Interview: Alestorm

I caught up with Alestorm before their set in Glasgow supporting Sabaton.




DistortedNews: How did the band start out?
Chris Bowes: Oh god, I’ve not done this is so long, I used to have answer’s for all these questions, I’ve forgotten them all. I think it was back in 2004, me and a couple of mates decided to have a wee jam at some power metal and played a song about pirates and it was grand, then we did nothing for about three years and then suddenly we got back together again and recorded a wee demo and sent it off to Napalm Records and they were like “Aye, sure we can give you a deal” and they just gave a bunch of numpties from Scotland a record deal.

DN: What made you decide on the pirate theme for the band?
Chris and Gareth Murdock (simultaneously): Babes!!
Gareth: Babes Love pirates! Have you seen the way some of them dress?
Chris: I think they all love Johnny Depp or something…
Gareth: We’re basically him.
DN: Do you get a lot of people dressing up when they come to your shows?
Gareth: Not so much on this tour, but usually yeah. But on this tour everyone’s been dressing up as the singer of Sabaton.

DN: Where do you get inspiration for your songs? Do you read books or watch movies for song ideas?
Chris: Nah, books are gay, movies are…
Gareth: Movies are also gay.
Chris: I think we just try to find new ways to arrange the words “quest” and “treasure” and “die” into new orders and it becomes a song. There is no inspiration, it’s just a mess.
Gareth: Basically, if there’s some long running in-joke we are like “let’s make a song about that”
Chris: Yeah, there’s a lot of in-jokes, especially on our new album, but they don’t come across as that.

DN: You just mentioned your new album, which will be your third album, what can you tell us about that?
Chris:C: It’s gonna have eleven songs on it, we written most of it, just a couple need finishing off and it’s completely and it’s completely class.
Gareth: It hasn’t got a name yet.
Chris: All the song’s have names, some amazing names, but none of them are album names, so, we’re still trying to think of that.
Gareth: It’s not like one of those ones where you can just grab a song title and say “ahh, we’ll call the album that” like Black Sails At Midnight, it’s a cool name for an album and a cool name for a song.
Chris: We’re gonna be playing a new song from it tonight, it’s called Rum.

DN: What would be your favourite song to play live?
Gareth: I have a few, I like The Quest and I like Black Sails At Midnight.
Chris: I hate playing the old ones because they’re old and shite.
Gareth: Yeah, I’m starting to get really bored of them, see Nancy the Tavern Wench, once it gets to the second verse it’s just “meh”
Chris: Should we start dropping that then?
Gareth: What happens if there’s some mad controversy if we don’t play it, like “Play Nancy ya bastards!”
Chris: Maybe after the next album we’ll stop playing it.

DN: When you’re writing music, do you ever feel like you can’t really experiment because of the “pirate metal” label?
Chris: I dunno, because sometimes I think, you know, you write these really “piratey” generic riffs and sometimes I think “fuck it” let’s do something stupid, because we don’t feel like we’re constrained, we don’t do the whole dressing up thing or anything gay like that, we’re kind of just a rock n’ roll band who sing’s about pirates now and then. Particularly on our new album, there’s gonna be some completely fucking ridiculous things, there’s blast beats, calypso breakdowns, there’s children’s TV themes, seriously. There’s no restrictions. People who are like “No, this does not sound like pirates!” fuck ’em, we’ll do whatever we like.

DN: What’s it like being back in Scotland?
Gareth: All our ma’s are here.
Chris: Yeah, all our parents are here. So tonight we’re gonna be good boys, we’re not gonna be Alestorm, we’re gonna be Ginger-Alestorm. Clean cut and sober.
Gareth: This is only my second beer today.
Chris: I’ve got Champaign for all the ma’s, well, carver.
Gareth: You can’t get Champaign in Tesco!

DN: How did the tour with Sabaton come about?
Dani Evans: They asked us.
Chris: Yeah pretty much. apparently they found out that we liked Sabaton.
Dani: It was more me going to  (Daniel) Myhr (Keyboards in Sabaton) and Joakim (Broden, Vocals in Sabaton) and saying “Fuck me, you guys are amazing”
Gareth: We played the same festival and we were like “wouldn’t it be class if we toured with you?” It’s like, we’re a power metal band, they’re a power metal band.
Chris: And they agreed with the idea
Gareth: Plus they are on the same booking agent, all the pieces were perfect.
Chris: We got the offer through at the start of the year.
Gareth: Yeah because we were like “holy shit that’s a lot of dates!”
Chris: There’s fifty dates on this tour and we’re on number seventeen right now?
Gareth: We’re on day seventeen, it’s gig thirteen, we’ve had a couple of days off.
Chris: Well, then thirteen gigs, forty more to go, we finish on the 27th of November.
Gareth: I’m tired already…
Chris: I wanna go home… I miss my bed.

1 Comment

  1. Haha that’s class lol. They seem like cool guys 🙂

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