On February 24, German heavy/power metallers Fairytale released Battlestar Rising. DutchMetalManiac’s Don Anelli already reviewed it here. He also interviewed them, read it below.
Well, first off, let’s talk about the new album. Are you pleased with its reaction so far?
Yes, we are. It’s always interesting to see how people react on your new album. Of course, you can’t please all reviewers with your music, but that’s totally ok for us. As we play metal in an old school way, we do not play music for a mainstream audience. Reading between the lines you can say that for some reviewers the music on Battlestar Rising is in a way too old-fashioned, hahaha. But, hey, as I said it’s ok for us. We just play the music we love from the decade we love – the eighties. Apart from that, we did a listening session in September 2016 and the journalists who participated liked the album very much. So, I guess we have some basis for constructive discussion. I think, that’s the best that could happen to a new album.
Do you have a favorite track off the album? What makes it special for you?
That’s quite hard for me to say, since I am the only person who has been involved with the whole process that included songwriting, discussions about booklet details as well as conversations with our label Art Gates Records. But I think, I like the title track most, because it all started with this song. When our ex-singer Sascha Rose came up with the first lines of the song while we were playing the riffs, I immediately thought that this one should be titled Battlestar Rising – a strong name for a strong heavy metal song. Besides that, we have so many nuances on the album and within the songs that every tune is a little gem in its own. And every band member would name a different song as his best or favorite on the album, I guess. The Opera House is another special song with a fantastic atmosphere, for example. And of course, we are very much honored to have Fabian Schwarz (The New Black), our former guitarist Veith Offenbächer (Destiny) and Andreas Waldow (Javelin) on the album. All of them added incredible guitar solos to Battlestar Rising. Thank you very much, guys! You are awesome!
Why did you decide to work with producer Alex Cwiertnia? Did he bring out anything special to the material while you were recording?
Well, that’s quite simple. Alex is a friend and our singer Carsten knows him from childhood on. We first worked with Alex on the Dawning Of An Era-single back in 2015. He did a great job on that, so it was clear for us to ask Alex if he likes to do Battlestar Rising with Fairytale. He agreed and did an amazing job again. His influence on the songwriting, however, was very little, because we had all songs ready when we went to the studio. But as always, Alex worked with us on the vocal arrangements. He came up with some very cool ideas like the big drums in the background on The Opera House. He also did the sound effects on both intros and I think they sound great.
You seem to take your time releasing albums. Does that help make the music better or is there any other reason for a gap between releases?
Well, it looks like that, doesn’t it? Hahaha. But the truth looks different. In fact, we write songs, put them aside and focus on something else for a few days or weeks. If the songs sound still cool to us after a while, we have some candidates for a new album, etc. I’m not a friend of quick shots, although you can call New Caprica something like this. The song was totally different in its first version, pretty much faster. But we weren’t happy with it, so… Apart from that, with regard to Battlestar Rising the situation was different at all anyway. We had to integrate two new band members and especially the search for a new singer took a lot of time. Some of us had to deal with personal issues as well. Time flew by and in December 2015 we finally started the songwriting process. In February 2016 we went into the studio to start the engines of old Galactica, hahaha.
There’s a great amount of influence on the album taken from the show Battlestar Galactica. Does the show hold special significance to you? Was it easy to prepare a storyline for the album based on the show?
Yes, of course. Our former singer Sascha introduced me to the reboot of the Battlestar Galactica-TV show some years ago. At first we had come up with the idea to only make a single song about the TV show. That song was Battlestar Rising which soon became our signature song. Someday I found myself at home writing a tune inspired by this cylon raider that decimated the human forces in one episode. This song also entered the album and is called Scar. After that, one thing led to another and the idea of making a complete album about the Battlestar Galactica was born. But there is no big deal about the reasons why we chose this subject. All of us simply like the series and, well, there doesn’t exist an album yet that deals with the mighty Battlestar, does it? So it obviously was Fairytale’s job to do it, hahaha.
But believe me, I will never write an album with such a complex story again – at least not in the near future. As the series has four seasons, it is nearly impossible to write about the whole storyline. That would be the length of two or three double-CDs then. So I decided to focus on certain topics and that was hard enough. There are so many important things going on in this story. But I think the audience can follow the lyrics even without knowing the whole story.
What plans do you have to promote the album as far as tours or videos?
We did two lyric videos to promote the album. In a few weeks we will record a live-video and later this year an official video clip will be on our agenda. Currently we are planning to do short tour with Cryptic Lane who are friends of ours. I hope that we also can play some shows in the Netherlands. Furthermore we are talking to some of our label mates about playing some shows together in Denmark, Germany and Spain. Probably our label Art Gates Records has some cool ideas, too. We’ll see and keep you informed on Facebook.
So, we’ll end this on a fun note. What’s your all-time favorite pre-concert ritual?
Actually, there is no ordinary pre-concert ritual, sorry – except for knitting. Usually we sit at a table and start knitting 90 minutes before the show. The aim is to knit a backdrop for the band. Our bass player Frank is very talented, whereas I am the worst knitter you’ve ever seen.
We do not have a special ritual before the show. We meet the other bands at the venue, talk and have a few drinks together. That’s the whole story. Sorry, but there is no ‘rock star’-attitude when it comes to Fairytale.
Do you have any messages for the readers of DutchMetalManiac?
Of course! Dear readers and fans, check out our following pages: Facebook and Bandcamp. Listen to the mighty Battlestar and order your copy of Battlestar Rising and merch (which we will update shortly) direct from the band! And if you know any location in your home town that is suitable for Fairytale, don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on Facebook. We truly kick ass. That’s for sure. Last, but not least, keep on rockin’, keep the metal spirit alive and let the Fairytale be real!