Could you, for those out not knowing Powerwolf that well, tell a little about the band?
Powerwolf is a spiritual circle of five individuals who among other activities celebrate their beloved music together. We are quite a multinational circle: three of us are German, our drummer is French and our singer Attila has Romanian roots. The wolf is around since 2004 and right now we are about to release our 2nd album – that is it in short.
Your vocalist Attila Dorn is originally from Rumania and the rest of the band from Germany. How did you get in touch with each other and what made you decide to work together?
My brother and I were in Romania for holidays. We met Attila there and talking to each other we told him we'd be about to found a metal band. Attila immediately was on fire and wanted to join us. When we came back home from our holidays we had a call from Attila on our answering machine – he'd come for rehearsals the next week. Well he did and now we're here!
Attila has a professional education into classic music. Are there things from that education which he can bring into your music?
Yes, behaving like a real diva, ha-ha…. No honestly: I think Attila's way of singing is quite different from the usual style most metal singers use. We like it and it's a big bonus when it comes to song writing sessions, as Attila has as lot of unconventional ideas, as he has another musical background than the rest of the band….
When I listen to Powerwolf I hear heavy metal the old school way, with some doom atmosphere and an organ; I hear some Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Mercyful Fate influences. Are these also the bands that you like to listen to?
Exactly; We simply love these old school evil heavy metal bands. Oh, and of course not to forget Iron maiden, who are quite an obvious influence on some of the songs on “Lupus Dei”, ha-ha…. We love to integrate some obvious influences in our songs. We don't try to sound original, we try to write good songs, and in some of our songs it's to be seen as a kind of statement if something reminds of one of our favourite bands.
How hard was it to come up with a follow-up on your debut album 'Return In Bloodred'?
To be honest: in the beginning it was very hard, as we still love “Return In Bloodred” and felt quite a burden having to top this album and fulfilling the expectations. We spent some months trying to write songs, but the stuff we wrote as not killing enough to be Powerwolf. We then stopped writing music for a while and focussed on spiritual experiences which made us feel as a strong union much more than ever. After this experience we realized that we should write an album about spiritual experiences and religion – and combine this with what we do: heavy metal. And there is a lot of common things in religion and metal – just watch all the great metal fans around the world – watch us, watch yourself: in our youths the albums of our favourite bands were like the bible for us, and our music still is our religion! With this concept in mind we then wrote most of the album in just three months. It was really intense, almost obsessive. We spent some days without leaving our rehearsal room. I guess it was the most intense time we had as a band.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs at 'Lupus Dei'? What about the CD are you most proud of? What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record 'Lupus Dei'?
We love 'Lupus Dei' more than a catholic priest loves the pope, ha-ha…. The album turned out exactly like we wanted it to – and this is a strange feeling to be honest… quite frightening… what I'm most proud of is that for me there are two sides to this album, and both are equally important: one the one side the album has a strong and sinister atmosphere that goes though all of the songs, and on the other side each single song is really catchy and good for partying with and singing along – the combination is what makes this album so special to me.
You have recorded 'Lupus Dei' in a 12th century chapel. What made this surrounding the perfect place to record your new album?
It was magical. You can't compare recording in an old church to recording in a studio. We felt like being on a Sunday morning sermon, but making metal music, ha-ha…. The only thing that was messy was that we recorded in January, and there was no heating in the church, so with snow falling outside it was fucking cold in that church, I can tell you…. Some of the choir people even had to leave after a few hours in the church as they were almost freezing…
The production has been done by Frederik Nördstrom. What made him the perfect producer for 'Lupus Dei'? In which things/songs of the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?
For us Fredrik is the best metal producer we can imagine. He has exactly the same kind of passion for metal, but then as well the same kind of humoristic approach when it comes to playing with great metal cliché things. We never had to explain anything – he just knew what we'd like, and if he did something we didn't have in mind, then it was just an amazing addition to our own thoughts. The song he probably had the most impact on was “When the moon shines red”, which he worked on quite a lot together with us. Apart from that his influence was basically sound wise and in detail work, as we had composed and partly recorded the songs before he came into the production.
What do your texts deal with exactly?
Ha-ha, don't ask me, ask Attila…. Well, generally 'Lupus Dei' is focussed on parables taken out of the bible and set in context to our passion for metal. Finally it had turned out being a real concept album with the wolf himself as the protagonist. In the Introduction to the album he looses faith in good and descends to the evil. He doesn't believe in anything but blood anymore (“In blood we trust”) – but during the album he realizes the light of god step by step and finally in the title track he experiences god.
How do you feel about people who say that Powerwolf keeps on the safe side with lyrical contents as horror, the bible and vampires and that you somehow are not able to part form those lyrical clichés?
We say “Fuck you”. Hahaha… we are Powerwolf and we don't give a fuck about what people might think about us! We do what we like most, and this time it was writing lyrics in that context. If you want something social critical: go for Rage Against The Machine!!!
Is it important for Attila to sing about his cultural inheritance and ancient Romanian myths and tales?
Well, it used to be on our first album, but it isn't anymore on “Lupus Dei” as this album deals with spiritual things and not so much with these Romanian werewolf things anymore. Would have been boring to do this once again. But anyway: these are Attila's roots, and I think they will always shine through.
The appearance of Attila is often being compared with the illustrious King Diamond. Does it not bother you that people do so or do you feel this as a compliment?
The funny thing is that Attila didn't knew King diamond until some press people told him and he bought an album. We don't really care about these comparisons. One the one side this is great as we all respect King diamond as a musician and personality. On the other side I think Attila's way of acting is quite different from the King's….. well and then: Attila weighs at least four times more than King Diamond, ha-ha….
You have a contract with Metal Blade records. 'Lupus Dei' is the second album released by them. Do they come up with what you had hoped for?
Absolutely. They are the best record company in the world. Honestly. The cooperation is perfect. They respect us, and we respect them, it's amazing to have the honour to work with such a great label.
How will Powerwolf and 'Lupus Dei' be able to stand out between the enormous amount of great releases and bands in an almost satiated market?
Because other bands are dogs, and we're a WOLF!!!
What can we expect from your live on the road? Will you be out touring again and can we except to see you in the Netherlands?
We will for sure be touring again. We're right now discussion different options for tours in autumn, and as soon as there's something confirmed you can read it on www.powerwolf.net. I hope this tour will then touch the Netherlands, as on our last European tour with Gamma Ray there was no show in Benelux, and we felt quite sorry for that…