing, it’s either Thrash or Hardcore.

Blistyg: Even though our hometown gig in Bury there were loads of people, there were the most metal heads I’ve ever seen in that place.

Sheri: Each place does seem to have their own majority of audience – y’know. I know that Brighton changes from Extreme Death Metal and now there are a lot more Prog and Hardcore bands around. It’s sometimes harder to get other genres introduced to new places.

Helbard: I just want to say about Manchester – I always feel like we are a little bit cursed when it comes to Manchester because the first time we played there, we overran. I remember having a really hard gig because I didn’t have anything to eat before the gig and had an issue with running out of steam half way through. The second time we played in Manchester, we got heckled because I kept addressing Manchester as Sheffield haha!

Battlebeast: Oh yeah, yeah!!

Helbard: And I’ll tell you why… we were playing Sheffield the next day and that Sheffield gig had been a total nightmare as a plan and everything. So the whole weekend I thought “This Sheffield gig, man, I’m dreading it, it’s gonna be crap.” Like… Sheffield, Sheffield, Sheffield… and I was so pre-occupied with the Sheffield gig that I was dreading that I got on stage in Manchester and I was like “Hello Sheffield!!”

Sheri: OH LORD!

Boudikath: To be fair though, Manchester was a nice crowd in general, I just think everyone was a bit pissed and a bit pissed off that you called it Sheffield haha!

Battlebeast: Third time the charm, Andy.

Helbard: Fun times!

Sheri: Happy days! Hahaha. Viking and Folk metal genres are getting more of a light shone on them these days – in your opinion, do you feel this has been overlooked and why?

Helbard: I think everything comes around doesn’t it?

Boudikath: I think the reach is bigger now.

Battlebeast: The internet has more of a gateway for people to listen to other bands – there’s loads of forums and platforms now.

Blistyg: It’s also to do with how it’s – that theme has now become quite popular you know, with Game of Thrones, Skyrim and so on…

Boudikath: Yeah there’s a lot of branching on gateway kind of stuff that brings people back to this kind of music so…

Sheri: It’s always good to have something new but I wish this all came out earlier or was more accessible to reach as Viking and Folk metal is based on essentially history and mythology, which History teaches us.

Atorc: Absolutely, yeah.

Boudikath: I would like to say as well that I think there aren’t many bands like us in that we have the power metal vocal in the folk element. It’s a lot more than kind of I’d say black metal vocal that goes along with it normally, whereas I don’t know of any other Folk Metal band that has the Power Metal vocals.

Thor: There’s a lot that in the new Ensiferum album though, isn’t there, Tilly?

Battlebeast: Yeah there is but I don’t think – I think they’re trying to catch on to the trend. Because I can see that there’s a lot more other Folk Metal bands doing the Power Metal side of things – not saying we are the cause of that at all!

Boudikath: I’d say though that the Power Metal bands that I’ve seen; it’s always been the female vocal that stood high. Which is what we don’t have. I do the lower vocal and Andy does the higher vocals.

Thor: Which is different to other things.

Sheri: What goes through your minds whilst playing live?

Battlebeast: Nothing…hahaha. When you’re on stage, you’re basically just going for it. You’re just having fun; nothing comes to you.

Sheri: You just live it.

Battlebeast: Absolutely. You just rock out with your…

Boudikath: No Tilly, we don’t do that hahaha.

Sheri: Choose a drinking game to represent Atorc and we will have to play it a festival next year.

Helbard: It’s what I call Drinking The Beer hahaha

Blistyg: We could play Forky Forky.**

Battlebeast: Ahhh Forky Forky!

Blistyg: I wanted to play that at Bloodstock last year, but no one seemed to be playing it.

Helbard: It kind of died off.

Blistyg: Maybe we can do that as a band haha.

(** Forky Forky for those not in the know is a game where the rules are that a metal fork (with four prongs) and a courgette are involved. You must score 1,000 points. The courgette is placed in the middle of a circle of people and the fork is lobbed at the courgette so that it has to stick into the courgette erect to win 1,000 points. Otherwise you can achieve getting 1,000 points if the fork lands in the ground at a more than 45-degree angle. The player that gets the fork erect in the courgette then wins the game and has to take a bite of the courgette.)

Boudikath: Let’s paint the courgette blue!

THUS, ATORCY FORKY WAS BORN!!!

Sheri: That’s a thing now.

Atorc: We will play this at Bloodstock next year haha.

Sheri: Finally, What advise have you got for other people who want to do what you do and be where you are?

Battlebeast: Just don’t give up, if you get knocked down, keep on trying.

Boudikath: Be different.

Helbard: Have an image. I think everyone’s burned out on seeing guys in just black tees and cargo shorts, wearing converse. You know, we are in a good time for bands to be a bit theatrical and try and do something different you know. Put on a show. People want to put on a show.

Dont either be afraid of being ridiculous. If you think it might be a bit ridiculous – most things that people love are things that are a bit ridiculous but done really well.

Sheri: Thank you so much for your time guys, I really appreciate you talking to me.

Atorc: Thank you Sheri, this has been awesome!

Rick Here; With the interview complete Atorc trundled off into the socially distant horizon to search for battles anew! I would like to thank the band and Sheri for a great interview!

To read Sheri’s full review of Atorc’s album “Under The Raven Banner” then hit the following link:

To keep up with everything Atorc related then click the following links:

www.atorcofficial.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/AtorcOfficial/
www.instagram.com/atorcfolkmetal/
www.twitter.com/AtorcFolkMetal
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7JzeHfVuEk5UDEvSLrQRLG
www.youtube.com/channel/UCIxfkWy2qmZ1mpfj2cDHpdg/videos

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Sami Hinkka of Ensiferum

Interview with Sami Hinkka of Ensiferum
By Beth Jones

Hi Everyone,

Beth recently got the chance to have a chat with Sami Hinkka, bassist of awesome Folk Metal band Ensiferum. I’d like to thank Sami very much for his time. Enjoy!

Beth: Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with us, it’s really appreciated.

Sami: My pleasure! 😊

Beth: Firstly, for any of our readers that don’t know you, could you give us a brief history of the band?

Sami: Back in early 1990 Markus Toivonen was getting into heavier music and at some point, instead of playing cover songs he wanted to have his own band. It was Amorphis’ “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” that showed him the way: melodic metal with heroic/mythical lyrics. After few line-up changes, many albums and tons of gigs on every continent, here we are now!

Beth: You’ve just released your 8th studio album, “Thalassic” and it’s an absolute killer! It’s themed around the sea and water. Where did you get the inspiration for that theme from?

Sami: The idea popped in my head when we were promoting our previous album “Two Paths” and many journalists kept asking, ‘was it a theme album’. My default answer was that we can’t really make a theme album, because of the way we compose. This started to piss me off! Why would I as a lyric writer, and we as composers, set this kind of barrier to ourselves? So, I suggested to other members that we make a theme album next. Everyone was into it. I listed lots of rough demos we had of the new songs, while I did long walks around Helsinki. It’s a coastal city so very often I walked on a seashore, and many of the melodies took my imagination to sea battles, etc. So, there was the theme. Everyone agreed that it was a good theme, and broad enough, so I started to read about sea-related myths, legends and historical events around the world. In the end I had way too many cool topics for lyrics, but it was quite easy to find the perfect match for each song.

Beth: Personally, I think the themed nature of “Thalassic” was brilliant. Are you going to explore a theme in the future? And if so, what potential themes would you like to look at?

Sami: I really don’t know. We haven’t talked about it yet. We have bunch of raw songs for the next Ensiferum album under work. Let’s see what the future brings.

Beth: There are a lot of nods in this album to the sounds of early Ensiferum. Is this intentional, or is it just the way your sound is evolving, almost coming full circle?

Sami: We never compose stuff intentionally; I mean we don’t think “that seems to be popular song so let’s keep making more songs like it…”. We compose and arrange together as a band, and the point is to write stuff that we love, and that we love to play. We are very lucky that there seems to be many metal heads around the world that like the same thing as we do, heh!

Let’s see how the next album sounds, because we always want to go forward and push our music boundaries.

Beth: When you’re creating a work like this, how do you approach songwriting, especially with all the orchestration?

Sami: It all starts from a good melody, that’s the corner stone of every Ensiferum song. Harmonies, layering, orchestrations, folk instruments, etc. are easy to arrange once you have a good image of the song.

We have democracy in the band, so everyone can bring ideas, every idea is tried, every idea can be twisted and turned to something totally different than the original idea was, and the key thing for us is that we arrange the songs together. This way, everyone can stand behind every note of every song. It’s a slow method but that that’s the way we love to write music, as a band.

Beth: With all the recent weirdness in the world, what have you been doing to keep yourselves busy?

Sami: We have been having few sessions where we checked out new ideas, we played a stream gig and one real festival show, woohoo! I really miss touring…

In the spring, when COVID-chaos started, I recorded my very first solo release and made a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the mixing and professional artwork. I was lucky to find a day job to pay my bills, but the problem is that it slowed down all my music projects a lot. But now my solo EP is mixed, and I just found a professional person to make a world class lyric video for the first single so the EP should be out in early autumn.

Beth: I’ve just watched the ‘Festival Simulator’ video for ‘Rum, Women, Victory’ (awesome song by the way!). Was it fun getting all the crazy clips in from fans, and what do you think of the final cut?

Sami: This was an insane project! I think it’s our best video ever! It felt so awesome to see how many people sent clips and how they enjoyed the new song! I have always said it: We have the best fans in the world!

Beth: And you did a live stream on 10th July. How did it go and how did it feel playing live in a way that is still so alien to many of us? Was it more nerve wracking than usual?

