Declarations by: S. Van Heek (SNOPPI), Drums of WIZARD
Band location: Germany
Interview by: Valgorth | Date of publication: Jun 24, 2002
Hello Snoppi, how are You? Is Wizard preparing the attack for the Wacken?
Yes, of course, we are very keen on playing in Wacken. But first our gig at the bang your head festival takes place, and that's also very exciting.
How do You feel about being one of the very, very few bands that keeps the fight for the Real Metal Movement?
Are there so few of them? We all grew up with metal and we all play metal now for a very long time. We always tried to do the things WE wanted to, and we always played the metal that we loved. Trends and other bullshit did not interest us. Also when the whole metal scene broke down, we had no fun with playing another style of metal (like Nirvana or something else). No way. I can't explain it very good. It's a feeling you have, this feeling that makes you lucky when listening to a good metal riff. Nothing else can give me this. And that's worth fighting for, that also other people get this feeling.
Yes!! I get Your point. And of course, there are others groups who fight for Real Metal. But actually, there are lot of bands who play simple Metal without a True Metal philosophy like Wizard and also people who support those bands. What I am trying to say is, some bands play Heavy Metal but others Are Heavy Metal and represent the true essence of the Metal Spirit. Only some bands are proud to called their sound *True Metal*, but others deny it or seem to be chicken. That is what I think the number of True Metal bands is smaller than the rest of the Metal scene. Sorry if I didn't explain myself very well.
I am proud if you say, that we represent the true essence of the metal spirit. That sounds good in my ears and tells me, that we are not alone with our opinions. You know that we first wanted to name the Head of the deceiver album True Metal?
That's cool! So... how is the relationship between the bands for these kind of gigs? Is there any brotherhood or basically any band stays alone?
Oh, that depends. There are bands that are good friends of us like Paragon, Perzonal war, Vortex, Sacred Steel ... So these are more the small bands. To the big ones we don't have very much contact. Ok, there is Uwe Lulis or Piet Sielck, but we are not in contact very deep. But also these guys are very friendly. If you see it as a whole thing, it's OK with the German bands. There is a certain group you will find on every second concert or festival, so it's something like a family-feeling. That's very great. But it also shows, that a lot of people in Germany are too lazy to go on smaller concerts. They go one or twice a year to a metal concert, and than to one of the big bands (Manowar or Blind Guardian ....). That's not very metal in my opinion. But you can't change it.
Do You like shows sort of like Wacken or do You prefer a small place to play?
I enjoyed Wacken every year. It's a very great metal party. And the important thing there are not the bands, believe me. The most important thing is the party around the whole festival. It starts on the freeway to Wacken, where you meet a lot of metal fans (also deep in the night at 3 o'clock in the morning). And than where you camp. It's unbelievable to camp together with thousands of metalheads, drink with them and have a lot of fun. And as a bonus there also play some good metal bands. Metal heart, what do you want more? For me it's of course very great to have the opportunity to play there, and I hope we get a good point of time and a good stage, so that we can celebrate the metal with all the guys.
Of course I like it very much to play for a lot of people, but we also give our best for only 20 people, 'cause we have a lot of fun when playing. And this nobody can take away from us.
Wizard is an good name for a metallic band. Did the band have any legal problems about it? I am asking You this because I know there are bands who have a name sort of like Wizard but they have included double Z, or they wrote 'Wizards' or stuff like that.
I took this name about over 10 years ago. I took it from a computer game, named Wizard of Oz. I never thought at that point of time, that we would sell more than 20 copies of our albums one day, hahahaha. I thought it was a good name for a band with fantasy texts like we always had. There were Wizard from Finland, but one day we got in contact with the singer (Teemu), and he decided to write Wizard with double *z*. After that he visited us and we drank a lot of beer. That's the way it should be. There was no legal stuff with lawyers or some shit like that. That's absolutely great. And beside that I did not hear very much from other bands with this name. I hope we never have to change this name.
The determination of Wizard is really intense in Head Of The Deceiver. What can You say about the recording of this album? Principal ideas, concepts, messages, etc...
