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Generation Steel's Jack The Riffer: "There are too many Death or Hardcore bands today and to less groovy and punchy bands with the old style! We focus on being straight, giving passion and savoring Teutonic metal attitude"

Interview with Jack The Riffer from Generation Steel
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 December 2020, 12:02 AM

To protect and serve, to maintain and to keep, revamping the old sensations and craze that has been a cause effect by worshiping the past, only to come up with a brighter future. The old Teutonic Metal legacy has brought forth some of the most powerful Metal bands and influenced many worldwide. Therefore, in a new generation of Metal, is it even more adequate to get to know a new player in this large field of heavy music, Generation Steel. Saluting the old guarding, and nodding to the old school, the band is releasing their debut, "The Eagle Will Rise". Steinmetal had the privilege to talk to Jack The Riffer, founder and guitarist, about this new experience of Generation Steel, the new album, recruiting the band members and more…

Greetings Jack, it is great to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing kind sir?

Hello Lior and thanks lot for this interview. We are doing fine, everyone is healthy and we are very happy to release our debut album in January!

Right before all hell broke loose with the Covid-19 pandemic, pretty much shutting down culture as we know it, a year earlier to be exact, you founded Generation Steel. What was the basis for the foundation of the band? Did you feel out of place on your previous musical endeavours that you needed to find yourself in this one?

I always had the dream to build up an ambitious metal band, to get a label deal and release albums with my personal favourite metal-style. Further projects ended for a variety of reasons – personal changes of some band members or lack of dynamic in the band development.

Talking about the pandemic, without the ability to perform live, even to convene to proper rehearsals, how do you cope with the situation? What keeps you in line from not breaking things because you can’t just go out and play music with other people due to various restrictions?

Of course – it is very challenging and we had to work flexible. Pascal and I arranged the songs by working online, doing skype sessions and changing the parts by cloud. Fortunately, we are living in 2020 and digital working is possible 😉 Our strategy was to benefit us the pandemic crisis and to be ready in spring 2021 when the crisis hopefully will come to an end… Our plan has always been to present live in 2021.

Do you see a light at the end of this long and dark tunnel that the people worldwide are still traveling in? Do you believe that vaccinations will do the trick and make our future bright again?

Due to the fact that I am a positive thinking person I assume that things will change in better circumstances again. In which expression we will see…

And back to Generation Steel, you might say that things progressed for the band quite fast, whether the lineup and of course the arrangement and songwriting in order to be ready with the debut album. What is your take on this entire process? Did you feel any pressure to complete your debut in any form?

We are all persons who can motivate themselves and love to work under pressure. As mentioned above we made use of the pandemic by working on our album and preparing all other things – website-design, video production, coordination of cooperation with our partners and so on.

What can you tell about the line-up? Did you just recruit the guys one by one or was the setting already ready to be announced?  I noticed that you recruited one hell of a vocalist, which I have no idea where did you find such a starlet. Furthermore, the band itself sounds really tight.

Thanks for this compliment! Each single band member was selected because of their personality, metal-style and their attitude which goes in an ambitious alignment. And of course – Rio was a lucky strike. I found him by doing research on Facebook.

Signing with Pure Steel Records, being a German label and also a strong supporter in old school Heavy Metal, was no less than a wise decision. Other than being on your side of the music, what else were you looking for in a label that made you sign with Pure Steel?

Steel meets Steels is the right headline about our cooperation! 😉 The choice for Pure Steel Records beside the matching factor because of style and positioning was that this label acts as a friend to their bands. They are very committed to support the band! We only wanted a label if we find one that gives us added value – promotion, physical and digital sales management.

Philosophically speaking, what is the general vision behind Generation Steel. Of course that it is a musical entity, but what does it bring with it in the form of a message? Is it yet another protection shield for the old Metal flame or there is something beyond?

The established Steel-Metal Bands are getting older, some doesn`t exist anymore. We want to preserve the tradition of steel-metal and to continue this generation and style. And it means that all metal fans are the GENERATION STEEL – from the youngest to the oldest. The connecting element is the feeling and power of metal.

Through Pure Steel Records you are releasing your debut album, “The Eagle Will Rise”, which I presume to be a strong statement that something wicked and German is coming, am I right? It felt to me like the Judas Priest track title of “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” actually. What is your opinion on that?

The album title has multiple meanings: - The debut of the band GENERATION STEEL feels like an eagle who starts his attack. - The inner rise of emotions of everyone. To stand up again after disappointments or failure and do not give up! - The hope for a better life after pandemics, political wrong decisions or wrong responsible persons. So the meaning is not aggressive or destructive. There is a deeper meaning in terms of motivation, positive thinking and development.

Earlier we talked about what Generation Steel stands for, yet it would be great to know how you find the themes on “The Eagle Will Rise”? On what or to whom to do address with the narratives going on in the album?

The themes are given by news on the internet or TV, actual socially development and so on. It is important for us that the texts can be interpreted in a variety of ways and that everyone can extract their individual interpretation.

The band’s musical dogma is the continuance of the grand stand of Teutonic Heavy Metal, sending sharp arrows of steel a'la Accept, Grave Digger, Sinner, early Rage and UDO. In a way I sensed that it was something that everyone really needed, someone to revamp the old powerful form of German Metal with no need of cutting edge stuff, just honest Metal. Where does this statement find you? How do you perceive the musical form of the band in light of “The Eagle Will Rise”?

All band members grew up on the mentioned bands and are influenced by them. We want to preserve this powerful German metal and give it a modern garment. There are too much Death- or Hardcore bands today and to less groovy and punchy bands with the old style! We focus on being straight, giving passion and savouring Teutonic metal attitude

Beyond your musical perspective, you were also produced by the one and only generator of the superb 90s Grave Digger sound, Uwe Lulis. How did it feel to work with Lulis? How did you find his vision aligned with yours while working on the album?

Uwe is a personal friend for many years and I knew that I could ideally implement my vision with him. We share the same metal taste and attitude – so the co-working was very harmonic and efficient. I think it was not just a job for Uwe – he gave a lot of passion to us!

That massive sound of the guitars, along with the wall of bass, really kicked the energy levels up a notch, hell more than a notch. How did the sound of the album ring in your ears while you listened to the final result? Was there a power surge present?

Well – it was simply the result that I expected from Uwe! That’s the most important reason why I wanted to work with him. Uwe stands for real powerful sound that acts like a perfectly mixed live presentation. We didn't want the typical uniformity sound as you can hear on the actual productions of Accept, Judas Priest, Saxon. Our aim was to be more in the face!

Being a veteran musician, with a history with other bands, what lessons of the past did you implement on Generation Steel that you believe that made the album fruitful?

Without a motivated and resilient team, it is not possible to tackle such a project like this! All depends on the right persons at the right time.

What kind of challenges rose while the album was being worked on, whether on the studio or even while it was being written? If there were hardships, how were you able to mitigate their effects on the outcome of this entire process?

No unforeseen challenges because of a professional preparation of each one.

To be honest, it was so hard for me to pick songs to talk about, as virtually this entire album is a cruising Heavy Metal fest under the same band name. However, if I could pick, I would go for “Warbringer”, which turned out to be an uplifting, energetic defender of Heavy Metal, and with Ullrich shining, there is no mistake, a star was born. What is your appreciation of this track?

Cool selection – it is one of my favourites on the album! I love powerful and fast metal songs which has a lot of vocal melody under laid by hard guitars and drums. I can`t wait to present this song live!

This won’t be easy, but I will put this annoying task on you. Which of the tracks do you connect with on a personal level. Now, I know that you wrote most, if not all, of the songs. However, there is always that special one that is closer to one’s heart. Please elaborate on your pick.

Definitely "Heaven`s Calling"! My father died 4 years ago and this song deals with my personal grief.

Since it is not possible for you to promote the album playing live, a kind of a debacle but there is no way to avoid it for now, how do you intend to promote the album? Were there thoughts of doing a live stream show? Since the band is fairly new, it might be a good idea

We have developed a concept which we implement with our partners. Focus lays on promotion mailings, social media and videos. This week we will release our second video “Invoke The Machine”. And of course – we think about a live stream show. But we are hopeful to play live in 2021.

Furthermore, you also have time to perhaps start thinking of a second album, are there any particular directions that you thought of for a next release?

Yes, we're already thinking about the second album, songwriting has already started. We want to expand our style and focus on the strength of our vocalist, guitars and rhythm section.

Jack, I would like to thank you for your time for this interview, you made it happen with Generation Steel, this massive return of true Teutonic Metal is so amazing, and it is only the beginning. Cheers sir.

Thanks for these interview and your support! Stay healthy – stay metal – stay steel!



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Edited 04 February 2023

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