For some reason I’ve been neglecting to check out LANCER. Until now that is. But better late than never. Answers by Fredrik Kelemen. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

When you formed the band with what intention did you do so? How easy was it to pick up a thread as to where your sound is going?
-We actually started out as a cover band, playing song of Helloween, Hammerfall, Stratovarius and so on, just for fun. It was only after we did a very successful gig with those songs that we wanted to develop it into a real band and write our own songs. The style of music was pretty easy to pick up from there, we are all fans of power metal, and that was what we wanted to do, but our own style of it. We often still get compared to the earlier mentioned bands, but we really feel that we have developed our sound towards being our own more and more with every album. I personally don’t even like to call it power metal anymore, since that sort of limits us. We have tons of influences from heavy metal, thrash and stuff that isn’t even metal at all. We want to be able to do what we want, and not put ourselves in a specific genre.

As I haven’t recorded anything I have no idea what that is like but are you ever 100% satisfied? How pleased are you with your latest recording?
-You can get 99% satisfied, I believe, haha! I can listen to Mastery and be really, really proud of what we have achieved and where we are in our career, but of course you can always hear details in the music that you think you could have done better or different. There is no escape from that, that’s how it always will be since you constantly developing yourself and the band.

To me a band name is the first thing I notice. If it feels cool then I’ll check the band out. How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
-We wanted a short and powerful name, that was easy to remember, and that reflected the style of music that we play. The design of the logo is also very important since that’s what people see before they read the actual name. The real meaning of the word lancer is just a knight on horse, that carries a lance, a lancer. Pretty metal, that alone, haha! And of course we got to hear several times that it’s also the name of a car model, but that seems fitting since we are partially a speed metal band as well.

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-It’s very important that it fits together with the style of music, so people don’t get mixed impressions of what the band is about. Everything needs a holistic theme, from the music and clothes to artwork and presentation. We don’t really have a gimmick about the bands image, it’s just the classic metal look but updated to 2017 style.

I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-As mentioned in the previous question, it’s very important. The artwork is of course the first thing people see when they see a new album, and if it doesn’t look appealing most people will probably not bother listening to it, if they don’t know the band from before. I’m also a huge LP fan, and I really love to just sit down and watch the cover closely while listening to the music, so I understand exactly what you mean.

We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I would say it’s only beneficial. It has helped us to reach out to so many people that you would never had reached back when internet wasn’t around. It has helped us to build up our fanbase, and is probably ultimately responsible for us now being signed to Nuclear Blast, the biggest metal label in the world. Of course, as you know, the internet is full of haters and we have gotten our fair share of that too, but I don’t see that as a problem. Either people love us or hate us, and it’s really cool to get people’s reaction to our music, even though we of course prefer the love, haha! It gets the talk of us going, and we get more and more fans every day.

Something I often wonder about is when you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
-Well, yeah sure, in some sense. Being in a band is like being part of a family that is trying to move forward, and you get in arguments sometimes but it always ends up in the band developing to the better. And when you are out on tour you get to meet other bands, and get to know a lot of new people and exchange experience and stories, that is awesome.

How important is it to be signed to label today? What can they do
that you cannot do on your own?
-It’s very important still, especially for smaller bands. Big labels still have huge networks in the industry and have contacts that you could never get from working alone. Of course if you are like Metallica you probably don’t really need a label any more since the band name sells itself pretty much, but in my opinion labels are still the best way to get your music out and grow as a band.

How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We just got home from a month of touring in Europe together with Hammerfall and Gloryhammer, where we did 23 shows. And recently we were in Tokyo for the first time. We love being on tour, and that’s what we want to do as much as possible, and it’s really the best way to get more fans, much better than anything you can do online. Being signed to a big label really helps to get into these kinds of tours of course, and most bands today have a booking agency that does all that for you.

What will the future bring?
-We haven’t had a proper release party for Mastery here in Sweden yet, so right now we are booking a couple of Swedish shows for the spring, and after that comes the festival summer, where we so far are booked for Sabaton Open Air. Then we will see.

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