First of all, many thanks for taking time from your busy schedule and doing the interview. And congratulations on “Decrowning The Irenarch”, it is an excellent album! Do you agree? Are you happy with how the album worked out?
No problem and thank you. I am happy with how the album turned out, yes. As I’ve mentioned in other interviews, we put a lot of preparation into it and worked hard in the studio to achieve that high standard of performance.
You’ve taken quite a step away from the raw Black Metal of your debut album, Deathless Steel Command. What were the reasons for this change?
Indeed. It was more of a natural progression than anything else. The previous guitarist left the band, who is, by the way, the brother of our vocalist. When the new guitarist joined Spearhead, he sparked our way of thinking in slightly different directions, but honestly, I wouldn’t put this change down to him; I would only say that he had a slight influence on this progression. For a long time I personally wanted to take Spearhead in a more Death Metal direction, even from the beginning actually. It just didn’t happen straight away, that’s all.
What makes Spearhead different from other Death/Black Metal bands?
Good question – more bands should be made to answer this! We have unique/well-thought out lyrics and aren’t influenced by the generic bands of the genre, nor do we simply try to copy anyone. We listen to what we like, and we don’t replicate it; we just do what comes from within.
Have any of you had formal music training?
When I was young I had some guitar lessons. I also played piano and cello for a while (also aided by some lessons). I deplore discontinuing both those instruments, but to this day I still play guitar as I have done since 1994. I didn’t start drums until around 2002 and an actual purchase of a drumkit didn’t happen for me until 2003. The desire to play drums was with me for a very long time, but the cost and practicalities (noise) didn’t really sit too well in the household I was living in. It’s not a problem now. Looking back, I should have just bought an electric drum kit. As for the other Spearhead members; I don’t think any of them had musical training.
How would you define the band’s political and philosophical views? Do you try and live up to these in everyday life, and if so, how?
Spearhead aren’t a political band. I’m quite sure that each of us has our own unique thoughts about how to live our daily life, so I only speak for myself. Any philosophical views made public are expressed only by our vocalist, who writes 100% of the lyrics.
What’s your view on the current political situation in England? Do you vote in elections, and if so, for what party?
I gave up caring about the political situation in the UK a long time ago. If you believe in something passionately, the sheer lack of agreement from peers will only shatter and offend your own. For this reason I privately have my ideas and abstain from discussing it with other people. There isn’t a party that exists which would carry out exactly what I see as important, nor do they have the power to make any radical changes, so I would be wasting my time if I believed in any politicians. In politics, lies and false promises are rife – why it has to be this way I will never really know. It’s human nature.
Can you tell our readers a little about how the band first formed? Was there a specific album that got you into Metal?
The vocalist of Spearhead was playing bass in the first Black Metal band I formed; Archaicus. I saw he was starting a “War Metal” band and expressed interest in developing it with him, so we all joined forces. I don’t think there was any specific album that got me into metal; I instantly liked metal since the first day I heard it and I subsequently “found” and pursued it.
Do you find that coming from the UK changes people’s attitude to your music?
Yes, absolutely. Still, I can’t blame people thinking that – our scene is pitiful. I just hope that people don’t affiliate us with the mass of useless bands from the UK. We do our best to distance ourselves from it. I have become more and more cynical about it. Some people will be thinking that I should remove my head from my arse, but to be honest, I simply place importance on quality – there’s not much else I can say.
How’s the UK Metal scene in your view? Are there any up-and-coming bands worthy of attention?
I answered this partly in the previous question. I’m not sure whether there are any up-and-coming bands worthy of attention. However, if you want to hear a great album released recently by a British band, I would urge you to check out Esoteric’s latest album; it’s excellent.
How’s your relationship with Invictus Productions?
It’s a good one – I’ve spoken to the label owner, Darragh, for quite some years now. We speak to him on a personal level as well as a more business-orientated one.
Can you ever see yourselves making a living from Spearhead?
…or you could say “can you make a living from metal” in which case I would answer saying that such a thing is probably nearly impossible, unless you’re Dimmu Borgir or something. I mention them because it’s not like I would mention Megadeth or Metallica, who have no relevance to us at all. Those bands were formed ages ago; they’re pioneers. Unless we started to sound like Arch Enemy, we might be OK! It would be quite sad if we had to change our style just to make a living from it though. So, all I’ll say is that if we can do the band full-time eventually, like Belphegor, that would be a good. I definitely wouldn’t decline that.
Do you think Metal as a genre, and Extreme Metal in particular, will still be here in, say, another fifty years’ time?
Yes, I do. I dread to think what it will be like though.
Would you describe you or your band-mates as party people? Does much alcohol get consumed, and if so, what’s your favourite poison?
Party people? Not me personally. I used to drink a lot, but I see it mostly as a waste of time now and I do value my health, unlike a lot of people. Our lead guitarist loves a drink. Rehearsals do involve many a beer though, don’t get me wrong. I’ll drink on the right occasions; in other words not all the time. I like all sorts of beers; no particularly favourites. Whiskey is good too.
If you could tour with one band, past or present, who would it be?
What are your current favourite albums, new or old, Metal or not?
People should check out the latest Dead Congregation album if they haven’t already. And I’ve always liked the Emperor stuff.
Do you have a favourite joke you could tell us?
Sorry, mind has gone blank. Someone told me a funny one recently, but you’d need to be able to hear my voice in order for me to carry it out in all its glory!
Thanks again for your time, any final words for fans, or perhaps the few who haven’t checked the band out yet?
All I will say is that people should listen to Spearhead with no preconceptions and take proper notice; not a passing one.
Thanks for the interview!