German based band Lunar Shadow has just issued their send offering ”The Smokeless Fires” and it seems that the album is already well received in various media or by the fans. There are already lots of very postive reviews and comments concerning their latest issue. Of course, we took the chance to have one interview with the band where they’ve presented their newer record…
Lunar Shadow has just issued a brand new offering, your second album, so please could you for the beginning tell us something more about your latest issue?
Max: THE SMOKELESS FIRES is the first album with our new singer Robert Röttig and it was recorded in Leipzig over a span of three months. I wanted to integrate new elements to our sound, like the piano and post-punk guitars, for I felt like trying out new things. Writing the same kind of album over and over again is boring. That’s why THE SMOKELESS FIRES sounds a bit different, yet still like Lunar Shadow.
What’s hiding beneath the title of ”Smokeless Fire” and the cover artwork, what kind of emotions you would like to present in one way or another?
Max: ‘The Smokeless Fires” are our passions, the things that keep us going in life. The things that we fight for, the things that shatter us, sorrow, friendship, despair, love, perseverance and hatred. Every song deals with these things in one or another way. Regarding the artwork it was important to me, that it’s not a classic Heavy Metal-artwork with swords or anything. I wanted, that the listener could not guess the genre just by looking at the album’s artwork.
Could you compare Lunar Shadow’s debut album with your latest offering? Was in fact ”Far From Light” more aggressive record and a new one stands to be more based on traditional heavy metal?
Max: I wouldn’t say that. In fact to me it feels like the new album has become even faster, with more Dissection-like BM-influences, even blastbeats. The main difference is (of course) the new singer but also the different sort of production. For FAR FROM LIGHT I intentionally chose a very minimalistic sound, because I felt that this would suit the songs. For THE SMOKELESS FIRES I knew from the beginning, that I wanted something different, a warm, yet distant sound. The masting was done by Hakan Akesson in Stockholm, who did the latest DISSECTION albums before they disbanded. He did a great job.
The prologue words from record company suggest that Lunar Shadow’s music stands somewhere in between traditional heavy metal and Scandinavian black metal, but what’s your idea concerning that?
Max: Those are simply my two main influences, it has always been like this since I started listening to heavy music in my youth. I adore classic Heavy Metal like Judas Priest, Riot or Omen, yet also more extreme ones like old In Flams, Sacramentum, Dissection or Unanimated. Both blended together form the sound of Lunar Shadow
Anyway, do you plan to have some shows here and there and promote your latest offering since the band has become more prominent now?
Max: We have never played many live shows and we won’t in the future. Some few selected shows every year, but that will be it.
There are already many reaction and reviews, comments concerning your latest album? So how do you feel about that? Most of them are very positive…
Max: It’s always the same when I release new music. At first it is very interesting to read incoming reviews and opinions. But after some time (and this time I got more reviews than ever!) it becomes sort of dull. In the end those people are just strangers, right? Liking or not liking your music, it’s not that important in the end. I am always thankful when people write something about my music, it doesn’t matter really if it is positive or negative. Yet after some weeks it is so much, this guy doesn’t like the vocals and gives 5/12, the other one thinks it’s the album of the century and gives me 97/100, the other one thinks the piano is crap and gives me 7,4/18, you know what I mean? At some point I just stop reading the reviews to be honest.
How about your influences? What sort of influences do you store in your particular style especially when it comes to Scandinavian bands?
Max: Regarding classic HM and Hard Rock bands that influence me I have to name Judas Priest, the old Manowar, Riot, Omen, Blue Öyster Cult, Wishbone Ash, Rainbow and Deep Purple. On the more extreme side I’d mention Dissection, Sacramentum, At The Gates, old In Flames, Nirvana 2001, Gates of Ishtar or Dismember.
And for the end tell us how do you look from your own perspective to other bands at the scene and present situation where there are totally two group of the bands one still based on classic or old school metal and the others on some more modern stuff so to say?
Max: I don’t really look much on other bands these days to be honest. The HM scene isn’t very interesting anymore in my opinion. Everything sounds the same, the things that are en vogue all sound the same, history repeating itself. Personally I prefer to listen to stuff like The Chameleons, Killing Joke, Soft Kill or Drab Majesty lately.
Let people do whatever they want with their bands, let people listen to and buy whatever they want. I will always follow my own vision with Lunar Shadow anyways, there is not much that does ultimately matter in the end, right?
- Interview by Marko Miranovic