MAY 24th 2015

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Worldwide, we are here with AIR RAID, the newest traditional heavy metal sensation out of Göteborg, Sweden. Thank you (Tack) for taking the time to do this interview.

1. How did you come up with the name AIR RAID ?

Andy: We discussed the band name for a long time, and we were really surprised that there were no “big” bands with that name, only demo bands basically. We thought it was a great and powerful name for a Heavy Metal band and really easy to remember, so we took the name without hesitation!

2.  What made you choose heavy metal as your genre, when there are so many to choose from ?

Rob: I did not choose the genre, Heavy Metal choose me...ha-ha. No, but I love the melodies, energy, double bass drum, screaming guitars, the creativity and the high level of skills in the 80s Metal. It's all perfection!

3. Tell us how each of the members came to be in the band:

Air Raid was formed by me, Andreas Johansson (Guitars), and Johan Karlsson (Guitars). We met up some years after Senior High School, where we knew of each other very briefly. After struggling a lot the first year to find the right members, we finally found a steady bass player and drummer in Robin Utbult (Bass) & David Hermansson Svensson (Drums). They contacted us after seeing our ad on internet, searching for band members.
Arthur W Andersson (Vocals), joined the band shortly after we kicked out our former singer Michalis Rinakakis. He sent us some great samples from a Hard Rock project he was involved in, so we tested him on a rehearsal and were really impressed!

4. What made you decide to form a band ?

Andy: Me and Johan simply wanted to play the music we love, which is Heavy Metal in the 80s way. Of course we had some hopes that it might lead to success, but the initial reason where not about becoming “known”. At this time (in 2009) I didn't even know there were other new bands playing Old School Metal, I really thought we were quite unique ha-ha. Later I realised that a band like RAM for example had been around for some years before.

5. Was this something you have always dreamed of ?

Andy: Of course, to be in a successful band is something I always dreamed of. It's like a family, where we achieve goals together.

6. There are so many great bands out of Sweden, did any of them have any influence on you ?

Rob: Well, we have a great deal of good Heavy Metal coming from Sweden, for example Europe (early), Heavy Load, Yngwie Malmsteen, Torch and many more. I think that all the artists you listen to have an impact on the personal sound, and in one way or another our influences can be heard in Air Raids music. Especially Yngwie Malmsteen and Heavy Load gives us quite a lot inspiration!

7. When you were younger, what kind of music did you enjoy listening to, and did they have an influence on your style ?

Andy:  I started listening to my dads vinyl collection at a young age. It was mostly Blues & Rock music. Since he played Blues guitar himself, I learned a lot of licks and stuff from him. This is something I still use in my solos. I love the Blues!

8. You have played “Keep It True“ festival in Germany, followed by a live appearance in Japan as well as gigs in Italy, Spain and Portugal, for you which do you like better, festivals or shows in the smaller venues?

Rob: It doesn't really matter how big the stages are, we always give 200 %. But festivals are fun because you get to meet many other bands, and the  spirit is always very nice. On smaller club gigs and venues, there is another feel to it. It's more of a concentrated and dedicated audience, which is really cool too!

9. What’s the strangest thing that has happened to you as a band while playing a show ?

Andy: It's probably when we played in Groningen, Netherlands. The gig was first meant to take place in a Rock club, but was suddenly changed to another "venue". It was a small café with no proper stage. However, in the middle of our show we see this blue flashing light outside. It turns out that the neighbours had called the police because of the noise. So they simply stopped our gig and we had to pack the stuff and leave ha-ha!

10. You have a new album “Point of Impact” about to be released January 23rd by High Roller Records, are you excited for this to come out ?

Rob: Yeah totally! we are very pleased with this record. It really shows that our new vocalist Arthur is the right man for the job. And everyone in the band has put their full spirit and soul into this album. The Point Of Impact will prevail for sure!

11. Was it a long process from start to finish of the album ?

Rob: We started to write new songs in December 2013, and went into the studio fully prepared 7 months later, in late June. Once in the studio, it took about a month in total to record and mix the album. The process was really smooth and fun, but also challenging. We are happy with how everything turned out, after all the hard work!

12. Where did the recording and mixing happen ?  Why did you pick that studio ?

Andy:  It was recorded and mixed at Don Graniolo Sound, in Gothenburg. We were not so happy with the sound of our previous releases, so we decided to change studio for our new album. We heard a lot of good words about Don Graniolo and the producer Daniel Granstedt. So it was the perfect choice!

13. Of the 8 tracks, do you have a personal favourite, or does each mean something ?

Rob: Each track has it's own charm and meaning, but if I have to choose one, it would probably be "Victim Of the Night". This song has a very special feel to it.

14. Andreas Johansson and Rob Thunderbolt write the lyrics for the songs, is there any inspiration behind the writing ?

Andy: We wrote mostly about stuff we had experienced in real life, like the ups and downs, and the search for inner strength! I think many people can relate to those lyrics!

15. Tell us what we can expect from “Point of Impact” ?

Rob: 8 songs of pure Heavy Metal. No fillers, all killers. An impact of steel!

16. The album cover, who created the artwork for it ?

Andy: The album artwork was painted by airbrush legend Gerald McLaughlin. I contacted him early this year and he got very interested in the project. He painted many covers in the 80s, like Agent Steel, Omen, Lee Aaron etc. so he got many memories back when we talked!

17. Excellent image for the title, did you give the artist the idea, or did he create it on his own ?

Andy: We had already decided the basic idea of the cover, so Gerald did some sketches of it. We really liked one of the versions, with the logo approaching the earth in high speed. After this, he started to paint on a big canvas (150 x 150 cm). He has the original painting in his studio. Hopefully one day I can buy it, if no one else will catch it first ha-ha!

18. You have a tour in Europe coming up, do you see yourselves making your way over to North America in the future ?

Rob:  We would love to come over to North America. It would be a big milestone in our history as a band. We can't simply wait for that day to come!

19. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that I might have missed asking you but you want the people to know ?

Rob: I think you covered this really good, thanks for the interview. I just want to thank all our fans and co-raiders out there! You guys rule!

Andy: Thanks to all Raidin' maniacs worldwide! you're the best, see you on the road!

Thank you again for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans, and we wish you much success with your album “Point of Interest” and your European tour.