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Megaton Sword's Uzzy Unchained: "…almost every plot has already been told in a billion variants. So, I thought I might as well start writing my own fantasy/sci-fi story, without worrying too much about existing narratives"

Interview with Uzzy Unchained from Megaton Sword
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 October 2020, 11:09 PM

And the energy and motivation to continue swiftly is at hand, channeled massively in the night's air for every single member to breath it in. The Austrian Megaton Sword didn't really stop after their debut EP, "Niralet", they just kept going and going. Of course without such a strong ability to support the release, in particular due to the pandemic, they made an effort to capitalize, and maintain composure to further write the next album, "Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire", continuing as partner with Dying Victims Productions. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to the vocalist, Uzzy Unchained, once again about the new album, the continuance of the narrative of the Niralet story and more… 

Hello Uzzy, and here we are again, a little more than a year since our last interview, how have you been doing mate?

Hi Lior, I’ve been cutting down trees and such with my new chainsaw all year long. Was a great time.

This Summer, which appears a little endless, in particular with a measure of excruciating heat across some of the world, hasn’t been ordinary in light of the Covid-19 still with us, for a second wave. How do you deal with this situation? Do you believe that there is an end to this phenomenon, which pretty much caught humanity off guard?

It surely is an extreme time and I understand that people are looking for some advice but I’m the wrong guy to ask. There are many others eager to guide those who seek guidance, however.

What do you miss most of the lives that were once different than the overshadowing protective direction that most people lead nowadays?

I’d like it if people were trying to cooperate to face the challenges of our time. Besides all those dire epochs of human history, I am sure one can also find examples of such cooperative glory.

Last time that we talked, I came to know your band Megaton Sword, along with its debut EP, “Niralet”. To be honest, I thought that it would take you a bit more to come up with the full-length album, yet here we are with “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire”. Is this a continuation of  “Niralet” or rather turning your gaze into newfound interests and horizons?

I am glad we were keeping up the pace and recorded our debut album this soon. When I started writing the lyrics for the EP I found that my mind was full of stories. I just had to write them down. On “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire”, you will find some more snapshots of these underlying stories.

What are the narratives, or singular narrative, that guides through the tales told on “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire”?

There are at least four different plots on the album and EP which are interlocked in one big narrative. I realized that the lyrics serve best when used as snapshots of these plots. I hope that some day I might be able to present it in a more complete way (writing the storyline/dialogues for a comic would be great). Nevertheless, let me give you some hints: The main plot is about Naelle’s invasion of Niralet and the chronological order of those lyrics, which are somehow connected with this main plot is: “Vulva of the Nightfall”, “In the Black of Night”, “General Bloodlust”, “Pristine War”, “For Glory”, “Songs of Victory”, “Wastrels”, “Crimson River”, “The Giver’s Embrace”, “Realms to Conquer”. However, as I said, it’s as if you’re trying to tell the story of an entire movie by showing your audience 10 uncommented screenshots. Moreover, there are several different protagonists. For example, “Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire”, “General Bloodlust” and “For Glory” are about Onn Hann’ar, a warrior from Ferakhia. His plot starts as a separate storyline and then gets entangled with the main plot.

What would you say were your prime influences for these narratives? Is there a relation to ancient myths and legends that you capitalized upon?

I don’t intend to draw any references to existing works with my narratives although I guess the books that you read influence what you write even if you don’t realize it. The very reason why you can think of a genre like sci-fi or fantasy is because you know at least one such book belonging to such a genre. Nowadays, these two genres are less distinctly defined. And of course, almost every plot has already been told in a billion variants. So, I thought I might as well start writing my own fantasy/sci-fi story, without worrying too much about existing narratives. Once I did this, I got the flow and the names of places and characters just popped up in my mind. There was no direct role model for the stories I wrote, nor the continent of Niralet.

What was your initial direction with the album’s lyrics while in the process of writing? Were there any second thoughts or dilemmas on what to write about?

Well I just wanted to continue what I started with the EP. The most challenging part was not to put too much story elements into one song and crush the song’s own story-independent topics. In case of doubt, I favored the melodies and vocal patterns, which I mostly completed before writing down the lyrics.

“Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire” ascertains Megaton Sword as an even tighter epic / classic Heavy Metal band, taking a step forward from Manowar and other driven acts into its own newly found mystery and steel bound manner. In your opinion, what kind of musical progress did that band make while working on the new album?

There was great consent on what we wanted to do. We just needed to follow that vision. I believe we all became better, more conscient musicians during the recording process and greatly improved our teamwork as a band.

Furthermore, in comparison to “Niralet”, there is a feeling that “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire” is both energetic and yet channeling an even stronger sense of epicenes. What is your take regarding these elements within your new export?

Thanks, you have put it nicely. We had our own sound and wanted to grow it even more distinct while not transforming it into something completely different or unrecognizable.

Even though that not too much time has passed, how would you say “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire” developed you as a songwriter?

Strictly speaking, I did only write the vocal melodies and lyrics. If you want to know about our riff-master’s progress, you should ask Simon. As for me, the biggest progress I made was regarding my workflow. Getting from the melodies to the lyrics and then improving both.

What would you say were the band’s main challenges while working on “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire”?

For all of us, it was the first record that was anticipated by a larger fanbase. Somehow, this was very exciting, yet you always want to keep up to the expectations. At some point, we just needed to shut it all off and keep doing what we initially set out to do. So, we focused on writing the songs that we were enjoying when playing them in our rehearsal.

 “In The Black Night” was the first tune that truly fascinated me. It barges in a strong suit speed, only to show its utmost force within the mid-tempo kicks. What is your take on this track? What can you tell regarding its theme?

Thank you, you chose one of my personal favorites. I think the song has a great musical pull, which is also linked to the theme of the song. It’s about upheaval, rebellion, and a leader who abuses his power to replace the corrupt political system of Kerszh (a state in the Neekog League) with an equally corrupt successor system (the Vynn Nation).

“Wastrels” may as well be the black sheep of the album, yet not in a negative manner. It is a catchy tune, could serve as a strong single, displaying proto-Speed Metal, and hard hitting British Metal type in its direction. What can you tell regarding the song’s creation process?

Again, I can only answer from my point of view as vocalist: When Simon came up with the rough instrumental arrangement, the first thing I thought was: This would be an awesome thrash-metal hymn! Yet doing thrash-metal vocals would have been a bit too strong of a genre break, thus, I used some heavy distortion instead.

I had you going through the same ordeal of a question on the previous interview, and I will ask again. With “Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire” is packed with prominent tunes, which one of these have that power hold over you? Please elaborate

Probably the rest of the band will whip me for this. Still, I dare to say that I am embraced by “The Giver’s Embrace”. The first riff hooked me and writing the vocal melodies and lyrics was like effortlessly riding down-river on a vivid current.

I enjoyed the old school pattern sound of the album, in particular the drum kit sound, which in their massiveness toughened up the guitars and vocals. Who was in charge of the album’s studio work? What is your appreciation of the band’s sound on this release?

This album was recorded by Yvo Petrzilek, as was our EP. He also did the production. Of course, we could always say “no” to anything he did, but to be honest, he just is really good at what he’s doing and generally we found his approaches enriching the sound we had in mind.

Currently it is rather hard to show your face in a live venue with public storming in as the pandemic is still out there, waiting for its next victims. Therefore, bands have a lot more time to go on ahead with new music, but also to perform live throughout the internet. What is your opinion in light of these new methods to keep one’s sanity intact?

It’s a great way to keep concerts alive. Still, I miss a good crowd and want to bang my head with friends in a sold-out venue. Yet, regarding the risks and the toll the pandemic took, we do not have much of a choice: We all must do our best not to prolong the current situation and these new methods offer an acceptable compromise.

Where do you see Megaton Sword in this coming year of 2021? Any chance that things would back to normal and you would perform live again?

Luckily, we have several shows coming up in November/December 2020. We will have to adapt to the current health-regulations but are thrilled to play anyhow. Beyond that, I hope this will be possible throughout 2021 as well so we can finally deliver our newly forged hymns live.

Uzzy, it was great to have you once again for this interview. Many thanks of a great effort. Cheers mate.

We greatly appreciate the support! Cheers to you and everyone out there listening to Megaton Sword!


 



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