international power metal quartet Messiah´s Kiss is back with
their 3rd release ‘Dragonheart’. The title of the album represents the
soul and the style for just that - straight up, uncompromising and full
power for the faithful - traditional Heavy Metal of the finest quality!
‘Dragonheart’ will hit the stores in Europe on Monday, Feb 26th 2007
(except Germany Friday, 23rd 2007), the USA will follow on Tuesday,
March 13th 2007
Beginning with their 2002 debut album ‘Prayer For The Dying’ and its
successor from 2004 – ‘Metal’ - the songs of the current output
‘Dragonheart’ (artwork by Luis Royo) are filled with double bass rhythms
typical for the genre, solid riffs and catchy hooks that will excite the
nerve of the true metal fans. Produced by Herman Frank and co-produced
by Georg Kraft, who were already present on the debut album for the
thunderous sound, former Accept/Victory guitarist Herman Frank also
appears as a guest musician on ‘Dragonheart’, performing all guitar
"We do what
we can do best: Heavy Metal in its purest form, without any other
discolorations - and ignore the ´clone attempts´ like some other musical
experimentalists. That is absolutely not our style! We wouldn´t want to
mix whiskey with tomato juice! We remain faithful to our roots!
Development: yes! Betrayel: no! We clearly have our own style, and our
faithful fans appreciate this", say Georg Kraft, Eckhard Ostra, Mike
Tirelli (Holy Mother, Riot) and Wayne Banks (Blaze Bailey, Sabbat)
unanimously. And in such a fashion the true metal fan is proverbially
steamrolled through by the new album! Dragonheart - it rocks! it burns!
I had the chance to ask drummer Eckhard "Eddy" Ostra some questions
about Messiah´s Kiss new effort, so here we go! First of all I would
like to congratulate you with your new album. So let´s talk about your
new album ‘Dragonheart’ now.
How did you launch into writing the material for ‘Dragonheart’ after
your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write
them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
writing new songs can be easy like nothing on the one hand, but it can
be pretty hard work on the other. It’s always different each and every
time. Sometimes you´ve got an idea or a melody in your mind, and as soon
as you try to play it, it really blows your mind right away - a great
song can be born in just a couple of seconds. And sometimes you compose
the hell out of you: changing arrangements, melodies, and grooves so
that it takes days and weeks before a great and complete song comes out.
But if you write songs like “The Ivory Gates” for example, it’s always
hard work and of course you need a lot of experience as well.
have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on ‘Dragonheart’, any
elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Yes! We had
a certain target in sight for this production, and all elements are on
this album this time! Double-bassdrum attacks, mid-tempo grooves, very
melodious arrangements, and so on. We tried to combine all the
traditional Heavy Metal styles on one album without an extreme cross -
over or losing the track for a powerful, straight forward ass kickin’
Heavy Metal record!
Was it a
conscious decision to do it this way?
all wanted it exactly this way. It was absolutely clear and we didn’t
want to make any compromises.
the lyrics already been written before you entered the studio, or have
there been a lot of changes during the recording sessions?
write the lyrics when the music is basically done. We like to be well
prepared as soon as we enter the studio. Not only because it saves time
and money, but first and foremost because you will hear it after the
session! When you know exactly what you have to play, then you surely
play much more powerful. And this also applies to Mike: If he knows all
the melodies and words by heart, he really can focus on power, feeling,
and phrasings. Sometimes you change little things, or single words, but
not whole verses. Overall it took about 4 months with little breaks to
finish the recordings.
responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on the new album?
guitar player writes the music first and does the arrangements. When he
feels comfortable with the songs, he shows them to me and Mike and then
we usually try out different things, and sometimes we make little
changes here and there. It’s always great to work out little things in
a team, because we can push each other to the max - and the song will
definitely benefit from that!
important are the lyrics to you, is there a special meaning behind them?
The lyrics of the songs are pretty much fantasy oriented.
Sometimes we come up with things from real life. But deeper thoughts
within the lyrics are not really our style. We basically want to
entertain people. We don’t want to preach or teach what people should
do or not do. We don’t want to spread political views. This does not
mean we don’t care about the serious things of this world. But we want
to separate the entertainment and message of our music from deeper
thoughts or the meaning of life of current affairs. We see ourselves as
a metal band without any religious or political background.
you think are the main differences between this album and your previous
differences are the production and the style of the songs. ‘Metal’
sounded a little bit too old-fashioned after all was said and done.
‘Dragonheart’ is a lot more powerful and full of energy. And in my
opinion this album just sounds very live-like. You can almost hear with
how much sweat and purposefulness we recorded the songs. This is the
sound of Messiah’s Kiss. The average quality of the songs is higher on
‘Dragonheart’ than it was on ‘Metal’. We were all motivated like hell
for the third and most important record. And this is the result: The
best Messiah’s Kiss album ever.
recorded with producers Rainer Hansel and Herman Frank, how was it to
collaborate with them and did their way of working differ much from how
you worked on your previous albums?
Well, these guys have lots of experience. Herman did a
perfect job behind the controllers. The work was pretty much identical
to the ‘Prayer For The Dying’ sessions. Of course we were more
experienced as well this time. But it was kind of easy for all of us,
because we have the same roots and musical comprehension. So we never
had discussions about guitar or drum sounds, because we all have the
same taste in this case. In technical respects they bring out the best
in you; sometimes with jokes, sometimes by provocation, but always in a
fun way to keep the constructive aspects on a high level. But as a band
we have been very straight-lined during the production process, because
we knew exactly what our fans deserve and we wanted to make our best
album ever! And so we did.
latest album seemed to be a little more traditional heavy metal, was
this a natural thing?
Well, of course we are influenced by all metal bands from the late 70’s
or 80’s. Nothing unusual because we´ve been playing this kind of music
since ’81, when I met George and we started our first band
“Repression”! We just play the music we love and grew up with. We are
true metal musicians from the basis. I don’t care if our music is “up to
date” or not in the opinion of the mass media. We just rock our hearts
out! We don’t want to cheat ourselves, or the fans of this kind of
music, and we are not impressed by short-lived trends. We still play
this music and we are real fans of it. That’s why it sounds so honest to
the early roots. We want to bring the spirit of the 80’s and 90’s back
to the future.
have a larger budget for this album than for the previous albums and did
this change the way you worked?
budget was the same like we had for the other two albums. But yes, we
changed the way we worked because of this. We worked out the guitar-,
bass- and drum sounds before we started to record. It’s much better to
spend time trying stuff and adding different voices and harmonies to the
song, instead of wasting time finding sounds in the studio until the
budget is gone.
received any feedback on the new album yet and what do you personally
think about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you
liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
feedback is amazing right now! The reviews all over Europe are
fantastic, and we are very happy and proud right now. ‘Dragonheart’ is
my favorite Messiah’s Kiss album – no doubt about that! We would not
change anything! Not a single riff, no chorus, no melody. We believe
that ‘Dragonheart’ is the maturest accomplishment we´ve made so far.
have any favorites on ‘Dragonheart’, songs that you think are somehow
above the others?
love them all. But to play the title track “Dragonheart” is always
fantastic. It has exactly the right timing for a double bass-drum killer
and it flows in one piece to the end. “The
Ivory Gates” is one of the best arranged songs George ever wrote.
It has so many different facets and combines everything
that a metal song is all about; power, energy, speed, and slower
tragical parts flowing into each other!
some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:
you get involved in the music business?
just loved to play music since I was a kid. When we started to form
“Repression” in 1981 we played all the clubs in Germany. In the year
2000 our former singer got problems with his vocal chords. So we decided
to look for a new singer on a professional level, because we already
wrote the songs for a new “Repression” album. And then I got in touch
with Mike. He liked the material right away, and joined us for the
recordings. When he already finished 5 songs with us, he had to visit
his manager Rainer Hänsel, to show him his own new “Holy Mother”
material. I asked Mike to ask for an exemption for our record during his
visit. So Mike showed Rainer the 5 songs he already did with us, and a
day later my telephone rang: “Rainer Hänsel here. Eddy, have to talk”! A
new chapter began on a different level in the music business.
songs and bands do you listen to yourself these days?
listen to my all time favorite bands quite a lot: Judas Priest,
Whitesnake, Kiss, (early) Iron Maiden, Krokus, Vicious Rumors (with Carl
Albert – RIP!), Pretty Maids.
songs are “Electric Eye”, “Hell Bent For Leather”, “Number Of The
Beast”, “Run To The Hills”, “Headhunter”, “Digital Dictator”, “You Only
Live Twice”, “Future World”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Shout It Out Loud”,
“Still Of The Night”,.. and many more from these guys.
are new bands as well which I like: Lynam for example. These guys really
kick ass on “Slave To The Machine”.
Is there anything you like to do besides your job in the band?
love to ride my motorbike and I play ice hockey if I have a little time
left. I also like to travel and I hang out with friends very often to
have a beer. I am a very companionable person I think.
you see the future with this band, do you think the band will still be
there in about 10 years?
never know what will happen in the future. As long as we´re alive we
will make music - That’s for sure. And if it’s still fun to play and if
there are people out there who want to listen to us, there is no reason
your opinion about the heavy, power metal scene these days, is there
I really do
miss the great live shows from the 80’s and early 90’s. When all the
bands came on tour with fantastic stage designs. That was entertainment
on a high level, and value for your money as well.
album influenced you most and made you think : This is what I want to
all it was ‘Destroyer’ from Kiss. That was my first favorite album
besides ‘Double Live Gonzo’ from Ted Nugent. And then ‘British Steel’
from Judas Priest, ‘The Number Of The Beast’ from Iron Maiden. These
albums are still real killers and milestones.
had the choice to pick 3 bands to share the stage with, which bands
would you choose?
Priest, Judas Priest, and of course Judas Priest J
we expect in the near future from Messiah's Kiss?
have plans to come on tour with ‘Dragonheart’. But right now, we don’t
know when we will hit the stage again. But our manager Rainer Hänsel is
already working on placing us on festivals this summer. We want to play
the material live on stage without failing, because we believe that most
of the songs will be real live-killers for the audience.
anything you want to tell us after these questions?
Thanks for the interview.
great for us to receive such a big response from the fans we have. That
means that we are still on the right track. Heavy Metal is not dead yet,
and this is the reason for us to go ahead, and to play fuckin’ loud and
proud, because you guys really deserve it! We´ve got to stick together
and celebrate what’s holy for us! Metal ‘til we die!
Eddy “Ed the tongue”
Mike Tirelli – Vocals
Georg Kraft – Guitars
Wayne Banks – Bass
Eckhard Ostra – Drums
Prayer For The Dying
2004 - Metal