Metal-Rules.com Interview with
Interviewed by Rick
Sweden is the home of many great metal bands, not the
least of which is up and coming group Steel Attack. Steel Attack play
straight ahead powermetal and are set to become one of the genres elite
groups with the release of their latest disc FALL INTO MADNESS. I
recently had the opportunity to pose these questions to Steel Attack
guitar player John Allan.
I wasn't originally going to start with this but we heard a
month or so ago that vocalist and bassist Steve has left the band. Can
you fill in The readers of Metal-Rules.com on this situation
and what you are doing to fill both the bass and vocalist positions? I
heard there is a new vocalist?
There is a new vocalist in the band Dick Johnson and we had him in
the band since the beginning of this year 2001 and the reason that he
wasn't on the new album Fall into Madness is that the album was recorded
at the end of May 2000 so the actual release to that was delayed for a
very long time, so right now we got lots of new songs with the new
singer. For the bass and back voc we got Patrick Spääth as a new
member just a few weeks back and we will do our first gig with him here
in Sweden 29 September with Evergrey. It will be great to be able
to play live again.
How big of a part did Steve play in the song writing process
for the band and will his loss affect Steel Attack s sound?
He was one member and what he did was just as we all do, add our
ideas to the whole song and now with new members we continue to add our
parts to the song writing process.
Can you tell us a little about the history of the band? How and
where you started etc?
It all started with Dennis and Steve who been in bands together since
1991- or 92 and the thing that turned out to be Steel Attack started out
from the band Mayer s Eve in 1995 and the band changed to Steel Attack
1997. You see the band started out with Steve on drums and some other
members beside Dennis and Steve. When they got in contact with Andreas
in 1997 he took over the drums cause Steve was the drummer in the band
Mayer s Eve and Andreas was drummer in a other band. Steve decided to do
the bass and lead vocal part to the band, cause the other members in the
band were not going to stay in the area, (they moved to other city s)
Now the band had Dennis on the guitar, another guitar player Michael
Bohlin and Steve on the bass and lead vocal and Andreas on drums. That
line up played for almost a year and then Michael left the band he was a
single parent. I (John) joined the band in the end of May 1998 as the
lead guitar player for the band and since I left my band 2 months
earlier I joined them right away. Now we had a band that played for
almost a year and when the actual European release date in 26 June 1999.
Jjust two weeks before the release Andreas left the band and moved away
from our hometown cause he wanted to finish his school and the
replacement for him was Roger, an old friend to us in the band who
actually hadn t played the drums for almost 4 years. We started to write
songs and it all turned out to be the Fall Into Madness album.
I often hear Steel Attack compared to Hammerfall. Do you think
this is a fair comparison?
No, you see they got their sound and we got ours. I think you can
hear a big difference between us two. So the only thing that give us
that comparison would be that we are both Swedish bands.
How do you define your music? Is it powermetal? Traditional
metal? What do you consider the music of Steel Attack?
Melodic metal with fantasy lyrics, then it is up to the listener self
to define our music. If we play power, speed, traditional or other? That
is just the listener's own definition. We never plan to get our sound in
a category and only play the music we like ourselves.
The new album is called "Fall Into Madness". Can you
tell me a bit about the CD? Where you
recorded? Who produced? Etc...
The new album was recorded in the end of May 2000 and we did the
recording in the same studio as we did for the first album ,Where
Mankind Fails, with P.O Saether behind the table. We produced it with
him as well and the release of the album was over a year later than the
recording so the songs aren t new for us in the band anymore. We don t
know what caused the delay.
Could you tell us a bit about some of the songs on the CD? What
are your favourites?
Favourite songs, its very hard to say cause they happen to
change over some time but right now the favourite tracks for me have got
to be like The Beast , Holy Swordsmen , Wings of Faith at least right
One of my favourite songs on the CD, like you, is
"Holy Swordsmen". Can you tell me a little bit about the
meaning behind Holy Swordsmen?
Thank you, seems that we share the same taste for the songs. The
meaning of the song would be just as the lyrics are, the darkness vanish
and the light will appear and the eternal fight will be with the dark
and the Holy Swordsmen. It s a short story of a fight between the real
Steel Attack s lyrics are fantasy based. Why write about
fantasy and not stuff that happens in everyday life?
I think the reason for that is it gives you a unlimited freedom with
the lyrics since if you write lyrics from everyday life then you will
get someone else who tells you that this is not what happened or this is
the wrong way to this subject etc. I think also that there is room for
fantasy in the world today with worldwide media that fill us up with
everyday life, and if there is a hard way to deal with the fantasy
lyrics then maybe the one that feels that lives in a fantasy of its own.
And that s why it makes it hard to deal with our view of the fantasy.
Since the whole band is credited with the song writing can you
tell me a little bit about the creative process for Steel Attack and
basically how you guys write the songs and put the lyrics
together. Is it done in a band situation or do you work on stuff alone
and bring it to the band as a finished product?
Normally what happens is that someone in the band got an idea and we
start rehearse it and next to that some in the band got another idea
that may be good for verse, chorus, etc. then within no time the song is
done. I think that is one of the reasons to our sound. And yes, we write
lyrics after the song are made.
Have you thought about doing a concept album? If you have what
topic or story would you like to tell?
Nothing planned for it or so there are no topics.
What are your hopes for how the new album will do? What kind of
reviews have you been getting from both the press and the fans?
Get us out on the road as much as possible and get the chance to have
a great time with the fans at the gigs. We got very good reviews and
response from the fans, thank you all.
Who did the cover art for the new CD? Was it a finished
painting when you got it or did you have input into its design?
J.P Fournier a French artist did the cover and the way it turned out
to be was more than we had in mind, you see we just sent him the song
title , Fall into Madness, and we told him to see what he would come up
with and he sent an idea back over email and we told to change that or
add this and then after some time the cover was done . Thank you very
much J.P Fournier.
Will there be a tour in support of the new CD? And if so, will
you be getting over here to North America?
We wish there will be a tour to support the CD but who knows. We have
an invitation to the Milwaukee
metal fest and we will go no matter what of support from our label and
we are trying to get some more gigs during our US visit as well. Got any
ideas of gigs? Just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org We would love
to play there.
If you could choose any band to tour with, who would you choose
I got that question some times before and to say a band its very hard
since there are many of them. But a cool thing would be to get a chance
to play with Iron Maiden since they been one of the bands that got me
into the metal music when they released the first album. I remember when
I got the chance to see them live the first time here in Sweden, I think
that was around 1982 or so.
I believe that you have toured with Edguy in the past? Now that
they have a new CD out and both bands are on AFM records is it possible
that you will tour together again?
Possibilities? Yes and I don t know if, when etc. We will get out
together again but they are really great as a band and individuals.
What are your thoughts on the metal scene in both Sweden and
the rest of the world? Do you feel that it is getting stronger and
gaining more fans?
Sweden are getting better but there are a slow pace to the club
owners to take the step and get metal bands for the gig. But the
situation is better in some areas and that s what we know of here in
Sweden. And yes the metal scene will getting stronger and stronger and
we will all have a great time as bands and fans to the metal music, (At
least my wish) even though the music been there the whole time.
Who are some of your main influences? And what kind of bands
are you listening to right now? Are there any new bands that impress
My main influences would be to long to talk about but as long as they
are melodic metal. I listen a lot to Symphony X right now I got the
great chance to see them live at Sweden Rock this summer 2001. And I
sadly never listen to much music to get more and more impressions, I got
friends that use to play me songs from the latest this and that band and
they are all great, and when it comes time for me to hit the record
store then??? What was the band name again? What was the song? Etc and I
missed a lot of great music to, I sadly know that.
You are signed to AFM records. Can you tell us a little bit
about why you chose AFM and are they are doing a good job promoting
Yes we are signed to AFM and the reason for us to choose them was
that we got 5 labels that wanted us from the first demo and AFM was the
label that we got a chance to say and change parts from the contract.
Doing a better job with the new album, yes. But the situations with live
support and merchandises etc, no.
Steel Attack has a great website www.steelattack.com
How do you feel about the Internet and has it helped Steel Attack to get
your music to the people?
Thank you! We think the Internet is a great source for keeping in
contact and talk to at least some of the fans around and we think it s a
great way to get the music to people.
Thanks for answering these questions! Is there anything else
you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?
Thanks for asking them. First of all, thank you for supporting us and
if you got questions or just want to say hi etc, then you just drop an
email to us. We really hope that we will get out live a lot and get a
chance to have a great time with you all.
Here is the info you may need:;
Take care and thanks again.
©2001 Metal Rules!!