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Iron Savior

Interviewed by Mike Korn

Interview with Piet Sielck of Iron Savior from 2020

MSJ:

Greetings, Piet! Thanks for the interview. First off, what is the meaning of “Skycrest”? Does it relate to the saga of the Iron Savior?

It does not relate to a specific storyline. It more or less describes the glory, strength and pure epicness of the Iron Savior itself... being the golden halo.. the crest of the sky guarding mankind. This is quite an awesome vessel…

MSJ: Everybody has been affected in some way by Covid 19, but I understand the band has been more affected by the virus than most. How has it affected you and the music of Iron Savior?
Well, none of us was infected so far by Covid19, but our bassist Jan had to face a devastating cancer diagnosis early this year. He stood the fight and won! Today he is 100 percent cured and back in action.
MSJ: The band has always had an upbeat, positive sound to it. How important is it to maintain that when we seem to be living in a sci-fi nightmare more every day?
In the first weeks of Coronavirus I didn't do very much in the studio. But after a while getting used to it and with the major relief that Jan will be all good again, I was able to get back into this positive attitude which is very important for Iron Savior. .
MSJ: Was there anything new and different in the way Skycrest was written and recorded compared to past albums?

After Kill Or Get Killed I had something like an ongoing “energy-reverb” which made me go back to songwriting only a few weeks after delivering the album. So by the end of 2019 almost 50 percent of the songwriting was roughly done. That's why it was possible to halt for over three months and still being able to finish Skycrest this year in time for a late release. This honestly seems quite miraculous to me as well, but we somehow made it happen. We got a lot of energy from the big news that Jan will be fine. This gave me a huge boost in terms of songwriting and production. I have been quite on fire…

MSJ: Your bass player Jan stepped up to perform “Ease Your Pain." Tell us more about this and what the song is about.
He wrote and performed this song in which he speaks about his disease and how it affected his relationships. Obviously it was even harder for him to see his spouse suffer than his own desperation..
MSJ: “There Can Be Only One” is obviously inspired by the "Highlander" saga. Coincidentally, around the time the album was released, Sean Connery passed away. Tell us more about how these movies and their characters influenced you.
"Highlander" is one of my all time favorite movies and stories. In fact “there can be only one” is a production maxim for me. Unlike other bands where multiple melodies are fighting against each other struggling for attention there can be only one in a Piet Sielck powerhouse production. There’s nothing wrong in embedding something, but in my books there is either lead vocals or lead instrument... but not both at the same time. And, since vocals are always the most important tracks... there can be only one when vocals are on…
MSJ: "Silver Bullet” seems to be this album’s epic tune. How did this one come about?
This one carries a little bit of my old band Savage Circus in it... also the werewolf story is something I haven't done before with Iron Savior. I am very happy with this one, as well. I think the atmosphere of the song with the aggression, darkness and melancholy fits perfectly to the werewolf theme.
MSJ: Do you ever get ideas for songs that wouldn’t really fit the Iron Savior sound? Do they get tossed away or will you ever find a way to release them?
Most of the time I throw stuff away I am not convinced of. If some parts do have potential, they usually come back to my mind in different contents. This happened with “Raise the Flag of Metal”. I had this initial idea already for the Titancraft album, but it never worked out. So I kept deleting it several times, but somehow it lingered in my mind and now finally found it's way out. I love that song!
MSJ: You’ve got a unique singing style. Is it harder or easier to sing the older you get?
I quit smoking some years ago. I use a lot more techniques than in the early days, and I try to stay in shape. So, funny as it may sound, it is easier for me these days to sing than back in the day.
MSJ: What are some of your musical influences that are maybe not so obvious to the listener?
Besides metal I always was a fan of Huey Lewis and the News. You may get a little glimpse from that in songs like “Never Stop Believing” or “End Of The Rainbow." There is a little pop-b*****d inside me sometimes…
MSJ: Are you still involved with producing other bands? How has this process changed for you over the years?
I have my regular clients like Paragon and  Stormwarrior for whom I will always create space, but usually I am very busy with my own stuff. Right now we are already working on the next project: Reforged Vol 2. Since the Reforged – Riding on Fire re-recording collection was quite successful, we will pick the next 20 songs and make them available again under our very own control. And last, but not least, 2021 is the 10th anniversary of The Landing.
MSJ: The cover art on Skycrest is some of the most involved ever. What’s the story behind this image?
The original idea was to name the album “Hellbreaker” and also have this story somehow transported to the artwork. This turned out to be more complicated than I initially thought. So around five minutes to midnight, we changed plans and came up with crest/shield idea. Also the song itself turned out to be really awesome, so the decision was made with tension yet a good feeling. Turned out that we couldn't have been more right. I love the artwork and how it fits to the title.
MSJ: Is there any place you haven’t played live yet that you’d like to?
Mars. But we would be okay with the moon, as well. If all fails, the ISS.
MSJ: If you had to sum up the legacy of Iron Savior in one sentence, what would it be?
Heavy metal never dies.
MSJ: Any further message in these troubled times?

Hang in there, face the wave, duck-dive and stay patient. Your ride will come! There is already light at the end of the tunnel and Covid will be under control. Not soon, but in reasonable time. Stay safe!

MSJ: This interview is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.
 
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