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Johnny Hagel (Sorcerer)

Interview with Johnny Hagel from Sorcerer
by Danny Sanderson at 06 April 2015, 8:30 PM

SORCERER are an Epic Doom metal from Sweden, having originally broken up in 1995 after recording a couple of demos. Reunited in 2010, the band is revitalised with a fresh (as fresh as Doom can get) sound, and have recently come out with a new album, "The Shadow of the Inverted Cross". Danny Sanderson has a short chat with bassist Johnny Hagel about the new album and the band's lengthy time apart.

Hi mate; this is Danny from Metal Temple. First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer these. How are you doing?

Very very good and thanks for your support.

Musically, what are your key influences?

My key influences are bands like Black Sabbath (Dio and Tony Martin-era), Judas Priest, Accept, Demon, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and many more. But I also listen a lot to classical music.

You've recently signed to Metal Blade Records. How did that come about, and how well is the label promoting your work?

When we had mixed the album we sent it around to labels that we thought would be interested in to work with us. In the end we had 8-9 offers and from them we thought Metal Blade was the best label to represent us. Their history and reputation says it all and then you have all the great bands that they have worked with and are working with right now. We are really satisfied with their work so far and we hope that we can work together for many years to come.

You're about to release your first full length, "In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross" on March 20th. How was the writing and recording process for the record?

Every song started with me recording a basic demo of the song. Then I went to Kristian and we re-wrote some parts, took away some and added some. Then we arranged every song and sent it to Anders who wrote lyrics and melodies together with a good friend of him. After that Robert took the song to his home studio and recorded the drums, then we added bass, guitar and vocals on top of that. So we had a really good idea how the song should sound before the actual recording started.

What are the main lyrical themes on the new album?

All the lyrics are fictional and not “real”. Anders tries to tell a story about certain things so think that the listener should read the lyrics instead of me explaining everything here.

Do you have a personal favourite song on the record, and which ones do you think are the strongest tracks?

It differs from day to day. Today I would say “Lake of the Lost Souls” as I really like the heaviness and the epic touch the song has. If you ask me tomorrow I would problably say some other song.

Although you've been around for almost 30 years, having formed in 1988, this is your first major release. Why has it taken so long for the band to get this first album out?

First we split up in 1992 and didn´t get back together until 2011 so it has been a break for a while when we didn´t do anything together.

Do you think that the music and overall album have benefited from this long gap between recordings?

In one way yes. I think we a more mature now and think more of the overall feeling. But it´s not like a want to have the old songs undone. What we did then was the best we could and what we have done now is the best we can right now.

Recently, Doom Metal has made a bit of a comeback, with some new bands receiving lots of exposure, and old acts putting out great records. Why do you think that this kind of music has finally become popular?

Trends in music always changes but that is not something that I care about. Better to do what you like and then if people likes it it is a bonus.

In terms of promoting and touring for the new record, what are your immediate plans for the future?

We are booking shows for the autumn and winter and we hope that we can play as many festivals as possible next summer. Then we will start to write new songs and that takes time. This is not just a one off album, we are back.

Do you have any messages or words for your fans?

Thanks for your support through all the years, without you we would be nothing.


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