Congratulations with your new album. Can you please give our readers a short version of what the band has been doing between this new album and your 2011 album ‘Ravenlord’?
Hello and thank you so much for giving me the chance to speak about our new album !!! After our last year’s European Tour with Powerwolf in the spring of 2012, and many festivals during the summer of the same year, we started writing the new songs in September, and we entered the studio during the first week of March 2013, we spent 10 days for recording the instrumental tracks and 5 more days for vocals … With “Killhammer”, we have come up with yet another great accomplishment, an album so powerful, yet versatile, that we enjoy every single moment of it, but the greatest thing for us is that our fans are enjoying it too, in fact so much that the album has entered the German charts this week, in 83rd place !!! We are pretty confident that we have made an album full of power, passion, versatility, and certain elements that never existed before in our previous albums … Everything is going great so far, and we have to thank our fans for it, without them we would be nothing, we owe everything to them !!!
As far as I know there have been no new member changes this time, is that an advantage that can be heard back in the song writing?
Actually we have a new drummer in this album, his name is Tristan Maiwurm, and he is the absolute killing machine, especially in the concerts, and guitarist Laki Ragazas, who is also playing with me in Devil’s Train. And although these two are new members, we actually are with this new line-up for more than a year, playing gigs, touring and composing, and we feel more united than ever, in fact I have never heard the band sounding so great on stage !!!
Compared with ‘Ravenlord’ the new album ‘Killhammer’ is less melodic and a tad heavier. Is that a well considered choice, or did it just come out this way?
Yes, this is a considered choice, heaviness is the thing we wanted to accent even more, but, as for the melodic elements, they are equally strong as before, especially in the guitar overdubs. As in our previous albums we had some nice surprises to present, the same goes for “Killhammer”, we have a couple of aces up our sleeves, certain elements which, when you listen to it, you will understand the path we are walking into … We always try to avoid to stay musically in one place, we want to be able to move and evolve, in all aspects of our music, themes, lyrics, etc.
Not only the songs are heavier, also the titles of the songs sound rather aggressive and heavy. I almost thought that it was a new Manowar tracklist with the kills, bloods, fire, hells and warrior words in it. Is that done on purpose?
Yes, this is done on purpose too, and the reason for it is quite simple, giving a catchy title to a song is always a good idea. We make metal music, and in this genre, stuff like this is needed. Besides, metal guitar riffs have started to sound more and more similar from one band to another, and you sometimes wonder, “wait, don’t I know this riff from somewhere?” The same goes with the song titles … I personally try to connect the song title with the lyrics in a way that it’s easy for the audience to sing in a concert. Our fans come to our shows to have a good time, giving a more difficult or irrelevant title to a song might possibly confuse them and make them lose interest.
Why did you decide to cover Ozzy’s “Crazy Train”?
As you probably already know, we have covered songs from Ozzy in the past either from Black Sabbath (Paranoid, in the album Satanic Curses) or his own band (Miracle Man, in “Ravenlord”) so for us it was a natural choice hahaha, personally I ‘ve never been such a devoted Ozzy fan, but, believe me, it’s easier for me to sing an Ozzy cover than a Ronnie James Dio hahaha … Ozzy has always been (and always will be) a rock ‘n’ roll trademark figure, with his remarkable personality, image, and his incredible musical genius, and it’s always been our honor and so much fun to play an Ozzy song.
I read that you will be touring (or just have toured, depends on when you read this) with Masterplan , what can the fans expect from that? Or how was it?
Right now we are in the middle of our European Tour, alongside Masterplan, and as we are traveling across Europe right now, we are happy to see that everybody is enjoying the new album as much as we do, and the response of the audiences everywhere is breathtaking ... With Masterplan, we are proud to be part of an ideal tour package, we have an amazing time so far, and I 'm pretty sure everything will turn out to be as successful as it was from the very beginning …
Is it still possible for a band like Mystic Prophecy to get even financially on a new album release or is it just that you have to release a new album so you can get on a new tour again and sell some merchandise.
If you have an idea of how the music business actually works, you wouldn’t make this question, right now things are very difficult for all bands, all styles of music, regardless of the success achieved, bands all over the world depend – sometimes entirely – on the merchandise sales during their concerts, let me just tell you this, we created Mystic Prophecy because we love music and we do everything with our heart and soul, and we don’t really care about the money, we will be doing everything to keep our fans satisfied, because they support us so much over the years, and without them we couldn’t have achieved anything.
Ever thought about releasing a new record on your own, without a record company behind the wheel?
Right now we work with a label that supports us so far in our every move, we have a great cooperation together, the album sales are really good thanks to our beloved fans all over the world, and we want to keep it that way, if for some reason we don’t work with a record label anymore, then we’ll see what we can do to get our music out there.
What are your plans for 2014?
Right now we are scheduling our future concerts for next year, everything will be announced in good time, and we really hope we 'll see you on the road in the near future ...
Thanks for answering the questions.
Thank you so much for giving me the chance to speak about “Killhammer”, it’s very important for us to share lots of interesting information about Mystic Prophecy and our new album to our fans through this interview, see you soon in concert !!!
Interviewed by Reinier de Vries