Alestorm sail the seven sea's - The band speaks out.
Alestorm are proud to be Scottish and so rightly so, these Pirates of the north are here to cause mayhem and devastation, so forget the Vikings, the pirates rule the seven sea's on these shores. Paul Brady speak to the whole band pretty much of their last Uk tour. The band have gone from strength to strength on each album and are very good crowd puller's, if you have seen them at Bloodstock or BHY then you will know why. With the band promoting their current album 'Battle Metal VIII' released through Napalm Records. So now join these pirate and lost sail the Caribbean seas. The following indicates to who is answering each question (C) Chris, (D) Dani, (G) Gareth, (I) Ian.
First of all can you give me a
brief background of the band?
(C) Well we started off as a shitty Scottish power Metal band that no one really cared for, and then we decided to add the pirate gimmick to ourselves and then people started liking us for some strange reason, and the more people that liked us and the more gigs we played, the more interest we got from the record company and again for another strange reason they decided to sign us onto their label, and the rest is history.
Why choose pirates as your gimmick?
(C) Because Ninjas are gay! (laughs), we just felt we can do a lot with the ideas of the pirate theme, and some of us had written a few ideas about the pirate theme before we even started the band.
Do you feel because you label yourself as a pirate band that you maybe a
little restricted as to writing music and lyrics as opposed to a typical metal
(C) Not at all, I could see why people may think that, but I think we can really relate anything we want to write about into the pirate theme, we had talks the other day about writing a song about a time travelling pirate who goes back in time and slays all the other pagan and Viking bands out there, I think it would make for good listening. I think were pretty solid for ideas at the moment.
(G) We have the possibilities of writing a mix of slow, fast and dramatic songs so I don’t see ourselves as restricted at all.
(D) I guess most bands in the battle/pagan metal scene could be asked the same question, just like in the death metal or black metal scene too, once you’ve decided on your genre you just got to work with it.
Who’s your influences?
(C) I cant really pick that many to be honest, Bal-Sagoth for sure.
(D) I think we’ve listened to so much over the years that’s we forgot who originally was the first ones we listened to.
(G) I think the bands we listen to don’t really influence the music we play in Alestorm, for example at the moment I listen to a lot of Norwegian Black Metal, but I don’t think in Alestorm’s music you can hear any element of that.
(D) I just wanted to pick up a guitar and play
(C) I always wanted to be a drummer, I used to drum in a punk band when I was 15 or so
(G) And now you ended up being a singing, keyboard playing pirate, I guess its not far from what you wanted (laughs)
How was the writing process to the new album Black Sails at Midnight different to your debut Captain Morgans revenge?
(G) Well for a start we started ideas from scratch, Captain Morgan, half the ideas were what a couple of us had already had,
(C) Some of the ideas we wrote when we was maybe 15 or something.
(D) The new album we actually wrote on the road in a space of 2 months, we just all got together an shot through ideas and it all came together really fast, then I think we spent maybe 6 weeks in the studio recording it, it was a really fast process and I think the results couldn’t be better,
(G) Everything to us sounds so much better than Captain Morgans Revenge, the production sounds perfect to us , we think it’s a pretty great record without sounding to big headed
Not at All, it is a great record, The CD also comes as a special edition with a DVD from Wacken, who’s decision was it to include this on the CD rather than release a separate DVD?
(C) None of ours to be honest, in fact we fought hard to not get that DVD on the CD, for a start 2 of the members aren’t even on it they’re stand ins because Gareth (Bass Player) was off doing gigs with Waylander and Ian (Drummer) was also doing his own thing, so its not even the Full Alestorm your seeing on the DVD, and I think it was one of the worst shows I have ever played, I kept missing notes, it was horrid, the crowd was great if you watch it, I think it helps hide how bad we were. It was just kind of a marketing idea, kind of like oh we have footage from Wacken, lets just put it on to add interest and make people buy the CD, If we wanted to do any kind of DVD we would have done one with plenty of gig footage, not just from one gig, and lots of backstage footage where were being our drunken selves.
What’s the wildest memory you have in the band?
(D) You know every time we et asked that question, we all go silent, there’s lots of times that it has actually happened, but we cant recall any of them and cant give a proper answer, happens all the time
(G) I really cant think, there’s being obviously times we’ve being absolutely wasted and done thing were not too proud of, and people were not too proud of too (Laughs)
(D) I always remember the time in Stuttgart, we asked a reporter to wait on our tour bus for us, and we just left him there for hours, we totally forgot about him, we was drinking, eating, chatting to friends and fans and he just waited and waited, didn’t even come looking for us.
Speaking of Being Drunk, Chris and Gareth, you guys were at Bloodstock this year as spectators, how was BOA for you?
(C) Well most of it was a blur to be honest (laughs), but from what I remember it was a great festival, we played the year before and I think out of every festival we’ve played that’s been my favourite so far!
(D) I somehow managed to find myself in a room with the guys from Overkill and cant exactly remember how I got there, not that I’m complaining as they were great guys.