Sami: It was very weird. I have always seen Ensiferum more as a live band, and the best part of playing live is the interaction with the crowd and seeing people having good time, moshing, singing along etc. So, when that element was missing, it just felt weird. It was nice to play the new songs and chat with fans during the breaks we had on the gig, but I dare to say it was once in a lifetime thing for us to do a stream gig.

Beth: The scene is flooded with emerging bands at the moment, and the current climate has allowed a lot of people to discover music, both through playing and listening, which is amazing. What would be your best piece of advice for people just starting out in a band?

Sami: Simply, have fun. Find similar-minded people and create music that you love. Don’t worry if your influences can be heard “too much” in the beginning, you will find your own style. And generally, for every musician; try to listen to, and play all kind of music, because that will broaden your musical horizon and give you tools to become a better composer.

Beth: Now we all have a different way of working, how do you think the music scene will change and adapt, and do you seen this evolution as an opportunity to grow your audience with things like virtual gigs and fan videos?

Sami: I really don’t know. I’m an old geezer who believes in hard touring to convince people with your music. Of course, modern ways give chances of “short cuts” to reach lots of people, and one can become “one hit wonder”, or whatever, and that’s totally fine for me. I think whatever you do, just do it honestly and don’t pretend to be something that you are not, because that’s gonna back fire in the long run.

Beth: This has certainly been a memorable year, for all the wrong reasons! Do you know yet if you’re going to be able to play live to any audiences this year, and if not, what’s in store for you in 2021?

Sami: We have few gigs still lined up for 2020, I really hope they will happen. For 2021 we have lots of plans and we have a new album to promote! So, I’m crossing my fingers for scientists to find the vaccine fast, so that we can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Beth: And finally, what message would you like to give to your fans right now?

Sami: In case you haven’t listened to “Thalassic” yet, please do. Stay safe and hope to see you all soon on the road!

Beth: Thanks again for your time. We absolutely love the new album here at Ever Metal HQ, and really hope that we get to see you perform it live sometime very soon!

Sami: Thank you very much for your kind words! 😊

All the best to you and hopefully we’ll see you soon somewhere! Stay safe!

Hello, it’s Rick again!

If you haven’t read Beth’s full review of Ensiferum’s latest album “Thalassic”, which was released on 10th July 2020 via Metal Blade Records, then hit the link below.

To keep up to date with everything Ensiferum related then visit the following links:

www.ensiferum.com
www.facebook.com/Ensiferum
www.instagram.com/ensiferummetal/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJSZkYiD1tDoyw2icpflQRQ
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0krXCIkthz13P8o0v2tksH

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Johan Längquist of Candlemass

Interview with Johan Längquist of Candlemass
By Sheri Bicheno

Good Afternoon Readers!

When this interview landed on the list, I jumped at the chance to nail it! Candlemass are undoubtedly one of the most influential Doom bands out there, helping shape the Doom genre into what it is from when they started out over 30 years ago!

Candlemass released their first full length album since 2012, “The Door To Doom”, in February 2019 which features Toni Iommi on track ‘Astorolous – The Octopus’. This album is the first to feature Johan since “Epicus Doomicus Metalllicus” in 1986!

For all you fellow Doom lovers, I’d be interested in what your opinions are on the newest EP, “The Pendulum” that has been released in this chaotic time of life. Give it a go and let us know what you think!

I recently got the chance to have a Skype chat with vocalist Johan Längquist and I have to say, it was an absolute pleasure. Humble, often with a chuckle in his voice and an all-around nice guy!

I sat down, with a cheery bounce and proceeded to call Johan’s Skype ID and await…

“Hi! Johan here!” says a very cheerful voice on the other end. I’m beaming already.

We exchange greetings and introductions and immediately, I sense the smile in his voice.

Sheri: Candlemass are known for being the epitome of the Doom genre – What I find interesting is that there are fewer bands from the 80’s era that explore that genre of metal. What prompted Candlemass to find your technique and essentially be part of creating the way for Doom Metal?

Johan: I think that we were so very influenced by music that was made in the 80’s and as you probably know, Leif is a big fan of Black Sabbath…and I think that is the main reason it all started. Of course, I’m too a great fan of Black Sabbath but I like a lot of other bands from that era too. So, I think that’s the main reason the way how it turned out the way it did, and the way Leif is writing the music because you know, he writes all the songs. And I know he is a BIG fan of Black Sabbath haha.

Sheri: So, they’re kind of an influence for you?

Johan: Yeah, yeah! We haven’t talked that much about it but that must be the reason haha! I think that Black Sabbath were one of the bands that almost sounded like that in the 80’s I think, there were not that many bands, there were a couple of bands, but not that many.

Sheri: Not as few, Black Sabbath kicked off the Doom side so it’s interesting to see how the genre has evolved. Did you have to experiment with your sound technique or – as you just said, you were influenced, did you have a particular vibe that you wanted to go with or did you need to experiment with technique?

Johan: When I got into the band and we did the album in 1986, I had a tape a couple of weeks before we went into the studio. So, you know, I did vocals and I just had to find my way into that music haha! Yeah, it’s pretty much as simple as that. Sometimes, you know, when you’re about to do a song and do the vocals, you can’t find your way in, but I guess that’s the job that all the singers have to do, find their way into the music to give the music the right vocals, the right spirit, to suit the music, I think. That’s what I did. And I remember in my opinion at that time, I had my own band at that time and I thought it was a bit how you say monotone… the same chord, a very long tune, so I remember that I was thinking about doing the vocals as melodic as possible. You know?

Sheri: Sure. So, it’s a change for that sort of era.

Johan: Absolutely yes.

Sheri: How do you feel being a great influencing Artist for other bands within Doom? As we discussed, Doom has been expanded on within the last sort of 20 to 30 years with different sub genres.

Johan: There’s so many genre’s around right now, I don’t know them all haha! To me, it’s Heavy Metal. Slow Heavy Metal or not. Dark Heavy Metal haha.

Sheri: Haha! It does change quite a bit.

Johan: You know, when we are out playing and sometimes people are coming into where we playing and tell us “The reason we started was because of you guys” Then of course you feel honoured that you’ve been a big inspiration for many musicians in that genre, so yeah, what can you say? It’s an honour. It’s humbling.

Sheri: I’ve asked a couple of our readers if they have any questions for you…

Johan: Great! Haha.

Sheri: One of the questions raised by Jimmy, is that A lot of younger bands cite you as a massive influence upon them, as we just discussed, is that a help or sometimes a comfort for you to know that after all this time, Candlemass has stayed relevant without losing focus of what essentially makes Candlemass what it is?

Johan: Yes of course, something tells you that you’ve done the right thing in life. At least some good things in life if your music lives on and other people get the inspiration listening to the older album – it’s fantastic. Life is a tough one and that’s for sure a good thing to do haha. I’m not that kind of guy. But you know, it takes work and sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t and it’s a lot of work going on all the time.

Sheri: Happiness does take work sometimes! Casting back to when you were working on “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, did you face any surprises or challenges? As it was different from anything made before.

Johan: When I got the tape from the guys, I had actually never heard anything like that before. I thought “wow, how can I find my way into this?” That was the feeling I had when I started listening to the songs and trying to learn them. But it was a lot of fun doing them because there were no limits when we went to the studio and uh… well… we had a lot of fun I can tell you! Haha.

Sheri: Haha! Tell no secrets! That leads me onto the next question… what were the best memories of creating that album and then going forward after you re-joined Candlemass?

Johan: Haha! What I remember is a guy that came to the studio and he was asking “Where is the singer?” And then he saw me and said “Oh…it’s you?” He was expecting a big guy, very tall and big, because he thought… my sound was like… he was looking around, walking by me going “Where is he? Where is he? The new singer!” Hahaha. And I was “It’s me” and he was “Oh!” I don’t know if he was disappointed or just surprised, I don’t know hahaha!

Sheri: Let’s hope it’s the latter! Hahaha! And what about after you re-joined?

Johan: When we went into the studio for “Door to Doom”, Marcus Jidell was producing the album and it was the first time I heard the songs. I was pretty amazed, and you know, we had a discussion before I listened to the songs and they asked if I would be interested in joining the band again. I said of course… but I need to listen to the songs and see if they thrill me haha. And they did! It was a good experience for me because you know, I had to sing so very hard and high, I’m not what you would call a high pitch singer so I had to push myself a lot to sing the songs on the album, not every single one as you can hear, I’m pretty distorted… haha… when I’m crying out loud to do the songs… But it was a lot of fun you know. When you’re into the music in the 80’s, I really do like Rob Halford and Dio and all the great singers at that time, you know to push yourself and do the maximum you know. I like that.

Sheri: I think that’s how a lot of successful people have carved their way. By pushing boundaries and adjusting, as you have done. You do have an incredibly big voice, so it works.

Johan: Yeah and I think I have found some parts in my vocals that I haven’t found before at that point actually, because of all the pushing haha. It was a great experience as a singer, now I know pretty much that there are no limits, you just do your very best. Of course, there are limits but maybe you can do it better than you believe yourself, just give it a really good shot.

Sheri: And that’s how people learn isn’t it! It’s good to have your vocals back with Candlemass as shown in your latest full-length album, “Door to Doom” This is your first album back with Candlemass after a long time. What did it mean to you as a musician to get behind the wheel of Candlemass? It was very positive, but did you have any visions of the future when you joined? Have you got plans?

