In February, Canadian metallers Striker released their latest, self-titled album. DutchMetalManiac’s Don Anelli already reviewed it here, now he interviewed them.
Well, first off, let’s talk about the new album. Are you pleased with its reaction so far?
Yea everyone has had a very positive response to the album, both fans and critics, and even people who have never heard of us before! It’s great to see that people are enjoying your work. We also tried out some new ideas on this album, some people love it, some people dislike it, but it’s cool to see that people are invested enough in your band to notice these changes and actually say something in reviews and stuff. I think in the past we were very much pigeon holed into the throwback traditional metal scene, and didn’t make much impact outside of that, so now it’s really cool to see that we are getting traction in the mainstream metal scene. We even got a short review from Ice T!
Do you have a favorite track off the album? What makes it special for you?
I really like Former Glory myself! Also Born to Lose…and Shadows in the Light, those are probably my favorite 3, but it’s so hard to choose! It’s like picking your favorite child. All the tracks on the new album are really strong, and we worked really hard to make sure they all were the best they could possibly be. I feel like this album is our most well thought out, in that we really took a fine tooth comb to all the songs and made sure everything was exactly how we wanted it.
Why did you decide to work with producer Fredrik Nordstrom once again? Did he bring out anything special to the material while you were recording?
Well he’s done a great job with our previous 2 albums, City of Gold and Stand in the Fire. He’s done so many of my favorite albums too, why would anyone not want to work with him? He does a great job mixing and mastering and he is always willing to fit us into his schedule.
So, what was the cause for the quick turn-around between these last two albums?
Well now that we are on our own label, we can do whatever we want! We all love writing music. We are musicians after all. I feel like a lot of bands aren’t really into that lifestyle, maybe they like playing their instruments and having fun on tour or whatever, but when it comes to writing music it feels more like work. At least for us, we write music for fun. That’s why we are in a band in the first place. It feels good to play around with music and ideas. We are always writing and we had some time off. Why not get another album out?
This has a far more pronounced and distinctive attempt to streamline your sound. Was that by design or did you purposefully write that way?
We just wanted to write the best music possible. I think a lot of that comes down to knowing what to cut out of a song. Often times songs can be jam packed with ideas, but all these different ideas don’t necessarily make a song good. So initially we started by tearing everything down, and then building back up again after we had a strong core idea for each song. I think everything fits together better and the songs all flow really well.
There’s a stronger Iron Maiden influence on the release than before, is there any big reason to include those elements into your sound?
Well as a melodic metal band, I think we will always sound a little bit like Maiden! They are always a huge influence, to probably almost every metal band. When we write music, we just write stuff that we want to listen to. So maybe we were just on more of a maiden-esque kick? I know we were focusing really hard on having lots of hooks and creating the chorus, so maybe that’s the same focus that Maiden uses to write.
Was there any unique reasons for choosing the cover version of Desire included here?
Not really! Had a few beers and picked some songs we liked for bonus tracks! If you are in Europe, get your copy with Desire as it was only limited to the first pressing!
What plans do you have to promote the album as far as tours or videos?
We just finished a 7 week tour with Sonata Arctica in Europe, and we have a full North American tour with Dark Tranquility in September as well. We are also planning some more tours for the winter! And of course we hope to have a new music video out for each tour, we are actually starting work on new videos right now!
So, we’ll end this on a fun note. What’s your all-time favorite activity to partake in while on the road?
Well we love doing sports on tour! We had an ab roller challenge with Sonata Arctica and Triosphere while on tour with them last month, and those Sonata guys beat our asses!
Do you wish to say something to our readers?
Thanks to everyone that supports Striker! We appreciate it and we hope to shred your faces off live soon!