MOUNTAIN THRONE have released an album that speaks to me. So I wanted to know more about them. Hence this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2014
Just so we know what we are dealing with could you please give us a short introduction to the band?
-Hi! Well, we´re a Heavy Metal band from southwestern Germany consisting of F. (vocals), S. (bass), J. (drums) and me, A. (guitar). Me and J. formed the band in 2009 and we have been busy writing/recording & playing the odd show since! Our debut EP “Serpent´s Heathland” was released in 2010 as a 12” vinyl only edition on Germany´s Cyclone Empire records; in 2011 we released a split 7” single with Procession on Ireland´s Sarlacc Productions (again & of course, vinyl only!). The debut album coming out in a few days will mark our first ever release that will be available on cd as well as vinyl.
What was it that made you want to play the style of metal that you play? Was there a specific moment/artist/album that spoke to you?
-It´s the sound and feeling of the old school Metal that makes it great I suppose. And the diversitiy! I mean, you can listen to Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motörhead & Trouble for instance, all great, and none sounds like any other. Often you would find great lyrics on those albums, too (think e.g. about Dio, Lemmy or Geezer Butler). To me, the perfect combination all in all is manifest in Black Sabbaths Heaven and Hell album. There you have not only the playing and singing (especially that, I mean, it´s Ronnie James Dio!) all in place, but also the lyrics and the sound. Martin Birch did the best sound my ears have ever heard.
How do you find your sound? Do you take a whole bunch of influences and mix them together to make it your brew?
-It just comes out like that. The basic idea is to write and play the kind of Metal I want to hear, and I guess that means stuff that is an influence just keeps crawling into the sound. But it´s not like there are conscious efforts to write a song in this or that vein…things tend to simply fall into place, haha! The song has to be coherent in itself.
I guess that most bands go through one or two lineup changes. How do you as a band contain your sound when one member leaves and a new one arrive?
-Since most of the writing and composing is done by me, the sound as such doesn´t change on the whole. We lost our initial bassplayer H. last year, and he was then replaced by new member S. Of course there will be a difference in the playing, and one that can be heard (especially live I guess) by that. But it won´t change the overall direction of the band.
What are your feelings on this development of digital replacing physical?
-I have no desire for digital things, they might as well not exist as far as i´m concerned! I own tons of books but no digital reading device. And I will never stop buying real records, and preferably on vinyl at that (maybe they sound better than cds, too, but to me it´s simply easier to gaze at the covers, haha).
Are there any limitations to digital? What are the benefits of a physical product? I’m not too hot on digital. I want to be able to hold and feel my record, turn it around and touch it.
-See above! Of course nothing can replace a physical record, the unity of artwork, sound & music; and let´s not forget it’s a manufactured product that took some care to make, so it´d be a shame to just download a bunch of data and a jpeg, wouldn´t it? Besides, when at home i´m loathe to turning on a computer anyway…
Now that almost everybody has access to the internet and can reach out to the whole World how important is the community feel of a strong local scene?
-That would be nice, although it has to be said that the people i´m in touch with (through & about music) tend to be distributed quite a bit, let´s say, over Germany and Europe at least.
I remember in the 80s how hard it was for smaller bands to get a decent sound? How easy is it today to find a producer/studio that understands your needs?
-Depends on the kind of money you can spend really. We´re lucky in that we know Magister Hubert of Darkland recordings, and he managed to get a really decent sound in some very concentrated and short recording sessions. The drums have been recorded by another guy at another place, but again, things worked out beautifully. It was cool because we worked pretty fast (when actually recording, the road up to that point was rocky to say the least!), f.i. the guitar solos are usually first takes, and there are 3 guitar tracks max per song (and only if there are 2 solo-tracks!). We wanted it that way, as in not overload everything with guitar, but to have the instruments all up in the mix, more or less equal.
Martin Birch is retired anyway, and I guess that he wouldn´t have come cheap…
How pleased are you with your latest album? What kind of reaction do you expect to get from it?
-Pleased as punch. The songs are good, they fit together very well yet are quite diverse at the same time. The sound is good, very warm, with good drums and an actually audible bass.
What do you see in the future?
-In the near future (on Saturday the 14th of December to be precise) we´ll play sort of a release-show in Erfurt, with other bands Steelclad, Dawn of Winter and Atlantean Kodex. It´s gonna be a heavy one! And then, who knows? Play a few more shows, at some point, record some more material. You know, keep the wheels turning!