Johan: Thank you! Haha. Even though I hadn’t been in Candlemass for those years, I have always been involved in music in one way or another all my life. So, it felt pretty natural for me to do all this. But of course, you never know what happens you know, if people are going to like the album or not? But fortunately, it all turned out very well and I’m so happy for that haha. I was very nervous the very first gig we did back together you know, because I hadn’t been on stage at that time for a very long time but it all turned out very well, I felt that, yeah, it works!

Sheri: I did see some footage of that first gig and it was absolutely rammed! I think you had no worries there haha.

Johan: Haha thank you!

Sheri: Another of our readers, Sam, has asked… The Door to Doom is very much old school Doom. In the vein of the first or early Candlemass records, how do you feel they hold in comparison to the more recent or modern bands and other albums of this generation, for example when playing a festival bill full of newer bands, to a new generation of fans who might not have been around in the Epicus Doomicus Metallicus days or hadn’t heard of Candlemass?

Johan: Ah what can I say? To me, it’s just like, you know it’s the same with Leif and the other guys, I’m so stuck in the 80’s and all the great songs that were done at that time and I listen to a lot of new musicians too and they’re so fantastic – but I think you need to have a relationship with the 80’s to find the 80’s spirit. I’d been playing for a couple of years with a young man, only 30 years old haha, before Candlemass happened, he was very interested in learning the spirit of the 80’s and was a very good guitar player – but it’s the way you play guitar and the way you do the songs. I can’t exactly say what it is, but I think there is something with the 80’s that one should learn from I think haha.

Sheri: I think so too. I think the 70’s and 80’s, I mean all decades have had their good run of music… it’s different.

Johan: Of course we have a special relationship with the 80’s because we were young at that time but even these days when you listen to the songs… yeah… My heart feels good when I hear good music hahaha!

And of course, there are so many brilliant bands out there right now too. But the problem is that there are so many bands, you can’t find them all. I’m an old fashioned guy, I don’t hardly use my computer – of course I do, but sometimes I used to sit watching YouTube looking for new bands but there are so many and I don’t’ know exactly how to steer into the very best bands.

Sheri: It’s very social media based at the moment isn’t it?

Johan: Yeah and I know that you can always listen – but the problem is they never play the good bands on radio, of course a couple do but they never play their best songs in my opinion haha.

Sheri: I agree with you. I think it tends to be what’s in the NOW you know…

Johan: Yeah, a good example is ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ with KISS and that’s pretty much the only song that they play with KISS and they did great songs before that haha.

It’s the same with Van Halen – what’s do you hear from Van Halen for example?

Both: ‘Jump’!

Johan: Hahaha, exactly! In my opinion, that’s not the best song they did haha. Of course, it’s good but I don’t know if they’re giving Van Halen the right… how do you say?

Sheri: Like a light shone on them really for people of the younger generation. I understand.

Johan: (Chuckles) Exactly!

Sheri: Candlemass have just released an EP in March of this year, “The Pendulum”. Which, in the middle of a Pandemic, is greatly welcomed!

For Artists to keep doing what they’re doing and making and releasing music if they can, is needed. There are a lot of Artists at the moment that probably, like yourself, that have to be on pause to an extent and its quite frustrating… but we have to keep rolling with the punches!

Some of the songs on the EP are noted as Unreleased Demos. Can you take us through the history of some of the demos? Are some of them quite new?

Johan: Hahaha! Ah when I did the Door to Doom, I didn’t know about these songs!

Sheri: Ah!

Johan: No! Hahaha. I had no idea that there were more songs. They told me a couple of weeks after we released The Door To Doom – they thought that they were not done in the right way and wanted to make a few changes and do another lot vocals on it… and I was surprised when I heard the songs and I said, “Wow, why?” They were great songs! And we re-recorded them again, I don’t know exactly what they changed about them, but I know some guitars and the vocals… that was for sure a tough one for me to do too. But a lot of fun doing those songs I can tell you haha.

Sheri: How do you think Candlemass has evolved after around 35 years of music? As I say, you are still quite true to your sound, during those almost 36 years, how do you think you have made evolutionary changes within the band?

Johan: I think that the only things you can do is… if you have the chance, if you’re allowed to do the songs and write songs the way you want to, that’s the main reason that you can develop in different directions. But we love the music in that time and that’s what gives us the most if you compare us to other kinds of music. I think that’s the main reason and we don’t have a record company telling us what to do and things like that. We are the only ones responsible for what’s coming out to the audience.

Sheri: So, it’s quite raw and all your own with no restrictions?

Johan: It suits us that way haha. It’s good to have tips of course but…

Sheri: I think if you’re changing so much over time it becomes something you don’t want it to be…

Johan: Exactly. I think that’s the main reason why they called me up again because they said they lost the spirit of what was there and they wanna try and give it another chance by pretty much create the old band again and yeah… that was one of the main reasons, they wanted to the old Candlemass sound to have another chance. Get back to the roots!

Sheri: If Candlemass were a drink – what would you be? Haha.

Johan: Hahaha! What would I be… hmmm…? I don’t drink that many drinks but a drink that I like is actually the old Gin and Tonic, that’s fine with me… it’s not that dark haha. But I’ll say Gin and Tonic just because I like that haha. It works through old times.

Sheri: There’s different flavours and everything at the moment!

Johan: Yeah but you know, I’m old and I don’t like it too sweet and there are so many out there hahaha!

Sheri: Interesting choice haha! Have you got a song that is your favourite to perform?

Johan: The old Epicus songs, I really do like to do all those songs from that album still. And I really do like doing the Nightfall songs too. And in the future, there will be more songs because there is a big library to pick great songs from. We were talking and they want me to feel comfortable doing the songs too. So of course, we will do the new songs. I really do like all the songs that we’re doing, so I can’t say I’m not doing any songs I don’t like. All the songs I do really like, they’re great songs.

Sheri: You just get out there and love it haha.

Johan: Yeah hahaha! And that’s pretty important when you’re the singer too… if you’re trying to keep your smile up and you hate the songs, that shouldn’t be good hahaha! I really enjoy the moments on the stage, playing around, just having a good time, so it’s brilliant right now.

Sheri: Very humbling! Another of our readers, Jack, has asked how you decided on the name of Candlemass?

Johan: Oooooh, actually I don’t know the history behind the name! That’s a question better to ask Leif hahaha. I can’t tell you, I’m sorry hahaha. It’s a long time ago and we don’t talk about that… sorry Jack! Hahaha.

Sheri: We will let him know! Hahaha. Finally, What advice can you offer to other Artists, new or experienced?

Johan: Never give up. If you believe in what you’re doing, continue. Don’t give up. Never give up. Even though there will be hard times and you know, if you have your goal, in time you will be there. I’ve been there myself; I’ve been working a lot with music and writing; you learn from that hard work. If someone tells you that this is shit and you shouldn’t bother, just continue with what you’re doing if you believe in it.

Sheri: Absolutely. If you are committed to something and you believe in it then carry on.

Johan: Yeah, you do it for yourself too and if you’re fortunate that other people like the songs you do too, so that’s very important, don’t give up. I’m pretty much, what you say, being a “rock star” now and I’m close to 60 haha so… you never give up hahaha.

Sheri: I think you learn a lot through that. Through mistakes, positivity, hitting rock bottom or anything in life, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel as long as you stick true to who you are.

Johan: Oh yeah of course, I can be all on my own just playing guitar at night on my own and having a great time… if no one wants to listen… Then I can have a great time myself hahaha. Keep on playing.

Sheri: Keep on keeping. Hahaha. Well thank you for your insight and I hope other viewers might find this useful.

Johan: Thank you very much for calling me up.

Sheri: Much appreciated. Take care, be safe, be happy Johan!

Johan: Thank you very much and have a really nice day!

Rick Here; I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Johan and Sheri for the great interview. To keep up to date with everything Candlemass related then click on the following links!
www.candlemass.se/doom/
www.facebook.com/candlemass/
www.instagram.com/candlemassdoom/
www.twitter.com/candlemass
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7zDtfSB0AOZWhpuAHZIOw5
www.youtube.com/channel/UCIXDUCw6Ek8FV5_PZRTHqWg

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons

Interview with Adam ‘Bowzer’ Bouskill from Massive Wagons
By Tsarina Wilson

Tsarina recently got the chance to have a really quick chat with, the very busy, Bowzer from Lancaster based Rock band Massive Wagons. Huge thanks to him and Tsarina.

What is your name?

Bowzer!

What do you do?

I am the bassist in Massive Wagons!

Can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

Nothing exciting in how I ended up here. The lads required a bass player, I had played guitar in a band with Baz (vocalist) previously and offered to play… how hard could it be eh? Only 4 strings!!

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from Lancaster, a small city in the North West of England, The rock scene has always had a decent presence here. There are a few pubs that put live music on non-stop. The Yorkie, The Pub, The Bobbin, they all put on new and young bands.

Who have been your greatest influences in music or in life?

Empyre’s most recent release is absolutely amazing. Everything they do is gold.

What first got you into music?

Musically talking specifically bass it has to be Roger Glover!

My whole family is into music. Only a couple have been in bands, but everyone loves a huge variety of music. In my house it was always The Stranglers, Madness, Ian Dury, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones on the stereo. My uncles were in a punk band called Interference and they supported The Clash at Lancaster Uni.

Which current bands would you like to see collaborate on a record?

That’s a hard question, I would like to see Danny Bowes of Thunder replace Adam Lambert fronting Queen, Danny hands down has the greatest rock and roll voice.

If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you chose and why?

Graspop, The line-up is always incredible, and I fancy going to Belgium!

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

Erm I don’t think I own any weird musical items!

If you had one message for your Ever Metal reader, what would it be?

Look after yourself! Smile! And defend people around you that can’t defend themselves.

If you could bring back one rock star from the dead, who would it be?

