Interview with Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era
Read it here:
Interview with Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era
Read it here:
Interview with Jim Tobin of celtic thrash/metal band SIROCCO !!!
Read the interview here: SIROCCO interview
Interview with Karl Groom of THRESHOLD
Read the Interview here: THRESHOLD Interview
First of all it is a pleasure that you found some time to do an interview with me here on The Metal Fields.
Maria K. Glass – Thanks for asking us – the pleasure is ours.
Philip Wolfe – Thanks Metal Fields
Let’s start with the beginning. Can you tell us about the history of Glass Wolfe. How did it all start ?
MKG – Well, I started out writing some lyrics for a project that Philip was doing called Lifeforce. I also at one point had sang back up vocals in a duo he had that was doing cover tunes. That led to us writing songs together. From there, we decided to form a project together and Glass Wolfe was born.
There are a lot of different sounds that I can hear in your music. But the opera vocals make you near to bands like Epica. Would you agree that your influences lie there, or what bands or music are you influenced with ?
PW – My influences are mostly prog rock like ELP and YES and classical including Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and others.
MKG – Our music has progressed over the years from commercial hard rock on “Glass Wolfe” to hard rock/metal on “Predator” and now to the more symphonic rock/metal on “Xotica”. And we love bands like Epica, Nightwish, After Forever and Within Temptation, so there are some influences there. However, the symphonic metal style of music really suits our musical tastes and feels like a great fit for us so that will probably influence our next CD as well.
Your new album is called „Xotica“. Does this mean that you describe your style as exotic music or does it reflect some kind of your lifestyle. Is there a special reason why you chose this album title?
MKG – Well, it was more about the fact that some of the songs have a little exotic feel to them and lyrically take place in various time periods in history. Philip came up with the idea to spell it with an x to make it different.
Maria, you are responsible for all the lyrics. On „Xotica“ you wrote a lot about historical happenings and venues. Is this you main interest in writing songs or just to give the album a straight theme?
MKG – I am interested in a lot of history – European primarily. I read a lot as well and so if a story really touches me, I will sometimes write about it. Marie Antoinette’s life is an example of that. I have read multiple books on her and seen many documentaries on her which drove me to write about her tragic life, which I did with “Queen of Tragedy”. “Rubicon” was from lyrics I had been asked to write for Keith Emerson of ELP for a song he had written for an CD they intended to release. After all my hard work, he never did anything with those lyrics except demo out a song that never got released. So, I decided to use those lyrics on a Glass Wolfe song. But I do write about various subjects, not necessarily historical themes. It just so happened that I had three or four historical lyrics that we used on our new songs. We decided to put them all on the same CD. We are contemplating a concept album for our next endeavor which would also delve in historical realms – but not just European.
If I take a look at your bandpictures I would like to say that you both are very interested in natural life. Can you agree with that ?
MKG – Sure, we are interested in nature. We were trying for different looks on “Xotica” – greek, roman, gothic, etc. It was our great photographer, Stephen Manley, that came up with all the locations for those photo shoots. He lived in the Los Angeles area most of his life and is an actor, so he knew which locations would provide the best background for the era/time period we were going for. And since I hadn’t been to most of these places before, it was a new and interesting experience. The Los Angeles area does have some great nature places.
PW – I had a lot of backpacking and mountain climbing experience in my younger days. the Grand Canyon, Mt Rainier, The Olympic Rain Forest, Rincon Mt. Sabino Canyon and Mt Lemon in Tucson and of couse Yosemite and Yellowstone are all places I have hiked and camped and had many wildlife encounters and grand adventures.
On a short message last time you told me that Phil is having a rehearsal with several musicians. So do you work mainly with session musicians or is there a plan to establish a real band for your upcoming works?
MKG – We do both actually. Glass Wolfe has been around since about 1999. Philip and I are the mainstays in this project – it is our baby and we work very hard on it. We write the material, do the promotion, etc. We have worked with a lot of great session players, but they all have other projects they are working on and are quite busy and aren’t always available. We like the idea of having a band of guys we work with for live and have been rehearsing with a couple of players – so far, it has been working out good.
PW – Yes ! we have had a few rehearsals with a new guitar player and drummer who’s names we will announce in the very near future.
All I can say for now is that Glass Wolfe sounds better than ever before.
