– First of all, thank you so much for answering our interview. And tell us, how is the band currently doing with a new album coming out soon?
Hi Tania, well thank you for featuring us here! We’re fine and in somewhat of a pre-release hustle to get everything in order for the release on the 28th of February, doing Interviews, booking releaseshows, promo stuff (video, merch etc) and of course rehearsing the new songs.
– Starting to dig into the band, why did you choose the name «Stallion»? What does it mean literally and personally to you?
Wow this was some time ago now 🙂 We had been brainstorming for quite some time and were determined to have a short and memorable name. One of the brainstormed names was “Iron Stallion” and combined with the requirement of shortness… et voila.
– You play a music style firmly rooted in an 80’s sound. What motivated you to form a band like this in the first place?
It’s just the kind of music we listened to. It spanned from Hard Rock over NWOBHM to classic Speed and Thrash Metal. Basically STALLION was an attempt to combine those genres and it stayed that way ever since. Back in the day there weren’t a lot of bands in Germany with this kind of strict oldschool approach so we were like “let’s do it ourselves”.
– The new album’s title, «Slaves of Time» seems to have a social meaning. What does the album title mean personally to you?
It does indeed. We’re somewhat forced to react to the things that are going on in the world right now hence “Slaves of Time”. Maybe we’d prefer to write more easy listening lyrics, less dark songs but in those times this just doesn’t seem to be possible anymore. At least for us. All those xenophobic, nationalist movements on the rise require every one of us to fight back.
-Talking about such, what do some of the songs on the album deal with or what some of the ideas you cover on «Slaves of Time»?
Some of the songs have a socio-critical message of course. “Merchants of Fear” is about control through hate and fear, “No Mercy” we shout into the faces of the reactionary forces on the rise. “Brain Dead” is about the role of the media who’s not always cutting a good figure in all of this by sensationalizing human tragedy.
– There is lately in the Metal community a rise of fascism, or a rise of «apolitics» as some prefer to call it. How necessary do you think a message like yours is in the current Metal environment?
The rise of it is the necessity itself. We’re merely reacting to something that is happening around us. Where this can lead to in the end any history book will tell you. And it’s just beginning, the democratic, humanistic forces have to make their stand now. We think it’s not too much to ask for public figures to clearly state what their stance is.
– So how do you think this message you are trying to communicate fits in the current Metal scene?
We don’t think about that too much to be honest. We feel it’s necessary to do it, so…
– There are just a few bands that take a stand politically if it escapes from what has been generally accepted until now, what are they afraid of?
In times of social media a lot of people seem the have unlearnt what it means to have a spine. They are probably afraid of the reactions or to loose followers and granted, those modern day shitstorms can get really nasty. So you have to have a thick skin to go public with your art in the first place. But if you’re holding back with your opinion or attitude because you’re afraid of the reactions than you’re already contributing to the climate of fear.
– «Slaves of Time» is a very dynamic album, quite diverse, but everything flows naturally in that thick, 80’s inspired sound. How easy is to get equilibrium between diversity and cohesion?
We’re glad to hear that 🙂 This comes quite naturally. We always have 1 or 2 songs more than we’re going to put on the record and I guess the trick is to pick the right ones and put them in proper order to have this natural flow feeling.
– I think we all already know Metal tends to be a quite nostalgic «community». When Simon Reynolds researched on the cult of retro on «Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Pas» he wondered if “ Is nostalgia stopping our culture’s ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward and so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?”. Applied to the Metal world, what’s your opinion? Do we use to look back because we feel there’s something missing on most of today’s music?
The world keeps on turning, there is no stopping it. New technologies force us to adapted quickly and it’s often overstraining us. So I think nostalgia is a very natural phenomena per se even more so because we tend to memorize the good things and suppress unpleasant things. In regard to music there is indeed a little more to it. It’s not purely nostalgia because the music from the past is in fact better. Not because the musicians or writer where so much better per se but because music was still seen as a form of art which took time to grow whereas today it’s product from which companies want to make money quickly. We kinda retreat from that by staying financially independent by keeping our day jobs. That way we can do everything exactly the way we want it to but on the other hand the quality can’t be as good as if we were doing it full time. It’s a trade off.
-And what do you think are the elements an album of the style needs to have to pass the test of time?
Wow, that’s hard to say. If the record has something unique to it be it the sound, the songwriting, the atmosphere or breaking completely new ground. Those things surely help but I think any good record can become a classic if it means something to people.
-In your music you mix Thrash, with Speed, Heavy Metal, some Hard Rock… What trademarks or vibes do you think are you taking from each different style to create your own sound?
I’m more of the traditional guy who’s mostly listening to Hard ‘n’ Heavy but I’m always open to explore something new. I’m recently discovered Stoner/Drone/Fuzz Doom for me which is somewhat the exact opposite of STALLION haha. Paul and I are also very much into Punk and Paul is also into various styles of Hip Hop.
-Where do your inspirations come from? Not just musically.
Contemporary politics, social topics and Injustice are things that always move me and make me reflect. I also like to get inspired by good stories (especially historic and Sci-Fi) be it books or movies
-The 7-minute long, epic ballad «Die with Me» might be the «surpise» of the album. What’s the story of this song? How was it born?
I always wanted to write a ballad we just weren’t willing to step away from the gas pedal before haha. No really, it was just something that came naturally to us and when the song came together everyone agreed that it should make it on the record.All this about «Slaves of Time» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Dark, straight forward, powerful.
-And before we wrap this interview up, what are now your near-future plans?
We’re going to go on a release tour in central Europe on weekends in February/March/April. We’re also looking forward to play METALHEADZ OPEN AIR and HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR this year. There might be some touring surprises as well and of course songs for the next record are already in the making.
-That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for having us 🙂