Keith Moon!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d swop the popularity of god-awful pop/chart music that is written by 25 people working with algorithms with the dwindling popularity of the rock, metal and alternative scene.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Blackout” by the Scorpions.

What’s best Vinyl, cassette, CD or downloads?

I have no preference; vinyl looks cool though.

What’s the best gig you have been to and why?

Metallica at the Etihad last year it was awesome.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?

Work, gotta pay the bills.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Keith Moon, Ozzy, Da Vinci, Phil Mogg, Dio!

Thank you so much!

Massive Wagons brand new album “House Of Noise” will be released on 17th July via Earache Records. Order your copy here:
www.webstore.earache.com/A-Z/m/massive-wagons

House of Noise (Official Video)

Band Links:
www.massivewagons.com/
www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons/
www.twitter.com/MassiveWagons
www.instagram.com/massivewagons/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/7xytG2E40s4GeukvZCGqGP
www.youtube.com/user/MassiveWagons

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder
By Dark Juan

Good afternoon, you beautiful bunch of misfits and miscreants! I trust you have been following the gospel of Dark Juan and have given your livers a workout worthy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime? Have you been defiling with wanton and base lusts the bodies of those closest to you as you have been exiled for the good of the realm? If not, I WANT DETAILED REPORTS OF WHY NOT ON MY DESK THIS AFTERNOON! If there was ever a time for peace and love to flourish it’s now, boys, girls and persons of other genders. I request and require that you show love to everybody. Love is the law.

In other news, I spoke to one of my musical heroes and it was surprisingly NOT the fucking car crash I expected it to be, considering I am an enthusiastic and somewhat demented amateur music journo. Couple this with an accent thicker than the mud at the bottom of a drain and a sense of humour that could charitably described as baroque and you might consider that Mr. TREVOR FUCKING STRNAD OF THE BLACK FUCKING DAHLIA FUCKING MURDER actually deigning to speak to me and being a consummate gentleman throughout was something of a minor miracle. He happily appeared to be able to put up with all kinds of amateur nonsense, such as a Northern monkey rapidly riffling through notes and simultaneously soiling himself and Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover alternately yowling, barking, meowing and for one glorious moment mooing. He did this with grace, class and bonhomie. Trevor did, not Igor. Igor’s a twat. I present to you all, my Church of the Poisoned Mind, the verbatim conversation we had, INCLUDING my deeply embarrassing fangirling.

I wonder whether animals can have species dysphoria? It would explain much about Igor. Anyway, the “interview”…

Dark Juan: Good evening, Mr. Trevor Strnad. I’m Dark Juan and I am the ridiculously overexcited idiot responsible for the 10/10 review your album “Verminous” got from Ever-Metal.com.

Trevor fucking Strnad!!!: Ah, thanks a lot man, that’s awesome. I’m very flattered by that.

DJ: (frothing in a frankly disgraceful fashion): Mate, what a record! In fact it’s not a record; it’s a weapon, man!

TS: (Laughs ): Fuck yeah, dude. Glad you like it man.

DJ: (heart rate still not normal and running off pure adrenalin and copious amounts of cider): It’s awesome. Forgive me for being a prat because this is my first time interviewing a major metal star and I’m shitting bricks about it!

TS: (one wonders how often this man comes up against pretenders of music journalism): You’re doing good man, no worries.

DJ: (desperately trying to appear professional and failing catastrophically): “Verminous”, first of all, a total contender for record of the year as far as I am concerned.

TS: Big words there, I like hearing that, man. Thank you so much.

DJ: First time I listened to it, it was almost simplistic, but on repeated listens it opens up in front of you and you have got these polyrhythms and super complicated riffs and your vocals range from the depths of hell to taking God’s head off with a buzzsaw. It’s got everything.

TS: (struggling gamefully on and proving his professionalism considering the fact that there hasn’t been an actual QUESTION yet): It definitely has more layers to it (than previous releases) and I don’t think it reveals itself fully the first time you listen to it, you know. There’s definitely some information to unpack over time.

DJ: (Deciding that now is NOT the time to preach his own somewhat confused faith): Yeah, I get that totally. Do I detect a SLIGHT HINT of antireligiousness in there, by any chance? A tiny bit of not liking the church?

TS: (Perhaps composing a stern email to the PR company to make sure this doesn’t happen again in his head): What else is new, man?

DJ: (finally managing to marshal his confused thoughts into a form that might actually have a question in them): So, your vocal style. I’ve noticed that you have said that Carcass was/ is a major influence on you. Was that Jeff or Bill’s vocals?

TS: (the man is a legend. He hasn’t yet screamingly clawed for the end call button): Well, it’s both actually. I wanted to be able to do both vocals with one person. I know I’m not the deepest, most guttural on the low end of all the guys out there, but I’m influenced from that Bill Steer mid rangey grittiness you know. It was listening to the “Tools Of The Trade” EP, that was the first glimpse of Carcass that I had and it’s still my favourite of their output you know? I have the “Tools Of The Trade” tattoo on my arm and yeah, dude, I’ve just been aping those guys ever since (laughs) and on the song “How Very Dead” (on “ Verminous”) I was trying to sound like I have an English accent and really going for Carcass.

DJ: (on safe ground at last!): Yeah, I thought I detected a real classic Carcass vibe on “The Leather Apron’s Scorn” – my favourite song on the record.

TS: Yeah, that song’s cool man. It’s different for us. It’s kind of progressive and very groovy. There’s a lot of groovy stuff on this record which is kind of new territory for us. Yeah man, that’s a definite high point of the record for us. A very creative song.

DJ: I have been a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder since 2003 (Trevor interrupts in surprise, “NO WAY!”) Yeah, man, you’re one of my favourite singers…

TS: You’re making me blush over here!

DJ: (inappropriate sense of humour immediately making an escape out of the box it had been beaten and forced into): Never thought I’d hear a bearded man tell me that but (TS is busy laughing) this record really does transcend all your other releases to date as far as I am concerned.

TS: Thanks, man. Yeah, “Nightbringers” was such a success, and having Brandon (Ellis – lead guitar) in the fold now we have a lot of creative juice and everything was just going right so it just gave us the confidence to push things a little further than we have done in the past. We are very happy with how it came out and it feels like a very proud moment for us.

DJ: (finally behaving like a fucking journalist!): Talking of Brandon, what did he bring to the party that wasn’t there before do you think?

TS: Um, Ryan (Knight, ex-guitar) was another awesome songwriter too, so I don’t wanna slight him but Brandon has this youth and this excitement to be here amongst the band. He’s just the most creative person we have had and he’s the most musically inclined, honestly. He’s the most educated, I mean he taught himself to play guitar from different sources on the internet and has never taken a lesson in his life which might surprise a lot of people. He’s just kind of a virtuoso and he looks at music in a different way and we have all been learning a lot from the guy even though he’s the youngest member of the band – He’s wise beyond his years and he has definitely taught us a lot about songwriting and different detail you can weave into a song and to consider the very minutiae of a song and I think that’s what makes these songs special , a little more elbow grease and he’s got a unique way at looking at songcraft and I think it’s kind of affected us all and we’re just trying to keep up with the kid. He’s lifted us all up and inspired us all and he’s definitely the guy you want in your band! Just feels like a really great time in TBDM history and feels like a real high point right now.

DJ: (having nearly shat himself with relief at getting a reasonably interesting question in before his already shaky confidence falls apart): That’s something that really shines through on the record I think. That kind of indefinable something where you can just tell that people are really enjoying playing that song, that’s what shines through on “Verminous”. That’s what makes it special I think.

TS: (doubtlessly relieved to be talking about the album instead of responding to Dark Juan metaphorically prostrating himself in front of him): Right on man, I’m glad that came across. It was fun to build from the ground up. Giving Brandon more control this time, with him recording most of the record, I think was a good move and gave us more control and able to take it really slow and look at things with a microscope. I think this is going to be our recording process from here on out because it was so successful. He stepped into the band and wanted to have a big piece of the pie and be creative and in control of things and we trusted him. We trusted him a lot on “Nightbringers” during the mix and he took a lot of control then and he just showed us what he could do, so this time we trusted him with more responsibility and the record is that much better for it. He’s just that kind of take charge kind of dude, man.

DJ: “Nightbringers” was such a massive success, you were touring that for two or three years, right? I mean, touring “Verminous” is kind of on hold because of coronavirus which means you could end up touring an album that’s a year old. What does that make you feel like? Do you feel the songs will stand the test of time or do you chalk “Verminous” up to experience and record a new album for the touring cycle?

TS: Um, I still think people are going to be excited to hear the songs and they have a lot of time to listen to it and fester on it. Honestly, from our point of view being in the band, there’s nothing better that could have happened during this than drop an album. That’s the ultimate content you could have and entertain all these bored people right now. The pace of life at the moment is so freaking slow. There’s time to enjoy art and absorb it, so in a weird way I think this has turned out to be advantageous, you know? Um, it’s just that it was nothing that we could foresee but we could have got caught at the end of a record cycle with no new content or anything else to offer up so honestly it’s turned out to be the best kind of thing that could have happened, I think. Honestly, it has hurt the sales a little bit, not being able to go to the record store, also we were booked to go on tour with Testament which would have been our biggest tour ever. But I’m hoping we can just jump back into this thing and pick up our momentum where we left off and hopefully people will be excited to hear these songs.

DJ: This record, I’ve found when I listen to it, third or fourth time through, you have so many different influences on it… Instead of the straight up melodeath on previous releases, there are so many disparate influences you have managed to weld into a cohesive whole and it could all so easily have sounded like a load of metal pans falling down the stairs. Has the songwriting taken longer than usual, or is it luck or judgement?

