MAY 8th 2015

Thank you for joining MetalTitans alongside Isak Stenvall of LANCER. Isak is the vocalist of the band and he took some time to sit and answer a few questions for us:

1. What was the inspiration behind the band name “Lancer” ?

We started as a cover band playing song of Helloween, Hammerfall, Masterplan and Nocturnal Rites. When we started to write our own songs we needed a band name. Everyone in the band got their homework to come up with ideas, when I went home I passed a red Mitsubishi Lancer that was parked outside of my apartment. I looked up the word in the dictionary and it meant a rider with a lance. I did some research and found no band named LANCER, bingo!

 2. You all met at the Music Academy of Ingesund in Arvika, is this a common place for people wanting to be musicians ?

Yes, there are six Music Academies in Sweden and one of them is located in Arvika. It's most common that people from the school become professional classic, jazz or folk musicians. I guess that LANCER is the first Metal band from the school.

3. Did you all come into Lancer at the same time ?

It’s only me, Fredrik and Sebastian who have been in the band from the start, Emil joined the band for the release of our Debut album (2013) and Ewo joined the band with this release.

4. Had any of you been in bands before Lancer ?

We've been playing in other bands before this, but nothing known. Our guitarist Ewo is also active in the black metal band Trident and the folk metal band Fejd.

5. You have ‘metal’ listed as your genre, but I hear much more, like power metal, melodic, when you say metal, is it all of these together ?

We don't want to restrain ourselves by putting a title on our music, everyone else can call us whatever they want; some call us Power, Speed, hard rock and Heavy. We're a metal band with good songs, the definition isn't that important.

6. What kind of inspiration did you have to go toward this style, over all the others out there to choose from ?

I have always loved the Brittish Heavy metal sound, with bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I like the melody work and the greatness of the singers in this music style. Another main influence in the German Power Metal sound, with bands like Gamma Ray and Helloween. I love the speed and the cheerful majestic way of playing heavy metal. We are trying to combine those elements and the sound of LANCER is the result of that.

7. What kind of bands gave you some inspiration in your music style ?

My personal favorites are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween and Gamma Ray. That’s the music I love and in LANCER we want to combine the sound of both the British and the German style.

8. You had an EP that came out in 2012 “Purple Sky” and it received a good welcome from around the world, now in 2015, you are about to release a 9 track album “Second Storm”, Apr. 10. Tell us what people can expect from this album ?

We are playing fast heavy metal songs with high pitched vocals. No symphonic arrangements, no progressive rhythms and no harsh vocals. Just back to the glorious days when Power Metal was true to the codex of straight forward Heavy Metal. We’re always mentioning albums like Keeper of the Seven Keys and Land of the Free as guiding stars. You will find a well-produced album, with catchy songs performed by talented musicians delivered with a lot of passion.

9. Who writes the lyrics for the songs ? Where do the ideas come from ?

I write all the lyrics. I think that the lyrics should be well written and have substance, not just be about glory, warriors and dragons. In Power Metal, there are so many good songs with crappy lyrics. The lyrics are important in my point of view, and it’s also important that all the words blend together with the melodies. It’s not a concept album, just some really good metal songs each with their own story. For example, we wanted to create a 10 minute epic song on this album, and what is more epic than an Egyptian god? Aton is a really powerful name, it sounds heavy and majestic. There is so much magic and secrecy hidden in these old stories, so I guess that’s why pretty much every storytelling heavy metal band has got some connection to the ancient gods. The bible is also a book full of crazy stories, “Behind the Walls” is about God’s wrath over Sodom and Gomorrah. Another typical heavy metal theme is war, we wanted to do a song about the island of “Iwo Jima”, and since Sabaton haven’t picked that battle yet, we had to go for it. It’s not glorifying at all, it’s a sad hymn for all the fallen soldiers who died on that godforsaken island.

10. Do you yourself have a personal favourite, and if so, why that one ?

It’s hard to pick one favorite, but I guess it would be “Aton”, because it’s the longest.

11. The album was recorded at the world famous Leon Music Studios with producer Gustav Ydenius, was this a great experience for you, to work with such a well known name ?

Yeah for sure, he's a great guy! Very talented both as a musician, arranger, producer and technician. We even had him visiting us in the songwriting process, in our rehearsal room. He has worked with such a huge amount of various artists, but it’s really fun that he's also into Power Metal, and know exactly what to bring to the songs to get them even better.

12. When you work with someone this well known, do you get to say what you want, or do you more or less listen to what Gustav says ?

Haha, I think that he lets us think that we’re doing our thing, but in secrecy we are all dancing after his pipe without knowing about it. However, we felt very confident to place our work in his hands, and we trusted him 100%. The result speaks for itself.

13. The cover artwork was painted by Dimitar Nikolov, what made you choose this artist over others ?

Dimitar is a great artist and he adds an old school touch to his work. He has worked with our friends in Katana and Steelwing, and we had to hire this guy.

14. Did you give him some ideas to work with, or did he capture what you wanted with his own ideas ?

We wanted a robotic ostrich in a futuristic and post-apocalyptic environment with a sun blast in the background, we were totally knocked down when he sent us the first sketch.

15. Can you please explain what the cover artwork represents ?

It represents a new era, the sun explosion in the background is the blast of Aton. The rise of the robotic Ostrich is a sign of change. In the song “Steelbreaker”, I’m singing about a metal monstrosity and we pictured a robot ostrich in our heads, so that’s what you see on the cover, a steelbreaker!

16. Tell us something we might not know about Lancer ?

The video for our song "Young and Alive" from our debut album ended up on a list as one of the worst metal videos 2013. That’s really funny, we had no budget at all at this time, but we had to shoot a second video. We decided to do a low budget horror/fantasy/sci-fi video a'la the ’70s. It looks really old school and vintage, check it out, it’s on the Tube

17. Will you tour now in support of your new album “Second Storm” ? Do you have a place you would really like to tour to ?

There will probably be a tour this fall, but nothing is settled yet. I want to play in Hamburg! Otherwise it would had been great to visit Japan or South America.

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

I would like to salute everyone who believes in this band! Thanks a lot and rock on!