Naar aanleiding van Distortion fest en de recente concerten van Alestorm in ons kleine landje hebben we gesproken met de wilde piraten. Ons aangenaam gesprek lees je hier! Arrhhh matey!!!
Hey guys, sorry I couldn’t come to the Distortion Fest to see you play and to ask you these questions so I hope you will answer them by mail for me. Please tell me how it went and how the reactions were from the audience. By the way, was this the first time you're headlining a festival??
The festival was an amazing day. We got to see a lot of young bands as well as get to headline and showcase a lot more of our material than we would on any other given show. The show itself was a lot of fun, we played quite well though we were slightly nervous given we hadn't played a show for about 5 months and while we'd rehearsed, getting on stage is a different animal. We enjoyed ourselves and the crew and bands there were phenomenal.
As far as I know, I think it was the first time we've ever had a headlining festival slot. After 600+ shows it's kind of hard to remember every single one though!
What is the inspiration behind the name Alestorm??
There wasn't much in the way of 'inspritation'. We were asked upon signing to Napalm to change our name from Battleheart, which was a crappy name. So we spent about a week thinking about a name until I received a phonecall from my lead singer suggesting the name Alestorm. We all loved it and it's stuck with us!
How did you came on the theme pirate metal?? wich is basicly growing to become a fullfledged genre with you as most popular band.
It just started with a band in a garage, a group of guys and a keyboard player who had written a song about pirates(Heavy Metal Pirates). From there it just got bigger and we developed the song style and structure over the past few years creating the 'Alestorm' sound.
What is the inspiration for the new album back trough time??
Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Bacon too.
We heared the sneaktrack of the album and we love it. but what do you hope the fans will think about it??
This album is going to split fans and haters a like. We've taken some big changes with this album in terms of production and songwriting. With some songs sticking to the Alestorm sound everyone knows and some of the songs going back to a more thrashy, punky sound we had in the earlier days. Still with all the orchestras and keyboards you could shake a stick at, but with a different musical idea behind it.
1 question your fans will love to know. where do you get your costumes?? are they custom made??
Not sure where this came from. Live we play in black shirts/jeans/shorts. For the videos we have a company come in with costumes and stuff and we make them ourselves though we've cut back on them for the new video, limiting it to only Chris with any kind of costume on. Me, Peter and Gareth are wearing what we would be wearing live.
A lot of people dislike us for that choice but we have done it for many reasons. Anyone who have seen Alestorm live know, we don't stand still live. We can only do that because we don't have heavy, stupid frilly shirts and boots. I'm much more comfortable playing in my shorts meaning I can run around and play to the best of my ability. Which I think is a lot more important than wearing a stupid shirt and a hat. If you get my meaning.
You where playing in the marquee on graspop last year. what do you think of the belgium crowd?? And this was your second gig at this festival. What was the difference with your first gig there??
Every time we play in Belgium, it's always a riot. I'm not sure what Alestorm does to the Belgians that they keep coming back but they always do.
Graspop '08 was our biggest crowd to date, in fact I think it was the first time we'd ever played to a crowd even close to that size. The tent was packed and people were going crazy. The only real difference this year was that the tent was 4 times bigger. It was still packed, people were still going crazy, it was just on a grander scale! We loved it and can't wait to come back to Graspop in 2012!
One of the tracks is called swashbuckled, is that a reference to your friends of swashbuckle??
It is indeed. The whole song is about the 'pirates three' and there downfall in gruesome ways. Although, the drummers are completely different now. We still talk about Crashride and Bootsman and they've both left the band now! Which kind of fucked up the song, it's still awesome though.
Do you have any routine you do before you step on stage??
Personally, I don't have anything specific I go through. I try and stretch out and make sure I'm all warmed up before I go on. I think we all get a bit quieter and try and get into the frame of mind for the show. It's not only physically exhausting to play and Alestorm show. There is a lot of elements involved making it mentally taxing too. It's better than going to the gym, that's for sure.
What is the most memorable think you ever experienced during touring??
My personal best tour memory ever was when I was working as stage manager for Decapitated and Kataklysm on Decapitateds comeback tour.
Not only working for Decapitated who are one of the greatest bands in history, in Leeds they allowed me to play Spheres of Madness with them live. Standing next to Vogg who is one of the most amazing guitarists on the face of the planet, playing a song I've been listening to for untold amount of years. It was the greatest honour not only in touring, but in my life.
What are your must have goals in the future, with the band??
I think we're striking off goals as we go along. I'm looking forward to hitting new places, South America/Japan/Asia/India etc... That's my goals with the band at least. I would love to go to all the major festivals in Europe too. As there is a lot we haven't played.
I guess my goals in general are just to play everywhere to as many people as is physically possible for us to do!
This is one for the gamers. I once read you played WoW. Are you alliance of horde??
I have no idea what you're going on about. I play consoles only. Chris plays WoW but I have zero knowledge about it. I'll be sure to ask him when I get home!
The next one is intresting. How do you think about (music) 'piracy'? Is it hellishly wrong or a great unique way to get more people to listen to your music??
I read recently one of the members of 'The Dillinger Escape Plan' answering this very question. He made so many good points I would have to refer anyone to look up the article on Blabbermouth and read it, it's extremely insightful and true. I'll leave my feelings here though.
Record piracy is inevitable. There is no way to prevent it, once you've released an album to the markets. It will be up on a torrent website within 6 hours. While a lot of bands have gone about and tried to stop it and track down the people doing it, it's not going to change anything and in the end it could hurt potential fans.
For younger people, torrenting music is almost essential. Not every 14 year old has the money to buy every album from every band. So using piracy allows them to hear an album and then decide if they want to buy one album or two. Our personal feelings on the matter come down to this:
We don't care if you steal the album, we can't stop you in all fairness. If you like it, then you'll come to a show, buy the album or maybe buy a t-shirt which means a lot more to bands today, especially at Alestorms size where we depend on Merchandise sales to survive. We make our living from people coming to shows, buying shirts/hoodies/thongs/badges etc.... Not from record sales. While we don't support the pirating of music, in a world that is so well connected, it WILL happen. So embrace it and use it to your advantage.
I've read on the Napalm-site that you'll do some shows in Australia beginning of May. When this is your first visit to Australia, what do you expect?? If it's not your first time, how does it feel to go back there??
This will be our second adventure to Australia as headliners.
We're completely stoked to be going back. Australia is one of the greatest places on Earth and the fans reflect that with the amount of enthusiasm they have for the band. We went out last year in June and and the tour sold out, which we never expected for a land so far away. If anyone reading this wants to go, seriously. Go. It'll be the best time ever, provided it's not underwater or on fire at the time!
I also saw that in September you'll be doing a tour in the States with Kamelot. How important will that tour be for Alestorm??
This tour will be Alestorms 3rd tour in the US and it'll be our biggest. Playing under Kamelot will bring in a lot of people who've probably never heard of us before as they play a completely different style of music and have a different fanbase. However, the tour looks like it will do well as both bands have a good basis and a very strong live show. I think it will be a great thing for all US fans to see with two highly energetic bands going at it every night!
Is there something you would like to say to all the people that will be reading this??
I'd like to thank all the Belgian fans and readers for all their support of Alestorm. You've proved yourself as the biggest and craziest fans at every show we've played so far. Just hope you can make it to the rest of the shows in October with Finntroll and Tursias!
Steven / Darkview webzine
Cheers for the interview Steven, hopefully it's up to scratch.
Dani Evans - Lead Guitars, Alestorm.