TS: It’s a lot of years of experience of writing Black Dahlia Murder songs. In the last few years, I think the goal has been to make the most dynamic music we can make. Music that really takes you on a ride and has different emotional flavours to it and I got to agree that we did add a lot of approaches that we didn’t have before. We got songs that are pretty rock injected where we close the high hat and just rock out and we have never done that before. You have “The Wereworm’s Feast” for example which is very King Diamond influenced, very classic heavy metal feel to it. Yeah, I think this record has a lot more style and we are becoming more comfortable and spreading our wings and focusing on that aspect of it. It is definitely a cocktail of that classic Black Dahlia Murder sound but also mining from different corners of heavy metal.

DJ: (having managed to obtain the dizzy heights of competence for all of seven minutes before plunging back down into the black murk of idiocy): I finished the review off by claiming that “Verminous” is the first metal album that doesn’t need more cowbell.

TS: (Laughs): We definitely did put some rock in there! It’s Brandon’s influence. He’s not like your normal 26 year old. He’s definitely a child of the 80’s and he’s very progressive in what he writes and he has pushed us all in that direction to be more creative with what we do and lifted us up and we are all just trying to keep up with him and he’s inspired Brian (Eschbach – guitar and vocals). Brian has turned out some of the best songs he’s ever written and it’s just a great line up right now. It’s the culmination of a lot of positivity, a lot of great times together – we toured together for three years off of “Nightbringers” together and had a great time and a lot of success. We just took all of that praise for that record and the positive vibe and just pushed it into this record and it made us very creative and something that felt new for us.

DJ: (in sensible question SHOCK!): Do you know what kind of response you had with online and pre-sales? Are you selling well?

TS: (Clearly wondering what sort of madman has been allowed to talk to him this time): Yeah man, we have hit the charts pretty hard which was surprising. I have to credit a lot of it to our fan club, the Blast Fiends, they have a Facebook group that really focused on collecting Black Dahlia stuff, vinyl variants and they are just total hounds for the record! So some of those guys showed up and bought a lot of copies and they are like our unofficial street team and they have really pulled for us so we could hit the charts hard, and we made some waves in the press because of it. Even during this pandemic we are able to make waves so that’s pretty cool.

DJ: Got any words for the Blast Fiends while you’re here?

TS: Thanks a lot guys, we really appreciate it. We do this for you guys and you are a huge part of it and we have yet another victory for the Black Dahlia campaign!

DJ: (still panicking like a schoolgirl but much less obviously now): “Verminous” – The title gave me the impression you were trying to evoke the seedy underbelly of life in general. Do you want to expand on this? Are we (the metal kids and the alternative people) the kind that are creeping out of the sewers to terrify the norms?

TS: Yes, that’s how I see it, man. The world on the album cover is sort of a metaphor for our place underground, literally underground. I look at metal, and especially death metal as this kind of hidden world, a secret that most people can’t see. They can’t see the value of it, they can’t see the culture of it and they can’t see the positivity of our scene, and how it’s like our lives and it’s so important to us and it’s a secret, a hidden world and it’s a plague we’re spreading, like a plague of knowledge and an awareness, an awakening to this world of freedom from religion, creativity, free thought and unfiltered art. I mean, death metal is not made for everybody – it’s made for a select few and it’s a labour of love. If we had any delusions of trying to become rich or hugely famous we would have been a totally different kind of band. It’s an act of love and something we pride ourselves on making this music and staying extreme. This is the culmination of years of hard work, trial and error when writing in the past and I feel like we are an older, wiser band right now but also that we are still young with regard to how creative we can be. I feel like this is the opening of a new chapter where we can be more creative as a band. We’ve been together for twenty years now of history with the band, but I still feel we have another 20 years. I can’t see us doing anything else. It’s been my entire life, this band, we’ve gone so hard in one direction and Brian especially, being the other original member, and we have to just see this through. We have to keep going and I feel honoured that people have stuck around and we have had so much success and that’s a big inspiration to make our music as good as we can and to keep our fans happy. It’s a never ending thing, man, and it keeps snowballing out of control, the success of this thing and we have to honour the initial opportunity Metal Blade (record label) gave us and just push it to the hilt.

DJ: (gotta hit those clichés!): Do you view “Verminous” as your “Reign In Blood moment”, or is it more your “Show No Mercy” moment and you are going to grow bigger and more expansive?

TS: (to his eternal credit, NOT rolling his eyes at the demented Englishman): I kinda see “Nightbringers” as more like “Reign In Blood”. It was more of an attack, attack all the time record with a lot of information crammed into it. More of a barrage, if you know what I mean. “Verminous” is more a “South Of Heaven”, where it has a lot more variety and is more dynamic. It still has its fast parts, but it’s much more like us opening our doors, spreading our wings and using this dynamic energy. We wanted the album to feel less samey and have real variety in the songs and let the songs stand out as their own entity. We tried to make the compositions more epic, this time around, definitely less intensity at times, perhaps some buildup, to have some tension, release and to have the chance to really emote this time round. We have a lot of melancholic songs that are gripping on that level and trying to be a more emotive package as a whole and really trying to elicit a response from the listener.

DJ: (now having calmed down somewhat and actually doing what he’s supposed to): Songwriting techniques – how do you go about it? Do ideas spring from a single riff, or a lyrical idea, or a title idea? How does The Black Dahlia Murder work as a musical entity?

TS: The lyrics come second. I’ll have a list of some ideas that I kick around but for the most part I’m reacting to what I hear in a song. Either guitar player will demo the song in ProTools and by the time I hear it, it has both guitars, it has bass and it has programmed drums that sound pretty good. Then our drummer rewrites the drums hit for hit what will end up on the album and then I’ll start writing with it. I’ll sit with it, I’ll listen to it a gazillion times in my fucking underwear and really it’s a challenge to me and something I look forward to. Listening to the song a million times and then plotting how the plotline is going to go up and down with the music. I try to make the story fit every moment of the music and it is a challenge to write in those confines but it’s also very cool when it all comes together. I try to make the lyrical climax come with the musical climax so it makes this bigger picture. I really care about the lyrics and it’s not just something I scribble down but I try to bring somebody in. I try to make the listener go to a different place or imagine a different character. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a hell of a challenge though. The rest of the guys pretty much write in solitude, either guitar player and it’s been this way for a long time now since we had members living out of state and we are pretty used to being spread out – there’s a lot of WhatsApp group texts that we talk to each other through, emails with ProTools files and we are used to this way of working now. Before we all used to write together in one room at band practice, but now we don’t have a traditional band practice anymore. We will get together before a tour all in the same spot and freshen up on things for a couple of days but now we rely on everyone looking after their own upkeep at home and keep their chops up on their own time and that’s a big responsibility but it’s just how this thing works now. The creative process is something I look forward to – every time I come back to it I’m excited to see where the band is musically and with every record there’s a big jump with creativity and I think the guys absorb a lot of information during three years of touring. We play a lot of music to each other, we play a lot of shows, see a lot of bands, so even though we are cranking out these records at a fairly alarming rate, there is a lot of growth between records and this is the most growth we have had between albums and a lot of it has come from “Nightbringers’ ” success. I’m looking forward to the future man. I see us pushing the boundaries further in the future.

DJ: I’m looking forward to seeing you tour in the UK as soon as this virus is done with. You’re going to be hungry. I expect you’ll be tearing my face off…

TS: There’s talk about maybe January for Europe and the UK. I think it might be our first tour back, but I’m not sure just yet.

DJ (who actually really does need to visit the lavatory at this point such is the relief of ending this extremely stressful experience): How different is Trevor Strnad, mad bastard throat with The Black Dahlia Murder, to Trevor Strnad sitting peacefully at home?

TS: I dunno man. I don’t really feel that I have two faces. I feel like I’m the same person here too (at home). A fun, easygoing metalhead. A lot of my life revolves around music, you know, collecting music and being a hound for the underground and checking out new bands and checking the scene… getting metal in the mail every day… I don’t look at what I do with The Black Dahlia Murder as a job, that’s an insult to it I think, it’s so fun. It is hard too, there’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hardships. Tours are largely very boring – there’s a lot of waiting around and shitty travel situations and you can liken it to camping at times. It’s not really glamorous and a lot of people don’t really think about or see the amount of work that it entails. I basically gave up my entire life to do this and I love it, I love staying in touch with the underground and it fuels my passion for The Black Dahlia Murder. I’m pretty much the same guy behind the scenes, you know, a big metal nerd!

DJ: Maybe a slightly quieter one than on stage…

TS: A little more reserved. There is a dark part and it’s a release for me to be on that stage and embodying the demonic characters that I have conjured up. Getting into that villain role – I feel that death metal is villain music and we’re the villains to societal norms and religion and it’s all about celebrating freedom, celebrating the underground and the friendship and the culture that’s there and there’s so much positivity there for “negative” music. I think people give us a bad rap, man.

DJ: Thank you, Sir Trevor of Strnad, for putting up with me barking drunken questions at you and basically flailing desperately to appear like I know what I’m doing… You fucking legend.

TS: Thanks a lot, man, it was fun. Take care.

And that’s fucking that. If you need me, I’ll be in a darkened room with an IV of absinthe and 24 nubile young virgins. Knock before you enter, otherwise it’s at your own risk.

Buy “Verminous”. It’s awesome. And so is Trevor Strnad.

“Verminous” by The Black Dahlia Murder was released by Metal Blade Records on 17.04.2020.

