Genre: Heavy metal
Answers: Jens “Shredmaster JB” Basten (guitar)
1. Hello GLORYFUL! How are you? How do you feel now that you see your first official work released? Are you anxious to see how the metal fans will accept it?
It feels fantastic to see the Code arrived in the shops and is selling online as well! We are all just happy reading the most of the part very positive reviews. We were a little nervous before the release how the reactions of the press will turn out, but as it seems they all like it!
2. Let me ask you a few things about the creation of “The Warrior’s Code”. How long did it take you to compose the songs and which were the difficulties that you had to confront?
As on this record we put all the songs we´ve ever written for the band so far, the process of writing started with the founding of the band which was in the summer 2010. We recorded nearly all the instruments in different studios, so it took some months to complete the whole recordings. There was no deadline as we produced the album before signing the record contract, so we took the time we needed. The only difficulty was to take some time to record between our regular necessary jobs and the live-shows.
3. From all the compositions that you have included in your new album which was the easiest to compose and which one took you more time and why?
To answer that question I have to tell you something about the way most of our songs come up. Usually Johnny comes over with the basic structure by means of the strophe and chorus riff. The same day we record the guitars in Cubase and add some midi drums in here and in most of the part we finish the track then directly in case we find the perfect fitting lead-guitar hookline, bridge and solo-part. In a next session Johnny is trying some vocal arrangements on the track and sometimes the whole lyrics are written spontaneously then. And as we are not trying to get out of the classic rock song-structures, it´s just our job to find the best possible riffs and melodies. If it´s a good day so we are in a good mood and the beer is cold – that´s easy going sometimes. Regarding your initial question – I remember “Fist of Steel” was the most easy-going song to compose for the album.
4. I have noticed that 3 of the songs that you have included in your debut album were also included in your demo. So my question is: did you include the songs as they were in your demo or have you changed them a bit and in which way?
We recorded them again because we never did that with a complete band before. Our demo “Sedna´s Revenge” was recorded as a two-piece band; it was only Johnny and me. We knew that a lot of people liked these early songs and as the debut album would reach a lot more new fans, we wanted to put these songs on the album as well. In the track “Sedna´s Revenge” we made the last guitar-solo part a little shorter, the rest of the songs stayed nearly the same. But as we recorded everything again, the character of the vocals and gang shouts is a little different now and as well some lead-guitar stuff has developed a little bit of course.
5. All the members of the band are well experienced musicians and have participated in well known bands. Also most of the bands you have played in the past were into the extreme and modern metal sound. So, why did you decide to create GLORYFUL and play traditional heavy metal?
We listen more and more to the classic stuff that we have bought already as metal-kids and the same time it´s getting harder and harder to find new stuff that we really like. I always wanted to end up in a classic heavy metal band, but I never found the right singer to start that band. As I met Johnny la Bomba, the time had come. And by the way if you played all kind of technical and extreme metal styles for nearly 20 years, it´s just time to start with the real shit, haha. There is nothing more important than the good old, real heavy metal. It´s never too late for a musician to pay tribute.
6. Since you have named your album “The Warriors Code”, I would like to know who in your opinion the modern warriors are and which must be their code.
Most of the heavy metal people out there over the whole world started with the big important bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, MANOWAR, HELLOWEEN or DIO. The older you get, the more you probably realize how important these bands really were for your personal development and the way your life went so far. You found your best friends in metal and these are people you can always count on. No matter where on this heavy metal planet you go, these crazy people are your brothers and sisters. If you agree, you know the code. That´s it.
7. I am also interested in the lyrics and I see that yours have to do with fantasy. So, who writes the lyrics and from where do you draw inspiration?
It´s Johnny who writes all the lyrics. We involved some Inuit-mythology stuff here, for example the saga of sedan and also used these great typical heavy metal themes. In a way, Johnny´s lyrics got a different meaning and are just combined with some cliché-phrases. The most important is the big picture and this is always the song itself.
8. I want to stand a bit on the songs with the title “Sedna’s Revenge” and “Death of the First Earth”. Can you tell me which the lyrical story of these 2 songs is?
These two songs are strongly inspired by the Inuit-mythology. I will tell you some more details of the story of the sedan-goddess. I copied the whole content that follows from Wikipedia (you can of course shorten that a bit):
Sedna is the goddess of the sea and marine animals in Inuit mythology, also known as the Mother of the Sea or Mistress of the Sea. The story of Sedna, which is a creation myth, describes how she came to rule over Adlivun, the Inuit underworld. Sedna is also known as Arnakuagsak or Arnaqquassaaq (Greenland) and Sassuma Arnaa ("Mother of the Deep", West Greenland) and Nerrivik ("Table", northern Greenland) or Nuliajuk (District of Keewatin, Northwest Territories, Canada). She is sometimes known by other names by different Inuit groups such as Arnapkapfaaluk ("Big Bad Woman") of the Copper Inuit from the Coronation Gulf area and Takánakapsâluk or Takannaaluk (Igloolik).
More than one version of the Sedna legend exists. In one legend Sedna is a giant, the daughter of the creator-god Anguta, with a great hunger that causes her to attack her parents. Angered, Anguta takes her out to sea and throws her over the side of his kayak. As she clings to the sides, he chops off her fingers and she sinks to the underworld, becoming the ruler of the monsters of the deep. Her huge fingers become the seals, walruses, and whales hunted by the Inuit.
In another version of the legend, she is dissatisfied with men found for her by her father and so marries a dog. Her father is so angry at this that he throws her into the sea and, when she tries to climb back into the boat, he cuts off her fingers. Her fingers become the first seals and she becomes a mighty sea goddess. When she is angered, the shaman travels to wash and comb her hair for her, after which she is placated and releases the animals to the hunters.
