Hello my friends! How the things are going? I hope everything is well !
Hi! I’m fine, thanks for asking! We are in full-throttle promo mode right now, so everything’s cool!
You have just released your 4th full-length though Massacre Records. ”Heathen Warrior” offers a fine dose of Traditional German Metal. Could you compare your latest records with your 3 previous releases?
Hmm, every record we did has its charms, but I guess the new album “Heathen Warrior” is the most well rounded one we did so far. It’s a bit more mature than our previous releases, but still bearing the ferocious and uncompromising heavy metal we are known for. It’s not really about style, but how the ingredients were mixed together this time. The arrangements are a little bit different from what we did on “Heading Northe” and for sure on “Northern Rage”. Sometimes they are more intricate and differentiated. The songs are more organic to my ear. Vocals and instruments are acting together more closely, and the melodies have more room to develop. It’s a next step for us and very pleasing to hear from people that we went on as musicians and songwriters.
How would you like to label the music on ”Heathen Warrior”? I mean, there one could find many elements from German Metal scene from 90s, a mixture between Heavy, Power and Speed Metal as well ! Could we agree that StormWarrior is the answer on that scene in 21st century?
I’m fine with that answer, hahaha! Seriously, we try to include everything in our music we like, be it classic heavy metal or speed metal. Of course, you hear our roots and where we come from. We like to hold up the flag of German metal made in Hamburg, like Helloween, Running Wild or Gamma Ray. Therefore, saying that we are continuing their legacy for the 21st century is a very pleasing statement in my opinion.
During the checking out of your latest record I found many details that could be compared with Gamma Ray and Iron Savior. Any comments about this? But, I must also add that I really like your new album since I am not so satisfied by the latest efforts from GR and IS although I am a huge supporter of both bands.
I think we have a very different sound from Iron Savior. Their last record came out in 2007, “Megatropolis”, that was a cool record for sure. However, they have a quite different sound, and often use this particular “Painkiller”-vibe. I don’t see any comparisons between both bands, with the exception of Yenz playing in Stormwarrior and Iron Savior and Piet Sielck mixing our “Heading Northe” record. With Gamma Ray, I see more similarities because of our history and our work back in the day with Kai. Still I think we managed to get our own sound with “Heading Northe” and “Heathen Warrior”, which were both done without Kai. I just heard the last Gamma Ray record a few times to be honest, I still prefer “New World Order” or “Land of the Free PART 1 (!)”.
What about the guest musicians on the new material? Did you ask any of them for possible quest appearance? I can bet that in few moments I have heard a voice from Mr Piet Sielck (Iron Savior, Savage Circus).
There are no guest appearances on this record. We had such a tight schedule completing “Heathen Warrior”, so we had no time at all asking someone for guest contributions. No master Sielck on this record, my friend!
The opening songs on ”Heathen Warrior” are written more in Traditional way with hymn-like choruses, catchy guitar melodies and stuff like that but in the last two song you have added some keyboards in the background and indeed songs ”The Valkyries Call” and ”And Northern Steele Remaineth” are different from the rest of the album. Any comments about this?
Hmm, I don’t think they are that much different from the other songs to be honest. We already had some more epic songs on our previous record “Heading Northe”. I’m especially thinking of “Lion of the Northe” and “Revenge of Asa Lande” here. They also had some orchestral arrangements in the background, so this is not something new to us. We don’t have dominant keyboards in our music like many other bands do have, and we never will. It’s about adding extra atmosphere, and the epic component is something that works well with Stormwarrior. I think “The Valkyries Call” is a very catchy song by the way, it bears all the trademarks like the lead guitars and cool solos. It’s one of my favorites actually!
Is there any chance to pick one of the most effective songs from he new album and to film a video clip?
That would be very cool, but this is also a question of budget and it’s not possible for us to pay a proper video all by ourselves at this time. Let’s see what ideas Massacre records will bring to the table in order to promote “Heathen Warrior”!
For the first time you have released one issue for Massacre Records. What do you expect form them? Surely the better promotion comparing to other labels… So far you were on Dragon and Remedy Records.