You both have a huge background in music and worked with well known people in the music business. For example Phil played keys in bands like Keel or Impellitteri and Maria wrote lyrics for Keith Emerson. What was the main reason to start together founding your own band?
PW – I remember playing the piano at a resort in Bermuda when Maria and I were on vacation (1999) and she started singing along . So we started to develop some songs for her. At first it was a lot of experimenting with styles, and keys to find her vocal range and sound. Was she gonna be a Stevie Nicks, a Pat Benetar, or Ann Wilson ? We had no idea. techno was not a fit, ballads did’nt work out too good, and blues was not an option …..
MKG – Well, I initially started out writing lyrics for one of Phil’s projects called Lifeforce. I only wrote on a couple of songs for that CD, but it got us on the road to writing material together. Interestingly enough, our first writing attempts were along the lines of techno music. We realized very quickly that techno was not a direction we wanted to go in and so we added heavy guitar on some of the songs and they have appeared on our CD’s. We have very similar tastes in music and so writing together works very well for us. Given the fact that we like working together and have gotten quite a bit of positive feedback on the CD’s, we will be moving on to our next one.
On your web site there is nothing that I can find about touring. Do we have to see Glass Wolfe in these days more as a project or are there plans for touring in your region or even in other countries?
MKG – We have gigged around the Los Angeles area and intend to do so again. We hope to eventually branch out to other areas.
PW – We are looking to tour as soon as we are ready and I can’t wait to come back to Europe and Rock some festivals.
The cover artwork of „Xotica“ is very impressing. The symbiose of colors and moods looks fresh and positive. If I read it right Ed Unitsky is the person who is responsible for this artwork. Can you tell anything more about his works and how did you find him to work with you?
MKG – Yes, Ed Unitsky is a very talented artist. You can check out a lot of his artwork on his myspace page, which is in our top friends. We were fortunate to find him on myspace and thought his work was amazing. He has worked with many different artists. We thought he would be the perfect artist for our “Xotica” CD. But before Ed could really get started on his part of the artwork, we needed to get the photography sessions finished. That’s where Stephen Manley came in. He had done most of the photography for our “Predator” CD and really took some fantastic pictures. For the “Xotica” photoshoots, Stephen came up with all the locations that were scattered around the Los Angeles area and we shot over a period of six months. We then turned the pictures over to Ed Unitsky who transformed them into the artwork on the CD. We are really happy with the results.
PW – A very special thanks to our photographer Stephen Manley and our incredible graphic artist Ed Unitsky.
Where was your new album recorded? Do you have something like your own home studio or external?
MKG – It was recorded in a home studio. Though some of our guest musicians recorded their parts in their own studios and then forwarded the tracks to us.
PW – We have a home studio that has the same quality of gear that you would find in a major studio. See the bio page of our web site http://www.glasswolfe.com for an equipment list.
As we know the United States is not the best place for music like you play since many years. Did you get more feedbacks about your work in europe or other continents than in the states? Or do you also receive a lot of reactions in your home land?
MKG – I’m not sure the United States has ever been big on the symphonic metal genre. I know in Los Angeles, a lot of musicians we know are doing cover bands, tribute bands or reviving bands from the past. That’s all fine, but doesn’t interest me. We do see some of the European symphonic metal bands come through this area and they do have a following, though I don’t think they have really broken through. We do get great feedback from Europe and other continents as well as some from various areas of the U.S. Los Angeles is a tough place to break out since there are so many bands here, but I really love the symphonic metal genre. It is a great fit musically for Philip and I. And being in a band is so much hard work, that I wouldn’t want to waste my time doing it unless I was doing something I love.
PW – We have been carefully following the tours of Nightwish, Epica , and other SM bands across the US and Canada and there seems to be a lot of cities where we could play. Also reports of our airplay indicate the same cities have been playing our material so hopefully we will have some great shows.
Are you both working in civil jobs outside writing and playing music ?
MKG – I am a Legal Office Support Assistant for a Los Angeles County agency that used to be part of the District Attorney’s Office when I started. I prepare the legal documents for the attorneys for cases going to court – subpoenas, motions, workers’ compensation liens, bankruptcy proofs of claim, response to motions, notices of continuance, notices to produce, etc.
PW – I teach private piano lessons and compose music for TV and Film
When you were kids, what was the point that let you decide to live for the music and play in bands?
