Gothenburg based RAM has just issued their 5th full-length offering entitled ROD for Metal Blade Records. So, it was a perfect time to have an interview with the band and present these heavy metal Sweds on Metal Sound pages. The band is already for sometime around and we guess that some of our readers already are quite aware of the RAM and their discography. Our contributor Slobodan Trifunovic took the chance and done an interview with their band-member Harry.
Greetings Ram and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you doing these days?
Hello and thank you for having us. We’re doing great.
The main reason for this conversation is your new album entitled Rod, and I have stated that it truly surprised me with the huge level of creativity and inspiration! How do you feel about this release when all is said and done?
Exhausted! Seriously, maybe just a little but we are happy the way the new album has been so well received and we definitely look forward to hit the road in 2018 with Portrait and Trial.
The album is separated into two different sections, how did the inspiration for this move came about? It reminds me a bit of King Diamond’s Fatal Portrait with that structure…
I’m not sure exactly how or when this idea came about but I know there has been an idea of a
concept album for some time but not having any prior experience we thought this way we could try the idea and see if this is something we want to dwell into further in the future or not.
First four songs are entities on their own, Declaration of Independence says everything with its titles and Gulag may cause a bit of controversy in this SJW world of today. How would you comment upon these statements?
The opening track is very much about the Individual vs. the Collective and the song Gulag is about the same subject but put into an actual historic event and people start to read too much into the lyrics “…oh, you are anti-this then you MUST be pro-that…” Actually, it is almost too stupid to comment but: it is a rock song. Regarding the SJW world of today I find many of those self-appointed “warriors” very arrogant assuming that the oppressed groups they claim they fight for aren’t capable of fighting their own wars. I’m totally aware that there are countries where some groups are truly oppressed but my comment is about SJW in the Western world who rarely or never are a part of the group whose rights they fight for.
Second half of the album is about the Ramrod the Destroyer and since we do not have the information about the lyrics, can you please tell us something about the themes featured therein?
Yes, the A-side consist of four independent songs and the B-side have these six tracks that have this concept theme. The concept is basically the story of the struggle of two extremes that we all have inside of us, on one hand we have the ”Overseer” an authoritative force so powerful that it controls even the fates of the inhabitants of what was once the earth. He has made them immortal and catered to any need they might have to make them aimless in life, totally pacified. To here comes the ”Ram Rod”, the independent one, It recognizes no rule and has no masters, its life is that of conflict and strife to always ensure its total freedom.
Ramrod the Destroyer with its glorious yet desperate vibe reminds me of those old Priest albums. Have you maybe though of making these six songs as one huge track or on the other hand making the whole album conceptual?
We have had thoughts earlier about a concept album but felt we weren’t quite ready for it yet
so this way, by doing a partial concept album we could try it out and who knows, in the future
we might try a full concept album if we have a good story.
Do you perhaps see Ram doing more conceptual albums in the future? Concept albums are irreplaceable parts of metal as it seems, what are your favorite ones?
In no particular order I would say: Seventh Son – Iron Maiden, Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime, King Diamond – Abigail, KISS – The Elder, Dio – Magica
You have done video for On Wings Of No Return to promote the album, what can you tell us about it?
This is a tale of some die hard RAM fans on a not so lucky day so to speak. The original idea was by Oscar and then directors Martin Högdahl and Johan Lundborg added their ideas. The video was shoot in two days and the story is about some youngsters who finds out about a secret gathering and they end up in a series of events including chainsaw hunt, torture and afternoon BBQ. Participants were members from Gothenburg based bands Armory and Black Cyclone and other friends of ours. All great fun and not to be taken too seriously.
With its righteous attitude, Ram shows that there is so much more about Heavy Metal than drinking beer and lying in the mud at festivals. How do you perceive the situation on today’s metal scene?
First of all I’d like to say I’m happy there is a scene today which wasn’t the case 20 years ago
and that we are happy to be in the position where we are today. We don’t mind drinking
beer, we like it a lot but we are very serious about our music and about our lyrical content as well and lying in the mud at festivals is not a message that we focus on to convey. We don’t
judge people and we’ve probably done those things at some point in our lives, that is just
not relevant for what RAM stands for.
What is happening with Source, a new band that features members from Ram and Portrait, will we hear some music from it soon?
I don’t know any recent details concerning Source and I recommend you to contact Richard
Lagergren regarding Source.
Are you perhaps planning some tours to promote Rod, where can we expect to see you in the next period?
Yes, we are doing a mini tour in Spain in January 2018, and in February the ‘Road Kill’-tour starts with RAM, Portrait &Trial on the bill. Also, with our new booking partner, Dragon Productions, we already have some shows for the summer festivals in the works.
That would be all for this conversation, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! Your last message…
Thank you very much and hope to see you on the road. Hopefully we’ll be able to visit your
country in the near future.
- Answers by Harry Granroth
- Interview done by Slobodan Trifunovic