Interview led with Mike Stark
1- Who started the band and what was the idea?
-The band was formed by me (Mike) and our main songwriter/rhythm guitar player Tommi. The idea was to forma «True» Heavy Metal band. Tommi and I shared the same influences and so we started planning what would later become Stormburner.
2- Were you together in other bands? How did you meet and composed those excellent songs?
-Tommi and I did not know each other prior to this, but thanks to a Facebook Group where you can post ads for musicians we got a hold of each other. Some of the songs was that later landed on the album was actually being worked on by Tommi and I even before we managed to get the other band members on-board, but most songs are written when Tommi gets a melody for a chorus in his head, he then records it on his phone and we finish it at rehearsal. I write all the lyrics and the vocal melodies except for most of the chorus melodies which Tommi does.
3- How did you get the deal with pure steel record? For a first album you must have known them before? tell us how it happened…
-I have worked with Pure Steel in the past with my old band Starblind so I knew them all very well and how they work. This was also part of the original plan by Tommi and I that we wanted to work with Pure Steel Records. We recorded a demo on a few songs which they liked and we signed a contract.
4- How come you ended up as a drummer? Have you learnt the instrument before singing?
-I started playing the drums in 1993 as a teenager because it was a lot of fun to hit hard and make noise, I also tried the guitar for a short period but I have absolutely no talent for that at all. I didn’t start to sing until 2014 when Starblind was formed and I took the mic because we had a hard time to find a singer.
5- Have you taken lessons to get such a high pitch vocal line?
-I used to do vocal practice based on different harmonies but that was mainly in the beginning. What I have noticed is that as long as I can keep the muscles relaxed it works ok.
6- Who designed the cover artwork? Have you had input in it or you chose among many?
-We hired the great Ken Kelly (Manowar, Kiss, Rainbow etc.) and he made the cover based on our idea. It was a great process to work with this living legend and see the artwork come to life step by step.
7- How long StormBurner has been alive for? Have you had line up issues before getting those perfect songs? How many years it took to achieve such a piece?
-Well, Tommi and I met and formed what would become Stormburner in 2016 so it is about 3.5 years ago now. We tried one drummer before our current drummer Stefan joined but there was never really any issues. Thank you for those words about our songs and it has basically taken three years to complete this album because we threw away a lot of songs that were good, but not good enough. We wanted everything to be as good as possible, so we allowed it to take the time needed and not rush. The release has taken a year longer than we first thought due to the above and other reasons.
8- Why this name? What’s the story behind the logo?
-When you hear the name you will think about Thunder, Wind, Rain, Lightning, and Fire. All of this compressed likethis was exactly what we wanted; this symbolises what Stormburner is and what we sing about.
9- Since Sweden is full of brilliant musicians, why not joining an existing band?
-I have had a lot of bands reach out to me but it has never felt right. If I am to perform at the top of my game it needsto be exactly my kind of music so that I can put all of my inner being into the music. To me, music is about envokingfeelings of emotions within the listener and to go together on a journey and to do this everything must be 100%.
10- Have you already played live shows with those songs? What was the feedback?
-We have played a couple of shows, mainly just to test how it feels, but no full concert show yet. This is also according to plan as I want the album to be out when we do our first full show. This will actually happen on Friday, December13th on the well know Anchor Bar in Stockholm where we will have our release party, play a full show, bring merch and hang out with fans.
11- Are you all involved in other bands?
-None of the Stormburner members are involved in other bands. We have decided that this is the best for the band and we are all fine with this.
12- You have that Manowar touch, do you think Metal is missing something today? What’s your view on the scene?
-Manowar are one of our inspirations; however we do not try to sound like Manowar, that is not our goal at all, we have probably have more people comparing us to Judas Priest to be honest. Our goal is to write and play Epic songs with catchy choruses. With regards to the metal scene I think it is doing well but a lot of bands are struggling to get thru the noise which I believe is due to there being so many bands releasing music which is good but the back side of it.