The recordings were very strange. First we recorded in Bochum in the Mohrmannstudio, where we also recorded our album Bound By Metal. When everything was ready, our label said, that they did not like the sound. So we had to go to Uwe Lulis (ex-Grave Digger) and do it all again (except the drums and the lead guitar). So that was very shit, because we had to pay a lot of money for this extra recordings. And a few people here in Germany, who listened to the first version, say, that the first was better. The *Head Of The ...* is the last one of the three albums, that has to do with the four Thunder-Warriors. The story about the Wizard and everything. The next album will be a total other kind of story. I don't know if I understood the question right and if my answer is right :-)
Could You briefly comment the principal concepts of the previous albums?
The whole context is written by our bass player Volker Leson. So I can't explain everything. The main thing is, that the four warriors (which have all there special weapons like Hammer, Bow, Axe and Sword) who have to fight for the mighty Wizard. They have to proof, that there are worth fighting for him against all the posers and deceivers. There are different fights, like the battle of metal, the ultimate war and so on. In the end they were victorious :-) For the whole concept please ask Volker or just read the lyrics in our albums. Thanxs!
How did You record the sound effects for songs such as Lonely Wolfie, Weapons of the Gods or Battle of Metal? Because they sound fucking great! Overall, the combat sounds pretty real. So... how do You do that kind of stuff?
Oh, you like this? Hahaha, a some people said, that it sounds nasty. I also think that is was not bad. At that point of time we had to pay everything on our own, so we had a very small budget. We did all this sounds by ourselves. For example the sound of the wind was made by Maassi (with his mouth), or the fighting scene in Battle Of Metal were made by Sven and me (we really fought with a battle axe and a sword, and always hit on an old car-door out of metal, hahahaha). The horses we recorded on a horse farm in our town. That was funny. To get the horses very loud, the guy got a female and a male horse and put them together. So the male horse was very erected and did a lot of trouble, hahaha.
I heard the songs from the Legion Of Doom demo, and they are superb. Why don't You play these songs again and include them in a future album?
A year ago we tried to play the songs again. But there was another spirit, when we composed the songs (about 10-12 years ago). So we let that be. It was a little bit strange, to play it again. I guess we would play it also a little bit different nowadays (e.g. faster), and that's not how it should be. But it could be, that we play them one day again, when we think it's right. At the moment I don't see the possibility, but maybe in the future. Songs like Metal Law or Ultimate Warrior are also great in this time.
I was surprise to hear Wizard in the Metalica CD compilation from Argentina. That was awesome!! Could You tell us how this idea come to life?
Ha? Where did you hear us? I don't know anything about a Metallica compilation. Could you perhaps give me more information about this, or send me a copy? I would never like to appear on a Metallica compilation, cause I hate the albums after the *...justice for all*. I don't want to have anything to do with Metallica. Or do you mean something different? I don't know at the moment ....
Hahaha... that sounds great that You don't want to be part of a Metallica compilation! But I don't mean Metallica (the band), I mean the Metalica Fanzine from Fabian De La Torre and the Hermandad Metalica CD Vol. 2 or 3, I don't remember perfectly. It happened a couple of years ago, 1998 or 1999 I think. Wizard collaborated with an introduction and a song for that recording. Did You remember that?
Ah, that's OK, hahaha, I just got a shock when I read your question... Yes, I remember that we once recorded an introduction in our practising room. It was very funny and we said a lot of funny things, but on the recordings it sounded like shit. So I guess Sven (or Volker?) said something alone. It was a good party when doing this.
What about the contribution of Sven D'Anna on the recording of the song Houses of Fire for the Argentinean band Feanor? I know that Sven is going to sing for the new Feanor album again. What can You comment us about it?
I can't say very much about it. One day he said, that Feanor ask him if he could sing a part. Sven is absolutely metal and he has got very much fun singing metal songs. So he liked it and he sang the stuff. Very easy :-) I did not know, that he also sings on the next album from Feanor, so I can't say very much to this. Much greetings to Feanor on this way!
What do You think about people sort of like Halford who said *Heavy Metal is dead* and now they are here again? Do you think there is a regression in the Metal Spirit that is intensified for the introduction of opportunists like Halford or Dickinson, other actual Metal groups and rest of the Nu-Metal acts in business who are disgracing the essence of the True Spirit of Metal? Which are the bands who are contributing to disgrace the Metal Spirit? Personally, I think there is only a few number of bands who are keeping the Real flame of our cause. Are You agree?
