Interview

ALESTORM (2013 - English Version) - Christopher Bowes (Vocals) & Elliot Vernon (Keyboards)

Chris Bowes’s schedule is quite busy right now. He’s preparing the upcoming ALESTORM DVD, he’s on a headlining tour with ALESTORM and the first album of his brand new band is about to come. These are three reasons to meet him and talk about it.
And Elliot Vernon, the new ALESTORM keyboard player joined us for the occasion!

SBM: Thank you so much for your time. You’re currently shipwrecked in Montpellier with Ex-Deo, so how is the tour going?


Christopher: I think it’s been nice so far… We’ve been in Spain for few days, now we’re back into France and I think we’ll have a great time… A lot of drinking.

Especially yesterday I guess…

Christopher: Yesterday was my day off actually.

It was St Patrick’s Day so…

Elliot: For some reasons there’re Australians: Lagerstein, they are touring with us, but they’re not interested in Saint Patrick’s Day and it makes no sense because none of them are Irish… (Laugh)

(Laugh) Yeah, but it would have been an opportunity to drink a lot!
Since “Back Through Time” came out, you haven’t stop touring, and now you’re almost touring as an headlining band, so how do you live this recognition?


Christopher: This is our first headlining tour ever, I mean in Europe at least, and it’s really good, definitely we see our crowds getting bigger and bigger through the years, and that’s very good! I’m in a happy place!

Elliot: Are you in a place?

Christopher: I’m in a very happy place…

Last year you were taking part of the “70.000 Tons of Metal”. Did you enjoy this experiment? Touring on a boat…

Christopher: That was the best thing! Ever! I hope we could go back next year because it’s such a party you know! It’s January, it’s sunny, and you’re on a boat, it’s amazing… Yeah, we’ll be back next year! It’s such a great show!

Yeah that is good for ALESTORM!

Christopher: Yeah! Pirates, Caribbean, a boat! (Laugh)

(Laugh) And this year’s January you recorded your first live DVD “Live at The End of the World”. Can you tell us a little bit more about the release or the bonus? Or is it a surprise?

Christopher: I don’t know, we’re hoping to release it this summer when we’ve got to finish off the mix and finish off the videos, there’s a lot of post production work to be done. It’s going to be good, it will be 90 minutes set of us playing then one hour of backstages, party bullshit.

Elliot: You’re going to see things like kangaroos and a lot of typical Australian things… (Laugh).

(Laugh) And why have you chosen Australia? Is it because it’s the other side of the world?

Christopher: Exactly! And because we can… For some reasons we’re now super popular in Australia, we’ve done three tours, there are few heavy metal band that have done many tours in Australia in such a short time, we can go here every year and draw each crowd.

Elliot: There’s no metal band performing in Australia and making DVD in Australia, that’s not a common thing. It’s usually like live in Germany…

Christopher: Or in their home town.

Elliot: There’s a few live in Japan as well…

Yeah because it’ hard to be successful in Japan, and I guess it’s the same thing Australia…

Elliot: Yeah Australia seem to be out of Japan…

Christopher: Yeah and it’s nice to end a show with an Australian crowd… big show there!

So it’s a good memory…

Christopher: Exactly!

And after this tour, what are you going to do? Are you going to work on a new ALESTORM album?

Christopher: Yeah I’m starting thinking about writing now… Because it’s been too long. I think we made a few albums but there’s no so much pressure, like always writing new stuff, but now it’s getting to a time where we need to do it, we need to start writing songs this year…
Then we plan to enter the studio in early 2014, and then when it’s done it’s done…

And have you already ideas? Maybe a concept album or a whole story… Have you ever think about it?
Christopher: I don’t know… I just write the songs and I see what happens…

Elliot: I think quite a lot of that will be about pirates…

Christopher: There’ll definitely be one or two songs about pirates… (Laugh)

(Laugh) Yeah? Oh, that’s a great idea!
And now Chris, I have a few questions about a band called GLORYHAMMER…


Christopher: AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

If you don’t want to talk about it I can stop now… (Laugh)

(Laugh) No, no it’s fine.

