– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the WARLORD’s camp right now?

Hello Tania, thank you for having me. Things have been very, very busy. Between preparing the live BluRay/DVD and accompanying album, the vinyl as well the Japanese editions of The Holy Empire which required that we cleaned up, mixed and produced more live recorded songs, announcing -and working with- Nicholas, our new singer on the new album, we’re been constantly kept at a frenetic pace. Add to that a few live appearances that we’re preparing for, you get the idea!

– Last March you released your newest album, «The Holy Empire», but you are already working on a new one so, is there anything you could already tell us about it?

At this point nothing more other than it will be of a heavier “direction”. Having Nicholas on board, greatly enhanced my ability to present the new songs that I am composing right now in the scale that I intend so I guarantee you that this will please all Warlord fans.


– Your original singer (but never managed to sing on an official release of the band), Rick Anderson, took vocal duties for your latest album but, why isn’t he in the band anymore?

Rick not only sang on “The Holy Empire” but he did so phenomenally. As however you’ve noticed, there is one song that he didn’t sing on and that’s because his voice wasn’t suitable for it, so we recruited our friend Giles Lavery that possessed the precise tone that I required for it (“Kill Zone”). As I have said many times, I have come to view vocals as just another instrument. This “instrument” however has certain constraints as a set timbre and tone as well as range and it doesn’t fit necessarily all songs. So just as Rick wasn’t a good “fit” for “Kill Zone” he’s not unfortunately suited for the new material that I am composing now.


– Now your new singer is Nicholas Leptos (known for ARRAYAN PATH), which I personally think has one of the most powerful and epic voices into the scene nowadays so, why and how did you choose him?

I believe you just answered the question yourself! Precisely because his voice is so powerful and epic, it fits the new material. Undoubtedly, Nicholas is a phenomenal singer and his tone, range and timbre is the most suitable for Warlord’s material.He is in a way the «Damien King» we were always looking for.


– As I said, he has a really epic tone. Will your new album have a stronger epic approach?

I call Warlord’s style “Dark Epic Power Metal”. So the “Epic” portion will always be there; if I need something of a different vein, it won’t be Warlord – I will call it something else. So yes, we’ll still try to push the envelope a bit further with the new album as always. I don’t enjoy doing the same thing over and over again; there needs to be “advancement” in the music. Although people tend to think that everything has been “done before” I do not ascribe to that notion. There are still novel approaches to the music that have yet to be discovered.


– «The Holy Empire» mixed the old WARLORD with certain new elements such as a slightly cinematic vibe in songs, as well as orchestral and choral parts. Why did you think these elements were fitting for the release?

As a composer I tend to take the path least taken; “The Holy Empire” is not an exception. Unlike other genres that may use such elements (eg symphonic metal) as their differentiating component I used the orchestral and choral parts as an integral part of the compositions to underline, enhance and showcase the epic feeling I wanted to permeate the album. I didn’t set out to create symphonic metal; instead I created an Epic Metal sound akin to Epic film scores. It’s a novel approach.


– And will you keep exploring new paths on your upcoming release?

That goes without saying. Composing music is an evolutionary process; a composer needs always to push forward, break new grounds. With Warlord we achieve this through heavy metal proving at the same time, that the genre has still so much more to “give” artistically… and we’re just getting started!


– That album also featured some re-recorded songs off some of your early demos from the mid-80’s. Will you redo any others in the future?

Basically, there is one and a half song that have been re-recorded in “The Holy Empire”; “City Walls of Troy” is exactly the same as it was in its original form while “Father” was given a complete “makeover” in arrangement, harmony structures and overall feel. “City Walls of Troy” was a gift of sorts to our fans that had asked many times for it to be recorded properly. As for “Father” we wanted to present the song in a proper, complete form. Rick’s vocals greatly enhanced it as well but in essence much of the song is new. We only revisit songs (and we have done so in “Rising Out Of The Ashes” as well) when we feel that the song was not presented properly in it’s first “incarnation” or when there’s more to “say” with a song through enhancing it. That being said, I am not sure that we will do so in the future as well; it depends on many factors but in general, currently, we concentrate on “brand new” music.


– That record, as always, also had really innovative structures and dynamic compositions. All your work has been like that though, but on that album it seemed like you perfected that. Due to this I would like to know how does WARLORD use to work on the songwriting process.

It’s very difficult to explain how the songwriting process works internally. What I can tell you is that the songs present themselves to me in an almost complete form prior to starting to putting “notes on paper” if you know what I mean. At the time that I sit down to write a song, it’s about 90% complete in my mind, including arrangements and vocal melodies. So the remaining is “tweaking mechanics”. I put the scratch tracks down and send them to the members and they return them whole with the exception of Mark. I only tell Mark roughly what I want; I don’t program a beat to send him or anything of the sort. Mark just KNOWS exactly what to do with the drums and the tracks he sends me are almost perfect from the start. It was always like that; I can’t quite work with anyone else like I do with Mark. Mark “gets” me and my music.


– «The Holy Empire» is your second album since your reunion, and the first one in over a decade so, now that it’s been a while since it came out; what are your feelings on the final result?

First of all, it’s proper I think to say, that there was never a “reunion” because there was never a “breakup”. We never stopped talking with Mark- that’s who Warlord was, is and always will be, Mark and I- it was our individual situations as well as the prevalence of forms of music totally different from ours that dictated our musical and life directions over the years. In a way, every time we sit together, the original “magic” is there, it’s like all the years have never passed, so I tend to look at it as a great big arc in life; as long as you got us two together, there will always be Warlord. Now for your actual question, we feel that with “The Holy Empire” we accomplished exactly what we set out to do. It wasn’t an easy process as we are both perfectionists but we have the ability now to command exactly what needs to be done and get there. We also surrounded ourselves with talented people, from Rick to Philip to our engineer Phil that ensured that the ending result would be what we imagined when we begun work on the album. Certainly you can always improve on any work and “The Holy Empire” is no exception, but one needs to draw the line somewhere. I’d say that “The Holy Empire” leaves us 99.99% satisfied. Both by how it turned out and from the fans’ response which has been phenomenal beyond our wildest expectations. We’re preparing the fourth pressings of both “The Holy Empire” and the “Deliver Us” re-issue as we speak to give you an idea of how well the album was received!


– As I said, your previous album, «Rising Out of the Ashes», was released over ten years ago so, what has the band been up to during this time?

As I mentioned before, “life happened” to us in the first place after «Cannons” and the time between “Rising Out Of The Ashes” and “The Holy Empire” is no exception. My very well known personal health problems, happenings beyond our control and extremely busy schedules, all contributed in the long delay. In the end I think that in a way it was worth it, because as I said, “The Holy Empire” has been our best album to date.


– You were on hiatus for a long time, and during all these years the whole music industry has changed a lot, specially due to tools as the Internet. Have you noticed this? I guess now you may have new and also younger fans that weren’t even born when your debut album came out.

Yes and we actually use the new mediums as much as possible. There are obvious benefits such as the easier reach to the fans and pitfalls as for example the increased amount of pirated material or the overabundance of bands and music in the “new” situation as it is still evolving and hasn’t yet “settled”. All this is a major reason why we decided to form our own company that’s specifically tuned to the “new music economy”. We use social media, we make the music available on digital platforms; we don’t shy away from any of it while still maintaining a firm grasp on traditional means. And yes, because of it all we have new fans, fans that weren’t even born when we started doing this. What’s very encouraging is that for these younger fans our music sounds “new” and not dated or “classic” (in the negative way). There’s no bigger reward than talking to these young fans who follow your music and understand it fully.


– You have always taken your time when it comes to release new material, so it gets my attention the fact just a few months after releasing «The Holy Empire» you are already working on a new record. Were have you taken this renewed energy from?

As I told you before, the long intervals weren’t due to the fact that we didn’t have any music, it was external factors that dictated them in a way. That being said, indeed there’s a lot of energy in both of us; it comes 1,000 % from the fans, both from the reception of the album and the attendance of our shows this past April. To put it in a question form: “How can one NOT have energy when he sees people flocking from places as far as Brasil, Argentina, Australia and Japan to see your concerts? How can one NOT have energy when albums are being ordered from as far as Patagonia, New Zealand, Siberia and Alaska?”. You see it’s our way to give

back to this tremendous dedication and love that we have been receiving. Not only recently but throughout the years!


– If I’m not mistaken, you are also working on a live DVD. Would you mind to elaborate and shed some light on this?

As I mentioned in the beginning we are indeed working on a BluRay/DVD. This will include the entire setlist from Athens that we had filmed professionally in High Definition and with High-Definition audio. There are some slight delays as we are involved in every part of the process and we want to capture the “feel” of the concert as best as possible for people that were there as well as people that weren’t but the ending result will be very satisfying to the fans.


– And finally, what’s left for you to get into the music world? All of you have been involved with different projects but, is there anything else you would like to do (musically) you haven’t done yet?

That’s an interesting question. Music is always in my head; it has been like this from very early in my life. I feel that I have a lot yet to give to the metal genre as well as music in general. As you know I have worked on New Age type of music with my orchestral pieces and there’s still much more in that vein left in me as well. The final judge however of if the music that I will produce is “new” and “relevant” is the audience. As long as they keep on asking for it, I am going to continue giving it to them. If they stop however, I will not stop creating music for my own, personal enjoyment. Music is a part of me, it’s who I am and who I always was. It’s difficult for me to imagine life without music; whether this is listening it, imagining it in my mind, composing it or performing it.


– 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’d like to take a moment and thank you for this interview but I’d also like to thank Spanish Warlord fans, a few of which showed up in our concerts despite the financial problems Spain is experiencing. We appreciate every single one of them and we want to extend to them our deepest gratitude for the support all these years. Given the opportunity, we’d love to experience a Spanish audience in its home turf!


Tania Giménez


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