ARTILLERY – The old school is alive
Artillery is an old school band that has several lineup changes, never achieved huge success, but are still on the scene after almost 40 years. Their importance in the European and worldwide thrash metal sound is great and following the review of their tenth studio album titled X, we decided to intercept Michael Stützer, one of the historical members to ask him some questions. It is known that the Nordic are not very talkative and expansive and this interview proves it. However, in Michael’s telegraphic answers there is the secret that pushes the band to not give up and keep on playing.
It looks a lot better in Denmark right now, there are still restrictions but now we can play our first gigs in over a year from the 6th, 7th, 15th, 21th and the 22th of May in Denmark
Do you feel that the loss of Morten somehow influenced musically or lyrically this album? The sound itself seems darker than before…
Of course there will always be a difference as Morten was very unique, but i think we managed to make a very honost and great record here and Kræn the new guitarplayer contributed with some good stuff also.
How did you come to Kræn Meier as guitarist and what did he bring new to your sound? We already saw him during your last tour in Italy in 2017 with Onslaught and he made a good impression on us
Kræn had help us out the last couple of years on the live front and it was naturel that he was the new guitarplayer in Artillery and he contributed with some great songs with a lot of agression and speed. And he loves good jokes.
The mighty Morten’s contribution to the band’s songwriting was huge: is now Michael the main composer in Artillery?
Kræn did 4 songs, Peter did one song and i did the rest. Michael B did the lyrics this time. But it´s very important that we are a band playing so also the drumming and vocals make the songs sound like typical Artillery style.
X means 10 in latin and could also stand for the unknown so its up to the listner to tell. The cover was made by Martin Helgren who also did the Face Of Fear cover.
There is a song called “The Ghost of Me” totally different from your usual sound, and with keyboards. How did you came out with a song like this and which is the meaning behind this ghost?
We always have a ballade kind of song since Don´t Believe from By Inheritance like Pain From The Face Of Fear and When The Magic is Gone from Penalty By Perception just to get a break from the heavyness and were we can use Michaels voice abillityes and it´s great to play solos etc on. The lyrics is about you felling like a ghost because nobody cares of what you say or think.
Almost 40 years in metal scene, what has changed through all this time?
Better studie, much more live shows, Festivals, Tours and of caurse different line-ups. MP3 and the internet have change a lot of things but i still love it because the fans are still awesome.
Back in the early days: tell us something about the magic atmosphere of the metal music in those times in Denmark and how you begun to play..
When we started in 1982 people was calling us a Motorhead kind of punkbank and later on we was calling a thrash metal band. When Morten and I met up with Carsten and Jørgen we decided to play as fast as the song Fast As A Shark with Accept. If someone back in 1982 had told me that i would make 10 studio albums and would have played in 65 different countrys with Artillery, i´m sure i would have said, come on man are you serious . I think we have done so many great things, traveling all over the world, met so many great people and have the support from our great die hard fans so its hard to not be happy. Ofcaurse it would have been great if it was a full time job, but im satisfied ?
What’s good and bad today in music in your opinion, specially if we talk about metal?
The fans, the touring, playing all over the world, stil making records and just having a great time. On the bad side not selling so much of CDs and vinyls like in the old days and getting older.
Multi question: Your fans are still old school growed guys or can you count on some new young metalkids and where do you have the most great fan base? How Danish people consider you?
Yes we still have some of the old die hard fans but also a lot of newcommers which is great. I think we have a great fanbase in most countries but South Amerika, USA, Russia and Australia is really supporting us. But as i say we have some great fans out there also in many Europian contrys like Spain, Germany, UK and Italy just to mention a few. We also have a great fanbase in Denmark and people here really support us and are proud of what we have achived through the years.
Michael Bastolm Dahl has been your last singer already for long time. How much is he important for your sound and trademark?
Michael is a great singer with big range and just getting better and better from each album and he fits in the Artillery canp as a good friend too
The Covid19 put the music industry in a terrible freezing stand by and we are all waiting to be back to a show. Have you already planned to return on tour or is all still on hold?
Yes it has been an awfull time which a lot of festivals and shows moved to 2022, but we are starting to play shows with restrictions again from 6th of May in Denmark.
Heavy Metal has been pretty popular in northern europe Countries and probably it was easier to be an HEAVY METAL artist than in the mediterranean area. What about today? What does it mean to be metal musician today?
Love playin´the music, love travveling arround the world, love making new music and talkin´to our diehard fans. Its a great live style.
In 2019 you released a single in Morten’s honour, “The Last Journey”, sang by all past and present band’s singers. A wonderful tribute. We know it was for a different and right cause, but we were wondering if we’ll listen again to similar collaboration…
You never know, next year we have 40 years celebration of Artillery so let´s see.
Who are Artillery in everyday life, out of instruments and concerts?
Michael B is a Teacher, me and Josh are working halftime in the same School, Kræn works also halftime with kids and Peter has his own company selling mobiles.
Feel free to thank who you would like and close the interview at your pleasure!
Thanks a lot for the support, please check the new album X out and see you soon on the road.
Cheers Michael Stützer