I've had the opportunity to interview Michael Stützer, guitarist of Danish thrash metal veterans Artillery. Below you will find the English version of the interview. Beneath that you will find the original Danish interview. Pictures are all courtesy of Marika Hyldmar, whom you can find at her official Facebook!
Artillery has, since their creation in the 80's, been a huge influence on the many bands aswel as the general evolution of thrash metal in Denmark and Northern Europe. Having churned out 6 albums since the classic "Fear of Tomorrow" in 1985 they've stuck around for as long as many of the well-known Teutonic thrash acts like Destruction and Kreator. The brothers Michael and Morten Stützer form the solid core of Artillery and as such are the only members to have been on every Artillery release.
Artillery has had a lot of singers by now, especially on the early demos, but as steadt lead-singers you've only had Flemming Rönsdorf (Fear of Tomorrow, Terror Squad, By Inheritance & B.A.C.K.) and Søren Adamsen (When Death Comes & My Blood). I think most will agree that when the band switched from Rönsdorf's very old school vocals to Adamsen's Bruce Dickinson-esque vocals it brought with it a small change in style with the band. Was this change a natural part of changing lead singers, and was it a conscious change?
When we started Artillery again (after By Inheritance with "B.A.C.K." in 1999, ED.) we met at my place to play in the practiceroom just for the fun of it. Already after two rehearsals we could feel that we wanted to seriously focus on it again. All agreed that we needed to find a singer who wanted it onehundred percent.
|Former lead singer Søren Adamsen|
After two rehearsals it went so well with Søren that we decided he was in.
We've written all the songs the same way as the time when Flemming was in and we haven't changed anything, at least not conciously.
Of course in the eyes of many Søren is more of a power metal singer, but we've always felt that he did a great job and we've had many great experiences with him. Søren was actually the only singer we tried out!
Then how did you find your new lead singer, Michael Bastholm Dahl?
We already knew back in February that Søren would maybe stop the 22nd of September and that he wouldn't play two gigs in Denmark in the start of September.
So this time we had time to find our new singer.
We played in Agger (Danish town known as "Heavy Agger", ED.) with Mercyful Diamond (Danish King Diamond/Mercyful Fate cover band) where Michael was singing. Already there we were convinced at he could fill the role both musically and personally. I contacted him and asked if he could be stand in for Søren at the two jobs he didn't want to play and he said yes immediately.
After we played those two jobs in Svendborg and Nykøbing we were convinced he was the right guy. And he didn't think twice when we asked him to join us!
And with the response we've had on him and the new vocals and by the way also our new drummer Josua it looks like we'll be incredibly well equipped now with two new people who are onehundred percent ready to tour, record etc.!
You have had a rather large change in drummers... Is Josua a more permanent solution?
You mentioned a new record... Is there a new album on the horizon?
Yes we've started on new tracks and the plan is that we'll be going to the Medley Studio in February 2013 with Søren Andersen as producer again. The plan is to have it ready in April 2013.
Sounds exciting! Can we expect a sound as aggressive as on My Blood and When Death Comes?
Yes, that's one of the reasons we're using Medley and Søren again. It worked extremely well on both When Death Comes and My Blood.
|Søren Adamsen with guest-vocalist Søren Crawack of Impalers|
Do you think Michael's vocals will influence how the new album is going to turn out?
The vocals are ofcourse always incredibly important so yes it will, but we will still make the riffs as we usually do, so style-wise it'll still be thrash the rules. We have great confidence in Michael's vocals and look much forward to presenting some new tracks ASAP.
Artillery har efterhånden haft en god del sangere, specielt på demoerne, men som faste foresangere har I kun haft Flemming Rönsdorf og Søren Adamsen. Jeg tror de fleste vil være enige i, at da bandet skiftede fra Rönsdorfs meget old school vokal til Adamsens Bruce Dickinson-inspirerede vokal medbragte det et lille skift i stil hos bandet. Var det skift en naturlig del af det at skifte forsanger, og var det et bevidst valg?
Da vi startede Artillery op igen, mødtes vi hos mig for at spille i øveren bare for hyggens skyld. Allerede efter 2 øvegange kunne vi mærke at vi ville satse seriøst igen. Alle var enige om at så måtte vi finde en ny sanger der ville det her 100%.
Jeg kontaktede så Torben Askholm der dengang lige havde forladt Anibus Gate for ligesom at starte et sted. Han kunne så ikke men foreslog så Søren.
Efter 2 øvere kørte det så fedt med Søren at vi besluttede at han var med.
Vi har skrevet alle numrene på samme måde som den gang Flemming var med og ikke ændret på noget, i hvertfald ikke bevidst.
Selvfølgelig er Søren i manges øjne mere en Power metal sanger men vi har altid syntes at han gjorde det godt og har haft mange gode oplevelser med ham! Så Søren var faktisk den eneste sanger vi nåede at prøve!
Hvordan fandt I så frem til jeres nye forsanger, Michael Bastholm Dahl?
Vi vidste allerede i Feb. at Søren måske ville stoppe 22 Sept og ikke ville spille 2 jobs i DK i starten af September.
så denne gang havde vi tid til at finde vores nye sanger.
|Guitarist Michael Stützer|
Efter vi spillede de 2 jobs i henholdsvis Svendborg og Nykøbing var vi ikke i tvivl om han var den rigtige mand. Og han var slet ikke i tvivl da vi spurgte ham om ville joine os!
Og med den respons vi har fået på ham og den nye vokal og i øvrigt også på vores nye trommerbasker Josua ser det ud til at vi står utroligt godt rustet nu, med 2 nye der er 100% klar til at turnere ,ny plade etc!
Ja I har jo også haft en ret hæftig udskiftning af trommeslagere... Er Josua måske en mere permanent løsning?
Nu nævnte du selv en ny plade og sådan... Er der et nyt album i horisonten?
Ja vi er startet på nye nr. og planen er at vi går i Medley studiet i Feb 2013 med Søren Andersen som producer igen. Planen er den skal udkomme i April 2013.
Lyder spændende! Kan vi så forvente en lyd der er lige så aggressiv som på My Blood og When Death Comes?
|Guitarist Morten Stützer|
Ja det er en af grundene til at vi bruger Medley og Søren igen. Det funkede ekstremt godt både på WDC og MB.
Tror du Michaels vokal vil have en indflydelse på hvordan det nye album udformer sig?
Vokalen er selvfølgelig altid utrolig vigtig så ja det vil den, men vi vil stadig lave riffne som vi plejer så stilmæsigt vil det stadig være thrashen der styrer. Vi har stor tiltro til Michaels vokal og glæder os utroligt meget til at præsentere nogle nye nr asap
Find Artillery at their official Facebook here
Find more of Marika Hyldmar's concert photos here