– Hello and, first of all, thanks for answering our interview. How is BLITZKRIEG doing with the release of the new album?
BRIAN – Everything is great. We are now looking for gigs for this year and hopefully will announce some dates soon.
– This album is entitled «Back from Hell». Tell us a little bit how have the recording sessions been and if you are satisfied with the final outcome.
BRIAN –The whole process was a breeze. It actually only took us 6 days to record “Back From Hell”. Everyone worked so well together, it was a most enjoyable experience. I am delighted with the final outcome. Yeah there are things that I could change, but at some point you have to say “That’s it”.
– The cover artworks seems to be linked to Jack the Ripper. How did this arise? Is there a link between the cover and some of the songs on the record?
BRIAN – Yes, of course. “Jack’s Back and “Back From Hell” are both about Jack The Ripper, but if you look closely at the cover artwork you will find pictorial references to other songs on the album.
– Listening to this effort, without any doubt, is a Heavy Metal album but with a lot of nuances of the genre. The first notes of «Back from Hell» has certain METALLICA or SLAYER elements, without overusing them, which the listener foresee it’s going to be a really Heavy album. Tell us a little bit more about this song.
BRIAN – The first notes on the album have BLITZKRIEG elements to them. I wanted to return to the “Pure Metal” days of BLITZKRIEG. BLITZKRIEG has always been “Pure British Metal “ and always will be.
– Something else that I have really enjoyed is that I think is a riff album, it already sticks with you on the first spin. Were you aiming to do something like this or did it come out like that spontaneously?
BRIAN – I think it just happened. Having said that, riffing has always been a huge part of our songs. So, I think that it’s just the way we write.
– As I said, I find different nuances on the album; we also have heavy riffs. I have personally liked a lot tunes such as «Sahara» or «Sleepy Hollow», and your vocals, at the NWOBHM style, fit perfectly. Tell us a bit about how did these tracks born?
BRIAN – Ken gave me a “working disc” with some ideas on it. I listened to them and from the feel of the music, wrote lyrics to fit that mood. “Sahara” sounded eastern/Egyptian to me so I wrote lyrics about the movie “Stargate”. I wrote “Sleepy Hollow” with my son, Alan. I have always liked the Legend of Sleepy Hollow story and I was keen to write a song about it.
– Also on all your releases there is room for melody, but I think this time you have come up with superb songs. I believe both «Complicated Issue» as «V» are tracks with an enveloping and addictive melody, which is a real joy. Are these your ideas or is the songwriting a team effort?
BRIAN – Melody is extremely important to me. “Complicated Issue” was completely written by Bass Player, Bill Baxter. It is his wife Emma, singing the duet with me on that track. The lyrics and melody lines in “V” were written by me. Obviously inspired by the song structure.
– And well, we can’t avoid classical Metal, the NWOBHM touch. «Buried Alive» or «Return to Village» retain that 80’s spirit. What’s left in BLITZKRIEG from the NWOBHM?
BRIAN – JUDAS PRIEST are Classic Metal, but they were never NWOBHM. Similarly, BLITZKRIEG set out to be and always were, Pure Classic British Metal. We were embraced by the NWOBHM movement and that was an honour. But we are what we are. Classic British Metal through and through.
– And to wrapping up the theme of the new album, there are a couple of tributes. I kneel because of the homage you’ve done to JUDAS PRIEST with «Call for the Priest»; they’re my favourite band and I guess they may also be a reference for you. How did you come up with the idea?
BRIAN – When BLITZKRIEG was first formed we had Jim Sirotto who was influenced by PURPLE and ZEPPELIN, and Ian Jones who was influenced by PRIEST. The fusion of these influences became the BLITZKRIEG sound. PRIEST are one of my favourite bands and so writing a tribute to them just seemed a natural thing to do. Lyrically, I could have written the history of PRIEST. That would have been too easy and obvious. I wanted to take some of their song titles and weave them into a story. So that’s what I did.
– And then there’s the cover for METALLICA’s «Seek and Destroy», I guess in appreciation for the fact they did the song «Blitzkrieg». I remember back in those days a lot of people got to know you due to this cover by METALLICA. Now that have been several years since then and as curiosity, how did you feel about the fact METALLICA covered a classic of your band?
BRIAN – Ever since METALLICA covered “Blitzkrieg” I wanted to return the compliment. Up to now I didn’t really get the chance. So when we started recording “Back From Hell” I gave the guys a choice of “Seek and Destroy” and “The Four Horsemen”. They chose “Seek” so we did it. When METALLICA did “Blitzkrieg” they didn’t copy our version exactly, they put their own take on it. I think that that is great. We did exactly the same with “Seek and Destroy”. We put our own take on it.
– Now about touring, are you going to be supporting the new album live anytime soon? Do you have any dates booked?
BRIAN – As I said at the start, our manager is working on dates, which will be announced ASAP.
– Will there be vinyl or picture version? Or anything special?
BRIAN – There is a vinyl version due for release shortly with extra tracks on it.
– Now that I have the chance of interviewing you, let me talk a little bit about SATAN. A few weeks ago you were at our festival in Barcelona, Metalcova, so I just wanted to know what were your impressons and if you had fun here with us. Congratulations for the show you played.
BRIAN – Thanks, I’m glad that you enjoyed the show. “Metalcova” was great. Everyone made us feel so welcome. It would be great to come back and play it with BLITZKRIEG.
– Finally, as 2013 is about to end; could you please tell us what are your 3 favourite albums of the year as well as the least favourite one?
BRIAN – My 3 favourite albums of 2013 were –
BLITZKRIEG – “Back From Hell”
SATAN – Life Sentence” and
BLACK SABBATH – 13
My least favourite album of 2013 was –
BLACK SABBATH – 13
The reason that SABATH was in my favourites AND least favourite is this
As a stand alone album is was great and therefore worthy of inclusion in my top 3.
But compared to their previous albums, well I was a little disappointed that more “Classic Sabbath” didn’t shine through. It is a shame that so many of the tracks are “similar” to earlier songs.
– And that’s all from our side, thank you for your new album and our best wishes. Hope to see you soon.
BRIAN – Thanks – THE KRIEG SALUTES YOU!