(G) I really enjoyed Metalcamp too, I think the venue there was great
(C) I think we’ll play Metalcamp again next year
(G) Manowar are there next year, but apparently you have to pay an extra 50 Euros or something if you want to see them, because its part of their own Magic Circle apparently.
(C) Really?? I wouldn’t pay that to see them to be honest, I love Manowar and their songs but I wouldn’t pay extra money to see them, I think it’s a bit of a rip off to be honest.
How are you finding it playing with the 2 bands your on tour with now (The Rotted & Eden’s Curse) your all very different sounding bands?
(C) Well a lot of People said that it wouldn’t work because we would clash a lot with The Rotted especially, truth is we’ve known those guys a while now and touring with them has been a blast so far.
How About Eden’s Curse, how did they join the Bill?
(G) Same management, we haven’t really had much chance to spend time with those guys, but the odd time I have spoken to them they’ve seemed friendly enough, and its always to have a bit of variety at a gig, and we get along with most bands that we tour with
When you say most, is there any you haven’t really hit it off with?
(C) Grave Digger was the only one I think
(G) Yeah definitely, every band we’ve met have been really respectful and cool to us apart from them guys
(C) I don’t think they really understood when they booked a band called Alestorm, who sing about Pirates and Beer and whom are in they’re early 20’s, that we may actually like to party and get reasonably drunk on most nights
(D) I think the age difference between bands really got to them, and we seemed to clash lots, we liked to do the Rock and roll thing, Drink and Party, which we mention in our songs, and they just didn’t, was quite a bizarre and uncomfortable experience to be honest, but we didn’t care
(C) We just did it all the more (laughs)
You got any special plans for this U.K tour? I noticed on some videos on the internet you have a giant Parrot on stage?
(G) (Laughs) that wasn’t actually our parrot, it was the guys from Swashbuckle on the Paganfest tour, every now and then he would just run on in a giant parrot suit, I think he’ll be in new jersey or somewhere like it now.
(C) We are doing a song tonight, which we have never performed live before (No Quarter)
(G) We didn’t even plan to play the song we was rehearsing and decided last minute that we was going to do /it tonight, so Sheffield’s honoured.
(D) Were doing around a 70 minute set tonight so I think were just going to go out there and play the best show we can, which we always try to do
What would you say your favourite place to play was, or your favourite gig?
(C) Las Vegas for me I think
(G) Yeah I agree, was the typical British band in America thing I think, everything over there is just so bigger than anywhere else, was really a great time for us and for the band as a whole
(C) What? (Laughs)
(I) Yeah we played this place, I think it was the Waterfront in Norwich and I remember thinking at the time how great that gig was, I will never forget it, we played a perfect set, that was before the new album came out.
(C & G) We don’t remember it to be honest
(D) I think the whole American tour was the best we’ve ever done and since our gig in San Francisco all our gigs seemed to have moved onto a new level, we seemed to have raises our game significantly since then.
Any places in particular that you haven’t played yet that you would like to?
(G) I would love for us to go back to America and play the places we missed out
(C) Miami would be awesome to play I was not happy that wasn’t on the US tour, but I sure we’ll have chance to do it again in the future.
(I) Newcastle…we’ve never played there which is unusual for a Scottish band
(C) It would be nice to play more dates in Scotland too.
(G) I think anywhere we haven’t played yet will be great, I know we have a reasonable following in south America, Chile, Argentina etc, there’s even a Facebook group, something like 1000 people to join who want Alestorm to play in Argentina, its really good to see them things for us.
(C) I cant say I have joined that group yet, I’ll have to give it a look, Its great to see people from allsorts of countries are actually fans of us.
There’s actually a band over there who are influenced by Scotland and William Wallace, They’re called Skiltron
(G) I’ve heard that name before, well William Wallace influenced metal sounds interesting to say the least, maybe we will get in touch with them and who knows possibly in the future we could play together either here or there.
(D) Its great to discover new bands when you visit different countries, or even by word of mouth, the metal scene is so huge, its impossible to get tired of it
Any bands you would like to tour with who you haven’t had the chance to yet?
(G) Sabaton would be great
(C) They were really great at bloodstock, got the crowd worked up a treat.
(G) I hope we can do a few shows with them really soon, I would say Devin Townsend too, his last album was unbelievably good, he’s what I would call a true songwriter
(C) He’s at Bloodstock next year too
(G) If we don’t get asked to play Bloodstock next year then I’m sure we’ll all be going as fans, the line up there always has some great bands no matter what so I will look forward to going, drinking some beers and partying with the fans again
So what’s the plan after the U.K Tour?
(G) Well its Christmas Holidays and then January the 1st we get together and hopefully start mixing new ideas together for a new record, then we got some more Paganfest dates to do around Feb/March time and then its back to European festivals, so were going to be pretty busy next year it seems.
(D) And of course we’ll be doing some more UK shows from time to time.
Well I wish you luck for the future and for the show tonight, its being a pleasure speaking to you all
No problem at all, thanks for the interview, we hope to see you again soon.
Thank to Paul for the interview & Andy & the band.