It was a bit quite lately, but now StormHammer are back with a new album! And so I'm happy that bassist Horst agreed to answer my questions.
After the tour with Lefay & Angel Dust and the shows with Blind Guardian the future looked bright. But since 2005 we haven't heard much about StormHammer... What happened?
In March 2005 Tommy and StormHammer went separate ways and we started writing new songs. First everything went smoothly, but then there was stagnation. We wanted to do a conceptual album, but then realized that we can't make it the way we wanted. Beside that it seemed that everybody was doing a conceptual album - and so we reconsidered this idea and started allover again. And it needed some time to get out of the contract we had with Mausoleum. That problem solved, another one popped up - line-up changes. Chris and Alex had to leave the band through job issues and it was the same with the new drummer Jojo. But Jojo first finished the album and then left.
Nowadays it seems that the world is turning faster, isn't it difficult to re-start after several years with the 'old' name, but new members?
No, I don't think that it would be a smart move to bury StormHammer and start under a new moniker. We didn't changed musically, no 180° turn, even if with a new singer it sound a bit different.
Have you written the songs for Signs Of Revolution over a longer period of time? Or were they written just before the recordings?
We started directly after we did Lord Of Darkness. Alex and I had different ideas how to write songs. He wanted to compose the songs at the computer, and I'm more the type of session musician and prefer to write together with the others in the rehearsal room. I like to get the feedback immediately. When Jojo joined us late 2006 we hadn't songs finished after about 4 months of writing.
How much did the line-up change influenced the song writing?
As I said, Alex and I had different ways to write. He wanted to write 'his' songs and I wanted to get the others involved, so there was no way to continue it. Now we write together as a band - and that's just great!
The cover looks more like the one of a true metal band - and for me it doesn't fit very well. Why did you choose this cover?
The idea behind the artwork is that it should show the change within us as a band. We do have a new logo and I think we do power metal / true metal. But this genre categorizations are more for journalists, I don't care much about whats-it-gonna-called.
Are you still satisfied with your older releases now? And what about the new album... Is the feedback what you expected?
I'm not the one who looks back critically. At the time the albums were up-to-date and I'm still happy about what we have done. Looking back we would mix and master our last album (LoD) differently.
The feedback is going to the extremes! You get 'album of the year' and 'waste of time / money'. In between there isn't much. So we are surprised, but there are many people who love the album, so...
The internet is more and more important and with YouTube videos get more attention again.... Which song would you choose for a video clip?
This week we filmed our concert - kind of a release party - and we plan to publish 2 songs at YouTube. Beside that I think that Well Of Wisdom would be a good choice.
Are you activ in the internet beside MySpace and your website? And what do you think about this new technologies?
Only the ones you named. I think that MySpace is very important, especially as the people can listen to some songs. The P2P networks and sites like PirateBay are a nightmare. The ones who download music don't know or just don't care that they ruin the bands. The traditional ways of distribution are already down. Okay, you can say that there is no need any more for labels and distribution companies and thanks to the internet some make it without the traditional business partners. But you need money to record a good album and these days most bands pay up front and thanks to the torrent servers don't make a dime. No band can keep doing this for ever.
Are there some shows already scheduled? Would it be possible for you to go on tour? I guess that you all have to have a job...
We start scheduling shows for fall / winter. We would like to go on tour, but have to see if there is a decent offer. If we can't do a tour, we want to play 5-10 shows... And yes, music isn't paying our bills.
What else can metal fans expect from StormHammer?
First some shows and then we start writing new songs!
It's quite true that not just the record companies go bankrupt due to illegal downloads, also the bands have a tough time. So, everybody who loves metal should keep buying CDs - or legal MP3s - and go to concerts of smaller bands instead of paying over-priced tickets of a handful big ones!