MKG – I have always loved music growing up. It was and still is my passion. I’ve dabbled in a couple of different instruments (violin, drums) but never really progressed very far. However, I had been writing since I was about seven years old, poems and short stories mostly. My family was convinced I was going to be a writer when I grew up. So, I started out as a lyricist. Eventually, I was asked to sing backup vocals for a project doing cover songs. It was then that I realized I liked singing and, with work, could at least become accomplished enough to demo my lyrics. I started studying with a great vocal coach and with a lot of practicing and hard work, I continued to improve and made the leap into fronting a band. The singing really became an obsession of sorts. It was a perfect fit for me with my love of music and writing.
PW – As a child I was a boy soprano and the lead of the choir . I would sing along with classic rock on the radio but at about 14 my voice cracked and changed and it took a long time for me to recover so I started playing various woodwinds. Flute, Recorders, Clarinet, Oboe and Sax.
Phil, when did you start playing keyboards and what was the reason learning this special instrument ?
PW – I was in college playing flute in the orchestra and I went to see an Emerson Lake and Palmer concert . I was so blown away !
I came back to the school the next day, quit the orchestra, changed my major to piano and started practicing the keys Eight hours a day which I continued for many years .
Outside of Glass Wolfe do you also work in other music projects or are you complete concentrated on your own band?
MKG – I pretty much concentrate on Glass Wolfe. It is really what I want to do musically. And it keeps me plenty busy!
PW – Right now I am 110% concentrating on Glass Wolfe but in the past I have played in a few “tribute bands” to have a little fun on the side. Several years ago I had an Emerson Lake and Palmer Tribute called the Endless Enigma and Keith Emerson came out and saw us play and shook my hand afterwards and said “Well done” . http://www.myspace.com/theendlessenigma
I also played at the FireFest UK with Rox Diamond (Oct.2008)
and with the Who Show at various festivals in S. California ( 2008).
What can we expect from Glass Wolfe in the near future? Is there any plan recording new stuff or are you still continuing to promote „Xotica“?
MKG – We have a number of new songs in the works that will be again along the lines of symphonic metal. But we are still promoting “Xotica” as well. We may put out a few singles in the meantime.
PW – So far we have 16 songs written and demo recorded for the new CD which may turn out to be a concept album. On a Mac Dual 2.3 G5 with 4 Gigs of Ram, I am using the Real Les Paul software to demo the guitar parts thru the Amplitube Duo with 2 UAD cards hosting UA plug in’s .. LA2A, Pultec EQ, 1176LN and the Nigel Processor. I also use the Superior Drummer with the Metal Foundry kit and the East West Quantum Pianos (the Steinway is my favorite ) and Orchestra and Choirs . Also the Arturia Modular Moog, Minimoog, Arp-2600 and Yamaha CS-80 along with my trusty analog synths Oberheim OB-8, Nord Modular and Minimoogs sound incredible layered together. The VST host DAW is Cubase and it’s all recorded into Nuendo on a 2nd Computer via Lightpipe at 24 bit – 48 K with 48 tracks mixed thru a Yamaha 02R mixer.
Can you say that you now found your own style of music you want to play or are there any plans in changing of your sound?
MKG – I think so. It really feels like the most comfortable fit for me vocally. And since keyboards are such a big part of our sound, it allowed us to take our music to the next level. There are no plans to change the direction of our sound, but you never know what the future holds. For now, I’m happy doing this genre.
PW – Well …as an artist I am always trying to push the limits of what I can do musically, but I do think that we have found our style and our niche in the genre of symphonic metal.
What music or bands do you listen in your private life?
MKG – I mostly listen to the symphonic metal bands – Nightwish, Epica, After Forever, Within Temptation, Luca Turilli’s Dreamquest, Leaves’ Eyes and Imperia, to name a few. But I also really like Kamelot, Masterplan, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Ayreon, Queensryche, a lot of the 80’s metal and also a lot of the 70’s music like Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago. I mainly listen to CD’s in my collection and rarely listen to the radio.
PW .. mostly the classical radio station KUSC 91.5 and my CD collections of my favorite symphonic metal bands and my favorite 70’s prog.
Is there any song on „Xotica“ that is very special for you or would you say that the whole album has it’s special moments in every song?
