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Michael Ehre (Metalium)

Interview with Michael Ehre from Metalium
by Makis Kirkos at 05 June 2005, 5:34 PM

European Power Metal. A very specific part of the Metal tree. Throughout the last 20 years there have been many bands that came and left, others leaving a trace behind them, others not. Metalium appeared in 1999 with their debut Millenium Metal Chapter One and have managed ever after to build and maintain their musical ID. Following the release of their 5th studio album, Demons Of Insanity - Chapter Five (Armageddon Music), our good ol' Templar, Makis, interviewed the band's drummer, Michael Ehre. Here's what they spoke about…

Let me start from the album’s title, Demons of Insanity! That sounds catchy, strong, true and fits perfectly with Metalium. Whose idea was it?

That was Lars’ idea! First we had in mind to call the new CD Earth In Pain but after writing the lyrics to the song Demons Of Insanity we thought that this would be the best choice.

Is it a statement? Like the narrator warns, Don’t you dare to rewrite genesis or you will become a Demon of Insanity.

Sure it is. Demon Of Insanity means to become a slave of our time, of the problems we have, of the mistakes the mankind makes. Just think about the air pollution or the unstoppable progress of science. Sure it has good sides but it also has a lot of bad sides. And we are about to lose control of these bad sides.

The cover art is once again excellent, having the Metalian in flames, holding the Earth and stuff. Who was responsible for this?

It was Lars and I who had the idea. I thought it would be a good statement and a good conclusion of what the album is about when the Metalian and the Metaliana try to save the earth together from falling into the fire, which is a kind of metaphor for hell.

OK, I think we should move on to the music now. How do you guys manage to sound so fresh, powerful, tight and mind-blowing?

Thank you for this! We always try to give our best on stage as well as in the studio. Although we are always well prepared for our recordings, we try to save this kind of freshness in the songs. Besides, we’ve been playing together for 3 albums and a couple of tours - and I think that the people can hear that. I guess we grew to be a good team now.

You’ve worked continuously from 1999 to now. Releasing almost a new album each year. How do you manage to do this?

I’ve been in the band since 2001, so I can only tell about the way Metalium has worked since then. We are a very hard working band. It’s not only that we release records each year, we also go on tour for weeks to promote it. But that’s the way it goes, otherwise people would maybe forget us. I for myself write songs throughout the whole year, so when we go to the studio I always have about 20 to 30 songs from which we could choose.  

Aren’t you afraid that one day you will run out of melodies?

Fortunately we always have ideas in our writing process. And we try to be as fresh as we can when we meet to write a new CD. And it’s always fun - it’s not that you think Oh, I have to go to work now and write songs!!! No! We make music because it’s our passion and not our job.

Please describe us the way you composed the music for your new album. Is it something you do all together?

As I said, we all collect some ideas or some songs and put them all together. Then we choose which ideas/songs we could use for the band. Then we have about 20 songs collected for which our singer tries to create melodies. After these melodies are on tape we choose which ones will make it on the album and write the lyrics.

Demons of Insanity is really massive. I think you are in the best form of your six-year career. How do you feel?

I think the same! Every musician says about his new record that this is his best in his whole career, but in my opinion this time we really made a very good CD. We always want to get better and better - as musicians and as a band as well. But I know that we can get even better, we’ll see….

Henning’s vocals are superb and sometimes I wonder how high this guy can reach. What’s his octave scale?

You have to ask him about this. I’m sorry, but I don’t know - but Henning is really incredible! We are very proud and happy to have him in the band.

You recorded the new album in two different studios. Why is that?

Actually we recorded in three studios. At first we recorded the drums in a studio in Hamburg, because we wanted to get a drum-sound different to the other albums. After that we played the guitars in our own Tornado-Studios in Hamburg. And in the end Henning and Lars recorded the vocals in Lars’ new built Jumpower Studio in Mallorca.

You’ve also included a cover version of the Loudness classic Rock n’ Roll Crazy Night re-billed as Heavy Metal Crazy Night, just for your fans in Japan. Why did you choose this song (It’s fuckin’ awesome) and why only in Japan? We too are dying to hear it.

The Japanese record label always wants to have something special on the CDs and they asked us to make a cover version of a song from a band from Japan. So, it was totally clear which band and which song we should choose: Loudness with Rock´n´Roll Crazy Nights, one of my favourite songs from my youth, hahaha…

You seem to enjoy doing covers. First it was Smoke on the Water and now this. What’s to be done next?

Oh, I don’t know. The next album is a year away, so we have a lot of time to think about it! Maybe we will record NO cover song on the next CD, who knows…

Let me ask you some personal questions now. OK, I know you use the internet but how often do you check your emails or check your forum etc?

I for myself check my emails and the forum every day because I’m always interested in what the fans have to say. And I´m very proud to see that we have fans all around the world, who care about our band and what we do.

Let’s suppose there is a reality TV show for bands and the prize for the winner is 1.000.000 €. Are you going to participate?

That’s a hard question! To be honest: I don’t know. On the one hand I hate all those reality and casting shows but on the other hand it would be the best promotion for the band you can get, and that for free! So, I really don’t know…

What do you have in your pockets right now?

Right now? Nothing! Sorry…

Name the best place you’ve ever performed live.

Oh, there were many places we enjoyed playing live. Most of the concerts I enjoy our performance and it doesn’t matter if there are 50, 500 or 5000 people wathing as long as they like what we do and share our passion for Heavy Metal!

Ok, let’s return to your new album. How was your cooperation with Don Airey?

It was the third time that we worked together with Don. And it’s always a great honour for us to have him on our records. Fortunately he has time to do this although he is a very busy man, I guess.

Rider On is probably my favourite song from Demons Of Insanity. I always headbang while listening to that killer guitar riff. What’s yours?

Oh, thank you for your opinion, because Ride On is one of my songs! I´m always glad to hear that some people like what I do. Thank you for that - that’s what pushes us to get even better! My favourite songs are Endless Believer and Cyber Horizon, because they are very dynamical and very melodic as well.

Speaking of the lyrics… the theme of this release concentrates for the first time on critical social issues. This was a change…

Yes, it was! But it was the right time to do it! With this record we wanted to get a bit back to earth. There are no fantasy lyrics as well as there are no fantasy band photos. We wanted to show the world that we don’t need all this image stuff to be recognized as a band. We wanted to convince with our music!

Metalium is on the top of the German Power Metal scene. Do you agree? Is it like a dream come true?


I don’t know. For some people we are, for some we are not. And to be true: I don’t think that this is important as long as there are people who like our music and keep the band alive. Who decides if we are on the top of the German Power Metal Scene? The number of sold albums or our musical talent? Everyone has to decide for himself whether he likes our music or not. If they do, it’s fine, if they don’t: That’s life!

Are you going to do another concept album in the future?

We haven’t talked about it yet. I guess it’s a bit too early to decide such things!

OK, what are your promotional plans? Are you going to shoot any videos?

We will probably release a second DVD in autumn / winter 2005, which features live and backstage shooting and studio reports from the last three albums. I’m really looking forward to it!

Any tour dates confirmed? Are you coming to Greece sometime?

Not yet! We hope to come to Greece this year! I for one have never been there, so I would be very glad to meet all the Greek metal fans on our tour!

Michael thank you for this interview. The last words belong to you.

I thank you for your interest in Metalium and I’m very, very happy to see that you like our new record! I hope to see you on tour!!! I wish you all the best!

Wish you all the best for the future guys. Thanks for a great album and see you soon hopefully.



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