ALESTORM Interview with Dani Evans
XM: Let’s start by getting our readers up to date on what the band has been up to so far this year.
Dani: We’ve done a lot but it doesn’t feel like it as it’s been so spread out over the 6 months. At the start of the year we were in the studio recording our 3rd album ‘Back Through Time’. Once that was done we started on the promo for that album, going some smaller festivals in Belgium/Netherlands and Germany. We took a trip back to Australia to kick off the world tour we’re doing over this year and next. I guess that’s about it so far….a quiet year for us so far. The next 6 months are a lot busier though. So that’s going to be a lot of fun.
XM: ‘Back Through Time’ is the band’s latest release. How has the response been for the album?
Dani: Mixed, hilariously mixed. To be honest. The reaction we got is what we wanted. This is our mar-mite album, you either love it or you hate it. We took the silly side of things to its’ illogical extreme and we took the darker more serious side exactly the same way. People have been posting saying it’s a terrible album and we’ve no idea what we’re doing any more. People have been saying it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever heard. It’s exactly what we wanted from it!
XM: What was the recording process like this time around? Did you approach the album any differently than the first two?
Dani: This is the first time we’ve had a full line-up that was able to be in the studio at the same time for the whole album. So I guess that was a big difference in the process for this album. The first two were recorded with some of the band and sessions musicians filling the gaps so it was a bit broken and unfinished almost, but with this it’s finally a complete triumph and the album shows that!
XM: Have you started writing any music for your next record yet? What can we expect to hear next time around?
Dani: We’re taking a break now. It’s been a busy 2 years for us since the last album and we’re wanting to re-focus on having social lives again. It’s something we miss. We probably won’t start seriously writing new material until 2012 at some point. With a new album probably coming out in 2 years or so. That’s our plan at least. We’ve got a lot of touring to do with this one first.
XM: With your lineup I see you have only you as the lone guitarist. Why one guitar instead of two? What is your take on the big debate between one guitar verses a band with two guitars? Such as the pros and cons?
Dani: I didn’t even realize there was a debate if I’m honest. We have always had a lone guitarist and it’s how our live shows have developed. I guess we use only one because we play a much more stripped down and punky show live than what we have on the albums. Having a single guitar and heavier bass allows us much more dynamic freedom when you throw in the keyboards. It’s something different and some that works for us. I don’t think we’d like to change something like that.
XM: ‘Shipwrecked’ is a refreshing video. Who is responsible for the creative idea, how long did it take to make and are there any more videos in the works?
Dani: That lies almost entirely with our singer, Christopher. He was asked what he wanted in a video and his reply was frank...."I want booze, women, beaches and a fucking midget playing violin!"...We got everything we could ask for thanks to Serbian director Ivan Colic. We flew to Belgrade for 2 days of shooting and drinking and what we got was the ridiculous spectacle that is the 'Shipwrecked' video!
We certainly want to record another video but we have to do some more touring before we plan anything more in support of the album. Always nice to have people singing the songs live before bringing out too many videos!
XM: This year’s 70,000 tons of Metal Cruise was a success. Any plans on possibly sailing the seas and performing for thousands of metal heads in the New Year?
Dani: We would love to. It's actually a horrible tail with regards to this years one. We were asked to play but they had managed to schedule it right in the middle of us recording 'Back Through Time'. We were all so gutted as pretty every band on it we had played with and partied with and it would have been so much fun. Instead we were sitting in Germany, in the snow and rain recording an album..........make your own conclusion as to where we wish we were. We want and need to be there next year.
XM: Who do you believe your fan-base is composed of?
Dani: I have no idea. Honestly. I've met such a wide variety of people liking our music I don't think we really have a type of fan. Some are normal, some are not. It varies from country to country.
XM: Does it ever get tiring of hearing ‘pirate’ themed questions and being thrown in a ‘pirate’ metal category?
Dani: We did dig our own grave with the whole pirate thing though. So I guess we asked for it on some level. It doesn't bother me overly, I like the silliness of it all. Though we do get people who take it too seriously and it ruins the fun of it all. I don't like those people.
XM: I read in a recent interview that a couple of the band members like to play World of Warcraft. Have you added the Cataclysm expansion pack yet? What are your thoughts? What character do you tend to play with most?
Dani: Sadly you drew the straw of the member with any WoW experience. I've never touched the game. I use to play MMO games when I was younger but not anymore. I can say that Chris plays it a lot with his missus, Pete played it for a week and Gazz doesn't know what an MMO is...so yeah, I'm not sure what else to say on the matter!
XM: If you could have been involved in the recording, production or writing of any album which would it be and why?
Dani: I don't think I'd want to have been involved in the production/writings of any album because then they wouldn't be the album they are now.
I would, however. Love to be a fly on the wall for some album recordings. To see the process and the spectacle. Probably if I had to say any one band it would be Rammstein, they're in a different league these days and I would love to see what the production and recording process for them is like compared to Alestorm.
XM: What is your favorite lyric of all time?
Dani: Currently it is from Tryptikon, 'Goetia':
Satan, savior, father
Lord, constructor of my world
Master, destroyer, redeemer
Guide me, I am the open wound
Not sure why but I love that passage and the way it plays on the song. So goddamn awesome.
XM: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words X-PLOSIVE METAL?
Dani: BOOM!...err I have no idea. Sounds like something Christopher would record and release from a bedroom project about dynamite and napalm.
XM: What’s next for Alestorm now that your latest record’s been released? Will you be touring or hitting any festivals?
Dani: We are currently on the festivals at the moment. We've just done smaller ones in Germany and in 2 weeks we begin on a solid week of festivals all over Europe starting with Sonisphere UK, then Masters Of Rock in Cezech, Metalcamp in Slovenia and then Rock Im Somma, an Alestorm headline festival in Italy.
Touring wise, we're hitting US and Canadian soil on the 24th of August with Kamelot, Blackguard and The Agonist for a month of shows there! Then straight back to Europe for the Heidenfest tour with Turisas and Finntroll! Should be a busy couple of months!
XM: On behalf of xplosivemetal.com I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions with us. Is there anything else that you would like to add that we may have forgotten to mention?
Dani: I think you covered it! I would like to thank all the readers and fans who've supported Alestorm these past couple of years. It's been hard but we're finally making ground and getting around the world to meet all of you! We hope to see you on the road at some point in the coming year!