STORMRULER Reign of the Winged Duke

Stormruler is a brand new name to me or at least it was just a few weeks ago, when I’ve learned that they have signed a a deal for Napalm Records. Anyway, when I have checked their latest issue I took a time and got a contact with guys and we had one really nice chat one evening.

The the first the obvious question, could you say a little more about the band because
more or less people are still, you know, unaware of the Stormruler. So what kind of
music do you play and please present us the band to our pages. Since this is the very
first time, we shall have a chance to talk with you.

I guess our take on a classic second wave extreme, a lot of black metal really a lot
of folk influenced a lot of Northern European influence here and there, a death metal,
you know. We’re not afraid to experiment here and there. We basically took all of our
favorite parts of black metal and made what we to hear. We just took all our favorite
things we love about our favorite bands, and just tried to make an album with that
influence. And then lyrically, or subject wise, instead of going for like the tried
and true, Satan, or this point, yeah, we both are into like, you know, fictional,
or a lot of fantasy games. And, yeah, and like, particularly the Dark Souls games,
which we’re both big fans of. And so like, at the time of writing this music, it
just seemed like a good thing to write some songs about lyrically, you know, so
we kind of went with that for a couple songs. Not all the songs. We’re not a Dark
Soul themed band, like some people like to think, yeah, but at the same time, we
do a few songs about it. Our first video is just like to go with the war in the lore.
And so that’s kind of like, you know, some historical stuff. We felt that made for
good black metal imagery and lyricaly.

Okay, let’s flip this when it comes to your first record, still, you know, it will
be released during the May, the fall of May, Under The Burning Eclipse. So please,
could you say a little more about this record? Because it’s already on in one way
or another, but it will be released for Napalm Records on CD, so right. Yeah, well,
please, could you present the album from your point of view, so to say?

We’re like, we should make an album. Okay. Well, that is literally how it happen.
And so we’re like, let’s make a long album. Jessie and I, we’ve known each other
for a long time, but we never really played music with each other. Yeah, we waited
another band kind of both has hired guns and a friend of ours. And we’re like, oh,
this is fun. You know? And then we start hanging out again. Yeah, like we should
write some black metal. Yeah, totally just off the cuff or like, we should make a
black metal album. It was. It was just for fun. Yeah. So yeah, we’re and then it
occurred to us, maybe it’d be cool to have like an intro, and outro and then like
interludes between songs. And I was like, Oh, I got all this cool synth software
and shit. Like I love you know, a handful restaurants go sit down in the basement,
nerd out on like between tracks that like, lead into the song. It’s a very
grassroots way of writing a record and getting found. Again, we just sat in the
basement wrote a record. Yeah, we’ve been crying in a way playing in Stormruler
for years and had 50 members come and go. No, it was just a total off the cuff.
Like side project thing.

But anyway, the album was composed and recorded already for some time.

Yeah. It was composed in two months back in 2019. And February and March roughly
around then. Yeah. Then over the course of like a year we recorded it. And then
yeah, we sat on it for a good six, seven months and just decided we should put
it out. Yeah, like a friend of ours, the same friend who we played in his band
together, Dreyfuss from this band, Zamora, who you might actually probably dig,
put it together, or he like, we had him do the mix on it. And there was no like,
super rush, you know, so it was kind of like, back and forth over a couple of
months ago. Let’s tweak the drums there. And then oh, this sounds you know, and
then like, in the meantime, we like put together the interludes and you know,
kind of did all that here I recorded the drums here, vocals here. We recorded
the guitars at Dreyfuss this place and then my friend Derek who have a number
of bands, so we mainly recorded kind of everything here except the guitars and
then the same guy record the guitars at the mix over a course of last couple
months so it was a it was a more or less like a no rush just kind of let’s put
it together and then yeah, finally came together mid 2020. I guess is some rush
that we started actually thinking about putting it out exactly like we weren’t
like we got to get this out we had the album done and everything really before
we had a name a logo or anything else. Like we were like we should get a cool
cover. So we commissioned Johnny for the art, he did a fantastic job. And he’s
from a remedy art design. Greek dude does a lot of cool shit for like Pyramaze
and Evergray, and some other bands. Yeah, great fucking artists really presented
us with a kicking ass cover that we are from the get go. And we have a eight
page booklet we need to fill up with art. So then we have to hit Johnny back.
I’m like, do we have a month to get the shit together? Can you get us another
big piece of art? Him, an eight page layout for us, and he fucking killed it.
Yeah, and like, we got a photo made. And we started formulating and that’s when
we were like, We should have like armor and shit. And of course, like, that’s
expensive. So we were like, The Napalm Records, you know, like, because we talked
to them, and they’re like, so kind of, you know, like, what are you singing as
far as like, what’s the bad about and we’re like, I’d be cool to have like, some
armor and stuff. And they were like into that and we were like, Alright, so so
they included that in the budget. Yeah, so we like we have a budget to get some
cool shit. And so we like had a day here. We picked out some armor and shit. You
know, like, we’re just pretty tight. That was the funnest homework we had of many
homework assignments. That was by far the most fun.

