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Your CD The Landing was released on November 18th, 2011, through AFM Records. How were the reactions, are you happy with the feedback?
So far the reaction are very good to excellent! So I am absolutely happy about how well the new album is appreciated.
Your songs tell a story and can 'catch me'. How hard or how easy is it to develop the science fiction concept for the lyrics of a new album?
Sometimes it's really fast. With a good basic plot in mind it's quite easy to write lyrics and it's more or less a just about finding the right phrases and rhymes. It does get sticky and nasty if there's no real idea about what to say... this is the most time consuming part of all: to come up with something interesting and catchy to say, haha. This may take several weeks sometimes!
How long does the recordings for the CD take (all in all)?
Well, all in all if I simply add up the time I spent on the album it's something between 3-4 months. But with some interruptions in between the whole process of writing songs, arranging them, recording them and finally mix them has been a period of 12-14 months.
It took four years until The Landing landed in our players – why this long "approach"? ;-)
One reason is my former band Savage Circus, which demanded a lot of my time. Once again I had to write all of the songs and the whole production basically on my own, which was a very hard job. The second reason is the downfall of my former record label Dockyard. After rather bad mismanagement the company went bankrupt in 2009. Being left alone by my former partners I faced this hell and cleaned up the mess they've left behind for almost 2 years. I lost a lot of money and for a certain time also my believe into music. Finally I was able to sell the remains and pay off most of the debts. Righ now it's "just" the taxes Iam still dealing with.... Anyhow, in late 2010 I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel and my passion for music returned. So I started writing The Landing...
The videoclip for The Savior is great – to see you at your work in the recording studio and to look at your fingers when you play guitar, it's very cool!!! Who had the idea to make such kind of video?
Haha, this was my idea. AFM asked me for some video material they could use for some internet promotion. So I just filmed myself singing The Savior and playing guitar, did some atmospheric shots of the backing vocal session and cut something together with the already existing video shots from the drum session. I did this little thing at home with iMovie. Yeah, I also like the outcome, haha, but it's not supposed to be a professional music video. But maybe that's exactly the charm about it... By the time 60.000 people have clicked on The Savior. Cool!!!
I like your voice very much and, unfortunately, I couldn't find a classical ballad with only your voice accompanied by a guitar or piano. That would give me the creeps. Could there be one on the next album, if it fits to the storyline?
Hmm, yes... a ballad usually is a very personal and emotional thing... arranging it just with a guitar or piano gives it even more intimacy... it's something one has to be ready for and daring enough. I might be ready for something like this on the next album...
Are you planning to go on tour soon to present the songs from The Landing live on stage?
Definitely. By the time I am writing this interview, we are booking shows in several countries. It's gonna be mostly single, double or triple show-weekends or festivals. We don't think a complete headliner tour would work for us. There has been a huge break, so people must be reactivated for the Savior. Anyhow, a lot of shows are already in progress. You may check on our website www.iron-savior.com for updates on this. The page is up again presenting itself proudly with new "Landing"-design!
Do we have a chance that you record one of your concerts for a DVD release?
That would be awesome!
Would it be interesting for you to play acoustic concerts, or to present your songs with an orchestra?
No, not really. Iron Savior is meant to be pure in-your-face Power Metal. Playing songs like Starlight or Hall Of The Heroes with acoustic guitars is just not working for me. I leave the orchestra stuff to Blind Guardian, haha!
How would you describe your music in own words?
Heavy Metal. This says it all for me. I do understand, that people need to have certain names for certain styles in order to distinguish, but I am not a fan of that... I do classic Metal which to me is simply Heavy Metal.
There was a change in the line-up from Iron Savior - Jan S. Eckert is back at bass. Could you please introduce your band colleagues and tell us a little bit about them?
Well, Jan left the ship for his activities with Masterplan back at the time. Back then we all agreed, that this does best for both bands and for our personal relationship. When Yenz left Iron Savior in summer 2011 it was a natural thing to ask Jan if he wants to rejoin the band. Since his activities with Masterplan have been very little, the reason why he left before was not existing any more. We are totally happy being back together in the Condition Red line up and are ready to deliver the goods!
What are the most important inspirations for you when you are writing songs? Do you have to be in a special mood or do you need special ambience to be creative?
My inspiration is the sum of all music I have been consuming and listening in my life so far. And yes, for sure I need to be in a special mood to be creative. Basically I cannot write anything while being depressed or in a bad and aggressive mood. I usually don't like to be inspired by negative emotions. That's why I couldn't write songs for quite a while during the Dockyard issue. As a positive person who wants to create positive feelings, I need to be positive myself in order to write stuff. A special ambience is not so important as long as I am alone and does not get disturbed by the world around me, haha! My family sometimes has a hard time, when I am gone and away in songwriting-land!
Would you ever change your music or your lyrics to reach more people and to achieve more success?
When you look back - can you tell us 1-2-3 very special or important moments in your career up to now?
The release of the very first Iron Savior record has been a very important mark. This is where it all started. The Condition Red album also is a very special one. It's the first album without Kai and also marks the end of some bad years of divorce and shit like this. The Landing does the same thing for me. It is indeed one of the best Iron Savior outputs ever and also marks the end of a heavy crisis.
You have your own recording studio named Powerhouse Studio. What bands have you worked for as a producer - except Iron Savior?
Well, to do some name dropping: Paragon, Wizard, Persuader, Heavenly, Stormwarrior, Gun Barrel, Hibria, Vorpal Nomad, Maverick, Mercury Falling etc...
How do you see the possibility to release a CD as digital download only – would it be okay for you or do you say "No, thanks!"?
That would be ok for me, but I can understand, that people want to hold a physical product in their hands, with a booklet and stuff. Maybe the media CD sometimes comes out of date, but I do believe that selling physical copies - maybe as data stick or whatever - will never go out of style.
What is on the plan for Iron Savior for the next months?
Rehearsing and playing shows!
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
In the end I would like to thank all fans and friends who helped and supported me throughout the dark year during the demise of Dockyard. Without your posts and mails cheering me up again and again this record would not exist. Thank you all! \m/ Piet
Thanks for your time. We wish you all the best!
Photos ©2011 by AFM Records