Dan Keller from WICKED PLAN was kind enough to enlighten me about his band in this interviews. © 2016 Anders Ekdahl
You have one of these names that does not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-The idea for the band name WICKED PLAN initially came from my past, where I was a huge Lynch Mob fan (well, I’m still!). 1990 George Lynch wrote an excellent album called „Wicked Sensation“. With this in the back of the head, we came up with tons of wicked ideas for a band name. And as every band has some kind of a hidden plan, we have too! What kind of a plan this is will not be revealed of course… but it’s a wicked plan!
Could you give us a short introduction to the band?
-Sure. The WICKED PLAN founders are Natali Keller on vocals and myself on guitar. While Natali is mainly inspired by male singers like Bruce Dickinson, Dio (R.I.P.) and Rob Halford, my musical sources and influences can be found in the music of Yngwie Malmsteen, the great Baroque composers, George Lynch and a handful of others. Then we have Yanik Allenspach, our drummer and youngest band member. He has the task to lay the rhythmic foundation for the riffs. Yanik is playing a very explosive drum style, inspired by power drummers like Aquiles Priester (ex-Primal Fear). And finally there is Seb Vetter on bass – the beast on stage! Seb is a furious bass player and it’s really great to play side on side with him on stage.
What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-The band’s passion and inspiration is well-crafted heavy metal with intensity and strong melodies. Our style? Some call it melodic metal, other call it heavy metal… But I don’t like stereo-typed thinking anyway. Listen to the latest album „Out Of Fire“ and decide for yourself!
All songs are written by me, while Natali is writing the lyrics and all vocal melodies. Natali’s intense voice is an absolutely essential part of WICKED PLAN’s music. I’m very inspired by Baroque composers, you know, and as you may notice I’m very attracted by Yngwie’s play style. For me he’s the most intense and musical guitar player. Baroque music elements are one of the key ingredients of our music too. And I personally enjoy it very much to write classical orchestra parts with different layers and melodic lines. These orchestra parts are mainly used as a harmonic foundation for my guitar solos.
As I said, we like the style and vibration of the 80ies heavy metal, and we like the power of modern metal. It’s this mixture in combination with Natali’s intense vocals which makes WICKED PLAN unique. You can experience this on our latest album “Out Of Fire” which combines some cool heavy metal riffs with neo-classical elements, great vocals and really modern sounding riffs. The album is mixed by Aki Sihvonen from the legendary Finnvox studios where already Nightwish and Stratovarius have refined their albums.
What is the metal scene like in your area? Do you feel that you are a part of a scene?
-The Swiss metal scene is not very big. There are just a couple of Swiss metal bands which are kind of similar to WICKED PLAN in regard to music style and concept. We have quite a lot of contacts to Germany, because there is a bigger metal scene and the German metal fans do really welcome our sound.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Absolutely! When I stay on stage and perform with my band mates for the people in the audience, when I see their excitement and feel their emotions… this is it! Then I’m part of „something bigger“, as you called it. In this moment we are a unity with our fans. Not only on stage, but this is particularly true in a live situation. And because metal music and bands are a big part of WICKED PLAN’s band members life we clearly feel to be part of the worldwide metal community \m/
When you play the sort of metal you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-This is true. We like mysterious and stylish cover art work on our albums. And as our lyrics usually tell mystical stories the artwork should reinforce this.
Some great album covers? Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Eclipse, Dio’s Master of the Moon.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-The question is not if digital is killing music, but how musicians can work with digital media and technology. We cannot turn time back but have to adapt to the technology and current and future habits of the people. For me personally complaining is not the right way, but thinking about how to use all tools we have to reach people and get fans.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-There is a limited live scene for metal within Switzerland. As I said before we are currently focusing on Germany and some other countries because the metal scene there seems to be more active and open minded.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-For me it’s definitely more than a party. It is an act of giving and taking. Giving to the fans, and enjoying on stage. When I’m on stage I’m in a flow. It’s an incomparable experience I would not like to miss.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-More cool WICKED PLAN albums in the style of „Out Of Fire“, even more excited fans, more cool gigs… as Yngwie himself put it: More is more!