Personally I'm really glad that Iron Savior are back, back with The Landing. A lot happened since the last album, so it was time to catch up what happened after Metropolis and to get a glimpse of what to come from mastermind Piet Sielck. I don't know how many email interviews I did so far, but nobody have been faster than Piet! Wow, that was quick!
It's been 4 long years between Metropolis and The Landing, back then it was released via Dockyard 1 - your own label which went bankrupt -, now you are signed to AFM Records. That's the facts in a nutshell. What else slowed you down?
The first 2 years of the IS absence have been caused by my side project Savage Circus. I needed to write all the songs and do the production. This all in all kept me busy for 2 years.
The other 2 years can be booked to Dockyard 1, which went down the drain starting out in spring 2009 reaching the collapse in November that same year. After my partners took off and left me with a mountain of trash and liabilities of over 100.000€, I had two really really bad years. In the end I was able to scratch enough money together from my private savings, financial help from my family and by finally selling it all to AFM/Soulfood to pay for most of the debts. Right now the tax department is the last remaining problem to be solved. They are a pain the a.., ha ha.
After selling the whole thing to AFM I had something like a turning point and finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. I started feeling better by the day and all of a sudden I started to enjoy making music again. So I started writing again...
There as been a line-up change, a familiar face is back... Jan Sören Eckert. Glad he's back?
Yes, when it came to plan out the production, Yenz got afraid, that he will not be able to deliver it the best way possible because of all his other obligations. Therefore he decided to clear his position and create space for another person. Of course we felt sorry about loosing Yenz, because we had some really good years together and he is a great person. But we had to respect his decision. So we were out on the quest for a worthy follower...… and who could have been a better choice than Jan! He is so much connected to Iron Savior! The reason for separating at the time was the conflict with Masterplan. Since things are rather slow with MP at the time, we thought, that this reason is not existing anymore and ask Jan to re-join the band. It has been a really hearty welcome back for all of us. If we were women, we would have cried, ha ha!
When did you start writing songs for The Landing?
I wrote the first piece of music after selling the whole DY crap to AFM. At the time I wrote the first half of RU Ready. In January 2011 I wrote the first complete song for the new album which was Heavy Metal Never Dies. I mud admit, that this song kicked my ass so bad, that I literally got on fire, ha ha. I was so full with ideas and which each and every day my attitude got hotter and hotter. In the end I was almost sad, when the songwriting was over, ha ha.
How long did the recordings take?
Well, compressed in an 8-10 hour workday I'd say around 3 months, but the whole process of writing and recording pretty much blends together in one big thing which started in January and was finish by the end of September. I did not do a pre-production. Since I have the opportunity to compose in a sound studio I always do that with my real guitar sound. I do that, to catch this magic and single moment in time, when a composer first time plays his creation and is 'hot'. When you do a pre-production and then later on re-record your stuff, because you were using a cheesy demo-like guitar sound, you may not be able to catch the same attitude again.. Henjo once described it best when we talked about this attitude-thing: it's somehow like you would cover yourself. So I tried to catch as much attitude as possible, because I would have hated to say later on "huhhh... somehow the demo sounds better..."
To me it sounds like it's more organic in the way of song writing.... Due to the lack of pressure? Due to feeling freed from a burden (Dockyard 1 bankruptcy)?
Absolutely right. I had no expectations for this album. During the DY demise I had periods, where I was honestly thinking to just quit... so when I wrote the songs for the album, I did not care, what would be expected and what would be good or bad for IS... I wrote this album more or less for myself... as my personal escape from all the bad energy and my personal return to life... and the vehicle for that was music. Heavy Metal the way I feel it, directly from my heart. This goes for all songs and I guess that's one big thing about the magic this album somehow has.
This time less songs are lyrically-based on sci-fi, why this change? Kinda channeling the experience of the last years into your songs?