Because I’m currently working on the review of the album!

Christopher: Oh cool!

Can you tell us a little bit more about this project? You told me about that two years ago and now it’s here!

Christopher: Yes it’s been something I really wanted to do since 2010, beginning of 2010, and finally the album’s going to come out this month, it’s amazing, it’s everything I wanted it to be, it’s such a good album I think, and I’m looking forward to play a lot of power metal shows, because ALESTORM now became a sort of drunken party but GLORYHAMMER is completely serious music!

Only if you haven’t seen the trailer… (Laugh)

(Laugh) Yeah that’s right!

It was very funny, when I first saw it I thought “Ok this is ALESTORM but with unicorns”…

Christopher: It’s sensibly what’s going on. It’s the same thing that makes ALESTORM music good, it’s very simple catchy sing along songs but it’s in a power metal style.

And is the whole album one story?

Christopher: Yeah the whole thing is one epic story about this wizard that comes to attack the city of Dundee with an army of undead unicorns. And then so the prince of Dundee wants to get his revenge so he escapes in the city and he goes on a quest to find all this magic artifacts and when he finally recovers the magic artifacts he has enough power to defeat the evil wizard, and he does, and the kingdom is saved.

Elliot: Good power metal stuff!

Christopher: Yeah until the next album…

There will be a chapter two?

Christopher: Yeah there will be twenty one albums…

Twenty one albums? So you will finish it when you’ll be 50?
Christopher: Yeah this sounds weird but I’m actually planning twenty one albums, so we’ll see if the first seven will work and we’ll see what will goes in there…

Great news! And will we have a tour?

Christopher: Yes!

Is it planed yet?

Christopher: We’re going to do a few festivals this summer; we just worked out a deal with a booking agency, so I expect we can go on the road in October or November…

So for early winter…
Can you tell us a little bit more about the influences on this album? I guess there is Rhapsody of Fire? A little bit of Dragonforce?


Christopher: Yes a lot of these power metal band I used to love when I was small you know, but they’re not so popular anymore, like Rhapsody. I mean, they are one of the best bands, lot of fast style of music, a little bit of Hammerfall, a little bit of Edguy, all these big classics! Power metal bands we had ten years ago, and I think we want to bring it back.

I can tell you that the album sounds very powerful.

Christopher: Thank you…

But you don’t appear as guest vocalist on the album.

Christopher: I do this speaking lip like “Blablablabla”… that’s me.

Ok but you sing…

Christopher: I do the backing vocals, but I don’t do lead vocals.

Your voice sounds really different from Thomas’s one so it would have been a nice contrast.

Christopher: I really wanted to keep this very separated from ALESTORM so I didn’t wanted to sing along, I just wanted this guy Thomas that has an amazing voice…

Yes it’s really amazing! How have you chosen him?

Christopher: Actually we found him when I was looking for a singer with no idea of where to look for, and we found on Youtube this video of him auditioning for DragonForce because they’ve lost their singer, and I though “Ouaw! This guy’s perfect! He is the voice we want for this band”. So I asked him… First he said no and a few months later he changed his mind and he’s never looked back, so it’s really good, he really makes the album perfect.

Yes I clearly love his voice!
Well I guess we’ve reached the end, so you’ll be busy for this year!


Christopher: Yeah, always busy! Never stop! (Laugh)

Ok! So I let you conclude if you want to say something for the French fans.

Christopher: I want to tell to the people of France to eat Scottish beef!

Scottish beef?

Christopher: Scottish beef!

OK… And why?

Christopher: Because it’s pretty good! (Laugh)

Elliot: And we enjoy it! (Laugh)

Ok! (Laugh)
Thank you so much guys!


Christopher & Elliot: You’re welcome!
 
Critique : SBM
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