And yeah, he’s super cool. When it comes to the first video actually, that is now
published for Napalm Records. Could you tell us something about that? Because also
for your appearance as well, you can say that your appearance is also where a link
with power metal European power metal bands, but also the video but on the other
hand, the music is completely different. But there is a wide you can say from even
the heavy and power metal bands from Europe when it comes to European stops. But
in your US wait, so to say. So nevertheless, Please, could you tell us something
about the video? Are you satisfied with the first results and the first comments?

Yeah. Like we had a killer team the entire time a guy named JT Ibanez is the dude
who did the video for us. We kind of just like pitching around ideas, and he’s done
stuff for a bunch of other bands and just looking at his videos, he fucking killed
it. So we went over to him started talking through around some ideas. And then we
went in I think for one day and shot that video. And I’m really happy with how it
turned out. Yeah, it was really fun experience. Yeah, we told him what the song was
about which is see if the scale is from Dark Souls. And he just like he hit up this
dude who is a friend of his that does a bunch of graphic art and stuff. And the dude
made up like five custom backdrops for us to fill in front of so we had like this
Dark Souls II looking castle and this dark Sophie looking like altar shit. And we
brought in the quick Dark Souls cameo. Yeah, I actually have a cost of Halloween
costume Solair the one of the nights of Dark Souls and I was like, You know what?
Fuck yeah. Yeah, we’re like we’re really happy about that. I mean, it’s just like
a fun easter egg you know?

Anyway, anyway, when you’re speaking about the band etc, definitely you know, most
of US bands when it comes to black metal and extreme metal today are more into
depressive style so to say or atmospherical definitely when it comes to Stormruler
you’re playing different music and fantasy lyrics, etc. So could you say something
about that as well?

Yeah, I mean, we have our moody moments in our music but on like the, the press of
black metal and a lot of low five black men. is really popular right now. It’s it’s
a trend right now. And it has been for about the past 10 years, which is cool. Well,
we also want to make this better we also want to make this face like we wanted to train
where everybody wants to make this face. It’s cool to have sections where you’re
moody and atmosphere sometimes, sometimes it’s just kind of wish that is the way
the songs flow for us. You know, like sometimes we just kind of like we have a lot
when we’re putting songs together, we’ll often be like, we can do whatever the fuck
we want. No, yeah, I’ll be like, let’s do this right here. Let’s do this right there
is whatever kind of works like, like, plus all those depressive shit. Even just the
atmospheric black metal right now, kinda is all just starting to blend together.
Like most of it just blends together. It’s easily forgettable because everybody
plays the same riffs. Yeah, like the focus for us was certainly to come out like
to serve to be warlike and like up, like, I don’t want to say, a speech but
certainly, like proper the acid like in like, ready to, to get you fired are fired
up, you know, like, buy up the blades, if you will, you know, charge it, it’s like
it so that we always try to maintain that and then like, whatever else happens along
the way, it’s just extra fun.

Okay, we have the sort of say single or with you or something like that we can learn
about the band. But nevertheless, could you tell us something about the other songs
so that people can gen into? And when it comes to the influences, You know something
about that?

