Hello Yenz, it’s good to hear your voice! Can we start the interview?
Yes, sure, we can!
At the end of the 90’s when Stormwarrior formed, what were your thought about the future? Did you anticipate this success?
In the 90’s, when Stormwarrior started out, we were like an 80’s kids who grew up with heavy metal. And by that our favourite kind of music disappearing in the 90’s, we were really trying to make a point that was a kind of rebellion for us. We were trying to show the people that heavy metal was still alive. That was a big force for the band then, I know, to experience the growth of our heavy metal community. It was a nice feeling, it was fun!
That’s good! I think reviewing Stormwarrior’s discography that details were become more sophisticated but the root of your music remained the same. How can you sum up the past 20 years?
Yeah, that’s true, our roots are still the same and we take care to our roots and to our friends. We tried a lot of things, since Warrior got a bit more esotherical because some of us has the northern gods as a religion. And we also wanted to express ourselves in the music with our religion. After then the band went more to heavy metal. And I think in the new one, it’s really like that we’re at the point when Falko is back in the band, he’s our original drummer and it’s me and Lars. We’re a really bit older and we really don’t care to it what the people react, so we just tried to play some real good music on the new album. And I think it’s a really matured album, maybe the first grown-up album from Stormwarrior.
I see. Let’s talk about the present and future! Right a month later from now, your new album called „Norsemen” is going to be released! What we can expect from this album, related to the previous, „Thunder & Steele” disc?
Yeah, as I said we’re still really close to our roots but this time you can really hear that we’re matured as persons and as a band. Somehow, that’s a very nice feeling as calm and trust and being sure about who we are on this new album. The base we’re got compared to Kai Hansen and Gamma Ray and all that’s all behind us. We have our own niche, our own styles, so to speak. And this is nice how it feel it is. And we’re having a lot of fun on the new album, doing things that we’re really believe in. And of course the messages, concerning the gods, the old gods are very pleasant. But in a way that the more conservative people, especially in Germany and in Japan, there’s a lot of conservative fans, there were still able to enjoy it!
That’s good to hear! New songs are recorded in Powerhouse Studio, Hamburg with Piet Sielck. How did the studio session went?
Yeah, it was a long process that started alone. And you know, on the last album we had another drummer. And Falko wanted to return to the band, which was really great because he has something really special in his aura around him. He is a very good musician. I was really looking forward to play with him again. I was out of the band for like six or seven months and returned just before the album. So it was the feeling like we have to show up what we are really about, what we are capable of. We really took a lot of care about this album, so the recordings were pretty long, half a year, but I’m very happy with the result, it’s really good, in my opinion!
I’m also happy with you! And this thing with self-expression is also really cool…
Yes, it was an important album to show that we’re back, we’re back to our roots, not just made album, but made an album to show the people that’s just they can really enjoy, this is what we can do. There are some deeper, heavy riffs on this album we have never done before. But we just play fucking good music and we did it really dark and strong at the same time. I’m really happy with it.
What’s about the work with Piet and the so-long collaboration with Massacre Records? I think these names mean a good guarantee in this style of metal!
Everything remained the same so far with Massacre Records. I mean, they’re good guys and we’ve been along for a long time and they have a good network, I guess and it works for us! So there was no reason of changing, at least not right now. I met Piet already in Iron Savior and Savage Circus. I’m a very good friend of Piet and I think he did a very good job on Heading Northe and on Thunder&Steele, so it was natural to do it with him on this album also. Especially when our old drummer came back and we we’re a lot of time-stressed, it’s nice to have a mixer in who you can trust. That you know that he can do this alone, without you sitting there and pushing in. Yeah, it really worked good with Piet!
Are you planning an album tour now? Will you play in Hungary as well, maybe?
I would really love! We’ve only been there once, we played there with Wisdom, a Hungarian band! Do you know them?
We played there maybe in 2014 if I guess right. We played a very nice hall. It was a beautiful city and we would love to come back, for sure!
That would be good! Are you planning touring with the new album?
No, right now we’ve just kind of sitting back and seeing how the reaction will come from the press and from the fans. Because I have the feeling that there’s something going on and the people will like this especially. May have been a lot of fans who have been looking for this album since Heading Northe came out. So we’re hoping that we’ll create a lot of interests from the bookers when the album gets released so. So far we’ve just planned two release shows in Germany. And we have a couple of festivals, maybe we go to Spain and we go to Mexico. But we’re going to check out what the reactions will be and if the reactions is as good as I think it will be, we’ll for sure make a full-tour. But we don’t know yet.
