Interview with Eddy "Ed the tongue" Ostra, Messiah's Kiss (May 7th 2007)

- Hi, first off all I want to congratulate you with your new album “Dragonheart”. Awesome album, I can’t stop listening to it! Are you satisfied with it?
Yes, we are very satisfied with the album ourselves. Even after listening to it for a while we would not change anything. 

- Where do you see the main difference between your first two albums and the new one?
The main differences are the production and the style of the songs. “Metal” sounded a little bit too old fashion after the event. “Dragonheart” is a lot more powerful and full of energy. And in my opinion this album just sounds very live- alike. You almost can hear with how much sweat and purposefulness we did record the songs. This is the sound of Messiah’s Kiss. The average quality of the songs is higher on “Dragonheart”   then it was on “Metal”. We were all motivated like hell for the third and most important record. And that’s the result: The best Messiah’s Kiss album ever. 

- How did you get your name, Messiah’s Kiss?
George came up with the idea of “Messiah’s Kiss”. But thereis no religious thing or deeper meaning behind that, if you meant so. There were always Bands who were coming up with a band name in this kinda direction in the past, like Judas Priest, or Black Sabbath. It just sounds cool, and it’s easy to remember as well.

- In what words would you describe the music and moods of Messiah’s Kiss for someone that has not heard you yet?Eddy:We are one of the most traditional oriented Heavy Metal Bands of these days, no doubt about that! We want to carry on the traditional style, because we believe in our roots and give a shit about imposed trends. We all grew up with Bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and so on. There is nothing like that: the traditional Heavy Metal was good, is good, and remains good!

And we are proud to present this style in 2007 and far beyond. “Dragonheart” is a consequent continuation of our own style, and in our opinion the best, hardest and most mellowest release since we started.  We just rock our hearts out!We show the people by never changing the line, that we are 110% pure true heavy metal. If you love the sound of the 80’s, and if you are looking for a new release instead of listening to the old records you might have: Your search might be over. -) 

- To what subjects do the lyrics of Messiah’s Kiss refer to, and who writes them? - Who writes to music?
The lyrics of the songs are pretty much fantasy oriented. Sometimes we come up with things from real life. But deeper thoughts within the lyrics are not really our style. We basically want to entertain the people. We don’t want to preach or teach what people should do or not. We don’t want to spread political views. This does not mean we don’t care about the serious things of this world. But we want to separate the entertainment and message of our music from deeper thoughts or the meaning of life of current affairs. We see ourselves as a metal band without any religious or political background. George, Mike and myself are responsible for all lyrics. 

George writes the music first and does the arrangements as well. When he feels comfortable with the songs, he shows them to me and Mike and then we usually try different things out, and sometimes we make little changes here and there. It’s always great to work out little things in a team, because we can push each other to the max - and the song will definitely benefit from that!

- What’s the song you consider most representative of the new album and why?
I really love the all. But to play the title track “Dragonheart” is always fantastic. It’s just in the right timing for a double bass-drum killer and it flows in one piece to the end. “The Ivory Gates” is one of the best arranged songs George ever wrote. It has so many different facets and combines everything what a metal song is all about: Power, energy, speed, and slower tragedy parts flowing into each other!  “Thunders of the night” is a real live killer with a smooth powerful groove and with a perfect sing along chorus. And of cause the opener “The ancient cries” .. more typical “Messiah’s Kiss” metal is not possible!

- Do you feel that your sound will evolve in some different direction, in the future, or you will still follow the same path?Eddy:Of course, innovation is very important for progress. But I think a lot of people mix up “advancement” with “quality”! It’s not necessary to turn the wheel of time by pushing it until it glows. It just can’t be that some people always awaiting advancement in this case! If bands will follow these voices every time, their fans will be very insecure, cause they never know what they have to expect from their favourite band next time. In the past we called a band who was not switching their music due to innovation: down to earth! We called it “ their style”.       

If a band always wants to create something new which each release: perfect! But we belong to our roots, and we wanna do it our way. And I believe that they arestill a lot of fans out there, who like the traditional way. We are true metal musicians from the basis. I don’t care if our music is in the opinion of the mass media “up to date” right now, or not. We just rock our hearts out! We don’t want to cheat ourselves, or the fans of this kind of music, and we are not impressed by short-lived trends. In our opinion a song must touch and go and has to detonate and burn right away. If a song feels good and carries out fun and entertainment to the fans, the mission is completed! Progress does not has to stand for quality coevally. So there will be no major changes in the future in regard to our music. 

