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Axenstar's Magnus Winterwild: " It’s really hard to promote a new release, everyone wants a piece of the cake and in the end there’s not much left for the artist/band…"

Interview with Magnus Winterwild from Axenstar
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 23 September 2019, 11:18 PM

For some people, the period of five years sounds like forever, for others, like a blink of an eye and poof, here we are again. For the Swedish Power Metal band, Axenstar, it was a time to reform with a lineup change, and of course work on a new release that will return them swiftly back to the Metal scene. It took them some time, yet that is the part of the deal. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to Magnus Winterwild, one of the band's veteran members, about the new album, where the hell have they been, and more…

Hello Magnus, it is good to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. How have you been doing sir?

Hi, I have been doing just fine thanks! Really excited about this new release.

Things had been on a standstill with Axenstar since the release of “Where Dreams Are Forgotten” up until this year, where you guys made it back to the fold. What happened these past five years? A time period for a recess that is no stranger to you. Was it an intentional hiatus or simply too much happenings in life that prevented you from focusing on your music?

Well for starters our drummer Adam left for Los Angeles to focus on his studies and yes five years is a long time but as you wrote things in life happen and so on, other than that we´ve been busy writing and recording the new material for “End Of All Hope” which has taken a rather long time but we’re really happy and proud of the result.

This time around you signed with the newly emerged label, Ram It Down Records. What made you sign with a label that is fairly new? Was it simply the deal offered or was it something else that convinced you to go forward with the plan?

I think the most important thing about us choosing and signing with Ram It Down was the fact that it was Timo Hoffman's new label. We knew Timo from before and we knew he’s a really devoted metal head, so when he offered us a contract there was not so much to think about really. And even though the label is new the guys behind it are not new to the business so that’s an important aspect of it all.

Your new album “End of All Hope” was recently released. How has it been treated by your loyal fans? Any potential newfound fanbase that came to be thanks to the new record?

I think our fans appreciates it, at least that is what their telling us haha, there are also some tracks on the album that stand out a bit so I hope we will be able to reach some new fans as well as pleasing the old ones.

Why entitling the new album “End of All Hope”? Is everything around us is bound to be lost eventually? No second chance to preserve or protect?

Well, everything will perish sooner or later hehe, but that’s not the intention with the title. We wanted to bring the angel back on the cover as we had one on all of our first four albums. So when we started talking to Felipe Machado Franco, who did the artwork once again, we came up with some sketches and later on a finished album cover and we thought that the title would fit the cover really well.

Throughout your career, more or less, musically, you have been pretty much consistent with your style, no matter the lineup changes that were a float. “End of All Hope” is a fine display of your heritage, writing somewhat catchier material that easily sticks, plus and well done production. Do you agree with your rather solid consistency on “End of All Hope”, in comparison to your earlier catalog? If not, what actually changed in your music?

Yeah I think you’re right, we have always tried to stay “true” to our roots, and on this album in particular, at least I had an idea to really try to write some songs in the vein of our old albums. I think that we succeeded in that and the fans have loved it.

Most of your lineup remained intact since the previous album, other than your new drummer, however, still it could be possible to do things differently in the studio regarding songwriting. Any changes that took place in your view?

No not really, we have developed a quite good process in our songwriting where we have an open dialog all the way up until the final recording and mixing and I feel happy with the fact that we try to involve all band members in the process.

Do you believe that “End of All Hope” developed your sound even further?

Absolutely, I think that with every new release we have taken a step in some direction as we always are willing to try new stuff and new influences. In the end not all of this makes that big difference in the final product, but if we didn’t try to evolve I think the band would soon cease to exist.

It has been hard for me to pinpoint the album’s finest track, a rather hard task to complete. Though I wonder, and I bet it would be tough for you too, what is your album’s finest? Please elaborate on your pick.

Yeah that’s almost impossible as I think all songs did make it in the final cut for a reason, and my pick of a single song will differ depending on the mood I’m in. If I have to choose one I would say “Honor and victory”, as I think that song has a lot of the “old” Axenstar sound as well as a portion of the more up to date band and of course the fact that the chorus has great harmonics in my opinion.

Recently you also unleashed a video for “The Unholy”. What made this track to be one of the album’s leading singles? Please explain.

We simply wanted a catchy hard in your face song, “The Unholy” might not be a your standard Axenstar track, yet I think it will satisfy both new and old fans. We are really happy with the result and Anders Ekman, who directed the video, did a great job!

It has been found by more than two studies that Heavy Metal music is like calm drug for the soul. Well, not exactly a drug but a measure for a person to relax. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Metal music is supposed to develop strong feelings doesn’t it? What is your take on that?

I think it can do both, it depends on what mood you're in, there are so many different styles in metal so you can easily choose a band/song to get whatever feeling you want.

Now with “End Of All Hope” released, like every band out there, you entrust yourself into the hands of a body to promote it. How do you find today’s promotion for bands? Does it serve it purpose? Which platforms do you find as the best to invest in?

It’s really hard to promote a new release, everyone wants a piece of the cake and in the end there’s not much left for the artist/band. We try to promote the band and our albums ourselves on all digital platforms we can and currently I think that Facebook is the best way to reach our fans and potential new fans.

Do you think that another long pause between “End Of All Hope” and the next in line album could be possible or might this be a turn of a new leaf?

Well, we already have some new ideas for the next album so hopefully it won´t take five years to make another record… so keep your eyes open!

Support for the new album is crucial, is there a plan to promote it live?

We´ve done some “local” shows around the time of the release of the album but I hope we will be able to do some bigger gigs in the future. Therefore, if we have some fans out there that want to see us live don’t hesitate to contact your local promoter!

Magnus, I wish to thank you for the interview. I am glad that you guys are back on the saddle, and the end result is glorious. All the best mate!

Thanks for your support!



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