I’m sorry, but I have to correct you: Our past partners were Remedy Records and Dockyard 1. Dragon Productions is a booking agency we’re working with closely. You know, I think we can expect a lot from Massacre, as they are quite a big label in metal and have good partners worldwide. They have so much more possibilities for promotion than our previous labels. Right now we’re getting besieged with interview requests, and that’s very cool to see. They will push us to the next level hopefully, and I’m very happy with the new constellation!
What could you tell us about your DVD/live album ”If Its Not in Your Bloode… You Will Never Understande!”? Any details? Is Dockyard 1 still active, there were some rumors?
No, Dockyard 1 is not active anymore, not as far as I heard it. Because of the financial problems which came due to their demise, we had to postpone the DVD and focus on finding a new label first. Besides, there were numerous technical difficulties with the tracks and video, which were sent to us by the company that filmed our show at Wacken, which was supposed to be the main part of the disc. It took a lot of time to solve these problems, so we had to make a decision when we signed to Massacre, and agreed to do the new album first and then return to complete the DVD and add new material to it. So this is where we are right now. The new album is done, we have almost completed mixing for the DVD sound, and we are sorting out bonus material of recent shows to add value to the DVD. It will come out this year, hear my word. It will be released by our former label Remedy Records by the way, who did the debut and “Northern Rage” with us. It will be a cool disc for sure, so keep your eyes open for it!
Also, what could you tell us about the lyrics for the new album and the cover artwork as well? The cover was done in the same way as before…
All our album covers were done by Uwe Karczewski, who also did the artwork for “Walls of Jericho” and both “Keepers” albums by Helloween. Our manager in fact is his son, so we can easily ignore proper channels if we need a classic metal album artwork, hahaha. It’s very cool to have Karczewski doing those covers for us, not just only because of the “historic component”. So many album covers right now were done using photoshop and whatnot, and they often look very generic. Coming back to using a pen and paper seems almost exotic these days. Besides, Uwe knows what we want to have for our albums, he is an absolute term for Stormwarrior just as our lyrics about northern history and mythology. As you were asking for those, we kind of tried to have a loose connection between the lyrics on “Heathen Warrior”. It’s not a complete story, but it’s more about transporting the sense of life of a Norse warrior back in the day. The lyrics deal with his attitude, his experiences as well as his spiritual world of thought. Together with our music, it delivers a very strong image, which is just perfect for metal!
From your personal point of view which was the most important album of StormWarrior and which one is the best?
Euuuh, that’s a tricky question, as every album we did had a certain (good) effect on our career. Maybe “Heading Northe” is the most known one, as we played so many festivals and shows in support of it, and we definitely saw our fan base growing a lot when that album came out. Therefore “Heading Northe” may be important because it gave us quite a push forward. However, I would dare saying that our debut was equally important as it came out at a time when our kind of music wasn’t that popular and it was kind of a jaw-dropping experience for many hearing us the first time back then in 2002. For the second half of your question I cannot give you a concrete answer. Of course, “Heathen Warrior” is spinning in my mind all the time because it is a fresh record, and we put so much effort into it. I like how sophisticated and well-thought out this album is, and I like the atmosphere and vibe. The solos are pretty cool, of course haha. Maybe I would say “Heathen Warrior” is the best, as it perfectly resembles the band we are today!
Ok, and for the end it will be nice to know are you planing to have a tour and when? Is it going to be bigger EU tour? Also, what about the various festivals? Any ideas about the support bands?
We are working hard with our promoter on possible touring in support of “Heathen Warrior”, and I hope we will be able to announce something very soon. As for the summer festivals, the album has been out a little late so most of the booking was already done for the festivals this year, but I think there will be some cool appearances for Stormwarrior next year. Don’t worry, we will have plenty of other shows in the meantime – as I said, we are working on that matter just as we speak!
I would like to thank you for your answers and for the interview as well. I hope to meet you somewhere on the tour!
Thanks for supporting Stormwarrior and see you at one of our shows very soon! Keep it metal!
- Answers by Alex Guth
Interview was done by Marko Miranovic