15 years of Queens of Steel: Stian Fossum
⦁ We Queens of Steel have been annoying people for 15 years now. During these years a lot of albums have been released. What albums do you specially remember or are your favourites of these last 15 years? Those you have pretty much scuffed.
First of all, thanks for remembering us! It’s always been a pleasure dealing with QoS, and I am truly honoured to being asked to contribute.
As for albums, you know, we’ve been over this before; We are first and foremost metal fans, then musicians (in a very loose term, haha). So I could maybe mention 300 great albums from the last 15 years. But I will do a top 10, that I will regret the second I send the answers to You… In no particular order:
Horisont – Odyssey
Joshua Ray Walker – Wish You Were Here
Year of the Goat – Angels Necropolis
In Solitude – The World; The Flesh: The Devil
Warning – Watching From a Distance
Enforcer – Could have been several, but let’s pick Zenith because of One Thousand Years of Darkness
Black Magic – Wizard’s Spell
Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Black Viper – Hellions of Fire
Below – Across the Dark River (2014, but hey, who’s counting??)
⦁ Even some new bands have born. Which ones are your favourites?
MAAANY! But Black Viper might be the most exciting at the moment. And I have infinite faith in the coming Black Magic stuff. Icelandic Drottinn I also have very much belief in.
⦁ And the split up you regret the most?
In Solitude by far. I try not to be very sentimental, but I really am. Often I think of split ups as necessary, because people don’t do it for fun. But when it comes to In Solitude I have a feeling they could really gone far if they found the peace to continue. There are of course also some inevitable but sad band endings, such as when we lost Jon Rossi, The Wizard, main man of Pilgrim. A true gent that I was lucky enough to meet before the travelled further.
⦁ All of us tend to attend gigs, festivals… During 15 years we’ve spent a lot of time in airports, trains, cars. What is the show or festival you recall with special affection?
Fuck me, I hate airports. The best thing about not touring much is avoiding those. But as you say, we still go to festivals and gigs, and it is a necessary evil. Been flying to both Live Evil in London and Pavlov’s Dog and Candlemass the last couple of months, and more to come during the year. They got beer, though, but so does every street in the world, almost. However, a few gigs spring to mind; On the first Metal Merchants Festival we had the last Warning gig (before the reunion). I knew it, but Pat Walker didnt want it to be announced as the last gig. When the show started, after an insane Hirax gig, we switched off all the lighst, and listened to the gig in almost total darkness.
And playing Roadburn with Devil was special. It is the ultimate pilgrimage for a doom band, you know, and I am eternal grateful to Walter for inviting us.
Candlemass, every gig I see with Johan on vocals is also really emotional for me. I have followed them since I was just a kid, and Leif Edling is alongside Iommi the closest we’ll ever be to having a divinity.
⦁ They are a lot of years if you think about it. Which would be your most memorable moment(s)? A milestone or achievement, on a personal and/or musical level.
Personal is easy. I have kids aged 2 and 4 that means the world to me. Every time I get to meet them, which is often, even though I am the stereotypical divorced sad and lonely middleaged white male, brings warmth in my heart. Nothing can compare to the blessing of having kids. As for the musical part, I have to say the mentioned Roadburn gig, plus the release of our debut album on vinyl, were the top two.
⦁ Everything evolves (involutes sometimes) with time, so does the Metal «community». What do you believe has been the biggest change the Metal scene has experience or is experiencing during this time? For the better or for the worse. Because if we stop and think about it, not even Spotify existed 15 years ago!
Hm. I still roam backstreet shops looking for that old heavy metal album that I lack, I go to the same shows, gets just as drunk as when I was 20, with many of the same people, so I dont think the state for us oldtimers are very different. But of course, the selection of music is insane compared to when I grew up. Then the major labels told you what to buy, and either you did or you didn’t. Now everyone can present their music, and there is always an exciting discovery around the corner. Also I feel like genre wise people are more open now. I know lots of people that listens to Bathory, Waylon Jennings and Abba. I can’t recall it being like that before. As for the “metal scene” in a whole, I don’t really know. But there are assholes and heroes, diamonds and rust, as it always have. But people are more confrontional now when they can hide behind a keyboard. Ironic, when you think of it. People meet up less, but gets more enemies, haha.
⦁ Looking to the future, what would be the best possible scenario for you if you think about the next 15 years?
To be alive comes to mind. But let’s say that will happen, then I hope to see the kids grow up to be fine young people with good values and understanding of humanity. Further I hope to see lots of great shows, listen to lots of great albums, and hopefully I will live to be old, but never grow up!