– First off, thanks for the interview and well, tell us a bit about how did the idea of releasing a new album after all these years without recording arise?
We’ve been wanting to release a new album for years, but we were tied up with our previous recording contract and they wanted a live album. Unfortunately the budget for the live video was very small, so we were unable to record one. We finally asked for our release and we were given it. We then signed with SPV and started work on the new album.
– The album, indoubtedly, keeps the band’s essence. I’ve listened to it and I think is an excelent work, I believe is exactly what the people wants from the band. What’s your opinion on this?
Thank you! For us, it was a matter of playing the kind of heavy metal we grew up with and love. This is heavy metal with great vocals and lead guitar playing, catchy songs and innovative drumming and bass playing. This is the kind of metal we like to listen to and the kind of metal we like to write and play.
– The cover artwork is also fundamental in each JAG PANZER album. What does it represent both the cover and the album’s title?
What I like about the cover is that it represents different things to different people. To me, it shows the power that nature can have over man. That same theme is also represented in the song ‘Bringing the End’.
– You’re a cult band for many people. Why do you think JAG PANZER doesn’t have the success it really dserves?
I think there are many reasons for this. For example, Ample Destruction was released only as a U.S. album. The European record companies at the time were not interested in it. I tried to give them the album, but they didn’t want it. This limited our touring possibilities in the early years. So right at the start of our careers we were behind other bands.
– You have been in the band since its beginnings; how where those first times of the 80’s US Metal?
Things were very different back then! Of course there was no internet, so everyone tape traded. Fanzines were very popular too, I used to collect every one of them I could find. I used to love getting magazines like Enfer with it’s cool photos of bands like Accept. For people who weren’t into underground metal (like the other people in our city) they said we were way too heavy! That’s funny because now we are not considered very heavy at all.
– I consider «Ample Destruction» as the basic American Metal album, nowadays is a cult record and a collector piece. Did you already have clear since the start which was going to be the JAG PANZER’s style?
For us, it’s always been a matter of just playing what we like. We never had a plan to be rockstars or anything, we just like playing good heavy metal.
– What happened between 1984 and 1994? Why wasn’t Harry in «Dissident Alliance»?
Harry was very busy in Titan Force, so we worked with Daniel Conca. Daniel was a good friend of mine, sadly he died several years ago.
– Then, later on, between 1997 and 2001, you reappeared and was then when you started to be known; do you think those were the best years for the band?
Those years were fun, we got to tour a lot and play some good shows. But for us, I think recording albums is the most important thing. So in my mind the best years are the years that we get to release new music.
– I have seen you playing in tours, at Wacken… But where I think you have your own «place», is at Keep it True, in fact, though you’re not there, Harry is always there with any of his other bands. What’s your opinion about that festival and what does it represent to you?
KIT is a great festival! It represents underground metal, which is something that has been in my blood since the early 80’s. We’ve played KIT a few times and each time has been some of my favorite gigs of my life.
– Coming back to the present, how does the future look like for the band? What are your plans?
I hope that the future holds more albums and touring. Right now we are working on tour plans, hopefully we can announce something very soon!
– Is there anyting left to do for JAG PANZER? Have you ever thought abut doing something different? Like something with an orchestra or a Rock Opera?
I would love to do movie soundtracks. One of my favorite bands are the horror masters Goblin. I would love to do soundtracks like they do, that is another dream of mine. I think I will start working on this later this year.
– What’s the Harry’s recipe to mantain his voice during all these years? In my humble opinion, is a quite underrated singer but the one who has kept his voice the best.
Harry sings all the time! All different types of music too. He just really enjoys singing. I think this helps keep his voice strong. His voice is like a muscle and he works that muscle all the time.
– And finally, thank you for the interview, wish you luck and hope you’ll stop by in Spain, we’re waiting for you with arms wide open.
Thank you! We hope to play Spain in the future. We haven’t played in Spain since the Gamma Ray tour and we thought it was GREAT!