- How long do you need to practice to feel comfortable with your songs before you record them?
For the recording process it is a must to be well prepared as soon as you enter the studio! Not only because it saves time and money, but first and foremost because you will hear it after the session! It takes a couple of weeks to practice in a proper way. When you know exactly what you have to play, then you surly play much more powerful and with much more energy. If you know all fills, groove changes,  melodies and words by heart, you really can focus on power, feeling, and phrasings. And this is the reason why this album just sounds very live- alike, raw, and “breathing”. If you record a song just by using a few sessions you keep the live feeling and the song doesn’t become to stiff or static. That was a very important change. And of cause we  knew exactly how the album should sound like: so we worked out the guitar-, drum- and bass sound before we went to the studio. And we as a band have been very straight-lined during the production process, because we knew exactly what our fans deserve, and we wanted to make our best album ever! And so we did. 

- The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
We all grew up with the bands of the late 70’s, early 80’s. We were fans of bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, and many others at that time. I still listen to this stuff a lot, because I believe that the quality of the songs coming out of this era are still unreachable. I really don’t follow the modern metal scene, because there is not that much to hear in my opinion. Melodies, grooves and hooks - these are the ingredients for a good song. So we are influenced from the 70’s and 80’s quite a lot. 

- Any plans to go on tour? If so, when and where?
On July 7, 2007 we will re-enter the boards that mean the world! At the “Magic Circle Festival” in the heart of Germany, Bad Arolsen, which takes place for the very first time. Besides the already confirmed headliner MANOWAR, many other bands will take care about finest festival sentiment for all the fans! Unbelievable but true: the festival price! Just 10 EUR for a ticket.

And we have plans to go on tour in the autumn, but we have no details right now. We have to see and wait who is going on tour during this time, because I believe that it is very important to support a band where the sound of our style is not to far away from. I don’t like the idea of a tour package where the cross over is too big. 

- Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover? And did you know that Italian power metal band Skylark used the same cover artwork for their “Gate of Hell” album?
The artwork is from the Spanish artist Luis Royo. He is one of the best fantasy artwork painters in the world. It was our wish to pick up another artwork from Luis Royo, like we did for our first record “Prayer for the dying” too. We like to have a certain reconcilability value just by looking at the cover. And man, I love naked buts like this one. I mean: if there is anybody out there who doesn’t like to look at this... hm.. you should call your doctor, cause you might have a serious problem,….. or you are already dead.

When we bought the rights for this artwork from the official agency of Luis Royo in Barcelona, we had no idea that Skylark used this artwork for a cover in the past as well.

But the record company does not restrain us in regard to the cover artwork, as long as we don’t break the budget for it. -)

- Let's speculate - you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice - who would be your ideal touring partners?
The mighty “JUDAS PRIEST”. This would just be perfect, because I believe that Priest fans would like our material as well.

- What are you doing besides Messiah’s Kiss, job wise as well as hobbies?
I am a skilled tax adviser and changed into a hotel management after 10 years of doing this job. Besides music I love to play ice hockey and I am a passionate biker since I’m 18. So if I have a little time, there is no room for boredom at all. I like to be active. It doesn’t matter what you do: job, hobby, party or women – if you decide to do it – do it right and give it all you got! 

- What albums or bands do you believe have had the greatest impact on the history of metal?
There are different albums from different eras which were very important for metal development. Let’s start with the first three albums from BLACK SABBATH, “IN ROCK” from DEEP PURPLE, “I – III” from LED ZEPPELIN, “BRITISH STEEL” from JUDAS PRIEST, “THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST” from IRON MAIDEN.

If you to a look to the U.S. style I would say “ROCKS” from AEROSMITH, “TED NUGENT” and “DESTROYER” from KISS were really milestones in the history. 

- Thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you…
Well. Thank you very much for the interview. It’s great for us to receive such a big response from the fans we have in Denmark, and all over Europe. That means in particular, that we are still on the right track. We will show our colours and we will carry on the tradition with the head up high. Promised!
And always remember: We’ve got to celebrate what’s holy for us: Metal ‘til we die!

Eddy “Ed the tongue” Ostra

See the band’s website here:

Interviewed by Jørgen Ditlev

Messiah's Kiss - Dragonheart

Album available on Steamhammer Records.

Click on the album cover to learn more about Messiahs Kiss.