– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with AIR RAID?
Hey, Air Raid is going great, now we have a small pause until the album release-party. It’s on 12th December in our home town Gothenburg!
– First off, as you are about to release your second album and I guess some people won’t know about you yet; could you please make some history of the band and tell us the origin and meaning behind its name?
Air Raid was formed in 2009 by me (Andy) and Johan Karlsson (Guitars). We went through many member changes the first year, but we finally found a steady line-up, which included Robin Utbult (Bass), David Hermansson (Drums) & Michalis Rinakakis (Vocals). We recorded 1 EP & 1 full length album with this line-up, and did some shows abroad. In June 2013 we parted ways with Michalis due to big personal differences, and we found our new vocalist in Arthur W Andersson. Some months later we did a small southern European tour, and also played 2 shows in Tokyo, Japan. That was a big highlight!Me and Johan discussed a lot about possible band names. We wanted something short that is easy to remember. I thought about Air Raid, and was really surprised to find out that very few bands were called that, only 1 active band from USA and the others were split-up.We think it’s a powerful & memorable name that fits our music great!
– This second album is entitled «Point of Impact» and will come out mid November. What are your expectations on it?
We worked really hard on this album, and I hope people will hear this in the music!it’s always hard to guess what the fans will think, but based on the early reviews we’ve got, it looks very promising!
– I personally think this opus is more divere than your debut; with instrumental tracks, ballads, and mixing element from Speed Metal, the NWOBHM and US Heavy Metal. Was this something you were aiming for? As I guess with a debut album out you may now know what works better for the band.
I wrote most of the music and me and Rob (Bass) wrote all lyrics, and I feel we took a big step forward in the songwriting. We have always been melodic, but this album has more catchy songs than ever before. This is partially because of Arthurs melodic voice, but also the vision we had for this album!We wanted to do a varied album that needs more than a few spins to get grip of!
– And talking about this diversity; what are the main musical influences for AIR RAID?
I would say our influences are very wide, but to name a few, we like Yngwie Malmsteen, Judas Priest, Rainbow, US Metal, NWOBHM etc. But we always try to have our own sound, and I really think we have!
– It’s also shorter, with less songs, making everything more straight-forward. Did you want to leave a bigger impact with a shorter album or did it just happen? Do you think this way is easier to keep that aforementioned diversity?
I have experienced many times, when listening to a whole album, that I get bored. If it continues towards (or over) 45 min, it gets too long in my opinion, regardless of how good the music is. When people listen to our new record, I want them to think «I wish the album was a little longer», and not «It was good, but too long». I think you have the listener more focused by keeping it shorter!
– Production also sounds better than on your debut album. How did you record it and how was the production process this time around?
The album was recorded in Gothenburg, at Don Graniolo Sound. Producer was Daniel Schou Granstedt.I am very happy with the result, and I totally agree with you, this album has much better sound than the previous one.As always, David & Robin recorded the drums and bass first. It went really smoothly. After that, me and Johan recorded all rhythm guitars, and then solos and small add-ons here and there. This took a lot of time, since we have many guitar parts. We used a Marshall JVM amp through the whole recording. Finally, Arthur could step into the studio and start with the vocal recordings. This went good at first, but unfortunately he got a very bad throat infection, and the recordings were delayed. Luckily he was almost fully recovered after 3 weeks, and could finish in a great way.
– On the other hand the simple yet straight-forward, really 80’s cover artwork and linked to the album’s title cover looks really good, at the old school style. What could you comment on it (the artist, its meaning, etc.)?
The album artwork was painted by airbrush legend Gerald McLaughlin. I contacted him early this year and he got very interested in the project. He painted many covers in the 80s, like Agent Steel, Omen, Lee Aaron etc. so he got much memories back from those times when we talked.The album title «Point Of Impact» is simply based on the enormous Air Raid-logo that approaches the earth, burning as it enters the atmosphere. Some moments later it will hit the earth, and the impact of steel is unavoidable. We want the album to have an impact on the listener!
– This new album is your first opus with your new singer, Arthur W Andersson. What has he brought to the band?
Arthur has, first and foremost, brought new energy to the band. The personal chemistry is really on top now! Also of course, we love his classic 80s style voice. It’s melodic and more high pitch than our former singer. We are very satisfied with Arthur, he’s really talented and fits the band like a glove!
– And this has also been your first opus with High Roller Records, probably one of the labels around that fits the best a band like you. How is everyting working with them? They look like the perfect home for a band like AIR RAID.
We are very happy to work with High Roller. They are professional and have done a great job with our release. We have only positive things to say about Steffen & the other guys!
– All this about «Point of Impact» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Melodic, Heavy & Raidin’
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Except the up-coming release party on 12th December, we are also looking into different options for a Europe tour early next year! Hopefully it will be sorted out soon!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
I want to say thanks to all Spanish heavy metal maniacs, see you on the road! Raid on!