With a new album out that is so darn good that I can’t stop listening to it Russian black metal combo BLACKTHORN proves their rightful place in the black metal hierarchy. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’m so old that I remember the Danish fanzine by the name of Blackthorn. I guess you didn’t get the name from there. What made you go with Blackthorn as a band name?
Aina: Haha, I don’t remember such a zine! So, we didn’t get the band’s name from there. I just was looking through some dictionary and came across the word «Blackthorn». I immediately liked it. Later I found out that blackthorn is a magical tree, the tree of the spiritual strength and support, purification and protection. I think it defined many things in our career.

The «Gossamer Witchcraft» album is quite old now but you still seem to promote it. How does it feel to promote something that old?
Aina : I can’t say we promote it, but people are still interested in our debut album. I think it’s weird and great at the same time. We fully focus on the latest CD but I’m glad to see they remember and appreciate our old releases!

I take it that you’ve written some new songs. What direction are they going in?
Aina: Despite the fact that it’s been four months since we released our latest album «Codex Archaos», we’re already composing new stuff. One song is almost completely finished, by the way. I’m not sure about the direction, because the songs will be changed so many times before the next album, you know. We’ll have to wait and see. Check out Codex Archaos, that’s how we sound these days!

How’s work on the new album progressing? I can’t seem to find any info on if it’s actually out or not.
Aina: I guess you mean ‘Codex Archaos’. It’s our second full-length studio album, released through Russian label MSR Productions on December 11, 2011. The album’s available for purchase in MSR Productions online store, on, and for digital purchase in the iTunes Store. And by the way, you can get the album information and listen to some tracks on the official Facebook or Myspace.

Where does the symphonic sound come from? Any greater influences that take precedence over others, that take up more space?
Aina: The most important influences are black and symphonic black metal scenes and classical music, of course. These are definitely important part of the sound; but I don’t limit our influences only to that, I believe there’s something more, something otherworldly. Something that takes precedence over other things, just like you said.

What makes a band want to play black metal? Was that a conscious decision?
Aina: In fact we wanted to play something like that from the very beginning. We just waited for the right time, because of that we started as a pure gothic metal band. But now the right time has come.

How much of a clear vision did you have about the band’s sound from the start? How much of it has come with time and getting to know each other better?
Aina: As I’ve already said, we always wanted to sound dark, ominous and aggressive. Back in the days I felt we had a potential and desire, but we were too shy or inexperienced for that. So, as far as I remember, in the very beginning we didn’t plan to change our sound direction. However, I always anticipated the changes. Our new line up is much stronger than the old one. It now feels that we can take on the world, hehe. We’re ready to experiment with the sound and find new ways to express ourselves.

How important is the visual side of the band? Do you have a specific image you want to show off?
Aina: It’s important. We have always paid great attention to the stage image and tried to create a certain visual look to fit the atmosphere our music requires. Now it’s easier to do; recently we designed some stage costumes and then showed our drafts to a dressmaker. The result’s not so bad for the first time. We all look like members of the same order now! I find our stage costumes dark, stylish, strong and creatively different for an all-female metal band.

What is it like to play abroad; even it is just in neighbouring countries? How does the symphonic sound you have on record translate to the stage?
Aina: It’s very exciting. I love meeting new audience, seeing new places, tasting new food and so on. Ideally we would like to play abroad as much as possible. I really hope that we will get a chance to do this soon. In my opinion, our stage sound is almost as symphonic as the record one. Probably because of a live violin and backing tracks with rich keyboard parts and monumental choirs.

Do you plan on hitting the touring circuit around Europe/ROW harder with a new record to promote?
Aina: We already did a promotional Metal Spirit Resurrection tour in Poland and got back a month ago. Does it count? Anyway, it was smashing. We want more!


With a new 20 track album just released DIE PRETTY are set to take on the world in order to make it theirs. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Is live fast die pretty a good motto to live by?
-I think that is a great motto to live by. As far as I have seen, you only go around once. Live it up!

I’ve seen pictures of you when you are a three piece. Is that the ultimate band constellation? What is so good about a three piece band?
-We are actually a 4 piece. At the time when we were doing press for our new album, “BEYOND FATE,” our previous drummer Angelo had to leave the band. His wife, who we dedicated the album to was suffering from breast cancer. So at that time we were in the middle of a lineup change. Die Pretty has always been a 2 guitar, bass and drums band. We like being a 4 piece, you have more options when playing live.

When you deal with family in a band setting (brother+sister, wife/husband etc.) does that bring with it a gap to the other members as far as inclusion/seclusion goes? How does it work being family in a band?
-When you are in the band with your sister, you always have that sibling connection, but in Die Pretty we are all equally heard. In the end, the band IS your family. You are all siblings lol.

When you are a small band trying to make a name for yourself touring is the best way of building a reputation. Is that still true in this day and age? Do people come out to see an unheard off band?
-Social media is a great way to connect to people but playing live is still the best way to make fans and let people hear your band the way it’s meant to be heard. There are still music lovers out there that look for new bands and will come out to see an unknown band. There are not that many left lol but they do exist. We live in a tough era where social media is king, but it is also a bit saturated.

How do you avoid ending up fighting each other after having played one small place after another?
-Playing in small clubs and bars is just a part of the industry. Actually some of the best shows are in dive bars. It is way more initmate and you can interact with a crowd easily.

The other day when listening to The Goo Goo Dolls it hit me how good bands like Husker Du and Government Issue were. How conscious are you of the past musical treasures when you write new songs? Where does inspiration come from?
-Yes we constantly listen to the bands that put us where we are and made us pick up an instrument. Your influences are your own classics. The tricky thing today is how do you hang on to your roots but yet stay contemporary? That’s the struggle. You have to keep up with the changing industry to stay relevant. Not many bands have been able to do that consistently over time.

Everybody need reference points when they discover new music. Are there any bands that you’ve been compared to that has been totally off the wall?
-Well since Sarah is the lead singer we get compared to a lot of girl fronted bands like No Doubt, Hole, Garbage, Tsunami Bomb. I never think a reference to another band is totally off of the wall because in the end it’s still a compliment. People interpret your music differently so whatever they associate you to in their head is fine with me.

How do you deal with bad reviews or bad press in general? Can you let it wash off like bad rain or does it get to you?
-You can’t let them get you down. Everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to it. It does bum you out for a minute or two, but then you read something positive and move on.