Yeah, I mean, we have like you’re talking we have a we have songs about a lot of
fantasy and dark shit with Dark Souls touches awesome stuff. We have books about it.
We have songs about Malzahn Book in the Fallen. We have songs about historical war
events, all kinds of shit on this record. I mean, we touch on Nordic culture, but we
will never be a Viking metal band. Yeah, we just never find things that it’s cool to
sing black metal songs about that aren’t like forestry mountains. Fucking Yeah. You
know? Yeah, like just the kind of shit that like if imagery that comes to your mind
when you when you hear these arrests, you know, will make you feel like you just got
off the battlefield. . Yeah, just depends on where you’re at on the album. Exactly.
Yeah. And it’s fun to have interludes to kind of keep the mood flowing in a strange
way you know, definitely make it a cohesive piece. Yeah, like to help bring blended
all together I guess. Yeah, that’s a really fun element and some black metal albums
that I liked throughout the years like when the songs have little in between pieces
that kind of just like you’re like, zoned out on this for a second that when the next
song starts talking about, and so on. Big fan of that.

Perfect. Well as soon as the band is quite a new one and you have signed for a big
label Napalm Records in this moment what are the expectations and do you plan maybe
2022 you know when it comes to this particular year you know and everything to come
here in Europe and do some shows? Do you have any idea about it? I guess that the
band has some attention now.

A lot more European attention than American attention which is expected with our kind
of music for sure that we got hooked up with heart impact management and we also have
booking for continental agency and for Europe we are actually represented from Napalm
events. So the first couple tours we’re definitely are definitely gonna be on American
soil, but we certainly have the European tours it’s definitely there so hopefully by
the end of next year, if not I would expand see how we would do it definitely.

And yeah, we will see definitely and when it comes to the future where you know
what, what will bring when it comes to the band, you know, but you are also unusual
you don’t go to you are inspired by 90s music etc. But you don’t go so much more Satanic
you know, or even darker mode when it comes to the music. And there were some bands
actually appearing from Norway like Keep of Kalessin which I could actually link with
your music and with your vibes lyrical vibe so to say So please, could you comment
this a little bit, if you get what I mean?

Satanic black metal is just been played out. Yeah, I’d like to be honest like, I you
know, I’m neither of us are terribly like religious in any way . You know, like, I
just yeah, I mean shit dude I my gods are like the guys who made pinball and this
guy’s awesome. It’s just another thing, satanic black metal as well as atmospheric
low phi is just it’s a trend. It’s been trending. I think other things can be black
metallized too. I love playing black metal music tremendously. And if some Christian
people are scared of it, that’s fine, too. It’s more fun for us to like, examine these
other concepts.

Also, when it comes to the recording of the process, so do you share your own studio or?

I have like, my basement studio where a high quality demos can be made on the regular
when my computer’s not being an asshole here that anyway. But yeah, like, I’m not
trying to like mix and master people’s albums or whatever. Nor do I have the
patience or ear for that. But we did this record a good portion of it here.
But yeah, extra records. We have an idea of where we’re going. Yeah, recording
it already. Yeah. We want to record and, you know, we were making records. We
don’t want to have to do it. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t want to have to deal with it.
I just want to sit in the studio be like, Is it my time later on? Yeah. You
know, so. But I do have like an audio degree, like, I don’t know, I know a thing
or two. We can get away with doing shit. Yeah, it’s great for making demos for
my own bands and stuff and just fucking around covering songs and just doing you
know, learning making keyboard shit. You know, I got like the fucker out that got
like a slew of covers that we’ve done down here. That sound pretty good. Yeah,
it’s mainly just my basement studio thing. But tracks can be recorded for record
impossible. Now, when a budget was a budget, there’s no reason to do it out here.
You know, it’s like, let’s go somewhere with us spend this budget with someone
who has the fit.

Would you say us now this interesting story. Actually, we need to repeat it.
You know, how did you ended up on Napalm Records?

