Interview with POWERWOLF Guitarist Matthew Greywolf
By Victoria Fenbane
You have played UK festivals before but have you played London before? If so when and how was it?
We played Bloodstock some years ago, I think it was 2009. As far as I remember we had a great time as well as a great response there. We had been playing the tent stage and it was quite packed, which we didn´t expect as it was our first UK show ever.
Powerwolf have a pretty damn epic sound. Do you ever they feel restricted playing small venues, such as Camden’s Underworld. Or does the experiencing of playing close to the fans make up for this?
The latter. After all we´re still a metal band and there´s nothing better than celebrating heavy metal together with our audience. I remember our show at Underworld as by far the smallest, but aswell one of the most intense of our 2013 tour. Of course there´s no possibility to present ourselves the way we´d like in such a small club, but one you go wild together with the people right in
front of you, there´s nothing else that counts. Nevertheless, I think on our next tour we will return to a slightly bigger venue, to deliver our full show.
I found out about Powerwolf from a YouTube recommendation. Has the growth of the internet helped your growth in popularity?
I don´t think so. We can proudly say that our audiences grew from each tour to the next, and we won them all over with our live performances. We´re not an overnight-youtube sensation. We´re touring and working hard for 10 years now. Youtube of course is a great possibility to present yourself, but any band does.
Is having a sense of humour essential for being a part of Powerwolf ?
I think so. Even though humor is way less important and present on the musical level than some may think, it´s essential for us to keep humour as persons and musicians. Humor is after all the strongest of all weapons to protect creativity when becoming more popular. The more pressure and business machinery around the band, the more important it is to keep the ability to escape from this and preserve pure creativity. Humor and the ability to lough about ourselves helps. There´s way too many bands arround who seem to take themselves for too damn serious. After all, music is entertainment and the only reason to live this insanity can be the fun you have doing so.
The best thing is that it contains good songs, some of our best as I think. Speaking of the differences to the previous albums… there’s no significant difference, and to be honest it´s never our approach to be different when writing a new album. We have over the years developed our very own trademark sound, and we love it. So, when it comes to writing new songs, all we do is to just write some new good songs. Of course there´s a need to keep it fresh for ourselves and I think we constantly broaden the variety within our very own sound, but we never try to sound different on purpose.
You are a very visual band in terms of image. Is your image as important as music?
I don´t want to measure this, as it simply belongs together. All I tell people is that on our albums there´s music, no pictures. If the music fails to draw your attention, a band may have an over the top liveshow, you just wouldn´t go to the show, right?
For us, a good show and strong visual appearance simply belongs to heavy metal. We all have been Iron maiden fans since our childhood, and they were and still are idols in delivering great shows.
Do you have a lot of fun recording those videos? How much does the band control the creation of videos or do you hand over control to other people?
To be honest it was not that much fun shooting that clip. We had been shooting at night to get the best out of the pyro-effects, and it was like 5 degrees and we were terribly freezing. Thank God we had all those pyros and fire, which prevented us from frostbiting. About that control thing…. we are a DYI band and keep control over literally everything, be it our Artworks, our Merch, our stage decorations and our videos. Most of the concepts, requisites and scenery was planned and delivered by ourselves.#
I’ve read that you have used a church choir on you studio albums. Was it difficult to find a church choir who will agree to perform for a band some may consider blasphemous?
Well, in face it was a choir compiled for these recordings and consisted of… let´s say… open minded people from several choirs. We had been working with one choir on our “Lupus dei” Album, without handing out the lyrics in advance, with the result that half the choir left after reading the lyrics during the recordings, which on the humorous side of things was priceless, but hard for
our producer, haha….
As a follow on to the previous question – your songs could be considered ‘metal hymns’. Lyrically they are a mash-up between religious and vampyric imagery. Do you learn more on the religious side, supernatural side or do you want to keep the listener confused and guessing?
We are confused and guessing ourselves!!! How can any intelligent human being not be confused and guessing in terms of spiritualism and faith?
What are the non-musical influences on your music?
Life and the Bible.