2011-03-31 Grand Magus

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The album "Hammer Of The North" by the Swedish trio is one of the best traditional Metal-albums of the year 2010 and a great homage to old constants of the scene, but in the following interview bassist Fox and drummer Seb rather act cool concerning the functioning and success of GRAND MAGUS...InterviewHi guys! How are you?

Just fine. Thank you!

You´ve received very positive feedback on your last album “Iron Will” everywhere. Have you ever expected this as you are a band that is still assigned to the underground for a lot of people?

Seb: We knew we did good on “Iron Will” but honestly we didn´t know what to expect.

Fox: We have received great feedback for every album we’ve made so we’re kind of spoiled. Even the first album was “Album Des Monats” in Metal Hammer.

After four albums on Rise Above Records, the label of CATHEDRAL-singer Lee Dorrian, you have finally received a deal with Roadrunner Records who are mostly focussed on modern Rock- and Metal-bands. How has it come to this contract?

Seb: Actually there were a couple of labels that wanted to sign us and we chose Roadrunner. We wanted to move on after four albums with Rise Above.

Fox: We had a great time at Rise Above but we wanted to see what could happen with spreading our music with a bigger record company with proper promotion.

Nowadays the musical style of GRAND MAGUS is often compared to DIO or BLACK SABBATH in the brilliant “Heaven & Hell”-line-up. Does this comparison make you proud? And what are the real musical influences of GRAND MAGUS? Do you rather like Stoner Rock/Doom Metal or the pure traditional, more JUDAS PRIEST/IRON MAIDEN-orientated style?

Seb: We don’t mind being compared to those brilliant bands cause we grew up listening to them. I know that J.B. and Fox are more into Black- and Death Metal than Stoner and Doom. And all the three of us listen to a lot of old Hard Rock like DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW as well.

Fox: That’s right. Traditional Metal has always been an important part of our musical life. I’m quite fed up with the Stoner/Doom-scene. It’s very seldom you see new blood in that scene, most of the bands sound the same.

Where do you personally see the differences between your new album “Hammer Of The North” and your last record “Iron Will”? In my opinion “Iron Will” sounds a little bit more dirty than the new one. Would you agree to that consulting the fact that you´ve had experienced and nameable people like Jens Bogren and Nico Elgstrand mixing and producing the album this time?

Seb: We were more prepared for this one and the songs are much better. Nico did an excellent job producing us and he really pushed us all to the limit. And Bogren did a fantastic job as well.

Fox: We wanted to get a natural and powerful sound. That is a quite hard combination but I think we made it.

Can you see “Hammer Of The North” as a concept-album? What does a song like “I, The Jury” deal with? And how are all the songs linked up with the band´s heraldic animal, the wolf?

Fox: I don’t think you can call it a concept album, it’s not like “Nostradamus”. “I, The Jury” deals with the thing that you have to be your own judge, use your free will and don’t follow stupid rules made up from false religions. You’ve got this life and you better make the best of it.

The wolf is like a symbol for individuality and strength, we like that!

The beginning and the riff of the song “Savage Tales” remind me very strongly of the hymn “Princess Of The Night” by SAXON. Have you intended this to be some kind of tribute to that old tune?

Seb: I think it sounds more Michael Schenker than SAXON, haha! But “Princess Of The Night” is a good tune though.

Fox: Never thought of that myself but maybe you´re right, have to keep that in mind next time I listen to it. It was not our intention.

Do you have some special final words for your fans in Germany?

Seb: See you on the road! Stay Heavy!

Fox: Keep the metal spirit burning. Looking forward to see you on tour. Skål!