MKG – All the songs have a special meaning for me. Whether they are set in historical time periods that interest me (Queen of Tragedy, Helen of Troy, Rubicon), deal with feelings many of us have (Second Sight, Free to Fly, Rise Above, Caught in the Crossfire) or tell a story (Emerald Lady, The Tempest), I like them all. One special song for me would be Reflections. Reflections was dedicated to the memory of my uncle’s wife, Janet Glass, who passed away after a long battle with cancer a few years back. She was a wonderful lady who was always encouraging of our musical aspirations and band and never complained about the terrible pain that she had to live with. I was honored to sing the song at the memorial for her, which took place in Rhode Island.
PW – For me it is “Helen of Troy”. I started writing this piece many years ago before I could play the piano. In fact several of the sections were composed on the flute. I later transcribed the wlole piece from memory while sitting on a park bench in Santa Monica overlooking the Ocean. I later recorded the song on a 3340 Tascam 4 track reel to reel with a 3 piece prog band in 1980. We called ourselves Ariel and performed the piece then called “Machine Age” in several clubs in Tucson Arizona. The crowd reaction was incredible ! Some people loved it and thought we were the next ELP and 1/2 the crowd hated it and wanted to kill us and almost rioted.
Lots of bands now play symphonic metal with female vocals. Describe what your music makes it different to all of them and why the people should buy „Xotica“.
MKG – Well, we have a dynamic that crosses a few different genres – symphonic metal, classic rock, progressive – and I think that makes it interesting. We are not really trying to compete with any other bands – we just love the genre and are doing it to the best of our ability. Hopefully, people like it and want to get behind the band.
PW – We are in the genre but we still have a unique sound all our own …
and that’s what it’s all about … isn’t it ?
Thanx a lot Phil and Maria.
MKG – Thanks to you, Kerb, and the Metal Fields for the interview!
PW – Thanks Kerb
Interview by Kerbinator for METAL FIELDS
„Voice of the wilderness“ is out now for a longer time. Can you tell me about the reactions in Bulgaria and the rest of the world ? Would you say the album is successful so far?
We are more than gratified with the reactions. And I can say that our album is successful. Although “Voice of the Wilderness” is a debut it was more than welcomed in the world metal society. The press as well as the fans in Bulgaria and the rest of the world responded enthusiastically. This stimulates us to work in the same direction – classic heavy metal with a higher quality.
Tell me about your bandhistory. How did it come to form Rampart?
Rampart was formed in 2006 by the guitar player Yavor (Yatco) Kamenov and the drummer Borislav (Bobby) Glavev. Before that time the two friends were playing together for years. In May 2006 they invited me to join their project as a vocalist. Since then Rampart began to live as a band with the concept for concerts and the idea that each of us should contribute to the band. A solid base for this was the several completed compositions written by Yavor. After lots of shows we decided to involve in our work additional musicians. Now the best of them are in Rampart. The guitar player Victor Georgiev and the bass player Alexander Spiridonov are involved in the process of writing new songs and enhance the creative impulse of the band.
In my review I told that I can hear sometimes parallels to bands like Gamma Ray. How would yourself describe your kind of music and your sound ?
Our influences are diverse. As the main composer Yavor is inspired by Running Wild and by the classical music. Besides traditional heavy metal my influences come from the early thrash scene, bands as Laaz Rockit, Metallica, Death Angel, Paradox. As a vocalist I am influenced mainly by Kai Hansen and Bruce Dickinson. Our phythm section – Bobby and Alexander are influenced from the melodic hard rock. Our music is a result from the mixing of all these influences, of the original composer‘s talent of Yavor and the will of the band to create classic heavy metal at a contemporary level. Althought our high requirements toward ourselves and toward the quiality of the record, the fact that we produce ourselves, the lack of experience and the small budget are the reasons because of which we are striving for a better sound. In reference to our style we are already on the highway!
It seems that the whole band shares the work. Who is responsible for the lyrics and the music?
The monopoly on the lyrics is mine. Yavor holds the monopoly on the main music ideas. Sometimes it happens he to ask me to write a text based on his idea in a way he imagined it when composing the music. Our second guitar player Victor brought lots of new music ideas which we are currently working upon. However his ideas pass through the exact editing of Yavor. Everyone in Rampart is free to implement his ideas. And in this meaning we indeed work as a band. We have similar approach of thinking and enough freedom to act.
