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Daniel Woyke (Stormrider)

Interview with Daniel Woyke from Stormrider
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 09 December 2008, 7:40 AM

If you search our reviews section then you will find the STORMRIDER album review and you will see that I liked it. Indeed this old school 80s sound is doomed not to fail; ever! So, in the context of this release I contacted Daniel Woyke the bass player of this German Metal pact to find more about them and their very good Fate Of The Hunter album.

Hails from the Metal Temple webzine and congrats for the Fate Of The Hunter album.

Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to give an interview to a Greece Metal-magazine. I have never done an international interview before.

Please take some time and give to our readers a brief biography for STORMRIDER.

STORMRIDER was founded in 2001 when Stefan (vocals), Ingo (Guitar) and Stefan (Drums) spontaneously decided to express their musical preferences for traditional Heavy Metal in a band project. Our talent was quickly discovered and hence, even though we mainly played in other in bands at that time, it soon became clear that STORMRIDER had to be more than just a sidekick. From then on we concentrated on STORMRIDER (only) and were looking for other band members. It was not very easy to find the right musicians and thus the band was only completed in spring 2002 when Sven and Jan joined.

At various gigs throughout Germany we had the chance to perform our songs live and got more and more in sync. Our gigs were met with great enthusiasm! In 2002 we went to record our mini album Vengeance,that got great reviews in the press and e-zines. In June 2003 there was a change in the line-up when Sven (bass) left the band and was replaced by me. In 2004 we recorded our first long player Shipwrecked. With this album we signed with Underground Symphony in early 2005. In October 2008 we signed with Pure Steel Records and released our second long player Fate Of The Hunter and numerous live gigs are planned.

The album has been out for a while; what is the feedback from the media and does this satisfy you?

The feedback of our new album is very well. Most of magazines like our new stuff and we are very proud of this, because it's not naturally that such a lot people prefer true metal music in a time where Metalcore leads the scene… So we are very satisfied with the feedback of Fate Of The Hunter


In my review I described your music by refering to the old school Power Metal scene; am I right? Give us an insight description of your music.

Yeah, this is absolutely right. We wanted to create music in the style of all the great metal band from the 80's.I think our music is a Mix between IRON MAIDEN and ICED EARTH. We have pro pulsing drum and bass parts with much double-bass banging, many twin-guitar leads and pathetic vocals in the style of OMEN.

What are your major musical influences?

Our main influences for our music are bands like OMEN, IRON MAIDEN or ICED EARTH, but every band mate prefers other bands for private. Stefan (drums) loves bands like SYSTEM OF A DOWN, but also the old STRYPER albums. Jan (guitar) in a big fan of OPETH, Stefan (vocals) is now on a LOUDNESS-trip, Ingo (guitar) is our 80's Metal lover and would die for OMEN, AHENT STEEL or HELSTAR. I myself hear bands like NECROPHGIST, UNEXPEXT and the gods of Prog CYNIC. So you see, we all like different kinds of metal, but when we meet to rehearse or record a new album, we all fight for the real true metal!!!


what was the composing process for Fate Of The Hunter? Did all the band members contribute to the song writing?

Yes, we are all contribute to the songwriting. If we create new songs it's like that: Mostly one of our guitar players has a idea for a new riff and we all together create a song around this frame. Stefan (drums) and me are looking to find an adequate groove and Jan and Ingo variate the riff and form the full song.

I think it is the best way to work. We are all big friends and like to drink beer together and play with real musicians. It's not the same fuck, like using Guitar pro, writing virtual song, and just meet for gigs or in the studio. This would not be a real band feeling!!!

What are the lyrics about and how important are for you?

The lyrics are very important for us, because we always make a concept-story for our albums and they amplify the epic flair we create in our songs. I think our lyrics transport the music very well.

The story is about a vampire, who is the hunter of his clan. One day, by hunting in the woods he spies a beautiful girl and both fell is love. But than he figures out, that she's an undead, because she was bitten by an undead  years before. The girl also told the vampire, that she becomes an cruel bloodsucking monster when it turns to night. So her love don't has a chance. But their love is so strong, that the hunter wants to be bitten from the Undead, to become an undead either. So their love can continue. When his clan figures out, that their hunter turns to an undead, he gets contravened. So the undead twosome flee, but the clan catches the undead girl and burn her down. So the bitten vampire swears revenge and slaughters down the whole Vampire-clan with his new magic abilities as an undead creature.


What about the cover artwork; is there a story behind it and who was responsible for it?

The cover artwork is designed by Timo Wuerz and he has worked for artists like DORO, SACRED STEEL, OBSCURA and many more. We think he has done his job very well, because he has managed to make a cover, which is not as attired like the constantly recurring battle covers. He has created something special by painting our two main characters of our concept story for the front and back cover.

Do you think that this economic crisis will have an impact to the already weakened CD market?

I don't think so. Underground metalheads always buy their cds or shirts at concerts or from a mailorder, because they are loyal!!! They give a fuck of this crisis and that's absolutely right. The best example is: I watch Underground concerts every weekend and there are exactly as much metalheads as there were before the economic crisis. They all buy Cd's and shirts from their favorite bands. I talked to my friends from SYMBIONTIC and they told me, that they sold as much merch as before.

Maybe the big labels don't give you as much money for a production and renowned bands sell less cd's, but I'm sure they anyhow earn enough money.

Expanding the previous question, how difficult is the current situation for a new band? Can you make a living by playing music?

The main problem is, that there are too much new bands and you lose track of it. You can buy more than 100 new cds every month. So how should a newcomer sell enough cds to make their living by playing music?

It's nearly impossible. Sure, a casted band like SONIC SYNDICATE earns enough money, but they are a Pop band and not Metal. I won't prostitute myself to be famous… We all also have a job and the band is just a hobby from five crazy friends and we are very happy, if someone is interested in our music. But living by playing our style of music is not realistic. We alas don't live in the 80's anymore.

 Where do you prefer to be in a famous and big label or in a smaller almost underground one? I am asking that because sometimes the famous labels add pressure to the bands and push them to a certain musical genre for the shake of making more money.

I prefer the small labels, because they care for you and you are not band number 2435. Sure you don't have as much money for your production as if you sign at a major label, but who cares? With this kind of matelmusic, you can't earn enough money to live on it!!! We are very complacent with our Label Pure Steel Record. They allocate Promotional Cd's, Contact magazines, stand for our music and are real metalheads like we are. They don't want to be a business-fucker and earn much money like the big labels do!!!

What are your touring plans? Is there any chance to come to Greece?

Now we're working on the Fate Of The Hunter follower and have just a few gigs in Germany for example with GRAVE DIGGER. But that's OK, because we want to write our new album as fast as we can and don't want to take our minds off things. In October we had a small promotion tour with our friends CUSTARD in Belgium and Germany. That was real fun and we hope to continue it one day and maybe come to Greece.

But the main problem is that we have to cover our fixed cost. In the most cases we just play for entrance and get no fee. But never say never. If someone is interested in booking us or knows someone who starts a metal fest and wants to invite us, contact us!!!

Where do you prefer to play; in small clubs as headliners or in big arenas opening for famous bands?

I like the small clubs, because the communication with the fans is so intensive and the ambience is much more intimate. If you play as opener in a big arena the sound is in 99,9% boring and you don't have a direct contact to the audience. It's great so see, how the metalheads go fucking crazy, climb the stage, take our axe (we always have one on stage) and are proud to be on stage with the band. That's metal!! Also the rest of the band forced me to say that we don't like to play as headliner, because we have to watch for our alcohol intake hahaha.

What is the next step for STORMRIDER? When can we expect the next album?

We are now working on new tracks for the Fate Of The Hunter follower and exchange our ideas we collected the last months. I hope the new album will be released at the end of 2009. We also have a a few gigs at the beginning of 2009. But our aim is to work on the new album, so that we don't need as much time as for our last album hahaha.

That's all from me. Thank you and I wish you the best for the future. Feel free to add anything you would like to.

Thank you for the nice interview and I hope we can play one day in Greece and hold high the flag of metal!!! If you are interested in our music feel free to check out our website: Rock on guys!!!


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