💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal Alexander K. of SCROLLKEEPER! Welcome!!
Thank you for supporting independent musicians. 💿 Can you tell us somethin’about the birth of your band? When was it formed and which bands have influenced you?
Justin (vocals) and Simon (drums) were trying to put something together in 2016 and had a revolving door of guitarists.
I've known Justin, as we shared rent on a rehearsal room and an inept drummer in our previous bands, Descent Into Madness and Saxon King. So somehow we got in touch and I came to Scrollkeeper late 2016. John (guitar) and Will came onboard in the Spring of 2017.
For the most part we've decided to focus on traditional metal influences, like the stalwarts of the NWOBHM scene, Priest, Maiden, Saxon, Tank, kinda the influences we all have in common. Justin and I share some proggier influences, like Voivod, Simon and I are into teutonic thrash (Sodom, Kreator), John is into shreddy stuff (Yngwie) and doom, and Will is into more traditional 70s music, like Sabbath, King Crimson, and some of the new stoner rock and doom bands.
So for the most part we're influenced by traditional metal, but some of the above mentioned influences sneak in every so often. 💿 “PATH TO GLORY”, your new EP, is “hot’n’ready” and is out from Sept 14th!. Can you tell us somethin’about its composition process? We have the privilege to listening to it and we were very impressed!
"Fortune Favors the Bold" features some of the first riffs that I wrote for this band, so it is our oldest tune. Justin had lyrics for it and they were kicking around some earlier versions within a similar song structure, so it is the first tune that came together after I joined. It is about the Battle of Hastings, or chiefly William, the Conqueror, also known as William "the Bastard". "Surrender" is a tune that I brought in from my solo project. It is about a stalker in the streets of Berlin, loosely based on a vampire movie.
Purposely, I wanted to make it multi-dinensional and wrote the lyrics in such a way, it could be construed as disenfranchised German taking back his country, as last days of WWII soldier on the streets of Berlin, or as an Islamic terrorist on the prowl, or a Manchurian candidate that is off his meds. These two tunes were featured on our 2017 bootleg in slightly different versions, so for fans and collectors, that would probably be of interest. Since this is our first official studio recording, we re-recorded these for better quality. "Path to Glory", the title track, is about a conflict between the Byzantine empire and the kingdom of Bulgaria. For those interested, look up Khan Krum and the term "skullcup", and I'll leave it at that. As it happens, I am history buff, and I happened to have two licensed history majors in the band, Justin and Will. As you would expect, ancient Balkan history is usually neglected in Western curriculum, as everything revolves around the British and French kingdoms, Roman history and maybe a little ancient Greek, so the guys didn't know anything about Khan Krum and how metal he actually was.
As I am from Bulgaria, and we were talking about heavy metal moments in history, Battle at Vărbitsa Pass (811) definitely counts as one.
I wrote the music and we decided to make it about Khan Krum and his conflict with Nichephorus.
I did extensive historical research for the lyrics. The cover of the EP features a depiction of the main antagonists. "Not of This Earth" is written by John, and Simon penned lyrics for it.
It's one of the tunes that came together shortly before we went to the studio.
It is about Indiana Jones, out of all things.
💿The real “news” in music industry is the return of vinyl; What’s your feeling about this classic format and the current music “business”?
Personally, I've never stopped listening to vinyl.
Just got the Metallica "Master of Puppets" remastered for vinyl, and all I can say is "wow!". They did a great job! As a matter of fact, I have a decent collection of mostly 70s rock, proto metal and 80s metal. I think it sounds better than the other mediums, unless we're talking high end reel to reel. Tapes also seem to make a resurgence.
I've also never stopped listening to tapes, still have several working tape decks. The digital formats just don't sound as good, but with technology you can make it, or should I say "fake it". I have a friend that makes DACs with tubes for that purpose, and yes, with the right design you can make it really good.
Unfortunately, you can't play LPs it in your car or while jogging, and prices are double what you would pay for a CD, plus hipster cred drove used vinyl prices to where I can't afford them. We are contemplating releasing this EP on vinyl, depends on budget, but we have the option to go back and do analog mastering of the EP, so we can press on vinyl. Will vinyl win out? I don't think so.
The last two generations of music listeners are conditioned that music should be free and for the most part have no respect for copyright.
The fact that a band like us has to save up for a year, has to buy all this gear, strings, cables, nevermind the lessons, rental fees, in order for this EP to see the light of day is usually unnoticed.
So, in short, I think there'll be a niche market for vinyl, while the majority of music will go to streaming services, like Amazon Music, Spotify, etc. because folks don't even want to bother with downloads. We've also embraced that technology - you can find us on there as well. 💿 Can you tell us somethin’ about your live projects?
We've gotten to the point where we're in demand as opener for touring bands when they visit Houston.
We've played with Hammerfall, Dirkschneider, Manilla Road (R.I.P. Mark), Delain, and have done several local festivals and benefits.
In the meantime, there are several rock/metal venues that just won't budge and take us on, which in a way is funny. This month (Sept. 27) we get to play with Cloven Hoof (http://www.ticketcover.com/houston-tx/cloven-hoof-tickets-houston-tx/) and then we have a show opening up for Angra (https://www.scoutbar.com/event/1657218-angra-omni-world-tour-2018-houston/) and that same weekend we get to headline at another local venue, Acadia, which will have two Texas bands supporting us. We have all shows on our site www.scrollkeeper.com for those interested.
💿 We love the cover of PTG..Who made it?
The cover concept stems from the "Path to Glory" and Helge Balzer did the artwork, which turned out fantastic. 💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal!
Thank you, it was a pleasure. Keep it metal!