In the Netsilik region, the story states that Nuliayuk was a mistreated orphan. One day the people tried to get rid of her by attempting to drown her by chopping off her finger tips. But the fingertips would transform to seals and walruses. Eventually Nuliayuk marries a sculpin and lives in the sea controlling all sea mammals.
Other versions of the legend depict Sedna as a beautiful maiden who rejects marriage proposals from the hunters of her village. When an unknown hunter appears, Sedna's father agrees to give her to him as wife in return for fish. Sedna's father gives Sedna a sleeping potion and gives her to the hunter who takes her to a large nest on a cliff, revealing his true form: a great raven. She wakes surrounded by birds. Her father attempts to rescue her, but her husband the bird creature becomes angry, causing a great storm. In desperation, Sedna's father throws her into the raging sea. Attempting to cling to the kayak, her hands freeze and her fingers fall off becoming the creatures of the sea. She falls to the bottom of the sea and grows a fish tail.
Sedna is kidnapped by a different bird creature in yet another version. Her father then leaves in his kayak to rescue her from the floating ice-island where she is imprisoned while the bird creature is away. The creature, enraged by her disappearance, calls to a spirit of the sea to help him. The sea spirit locates the kayak with the two humans aboard and creates huge waves to kill them. Her father throws Sedna overboard in the hope that this will appease the angry god. Sedna clings to the kayak but her father grabs a little axe and chops three of her fingers off before striking her on the head. The three fingers each become a different species of seal. The stroke to her head sends Sedna to the ocean floor where she resides, commanding the animals of the sea.
The varying legends each give different rationales for Sedna's death. Yet, in each version, her father takes her to sea in his kayak, chopping off her fingers. In each version she sinks to the bottom of the sea, worshiped by hunters who depend on her goodwill to supply food. Generally considered a vengeful goddess, hunters must placate and pray to Sedna to release the sea animals from the oceans depths for their hunt.
9. I think that you have already done a video – clip. Can you tell us which song you chose to visualize and why? How was the shooting experience? Will you do another one?
We did the first official music video for the title track “The Warrior´s Code”. It was filmed, edited and finished by Mirko Witzki (www.miwi-graphics.de) and we are very satisfied with the result. We recorded at a heavy metal underground club called “Helvete” in the city of Oberhausen. You can see the five of us and a female Kung Fu Warrior. We got some hits and kicks by her after the guitar solo, I still got to smile when I watch that scenes. The whole shooting was a special day and pure fun. It´s not that typical metal video and it´s a very long song, it´s over a playing time of 7:23 min.
10. I want to stand a bit on the cover which I like because it has an 80’s touch. Actually it reminded me a bit of HEAVY LOAD’s “Death or Glory” album. Who is the artist and how is it connected with your lyrics?
I just googled that HEAVY LOAD album Cover: haha yeah you are right! It´s a similar idea with that arctic scenery and the fighting set-up of two characters. We got our inspiration somewhere else. The black creature is Sedna, the goddess of the sea, something like our eddy that will follow GLORYFUL throughout the next albums I guess. The female warrior riding the domesticated ice-bear is inspired by a logo of an old and strong German herbal schnaps. As we got this idea in mind, we couldn´t resist to do it, haha. We asked the famous Belgian Artist Kris Verwimp and he liked the idea. Verwimp did a lot of the classic black metal cover paintings for Osmose Records back in the early 90ies like ABSU or MARDUK. He did every single SUIDAKRA artwork and as well some nice older works for the Goodlife HC-Label. And besides that he is doing brilliant Viking/pagan-style comics and illustration of fantasy books.
11. By the way is there a chance to print your album on vinyl too?
We are in talks with a cool German vinyl label to release a limited edition of 300 copies, 140g black vinyls with poster an signature-photo card, hand numbered of course.
12. I would like to know which bands you think that have inspired you in order to create the GLORYFUL sound. Also which are the elements according to you that make your sound recognizable?
It´s all about the big 80ies classic stuff from IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, MANOWAR, RUNNING WILD, WASP, DIO or HELLOWEEN but as I can speak for myself as well a lot of THIN LIZZY and RAINBOW when it comes to the guitar-stuff.
We are recognizable and original most of the part because of Johnny la Bomba´s unique sounding voice. For sure we got our very own style writing those cheesy lead guitar hooklines, haha. We call it the “Cambozola-Style”, haha.
13. There are so many interviews that you do and I think you pretty much have to answer the same boring questions. So which was the weirdest or the most interesting question that you’ve been asked so far?
It´s exactly this question you ask me right know, haha. Because I got to concentrate a lot to answer, but there´s nothing coming to my mind that´s fitting here as extraordinary weird or worthy enough to mention. Maybe it´s the everlasting question regarding Johnny´s non-metal headgear, haha. There are many people who can´t take it, that we can look like this while playing and promoting true metal.
14. I will ask you to change a bit your role and become the interviewer. So what would you like to ask yourself about GLORYFUL?
Now I am very curious about to know what your next bigger future steps are. When will you start to write new songs for the next album?
Well we already started and nearly finished with 70% of the composing. We now concentrate on the last few tracks, solos, and lyrics. We already asked Kris Verwimp for the next cover artwork and we got some ideas for the whole artwork and lyrical concept. Dan Swanö will be responsible for the album mix again. We hope to get the recording-sessions started in August to get the album released in early 2014.
15. Thanks for your time answering my questions. I wish you all the best! Please close this interview in any way you like…
Thank you Nick for your long time support and this nice interview! We hope to get the possibility to tour beautiful Greece next year. We all love to go there. People who could help out with serious booking-contacts lease get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone interested in new album merchandise please ask at facebook or email@example.com.
You all stay metal
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis