Bassist Jan Abraham – Iron Fate
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Tom Hack at Massacre Records for setting up this interview
Thanks to Massacre Records for the promo pictures
Iron Fate is a new band from Germany that plays old school heavy metal. I had the pleasure to talk to the bass player, Jan Abraham. We talked about their debut album, their background, and the impact that Ronnie James Dio had on the band. Iron Fate is something that you have to check out if you’re into heavy metal music in the veins of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden etc. Enjoy!
Hi Jan, really nice of you to take the time to talk to me and metal-rules.com today. Are you ready to kick off the interview?
Let’s go for it!
The new Iron Fate debut album CAST IN IRON has recently been released what can you tell us about the album?
It’s simply a cool heavy metal record which should have been released 25 years ago *laugh*. If you listen to it, you’ll agree with me, when I say there are some influences like “Sanctuary”, “Iron Maiden” or “Judas Priest”. But this kind of metal shall not die out. So we had to record an album like “Cast In Iron” and here we are.
How long did it take to record the album and where did you record it?
We recorded at “Pure Sonic” in Langelsheim under the direction of Jost Schlüter. A very capable man. It was very funny to work with him. He by the way also produced for the thrash metal-combo HEADSHOT. The songs have been written before and recorded at the studio. Jost is a real perfectionist who tries to get 120% even if there are already a 100% given. And I think that is something you can hear in the endresult. It took us around 2 years to finally being able to present the album we published now.
Are all of the songs new or have you re-used any older material?
No, there are two songs, that we re-recorded to put them on “Cast In Iron”. Those are about 3 years old and have been played live many times.
Who writes the material and what are the lyrics about?
Most lyrics have been written by me. Some are based on true stories of our lives, like Painful Sorrow, and some are imaginary, like Resurrection.
Where do you find inspiration to write lyrics?
Some are based on true stories of our lives, like Painful Sorrow, and some are imaginary, like Resurrection. See, there’s no only one inspiration font we drink from.
Where does the title CAST IN IRON come from?
The title comes from the song “Iron Fate”. It’s a part of the hook from the track. We think, that the title mirrors the complete record and Iron Fate. It’s simply good old heavy metal.
Who has done the cover art-work for the album and what do you think of it?
The front cover was designed by the very talented artist Timo Wuerz, who also designed artworks for Amon Amarth, Doro or Sacred Steel. He managed to fulfill all our ideas and expectations.
Are you happy with the outcome of the album now that you look back on it or would you have done anything in a different kind of way?
Which band would not be happy to find their own record in music stores. It’s a great feeling. And no, I think we would do it the same way, if we had to do it again.
Did you have any release party for the album? If so when and where did it take place?
Oh yes. We got an excellent release party with a sold out house and a great support act named “Repent”. A german old school Thrashmetal band from Nürnberg. The party took place in Goslar in a club named “Tor 3”. We did a show of 2,5 hours and the fans banged the heads the whole time. All in all a great release event.
Do you have any plans on shooting a video to any of the songs on the album?
No, not for a song from this record, but maybe for the next. Since we have written a bunch of very good songs, I think we gonna wait with a video, till we record the next album.
Do you think that the band has developed music-wise since the beginning? If so, in what way?
Oh yes but it won’t help you if I tell you, cause you need to hear the next record. But I can promise that the next album will sound more than Iron Fate than the last one. CAST IN IRON was compared to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. I think we’ve found our own style but don’t be afraid. We go on to do some cool traditional heavy metal.
The album has been out for a while now and have you read any reviews of it in the media and press?
Oh yeah and they’re constantly positive. We collect them all in our Iron Fate-Forum. I didn’t expect so many good reviews.
Before the release, did you put a few songs on your MySpace site and what did the fans think of the songs?
The fans were surprised about the quality of the songs. I remember a mail from a fan who wrote: “Hey guys, I need that record now. The song “Iron Fate” forced me to bang my head all the 45 sec of the sample!!!” *laugh*
The album contains 8 songs and clocks in on about 40 minutes do you think that is an OK length for an album?
Granted, it’s a little bit short for a full length record but take a look at the Paranoid album from Black Sabbath. It contains also 8 songs and clocks in about 40 minutes too. And it was a best-seller. We make some old-school heavy metal so I guess we can do it in the same way *laugh*
I think that your singer Denis “Iron Ivan” Brosowski does an amazing effort and thinks that his vocals are similar to Rob Halfords voice is that something he’s aware off or is it not intentional?
That is absolutely unintended. His idols are Halford, Dickinson and Tate but he won’t copy anyone of them. By the way I think that it’s not easy to copy three of the best metalsingers. Don’t you think so?
How long did it take you to record the album and in which studio did you record it?
We recorded at “Pure Sonic” in Langelsheim under the direction of Jost Schlüter. A very capable man. It was very funny to work with him. He by the way also produced for the thrash metal-combo HEADSHOT. The songs have been written before and recorded at the studio. Jost is a real perfectionist who tries to get 120% even if there are already a 100% given. And I think that is something you can hear in the end result. All in all it took 2 years to finish the record.
Are you happy with the production?
We are very proud of the production. It’s a solid piece of old school heavy metal. That is what we want to achieve and I think we’ve made it.
Was it hard for the band to land a record deal?
Not that much, actually… We finished the production of Cast in Iron then we put together some appliance materials and sent it to different labels. We got two positive answers and we finally decided for Massacre Records. We were surprised. We never thought we would end up with such a big label.
Were there many labels that showed interest for Iron Fate?
Two. Massacre Records and Pure Steel Records.
Is the album released worldwide yet or only in Europe?
Yes, it has been released worldwide. At least we got Reviews from all over the world. *laugh*
Are there any plans on try to conquer the Asian and the North American market in the near future?
