I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Kristian Niemann, the guitarist in Sorcerer. Sorcerer have a new record coming out later this year, and we had the chance to speak about that and the history of the band:
- What inspired the name of the band and what are your influences?
Since I wasn’t in the band back then I sent this question off to our bassplayer Johnny Hagel. He says: We choose the name out of maybe ten or so names. We thought it fitted the music and at that time was the best name we could come up with.
Our influences comes from hard rock and metal bands like: Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, the whole N.W.O.B.H.M scene and many more.
2. How do you approach song writing, and has that process changed over the years?
For this album, and probably the process we’ll follow in the future as well, Peter, Johnny and myself (Kristian) each writes the music (riffs, grooves, parts etc) on our own and then sends mp3 mixes over to Anders and his vocal producer Conny who then starts to add melodies and lyrics. Sometimes they chop the song up and something that used to be a chorus maybe becomes a bridge or verse instead. Then they mail a demo of the “new” song out to everybody with scratch vocals and some random lyrics for everybody to listen to and comment on Usually the guy who wrote the song will then either accept is as is or maybe he wants to add some new parts to it. And thats how it goes, back and forth until everybody feels we have arrived at something good. Everybody can suggest ideas or changes at this point. Finally then, after a few more rounds of this when the arrangement is done Anders can start to fine-tune the vocal melodies and write real lyrics. At this point we would consider the song 95% done but small things always changes when we go into the studio to record the actual album. Usually you don’t REALLY know what the songs actually became until you have the final mix in your hands, because Anders WILL come up with some new ideas while recording his vocals and me or Peter WILL change the solos or add some new melodies. Bottom line is we all trust eathother to do whats best for the song. There are no egos allowed when writing. If one person hates a song idea then we throw it away completely or rework it. We dont want to end up with a record that some people in the band are gonna hate.
- What are you most looking forward to about the release of the new album?
I’m really excited to hear everybody’s opinion of it. As always when you release an album you have absolutely no idea what people are gonna think. You just write the greatest songs you’re capable of writing at that point in time and then just hope for the best. Luckily it seems like a lot of people has already responded very favorably to it which is a huge relief. The last one (In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross) got mostly good reviews and people seemed to like the vintage-y sound we sorta had on it. It didn’t sound like a modern metal album, whereas this one sorta does. Big fat guitars and smaller, clickier drums. That was a concious decision, we wanted to do something different. The main thing is getting the vocals across. If Anders sounds great then we’re at least, as Jon Bon Jovi would say, halfway there.
I’m also of course very excited to see if we can gain some new fans and do some more live shows. That’s what I really would like with this album, to take the band one step further career-wise. I don’t expect us to suddenly get huge or anything but it’d be nice if we could do a slow build. Maybe by album no. 5 we can travel overseas haha!
- What are your favourite songs to play live?
The new ones! That’s always gonna be the case, you’re always excited to play the new stuff. We haven’t played the songs from Crowning… live yet but if I have to guess: Sirens will be fun, Incubus….hell, every new song will be fun! From the last album my favorites are Lake Of The Lost Souls and Gates Of Hell.
- What plans do you have for the future?
Future plans: Release more albums. Hopefully on Metal Blade if they still want us 🙂 Do a whole lot more live playing. Write the best songs of our career. Have a shit-ton of fun together with people we love.
I’d personally love to go play Japan, South- and North America. I was there with Therion but now it’s high time to go back I think. Fingers crossed.