Start from the beginning. Well, I so like I said, early 2019. We we started writing
this record and just a couple months and sat on it for a long while. We had other
projects, so it wasn’t really rushed, or anything that we cared to do. But uh,
around the summer of 2020, we decided we wanted to start actually getting serious and
putting it out. So we found our buddy Gianni knockouts and remedy are to do a southern
cover. A guy named Gregor from Luciferian war art, he did our logo, and then we put it
together and then November we kind of just threw a thing on Facebook and bancamp we
didn’t really put any promotion behind it. And then on December 1, or well, late late
November, I emailed the black metal promotion guys and asked him if they would be
interested in premiering it and they said they didn’t know if they could because it
was already on YouTube. But then I they I gave them a download link over to the band
camp and they gave it a listen and then on December 1 they premiered it and over the
course of a couple days and fucking blew up December 1 we premiered it December 3
napalm was in our emails telling us they thought it was the best black metal record
in the past 10 years. Like a weekend in January we started busting our ass shit
together you know? Asses were busted lots of trips to the office man. The video in a
day how to edit in a couple days we got our artists to do a thing like a week and make
a whole album or double gatefold and eight page digipak layout done up and all kinds of
shifts.

I’m always for the jewel case. What do you expect actually in the future because yeah,
you could expect something you know and I would like to say call up all the people you
know are there are some more interests in the band you know about the tours, et cetera
maybe from the huge magazines like from Germany and from Europe. Do you have some offers
as well?

Well from what we understand that will come as far as like other press and interviews
and like reviews in the bags and shit like that you know? But as of now you’re actually
the first interview we’ve done. Well the first the first video first video interview
Yeah, yeah, so you’re you’re the first dude you get to be like let me hear if you can
hear for me first Stormruler guys are assholes, haha.

No, no, no, haha. Need to be honest a really you know a sign of this interview, I
really enjoyed your musical style and I was thrilled by you know because it’s different
you know you always spent this suicide atmospheric black metal band right.

There’s definitely some power metal influenced within. I love the power metal beat you
know, like, bad like Windir for instance deploys that all the time and like over an hour
as well I am the Black Wizards, a great example he comes drum beat can be deployed really
properly with black metal. I think a lot of bands do a traditional heavy metal drums,
just sounds powerful.

Anyways, you know, so your sounds very unique. Everything is? When you’re composing the
music, do you have any sort of what you try to do? Are you inspired directly with some
bands or you just go with the flow?

There are influences. I mean, you mentioned one Summoning is a huge influence on us.
Allegiance, Dawn, Emperor, Windir, Dark Funeral. It’s all basically all the greats who
knew how to play properly. I think one rule we kind of always try to have is we, you
know, we don’t want anyone to ever become bored. And always like, you know, keep
dynamics flowing, you know, change over the drumbeat here and there and swit. You
know, we’re not afraid to do like a time change. Like, we have all our own influences.
But we definitely sit down here. And we’ll just bring one or two riffs, and then
we’ll go from there and just build a whole song off of it, we’re able to put songs
together pretty fast and pretty efficiently. Plus, it helps to have our own year. So we
once you like, quite a good skeleton or backbone of a song, you can get in
there and play. Well, let’s see what it sounds like doing this and putting
this here and then you can kind of give it a listen. And then we’ll go back over
it and then write some stuff. So to answer your question, as far as like, Is there a
thing that we like to have to do? I’d say, we always want to keep excited. Keep
excited about the music. Yeah, it’s like we want to be excited about it will
always be in the vein of the classics, but we’ll always have our own approach to it.

Okay, and well, for this, I just sort of say opening interview, we will definitely do
some interest in the future as well. I suppose. Well, do you have any message to the
people who will listen to your music? What do you try to express with your style? You
know, the closing sort of say comment

Well, we would certainly like to say thank you to anyone who’s given enough of a shit
to hit the play button and then still listen to it. 30 seconds later. Yeah, because
that’s everybody who actually hit it up on black metal productions before even a Napalm
Records, anyone who has shown it to somebody and been like, you should check this out.
Or hey, I think you would like this and send a link to their friends or posted it online
or whatever. Nothing but the ultimate Thank you.Yeah, pretty much anybody who’s expressed
interest in support.

I kept the last question, you know, when people are in comments are comparing you with
Rhapsody of fire, but in a black metal way. What you think about that?

That’s ok. There hasn’t been a lot of haters yet. I mean, yeah, the praise is far
outweighed. Yeah, there’s always someone who will shit on any bands, but yeah, we’re
doing great with the comments so far.

Interview by Marko Miranovic

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