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Twenty years since the debut album, many an album on the counter and a continuous high quality. Brainstorm is a rock-solid value in the German metal landscape. Last month the band released album number eleven, ’Scary Creatures’, on which we could hear some excellent Brainstorm-class power metal once again. To promote the album, the band will hit the road with Primal Fear. Just before the circus departs, undersigned was able to contact guitarist Torsten to ask him a couple of burning questions.

By: Jori | Archive under heavy / power metal

Congratulations on the release of album number eleven. How are things?
Things are pretty damn good. We have just played an amazing release show incl. a big release party with our fans, the album is out now and doing very well and it's only 2 weeks to go until our European tour starts on February 5th.

What are your own first thoughts about ‘Scary Creatures’?
I am very proud of ‘Scary Creatures’. It is a very intense album with some great songs on it that fit 100% to the rest of the Brainstorm catalogue and as it looks know, we will soon have some new live classics in the setlist, like ‘The World To See’ or ‘We Are’

Please tell something about the themes that can be found in the songs, any hidden messages?
Of course, oduoynehwgnihgualtratslliwouyrosdrawkcabsihtdaertonod and segassemneddihoneraereht and even more creepy things. Lyrically, ‘Scary Creatures’ is about dictators, (religious) leaders, politicians, wars nowadays and in the history of mankind, even your own personal demons have found a place on the album.

Apart from a few songs like ‘How Much Can You Take’ and ‘Take Me To The Never’, the orchestrations are more in the background compared to ‘Firesoul’, which had a lot of more symphonic tracks like ‘Entering Solitude’ and ‘...And I Wonder’. Can we talk about something that just happens during the songwriting or a deliberate choice? What is your opinion on this?
This is something that just happens during the songwriting process. We always try to give a song what the song needs and do not tend to overload a song just for the sake of including orchestral elements. But, just listen to the title track ‘Scary Creatures’, this song has quite some orchestral elements with the classic horns in the guitar riff and the orchestral midpart. For this song, the added orchestral parts give the whole song a complete new dimension, I think.

The lyric video for ’We Are’ clearly shows this song has a war related theme. Any specific piece of history it refers to? Why this song for the lyric video?
Because we wanted to use a song we could include a strong visual element to, like the pictures in the chorus, plus the lyrics are very important here, so we wanted to complete the picture for the song. No specific piece of history, but definitely something for everybody to thing over I would say. For example, all those leaders, political or religious, that pretend to give you heaven but all you get is hell, and things like that.

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Since your debut album ‘Hungry’, you have been a steady factor in the German metal scene for almost two decades already, for it has never been more than three years between albums. Being one of the larger bands in the German scene, does Brainstorm provide a living for all of you, or do you have daytime jobs as well?
We all have daytime jobs. But we are in a very lucky situation, because we don't have to do this for the sake of money, we do this for our passion and the love of making, creating and playing music. Of course, we could make a living out of making music with everybody living together in a flat share and touring half time of the year, but as we all have family to feed, it was never a question. We have loyal fans and a strong following, so the greatest freedom and success for us is to be able to play and write the music we want.

After the release of ‘Firesoul’, you toured extensively as special guests of Alestorm. Alestorm not being label mates or playing the same genre of metal, this is not a combination you would just make up out of the blue! How did this package come together and how was this tour for you?
This was an idea of our booking company, we are both booked by Rock The Nation and had the same booker there back then. It was an interesting idea and it worked out pretty well. Both bands have very loyal fans and are open for new things. The tour was almost sold out everywhere in Europe, so it definitely was a good idea.

The boys from Alestorm are not quite known as teatotalists. Do you have any juicy stories from the tour to tell on that front?
Well, we do not say no to a good drink or a good bottle of wine and whiskey either, so all our tour manager needed to take care of was that there always was enough alcohol on the bus and in the venues haha. No, of course we had some good drinking parties but overall, all in the band definitely are pros and know their responsibility for their fans and that they will bring up the best show possible every night.

The next tour is once again with Primal Fear, like four years ago after the release of ‘On The Spur Of The Moment’. I take it this experience was worthwhile for both bands?
Oh yes, definitely. We know each other for a long time and it is definitely a win-win situation, especially for both of the band's fans. They get 200% of classic, traditional metal / power metal. So, if you are into traditional metal, there's no excuse to not attend one of the shows!

The tour with Primal Fear will unfortunately not make a stop in the Netherlands. Any idea when we can see you guys again in our country?
We are working on more Brainstorm shows for the fall of 2016 where we are trying our best to include some shows in the Netherlands.

After the tour with Primal Fear, what’s next on the agenda?
Some indoor festivals in spring and then an extensive summer festival run before doing more club shows in fall.

Anything unsaid you would like to get out there?
I want to send out a big THANK YOU to our fans in the Netherlands for never-ending support

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