STEEL RAISER has a very heavy metal band name that you cannot ignore once you see it. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-Hi Anders, I would like to thank you very much for the space you give us on Battlehelm.com. Making music, our music, represents from the beginning our way of having fun, of evading in some way from everyday life and finding new ways to feed the fire of our passion. Our intent is that those who listen to us can have fun and become more passionate about our music and metal music more generally.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-I honestly do not remember how easy or difficult it was to find our name. It was Alfonso who invented the name Steel Raiser, a name that had to be simple at the same time and encompass a great meaning: to carry on the Heavy Metal crusade, without compromise, without adapting to any fashion or external demand and with the aim of doing what we like to do.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-Surely there are many bands that have influenced us and continue to do so. We really love US Metal, and here I would like to mention groups like Vicious Rumors, Crimson Glory, Cage, Exiter and W.A.S.P. and others, Judas Priest, Primal Fear Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple were fundamental. Today I can tell you that we are still very close to these bands, we always follow them with a lot of interest and passion and they are always a point of reference for us. This does not mean however imitating one or more of these bands, in recent years we have worked hard on our personal sound and already in “Unstoppable” has been defined as a “Steel Raiser Sound”.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-As I said previously, having our sound is the basis of our music. From the beginning we had in mind what we wanted and only with experience and constant work have we reached our goal. There are many things that we can and still have to achieve, but having our own sound behind us, recognizable by those who listen to us, is an excellent starting point towards even more important goals.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I believe, although I am a fan of physical support, cd or vinyl, that the company being in continuous evolution must be satisfied in some way. It is true that digital is currently taking the upper hand on the analogue, but we must also look at the positive side of the thing, because digital content arrives there where physical support does not arrive and today represents a fundamental showcase to attract new listeners and become know. To conclude, it takes balance, we must continue with the releases on physical support followed by a good digital distribution. The choice of single tracks as a way of publication is something sad in my opinion, which distorts the concept of album and band.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-In Heavy Metal music, artwork has always represented an important point in the release of a band. An artwork must somehow synthesize the spirit of the band and represent the content of an album. It must at the same time capture the attention and curiosity of new possible listeners and be traceable to the band for those who already know it. In this case the phoenix continues to be the protagonist of our releases, a phoenix that from the beginning gradually transforms itself into something more defined and lethal, from simple indefinite emanation to being of fire and steel, a sort of continuum of the work done till now. In addition, the beautiful graphics, created for the occasion by Paolo Pizzimento, certainly arouses interest in those who see it.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-The evolution of social media, and their importance in terms of promotion, has certainly influenced in recent years the way we promote ourselves. Personally I am a very open person to new ways, especially if these are functional to our objectives and represent a growth for Steel Raiser, so our way of promoting evolves from year to year. Of course our label, Iron Shield Records, also provides great resources to support and promote our music.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-In terms of the general scene we have carved out our small space and certainly that sense of belonging we feel and stimulates us to always produce new stuff and make our contribution. However, for example, this does not happen locally, where the metal scene is very fragmented and at the moment uncertain. In short, I can say that we feel part of a scene that is a bit distant geographically but that somehow belongs to us and supports us. How to have a girlfriend on the other side of the world !!!
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-I have always considered the tour / gigging at the base, and I consider it so even now. A band can not just publish albums without supporting them live. In our case this condition is a bit complicated by the geographical context that forces us to have to spend a lot of resources to access major musical contexts. In the last year, however, we have had the means to raise the shot and aim to do even better.
What will the future bring?
-Fun and passion, which are the distinctive features of our music. We will try to break the barriers of distance to bring our music even outside of Italy and we will also continue to offer new content as we have always done. In this sense I can tell you that we are already collecting the first ideas to get to work on the next album.
Thanks again for your support and I hope our music will please the readers of Battlehelm.com