I was so pleased that Iron Fire
reformed and released their brand new album Revenge, so I decided to contact
Martin Steene and ask him a few questions
which have kept my thunderspirit for the metal victory stigmatized and
over the edge, for the last five years, in the absence of their thunderstorm...
MettleAngel: First of all I am so glad that
you stayed true to your mettle and finally released another Iron Fire
CD after a five year hiatus! Had you always planned to keep Iron Fire
going; especially after you joined and became the vocalist for Force Of
Martin: When I joined Force of Evil things
with Iron Fire were real slow, we had just lost our deal with Noise
records and could'nt find the right members for the new line-up. So
for me it was perfect to get the call from Hank, and that whole thing
about joining Force of Evil made me believe in myself again, and gave
me the strengh to carry on with my dream band - Iron Fire...
Is Iron Fire your priority now, or do you balance your time between both
Martin: Lucky for me I have'nt been in that
dilemma yet, with Force we are not able to tour that much due to some
personal problems, Hank is writing all the music and calling all the
shots so it gives me all the time I need for Iron Fire and other bands...
I've always been the man who organizes things in bands and its nice
to have a band where I'm only a singer and where I dont have to deal
with all the bullshit...
MettleAngel: A few years ago you offered
some free demo downloads from your website. I was fortunate to get those
tracks. I even noticed that you saved Odin's Call (one of my favorites)
for the bonus track. I really enjoyed Nightmare & Firegod from that
demo. It seems that some of the new songs have remnants from some of the
other demos. Is this the case, or did you just write brand new songs,
with your new band? Do you ever plan to rework Nightmare & Firegod,
since those are killer metal cuts?
Martin: We had over 80 songs to choose from
for Revenge, some were old stuff; others were brand new tunes, and
a big mix of five years of song writing. Maybe we will record some
of those old demo songs some day, but right now it's important to
look forward to and work on new songs as a band with the line up which
we now have. On the next album there will be songs written by some
of the other boys in the band, and I think that's a great way to evolve
our music. In the end five (Iron) heads are better then one, you know...
MettleAngel: I have to ask this, as an avid
fan of Running Wild for over two decades, is your song Ironheadsinfluenced
by them? When I first heard those demo tracks, I though you were covering
the Running Wild song of the same name from the Combat Noise Death Metal
Compilation of 1984.
Martin: The song Ironhead is pretty close to
the old pirates and thats is only cool for me, the song is about four
years old and a bit different then the way I write songs today. It's
a song that works fantastic live, and one that is easy to sing along
with, and that is what Iron Fire is all about.
Is Running Wild then one of your major influences? All the favorable reviews
which I have read, compare your CD to Rolf Kasparek's days of death n'
glory. What other bands made you want to create your own Iron Fire?
Martin: Rolf has inspired me alot through the
years and still does, and there will be other tributes to that band
on future Iron Fire albums. Back in the my younger days it was all
about Helloween and Manowar and of course, Running Wild; but nowadays
it's a lot of bands and in the end we have to make our own sound to
survive in this game. But it's not easy to get your own sound and
still play power metal. If you play classic metal you sound like Hammerfall,
and you're are just ripping them off, and if you do something different
like we did with On The Edge, then you're a wanker who can't play
real metal :) It's a no win situation, you know. Fuck that, we do
what we like and if you don't like it, then fuck you!
MettleAngel: I know the CD On The Edge,
was much maligned by many metal enthusiasts; I actually enjoyed it. Is
it safe to assume that Mötley Crüe were also an influence in
your musical direction?
Martin: Wow! You're one who likes that album
:) As I said before we tried to do something different on that album
but maybe we were not good enough musicians at that point to do it
the perfect way. I love Motley and stuff like that, but I have experienced
that it does not fit in Iron Fire's music, and I won't make that mistake
ever again. That fucking album almost killed my band and my career!
I'm happy to have done it and know now what not to do. There were
some killer songs on it, and I just fucked it up with Vince Neil vocals
and to many rock ballads. It's cool that you liked it as one of the
few in the world.
Any chance of songs from On The Edge ending up in your live set-list?
I enjoyed Prince Of Agony & Forever Evil. What songs from the new
CD do you intend to play live? I'm a big fan of Savage Prophecy, Stand
As King & Break The Spell. Overall, I really like the whole CD. I
purposely purchased the limited edition just to get the Odin's Call song.
Martin: We played the five first songs from
Revenge on tour with Demon a while ago and it kicked ass. We did Prince
Of Agony from On The Edge. I would love to do Forever Evil some day,
but I dont think our drummer can keep up with that brain dead tempo:)
Odin's Call is one of my favorites, I've always wanted to do a song
just with vocals and strings, and I'll tell you Man, I'm a bad keyboard
player, but I got it togetter in the end:) It's the same version as
on the demo, we just remixed it at Tommy Hansen's place and I'm pretty
proud of that little piece of music. Too bad it's only on the limited
version, if you ask me.
MettleAngel: Any chance of Iron Fire coming
to the States? Who might you be touring with, if that occurs?
Martin: I dont know, hopefully some day, with
Hammerfall or Saxon would be great. I don't think Iron Fire is even
close to being big enough to do a tour in the states, but we are working
MettleAngel: I know that you are a big
classic horror fan as the subject matter of the last Force of Evil CD
denoted. Are you also a big Sci-fi fan? It seems that several new songs
have a futuristic vibe. What exactly is the Ice-cold Arion? What are the
robot wars you are referring to in "Alone In The Dark?
Martin: I made a concept for Revenge, with
a big story behind all the lyrics: a mix of Braveheart and Mad Max
or somthing, and with a lot of references to the last five years of
bullshit this band had to go through to get this far. In the end our
record company were just a bit against that, so we used it and that's
why some of the lyrics are a bit weird, if you don't know the hole
story behind it. The album was already recorded when we signed with
Napalm, so I had no chance to redo the lyrics which, in fact, I like
as they are. The concept story will be out on our home page sometime
soon to those who would like to see the big picture and get behind
Musically the song Ice-cold Arion transcends metal. The slower
songs on the CD seems to have both a bluesy touch with a hint of calypso
in it. Do you like to incorporate other styles of music in Iron Fire's
- Martin: Ice-cold
Arion is a song we recorded as a acoustic bonus track for the album,
but it turned out to be more interesting then we had imagined. We used
a drum loop instead of real drums, since the drum session for the album
was already done a month earlier, when I decided to make this the bonus
track. I love the way it has a ballad feeling, but on the other hand,
it's quite different then the usual metal ballads...
MettleAngel: Are you the prime songwriter
and lyricists? Some of the lyrics on Revenge definitely show your love
for everything metal.
- Martin: Yes, I'm
the guilty one for the lyrics and the music on this album; but now the
other lazy bastards in the band have to work for the next album, while
im resting at my beach house in Hawaii:) Just call me when you are done
MettleAngel: Finally, why did you choose
the title Revenge for the new CD, as there is no song present on the CD
called Revenge? Does this indicate a personal viewpoint, if so revenge
Martin: The title
Revenge fits perfect and stands for the five years of struggle which
I have been going through to get this album done and released. It's
Revenge upon those who abandoned me when things went bad with the
band; brothers who back stabbed me, and in general unbelievers of
true metal, you know who you are, fuckers!
MettleAngel: Thank you so much for taking
the time to answer these questions for me and my audience. Is there anything
which you would like to add?
See also: review
of the album Revenge »»