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Andy Muck (Stormwitch)

Interview with Andy Muck from Stormwitch
by Grigoris Chronis at 11 November 2004, 4:57 AM

The 80s… If there's a genuine European Heavy Metal band that got far less reputation and recognition than what they deserved, then that's definitely Stormwitch! Yet, since 1997 and Hammerfall's tribute to Germany's Masters Of Black Romantic, the Witch re-emerged in 2002 and is back for more!
So, in the year 2004, with a brand new record deal and an excellent new release (Witchcraft), the band's orginal singer Andy Muck's warm and calm voice travels back and forth to share his thoughts with us! We're really honoured Andy…

Andy, let’s begin with the new album, Witchcraft, and the feeling you have now that it’s going to be released. How was the recording period?

I can’t say it in two words! Absolutely great! Since we put the band together, I see myself having the greatest time I ever had! The chemistry is extremely good and all characters fit perfectly together. I was a little bid afraid that it would be complicated, but it all was so easy. Everything works fine, we have lots of fun together, nothing that would destroy your verves. Just fun and party!

Anyway, I think you‘re too experienced now to overcome any difficulties.

I think that it came in another way, too. You see, in the beginning of the 90’s the original lineup split up, so we tried to go further with other musicians but we faced many problems. We had endless discussions and struggles and fights, so I’ve seen the dark side also. But, at the moment everything works great and I think that the most luckiest thing is that the rest of the members that are now in the band, are strong Stormwitch fans! They wanted to do it and they love Stormwitch music, and I think that’s the main reason why we’re so good.

So, it seems there’s a great chemistry in the band, even if you are the only member from the original lineup.

You know, it was good when we did our first three albums in the beginning of the 80s –  Walpurgis Night  (1984),  Tales Of Terror  (1985) and Stronger Than Heaven (1986) – but then we started growing apart from each other, we were getting more and more different. So, slowly we split apart from each other.

Ok, let’s move on to present. I guess it’s a good think for Stormwitch, having signed to Nuclear Blast Records, a premier Metal Label.

Yeah, and I hope now we can come to entire Europe and play live! I hope we can play in Greece, too!

(Interrupting) …We definitely hope so! Are there any tour plans?

At the moment nothing is fixed, although we want to play everywhere in Europe. Only the Keep It True Festival is confirmed. We‘re also working on a live gig in Hungary.

(Interrupting again) …You have recorded a live album there! (e.n: Live in Budapest 1989)

Yeah…

Something I always wanted to know is this: I have the impression, as a Stormwitch fan myself, that although Stormwitch held a strong name and reputation in Central & Northern Europe, it wasn’t the same in e.g. Southern Europe. Many metal fans – and not only the younger ones - know Stormwitch as a cult name. Why do you think the band was not equally heard everywhere, in Europe at least?

We were too much from the countryside. Where we lived there was nothing but grass. So, I guess we were always a little bit too far from the scene, the Metal scene. Most things were in the North or in the Middle of Germany. We were from the South, from (e.n: you don’t expect the poor editor to come up with a 20-letter name…), so you couldn’t be more away from the scene there! I think it was the main reason why we were not so much heard in the media.

I hope things will change now.

Ah, things have already changed since 1997 when Hammerfall did a cover version of  Ravenlord  (e.n.: originally featured in the  Stronger Than Heaven  album). Everyone started talking about Stormwitch and this was very good for us! Especially, younger fans seem to re-discover Stormwitch music! I like it when other people like what I like. That’s great! Such as I like when we play live, when I can feel and share so much with the audience.

Speaking of which, how was your live performance in all these German festivals? You know, Summer Breeze Festival, Wacken Open Air… your feelings and the reaction of the fans?

I was rarely moved (laughs)! The audience gave Stormwitch such a warm welcome. You know, as a Heavy Metal singer you always have to stay tough and cool, yet I think sometimes I was close to tears! Like I also said before, we also reached younger fans. It was a mixture of old loyal fans, from our first albums, also fans form our middle period (late 80s, early 90s) but know I can also see fans that are around 20 years old, and this is something that I’m very happy about!

Andy, now that Witchcraft is about to come out, how do you feel about the Dance With The Witches (2002) album. It was your reunion release.

I still think it’s a great album. I know every musician always says that the new album is the greatest, but I think that Dance With The Witches is also a great album. I think it’s a little bit more darker and a little bit more…

…Scared, how things will go…

…Yeah, yeah! So, I think the new album is more relaxed and a little bit heavier. I also think it’s a little bit more melodic and a little bit more symphonic. You know, keyboards are more involved in the new album. In general, I think that this album has a mixture of all things that were always good in this band, a lot of ideas that are a bridge to the older Stormwith albums.

Andy, did you ever have any good reaction coming in form the other side of the Atlantic?

I think we had fans in America, but definitely not so much as in Europe! Anyway, I guess Stormwitch for the American market is not important. I still hope it’s growing…

Maybe thing now will change, with Nuclear Blast.

Maybe, still the best thing is that with Nuclear Blast we will have the chance to see our fans all around Europe and maybe US face to face. I also wanted to contact live, to share what we both love: the sound of music.

Will you have any problems with your daily jobs, regarding any tour plans?

Yeah, there may be some problems. But let’s keep it out. What keeps me alive is hard music and literature and…and… still we have to work for a living…We always want to take our fans on a journey, away from the now… go to other Times, other Worlds… I think the normal road is sometimes a little bit dull and grey. I like to live a little bit more colorful!

Andy, is there any kind of correspondence with the other members from the band’s original lineup? Especially Harald Spengler (aka Lee Tarot)?

Harold, it’s a little bit difficult… But I have contact with all the others.

Did you approach them in the reunion phase of Stormwitch?

Also for me, if I like a band I want to see the original lineup. Still, it was a natural way that we were growing in different ways. When we were adults, we had so different visions about what we wanted to do in our lives. I, nowadays, think that with the old members Stormwitch wouldn’t look or sound that way. It was a normal process. For example, Steve Merchant or Stefan Kaufmann (e.n: Stormwitch guitarists in the 80s) stopped playing with the band because it wasn’t physical any longer, it was tough enough to do this. Stefan is tired of doing Heavy Metal. It may sound tough, but this is the truth!

There’s no problem Andy, since you are in Stormwitch! Well, what would you say to Metal-Temple.com readers and Stormwitch Metal fans in general?

I am very happy that they are still WITH us! And I hope, with Nuclear Blast now, that we will come to Greece and play there and have fun together!

Andy, we are all expecting you! The WITCH IS ALIVE!!!



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