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Gloryful's Johnny La Bomba: "Creating social media campaigns is not Heavy Metal, you know? There are too many shitty plastic bands out there, who just try to make a living of Metal, but people will always hear the difference, I believe."

Interview with Johnny La Bomba from Gloryful
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 14 June 2019, 10:27 PM

Heavy Metal will never die, no matter what is the current trend, tradition shall not falter or remain silent. Maintaining their legacy of steel, establishing a front of uncompromising direction of music, the Gloryful clan releases "Cult Of Sedna" through Massacre Records. Steinmetal had a chat with vocalist Johnny La Bomba about the new album, already out there making headlines, its elements and songwriting and of course the band's status.

Hi Johnny, good to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. What have you been up to recently?

Hi Lior, it´s my pleasure. Well I am just back from a rehearsal with the band after a longer break. We are currently preparing a new setlist for the next bunch of shows in summer. So we played three tracks from our new album, that we didn´t performed live so far. These new live tracks are “The Oath”, “True ´til Death” and “My Sacrifice”. It was a great rehearsal so I am in the best possible mood. Let´s start…

A little while ago, starting the year, Gloryful released its fourth album, “Cult Of Sedna”, via your current label Massacre Records. Congratulations. So are we into occultism or cults or mainly the title sounded cool for you guys?

Thanks, and yes indeed it a good feel releasing the fourth album since 2013 with Gloryful. We didn´t jump on the bandwagon that is or better was occult metal, haha. You know we have this quite special story about the mythical Inuit goddess of the sea, Sedna, that we follow with every album since our demo “Sedna´s Revenge” in 2010. For “Cult Of Sedna” it went even in the next level of curiosity, haha. With this album concept, we changed the whole perspective of what is good (nature? Sedna = Nature?) and what is evil (mankind? Cpt. McGerkin = representing humanity?). There´s that ancient cult, that tried hundreds of years to bring the goddess Sedna back to life. Someday, they force a priest (“Desert Stranger”) to fight his long way to the desert, to climb Sedna´s temple-like grave. I will stop here to spoiler more. Best way to get into a record is to read the lyrics while listening the album the first time and get into the artwork to generate your own impression of what it means to you.

Musically, Gloryful has been consistent with is Metal direction. There is a show of faith towards the 80s, yet with a variety of blinks towards the modern aged Metal spectrum. Therefore, the question is rather obvious, but still important, what changed since your previous “End Of the Night”? What do you believe “Cult Of Sedna” has to offer in terms of new stuff from Gloryful?

Well, after “End Of The Night” we decided to do less big choir parts on the next album. We wanted to make it more “in your face” and show more of the live-version of the band. So less plastic – more metal, haha. I turned out that we wrote more fast and trashing stuff than ever before, and it was fun to record this more heavy stuff. There are guitar riffs and some vocal patterns that reminds rather on acts like SOIT or Hatebreed than on Dragonforce or Dio, haha.

Before dwelling into the material itself, I must say that the album sounds amazing, a true studio work that I think gave you quite an edge. Was it the first time the band worked with Jorg Uken? In comparison to previous works with Charles Greywolf, what did you find in Uken’s vision that persuade you to take him work on the new album?

Indeed, it was the first time with Jörg Uken. The switch to another mixing studio was a little risk as Uken is well known for the rougher and natural sounding Thrash- and Death Metal productions like Dew-Scented, God Dethroned, etc. and we had to make a decision on that within 2 days this time, as several deadlines were crushed already and the album release date was fixed with the tour start. But after all, that choice was the right one as all the reviews for "Cult Of Sedna" has proven. People like the new heavier and more pure Gloryful sound, and we come closer to our live sound as well. There are more than enough nice high polished power metal records out there already that we feel comfortable being the more “ugly-brother-version” of this, haha.

The songwriting on “Cult Of Sedna” is pretty much straightforward, what can you share about the process? Were there any attempts to maybe experiment a bit?

It´s always the same thing: I sit with Jens in his little studio and we start tracking guitars and programming drums. If we both get a smile from what we´ve recorded, we know that it’s the right shit in that moment. That’s the whole thing. For 90% of the material, there´s just no plan or agreed way to go. But we always try to get a good mix of fast, mid-tempo and more balladry songs on each record. This time there´s no acoustic ballad but with “True ´til Death” and “Desert Stranger” two real rockers instead. Something like this just happens.

I take it that there isn’t a single focused theme on the album, yet, what themes interested you guys when you wrote the songs? Anything that you perceive to be groundbreaking?

Haha, no no not at all. It´s just about the best fitting metal-topics, that of course always are woven into our lyrical frame, which is our very own interpretation of the Sedna-Saga. So it´s a lot about the struggle and the fight that is life, about friendship, victory and of course the brotherhood that Heavy Metal should be.

The tracklist on the album sounds formidable, but I wonder which of the songs captured you the most? The ones, or a single one, that made an impact? Please elaborate

That´s my question, haha. For this is indeed a simple to answer: “True ´til Death” is the one that delivers a lot for me personally, some of us and especially myself was going through changes in the last couple of years, and this track is my statement to hold on, even in the hard times. Everyone has to live through darker periods at times, but there are people you can always rely on. You stay true ´til death to your friends and family (…which is Heavy Metal in a way of course…).

A few general questions. Which bands have you been listening to? Any prospects that you think could be Metal gods one day or are we past the era of the gods of the genre?

I am not into a lot of the new stuff classic Metal or retro stuff that’s put out regularly since a couple of years to be honest. I am digging classic stuff like Priest, Maiden and Manowar of course, but Hardcore / Crossover like 3 Inches Of Blood, Parkway Drive or Hatebreed as well. I am the singer of a true metal band, but nevertheless I am an open minded person, haha. I don´t see any new Heavy Metal Gods after the big ones left, no. The situation will be different then. There won´t be new gods of Metal, no. The record companies and press campaign will tell you so, but they will tell you shit.

Looking at the current Metal market, mainly advertising and promotion wise, how do you perceive the process of promoting a band in such a market that is infested with so much to offer to Metal fans?

To be honest I don´t give so much a shit on that side of the business because it´s kind of frustrating meanwhile. I try to keep the songwriting in focus, which is my business. I write songs, that´s my passion. Creating social media campaigns is not Heavy Metal, you know? There are too many shitty plastic bands out there, who just try to make a living of Metal, but people will always hear the difference, I believe.

Gloryful has been playing Traditional Heavy Metal since its inception. This classic direction of Metal has risen its head last decade after being market wise subdued. How do you see Traditional Metal in the next decade? Will it survive the test of time?

Of course, Traditional Metal will always live on. 100%. Sure. It will be pushed back again for some new shit of course, but it will survive and return again and again. Heavy Metal will stay. If something stays, then Heavy Metal.

I know that recently you concluded a tour to support the album, mainly European, and that you are about to head to Wacken Open Air once again. However, have you turned your gaze towards other continents such as Asia (Japan / China) or America (US / South)?

As “Cult Of Sedna” was officially released in Japan lately, we hope to make our dream come true and tour the land of the rising sun soon, yes. Besides that we´d love to tour outside of Europe, for example USA, Mexico and Brazil would be awesome. But that’s difficult to realize if we won´t grow a little bit in the next years of course.

Johnny, I wish to thank you for this interview. It was a privilege. All the best with the new album, it surely sounds great and a well reserved part of your ongoing legacy. Cheers mate.

Cheers mate, thanks for the opportunity. Slayer! Check out www.gloryful.net for latest news, show announcements and all official and rare merchandise. Support the underground!
 



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