Your album is published by the french Label Inferno Records. How did it come to this contact?
The story began with the release of our demo EP “Warriors”. On 08.08.2008 we selfreleased it with the idea this to be our promo CD. I sent it to some European metal media, and to some labels, and that is how it reached the French label Inferno Records.LaterInferno Records suggested to help us with the promotion. The demo received a good feedback in some European contries. As a result, and when I informed them that we are recording our full length album „Voice of the Wilderness“ Inferno Records offered us a contract. For us their proposal was a good chance and a kind of recognition as well. We are grateful for their support. For all members of RAMPART the most important thing was that they are true metalheads and that they indeed like our music.
Bulgaria is not the main country of metal or music business. How difficult is it to get in contact with the people you need for support, touring and recording?
If you visit a metal concert in Bulgaria you could change your mind and correct some of your impressions. The metal fans here are more than could be expected. The music easy reaches their hearts, but a little bit hard reaches their CD collections. As being a metal band we have difficulties with the debut and with the small music market in our country. But these are difficulties which many bands face in the beginning. We believe that when we are working in the name of our music, the things will happen earlier or later. Here in Bulgaria lots of musicians say to themselves „Nothing’s gonna happen!“ and they stop to work for themselves. I don’t think that it is necessary to explain the difuculties we overcame in details. Until we take care of the band things are developing in the right direction. Till now we arrange our dates, our tours, our recordings and a major part of our promotion. And we are happy with the results.
Where was „Voice of the Wilderness“ produced, and who was working with you on that?
The album was recorded in a new Bulgarian digital studio called “Pacific”. About the producing – we did it. Of course it happened with the help of the sound engineer Alexander Kalanov and with the guy who mixed the album Jhelqz Jhelqzov. As it was a debut release there were differences between the people inside and outside of the band. There were also differences between our expectations and the final result. Our experience in the studio gives us conviction that our next recording will be better. We are currently working on the material for our second album which should be out somewhere in the beginning of 2011.
There are lots of orchestrations on that album. And some songs have a little middle age touch. What does this mean to your music and do you want to make it a trademark in your sound?
These are the elements which our composer Yavor uses. We think that they are successful to a high level. They do not dilute our style and at the same time differentiate us as a band. We will snatch at them again for sure. I doubt that a composer should run away from himself. And I endeavour to support these elements (the orchestrations and the middle age touch) with my lyrics.
Are their any plans in touring europe or even overseas?
We do have offers, but the negotiations are not finished yet. We expect the number of our engagements to be on the increase. We hope your readers to hear our music and to judge it on its merits.
What does the name Rampart exactly mean and what is the story behind that bandname?
Rampart means a bastion, a fortification. This is one direct and really pretty name. We are grateful to the fate that it is not occupied by any classic heavy metal band, to which probably we should be fans. The name has no special story. We have a liking for the thought that we are defenders of the right faith.
On the albums frontcover we see a flash hitting a tower. Is there any concept behind this artwork and who did it?
The idea of such a concept on the front cover of the album was Yavor’s. The artwork was created by a graphic design studio in Bulgaria “A 1”. This is the Baldwin’s tower at Tsatevets fortress which is a medieval building from the time of King Kaloyan who defeated the crusaders in the battle of Odrin. It is also a symbol of victory and of our band’s name as a bastion of the heavy metal in Bulgaria.
Let’s talk more about the lyrics. Are there special themes you like to use in songwriting?
I am inspired mostly by some subjects from the first Crusades and Pirates of the Caribbean. Later I wrote some texts about knights and pirates. The novel of J.R.R. Talkien “Lord of the Rings” is another source of inspiration for my lyrics. We have one song in the first album “Orchrist” concerning this topic. Orchrist is the name of the sword of Torin and Bilbo Baggins. I wrote three more texts related to “Lord of the Rings”, but probably not all of them will be included in our next release, because it will not be a concept album. Besides legendsand historical topics I often like to use subjects from the real life matters or social topics which I interpret to metaphoric fantasy stories for an easier perception.
Do you all work in civil jobs outside the band and how can you manage this with your band activities?
All of the guys in the band work in civil jobs, I work for the military. The obligatory military service in our country was recently abolished. When being asked if somebody of them has been soldiering my bandmates look at me and answer „She does!“. That is the reason for which in our first video you can see sequences of military equippment, tanks, helicopters, missiles and exersices of the Land Forces. These video flashes are used with the special permission of the Chief of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army. You can watch the video in You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwE7WDAdxuw). The fact that we succeed to manage our jobs with our band activities is a reflection of our keen love towards heavy metal music.
On your myspace site you tell that you will appear in early autumn on a Helloween and Gamma Ray tribute album. A norwegian label will publish that. How did it come with this?
The upcoming tribute album to Gamma Ray/Helloween – “HelloRay” is an awesome initiative of the Norwegian label Epicus Records. The label succeeded to involve in this album fascinating bands as Germany’s Kickhunter featuring Markus Großkopf (Helloween), Signum Regis from Slovakia which features Göran Edman (Malmsteen, Time Requiem), Guardians of Mankind from Finland, Gaia Epicus from Norway. The idea of this tribute is the bands participating to be real fans of Gamma Ray/Helloween. This makes the album different from the previous tributes and I am sure that it will raise interest. Our participation is with the song of Helloween „Just a Little Sigh” which we recorded specially for „HelloRay”. I suggested to the members of my band to take part in this initiative. And we decided that the idea of making such a cover song is good for Rampart. I contacted the label and applied with our music for the tribute album. After submitting our demo EP „Warriors“ they chose us to participate in the project. The tribute album “HelloRay” will be out in the fall of 2010.
What bands or kind of music are you listening in your freetime and what was the bandmembers influences?
I already explained our influences. In our spare time we are listening to different kinds of music. When we are together we even have some conflicts on this issue. When the rhythm section is gone too far with the melodic hard rock stuff, we balance for instance with Bolt Thrower. The great drama of the guitarists is Running Wild against Iron Maiden. But this is the way we have fun. We are listening radically to heavy metal. The drummer Bobby and me; we are open for thrash music and heavier genders as well.
In 2008 you released an EP called „Warriors“. Now on your first full length album the song „Warriors“ is also included. Did you re-arrange that former single or did you leave it like it was?
All of the songs in the EP are included in the album. „Warriors“ and „Voice of the Wilderness“ are not re-arranged but only re-recorded. The song „Mirror to Dreams“ is seriously re-arranged because its version in the EP was special… Although the demo sound of the EP „Warriors“, I think that the release successfully reverberated our wild energy.
Soon you will be also part on a metal compilation called „Kill City Vol. 22“. Please tell us more about this.
On April, 6th 2010, the American label 272 Records released the metal compilation “Kill City Vol. 22” with our participation. We were kindly invited to join this metal project with our song „The Flood“. The compilation includes all metal genders. Various bands from different countries took part in it. Some of them are German but we are the first Bulgarian band in this compilation. You can see the bands‘ appereance order at the web site of the label: http://www.272records.com/272_Records/Kill_City_Vol_22.html The release is already for sale in our MySpace Profile, Amazon.com and Amoeba Music – Hollywood’s largest and most popular record store.
I would like you to come over to Germany for some gigs and having some german beers with you. Any chance to book some dates in Germany next time?
We promise you (about the beers), ha ha ha. We are negotiating for some gigs and we indeed would like to see the reactions of the German audience on our concert.
Ok. Thanks for the interview. At last you can tell the people anything you want to.
Thanks! Listen to our music at MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/rampartbg. Wait for us and till then stay metal!
Interview by Kerbinator for METAL FIELDS
Michael, Coldspell was formed in 2005, please tell us how it came to found the band.
I guess it started some years before that , I had this little brainchild of mine and a bunch of songs. In 2005 the timing felt right to get this thing goin , ColdSpell become a band with this line-up and it seemed to be the right timing for this thing. We all played together in different cover, tribute bands etc so we already knew each other quite well.
On your biography it says that you all play the music that you listened to when you were young. So what are your main influences of your music?
That’s not so easy , there are so many different influences but if I say bands like Purple, Sabbath, Rainbow, Montrose, Rush, Whitesnake etc. But when it comes to me as a songwriter Im in to all that classic hardrock , metal and some progressive stuff. Guess I like almost everything as long as it is done well, haha.
The band comes from a little town called Kiruna in Sweden. There are a lot of fantastic bands from sweden, like you, in this times. What do you think is the reason that there appear on good band after another from Sweden?