Album release show will be in Hamburg with Steel Shock as a guest. It will be a special night I suppose… Why did you choose Steel Shock for the guest band?
They’re very good friends of Lars and we’ve met many times when we playes friends, they’re very nice guys. And apart from the family, it’s not like musically it has to be them, it’s just because they’re very good friends. And they asked us if we needed a support for the shows and we said ’Yeah, why not?’ Come on, tour with us! That’s all, really.
How looks like the perfect Stormwarrior show for you?
Well, a big stage for sure. We’re better on a big stage than on smaller ones. And of course, I would love to throw my tomahawks. I have a tomahawk collection. Do you know tomahawks?
(laughs) I would love to throw that from stage but so far I was never allowed to do it because it’s to dangerous or why… (laughs) But I’d love to have too in cooperate with visual effects like that, you know. It would be a bit more interesting, visually. And I think we’re going to work on stuff like that because in the beginning of course Stormwarrior was more like an underground metal band playing small places and not really being able to put on something visually great but I think it would really work out if we take one more step and create something visually cool. That’s kind of the direction that I am in.
What are your future plans, besides this?
As a band, we’re just really excited about the new album and we’re really looking forward to see how will the reactions will be, especially in the German press. You know, the German magazines, like I said before, are very conservative, I think. I am Danish myself, so I really see the difference from German press and German fans to Scandinavian fans and Scandinavian press. They are very conservative. And I would hope that it will bring us one step further, this album. And we will just act regardingly, if you know what I mean… Oh, something happened! Are you still there?
My phone just beeped so I thought we’re cut off. So our plans are really cool, check out how the reactions will be after five years of silence and then we’ll act as quickly as we can and do what we can to get this out in the world.
Musicians and music lovers are always remain friends, I think. But nowadays, in the world of social media the negative voices and unthoughtful comments can find their way easily. How do you handle with that?
All I have to say, I myself is not a fan of social media. Of course, I keep contact with a lot of people all over the world through social media. But I don’t check-out facebook every day or whatever. Because the so much negative comments from the internet politically and the world has not become a better place because of social media, that’s my opinion. But of course, it’s useful. I will try to learn and try to connect with everybody! (laughs) I like to communicate and I like to connect, I’m just not sure when everybody in the world has a possibility to have a say in every situation, sometimes it just gets nowhere. It was easier in the 70’s! (laughs) Where you just brought our your album, made a couple inteviews and then the people would maybe come to your shows and you were talked about that. Nowadays, you get mails and social media contact from a lot of people you don’t really know. And they all have their opinion and it’s a difficult thing!
I can agree with you, totally! Could you tell us about something about the life as a musician? What hardships and joys you have to face with?
I’m living a life of a musician since I was 17 or 18. And now I’m like, almost forty years old, oh!… (laughs) It’s been a long, very hard road. But, like you said, there’s a lot of pleasures every year. It is a very hard life because you have to live outside the system. You just have to take care of yourself and the people around you and make sure that you do everything in a true way, I guess. Of course, you’re very dependant on your fans. So the band has still a positive feeling around it. So yeah, it’s a hard life but it’s a very good life, I never regret it, anything. For sure, I’ll do the same in the next life! (laughs)
What do you do in freetime, besides the music and collecting tomahawks?
Yeah! (laughs) I moved out of the city. When I was younger, it was great to live in the city and meet a lot of people, go to the clubs and go out drinking and all that. Now I moved out into the woods. So in my freetime I walk around with my dogs. I have two black dogs, they’re not that scary, they’re like border collie mixed dogs. One of them was actually born in Romania and the other one was born in Bulgaria.
(laughs) I love my dogs. I just enjoy the peace and being away from people and enjoy the nature, being closer to the gods here. So I get some energy before have concerts again.
I can understand that and absolutely agree with you! Living in a forest in such a beautiful thing!
Yeah, that’s great.
Yenz, thank you for your answers! I wish the best for you and for the band in the future! Good night and good bye!
Thank you very much, Zsuzsanna! I was nice to speak with you! Good bye!
The interview was taken with Yenz Leonhardt on 28.10.2019.Contributed by: Zsuzsanna Muszka