Interview with Bane Of Winterstorm
Bane Of Winterstorm burst onto the international scene in late 2013 with an incredibly well-recieved independent debut album THE LAST SONS OF PERYLIN. It ranked highly on a number of Metal webzines year-end lists including #7 on my own Top 20 list here at Metal-Rules.com. I contacted this powerful Australian act to learn more.
Tell us a bit about how you started as a band.
Bane of Winterstorm started originally as a Euro Power Metal band called Winterstorm that sounded like Storm Warrior, Gamma Ray and Dungeon. We weren’t really doing anything different, and while it was entertaining I felt I needed to take it more seriously. Eventually another band came out called Winterstorm and I took that opportunity to rename the band and commit to the darker, heavier sound Bane of Winterstorm now possesses.
Please tell us who you choose the name for the band.
The band chose the name. We felt like Winterstorm didn’t really represent us musically, but we felt connected to the name. We eventually chose Bane of Winterstorm, which is a reference to the Lore of The War of Shadows.
Who did the cover art for THE LAST SONS OF PERYLIN? It is gorgeous!
Damian Bajowski, who did the artwork for Dragonlands ‘Under the Grey Banner’ and The Witcher 2. He is an extremely talented artist and I encourage people to check out his work.
Did you shop your debut album around to labels or choose to go the independent route?
The plan was to do both. But the recording process ended up being delayed over and over again, so when the album was finally finished I felt that I needed to release rather than hold off any longer, as I was becoming dissatisfied with the band the longer it took. I feel I released the album at the right time for the band, considering it was two whole years after we started recording.
Some people might say it is very ambitious to start a career with a concept album with lots of long songs?
We were not trying to be ambitious, although perhaps that doesn’t stop the idea being so. I simply wrote the music the way I wanted it to sound, and I definitely didn’t go out of my way to try and reinvent the wheel. The songs are long because I enjoy longer songs, so that came across in my writing and the way I structured the album. The concept is something that comes naturally to me. I’m not a big fan of writing songs that aren’t about something in some way. I don’t just write a song and hope for the best, from the start I write with a goal in mind, and write around an idea.
On a related question, your vision has captured the imagination and hearts (and ears) of many Metal fans around the world, with your debut placing very high on many webzines ‘year-end’ lists, including mine. to what do you attribute this early success?
I think I have an advantage of deviating away from a typical power metal album. The elements are all there, I think I just take a different approach to writing. Bane of Winterstorm are nowhere near as heavy as a death metal band, but I incorporate elements of it into my music. I also really appreciate the atmosphere of Black Metal, and tried to incorporate that into it. So I think it really has a lot to offer someone who enjoys symphonic metal, but also likes other genres as well.
Do you ever have a chance to meet, work with, or get professional advice from some of the veteran titans of the Australian Power Metal scene such as Black Majesty, Pegazus, Eyefear, Lord, Ilium, etc?
When I first started Winterstorm I took a lot of advice from LORD as they were my biggest influence at the time. I know some of the guys from Black Majesty and Eyefear, as well as being good friends with the guys from Vanishing Point. Australia and Melbourne’s metal scene are quite tight, so we certainly all know each other in some capacity.
Do you feel that you are some sort of new growing Power Metal movement in Australia along with Dragonsclaw, Empires of Eden and a handful of others?
I would like to think so. Unfortunately Empire of Eden are a studio only band, but Australia definitely has some incredible power metal bands emerging. There will always be the old and the new, but it’s all about what you bring musically that will let these new bands shine.
Sometimes I don’t feel that people don’t realize how huge your nation is. Is it even feasible to tour Australia and go to places like Perth or Darwin?
Australia is quite large and that means that interstate shows become less likely to do. The other problem is that Melbourne is the country’s most thriving city in terms of general metal. Sydney and Brisbane are realistic cities to tour, unfortunately doing Perth and Darwin, unless we’re invited by a band like Voyager to play there, is not likely at all.
Do you have any plans to get off the continent and do some select shows?
In the future absolutely. I definitely have plans to do at least a few shows with the release of our second album.
Have you heard of the forthcoming documentary, Metal Down Under and if yes, what do you think and were you contacted to be a part if it?
Yes, news of it has been going around Australia for a while. We have such an untapped pool of talent that unfortunately doesn’t seem to make it past our borders. Australia has been full of extremely talented bands for years, we just don’t see the same exposure as the rest of the world. We weren’t contacted but the documentary mainly focuses on older bands and current bands that are achieving much more than we have yet to achieve.
In this day and age of instant gratification and digital downloads, how important for you to build a fan-base by having quality physical product and merchandise?
I have always cherished the artwork and packaging of CD’s and their special edition versions. We included a book and various things simply to say thank you to people that have supported us and will continue to do so until the band no longer makes music.
This is a tough but fair question. I understand Riccardo (Vocals) left the band. How hard will it be to replace him? What is the available talent pool of decent vocalists like in Melbourne?
I am the only original member of the band left, and I have to say Riccardo leaving is the hardest thing Bane of Winterstorm has had to overcome. His voice certainly shines on the album and his departure was certainly a giant loss, but we do have someone to replace him who will be announced soon. Melbourne certainly has the best vocalists in the country, but all of them are either in established bands, are unable to commit to a full time band or their voices just don’t suit the music that we play. But with the album I tried to show that Melbourne has some extremely talented and diverse singers and I will continue to use local voices as I believe we have some of the most talented melodic singers in the world.
What is next for Bane Of Winterstorm?
The War of Shadows II is being written now. I have a few of the songs written already, and I’ve been in contact with some international vocalists to be guest singers on the next album, but those details are my secrets until the album is completed. In the meantime we’re doing some great shows in Australia, and working towards releasing a single late 2014/early 2015.
For more information visit www.baneofwinterstorm.com