I hope that we can organize an Asia or U.S.A tour, but there are no plans at present. At this point an appeal to all concert organizers: we’re looking for some gigs in 2011. So move your asses and book us !!! *smile*
Who founded the band and when was the band born?
It started in 2004. Our twins, Sascha and Harms Wendler laid the foundation stone for Iron Fate. Denis and I made music elsewhere before and we had some jam-sessions. During the Altstadtfest 2004 in Goslar the twins asked me if I would like to play music with them. I was quite drunk at that moment and just said „yes“. It was and is the best choice I ever made while being drunk. (laughs) So I decided to ask Denis too his voice fitted, and still fits of course into the project. Martin joined us last, we absolutely needed a guitar player, after the two previous ones left. Yes and now we are here. (smiles)
Have the members been involved in other acts prior joining Iron Fate?
We all did some music before Iron Fate but not in well known acts. Iron Fate is for each of us a pay-off and a small hope to see some other stages in the world.
Were you guys friends before you all joined Iron Fate?
Yes, we are all been friends for many years. Denis is my partner in crime and Sascha is a co-worker of mine for example.
Where comes the name Iron Fate from and does it have any special meaning to the band members?
Before Iron Fate the band was named “Crypteria”. In the same year we want to start off another band comes up named “Krypteria”. It was a big thorn in our eyes and we had to change the name into a name that sounds more metal than the one before. And Iron Fate is such a name in our opinion. It’s short, easy to keep in mind and it centralized the attitude of the band. That’s it !!!
Did you record any demos before you recorded the albums?
Yes we recorded a “4 track demo” in 2006/2007.
Do the members have any musical idol or artist in common that they look up to or are inspired by?
Bands like Judas Priest Iron Maiden and Sanctuary have to be mentioned. Especially the first one has inspired us since our first steps within the world of Heavy Metal at the time as teenagers. (laughs)
Has the line-up stayed solid through the years or have you had any members changes?
In principle yes except two exchanges on the guitar. The first one named Holger. We ended the relationship in cause of personal reasons. The second one was Dennis. He quit in lack of time.
Then we found Martin. He’s a great a guitarist and I hope that he stays with Iron Fate for the rest of his life.
In the bio bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Nevermore and Iced Earth are mentioned as musical neighbours to Iron Fate what do you think of those acts, do they have anything in common with Iron Fate’s music?
All of those bands started to make some music in very young years and all of them do a kind of traditional heavy metal. We grew up with these bands and wanted to be like them. Maybe it’s a possible reason for us to do traditional heavy metal. It’s our iron fate.
Have you done a lot of touring since you began playing with Iron Fate?
No sadly not so far. We played a lot of concerts in the last years but not in a complete tour. I hope that is going to change in the near future.
Have you done any festival gigs so far and have you toured outside Germany?
We did two festival gigs so far but all inside of Germany. To play some gigs abroad is one of our biggest wishes.
Does all of the members live in the same town?
Not in same town but all in the near surroundings. For every one of us it takes only 15 minutes by the car to get to our rehearsal room.
You list Ronnie James Dio as a huge source of inspiration on your MySpace site what did you think when you heard that he had passed away earlier this year?
Denis and I were guests at the Rock Hard Festival in Gelsenkirchen 2006 and we were lucky to meet Dio personally at the Meet and Greet session. He was an unbelievable man. He was – and still is – an idol and still he stayed human. We were very shocked and sad when we heard of his passing away.
What era with Ronnie James Dio do you in the band like best?
It doesn’t matter in which band he played. He always did a great job. I love the era with Rainbow and Black Sabbath likewise as his solo career.
What is the first memory you have of Ronnie James Dio?
I was in the age of 5 or 6 there I found the “Rainbow Rising” LP in my fathers collection. I liked the cover and had to listen to that record. After I did so I ran to my father to ask him some questions about the group and he told me everything about Dio and Richie Blackmore. That is my first memory of Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio is an icon within the hardrock and metal scene do you think that someone else can or will take his place now?
Why is you website, Facebook and MySpace written in German and not in English as well?
The website is being adapted at the moment. The updated page will include an English version. I can’t tell you why we didn’t do that from the beginning.
Do you think that it’s important to connect and be available on internet?
Of course it is. The internet is the number one communication medium. It is the best way to publish your own music worldwide. If the internet would not exist maybe the world had never heard a song from Iron Fate.
What’s the most common question you get from fans?
Actually there two. First one is: “When and where is your next gig?” and the second one is “When is the release of your next record?”
Are you heading out on tour now that the album is out?
Like I said: it’s one of our greatest wishes to go on tour. We just need a chance to do it and blow the people away.
What are the plans for Iron Fate during the remaining of 2010?
There’s only one concert we play in December. It’s called Winterbreeze festival with the bands “My Inner Burning” and ”Dis.Agree”. Yeah and what remains is to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. *laugh*
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy CAST IN IRON?
Of course I can:
1.It’s a fresh made traditional Heavy Metal album.
2.I heard Judas Priest ended up their career and an alternative is needed.
3.We’re 5 young guys who won’t let die out this kind of metal. Who wants to be with us, should listen to that album and even buy it!!!
Are you gonna try to conquer the Asian and the North American market soon?
Yes but first take over Germany and Europe. If we made this we can reach for more.
Have started to work on the next album yet?
Yes, we’ve already got good written material. We put some songs in our current stage set to test them in a live show.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the fans and readers?
You’re welcome. Thanks for your interest in Iron Fate. We want to make an effort to bring traditional Heavy Metal into the hearts of people again.
That’s all for me for this time, thanks a lot for taking the time to participate and I wish you all the best in the future.
Thanks for your time, Anders
More info about the band