Those bandy heavy metal pirates known as - Alestorm - describe themselves as being - "True Scottish Pirate Metal". However, they have more in common with Tankard, than they do with Running Wild. They are currently on their latest quest, touring the US for Heathenfest.
I caught them in Cleveland, and boarded their bus for a rollicking good time. I then prepared myself for a bit of that famous ol' spiced wit and keen whole sense of humour, I leveled my head, and accepted my dearth before their mass inquisition. I really enjoyed speaking with the band as a collective unit. Set sail and conquer, sally forth....
MettleAngel: Well my lads this all happened so fast, but I am honoured to be here with you to discuss the life of Alestorm.
MettleAngel: I will try not to burden you will all the pirate question B$, but I am curious, who is youor favourite Scottish pirate, if there is one?
MettleAngel: I know you are all about the "Wenches And Mead"! No seriously, you have William Wallace the famous Highlander who inspired "Braveheart", but there are not too many famous Scottish pirates, in history.
MettleAngel: Yes, but his actual depredations, and or rumours of raping and pillaging were overexaggerated. I doubt that he was really too violent, or self seeking. It is suspect he was even a pirate. He was more of a mariner who came to terms with British Parliament, and that led to a trial, which is all hearsay.
MettleAngel: I mean, Running Wild did write the song "Ballad Of William Kidd" about him off their 'Rivalry' release, so I guess that accounts for something.
MettleAngel: What do you mean? After all, they were the first metal band to really begin the whole "Pirate Metal" thing, unless you account for Stormwitch and their song - "Tigers Of The Sea" from the 'Beauty And The Beast' album in 1987.
MettleAngel: Running Wild had 'Under Jolly Roger' which really got the ball rolling and set the precedent for their first years of piracy; something they would make a career out of, it seems.
MettleAngel: Back in the glorious Noise era, Running Wild were awesome. Whiplash had the song "Walk The Plank" and Wisconsin's Num Skull had the song "Pirate's Night" from their 1988 'Ritually Abused' awesome thrash release.
MettleAngel: They are decent deaththrash, and they do not take themselves too seriously, like yourself. In all fairness, Italy's Los Pirates have been around since 1999, but they just released their new album 'Heavy Piracy' this year. Let us also not forget the underappreciated Legendsea from France who have been singing about pirates since '98.
MettleAngel: That comes from watching too much Spongebob!
MettleAngel: That is brilliant! That really does sum up your sound. After all, the pirate kitsch is really a ruse. I assume you love Tankard, because your songs are mostly about mass alcohol consumption. I get it, 'Captain Morgan's Revenge' is really another way of saying, I regret the morning after!"
MettleAngel: After reading the lyrics more carefully, I truly detect a Tankard connection.
MettleAngel: You mean when you began as Battle Heart. I downloaded some free samples of that a few years ago, and I loved it. Next thing I know you are signed to Napalm Records, and have changed your name to Alestorm. I love the new name, it is so befitting. After all, Battle Heart is a bit gay.
MettleAngel: I guess contractually Napalm was afraid of the confusion with their other band Battlelore. I assumed you were another "Pagan Metal" act, with Power Metal tendencies.
MettleAngel: Well, you covered Korpiklaani, who were just beginning to become successful; so much so that Nuclear Blast swooped in and took them off Napalm. Don't be surprised if that happens to you next year.
MettleAngel: This brings me to your influences. Chris you are wearing a really silly pink shirt. You look like Billy Squire, or the dude from the J. Geils Band in that "Centerfold" video.
MettleAngel: Yeah, now that is Metal! I guess since you play the key-tar, a instrument not commonly associated with Metal, it all makes sense. I take it you are stuck in the '80s.
MettleAngel: I mean, c'mon he looks like he is posing for one of the pictures straight out of a 'Living In Oblivion' '80s comp. of the most obscure bands out there.
MettleAngel: Google it! It is a five disc summary of most of the '80s one hit wonders.
MettleAngel: Bal-Sagoth! talk about pretentious, Lord Byron is a megalomaniac. What is with those album and song titles!
MettleAngel: No way! I mean sure you sound a bit like Lord Byron, and Martin of Skyclad. I guess your keyboards have a Bal-Sagoth edge.