Really dont know but there’s a lot of good musicians and bands that are very gifted , talented and dedicated to hardrock. Maybe we just got a very good sense for it here in Sweden or maybe its just that its so freezing cold in Sweden that we have nothing else to do, haha !
I think your trademarks in your sound are powerful guitarleads, melodic style with clear and transparent voice. Can you agree with that?
Im glad you say that , thanks a lot. Yes I agree on that , my goal has been to have all that but with a heavy sound , have a nice mix between classic hardrock and metal and I think Tommy Hansen did a great job with the mixing of the album.
Your album „Infinite Stargaze“ was mixed by Thommy Hansen who also worked with Helloween, Jorn, Pretty Maids and more. How did it come to that contact and to the deal with Escape Music that published your album?
I got in contact with Escape through Nicky Baldrian in UK , Escape heard us and called me and everything was set. It was Khalil at Escape who suggested Tommy Hansen for this job and I didnt have anything to complain about that and as I said before – he did an amazing work.
How is it with live shows ? Do you have any plans for a tour or playing on festivals. Maybe outside of sweden, too? We would like you to come to germany, for sure.
Hell yeah , thats what we want too. Yes we have plans but still we´re looking for someone to take care of it but hopefully we come to a solution regarding that in a near future. So hey – here we are!
It would be awesome to come out in Europe and play this album and get some response.
Who is involved in songwriting? Is there a main person in your band that is responsible for lyrics and music. Or are all members part of that?
It is some variations from song to song but I am the main writer , on some songs there are co-writers when it comes to the music , the most of the lyrics are written by me and my wife Mariann
Is there any favourite the in songwriting or do you try to be different in lyrics?
When it comes to music I always wanted to do that album that hopefully will be interesting even when you listen to the last one on the album and I think for my own taste it?s quite a nice blend between the hardrock styles that I listen to. When it comes to lyrics it?s not so much love and stuff but most of the lyrics are from real life.
The band members got a lot of experience playing in other bands before Coldspell. I think thats the main reason why your sound is fantastic. Did that help you in songwriting and producing?
Yeah we all been playin for hundreds of years,haha. No but we have many years of practice in different bands over the years and thats why it feels so right . They are all gifted musicians and everyone put there very own personal touch to the songs.
What are the next plans? Any outputs we can expect soon?
As I said it would be nice to get some touring and we did release the album in Japan in July so we hope that it will be appriciated over there to. I started to write more stuff and put down some old ideas for the next album.
We at Das Hardrockradio play your songs a lot. What does it mean to you to be aired on internet radio stations?
That is fantastic , that is the cred you need and want as a band and composer . I must say that we are honoured and proud every time someone wants to play our songs. Radio means everything when it comes to reach out to all hardrockers around the world.
Can you tell us how successful „Infinite Stargaze“ was til now in selling copies and what the bandmembers are doing if they are not working for Coldspell?
I really dont know that yet , havent heard how many copies we have sold but I will get the numbers this month . When we not do this ColdSpell thing we play the local scene with coverbands have our ordinary jobs , soundengineer, trucker, work at hospital etc.
Interview by Kerbinator for METAL FIELDS
Hi Killhelm, thanx for finding some time for a little talk. First of all I would like to know more about your band Plector, cause your website does not give us a lot of informations. When did you found Plector?
Killhelm: Hey Kerbinator! Me and Eryk started to jam and after we graduated school, we tried to find band members who wanted to play heavy shit, but we have changed band members a few times before we found Grizzly Beer who Eryk had played with before. Then we started Plector. It was about late 2006 / early 2007. We had our first gig at Åsele (somewhere in north sweden) on summer 2007.
So for that your new album „Dark & Spiteful“ sounds very professional. If we think about that you’re not that old and the album is self-produced ! Did you get some professionell help?
Killhelm: Thanks. I’m glad you like it! We have been practicing a lot and we keep getting better. Just wait til you will hear the our new shit we’re working on. It will blow your mind away, haha. We had some professionell help, yeah. A guy named Ronnie Björnström, who has been working with probably every good band in our town, helped us with the drum recording. Then he mixed and mastered it!
In my review I described your sound as a mix of Thrash and Death metal, would you agree with that?
Killhelm: Fuck yeah ! But we prefer to call it “Flannel-Metal”, haha.
The growls of Eryk are near to Chris Barnes, so what were your influences?
Killhelm: You think so? Never thought of that. I think he sounds more like a mix between the Entombed vocalist and Max Cavalera, haha. We got different influences. Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura, Pantera, Morbid Angel, Death and a lot of beer-drinking.
Beer drinking? If I look at your band picture I would say you are a band that has a lot of fun most time.
Killhelm: Ha ha, well, at least we try. We don’t give a fuck about being stereo type and try to look dark and evil on every picture. We just want to have a good time, and we hope our fans get inspired by us. I mean, have you seen our latest video? That’s the shit I’m talking about. How many bands do that kind of videos? It’s ridiculous to act tough as a band and then you’re just a nerd in private life, haha.
Yes, I have seen it. Great video. But if I listen to your song I find out that they are full of hate. Is that right?
Killhelm: Eryk has been written all the lyrics so far. And he likes to write about people and things he doesn’t like, haha. I think it’s funny.
“Embrace our shit” is a real smasher. It is the live song that causes the most reactions?
Killhelm: We thought it would be, but of some reason it didn’t, so we don’t play that song anymore. But I like the song, but perhaps it’s not the strongest one, like „Spiteful love“ and „Alcoholic refuge“.
In your sound you are very variable. Mainly thrash and death, but there are also some heavy metal and even doom elements integrated? Are you open for different styles in metal?
Killhelm: Yeah I like to be variable. That’s because we all three got different influences even though we almost listen to the same music. We are just trying to make our music better. As long as it’s heavy all the time, but you don’t have to play blast beats all the time to make it heavy. As long as we don’t end sounding like all commercial bands like In Flames and Volbeat. we want to do music for beer drinking men, not cute girls, haha.
…skip the last thing I said, haha. Of course we want cute girls to listen to our music and become our groupies . But you know what I mean…
Ha, ha..ok not the commercial way. So you told you are writing new stuff ? Can you tell us more about that?
Killhelm: Well, we have too many songs to work on at the moment. I think it’s more Death Metal than the older songs but we still got the groove and the variation. We try to make a hit every time we write a song, you know. It’s more technical stuff now. Everybody wants to get better. If you are satisfied with yourself and what you have done and don’t have the energy to develop your skill as a musician you should quit immediately
That’s true. Sweden is very popular in the last years for melodic and power metal bands. Is it difficult for you as a more extreme band to find a place in between? Does your fanbase in Sweden have a chance to grow?
Killhelm: Yeah I know, and that sucks. But I think Plector and other more extreme bands will start growing in the future. We get new fans every show we do. 2010 will be the best year of Plector so far. And you have to work hard. Even if you play for 10 people one night you always have to do your fucking best. you always have to think “it will be better, not now, maybe not for a long time, but sooner or later”.
So you have plans touring outside of sweden?
Killhelm: Yeah sure. In April we will go on tour in UK. We will have more informations of that later on myspace. And this summer we will try to get some shows booked in germany and the netherlands.
Do you like german beer?
Killhelm: Well if it taste beer I guess? Ha ha, don’t know if I’ve ever tasted german beer. I drink almost english and swedish beer.
How did it come to your pseudonyms Killhelm, Beardmuff and Grizzly Beer?
Killhelm: Well, my name is Vilhelm, and I thought Killhelm would be funny, haha. I don’t have any good answer on the other guys. Nothing serious, we just felt to have fake names, ha ha.
That reflects your positive lifestyle…
Killhelm: Yeah, exactly.
Are there any requests of labels to sign a contract with you meanwhile?
Killhelm: We have some few interested, but they all sucked in my opinion. If we will sign anything we need a label who wants to work as hard as we do. Many bands think that a record deal is the solution. Just because you get signed with a major doesn’t mean that they do anything for you more than the distrubition deal or whatever. You can do pretty much by yourself. Maybe it’s harder but it’s good for us to learn how this shitty buissness works.
That’s a great statement to finish this interview. There is nothing more then to wish you the best for the future and to grow your fanbase. Any last words here you want to tell us?
Killhelm: I want to tell to our fans to keep supporting Plector and buy some more flannell!
Thanx to Killhelm from Plector.
Interview by Kerbinator for METAL FIELDS