Interview conducted February 28 2009
Interview published March 03 2009
I was about to catch up with the
guys in Stomwarrior directly after their gig at House Of Metal in Umeå,
Sweden. Some misunderstandings caused it to be delayed for a bit over
half an hour, but when we finally were ushered to their dressing room,
Alex and Falko
were calmly waiting and I got a nice chat with them about what is happening
with Stormwarrior at the moment and their future plans and releases.
Tommy: Greetings, guys. I first want to
say thanks for a great gig. Yenz, you have been here at the House Of Metal
before, right? With Savage Circus?
- Lars: Yes, I have played here earlier together
with Jens Carlsson, one of the organizers of this festival. I believe
it was two years ago, and it was with the band Savage Circus. I think
that was the first year of House Of Metal, in 2007.
Tommy: Heading Northe has now been out for a little over one year.
Recently, I personally crowned it album of the year for 2008. It was really
that good, and I still think it is. What do you think about the album
yourselves now after a year, when you look back and listen to it?
Lars: It's still the best we have made so far.
Of course, I always know what things could have been made better,
but still a great album. (Yenz): I'm
totally proud of it. What is it, one year ago since we released it?
It was my first with the band, and I was also proud of the fact that
I got so much space as I did as a bass player and also as a backing
vocalist. It's very rare in a life as long as mine (laughs) that you
get the feeling that you can really express yourself on an album.
The guys really gave me room for that. I'm very proud.
Tommy: You have not been touring a lot in
promotion for the album. I assume it's not because you don't want to,
but it has mostly to do with finances and money, unfortunately. How hard
is it for a band of your size to be able to perform a full, let's say,
European tour? Would it be possible for you?
Lars: No, not yet. I don't know why, but we
have had some offers, and we still get offers also for some tours
like for example with Iced Earth and Saxon for February and March.
But we will be in the studio then, and the offer came in a bit too
late. If we would have got it a little earlier then we could have
Tommy: This would have been a good package
Tommy: You have been performing with Kai
Hansen a lot lately, bringing him on stage for the last 5-6 songs. I have
noticed myself that the intensity and response from the audience increases
quite a bit at the point, understandably. How does that feel for you in
the band when that happens? The fact that he gets so much more attention
than you, who are the main act.
Lars: Well, on stage we really don't see it
or feel that way, that everybody goes "Ohhh, Kai
We really don't perceive it that way. The times we do have him along
on the stage it's like we are playing two different acts as two different
bands, and he is just a member of the second band for that half hour
or so. (Yenz): This is a thing most noticeable
when we are playing new territories. When we play in Germany it's
does not really have a big effect anymore. And yeah, people cheer
and go a little bit extra crazy when this happens, but - we are just
enjoying it! It's a lot of fun playing those songs.
Tommy: I assume you were well aware of it
when you started doing it, and that you were counting on that kind of
- Lars: Yes, of course. It all started a while
ago with some of the Sweden Rock festival guys, with one of the metal
boat tours. They had the idea to do something special. Then we got the
same offer for the Manowar festival, Earthshaker, and that was a real
blast. But that was never recorded, so we decided to do it again on
Wacken and film everything. That will end up on a live dvd, which will
Tommy: I take it that you have a new album
going on? Can you tell us a bit about the process behind it?
Tommy: I think it's safe to say that the lyrical concept will be
the same this time around?
- Lars: Well, yes, but it's not really clear
right now. (Yenz): We are discussing some
ideas, and we have some themes and concepts but at the end of the day
they are all somehow rooted in Scandinavia. (Lars):
Maybe something about the kings, the northern kings, at the time of
the change from pagan to become christian. (Yenz):
And for me, being from Denmark, it is totally interesting for me to
talk about the past of our people. That our king sold his soul to christianity
just for a little bit more gold, a bit more power. I would like to write
something related to those themes. And then we have to see if it fits
with Lars' ideas. But we still don't know if would be a whole concept
album or just in parts.
Tommy: Do you get any kind of inspiration
being up here, almost in Lapland?
Tommy: Have you been this far up playing
before? Well, you have, Yenz, but the rest of you guys?
- Band: No, this is the first time. (Yenz):
I would actually like to go even further up, to see more of everything
and to get the feeling of the huge woods and the wild landscape.
Tommy: If you keep travelling approximately
400 kilometers further up north, outside the town of Kiruna, they have
some sort of ice hotel. You can perhaps book a gig there sometime?
Yenz: Yes, I saw that one on tv. Incredible!
Everything made of ice. You can actually live, walk and sleep there
like a normal hotel. Ok, igloos, those work too but this is amazing.
(Alex): Wow! Playing there would be cool
Tommy: Any indications on how your albums
are selling in other countries, for example in the rest of Europe? And
Asia, if you are even released there?
- Lars: Yeah, in Japan we are released at least.
I do not really know any sales figures at this point, since the record
company only sends statistics once a year. (Yenz):
Last September I was at the Prog Power in the US when I was playing
with another band, Iron Savior, that does not do that many gigs, and
I was basically asked about and talking about Stormwarrior the whole
evening, so people were really into it all over there. We might go over
there one of the next two years. I definitely see a lot of possibilities
for this band in other territories than just Europe. But we want to
stay close to the ground and take one small step after the other and
not two big steps. (Lars): Because then
you might fall
(Yenz): Yeah, and
you might even break a leg. (laughs)
Tommy: What is the biggest difference between
german fans and fans from other parts of the world, for example when it
comes to their responses during gigs and the intensity? If there even
is a difference in your eyes?
- Lars: I don't think there is a big difference
between the swedish audience and the german one. In Europe, the greek
people stand out a bit, they're extremely crazy. (Yenz):
When you are walking there, it's like being back in 1987. You see everybody
in red and black tights, you know, that kind of old school metal. A
lot of young people, also. But it's nice to see that there is a new
power metal generation coming up. 16-17 year old kids, in England, in
America. (Lars): Yeah, when we played the
Gates Of Metal festival here in Sweden 2002, we were surprised that
there was so many young people in the audience.
break caused by a festival worker sticking her head in, sniffing and saying
that the band can not smoke in here. "But if you do
Tommy: You are soon to release your first
dvd, entitled "If It's Not In Your Bloode
You Will Never Understande!".
I don't believe there is a release date yet, so could you tell us something
about the current status? You mentioned earlier that you are in the process
of mixing it?
Lars: Yes, we are putting the final touch on
the mix at the moment. It is the last release to fulfill the contract
with our old record company Remedy Records. That's a part of the change
to Dockyard 1. It has really been a lot of work because the crew,
the company that recorded everything at Wacken, they totally fucked
it up. The bass drums tracks have a lot of cracks and distortion and
we have really had to enhance all the tracks and it takes a lot of
work to get it clear. (Falko): Some parts
of the drums were not even recorded, for example some cymbals. (Lars):
I only had the five tom tracks, so I had to mix them together first
and fool around with everything so I at least had some cymbals...
it was very difficult. But it sounds good now in the end.
Tommy: Do you have an approximate date for
Tommy: Your long term plans for Stormwarrior,
how do they look? What is the next big thing, and how will you take it
to the next level, so to speak?
) (laughs) Well, first
of all fulfilling the contract with Remedy Records by getting the
dvd out, and then directly continuing with writing new songs and producing
the next album. (Yenz): We want to show
that we are hard working guys. We keep being active, and we also want
to progress on the new album. Even if we think that we progressed
a lot on the last album, we know exactly where we want to go on the
Tommy: You have a clear vision on exactly
how you want it?
Yenz: At least we have some images and some
visions in our heads. Ok, individual visions, but we will have an
interesting time getting those visions together and doing something
really great. (Lars): Yes, and the good
thing is that we are recording in our own studio, so we are not depending
on time schedules of anybody else, and we can try out different things.
Tommy: That's pretty much all I had for now, guys, and I want to
thank you very much for taking the time with us. Now is the chance for
you to speak a few final words for your Swedish and world wide fans.
- Falko: We just want to thank Sweden very, very
much, because Sweden is the place, after Germany, where we have played
the most in our career. So thank you very much Sweden for supporting
Stormwarrior! (Yenz): Yes, and it's also
a place where especially the lyrical content fits very well, and is
received well by people so the Swedish audience is very important to
us. (Lars): And I hope the swedish version
was not too bad pronounced tonight
(he is referring to the
song Odinn's Warriors that this night was sung completely in Swedish
and under the name Odens Krigare)
Tommy: Absolutely not! It was remarkably
good, actually. How about Finland and Norway, by the way? Do you get to
hear from fans from those countries and what is your status there?
Tommy: You are originally from Denmark,
Yenz, is that correct?
Yenz: I am from Denmark, yes. Born and raised
there. I left about ten years ago. I was on tour with another band
and a girl asked me for a cigarette lighter at Markthalle in Hamburg
and I ended up marrying her. I later divorced her and I really wanted
to leave for home again but I was having so much fun so I have just
stayed ever since. (Lars): But actually
we are all from Denmark
the northern part of Germany, you know...
Tommy: Yes, I remember you telling me about
that in an earlier interview. Ok, guys - go on with your beers and thanks
for a great chat. Will I see you at Opeth or Guillotine later tonight?
- Lars: I would think at least Guillotine would
be nice to see.
See also: review
of the gig the same night