MettleAngel: When I first bought Bal-Sagoth, it was the album 'Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Vieled Throne Of Ultima Thule'. That was the longest album title I had ever heard, up to then. I could not follow the lyrics, because they were all incorporated into the story, with no hi-lighted words to clarify.
MettleAngel: The music is vaguely tolerable. I just listened to the new TSO with lyrics last night, and the concept story is separate from the lyrics, which makes it easier to follow along. Also, TSO are waaaay better than Bal-Sagoth!
MettleAngel: That is good to hear! I just read that Martin is busy at work on new Clan Destined material with a female guitarist named Jacqui Taylor. Gareth, you left Waylander to join Alestorm, correct?
MettleAngel: Yeah, but they are fronted by Kevin Ridley. He too, is trying to sound more and more like Martin on their new CD 'In The... All Together'.
MettleAngel: Yeah, they both have that lisp, where every word ends in "ah".
MettleAngel: You know I just got it, Battle Heart, could that also be on account of "Battle Magic" by Bal-Sagoth?
MettleAngel: Thank you, I like to keep it entertaining. I assume even though this US Tour is called Heathenfest, you are really not pagans?
MettleAngel: So I assume you are not into Asatru, and the pursuit of heathendom?
MettleAngel: Exactly, and most pirates were in fact Christians!
MettleAngel: You bet, and other fictitious beings like the great Leviathan!
MettleAngel: Heathenfest is just another excuse for putting like minded bands together, to draw a bigger audience. This line-up is really diversified with Vreid, Belphegor, Eluveitie, and the unpronouncable Kivimetsän Druidi. I just call them Leave's Epica.
MettleAngel: The whole pagan thing is just another rebellious fad in the US. It is just like the late George Carlin said, "It is all Bullshit, and it is all Bad for you!"
MettleAngel: It seems like drinking is the key thing for the bands and fans, across the board. I assume you still take the music part of Alestorm very seriously, though?
MettleAngel: Wow you just bought a house, that is succesful!
MettleAngel: That is so cool. When you switched from bass to guitar, I was impressed with your playing capability. You shred like George Lynch, Jeff Waters, or Manni Schmidt of Grave Digger.
MettleAngel: Really, that is news to me. Manni is what made Grave Digger still appealing after all those years.
MettleAngel: Really, but they are your label mates.
MettleAngel: Well without Manni & Thilo, they may be done in my book.
MettleAngel: Aw c'mon Rage rule! All those once great Noise era acts were amazing back in the day. I love Rage, and I always will. It sucks that Running Wild are no more, but I love them too. I love German Metal. I am working on publishing my interview with Udo Dirkschneider.
MettleAngel: Wow! the silent drummer speaks. All this time you have been sitting there ever so quietly in your Heidevolk hoody....
MettleAngel: Really, Ian must be a big fan.
MettleAngel: How noble, now where were we?
MettleAngel: You mean Traditional Teutonic German Metal. After all, you did record the German version of "Wenches And Mead" ("Weiber Und Wein") for the 'Leviathan' (EP).
MettleAngel: Let us not forget your rendition of "Wolves Of The Sea" formerly done by the band Pirates Of The Sea.
MettleAngel: I like that cover, it is so catchy, and perfect for Alestorm. Do you think you will cover Bal-Sagoth?
MettleAngel: Tell me about your performance on the Wacken DVD which comes with the bonus version of 'Black Sails At Midnight'. I picked that one up at Hot Topic to get the promo pirate flag they were offering.
MettleAngel: Fair enough, I enjoyed watching that bonus DVD.
(Actually they were not tight at all when they played Peabody's. They were super sloppy, very drunk, and not too well-rehearsed. The crowd did not seem to care that they did not wear their pirate outfits, opting to just go topless. The Cleveland audience so enjoyed the show, that they sent fans to keep bring double rum shots for the band to partake in, after each song; thereby making them even more inebriated by the time they got to the end of their set)
MettleAngel: Well you have had a solid line-up now since December, so I am excited to see you play the two albums, and prove to us that Alestorm are a band worth watching.
MettleAngel: So I will let you get to your meal, and I will see you inside.
MettleAngel: That sounds cool. All you brethren in the almighty Alestorm, Hail! Chris I was just kidding about your choice of wardrobe.