1- Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to?
Hello dear Queens of Steel. Sascha from Winterhorde is here. These days we’re into promoting our third album “Maestro”, which is going to be released on May 20 via Vicisolum Productions. Our first digital single “Antipath” is already out and soon the second one will appear. Moreover, we’re back in rehearsal room to get prepared for our first show of 2016 and hopefully some touring in the near future. So, busy as hell again, but there’s a great sense of relief as the album is finally done and is on its way to the hearts.
2- First off, could you make some history of the band?
Ok, we started to play under the banner of “Winterhorde” around summer 2001, when the whole line up, consisting of six members was complete. Back in the day we wanted to play melodic black metal like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor and Satyricon. On our first shows we even used corpse paint. In 2004 we released our demo titled “In Traditions of Winter”, which was sold out immediately, and in 2006, our first album “Nebula” was released by Burning Star records. The album release was followed by European tour with Finnish melodic black metal band Catamenia. After the tour, we faced some lineup changes, and in 2008, with the new line up, we started working on our second album “Underwatermoon” with German producer V.Santura. The album was released by German label Twilight Vertireb in 2010 and it got plenty of good feedbacks from both media and fans. The music on this album was more progressive and included many different elements in addition to melodic black metal, which we played before. It was the first Winterhorde’s concept album as well. We decided not to limit ourselves within the borders of particular genre. We wanted to play what we felt the most natural way. Later we played number of open-air festivals and local headlining shows to promote “Underwatermoon”. In 2013 we shot our first video for “Wreckage ghost” with director Costin Chioreanu .Due to the perennial line up changes, we played only occasional shows, supporting Behemoth and NeObliviscaris. Most of the effort was thrown towards writing a new album. In the late 2015, when the new lineup was stabilized, the pre-production of “Maestro” has begun. The album was finished in the beginning of 2016, again with V.Santura on the mixing desk and mastered by Jens Bogren. In February 2016 we signed worldwide contract with Vicisolum Productions. The “Maestro” will be released on May 20.
3- How could you describe your sound?
We play mixture of death and black metal with huge dose of progressive rock and cinematic music. It’s kind of fusion, heavy, epic fusion. We actually use every tool we have to make our point clear. We’re not limited to a single genre. We like to experiment. We like using different instruments, use not-in-style harmonies and multiple vocals. Sometimes there is a feeling that two bands play at the same time and I like it. It makes our music alive. People label our music as Progressive extreme metal and we’re fine with that as well. The most important thing is what a listener gets from our music.
4- What are the band’s main musical influences?
Well, the band’s influences are very variable. Most of us are into classic good hard n’ heavy. We love good cinema music, especially in the films from seventies. Offcorse we like some good extreme metal as well. But there is no main influence I guess. We love all kinds of good music. We’re not into rap or modern groove metal though.
5- How is the feedback for your new album being?
So far, so good. Those very few close friends who have heard it already enjoyed the album a lot. And everyone had chosen a different song as his favorite. It’s great I think. Meanwhile we’ve got only one written album review for “Maestro” and this review is very good. The first single from the album – “Antipath” is welcomed fantastically. And we’re dying to see more opinions on the album. But there’s some time for it, as the promo campaign has begun only after this Easter.
6- And are your personally satisfied with the final outcome?
We are very satisfied with the result. I think it turned out much better than we expected. We chose the right people to work with, we have amazing guests on the album and the record sounds fantastic. We did an album we always wanted to do. I think we’ve just fulfilled all our musical dreams in this one so far. No one left standing aside. It’s a great team work and every band member is satisfied with the album. It rarely occurs in big collectives like ours and we are seven-piece. So it’s a good sign.
7- How could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
Epic. Dramatic. Painful
8- How has the production process for your new release been?
It took us more time than we thought initially. We faced many different personal problems, not in the band itself though. On contrast, the spirit within the band was amazing. We were supportive to each other and had good vibes during recordings. We recorded drums and bass with Alex Feldman, our keyboards player. Then arrived our producer V.Santura (Dark Fortress, Triptykon, Obscura) from Germany and we nailed all the rhythm guitars with his guidance. Afterwards, we finished all the remained instruments and vocals with Alex. In December 2015, we finished mixing with V.Santura and sent the album to Jens Bogren (Amon Amarth, Katatonia, Kreator) for mastering. Straight before Christmas, we started to send out the album to the record labels. It was very exhausting work, but it is worth every minute of it. We earned a lot of experience during producing this album and this is priceless.
9- And how do you use to work on the songwriting?
Well, during all those years we tried many different approaches to songwriting. The latest has worked out for us the best way. Everyone brings his music to the table when there’s about 70% -90% of song sketch done. Then the whole band goes through it, bringing alternative ideas if needed and finalizing the song together. The personal sketch turns into Winterhorde song, as everyone adds his own touch to it. Me and Alex write also most of the lyrics and vocal melodies so, no matter who writes the music, in the end it will sound like Winterhorde for sure.
10 – Finally, what are you near-future plans?
Now we’re busy promoting our new album. In May, we’re going to film our new video clip. Later we hope to do some touring and afterwards to start working on the new album. We don’t want our fans to wait for another six years. When you’re on the road, it seems that the music comes out much faster. It give us inspiration. Different countries, different people and mood. We love to spend time together as a band. Unfortunately, we can’t afford it too much being at home. We also plan to record an EP with new songs and some interesting covers that we wanted to for a long time.
11- That’s all from our side, thanks again for taking your time to answer our questions. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks a lot for the interview, we hope you liked our new album and see you soon on the road.
Sascha and WINTERHORDE
Answers by Sascha Latman – bass
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