Lancer is one of those skillful (and lucky) bands not only avoided the trap of the third, destructive for most artists album, but also managed to establish their name by getting signed by one of the most valid metal labels, -Nuclear Blast-, and above to release their by far best album to date, the power/heavy metal opus ‘Mastery’.
Last Day Deaf got their words right after the more than successful “Built To Tour” with Hammerfall and Gloryhammer. Not to be missed by traditional heavy metal fans…
You should definitely feel excited getting signed to one of the most notable metal labels for your 3rd album ‘Mastery’, Nuclear Blast, and also for your ongoing tour ‘‘Built To Tour’’ with Hammerfall and Gloryhammer until February 2nd. Right?
Yes of course! Getting signed to Nuclear Blast is really a teenage dream coming true, and I was totally overwhelmed when it actually happened. And getting to go on tour with both Hammerfall and Gloryhammer was a gigantic bonus! We just got home from the tour actually, and it was just the best thing ever. Amazing guys in both of those bands, and we got to meet so many new fans, really fantastic.
Listening to your 3rd album for this interview I can say that you are heavily influenced by traditional heavy and power metal bands. But letting you speak, please tell us which bands/artists have mostly influenced your sound regarding ‘Mastery’?
Of course you can hear the power and heavy metal foundation in our music very clearly. And people always compare us to the big bands of the genre, like Helloween, Iron Maiden and Hammerfall, but we really don’t try to sound like any other band. We just write the music that comes out of our heads, and then it’s up to other people tell was it sounds like. We believe that we have several elements in our music that is unique to Lancer, and that make us stand out in the genre, in terms of details in the riffing and dynamics and arrangements of the songs, for example.
Regarding the first song that was revealed from your album, you commented: “This is the fastest and most aggressive piece of the album, starting out with an anthem-like twin guitar thing only to erupt into furious riffing. The perfect first single to jump-start this collaboration with Nuclear Blast!’’ Is there any special story behind this “stainless steel” anthem? How did you conceive it?
Well, we always want to involve at least one song on every album that is plainly based on the German styled melodic speed metal. There are many details in this song as well, but it might be the most straight-forward song of the album. The twin guitar thing in the beginning of the song was added to put the listener into a majestic anthem-feeling, and then it suddenly explodes into speed instead, really cool if you ask me, haha!
The majority of bands/music journalists believe that the 3rd album for an artist/band is the most difficult one. Well, for you the 3rd one was a step forward from your previous two releases (‘Lancer’, ‘Second Storm’) and also managed to attract the attention of Nuclear Blast. Please discuss…
Yes I have heard that before too, but we really had no problem taking our 3rd album to the next level of song writing, and we already have a plan for how to develop our sound for the 4th album. I don’t really know how other bands work to move forward, but with Lancer it’s just so much fun, inspiring and developing to work with new songs and moving forward both musically and as a band. We have become better and better with each album and that will certainly not change in the future.
Which is your lyrical thematology? Is there a concept behind ‘Mastery’?
There is sort of a concept about ‘Mastery’, that we only found when all the songs very already done, so it’s not intentional. The lyrics are mostly based in different literature and mythology, such as religious books like the bible, the Hebrew bible, history books and Greek and Egyptian mythology, or movies. As long as it’s a cool or epic story behind it you can write a cool metal lyric. And the concept is no matter the struggle or how hard you try everything goes to shit anyway in the end, not a very cheerful theme, haha!
Which uprising Swedish genre and non-genre should we pay attention to?
There are tons of fantastic smaller or demo-based Swedish bands out there in more or less every genre, but in metal especially. With Sweden being one of the biggest music exports in the world there are a lot of people that play instruments, and do it really really well. Far from every virtuoso in Sweden that is in a famous band, most of them just play at home. And if you start looking into the underground scene you will find many unpolished diamonds.
What has been the reception of the audience to your tour so far? Are you satisfied with the ongoing tour?
One word: fantastic! We met and talked to so many new fans that never knew about us before, and many of them were really blown away. We really need to get out on tour soon again.
So, after the tour, what’s next for Lancer?
We haven’t had a proper release party for ‘Mastery’ yet, since it came out during the tour, so we will do a couple of them here in Sweden later this spring. And after that we will do some festivals in the summer, the biggest one booked so far is Sabaton Open Air.
Thank you for this interview! Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you very much! Just want to tell everyone to keep listening to metal, buy albums and go to concerts. That’s the only way for newer bands to arise and keep the metal flame burning!
Photo credits: Peter Nilsson (Ateljé Marie)