Everybody has heard the name Ivanhoe, but who knows the German band? A telephone interview with Singer Andy gives a few answers. Now the impotant part, the interview.
As far as I know the band been founded in 1989. A first demo been recorded in 1989, too. But it took time until you could record your debut album. Please tell me a little bit about the beginnings.
Soon after the band was founded the demo tape Written In Stone was recorded. Through problems inside the band line-up changes were necessary. In 1993 it came to the end when Chuck (Schuler, g) and me joint. Soon we signed a record deal with Music Is Intellegence. In February 1994 we recorded our debut album. We made a video-clip which was showed a few times on private TV channels. We played in a few European countries like Italy, the Netherlands and in the south of Germany. In spring 1995 we recorded our new album Symbols Of Time. We booked a small club tour for October in Germany. We hope to play as support for a bigger band in winter. We will make the people know Ivanhoe as a band.
Nobody knows all the bands / albums which been out.
For us it's important that Ivanhoe become a kind of trademark. That people who see the adverts remember when they see our CD in a shop.
The people know the band as a progressive metal band. You don't like this category. How you would describe the sort of music?
It's very simple, we try to cover many different types of music.
It's listenable on the album that you listen to different kinds music.
We all listen to different kinds of music. We have different influences.
What music influenced you?
The influences... okay, I grow up with bands like Kiss, Judas Priest, also with the first wave of thrash metal, e.g. Forbidden, Exodus and Vio-Lence. Our guitarist is listening to Watchtower, Confessor etc. Our keyboarder is more in bands like Saga, Marillion. Our drummer and bassist are fans of mainstream, Slaughter, etc. You see the influences are wide spreaded. This mixture is what it makes interesting for me. I won't limit our music to a category. I sing in different ways and the music is also very different. I will never ever record an album which is on the same all the same. For me now the debut is to much on one level. The vocals and the music are still on style. I still love it, for sure, but the Symbols Of Time has more variety. The ballad is recorded without drums and bass, I won't do that when we recorded our debut.
Why you name the band Ivanhoe?
Many people would like to hear that we are the knights of the present. I don't own swords or shields, etc. the story is that the 3 founding members watched TV and saw the movie Ivanhoe. Everybody knows the name through the movie and all ways of life.
The name also don't link with a style of music.
Would we use elements of the mediaeval music there would be a link.
That's not new.
Blind Guardian or Skyclad. Ivanhoe as a name sounds good and you remember it easily. Everybody knows the name and now we will buildup a link between the name and our music.
As singer and songwriter you write the lyrics. Can you tell me about?
First Symbols Of Time ain't a conceptional album! The title track has no special meaning, just the symbols of time which are also shown on the cover. Wide Open is about being open-minded. I wanted to write about 'cause the theme is in the spotlight at the moment. I won't jump on any bandwagon. Many people make holidays in Italy or Turkey and act like a pig there. After the 2 or 3 weeks off there everything was fine. But they won't accept a for;eigner like Turkish or Italian living next to them. It's interesting the people just want the best out of each country expect the natives. I think we should try to understand their culture and religion and accept it. It's just my opinion. In some songs I sing about my opinion, other song tell a story. The lyrics should have the same variety than the music. For example the ballad is about a relation which broke up. Both see the faults they made and couldn't forget the other. A duet try to show it. For me it was important that it has an happy-end. Wicked Poisoning is about the diary of Jack the Ripper. I wrote the song from his point of view. In the middle of the song is a part about serial killer in general. The whole thing is weird and sick. Jeffrey Dahmer for example had several corpse in the cellar. Some he chopped up, others were put into tanks with hydrochloric acid. And a little later he had dinner with his granny. To be without any emotions must be horrible. Through The Lies is about what politicians say or what is written in the daily newspapers. We shouldn't believe everything, it's important to have an own point of view. To find out the truth between all the lies. Ceremony is about sects which promise you everything in the beginning. Later you have to pay for the promises. Nowadays this back, in the 15th century it was damned. In that days parts of the church free the people from their sins in exchange for money. It happens today and the politicians are powerless. We connect these songs 'cause the theme is equal.
That's it for the moment from Ivanhoe. The music and the words are clearer now. The live presentation will show if the band will make it or break it. The next album decides about having a future or being the past.