Yes, I agree. I don't know what Halford thinks. Does he think every metalhead is so damned stupid, that he only has to do a metal fart and everybody will buy his albums again? Not with me. There are enough other metalbands that are also very good (I don't say, that Halford does his job bad, he is a great singer also nowadays, but a fucking deceiver). But there are lots of metalheads that don't care. They always buy the things, the labels tell them to buy, and those are always the big bands like Maiden, Manowar, Slayer and so on. Smaller bands often don't get a chance. Take the new Manowar album e.g.. Each critics I read say, that at least half of the tracks are absolutely shit. But in the same review they get the maximum range. So that's a thing I don't understand. (I can't tell you very much about the new album, cause I do not have it yet). I guess it won't change at any day. But that's also a metal feeling, to live the underground and be a little bit like a rebel. To say: Hey I am not like all the others, I am a different way, I am metal and I like it and I am proud of it. I don't have that feeling, when I know that Manowar sells records in Germany like Britney Spears, and a lot of poppers listen to Manowar. That makes me thick (I like Manowar very much, but that really makes me sick).
What do You think is the best Wizard song to use like hymn of battle if a troop is going to fight against an army of posers in a real combat?
Puh, I guess Thunderwarriors or Hammer, Bow, Axe and Sword would be OK.
Did You ever record any videoclip or are You planning to record one
We got an offer to record a video, but we did not manage it, to get a point of time together with the producer (I know, it sounds stupid, and you are right: It WAS stupid from us). At the moment nothing is planned. We prepare our new album at the moment.
I saw a video when You toured with Sacred Steel. And I love 2 special segments: Firstly, when You are playing Our Hate Will Burn You and Sven is belching fire. Second one, the song Enemy Die and V. Leson spitting blood. Are You still playing these songs live? What do You think is the most representative Wizard song from all Your albums?
You saw a video? Great, hahaha. The song Enemy Die we will play on the Bang Your Head and in Wacken, I guess. It's fast and short and good. Our Hate Will Burn You we did not play it for a long time. We have too much songs we want to play, and not very much time. So it's very difficult to chose the right songs. I don't know which song is the best from us, I think this everybody has to decide on his own. I like songs like Gladiators Of Steel or True Metal or Defenders Of Metal...
A couple of guys were telling that you drink a lot of beers by show, even more than the most of the popular bands. And I know German people are famous because the beer, but these guys were telling me that You are insatiable drinkers, which leads me to ask... How many beers You drink?!?
Oh, I think that the people tell very much, and not always the truth. And we never drink much BEFORE a gig, cause that would be very uncool to the fans. They don't pay to see a drunken band. But after the show it's always funny to have a little party. How much we drink is not important. Important is the party and the contact to the other metalheads around. To feel the spirit.
Why should a regular metalhead buy Wizard CDs? Advertise the band shortly.
Hahaha, I am very bad in advertising. Puh, I guess because we are very intensive, we have a very very good singer and the songs are very powerfull and strong. Also we have a good guitar player who makes very good solos and metal riffs. I like it very much to play together with them.
Now I would like to name You some topics and names to know Your opinion about them:
- Record Companies
Business is always shit, I hate it, but I have to do it.
Is important and I am interested in it. There are so many things that happen in this world, and I think everybody should know what's going on.
I have a lot to do with it, 'cause I study it and my job I do at the moment is an internet company (www.onvista.de). The internet makes much things easy, but not everything. E.g. I hate it to download mp3. I never will do this cause I love it to read the booklets in original and if the CD is good, I also want to support the band.
- Favourite drummers
Dave Lombardo, Charly Benante, Ian Pace ...
Cool band, but after the Kings of metal they only made albums, where a few songs are shit. They did not manage it, that they record an album, where really every single song is very good. But of course I like Manowar very much.
Are very important to celebrate the metal and to have a real good party. We are metalfans ourselves. We know, what fans want and think, because we are also fans of a lot metal bands.
What are the plans for the future?
We prepare our new album and I hope to record it at the end of the year with Piet Sielck. I have to say that the songs sound very cool, in my opinion, and I am very keen on recording them, because in the studio they always sound much better, than in our practising room. Be prepared!
Thanks a lot for this conversation, brother. Do You have anything You would like to the Metal army know about the Wizard?
I also thank you very much for this interview.
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