Hey guys, before we get to your new fantastic album (R)evolution first a question about what happened around the departure of Paul Di'Anno in 2016. After you guys released a statement Paul called you traitors and tried to keep you from using your band name. How was that settled in the end?
To make that long and boring story short: there was not really much happening. We formed this band way back as a band and not as a Paul solo project. So, four of us wanted to continue without Paul so we are four to one parts of a band. As well the record company gave trust in us what is an important and good thing. So now we can still give that band energy but without Paul.
New Singer Titta brings a new sound to the band although I think the whole band sounds a lot different than on 'League Of Shadows'. How did you approach the recording for '(R)evolution'.
Haha. Funny thing is that if there was a plan for an approach it was not to change too many things in writing to keep the band spirit from the first album alive and not make it feel like a total cut. A bit to show that the core sound of the band does not change that much only by changing the singer.... But of course, after we started working with Titta we recognized that there was much more possible in writing as he was directly involved in the writing process. It would have been stupid to not use that new force.
When did Titta came into sight? Already in 2016 you mentioned that the new album was already written so it took some time to record and finalize the album.
Yes, it was something around that time. A lot of ideas were instrumental preproduced but as I said before, with Titta joining the band we could go into more details and change the songs fitting more to the vocal lines and so on. So just an extra drop of creativity into it.
What will 2018 look like for AoC in terms of gigs? Will there be an extensive European tour?
We are working on it. As we had to delay the release because of some unfortunate circumstances everything was a bit harder to handle. But from now on we are ready, and I am sure that something will come soon to announce.
With an new singer in the band and considering the reputation of the former one I can imagine it feels like you have to prove yourself again to the metal world. How do feel about that?
All we can do is what we can do.... Making our music and give it to the world and then the listener has to decide if it is still good. I mean, what should we do? Should we say "oh... now that we have a new singer we have to make a better album than planned"? I can say: We made the best album we could do anyway.
AoC is probably the main focus for you guys right now but can you make a living out of it yet? Or are there a number of other things you guys have to do to make money?
In today's music industry it is getting harder and harder to make a living. Struggling with all the digital innovations to the world, which I don't want to curse here, it became riskier for labels than ever and big labels must pump way more money into a new "Star". I think to minimize the risk the big labels have decided to not work with real musicians anymore as they are to arty and to uncontrollable. That's why nowadays you only hear un-risky hit music. These "musicians" then can maybe do a living out of it. On the other side we still celebrate old heroes that made a living already decades before. So that means that we all have to do some more. Andy, Dom and Gonzo have full daytime jobs. Titta and me we are doing concerts and give lessons and such stuff.
In the accompanying bio I received with the CD you state that there are many different subjects for the songs. One of them is self-reflection on the great song 'A Moment Of Clarity'. Can you explain a bit what this song is about? Also, can you tell what other subjects are on the songs and where the inspiration comes from as you almost all write the lyrics?
That is a good question for me as I wrote the lyrics for ‘A Moment of Clarity’. First of all I have to say that these lyrics came very quick. If I start with writing lyrics the first thing I do is sing some senseless phrases to the music. And the first phrase I sang was "In this moment of clarity...." so that kicked the stone rolling. I was thinking about what moment that could be. It is mainly about that most people are always seeking the guilt in "the other" but never in themselves. For me it is always important to ask yourself first: "Is it possible that I am the idiot here?" Although it seems to be a very depressing lyric I am most of the time a happy dude. And I am very happy that I can solve a lot of inner problems by writing songs.
What would be your advertisement talk to our readers, so they will buy the new album?
If you're not buying it we will hunt you in your sleep and make your whole live a nightmare! (Laughs) It is a true piece of music. There is nothing fake in it. We are not a symphonic metal band using no true violins or any other symphonic instruments. Okay, we are no symphonic metal band at all, haha. You will hear guitars, drums, bass and vocals made by ourselves and passionate song writing combining our tastes of music performed with all the energy we could give. We did not calculate things like, “Let's do that song only 3:30 so the radio can play it” and all those things. Hope you get my point.... and think about the nightmares....
Then of course with the world cup football coming up I would like to hear your prediction on who will be World Champions (if you like football that is of course.)
Aren't you a Dutch magazine??? So why do you care for this year’s tournament....hahahahaha. This is really a good question for me as I am the guy in the band coming from a football past. My father was pro player and my grandfather did even play for the German national team in the 50's. But through the last year I lost a bit of interest in that whole football machinery as it got way too commercial. In Germany Bundesliga got more and more boring with only one team that will maybe win the next ten years as they are in this upwards commercial spiral. And so we can come a bit to the leading world champion Germany. I recognize a lack of hunger and will to fight. They do more care about their haircuts and think the rest is coming on its own. My sympathies are with Iceland. My secret tip is Croatia and still Belgium as every year if they finally manage to become a good team and not being only superb single players.... I am as well impressed by the new "old" style of the Brasil Team. But overall, I think football is losing its attraction and is a sinking ship.
Well guys thank you for taking the time and again congratulations on the new album. Is there anything I forgot to ask that you would like to say to the readers of Lords Of Metal?
This is the part of the interview where I always repeat to the readers: Give us a chance and buy the album and you can support in small steps a musical revolution because you support the handmade music without all the industrial calculations where music is not playing a major role anymore. Like in the football theme this ship is sinking even longer but we are still there and do what we love. Music.