» Martin Steene - Iron Fire
« back


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 Evil?

  • 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...

MettleAngel: Is Iron Fire your priority now, or do you balance your time between both bands?

  • 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.

MettleAngel: 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.

MettleAngel: 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 on it:)

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 the lyrics.

MettleAngel: 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 sound?

  • 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 boys...

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 upon whom?

  • 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?

  • Martin: It's nice to be back and it won't take five years to make another Iron Fire album, a big salute to those who are still supporting us after all these years of silence. Thanks for the interview and remember to fight for metal til the end:) All the best.

See also: review of the album Revenge »»

Related links: