The Band: Iron Kingdom
The Man: Chris Osterman (guitar, vocals)
Interview by Vpower
Today I have the pleasure to bring an interview with the Canadian band Iron Kingdom, that has released his third album this year, Ride for Glory. A true Metal band, classic Heavy Metal all the way, that is growing bigger and bigger every year. They are at the other side of the Atlantic so it's no so easy to see them, but still their music reach us with all the power.
Iron Kingdom was born in 2011, you have released three studio albums and one live album, you don’t lose time...
Yea exactly, I mean bands are around to make music, right? So we figured the more we have the better! Just like the early days of hard rock / metal, bands released, at times, 1 album a year! That’s not an easy task at all, but it keeps you growing and progressing.
How did you get into the Metal thing?
When I was very young my uncles showed me hard rock bands like Van Halen, Deep Purple and AC/DC and I loved it so much that I wanted to create my own music in a similar style.
So, the family influences, as many of us. You are a Canadian band, your natural market is the USA & Canada or you also have Europe as a target?
Yes we are Canadian, and of course we have a large market in North America and touring is easiest within our own continent, however Europe is very important to us, they seem to have a greater desire for our style of metal so it is definitely a significant market for us as well.
Well, I make a break here to say that the band has experienced recent problems for touring in the US, as they couldn’t get the visa in time to perform some shows, unfortunately. You play classic Heavy Metal, you guitars are brilliant and drive your sound completely, right?
Yes, the guitars are a main element in traditional metal and in Iron Kingdom of course, and I thank you for the compliment! However I wouldn't say they drive the sound completely. Each instrument plays an important role to create the final sound. In fact the high pitched and clean vocals, the classic finger styled bass guitar and the techniques behind the drums are all extremely important to create our style properly.
You could adjust one or two techniques here or there but basically my point is without the other instruments falling into place and sounding ‘classic heavy metal’ the sound wouldn’t exactly work out.
I see you have a female drummer? How did she enter the band, it was a natural thing or it was kind of a council to decide it?
Yes she’s also my sister actually! She was interested to try out as our drummer when we were pretty young and so I encouraged it, she had a good sense of rhythm and timing and so that was it! We hadn’t thought much of it gender wise, I mean hell she can hit the skins harder than a lot of dudes!
Hahaha, I really didn’t know she was your your sister! The Metal clan! If you don’t know Amanda is on the kit, everyone would believe there is a man behind the drums. It’s not usual, how she decided to play drums?
Well she started to learn how to play drums specifically to join the band. The thought came after watching my band perform, she figured she could do better than the drummer we already had, and so I said alright, lets see! A few drum lessons later and she was in the band.
Wow, that’s willpower, congratulations to her. Tell us a little about your new album, Ride for Glory. What are the lyrics about? How was the process to create it?
Well me being straight to the point, Ride For Glory was written about warriors from around the world. Lyrically there are many songs about actual historic events. The album covers stories from ancient Vietnam to the discouvery of Canada.
Our creative process is different for each song but overall I usually write a few riffs, and Leighton or Amanda might have an idea for a songs topic and then usually Leighton will take on the lyrics and we jam it out as a band and (if you will) iron out the track as a group!
Is there a leader in the band or it is more like a communist organization?
I lead the group, however we bring up the more important issues or decisions in group meetings to ensure the best end result.
In 2014 you played in the KIT. I was fortunately enough to be there and watch Iron Kingdom live show. It was really exciting, everybody was talking about you. How was the experience in the German underground festival?
It was incredible! I have never experience anything like it, totally like a time machine back to 1983 or something! We all had a great time, bought way too many things (because there’s incredible heavy metal merchandise EVERYWHERE!), and just rocked out as we do!
I was actually sick that day, and was on Anti-Biotic medicine to keep me going, it was unfortunate timing, however as always, you just do the best you can and enjoy!
Nobody would say you were sick... you made a great show. Even when I tried to buy your old staff in the KIT you have sold out everything, and you still have some gigs to do in the following days. Are you carrying now more chests full of cds in every tour hahaha?
Hahaha, yea that was really cool, we weren’t sure what was going to sell best and we just crammed our guitar cases and carry on’s with as many CD’s and shirts as we could, so next time we will need to think of another solution, because 3 gigs into the tour we had no more music to sell!
Have you reached the goals you had some years ago, when you were starting in the Metal world, or the sky is the only limit?
We have definitely reached some of our goals! Ultimately, we would love to make enough money to survive on music alone I would say that’s the biggest goal but we’re not there yet.
Other metal bands that sounds awesome! Mainly 70’s and 80’s hard rock or heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, The Scorpions, and Rush among many others.
Canada is known for being, I think, the country with the highest standard of living, according to some research from the IMF or something like that. Is this true also for the Metal scene?
Interesting.. Yea I mean its possible that Canada could have the highest standard of living, but I don’t follow that too much. I would say that Metal heads are more similar worldwide, they work hard and then they rock out hard! That’s what we do! I mean Leighton, our bassist is living in a tour bus right now, just so he can keep on going, we do what we have to in order to keep on bringing metal to the nations!
If you could get a time machine, you would travel back to share the stage with...?
Oh man there’s way too many, I mean early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, The Scorpions, or DIO would have been incredible! That’s just scratching the surface really because I wish I could have played with all of them!! haha
Yes, the old times... Talking about stage, your characterization for the shows is great. I know the music is the key, but when I see a Metal band a prefer to find leather than trackies, shorts...
Haha totally brother! That’s why we do it! Because we agree with that very statement, we want to entertain, and you need to have a full show! That’s one element that many bands ignore these days unfortunately.
Yes and I think most of the public appreciates that effort. If I am not wrong you are now touring around the USA, will you come to Europe to present your new album?
Yea we will be touring in the USA in a few days from now! And as for Europe, we definitely want to come back, just need to sort out when we will start the tour, hopefully sometime in early 2016!
Have you ever been to Spain? Do you have any reference about the Spanish Metal?
No actually we haven't had the pleasure! But we're hoping that next time we start booking Europe that we can add a date or two in the area! If you have contacts send them my way!
OK, we look forward to see you in our country next year. What are your plans for the future? Might be another album for 2016 or you will take it a little bit easier?
I think we will focus on touring and promotions. Maybe do a bit of writing in the meantime, take a little break from recording to really push the albums we have on a worldwide scale.
Thank you Chris, and the best wishes for the forthcoming tour!
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Thanks for reading and as always, keep the faith!!