Interview with Michael Kammeyer, Pyramaze (April 17, 2004)

Hi Michael, first off I just want to congratulate you on a great album, what's the background?

Michael - Thanks man ! Well, the background for all of this is basically an idea and a dream. I love writing music and stories, and one day I just decided to try composing an entire album. It took me around 5-7 months to finish the song writing, and then it was time to find some great musicians. Morten and Niels where the first two persons which I approached with my ideas, and they both liked it, so they jumped on the wagon.
They are both from DK, and live close to my town, so this was brilliant. I already knew Morten before I approached him with the material, so we go way back before Pyramaze was created. He is a fantastic drummer, and a great person, so it was obvious for me to choose him. The reason for why I approached Niels was, that I heard him perform at a local festival once, and his skills just blew me away. I managed to get his phone number from a friend, and called him to make my offer. He said yes at once, without any questioning and stuff, so that was quite easy :-) And now for the guys from USA. I found Jonah because he had made an advertisement on the Wacken Open Air homepage, where he offered his skills to bands out there. I mailed him, telling him about my ideas, and he was in to it from the beginning. We exchanged some promo material, to see if our skills where matching, and so they where. I loved his style, and he liked what I was doing too, so we agreed to do this. Jonah flew to Denmark in January 2003, and the four of us (Lance was not onboard yet) spent 12 days in the studio recording all the instruments. Actually from the beginning I wanted to do the vocals myself, but after the 12 days in the studio I had to re-book for the recording of the vocals, since there was no more time left for that. But before this happened Intromental Management got to hear the material, and they loved it. We decided to join forces, and this opened a whole new world for us. Suddenly I was able to choose a vocalist which was better than me, because of Intromental's great contacts, so I decided to do this. They sent me 5 or 6 promos with different vocalists, and Lance was the only one who really stood out. We then contacted him to hear if he was available, and sent him the material. He loved it and agreed to become a part of this. So all the music was burned down to 6 cdr's, and sent to Lance's own studio in St. Paul USA, together with the lyrics - and he then spent the next few months finishing the vocals. After that he sent it all back to Denmark again, and we mixed and mastered the whole deal in 5 days back in the studio in Ribe. So, that's basically the whole background story.

How did you end up being a band with 3 Danes and 2 Americans?

Michael - Well, basically it was a matter of finding the most fitting persons. This often brings a band to cross some country borders, and that's just what happened here. I feel that we have a perfect line-up right now, and if the price is to live far apart, then that's just the way it is.

Lance King is a well-known singer, how did he end up doing the vocals for an unknown Danish metal act?

Michael - Just because we are so damn good !!!!.. :-)) ha-ha, sorry - I just had to say that. Well, Lance just really liked the material. I have often heard him say that it just blew him away when he heard it the first time. So it don't really matter if we are a new -and to begin with unknown band, as long as the music is good, then hopefully the rest will come as we go along.

Is this more of a project than a regular band?

Michael - In my mind, this started as a project - I even wanted to use my own name on the cover. But when I started finding the right line-up, I decided to make this a real band. So now Pyramaze is a permanent band, and the members are permanent too. We have a fantastic common understanding of where we want Pyramaze to go, so this is a beautiful thing.

With 2 members living in the US and 3 living in Denmark - is there any chance for you to go on tour?

Michael - Yes, definitely. Although we are not talking about a 3 months tour or anything, but we will be out there and playing as much as possible. Most of us have jobs besides our music, and we cant pay all of our bills just by being a metal band, so this will be a balance act between the musician life and the "real work". We just take a few days of rehearsing all together, before a concert or tour, so this will work out just nice.

I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?

Michael - Well, I would say Melodic Heavy Metal with lots of hard hitting riffs and an epic thing going on. We are somewhere between real power metal, prog and just regular heavy metal.

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?

Michael - It's a blend of fantasy, nature and personal experiences. But I would say that my main influence is the fantasy genre. It just has so much to pick from and to dive into, so I think this is a great inspiration source for interesting lyrics.

Jacob Hansen has done a great job with the production and mix - how was it to work with him and how do think about the production?

Michael - It was great working with Jacob, it always is. I have worked with him a few times before I created Pyramaze. We always have lots of fun working together, and there's always a down to earth mood in his studio. I know how Jacob works, and he knows what I want - so it's a pretty good match.

The internet is a very important source for many metal fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other new bands?

Michael - I think that the internet is a fantastic way to approach the fans, and communicate with them - through the building of a homepage. After all, the homepage is mainly for the fans - although it's also for promotional purposes of course. There are pictures, personal bio's, news, sound clips and lots of other stuff - it's a treasure chest for a Pyramaze fan :-) So I think the internet is a very important tool for any band who wants some good promotion.

Intromental is doing a great job for the Danish underground, what has it meant for you to be signed with them and how important is it for a new band to have a management?

Michael - First of all, I think it's very important for a new band to have a good management, and Intromental are good, baby ! :-) Basically what Intromental has meant for us (and still means) is that they provide a very good contact to the important media around the world. Also they do lots of practical stuff for us, provide the interviews, help with layout for booklet and posters, reading through contracts and basically they just take very good care of us when it comes to building us a name out there. That's what a management is good for :-)

How do you see the Danish metal scene at the moment?

Michael - It's pretty poor if you ask me ! It's very much underground here in Denmark, but at least the fans here are very loyal to the music.

To finish things off - could you pls. make an all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?

Michael - Okay - I'll try:

  • Nightwish - Wishmaster
  • Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
  • Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side
  • Iced Earth - Something Wicked
  • Stratovarius - Episode

Thanks for the opportunity of this interview - see you guys out there -cheerz !!

A bit thanx to Michael Kammeyer for taking the time to do this interview and all the best for him and Pyramaze. Also a big thanx to Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.

Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast

Album out on NTS Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Pyramaze.