Battlesword exclusive interview
1- Hello and welcome to Metal Music Midwest, first off, thanks for taking the time to do the interview, could you give our readers a brief description of the group?
Lars: We are five passionate MetalHeads with decades of experience and love to be part of the great Melodic Death Metal Family. Andreas provides the neck-breaking rhythm which is typical for our sound with his drums and he is also a founding member of Battlesword, Axel enchants the listeners with his thoughtful lyrics and the well-known portion of aggressiveness in his voice, Ben ensures with his 4-string woofer that our sound penetrates the deepest corners of the souls of our listeners, Erik & I together try to summon the dark spirits of melodic death metal in the deepest abysses through our sweaty work on our 7-strings.
Where is the band from?
Lars: We are all living in North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany and are somewhat centred around an area called Viersen, which is close to larger cities like Duesseldorf and Cologne.
2- Battlesword’s “Towards The Unknown” is the band's fourth full album, how long did it take to write?
Lars: That’s a great question :-) Actually, we are all still surprised big time how fast it’s actually been from start to finish. If I remember well we started back in October 2021 and finalized the songs just before we entered the studio in March 2022.
For me personally and looking back I can say that the flow of creativity seemed to be sheer endless and the first raw versions of the songs did evolve very quickly. A unique experience for me.
Axel: We really had a certain and unique flow this time as we had to face line-up changes before once again. Due to this fact we decided to start again at zero. Erik joined ever since last November. But from this point on he was directly fully integrated into the songwriting process. As soon as a song was finished musically I added the lyrics and vocal arrangements so that we managed to meet the studio appointments.
3- What musical influence inspires the bands compositions?
Lars: Besides Death & Thrash Metal and other kinds of it I do also listen very often to the stuff from the 80s and 90s. These are decades which influenced me in my youth a lot and also offer great inspiration.
Axel: My range covers all kinds of Metal as well as related styles like Punk, Hardcore, Hard Rock and so on. Although I mainly listen to Death and Black Metal I always try to be open minded to handmade and passionate music. For my lyrics I´m also not limited and inspiritaion might come by movies, books, news and personal experiences or strokes.
4- The group started in 1999, can you tells us how did you all meet?
Lars: Sure thing. The band actually did evolve from a hardcore band at that time and was created by Andreas, his brother Michael and another friend. They realized that Melodic Death Metal is closer to what they wanted to do and soon after the idea materialized. Axel and Ben both joined in 2008. Erik and I are newer members of the band, but we’ve been playing together in our former band for a decade. All of us have known each other actually for many years and were always connected through friendship.
Axel: Battlesword and Godcomplex, Lars´and Eric´s former band, played a lot of shows together in the past. Also Lars stepped in for a show already in 2009 when we were lacking a second guitarist. The Metal scene is very clearly arranged, especially in Northrine Westphalia.
5- The new album title is „Towards The Unknown“, can you give us details about the content and more in depth meaning to this title?
Axel: This title is referring to the past two and a half years of pandemic with all the changes in life and culture. Now, with the new line-up, a new album in our hands and the gentle return of the old normality we are starting the next chapter of the band, not knowing what will await us after the first step, after the second and so on. When we started the work on this record it really felt like the preparation for a journey without knowing the destination.
6- Each member of this project is part of another band, how do you maintain a good balance working together?
Lars: Battlesword is for all of us the number 1 priority - that’s very clear for us. Playing in a band somewhat equals working together in a team. We have evenly distributed all tasks within the band and every member plays his role accordingly. But I think the main thing is the passion we do invest into this band and its music.
Axel: Although we are not a professional band, we take it very serious making music and trying to show it to the scene. Therefore it´s necessary to have and respect some rules. And this works.
7- Have you performed any shows in your area? if so, how receptive and supportive are the people to your music?
Lars: Oh, yes! We did - that’s what we love and enjoy the most. Being on stage is what drives us. From what I can see, the scene still is intact and fans enjoy going to shows and have a great time listening to good music and spending time with friends. However, many clubs suffered during the pandemic and we feel that it became more difficult to find locations.
8- Are there any upcoming shows or tours you can tell us about?
Axel: A real tour is not planned yet. Since we all have families and fulltime jobs, this isn't really easy to plan. Furthermore there are still problems to find free slots at gigs or festivals due to the amount of postponed tours and concerts from the last years. And as Lars said, many clubs had to shut down, many smaller and medium sized festivals vanished and many bookers left the scene. But we will try to play live as much as possible to promote our new record in an appropriate manner. We will update our homepage and profiles directly, when there are new dates confirmed.
9- Thanks for your participation, finally, what is the best way to get a hold of the band, in case someone wants to book or promote the band?
Any final words?
Axel: If someone wants to know more about Battlesword or to get in touch with us he can check out our website or our profiles on facebook and instagram for example. Furthermore there´s also our shop on bandcamp.
Thank´s a lot for your interest and support as well as the opportunity to introduce ourselves to your readers. Stay heavy, stay loud and support the underground!