How would you like to describe your music in order to sell it the best possible way?
-I’d say take the feeling you get when you just won a competition or sporting event, combine that with your favorite color, food and a lot of money. That is what Die Pretty is like. JK. Actually I guess we would call Die Pretty Rock/Alternative/Pop music. If you come to our show you will dance and you will also rock out hard.

Where do you like to see Die Pretty go in the future?
-I would like to be able to spread our music to as many people as possible. We are an independent band so we need our fans to help us do that. Please join “Die Pretty Nation” on our website and help us take the music to places it has never been heard.

Die Pretty
New Album “Beyond Fate” in Stores NOW!
twitter: @dieprettynyc


As I knew very little about ELMSFIRE I felt a need to interview them in order to get to know more about them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Do you feel like a dying breed in a landscape so full of metalcore and melodeath acts fighting for the attention?
Doro: No, we really don’t. Since we just do what we wanted to do out of sheer love for the music we play and listen to maybe we do not feel this competition as strongly. While the struggle rages we simply try and keep calm and going.

How do you avoid being sucked into the latest trends and just stick by you ideals?
Doro: To be sucked in by a trend you need to like it or at least pay enough attention and have a will to imitate. We don’t seem to have or do either. We believe that we can create our own music out of our own resources and experience without always peering over to see what the others are doing. That was never the purpose of the band. Our ‘ideal’ as you have put it is to find a riff, a sound, a song of which everyone in the band is convinced to be fuckin’ great.

We are now well into 2012 and heavy metal as a genre has been around for 40+ years. How do you avoid ending up sounding like something that has already been done?
Doro: By not worrying about that too much and just doing what feels right, let it be a natural process. Writing music that is variable and not too limited and allowing new ideas that anyone in the band can come up with if they simply sound great and inspire a feeling in us.

Is there a challenge in taking your influences and making something new of it or do you just stick with what you know best and let that be the golden rule?
Doro: As I already said above-it’s a natural process. While tastes change there are always new influences, sublime or obvious with which we then deal. It is one of our premises NOT to CONSTRUCT something and force change. Like “today let’s write a metalcore-song” It simply doesn’t work that way. What drives us is the wish to get better with our instrument, keep our curiosity for music and explore. To boldly go where maybe others have gone before, or haven’t, in our own fashion.

What would be the optimal promotional strategy to promote your new album? How would you go about reaching all those that might be interested in the album but maybe won’t notice it?
Doro: As we already have Massacre Records in our back doing a fine job promoting it I believe that playing live is and always has been the best way to promote music. It is most direct and efficient way to reach people.

How much of a battle is it to be in a studio recording in terms of how you like the album to sound like and how the producer wants it to sound like? How much are you willing to compromise?
Doro: We are always willing to take good advice when it’s in our face. Christian “Moschus” Moos, who has produced ‘Thieves of the Sun’ has a great understanding about where an idea is going. It is more his desire to get the best out of a song rather than leaving his own mark on it. So I cannot say it has been a fight-it has been a most fruitful creative process even then. We are immensely thankful and have learned a lot along the way.

With the final product in hand how pleased are you with it? Did it turn out just the way you imagined or did it turn out better?
Doro: As you might guess from my last answer: it lived up to every one of our expectations and in some ways turned out truly even better. We are indeed very pleased. Ready to do something like this again.

Do lyrics, song titles, album title and art work have to fit together? How important is it to have a theme that runs through it all?
Doro: In my opinion not all of these things necessarily need to fit together, but there should be a connection between at least one song and the cover. To stress a core idea or feeling and ultimately bring the whole thing into a homogenous form does give it a lot more weight and meaning.

The cover might not be as important to those that buy downloads but for all of us still in physical products the cover can be the turning point. How much time do you spend on getting the imagery right?
Doro: To create that cover took a lot of time, developing skills, trying different angles
and approaches and start-overs. We did NOT pay an artist to do it and as everything else in and around Elmsfire – it’s handmade. It took well over 6 months to finish and match with our most idealistic expectations. It wasn’t an easy process and well marks one of the most important tasks. Everyone involved knows how much heart-blood went into it.

What kind of plans do you have for Elmsfire now?
Doro: Our next goal is for the rest of this year to play as many shows as we can get. And in between we’re already writing new stuff for a dark and powerful follow-up.


FANTHRASH is a Polish thrash metal band (yeah the name is a dead give-away) that has been going since the forever it seem. Has the time come for them now. Read and find out. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta say that your band name doesn’t fit right in my mouth. It takes some time to get used to. Fanthrash sounds like a really bad English teacher. What was it that made you stick with the name?
-Hi to you and all the BATTLE HELM readers. At the very beginning, back in the 80s, the band was called FANTOM. (the Polish word for Phantom) but we changed it when we learnt the there was already a band called that way. FANTHRASH is a blend of the words FANTOM and THRASH and is taken from the title of our only instrumental piece that we wrote round 1986-87. Many people don’t like our name but we decided to stick to it just to provoke. Especially when you consider the fact that we don’t really play classic or old school thrash metal. As for this bad English teacher, it might be a good nick name for our drummer Radd, who actually is an English teacher, heh. Sorry Radd, just kidding.

You actually formed the band under the Communist regime. What kind of climate was it back then to form a band in?
-Forming a band in the 80s in Poland, in times of communism, was quite a challenge. We lacked practically everything: instruments, amplifiers, rehearsal rooms etc. but mostly money. Everyone led a simple life back then. Those who decided to start a band new had to encounter difficulties and were fanatically involved. Believe it or not, but if you wanted to play at any festival, and there weren’t many of those, your lyrics had to be checked by a censor. That’s why the music that was made in those times was so authentic and uncompromising. Punk rock was really in, back then, and it had a great impact on metal music. In the final days of communism bands like VADER started their career and thanks to hard work and foreign contracts they made most musicians’ dream come true – they escaped from this communist, and later actually post-communist hellhole and released albums and played gigs in the West.

When you look back on all those years you’ve tried keeping the band going is there something you wish you had done differently?
-First we have to make one thing straight: FANTHRASH was active from 1986 until 1992 and then came back in 2007 so we can’t really talk about keeping the band alive. We should actually be talking about a completely new band rather than a reunion of the old one. Although three members, including me, come from the original line-up, dating back to the 80s. What would I do differently? For sure I shouldn’t have allowed for such a long break in the band’s activity. I should have been more consistent in keeping the band going, should have kept the band on the surface in the 90s, despite line-up changes. All the bands that survived that difficult transformation period and kept doing their job, like VADER, got their chance thanks to contracts abroad. At that time I thought that a short break would be enough to take care of my family and that I would be back playing in no time but I was wrong, daily hardships, hard, also physical work at the beginning in order to provide for my wife and three kids put me aside from playing for many long years. Unfortunately I had to choose between my family’s existence and music that couldn’t bring any profits. That was life in Polish conditions of the 90s.

When you look at a band like Vader that also started around the time you got started do you see similarities in how you?ve developed? Can you learn from the journey Vader has done?
-As I mentioned before, VADER survived because Peter was consistent and kept the band going even in the hardest times, when the interest in thrash or death metal decreased and many bands and fans took up lighter kinds of metal. Maybe Peter had more strength, more support from his closest ones, maybe it was easier for him because on his way he met people who believed in his band and helped. Besides, needless to say, VADER is a great band that has become a model for a whole generation of metalheads and they clearly deserved their success.

Back in the 80s there was no internet. All you could do to communicate was to send letters. How did that work in a totalitarian country? How did you get to hear about all the new thrash metal bands?
-It’s true, it was a time without the Internet, mobile phones (yes, my dear young readers, we somehow managed without them, heh), no cable TV or an access to… photocopiers. The reason was that the communist authorities didn’t want a regular citizen to be able to copy documents, print out leaflets or posters calling people to overthrow the communist regime. You need to know that only certain people could go abroad and even if you finally got a passport, you weren’t allowed to keep it at home (with few exceptions) and had to return it to the militia precinct after coming back.
In those times the only way to communicate with other bands, zines and fans, in Poland but also abroad, was sending letters, taped albums etc. Although the authorities tried to control the citizens, letter exchange worked quite well and this way we had access to information and recordings. There was a hole in the totalitarian system, namely metal music programmes, broadcast by Polish radio stations. For many it was the only source of information about new albums released around the world. You could hear a whole album in those programmes, record and listen to it till the tape was completely worn out.

When you have been going for so long, the breaks included, how liberating was it to finally release something on record for the first time?
-Emotions that accompanied the release of this long-awaited album were impossible to describe. We were happy to have finalised our dream that had been born back in 1986. We had been working really hard making the material and recording it and we believe that the actual result is quite good. We think that ‘Duality of Things’ will prove important to many metal maniacs and that they will be returning to this album over and over again. And here we should mention the Swedish theme – reamping, mixes and mastering were all done by Jocke Skog from FEAR AND LOATHING STUDIOS in Sweden – a keyboard player from Clawfinger, who has recorded and engineered such famous bands like Meshuggah. The album release meant also playing concerts again. And here emotions were even greater, since stage is every metalhead’s and musician’s second nature. For us the most important moment of those was supporting VOIVOD, that was our dream come true.

How did a Polish thrash metal band get in touch with a British record label? Do you feel that Rising Records is the right home for Fanthrash?
-The deal with Rising Records is a result of our advertising campaign after the self-release of ‘Trauma Despotic’ EP in 2010. They liked our music and after long negotiations we signed the contract. So far for the debut only. We’re one of many bands in this label and our contract doesn’t cover booking actions, so as we still own the copyright we’re looking for a bigger player that could re-release ‘Duality of Things’ or our next full-length album. What the band needs most right now to promote our debut is a solid booking agency which would organise concerts, especially outside Poland.

The Polish metal scene has exploded the last 15-20 years. How does Fanthrash fit into this scene today? What do you think of the other Polish metal acts?
-I think FANTHRASH fits in just perfect. We fill the gap between death metal which is so popular in Poland and the new wave of thrash metal, played by young people, often my children’s age. It’s some kind of generation legacy. We have many great bands that make international careers, like BEHEMOTH, VADER that was mentioned earlier, also HATE, DECAPITATED, LOST SOUL, ANTIGAMA, TRAUMA, SCEPTIC. Our underground scene is quite strong as well, with bands such as PANDEMONIUM, DEIVOS, and many others. Hardcore/grind core stage is flourishing too, with bands like PARRICIDE, known in the whole Europe, or SQUASH BOWELS. Polish bands have indeed raised the standards high and we have nothing to be ashamed of. Although it’s hard to find a serious label or booking agency in Poland and metal fans don’t really have money to to go to concerts and buy records, the underground scene is in really good shape. It’s all thanks to great dedication, often non-profit, of metal maniacs and musicians who keep the whole metal scene going.

How hard is it to see all these younger metal bands racing by you in terms of exposure and success? Any envious feelings towards them?
-Sure, it makes us sick to see all those successful young bands and we wish them all the worst! No, kidding, heh. It’s not envy, it’s actually pride that we feel, we’re proud that so many young bands manage and that their skills are better and better. The more good young bands we have, the more motivated scene and fans will be. Support among the bands is also important, we get it sometimes and it really makes it easier for us to function on this otherwise difficult market.

When will Fanthrash’s spot in the sun come? Is 2012 going to be the year everybody gets to hear about the band?
-We do hope that 2012 will be the year when FANTHRASH takes the plunge and is noticed and appreciated by all the fans of the metal world. Achieving this goal depends on many factors but we will consistently try to get there. Now we’re focused on playing even better concerts than before and on our second album which we want to release in early 2013. I’d like to give my regards to all BATTLE HELM readers and metalheads in Sweden. Maybe there is an agent who would invite FANTHRASH to play concerts in your country. We promise to do our best. In the meantime buy ‘Duality of Things’ and visit our website and MySpace profile where you can find all the news and info about the band.
Metal Hail to you all!



When you open up for a misunderstanding already with the pronunciation of the band name you know that this has got to be something extra. KLOGR are something special. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The most obvious questions that can’t be denied is the pronunciation of you band name. Why would a band want to choose a name that is to be pronounced “Kay Log Are” and not “Klogger”?
-I know that it is not an easy pronunciation, and that this question, and name, will accompany us throughout our career! I still chose the name because I was very passionate about the meaning behind ‘KLOGR’. The band’s name comes out of my own personal experiences, years ago. At that time in my life, I was searching for a path “inside”, to find a balance for myself. This led me to try to understand certain causes of the many discomforts of our generation. That is where the concept of the psychophysical relationship arrives. Basically, it is a formula that defines what people feel by linking the subject with the environment that surrounds him and the stimuli that can transpose. The formula is S = k_log_R, hence the name of the band. The whole idea revolves around the theory that we are not really as free as we think, but instead are constantly influenced by what surrounds us… for better or worse.

To me somewhere between alternative rock and alternative metal sounds like a wasteland. What is it an alternative to? How do you define alternative?
-You can call it crossover, if that helps. In the music market, crossover has a specific meaning that just doesn’t suit us. For me our music is just rock music, but everytime you have a new release you have to give a description of the band and the sound. Maybe ‘Till You Decay’ can be called an alternative to the rock, grunge or metal scene… or better yet, a mix of all those genres that creates an alternative.

Klogr as a band is from what I understand not that old. What were the intentions of forming the band in the first place?
-The idea was born in my mind a few years ago. After being involved in many Italian projects, I needed something to be able to bring out side of our country. Italy is a very nice place if you like sea, food and beautiful women… but for the rock music, we don’t have a very big culture. It all really began when I called a couple of friends from other local bands and we started to collaborate. Todd Allen moved from California to Italy for 8 months and the band received the “international” part it needed!

How easy was it to write and record an album’s worth of material? How grand was the whole plan to begin with
-I’m a producer inside the Zeta Factory, I have recoded many albums for other bands and I have my own studio. We had the possibility to spend 25 days in studio for the pre-production and all the song were created in a very natural way. For the production, I had a very clear idea of the sound and all the other member of the band had to trust me and believe in the work of the band. Everything went very smooth. The band has always set its sights high and continue to do so. There has never been and never will be a peak to our plan.

Do you have any kind of vision of where the band will do well in the World? Any specific place you target more than any other?
-I honestly do not know. We played 9 shows in the US and everything was better than imagined! The audience received us very well. In Europe, there are countries where our genre is the more popular (Northern Europe, Germany) but now it is very difficult to tell where you will be able to do better. Certainly, the United States is a nation where our type of music is typically created.. but we will see in the coming months.

How does a band that is pretty new get to tour the US? What kind of reactions do you receive from an audience all new to your music?
-As I said the bass player who worked on the album is Californian. Once he was back in the US, we were able to work together and put together the US tour. We played in small clubs but without him it would be very difficult to find a promoter that would go out on a limb
and take a risk for a new band. People were very happy and we hope to return for another series of concerts this Summer!

What were the intentions of starting to tour at the same moment the album was to be released? Is touring still the best way of promoting a new band?
-Absolutely. The live show is the only way to really promote new music. If not, you better have a very large budget to be able to advertise and have that reach new people and create new fans. We much prefer to hit the road and gain one fan at a time and see their reaction to
hearing something new. The concert dates create a buzz that advertising really can’t buy.

Being basically Italian do you get any sort of respect from the national music scene if you like tour the States or are you totally ignored?
-In most circuits, music is music. In the clubs, on the road, in front of the people … good music is good music. In the media, our origin is usually the only place where that is one of the first questions. Other than that, to music fans, it’s always music that comes first…
then questions about our background.

What kind of responses can you expect from the Italian music press when you release an album? Are they appreciative of the national metal scene and the impact it have had/still has on the international metal scene?
-The music is definitely more appreciated internationally. I think there is the objectivity that when a project is legitimate, to discuss if the quality is not, then you may like or not like …but it is always a matter of taste. In Italy, the projects are not always “exportable” but things have really changed in the last 5-10 years. We are very proud of Lacuna Coil and other bands that have taken their music outside of Itay.

Now that you’ve taken the first steps where do you go from here?
-We will leave for a European tour soon and then go back to the United States. We have begun to talk about having a few songs produced with some American producers, but we are still searching for the right one. So far, we have arrived at this point by ourselves and
are looking for the way to create partnerships so we might be able to more easily overcome the countless obstacles that are thrown at us.


MYNAS is a thrash metal band in the older school. Some pretty cool stuff that makes me think second wave thrash metal. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

There seems to be a buzz going on about you on the internet. How does one build up an interest on the internet?
Miles: Believe in what you’re doing and have a desire to share it with people.
Mark: Love and have a passion for what you’re doing. Also don’t be afraid to talk with your fans and accept their praise as well as their criticism with open arms and ears.
Robellion: Networking with people on the web and create good public relations with those around you.
To me the biggest challenge still seems to be to take the interest generated on the net into the actual world. How hard is it to prove that the interest generated on the net actually means something beyond that universe?
Mark: Wow.
Miles: I just say, look at what you have online, and only about 20% of that is accurate. Those are the people that are interested in what you’re doing and will actually show up to support you. Lots of people hit the ’like’ button.
Mark: Fan attendance directly increases your online support. New people spread the word when they’ve just discovered you.
Robellion: It’s very difficult because, again, it’s easy for someone to ‘like’ you like Miles has said. People know of and have been exposed to us from all over the world, but album sales, merchandise sales, ticket sales, those are the real world applications. They don’t always correspond with the ‘friends’ you have online.
Mark: We’re still a very new band.
Miles: It just takes time.

How does one best represent oneself in order to gain most possible exposure and not just end up as a one hit wonder?
Mark: Put out a quality product.
Miles: One thing I have found to be effective and is something both Rob and I have done online is, talking to people one on one. Peaking their interest in an individual conversation, not just in mass postings.
Mark: We are a personal networking band. We like to speak with our audience and our fans. We try to contact as many people on a personal level as we can by answering emails, sending messages thanking people for being at our shows, letting them know they are appreciated. Inviting them to stop by and say hi when they see us out at other shows, things like that.
Robellion: We try to always conduct ourselves professionally online and in personal conversations so that those we deal with only have good things to say about us. Being an ass can kill your career. We don’t want that to happen to us.

When you play thrash metal like you guys do where do you look to for inspiration? Do you draw from the past exclusively or are there present day influences to be had too?
Dean: Both, I say. Past and present.
Mark: Past and present.
Miles: Most people think you have to be influenced by other bands, but it comes from everywhere. It could be a band we’ve heard, or a car driving by.
Robellion: Our parts come from within.

When I listen to your album I can’t help thinking what the metal world would have sounded like had not Pantera gone all heavy on us. What kind of bands has been more important to you than others?
Robellion: Bands that have substance and real skill more than just being able to piece together some riffs into a song.
Miles: In Flames and Metallica
Robellion: I listen to Dream Theater, Exodus, Anthrax..
Dean: Megadeth, Scorpions,
Something I’ve been thinking more and more about is; if this whole free download/pay what you like thing more and more bands are doing isn’t doing more evil than good for bands in that people expect to get everything for nothing and paying for nothing. What is your take on this?
Robellion: I haven’t really been exposed to that, but I am against free downloads.
Miles: I think bands that do that don’t really believe in their music and they don’t care what they get for it cause they don’t think that it’s worth anything. If you believe your music is worth something, you’re going to ask for what you believe it’s worth.
Robellion: There’s no business sense to doing things that way.
Mark: People that are asking you to pay what you can are basically begging people to listen to their music, we’re not interested in that. If people like your product, they are going to pay what it’s worth.

In my youth I tried writing lyrics. To me the hardest part was to first come up with a title and then to write lyrics that actually said something but didn’t overstate/overuse the meaning of words. How hard do you find it is to come up with song titles and lyrics that fit?
Miles: It’s not hard because a song is never written around one title or idea and if there is, you just run with it and sometimes it gets changed. Ideas change. If you have it in you, you’re going to write it.
Dean: When I wrote about my buddy, the title came later. I just wrote what I felt.

Whatever happened to guitar solos in metal? When did they become an abomination?
Dean: They never did. In my opinion, they never did.
Mark: True metal has always had solos. Pop rock is what’s changed the game. Too many bands consider themselves metal when they’re pop rock. Just because your song has 1 or 2 heavy licks doesn’t make you metal.
Dean: It’s more of a trend than musical fact.
Miles: In the 90s’ it became acceptable to be a hack musician and soloing went out the window.
Dean: It’s more of a trend than musical fact.

Is there something that would make you as band happier than anything else? Any wish that you’d like to see come true?
Dean: Sure, playing to the masses.
Miles: Having the ability to share more of our stuff with more people.
Robellion: To be successful with all the areas of this project. Musically and financially.

Now that the album is out what plans do you have for the rest of 2012?
Mark: Working on the follow up while pumping the first album.
Miles: Branching out. Spreading out to the surrounding states from where we are. We are a small band, just starting out. Trying to get our music there more. Focusing on advertising and letting people know who we are and what we’re about. Going wherever this takes us.
Robellion: Writing new songs. Building our following online by getting into new magazines and websites where we may not be known yet, as well as by networking with those we are currently working with. Also meeting new people by playing new venues and exposing our music to fresh new faces.


They sure know how to rock down under. MY DYNAMITE is yet another Aussie band to make it out into the big bad world of r’n’r. Anders Ekdahl©2012

Something I find interesting is inquiring how bands find their sound. What was it that made My Dynamite sound the way that you guys do?
-It’s quite a long process, I think it took My Dynamite a close to 2 years to get our “sound”. You play songs over and over again in a studio or live and it slowly comes together. It’s always a little harder when there are 2 guitars, the tones have to be different enough to differentiate from one another but they must complement each other too. Less gain and more headroom always helps! This way you can hear the individual voice of the guitar itself and that’s important for getting the right tones. Secondly i suppose we, like so many other bands are searching for ways to replicate the warm vintage sounds we hear on early recordings of the 60’s and 70’s before it became quite sterile and cold due to various advances in technology sometimes for the worse! We just love the sound of classic Rock’n’roll and I’m sure so many people miss that these days.

When you play the kind of music you do how often are have you been accused of being backwards and regressive?
-It doesn’t happen often, there is a certain element to our sound that is fresh and current, even though we play classic rock you can hear 2012 in there, there is no denying that. We never intended to reinvent the wheel, Rock’n’roll is Rock’n’roll, it repeats itself and is a little different every time, and we love this, we don’t care if people say its backwards because we know personally that what we are doing is making us happy and that’s what it’s all about.

Do we really need to put labels on things, labelling it old, retro or whatever? Isn’t good music good music no matter how old or new it sounds?
-That’s exactly right, I hope we fall into the good music category haha! Although people like to identify with a particular scene so much these days you know? When I was growing up in the late eighties early nineties as a kid, i remember the music I liked was in the charts so I didn’t have all this “that’s too cockrock, this it too metal, this is too soft” kind of thing, music was music, but when the charts today are so crammed with crap, everything else flies under the radar and goes underground and the scenes and sub-scenes start to emerge. Who cares right?

When you play the style you do is it easy to find a scene to identify with? How do you go about finding your audience?
-Our Audience is very broad, and I would like to think we will cover a lot of ground, we are accessible to rock fans, hard rock, country, rhythm and blues, Australiana, Americana etc. There are not many young bands doing this style, which helps set us apart, this is good and bad whichever way you see it. Going about finding an audience is always a challenge because people are constantly overloaded with information on the internet it’s hard to break through that way. I find that when we play live that is when we expand our audience, whether it’s one person or a hundred, that’s always the way I’ve found to be the most successful. And there’s nothing quite like word of mouth.

As I haven’t the talent to write music I often wonder how easy it is to write a life changing song. Do you know immediately that this is the song that will change my life or does that come with time?
-I can’t say I’ve ever written a life changing song! I try to do the best i can, but this would be a question better directed to those that have haha

When you’ve written what you think is the greatest thing since sliced bread and people around you don’t think so, how hard is it to stand your ground and not change due to popular demand?
-Isn’t sliced bread Amazing?? We won’t change to suit popular demand, if we change it would be to suit ourselves, because if we’re not having fun doing what we love, why do it? I can’t imagine anything worse than playing something I hate onstage, except maybe slicing my own bread! I never thought I would be here getting interviewed by a magazine on the other side of the world, so I must be on the right track!

With hindsight how pleased are you with the album? Anything that could have been done differently?
-We are very pleased with the final result and feel we have made a debut album that many people could only wish for. We followed the idea that we would only have 10 songs on the album, and that it should be diverse and interesting enough to please a wide range of ears. We achieved that i think. From the feedback i have been getting, people find it enjoyable to listen to, and instantly like what they hear, so we’re very happy for the listener, and very happy with our selves. We try not to look back, because there is so much to look forward to with new songs always written and constantly moving forward as a band.

Has the songs taken on a life on their own now that they are down on record? How different are the songs now that they are on record than the initial thought you had of them when they were just ideas?
-The songs are quite similar in terms of length and structure to our live shows, except sometimes we might jam out and improvise a certain couple of songs live, and you can hear where that would happen on the album, where we have the breaks. The songs where played live for quite a while before we recorded them, and they lived in my head for quite a while too, we knew what we wanted them to sound like, and most times they turned out exactly how they were envisioned, give or take a little. So in natural fact, none of the songs, grew and changed very much for the album, we had a clear idea when we went into the studio, a clear vibe and sound we wanted, and we got just that.

How limiting is geography in this day and age when you with just one click can be on the other side of the world?
-I suppose, the internet is very helpful with getting information out there, but it is also not the answer to everything. There is only one way for a band like My Dynamite to reach the people, and that is through live shows, this is where we excel, and this is where a band really connects with the people. The net right now is jam packed with all kinds of useless information that makes it hard for any band to cut through the mix, there are so many ‘Facebook bands’ out there today that haven’t even played a live show, and it’s hard for the person to distinguish what is real and what is false, bands look bigger than they are on the net, while others look like beginners but in actual fact have a real fan base that come to shows and are progressing at a great level. So yes, it has its ups and downs from our experience.

Will technology ever replace the feel of seeing a band live on a stage in sweaty club/pub? What’s so special about playing live in front of an audience?
-Never! I think it’s all coming back again, people have been feeling disconnected from the reality of watching good rock bands play live! It has even been noticed here in Melbourne a little bit, where you can come to a bar 7 days a week 24 hours a day and find bands playing everywhere. The joy and excitement of watching a rock n roll band pushing the decibels hard and moving air cannot and will not ever be replaced. It’s what we live for, and if we can’t do that we would not be playing, let alone recording anything. It is getting tight with the live scene here and also from what I have heard in Berlin also, where there is a lot of major residential development going on in the vicinity of rock bars and pubs and many venues are being forced to shut their doors, due to noise restrictions. It is very sad, and I blame the Governments first, and then the people who move next to a bar and then complain about the noise! What has the world come to?!?

With an album out what kind of expectation do you have on the future now?
-We expect to grow a steady fan base over the course of 2012 with some extensive touring here in Australia, then Europe would be excellent to tour, That is the plan amongst working on our second album also, so we’re quite busy at the moment, and things are looking good!


Every so often a band comes along that just simply blow you away. For me most recently it was STORYUM. If you like you metal a bit different but not strange then this is for you. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’ve tried looking for info on you but I found very little. What can you tell us about the band? Is the band Hungarian or Slovakian?
Gila: Our nationality is Hungarian, but we live in Slovak Republic. That’s why we have our texts in English. We don’t want to disappoint anyone and on the other hand we are all Europeans. People in smaller countries used to limit themselves with the chosen language of the texts, but we decided to overcome these boundaries. Music is all about the mediation of our complex feelings and that’s not easy to do so we have chosen a more common language for them.

The sound of Storyum is not your typical goth/dark heavy metal sound. What would you like to describe your music as? Where do you see yourself fit in on the international hardrock/metal scene?
Gila: That’s the type of question we never could answer exactly. I think it’s ok. We like to experiment and if it doesn’t fit in the rock-metal scene properly, that’s just inspiring us. We just do our best and the rest is on the audience.

From what I understand you re-recorded an entire album. What prompted this move?
Gila: Yes. This material was recorded a few times with more than 4 female singers. We felt the need of these changes because we were looking for that variation of a song which could embody our idea the best.

How hard is it to keep a steady line-up going? What is the hardest part, apart from finding new members, when changes happen?
Gila: As I told in the upper lines our band changes a lot. Only the musicians are steady and our two male vocalists in the band. But when the changes happen we write the notes of the parts to play for the new member and the rest is on this person.

How hard do you promote the band because the sites I’ve found don’t give away too much info? Is Facebook enough as a promotional tool?
Joe: I think the facebook is enough yet, but of course we know that an official home page is necessary. Nowadays, we fight with a lack of time, so we really try to use this time for writing new songs and practicing.

Are there any advantages to being smack in the middle of Europe when you have a band you want to promote?
Joe: If you have sufficient funds, You had a lot of possibilities to find the best ways to promote yourself 🙂 To be honest, in our case it is a little bit difficult yet. Our aim is to make a big promo for our songs, but at first we need a videoclip. If we want to have it in perfect quality, we have to find some sponsors. Without them, in my opinion, it is unlikely to make a spectacular promo.

What kind of response have you had so far to the music of Storyum? Do you do well on radio or is playing live a better way for you to reach a potential audience?
Joe: If we want to have a gig in front of a huge audience, we need to play our songs in radios. Fortunately one of the biggest radiostation in Hungary is playing our song “Scars”. The responses were very positive yet, we hope, that the second album will gain success too.

When you are a small band how hard is it to get the right kind of gigs/concerts?
Joe: It is very hard to get right gigs in Slovakia, because there are only a few clubs for Rock music. But because of EU we have a lot of chance to make great gigs in other countries, just as in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and so on. But of course if we get a possibility to make gig in Sweden, it would be a huge step for our band.

For a small band downloading can mean the death knell. How do you cope with this whole downloading scene that we see replacing physical records?
Joe: In our case downloading doesn´t mean a problem for the bands. If somebody want to support a band, he will be buy the album in a shop. But if somebody don’t want to buy a CD, because it is too expensive for him, he will be go to a gig for sure. But the condition to buy a CD or a ticket is to hear the songs and it doesn´t matter if the source is a downloading page.

What would you like to happen in the future for Storyum?
Joe: We want to have so many gigs, as possible, and to get our music to a lot of countries. One of our dreams is to get to Sweden, Germany, England and to the USA. And in the end of the year we want to record our second studio album.


THUNDEKRAFT is a force to reckon with. Mixing black metal with industrial they come up with something different. Interview with Master Alafern. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

How do you go about figuring out that you want to mix metal with industrial with folk in order to form Thunderkraft?
-Various trends of heavy music intertwine in our music. Spacious minds and different preferences in music of the band members led to such diversity of styles in our music, but I am sure that the stuff is listened like conceptually-bound product that has its own, peculiar signature. Moreover, during the creation of our music the styles are not mixed intentionally. Music is born in the soul of each of us. The result is the symbiosis of moods and inner experiences which are mixed with the music preferences and creative impulses.

From the moment I saw the name Thunderkraft it made me think of comics like Transformers or Judge Dredd. How important was the concept behind the image when you started?
-At the time when we created our band, slightly different name came up. But in the end as a result of multiple cogitations, comparisons of styles, concept and the old name, we came to the transformation of the present name. We seek to ensure that the name of our band reflects most accurately the essence of our music, our inner feelings and worldview. Well, what about your humorous associations, I will dare to “upset” you that our name has nothing to do with comics. Moreover, at the time of our youth when all children are interested in comics and superheroes in our country was no hint to such things. After school all children went to the Palaces of Pioneers and were engaged in various services clubs like airclubs, radio construction and radio communications clubs, racing and motocross and other sports activities such as karate, judo. It was no time for Transformers and Batm?n after all these hobbies. Even if there was a time it were only three television channels which showed once a week a TV programme for kids called “Katrusin cinema” where were cartoons about a crocodile and incomprehensible big-eared animal, who were deceived by a cunning old woman with a rat. That`s why we had never heard before about any type of comics like Spiderman and Mickey Mouse.

When you come from a country that has no great metal history how do you go about finding the right kind of people who understand your vision? How much of a DIY ethic do you have to have in order to make it all happening?
-I dare to disagree with you about the fact that our country has no great metal history. People`s craving for heavy music has been and hopefully will always be very high in our country. Because in Soviet Union was a very strict censorship on the heavy music many bands played in basement s premises in order to avoid law enforcement pursuits. Because of these reasons the bands didn`t become famous throughout the country and worldwide. They weren`t shown on the TV or played on the radio. In addition our country had a complete absence of the commercial component of music those days, it concerned not only heavy music but also the rest music. You can`t become famous throughout the world without this. Often musicians didn`t have musical instruments of high quality, at the best it was a guitar called “Ural”, but frequently a musician had to saw out on his own a guitar from the old wardrobe, thanks to the knowledge obtained in the Palace of Pioneers had to construct stampbox, combo and keyboards. Also, many talented bands split-up or stopped their activity because of the absence of commercial receipts for their activities. Many musicians had to work on construction yards/facilities or elsewhere in order to provide themselves with musical instruments and make money for recordings and rehearsals. There are a lot of talented bands playing different styles and directions in our great land, but because of specified reasons, you have no idea about many of them and probably will never hear. Maybe because of that you have the opinion that our country has no great metal history.

What has the image of a band like Rammstein ment to the band?
-Our musical preferences have quite ancient roots, in those days no one has heard about the band gramstein in our country. Our characters had been growing and strengthening thanks to bands like Die Krupps, Laibach and we had tempered and established our musical tastes before we heard ramsteiner. But I heard this band two times, when I was riding in a bus on my way to work and once on the wedding of my neighbours. In my opinion it is high quality popular music that even an old lady from that wedding enjoyed it, I saw she was listening to warsteiner on her iPhone and it seemed that she was even dancing.

Where do you draw inspiration from when writing music and lyrics? Anything in particular in your native environment that inspires you to write the music/lyrics you play?
-When we compose our music we are inspired by almost everything. Every trifle or significant object may inspire us in equivalent degree. But at most we are inspired to write music by immensity of space with the size of neuron, that is so vast that fills with itself all the empty space inside the micron. There aren`t enough words to describe with one letter the whole might of information that has the size of one bit which exceeds the endless current of impulses, the whole optical fiber of our planet. We are inspired by gigantic might and indestructibility of microparticles.

How hard is it to find a label that can give you the support you need in order to bring to life the album you want to release?
-It is not an easy task. The search of any label always conjugates with some difficulties and hidden rocks. The way of material and further creative path of the band depend on label after all (many can shout that it is not like that – but it is a bullshit). In the case of Totentanz album everything was quite easy. We had recorded it before we arranged to cooperate with our new label. In other words at the time when we were in the studio, we did not have any contract. With the previous label was an agreement only to release our first album because of that we had to sponsor our record ourselves. Now the situation is different because we have the label and we hope for collaboration of high quality.

What is a live show with Thunderkraft like? What kind of stage show do you have?
We don’t often give live concerts, therefore it`s not necessary to talk about faery shows at this point. We have ideas and we are planning to realize our intentions in the nearest future.

If I say that you are kindred spirits of latter day Satarial what do you say about that? What bands do you feel a kinship with in today’s metal scene?
-Frankly speaking, I don`t keep a close eye on modern metal scene and therefore I haven`t even heard this band. I am a little concerned about the question with whom we may have some parallels. This is the prerogative of journalists and metal fans.

What is there to the title “Totentanz”? What does this German word mean to you?
The conception of the album is the idea of interaction between life and death. The culmination of this plot is the song that is called Totantanz. This, if I may say so, the peculiar picture, the vision that doesn`t have an exact delimitation in time and space. It is the past, the present and the future. It is a world both real and abstract, afterworld. In spite of the fact that the text has a semi-fantastic tint though it is dictated by our reality. It is like a dream which for all its mystic nature is the result of a human brain in the reality. Here is a rational and irrational commencement. Totentanz is the vision of fevered imagination that demonstrates to us our endless, graceful and sometimes wicked dancing with death.

Now that you’ve crossed the first threshold, where do you see the band going?
Well, actually it is not the first it is the second threshold. The second album showed that we are on the right way, that`s why we will be moving in this direction. I see development of the band in the improvement of sound quality, as well as in the development of material and technical base. As for the basis of genre, here will be observed the same tendency of movement in the plane of polystylistics.


THE WAY OF PURITY might seem like a joke to some. Read this interview and make up your own mind of they are a joke or not. I know what I think in this matter. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What is that the anonymity of using mask gives you that you would otherwise not be able to do?
– Well, it’s a good question. The first goal is that people love or hate us…There’s no middle way when it comes to people with no faces, no names etc. Some are really pissed off with this thing and hate us, telling that it’s a marketing thing, we are like Slipknot, we are clowns etc etc… There are many, instead, that think that we are so true that we don’t want to exploit our message for our personal goals in music in the scene and support us or understand our choice. So in a few words it gave us more hype than we expected. On top of that we have to keep our faces hidden cause we are activists and we support the animal liberation front so authorities, police and many other think that we are terrorists. Having the masks allows us to do and say what we think it’s morally right, not what is legally right if you know what I mean.

I have no problem with people fighting for a cause but I think that in a democracy you should stand up and show your true face and not hide behind any sort of cover. How political is The Way of Purity?
-I think that what I am doing with TWOP is way more correct than what I am as a person. I mean with TWOP I have a mission: spread a message through my music, in life I can do actions to help and fight for what I stand for without music. I explain: if I play a concert, or make an interview I can tell hundreds of people about my religion, about nature, animals etc… In my normal life I can just act like a normal activist so I can help animals with donations, rescue, liberation and fight for them. There’s no difference in fact, but that’s for me and its deep into my soul. For the other people, that, would be so different since they could accuse me of using my message and the suffering of animals, for instance, to become famous, show my face on magazines or festivals, gain some money, fuck some girls or whatever….Like 99% of the bands do. So I just keep the 2 things separated. What I do with a mask is known by many but they don’t know me…What I do with my face is only known by few… The few ones that fight with me or the ones I help (animals for instance). About my personality, I am quite sure that many wouldn’t like to know how rude, direct and unmerciful I am… So they better see me as a monster (or clown, as they like) with a mask. But the ones that consider me a clown have to understand that behind the mask there’s a nice guy…in my case the mask is better than the real face, so many that know me wouldn’t agree with the fact that I could be a clown cause unfortunately I am dead serious. My real face is not nice, my name doesn’t sound good and I am not the person that is going to lick not even one ass, so I am way more a monster without a mask. But you see, with a mask I can tell you what I think without sounding like a big head, since I have no reason to make a mask sound like a superman. The Way Of Purity is not involved in any political view or action. We are just the hand of God and we act like that.

How far can you take a political agenda and not lose the music fans? When does politics replace music and you just end up a tired old speech?
-Man, our religion is different. It is right that you are talking about religion like you do with politics, because all religions are like that: a mixture of human fears, money, powers and politics. Our religion is different : it is pure and there’s no tired speech as you can see. It’s all about a message that is being supported or hated by people with different or opposite political point of views so it has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

When do animal rights become more important than human rights? My standpoint is that every kind of animal is necessary for the eco balance but animal rights can never take precedence over human rights.
-In fact you are right, since animal and human rights should be equal. That’s what we stand for. Animals are exploited by humans…for money, meat, product but animals do not exploit humans. Animals never felt like a superior race, humans do. If it was true, ok, I was going to accept this but I am sorry…It is a big lie. How can a race that don’t even know where it is coming from call itself like “intelligent” ? Man, if you don’t know where you are coming from, you don’t even know where you are going. If nature made us forget everything, there is a reason. So what we want is animals and humans to be the same. Humans developed a new form of racism that is called Specicism and you cannot hide or deny it. Then, when it comes to examples I have to say that I will always follow animal’s examples and not the human ones but that another thing…That’s all about being strong or weak and everyone can make its own choice. The more people you love, the weaker you are…The more animals you follow as examples the stronger you become, think of it.

I see that you have no problem using female nudity as a tool. When does that tool become dull and end up working against you instead for you?
-We only used nudity because we need the blood to flow on the naked skin. The nudity we use is always related to blood and pain. The blood represents the pain of the animals and the unfair direction that this world has taken. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no other reason. You will never see us using nudity (female or male) as a marketing thing, but maybe we get the opposite reaction from people, they hate it…it is ok to see the blood on the slaughter house’s floor but not on a body. That’s pure hypocrisy.

Ok, let’s talk metal. How different is the “Equate” album compared to the first one “Crosscore”
-As I said already the only difference is in the production. With “Crosscore” we wanted to sound cold, inhuman and mechanical. Equate has a completely different approach with analogue and warm sound, dreamy and emotional mood. At this time we wanted to sound more human and make an album that represents the suffering and sadness from the human point of view. There are a lot of humans that suffer for what others are doing and cry or feel desperate because cannot change things because of global interests and profit. That’s what we want to pay tribute to. We paid a tribute to those.

How hard do you have to work to come up with stuff that works? Is there any sort of criteria that you work after? Does it have to have a certain amount of this or that to be a TWOP song?
-Yes there’s a criteria that we work for and it’s really easy…We try to make our music recognisable. It is called “musical identity” and it’s all given by some things that you have to think about when you write a song. Like using the same sound for all the songs, with some points that are common in all of them, the same kind of arrangements or things that people could easily perceive as your “trademark”. We always try to follow this rule, but I am not saying that we have been able to do it…We tried to give to our songs this “new wave” mood, even when parts are violent or soft. It came out quite epic for that reason. Then you have a collective identity of the songs (album), and you can reach it only thinking about just one thing and not many different pieces. The production helps to melt everything and make it have the technically called “family sound”. We try to make our message fit into the music as well with emotions and “colours”.
In fact we are all more producers than musicians. If we had the same skills we have as producers in musicianship we would be much more known as a band. That’s the “weapon” that many journalists and people used against us…Without the message, masks ecc nobody would care about TWOP. I don’t if this is true…Time will tell, in the meantime the message grows.

When playing live how important does the stage show become? Is it important to provide the audience with more than just five people moving about on stage?
-Yes, when we are on stage, the stage becomes the universe and everything we do is related to show the intensity of our message to the people. We use intros, prayers, spoken parts and the songs to let the crowd feel the intensity of the pain. It is a compact whole thing…there’s no silence, breaks or whatever that could make the people bored. I am not saying that we are able to do it, we just try.

When you tour are you particular specific about who you tour with or is the exposure you can get more important?
-Honestly, in the beginning we thought that we could think of who we were touring with and select the bands but in the end we toured with some bands for the exposure. We are too small as a band to make such “rockstar” bullshit…First it doesn’t belong to our attitude, second if we criticize rock stars or wannabes we have to demonstrate that we are different. Of course this is not the case of Negura Bunget, since we toured with them because we really respect their message and attitude…maybe a little bit different with some other bands we toured with, but whatever if it’s a good tour and we can do what we want, get vegan food and at least see respect from other bands we do it. I don’t want to lie, so that’s how it is.

What goodies does the future hold for TWOP?
-On april the 14th we will release “Equate” in the US, via a charity project created by journalist Ray Holroyd. Then we will release some other news (good and bad) and we’ll continue working for our goals.