Here is a short interview that I’ve done with Russell Allen. He, together with Jorn Lande, has recently released the album THE BATTLE on Frontiers Records and I was interested in what two singers of such an excellent caliber had to offer the listener. So here’s what Russell had to say about the album and he was also kind enough to reveal what he’s up to in the near future.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Big thanks to Stefan at Atenzia for arranging the interview.
Also great thanks to Frontiers for lending pictures to me.
Hi Russell, first of all can you please tell us a bit about the new album that features both yourself and Jorn Lande?
Well, it's a collection of good metal songs that Magnus wrote and me and Jorn sang on. The songs have great hooks and the riffs stick to your ears like glue. A fun record with a great energy and infectious melodic pop overtones.
Have you worked on anything with Jorn prior to THE BATTLE and what do you think of his effort on the album?
Never worked with him before. He did a great job.
Did you know Jorn from before? How did the idea to make an album together with Jorn come up?
I heard Jorn sing once. That was it. I was asked to do the album by Frontiers. I was told Jorn was into it and I was sent the songs from Magnus. I like the tunes and agreed to do it. I recorded my vocals and sent them to the producers. That’s how it happened.
Is Allen/Lande considered being a project or a band?
At this point it is a project. No plans have been laid out for anything else.
When was the album recorded and which studio/producer have you used. What do you think of the production from the perspective of you being the producer?
I recorded my vocals earlier this year and I engineered them myself. I didn't mix the album. There was a few things I would have done differently but all in all I think it sounds great.
Is the entire album recorded in the same studio? If not, in which studio have you recorded your parts?
I don't know where the other guys did there work. I only know where I recorded my stuff. And that was in the SX studio "The Dungeon"
The Swedish guitar player Magnus Karlsson have written all of the 12 tracks on the album, what do you think of the material and did you and Jorn had any input on the overall sound?
The songs are catchy and well written. I only changed a few harmony parts and a couple of lyrics that weren’t grammatically correct in English. For the most part I used all his melodies and embellished everything. Made it my own.
Have you heard anything that Magnus have done before this, like Last Tribe for example?
Nope. I was sent the songs for review on this album and I liked them. I made my decision to be on this album based on these songs and these songs alone.
Do you have any plans on keep releasing albums under this name together with Jorn?
At the moment no. We have no future plans at this time.
How would you like to describe the music on the album?
I hear it as contemporary Pop Metal. Some people feel that it is an 'epic" record. I don't hear that at all. I think it is a collection of well written and performed songs.
What do you think of this quote in the bio “The music is nothing else than the best hard rock album in ages”, do you agree with that?
Unfortunately I do not. While I feel it is a great record. It is not a hard rock album. It is a metal album. The last record I did (Atomic Soul) was a hard rock album. I don't hear any similarities between the two in terms of style of music.
How did you decide on which songs you should sing on because on some songs you sing both and on some you sing solo?
I didn't have to decide. Magnus wrote the songs with me and Jorn in mind. So, he had his parts to sing and I had mine. That was it.
Are you happy with the album or do you feel that you should have done anything different looking back at it now?
I'm happy with it. Every album is a snap shot in time. At that time I performed the songs the way they felt to me. Had I done them 5 years earlier of 5 years later they would be very different. I have no regrets.
Does the title THE BATTLE refer to anything? Who came up with that title and does it mean anything special to any of you guys?
No clue. It doesn't mean anything special to me. I was never told about the title until I got the CD in the mail. haha I guess they didn't feel they needed my input for that.
Do you have any favorite track on the album? If so which one and why?
"Miracle" is my favorite. It has great dynamics between the verse and chorus. And the hook is monstrous.
Can you give us three reasons why we should go out and buy THE BATTLE?
If you like feel good rock/metal with catchy tunes, great singing and playing then you'll love THE BATTLE
2005 is soon coming to an end, what are you up too during the rest of the year and what are the plans for Russell Allen during 2006?
I'm with the boys in the Iron forge hammering out the next Symphony X record. As for next year, I plan on conquering the world, buying a house, and having a child. And not in that particular order.
Can you reveal on which album you’re going to feature on next?
Finally, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
Metal-Rules because the metal fan RULES! Keep it rockin!
Read the CD review of the album here in metal-rules.com
More info about Russell Allen
More info about Jorn Lande