Just like the music also the lyrics mirror my personal situation pretty much, so a big yes, indeed. Looking at Heavy Metal Never Dies for example and having the DY1 demise in mind, one could add up 1+1, ha ha. But also the sic-fi lyrics carry a lot of personal aspects in them. They may not be totally visible, but hey, I know them, ha ha. But also songs like Hall Of The Heroes also reflect this general 'I-don't-care-about-cheesieness-as-long-as-it-rocks-the-shit-out-of-me' attitude I had.
By now you got some feedback... Satisfied?
100% and above! Fans and media worldwide gave us the best and heartiest welcome! I did not expect the reactions being so great. It really touches me, to see so many fans actually having MISSED the band and were afraid, that we gave up. It's a great feeling to see, that so many fans and friends tare still existing giving the Savior such a great comeback so far.
You did a kind of making-of video clip for The Savior, looks like you had fun... Can we expect more behind the scene footage in future? A band's YouTube channel?
Ha ha, absolutely big fun! Can't promise yet, but we definitely licked blood, ha ha. The video is quite 'successful' on YouTube though...
Back in 2002 you said doing a video won't make sense, by now things have changed... So, will you do a video clip? Which song(s) would you like to visualize?
In general my opinion hasn't change too much, but the YouTube success made me think... I guess the magic of this little studio-video is, that this small movie definitely looks different. So, yes, doing a video is on my list, but it needs the right idea to it. I don't think that a 'standard-band-pretends-as-if-they-play-live' kind of video would add something really interesting to the millions of already existing videos of that kind. Actually I am thinking and thinking and thinking... and once I have an idea, I will do it! But unfortunately that hasn't happened so far, ha ha.
Can we expect to see Iron Savior on stage in 2012? Festivals? A tour?
Yes. We are currently working on the booking for festivals, but also looking for a chance to tour. All in the band are determined to bring our new stuff to the stages. Those songs just crave to be played live!
Do you prefer small clubs or big festival stages?
In general I prefer smaller venues because of the directness towards the fans. But also a festival show can be great.. It's really hard to say, because there is good and bad in both... just like with all things in life, ha ha.
Vinyl is getting more popular again, would you like to see your album(s) on vinyl? Are you a vinyl lover yourself?
Well, I still have all my old vinyls in the basement and keep them for sentimental reasons... I'm not really a collector, but I like vinyl. Hey, I grew up with this and the new artwork would look absolutely killer on a vinyl edition!
Different format... DVD. Can your fans hope for a DVD somewhere in future? Do you have some footage from the early years?
Nahh... its all pretty crappy in terms of quality... One couldn't really use that. But yes, a DVD is also on my list. For example we do have some very true and great friends in rather remote areas, who will never have a chance to see IS live. It would be my pleasure to bring them an IS show on DVD for example to the Himalaya!
Savage Circus.... What's the status? Is Savage Circus on hiatus?
Paused for the moment. I really want to focus on Iron Savior and get this year done with as much live shows as possible. So I need my time for that.
What about your work as a producer, what's next on your schedule?
Right now I am working on the mix down for Bogota-based band Vorpal Nomad, which is the band of Felipe Machado Franco, who did our artwork. Great power metal band btw. In January I will start mixing a Japanese power metal band called Maverick. Also what I heard from their pre-production so far, this sound promising to me. In general I would like to get back a bit more into the field of producing other peoples stuff, because I realized, that I actually missed this quite a bit throughout the past years.
Allow me an off-topic question, what do you think about Unisonic?
I haven't had the opportunity to check out one of their shows so far, but I guess the quality I guaranteed with Kai being part of the band. Also Michael seems to have changed his mind in terms of Metal, so I don't think, that the outcome would be disappointing at all. I expect them to do the first REAL Keeper III album, ha ha.
(Exactly my take on it!!! - Claudia)
What's on your schedule for 2012?
Playing music, producing music, raising my children and making my wife happy!
All the best,
I can't wait to see the foursome on stage! Would love to see them doing a tour with another Hamburg-based band... A package with Gamma Ray would be a blast! But that's a dream, but sometimes... You know what I mean. Anyway, I'm glad Piet and so Iron Savior is back. And hopefully no longer breaks in future! I wish them all the best! See you on tour!