LINKS:
www.tbdmofficial.com/
www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial/
www.twitter.com/bdmmetal
www.instagram.com/theblackdahliamurder_official/
www.youtube.com/user/blackdahliamurdertv

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala

Interview with Raphael Olmos and Isabela Moraes of Kamala
By Victor Augusto

Hi everyone, it’s Rick,

Our man in Brazil, Victor, recently got the chance to interview Brazilian Thrash Metallers Kamala! It’s about time that some of these hardworking and very professional bands got a chance to shine outside of their homeland, and in Kamala’s case, Mainland Europe is starting to take notice. I shall now hand you over to Victor and would like to thank, not only him, but Raphael and Isabela for this interview

Keeping a Heavy Metal band alive demands a lot of work and struggle, especially in countries where this genre is not a popular one, and this work in very honorable. Against all the odds, Brazilian Thrash Metal band Kamala, after 17 years on road, has been growing fast in the last few years, especially in Europe. Their singer/guitarist Raphael Olmos, along with drummer Isabela Moraes, explain how they conquered it and the next step for their upcoming album.

Victor: Please. Introduce yourself and tell us when you started to play your instruments and what made you want to create Kamala.

Isabela: Hi, I am Isabela Moraes, drummer for almost 14 years. I have loved this instrument since childhood, because I have a cousin that plays drums too, but I started to learn properly at 15 years old, when my older sister gave me my first drumsticks.

Raphael: Hey, I am Raphael Olmos, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of Kamala.

I started to play when I was 13 years old, after watch the VHS “…a year and a half” by Metallica, I knew that I wanted to be a professional musician when I was 15/16 years old.

And I created Kamala when I was 18 years old…to make the music and the band that I wanted to listen to as a metalhead.

Victor: Since the early days, Kamala showed a different concept, when playing Thrash Metal. The Oriental visuals and sounds have been present in your music since that time. Why did you create this concept for the band?

Raphael: Kamala was born in 2003, and when I created, I wanted to make a band that mixed the heaviness and the energy of metal, with beautiful oriental visuals and melodies…and positive lyrics.

The world is already too negative, and as an artist, when we release a song or an album, we have the responsibility for each person that is connected with the band… I am not talking about religion but, for me, the oriental culture influence is more about the energy stuff, and it is really something that I admire.

Victor: In 2012, Kamala released the third, and the bands last album, with two guitar players in the line-up, “The Seven Deadly Chakras”, and since “Mantra” album (2015); you are in a trio formation. What has been the biggest change in Kamala’s sonority?

Raphael: The biggest change for me, is the way we turned more thrash metal, and more organic. The string tuning turned from drop B to drop D, and the riffs was more ‘IN YOUR FACE! As a trio, we wanted to create something that we can play live, so we need to be better musicians and explore within ourselves the most intricate (that is possible to us) playing, whilst maintaining a strong presence on stage.

Victor: It is rare to find underground bands really fighting to be professional or that want to have a life on road. It demands that the members give up their regular jobs, and live far from family and friends, and you have been on this path since 2014, when the line-up changed to a power trio. How hard was it to find people like Allan Malavasi and Isabela Moraes that had the same desire to make Kamala a famous band?

Raphael: We still have side jobs, but the main point is the band, because the band is getting bigger and bigger, and we need to make more international tours, for example, to spend more time on the road…and a band like us, needs to have all the members with the same objective, to make that happen. Many people wish to live by playing music, but they don’t live for the music, you know. Playing well, is the minimum thing to have as a professional band, but there are many others points to look out for when you share your time and energy with other musicians.

Victor: Kamala has been touring a lot in Europe since the “Mantra” album. Nowadays, you often have more concerts scheduled in Europe than in Brazil. How did the band conquer this space in Europe?

Isabela: I think this happens because we have frequent release of new material, so this creates some expectations to watch the band in action and this opens some doors to showcase our work. We always try to be the most professional that we can in all stages of our jobs within the band. For example, on every tour, we make a specific set-list presentation for every single gig, all the things that we need to speak and songs that we will play in a 40 min, 60 min or 90 min set. We try to be always prepared for any situation on stage…

Victor: From all the countries you play in Europe, France is the one that has showed a true passion for the band. I remember in 2018, when you released your last studio album “Eyes of Creation”, some journalists, who were working at Hellfest, said that they lost the count of how many people they saw wearing Kamala t-shirts in the crowd. Do you know why Kamala became so huge in France?

Raphael: Yeahhh, this is fucking amazing! No, we never expected to be so big in France, and on our first European tour, in 2013, the crowd was a little “cold”…but we returned in 2015 and, since then, we fell in love with France and the French people with our art! Every European tour, we play in France, and in 2016 we made a full French tour…playing every type of gig that you can imagine, and the energy is always AWESOME!

Victor: Recently, some endorsements have appeared and you, Raphael, have become part of the Solar guitars (Sweden) and Evertune (USA) family. How did it happen, and do you think the fact that the band has been playing a lot outside of Brazil helped with the endorsement deals?

Raphael: For sure, being in a Brazilian band, that is constantly touring outside Brazil, helped to open the “eyes and ears” of both brands.

So, besides really good visual stuff, a band with a lot of shows per year and good social media numbers is important and all those points I think were important to brands that I dreamed of and loved. It turns out that these are the brands that trust and believe in my art and work. It is something that I’m really proud of it!

Victor: Kamala has recently released its first live album called “Live in France”. You recorded this during the last Kamala’s show of the sixth European tour, in October of last year and released it in December, just 2 months after the show. How did you decide on that and how was the process to record it?

Isabela: Actually, we didn’t know that we would be recorded, we just knew that the owner of the venue planned to make a live broadcast of our concert on Facebook.

And we were really tight because it was our last gig on this tour. We played and when we were done, he told us that he had recorded our performance in multitrack…It was a big surprise for all of us when we listened. The sound was amazing and in that same moment, we decided to use this material!

Victor: The band has already started the process of recording the new album. What could we expect from the music on this album and when will you release it?

Isabela: The new album is done and ready. Now, with this pandemic situation, we are waiting for a better moment to release, but the album is really beautiful, and the songs are powerful, with intense lyrics, heavy riffs and too much groove. We loved the result and we are extremely excited to show it to all of you.

Victor: I have to say, it is so impressive how Kamala have become so huge in Brazil and in Europe without any label support. Everything you do is independent. Pure work! Do you feel that now is the right time to have one big label help you reach the next level, for example playing European festivals?

Raphael: Yes…a loooooooot of work! And for sure, we feel that we are ready for this next level, to sign with a good international label, play in summer European festivals and make full tours supporting bigger bands. We have lived all the tests through these years, and we know that with a label, the KAMALA name will become bigger and bigger, because a label searches for a band that can be on the road many days/months per year, to promote the releases, and we work a lot for this too!

Victor: Thanks a lot, and please use this space to leave a message.

Isabela: Thanks, one more time, for all the support and opportunity. It is always a pleasure to be part of this. Thanks to all the fans around the world, who have followed us all these years. Stay at home, be safe and healthy. Soon we will be together to bang our heads!!

LINE-UP:
Raphael Olmos – Vocals and Guitar
Allan Malavasi – Vocals and bass
Isabela Moraes – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/kamalaofficial
www.youtube.com/user/kamalaofficial
www.instagram.com/kamalaofficial/
open.spotify.com/artist/5mbUdP134DvKlRFr4AhsHO

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate
By Tammy Lomax

Hi Everyone, Rick Here,

In the underground extreme music scene Irish Deathgrind outfit Abaddon Incarnate could be considered a seminal band within the genre. They’ve been around for over 25 years now but there have been some interesting developments of late. Our very own Tammy recently got the chance to have a chat with Drummer Olan and Guitarist Steve about not only these, but also the bands history!

Tammy: Firstly, congratulations on the recent news with being signed to Transcending Obscurity Records for a multiple album deal. How are you feeling about this? And what will this entail for 2020 and the future?

Olan: Thank you, Tammy; yeah it is great news and great timing. We were planning to record in 2020 anyway but now to have an official platform through which we can release it is amazing. I have known of TO records for a long time and always admired Kunal’s drive and his dedication to real underground bands and really heavy stuff too, almost like the Indian Relapse Records. So, in June we are heading to Foel Studios to record with Chris Fielding which is awesome. I have worked with Chris several times now. He is just great, a thorough professional and just gets heavy dirty music. He has good history with Irish bands too having recorded with both Primordial and Mourning Beloveth. With regard to the future, who knows, Abaddon have always been an unknown quantity, but history has shown that we ‘do not go gentle into the good night’ so I would expect something ferocious for full length no 6.

Tammy: Kunal Chokski (owner of TO records) mentions that he has been a huge fan of Abaddon Incarnate since the release of “Nadir” in 2001. What is your favourite track on this album and why? And can you guide us through the process of how you wrote the album?

Olan: Ha heavy question; I of course have several! I’m going to pick two if I may? Opener ‘I Will Nail You In’ has got to be up there. It’s just relentless from start to finish and the lyrics match, just full on without being overly graphic, but full of genuine vitriol. Ironically the title came about from a joke which I will tell you in person one day. It’s still a staple in the live set, our ‘Angel Of Death’ if you will. I also love ‘Unclean’ I think as a contrast it is a bit more mid paced but with a real groovy middle 8 but it literally is unclean, it feels it, it’s a filthy song, again the subject matter is quite dark! I wrote the lyrics for this one, and I love exploring the blackness within humans and the depravity that we are capable of.

