Swedish true heavy metal overlords RAM are back with their 6th full length entitled The Throne Within and as always, they have delivered another pure dose of molten metal. We are yet to be disappointed by this warriors, so it is time to once again have some nice chat with them…
Greetings Ram and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you doing these days?
Thank you! We are doing great. We just started our “The Throne Within Tour” and the album was released yesterday along with a new video for the song “Spirit Reaper”. Tonight we’re playing at IronHammer Festival so things are really good!
The main reason for this conversation is, of course, your 6th album entitled The Throne Within! Now that everything is said and done how are you satisfied with its final outcome, is there something you would change?
We are very pleased with the final result and there’s no need to change anything. All the work must be done before you record the songs so you know that THESE ARE the songs. Of course you also have to consider the production but we always try to think ahead, is this going to be listenable in five years, ten years? We don’t want to fall into the trap of what the current sound should be like. We’ve added some new tracks to the live set and those work really well.
This year marks 20th anniversary of the band and what’s the best way to celebrate than to release album such as The Throne Within, but do you perhaps prepare something more for the occasion?
Well, this is just great to have a new album out, a new video out and also going out to tour when you have your 20th anniversary but really, everything wasn’t planned this way, it’s just good circumstances I’d say. Oh, we also had our ‘Heavy Metal Tyranny’ Warrior IPA that is brewed by the Wacken Brauerei. For now, we are concentrating on the tour.
I have to say that I feel large influence of Judas Priest on The Throne Within, now that is something completely natural but for this time it is largely heard. Would you agree with me here?
I actually didn’t think of it that much. It is probably there so I wouldn’t disagree but I think there is lot more on display here. It’s not a problem for us.
Alan Nemtheanga of Primordial fame could be heard on closing track Ravnfell, so can you tell us how did you get to this cooperation?
We were invited to play the Primordial’s Redemption Festival in 2018 and we had a long chat with Alan after the gig and became friends with him. When Primordial was playing a festival in Gothenburg earlier this year we had him come over to lay down the vocals for the track during his visit. They turned out great and adds something extra to the track.
The Throne Within is not concept album like its predecessor Rod, so can you please tell us something about the lyrical content of the album?
That’s right. The songs are stand alone songs with different topics. One recurring theme in our lyrics is the individual vs. the collective. ‘Blades Of Betrayal’ tells about a great betrayal, a close “friend” that showed to be a real back stabber. ‘Fang and Fur’ is about a super pack of wolves that attacked a wedding party at the Russian tundra where only two people survived, according to the story. ‘You All Leave’ covers suicide, a heavy topic. Unfortunately, some of us had someone close that choose this solution.
Ram is known to forge the path of its own both through its music and in personal life of members, so can you tell us how do you fit this ideology into the modern world where such values are largely forgotten?
It is really hard to describe but the main thing as far as I concerned is to stay true to yourself and maintain your individuality in personal life and music. This seems kind of obvious but there are so many forces fighting for your attention. Political forces, commercial forces. People become uncomfortable if they do not fit the template so to speak. Many have the mindset “let’s do this, everyone else is doing it”. We have the opposite many times, “f**k that, everybody does that, let’s do something else”. Of course, there are certain ways that you perhaps can’t change, so you can’t do that all the time. But when you can, do it! It’s healthy!
While we are at it, how do you see the state of metal in 2019 and which are your current favorites from the scene?
It’s a lot better than wen we first started out. I think it was growing largely ten years ago, already, if we are speaking of the old-school sound. Now it is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I’m still mainly into my old heroes and I’ve been to busy lately so I haven’t kept track of all the new bands. I used to be better at that, but I’m certainly going to check out Vulture and Indian Nightmare a little closer during the tour.
It should be mentioned that you have recently unleashed the video for Blades of Betrayal so what can you tell us about its creation?
The video was shot in an old stone quarry and we wanted to make it to look as energetic as a live show with a little story added to it. We really had a great time shooting it and using explosions and fire. The lyrics of the track has a different story so this is not to be mixed up with the content in the video.
Ram is about to embark on tour with Vulture and Indian Nightmare so can you tell us what you expect from this tour and where can we also expect to see you in the next period?
Well, we of course expect to have a good time, which we are having so far, to play to a lot of people and get to the next level. On this tour we play for the first time in Poland and it would be great if we in the future could play in the Eastern Europe as we played most of the others. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia etc. Those countries would be nice to visit. We are also looking into it to go to South America as we have been offered a tour earlier but at the time it wasn’t right for us.
Two decades are behind Ram so can you tell us which were the proudest and on the other hand the worst moment in band’s existence? Do you perhaps see when the band will end?
There are quite many moments to be proud of so it is not easy to pick one, but having our first release in our own hands felt great. Opening up for ACCEPT and U.D.O. were great moments. We are of course proud of our albums. The worst moment in this band’s history was when we got ripped off by someone that we thought was our friend.
That would be all for this occasion, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! Your parting message….
Thanks for your time! Hope to see you you on the road in the future. Stay Heavy! /Cheers, Harry
- Answers by Harry Granroth
Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic