I was lucky enough to speak with Thomas, James and Ben From Gloryhammer and talk about their tour with Stratovarius and their new album Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards. The interview was done in London when they played their support slot, but due to some technical issues and real life getting in the way of metal, it’s unfortunately taken until now to get it online! Apologies to the band, but hopefully this will keep interest bubbling until they get around to a full UK tour!
What was the inspiration behind the new album?
Thomas: There’s a lot of influences from science fiction movies, fantasy movies and also from all the power metal bands we love. Rhapsody of Fire has been one of the main influences and Chris likes Bal-Sagoth, which is why the title is Space 1992 cause they released their first album in 1992. It’s a mix of what we think is the best things and trying to merge them into a new better thing.
Yeah I noticed the sci-fi appeal, especially with the outfit you wore in the video for “Universe on Fire” which was like a cross between Iron Man and Green Lantern.
Thomas: It is actually an Iron Man costume! My cauldron is green so we wanted to have green armour. I can’t wear it on the live tour ’cause it’s too big. It’s massive. I have a new costume though which I also think is quite spacey with some LED stuff.
How are you guys finding the tour so far?
Thomas: The response from fans was better than I expected. I never thought so many people in Europe would know us and it’s good to see we have a fan base in every country we play. It’s been very different, as we know we’re big in Germany, but we’d never played in places like Spain for example so it’s good to have been there as well. We’re hoping to go there next year for the next tour and the year after again. I think a lot of people now who didn’t know us will show up for the next time we play.
What has it been like touring with Stratovarius?
Thomas: They’re nice guys and for me it was kinda a dream come true cause when I was 17 I had my first band and we always wanted to be like Stratovarius. They were already an idol back then for me and they’re a big name. For the last band I had we used to have a big poster in the rehearsal room of Stratovarius. It’s quite special for me to be on tour with them.
I know we’ve touched on this but how have the fans reacted to the tour so far then?
Thomas: As I said, it was better than expected, A lot of the fans have wanted us to be headliners which is a big compliment and I hope we can be back next year. Who knows what happens, we don’t know what next year can hold, but we hope something can happen.
So you’ve just released the new album and got the current tour, but what are you plans for after this tour ends?
Thomas: That’s a good question. We have some festivals planned next year and of course it’s already a plan to write some new songs for our next album and plan the story for the next album. This will be our main focus as we don’t want fans to wait too long for the next album. We actually have 21 albums planned. We’ll probably be about 60 or 70 by the time we finish.
Wow, so there’s a lot more Gloryhammer to come. I’m sure if the likes of Rolling Stones can do it then you guys can do it for as long as they have.
Ben: We’ll be there with grey beards.
So where did Gloryhammer begin? How did it start?
Thomas: It started in 2010, where the first ideas occurred. They were looking for a singer and at the time I’d done an audition for Dragonforce, put it on Youtube, then Chris wrote to me and said we have a new project, do you want to join? I said no. Then half a year later he asked again, saying we have all the songs done and we have a cool label, you just have to come sing. So I said that sounds cool, said yes and I’m glad I did or I wouldn’t be here now.
I know we already touched on this, but what were the bands that inspired you? I know Stratovarious was one, what were the other sorta bands that made you chose this route?
Thomas: Well as I said Rhapsody of Fire was a big influence for Gloryhammer in general and I think every good metal band as there are a lot. I personally like Hammerfall and Iron Maiden. For me vocal wise, Bruce Dickinson was one of the biggest influences. So musically, all the big power metal bands and besides that it was the like of video games and movies that inspired us. All the things that kids liked.
So are there any bands that you guys would personally love to tour with?
Thomas: For me Iron Maiden as my biggest musical idol would be an amazing band to tour with, but I don’t think that’ll be something that’ll happen anytime soon.
Iron Maiden are the dream band for a lot of metal bands I’ve asked that question to.
Thomas: Besides that I believe Sabaton would be a good tour partner. They’re quite big at the moment, especially in Germany and a lot of European countries. I think Sabaton would be a band that is a lot more likely for us to tour with.
So do you guys have any moments from this tour or previous tours that will stick with you forever? Any “wow” moments you’ll never forget?
Thomas: Oh there are a lot of them. For me personally it’s when I see our fans singing the lyrics, especially children. For me personally I love it.
Ben: I think 70000 Tons of Metal was amazing too. It was even less than a year since the first album had come out and we played the pool deck. That was on the original boat, they have a bigger one now. Back then when it was still 70000 Tons. The sailing day we hadn’t got our playing times and we thought it was gonna be really bad as we were going on at 4 o’clock in the morning, we thought everyone would be asleep. Some of us like me and Tom had pulled or went to bed, we got up at 2, went out. It was the Carribean, it was dark, but it was warm, there was a warm sea breeze. We went on and played what felt like a headline show as it was the last show of the day. The lights were amazing, there were people in hot tubs watching, it looked and felt fantastic. We finished the show, then sat and watched the sun come up, then went off to watch Freedom Call at 10:30.
Finally what was the most memorable concert you guys ever went to?
Ben: I went to see Audio Slave in 2005 which was incredible.
Thomas: For me I think before I even went to a concert I actually played a concert. But Advantageous was a really good concert because there were a lot of things I like and for me it’s good to hear other things.
Ben: Actually last year I went to see a band called Snarky Puppy at the Roundhouse. They’re like a jazz fusion ensemble with like 13 or so musicians. It was the most amazing gig I’d ever been too, the most amazing musicianship I’d heard. Everyone in the band is an exceptional musician. They were on tour and started in London just after we started this tour and I would have gladly gone to see them again.