The writing of “Nadir”, once it got underway happened quite quickly. We actually had about 10 tracks written for an album and thought we were almost there with the process. It felt strained and not very natural though, we hadn’t quite crossed the line into Grindcore at this stage but we were all getting into more extreme stuff, I was really loving Brutal Truth’s, Extreme Conditions and Need To Control, and we were all getting into Nasum circa Inhale Exhale and Human 2.0. So, one rehearsal Bill came in with the main riff for ‘I Will Nail You In’ and that was it, game changer. We scrapped the whole album and started re-writing and it was Deathgrind from then on. And due to the Nasum influence we asked Mieszko (RIP) would he be interested in working with us and the rest is history. “Nadir” was recorded over 2 weeks or so in his studio in Sweden.

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate have been going for 25 years. As you might expect, during this time, some members have come, gone and returned. What inspires you to keep motivated regardless of setbacks?

Steve: I’m pretty stubborn, so setbacks motivate me. It’s sad to lose old members but people move on, the exciting part is when you get a new line-up; you get new ideas and energy!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate were the first extreme Irish band to play in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. What advice and tips can you give to up and coming bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Steve: We were approached by South American promoters “Guts n Blood”. He did a magazine feature and the tour arose from that. Similar to our first Australian tour! If you want to get your name out there you need good distribution and good PR. Labels will do PR work but sometimes it’s worth investing in a bit more PR. We have a few individuals who do good work for us.

Tammy: You guys have had some huge achievements, like supporting massive bands Obituary, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower etc…What has been the most memorable and rewarding so far?

Steve: Playing with all these bands is great. But the most memorable gigs are the DIY tours we headline ourselves like the Australian, South American or Russian tours we did.

Tammy: What is the most Bizarre thing that has happened on stage on a tour?

Olan: I can only speak for myself here of course but there have been a few. One gig, years ago, a guy jumped up on stage, smashed a beer glass and started cutting himself while we were playing. I also remember a gig in the Czech Republic at this small bar in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived there was no one about. No cars, chickens running around…all very weird. But come gig time people came from all over and filled the place. We had this support band and they had this dude playing guitar who had lost his arms and legs when he got run over by a train. He had this little rig fashioned where he had his plectrum attached to his stump, and he played with that…amazing! That place had some of the weirdest coloured drinks I’ve ever seen. But probably the most memorable bizarre thing for me was on that same tour. Not on stage however, but we were out with Desecration and this was towards the end of this tour. We had decided to stay in a hotel after this gig; it might even have been the last show. But we finished late, like midnight or 1am and we went back to this Hotel. It was all locked up but there was a cellar bar open there so down we went. The barman was sitting on this couch with this topless girl and watching porn, drinking a bottle of champagne. He was a very friendly chap though and brought us over a bottle of Absinthe, genuine Absinthe. I don’t think any of us had had the real shit before, but we got stuck into it. After whatever amount of time, the door burst open and these two rather large policemen barged in, guns and all, and next thing we were all up against the wall getting searched as they were roaring at the barman. But I’ll never forget just looking at the guys and everyone was pissing themselves laughing, it was so surreal, none of us had I.D. on us…nothing, it could have been a really serious situation but at the time it was the funniest thing ever. Thankfully they just kicked us out and we went to our room. I haven’t had any Absinthe since that night!!

Tammy: With some help and guidance from Zero Tolerance Magazine, in 2013, you made your stamp in Australia and have set up tours like ‘The Drunks and Convicts Tour 2017’ and a vast amount of others. Can you explain the pros and cons regarding the Australian underground scene and if there are any similarities to any of the other countries you’ve played?

Steve: I love Australia. The bands over there are quality and the scene is pretty awesome especially in places like Melbourne! We play a lot of small shows over there too but in Melbourne we always manage to do at least two gigs and get a sizeable crowd. The last tour we did there for example we did 3 Melbourne gigs in 2 weeks. Melbourne is an arty creative place. Australia is really unlike anywhere else. There is a unique vibe to the place.

Tammy: London Deathfest, Dublin Deathfest and headlining Carnage Festival in Switzerland are amongst some of the festivals you have previously played. What festivals would you like to play in the future?

Olan: I guess any of the big ones have to be on the list. Hellfest or Wacken would be awesome. Personally, I would love to get to Maryland Deathfest. But also, festivals like Fuck The Commerce and Obscene Extreme are just brilliant for showcasing the filthiest bands on the planet. But it’s important to support smaller festivals as they will be the festivals of the future. Metaldays in Slovenia for example! That is definitely one of the better new festivals. Great country too!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate was reformed from thrash legends Bereaved. What were the reasons for you changing the name and who made the decision?

Olan: I think it was mainly due to the change of direction, musically. We felt that the name Bereaved, while a cool name, didn’t suit the heavier, more aggressive direction the band was headed in. So, I think the decision was a collective one. We had several variations but eventually settled on Abaddon Incarnate. It suited our themes and mind-set at the time. Lyrically things have moved on, but the basic ideologies and motivations are the same. I still quite like the original logo which I designed (I use that word loosely) I can still remember the 30 or so attempts over a couple of days to get it to what it is now, Brutal Truth’s logo was the inspiration. I can still remember bringing it to rehearsals for approval, and Steve saying, “it looks like a coffee stain”, but they must have liked it because we still use it today.

Tammy: If you could all select one Icon to invite over for a good few beers and fine dining who would it be and why?

Olan: Well unfortunately, I can only speak for myself here. I would love to sit drink and talk with Reinhold Messner. Many people will know that he was the first mountaineer to summit all fourteen 8000 metre peaks and the first to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen as well as the first solo summit of Everest, the list goes on. It is an incredible feat today but absolutely unthinkable back in the days that he did it. He has written over 80 books and runs a mountaineering museum in the South Tyrol. I just think he would be fascinating to talk to. However, I could be wrong. Maybe he is sick of talking about mountains and would just want to get pissed. But that in itself would be a cool story!

Rick here again;

I’d like to thank Tammy, Olan and Steve for the interview and I, for one, cannot wait to hear the new album when it is ready. If you want to find out more about Abaddon Incarnate then click on the links below

LINKS:

Band:

https://www.facebook.com/abaddonincarnate/
https://www.instagram.com/abaddon.incarnate.official/
https://abaddonincarnate.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7JiGOjZmUWZWyhhQsyBZs4
https://www.youtube.com/user/stevemaher666

Label:

https://tometal.com/
https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords/
https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Roadrash

artursfeists_photography_roadrash_s-18

Interview With Roadrash by Arturs Feists

Local speed metal band Roadrash (RR) from Vancouver, BC, Canada just have announced Limited-Edition Self-Titled 7” Vinyl LP.  Ever Metal had the privilege to ask few questions to the band.

Ever Metal: First, congrats on new LP record. Wondering, will this record make all posers scream and yell?

RR: Thank you! Our brand new 7” inch record can be played on your turntable but can also be used to decapitate posers before they even get a breath. Poser don’t know THE DEAL & they never will!

Ever Metal: To embarrass posers even more, can we anticipate a full length and full strength speed metal album soon?

RR: We’ve been buckled down at Speed Metal HQ working on new material. The Hammer our primary songwriter is brewing a batch poser poison that will be sure to leave them red, raw & bleeding.

Ever Metal: Roadrash history – what happened for a speed metal band come to life in Vancouver, BC, Canada? Was it an accident or intentional action?

RR: Roadrash was an evolution of several projects & members. The core has been established now & will stop at nothing to bring legitimacy back to a dying scene. This is no accident, it’s malicious intent.

Ever Metal: Roadrash, as ambassadors of the Canadian speed metal, will travel to Sweden later this year -for Muskelrock 2020 on May 28. Besides that, any shows coming up outside the Canada/North America?

RR: We’re working on some dates around the festival but everything is up in the air right now. Once the plan is in place heavy maniacs far & wide will know!

Ever Metal: Your collaboration with the Metal Assault Records – how did it start?

RR: Metal Assault records is a Californian based label. They’re just getting their stick on the ice & we’re very excited to work with a fresh company. When we recorded these songs last year I knew they needed to be given to the proper channels. Metal Assault is an established brand already worldwide (created by metal maniac Andrew Bansal) & along with his partner Sebastian Vazquez they’ve committed to bring heavy sounds to the masses – they were an obvious choice.

Ever Metal: Anything else Ever Metal Magazine readers should know about Roadrash?

RR: We are coming for you all! You will know the DEAL!

Order your RR record here:

ROADRASH Limited-Edition Self-Titled 7″ Vinyl EP (Pre-Order)

 

https://www.facebook.com/RoadRashSpeedMetal/

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Arturs Feists and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH KIARA LAETITIA

Calendar cover

INTERVIEW WITH KIARA LAETITIA

We recently approached Kiara Laetitia, former vocalist with Italian power metal band Skylark, to do a feature about her new book and calendar, which were released at the beginning of December.

Here is our interview with the lady herself:

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Kiara. How are you today?

KIARA: I’m great! How are you?

So, you have a new book out titled “Never Give Up – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” – how is that being received so far by both readers and critics?

KIARA: Actually, pretty good! Especially by musicians who found it really insightful and honest. I’m happy cause they really grasped the essence of this book, as my intent was to be very straightforward. “NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” is not a manual for success, no-one can teach you that. This book is rather a checklist of the fundamental topics every musician should know to start a career in today’s music business. I also interviewed several musicians to hear their thoughts about the new music business, so I sat down with members from Ministry, Powerman 5000, Delain, Lordi (and more), but also managers and booking agents.

“NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry” could have easily be 500 pages long  and it’s not, because I wanted it to be accessible to as many people as possible. So, for these reasons, this book isn’t omni-comprehensive, which is why I decided to also share advice on YouTube and social media starting on January.

What made you write the book in the first place?

KIARA: Many reasons. The first being that I wish I had someone be this straightforward to me when I started out. I wish I had known all of this about the music industry. I had to learn it the hard way, by making mistakes, and failing. The second reason and what really pushed me to write this book was a couple of specific experiences as a label owner and coach who made me realize that many musicians have little knowledge of the music industry and how things work out. This makes the relationship between the industry and musicians very complicated. I’d like to share my experience, my mistakes and give insights on an industry that has been inaccurately portrayed by TV and movies.

It’s definitely a good thing that you are offering advice to new musicians. Do you wish you had this sort of reference when you were first starting out?

KIARA: Yes exactly. These days there are many books on the music industry, even though I haven’t found a single book that talks about buy-on, for instance. I didn’t start that long ago, but back in 2002/03 there was no information and the people around me didn’t offer any type of advice. At the same time, I’m glad I learned things through trial and error, because it made me who I am today. With my book, I would like to start making a change in the mentality around the music industry and offer practical help.

Where can readers get a copy of the book (and the calendar)?

KIARA: For now, they’re both available through my online shop. The book has both e-book and hard copy version. It can all be found here: http://www.bit.ly/kiaralaetitiashop.

Part of the profits of the book (and the calendar, which we will talk about in a mo.) are going towards Mental Health Illnesses. What made you choose this charity?

KIARA: In the past several years, I’ve been very vocal and active about mental health awareness. The reason is that I’m a mental illness survivor myself. I started suffering of panic attacks when I was 19, which then led to depression, and they went on and off for quite some time. It was in 2014 that I finally took action and worked on myself and taking care of my mental health. You see, we all talk about physical health, if we break an arm we go to the doctor and have it fixed, but we pay little to no attention to our mental health, to the point that, if we get mentally sick, we’re called crazy and don’t seek the help of a doctor. This stigma must finish. Our mental health is as important as our physical health and it should be treated as such! People who never dealt with mental illness think that those who have or had a mental illness are weak, while it’s actually quite the opposite. Those suffering of depression or panic attacks are actually some of the strongest people I know, as it takes a lot of strength and willpower to even get out of bed every single morning. My intention is to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and finding a way to offer financial help to those who cannot afford a psychologist or proper medication.

Mental health issues are definitely at an all-time high, aren’t they? We all need to do what we can to raise awareness.

KIARA: I think mental illnesses have always been there. Simply, like a century or even fifty years ago, people wouldn’t talk about it and would die for unknown causes. If we read certain poets and writers, we can totally see they were heavily depressed. There wasn’t awareness back then, and there was a lot of shame surrounding this topic: people were just called crazy. Shame is still there nowadays, but it’s getting better and luckily more and more people from the entertainment industry are being vocal about it, so other people don’t feel ashamed in saying. “Hey I’m bulimic! Or I’m depressed! I need help.”

Along with the book, you have also released a calendar. Where did the idea come for that?

KIARA: I’ve been wanting to do a calendar for a few years now. In the summer, I was going through some ideas on how to visually represent the book, represent a strong woman in the music industry, represent the idea of not giving up…and I though the calendar could be a great idea. All the pictures in the calendar give a sense of strength and passion, which is one of the concepts present in my book “NEVER GIVE UP – The Real Secrets of the Music Industry”.

You’ve modelled for a few big names. Is modelling something you would get back into?

KIARA: I have. Would I model again? Well, I’ve done it for the calendar. I guess if a cause or brand I believe in would ask I’d definitely do it, but working again as a full-time pro model I’d say no.

Do you have any plans in the pipeline for the music side of things or are you concentrating on the book and calendar at the moment?

KIARA: I released a cover version of “The Power Of Love” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) for Christmas, a duet with Sonny Ensabella from Queenmania. In 2020, I’ll focus more on new songs and have something released musically speaking. But 2020, will also see me promote my book.

I know we are not supposed to mention a lady’s age, but you turned 40 this year. Do you have any plans of slowing down or will you just keep going with all your endeavours?

KIARA: Then don’t mention it!!! Hahaha! Why should I slow down? I don’t feel 40, so age is just a number: I know several 20-year-olds that look and think much older than a 60-year-old! Our age is more dictated by the way we feel, how we treat our body, what we eat, our lifestyle. I know that a woman past the age of 30 is considered damaged goods in the music business, but luckily more and more women are setting an example and are showing the world that age is just a number and that women kick ass despite their age! Look at Cristina Scabbia (47), Tarja Turunen (42), Sharon Den Adel (45), Doro Pesch (55), they’re all past their 40s and they still rock the world (and will continue to do so for many years!!!). So, I have every intention of joining my fellow metal ladies in setting an example and kicking some asses for a bit longer…

As a woman the wrong side of 40 myself, I am quite in awe of everything you do and have achieved. Do you consider yourself a bit of a role model and do you have any advice for women of a certain age looking to fulfil their dreams?

KIARA: First of all, thank you! I think that the main point we should consider is the wording “a certain age”. As a linguist, I do pay a lot of attention to words… Have you noticed that people say “a certain age” referring to women but it’s less used for men? We still live in a world that pays too much attention to a woman’s age; when a woman is not in her 20s anymore, she gets old while men become interesting. This is absolutely wrong and sexist from our society. I don’t consider myself as a role model but I definitely wanna tell all the women out there to fulfil their dreams, to change career if they want to, even if they’re 50, to believe in themselves, to not let anyone tell them they’re too old to do what they want. We have time and hope until our last breath. Never Give Up. Love yourself, fully and intensely.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

KIARA: Thank you for this chat. Never Give Up!

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Andi Schnitzer of Kissin’ Dynamite – The Underworld, Camden, London – 18/10/2019

Kissin_ Dynamite

Interview with Andi Schnitzer of Kissin’ Dynamite
The Underworld, Camden, London 18/10/2019
By Lotty Whittingham

Kissin’ Dynamite are on a mission to bring back stadium rock. They do this through their solid music and sterling live shows. Whilst on their Ecstasy tour, Lotty spoke to drummer Andi Schnitzer moments before their first UK headline show taking place at The Underworld, Camden. They spoke about the tour, their latest single Cadillac Maniac and answered a couple of reader’s questions.

Hello Andy, thank you for joining us today. How are you doing?

It’s good to be here, we started our tour three or four days ago. We are slowly getting into a groove and yesterday we were in Paris which was awesome. It’s very cool to be playing in London for the very first time as a headliner. We’re very proud of this because England is a special country for us. A lot of our influences come from here.

You performed with Powerwolf earlier this year. I spoke to Jim (Müller) last year about different audiences and he mentioned German audiences are very polite. How do you find British crowds?

Germans sometimes have a stick in their arse during the song. They really like it but they feel like they cannot show it so much. When you finish the song, they really clap and cheer. In every other country, the audiences are more passionate during the songs and that includes England.

So how has the tour been going so far?

We were in Majorca for Metal Holiday and that was a really cool show. We were then in Germany for one show, then Paris and now in London. It’s been going really good so far and as I said, we have got a good groove and a great sound.

This tour is promoting your latest album “Ecstasy”! Which songs off the album do you enjoy performing live the most?

‘I’ve Got The Fire’ is one of my favourites, not just playing it but in general. ‘You’re Not Alone’ is a very good anthem at the end, people really celebrate it and it looks great when the audience participate.

You have also just released ‘Cadillac Maniac’ with The Baseballs, so how did that collaboration come about?

We didn’t know the guys personally but we knew that one of the guys Sam [Sven Budja] was from the town we come from. Our manager had contacted us about this collaboration, Sam and Hannes [Braun] both wrote the song together. I think it’s really cool mixture of those two styles that functions better than anyone could have imagined. This is also a bit of fun between two albums, it’s a kick ass party song.

Where was the video filmed?

It was filmed in a studio in Cologne with a big Cadillac. I remember we only had three hours; we drank, partied and shot the video.

I take it this is a standalone single for now, is there new material in the making? I mean after this tour has been done.

We tried it once but we realised we don’t write whilst on tour. There are of course new ideas always brewing. We’re not in the song writing process at the moment due to the tour.

A couple of questions from the readers, first one is what inspired you guys to make your own music?

The music of our parents influenced us, I would say their music was much cooler than our friend’s music at school, our generation. We discovered Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns N Roses and loved that stuff. We then formed a band ourselves with these ideas of bands and kept on going. At the end of the day we wanted to start our own and write our own songs. We started slowly and it worked out very well.

Another question I got from a reader, have you experienced stage fright or anxiety?

Yes always, a little bit but I always find that to be a good thing as it keeps you focused. It would be strange to go on stage as if you were going to do something like brushing your teeth. Another reason to get on stage is to feel that adrenaline rush. As long as you’re not getting too anxious!

You have the rest of the tour, what’s in store for Kissin’ Dynamite?

We will finish the tour, then we will have a long break. We have been touring a lot; with Powerwolf last Fall and earlier this year. We then had our big headliner tour in Spring then many festival appearances and now this tour.

Thank you Andi for taking the time to talk to Ever Metal today and hope the show goes well tonight.

Rick Here,

From Lotty’s subsequent live review which you can read in full here;

Kissin’ Dynamite w/BlackRain & Serpentyne – The Underworld, Camden, London – 18/10/2019

It very much seems that Kissin’ Dynamite played an absolute blinder on the night.
I would very much like to thank both Lotty and Andi for the interview.

Please check out the following links!
Kissin’Dynamite;
https://www.kissin-dynamite.de/en/

https://www.instagram.com/kissin_dynamite/

https://www.youtube.com/kissindynamiterocks
Rock Out Stand Out (Lotty’s own Website and Social Media pages)
https://rockoutstandout.com/
https://www.facebook.com/rockoutstandout/

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.