Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interview with Skyconqueror

Germany's Skyconqueror made their debut here at Heavy Metal Time Machine on August 7th. Now I am pleased to present the interview that I conducted with this very cool, old-school/traditional heavy metal band. I want to thank them for checking in with us and if you have not had a chance to read my review of "Under The Pentagram" (the group's latest release) then you can read it at the link posted right below this interview! Enjoy!

Andy (A)-Let me start things off by stating the obvious. "Under The Pentagram" was a labor of love from metalheads to metalheads right?

Skyconqueror (S)-Yes, absolutely! When we started our work on the new album, we realized fairly quickly that the material carries us much more back further into the past than it was the case with the previous releases which had a little more parts of power metal. The releases in the past we recorded usually in one (STREAK OF LIGHTNING) or just in a few days (all the other stuff). This time it took us much more time – especially for the vocal recordings. I think with the new record UNDER THE PENTAGRAM we initiated a kind of new chapter for the band. With HELLSTORY we created a retrospect from 1997 to 2008 and maybe unconsciously we closed a chapter of the band´s history with the record. The focus somehow went much more to the influences, the roots and the essence of our music. What we felt was that there was a new spirit and new energy when the first new tracks were recorded.

A-From the looks and sounds of it Skyconqueror is a real D.I.Y. kind of band. Would that be a correct assessment?

S-You´re right. We always created and played the music for ourselves and we tried to play gigs wherever it was possible. We never tried to get a record deal or something like that.

A-Name, rank and serial number time. Whose who in Skyconqueror and what's it all about?

S-It´s Daniel Hiller on vocals, Jan Tappert on guitar, Mirko Jankord on bass-guitar and Carsten Stiens on Drums. We all know each other from school in Lüdinghausen – in the surroundings of Münster in Northwest-Germany. Nowadays we live in different towns (Münster, Dortmund and Essen) – that´s not too far away from each other, so we are still able to meet during the week or at weekends for rehearsal or hanging around together.

A-If you had a mission statement what would it be?

S-I´m not sure if we really have a mission statement. It´s a wide variety of different styles we like – from Rush to Dissection, from Magnum to Slayer and from ZZ TOP to Darkthrone. Along the years we got influences from all those styles (in the music and in the lyrics – here especially the occult stuff prevails). All these influences are a part of SKYCONQUEROR. We do what we like! Perhaps the variety of different styles could be the mission statement of our music.

A-Old-school heavy metal. You've got to love it right? I know I sure as hell do!

S-Yes, that´s right also. Among all different styles of metal – it´s the old school of metal we all love. That´s the style of music connecting us. In addition everyone has his own preferences, for example Daniel likes progressive metal, Jan is a big supporter of old school Black Metal, Mirko loves old school british HM and L.A. hairmetal as well.

A-Awesome! Now, back to the album at hand. I read somewhere that "Under The Pentagram" took over a year to record. Was there any reason why? I mean other then the D.I.Y. approach of your band?

S-Of course it didn't take us more than one year to do the recordings. The drums – for example – were recorded in just two days. But we all have our jobs and our private obligations. This is why we were not able to work on the album permanently. Sometimes we had to interrupt the recordings for a couple of weeks.

A-My bad then. Switching gears somewhat here, but I've got to say that I am surprised that your band is still unsigned. Especially considering the renewed interest in straight-up heavy metal. Has there been any label interest at all over the years?

S-No, up to now there hasn´t been any label getting into contact to us, but on the other hand we have never sent any copies of our CDs to any labels. We just sent some records to fanzines and sold them on concerts, for example. We are completely satisfied with our current situation. With oomoxx we have a good partner for distribution and Metalmessage (Editor's note: Metalmessage does great work and comes highly recommended!) supports us with promotion. We are going to follow what´s going on with Under The Pentagram, but right now we don´t see any advantage of having a label. But if you know a freaking generous label – let us know! Haha…

A-I'll keep you guys in mind and if I can help in that regard I most certainly will! 

A-The German metal scene is well known for it's more extreme side. I think we can all agree upon that. For Skyconqueror though it's all about staying true to the roots of traditional heavy metal and the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement. Do you find yourself alone in that field or has Germany shown a renewed interest in straight-ahead heavy metal like the U.S., UK and Sweden (just to name a few countries going that route)?

S-Of course there are some very good traditional metal bands in the German underground. But we also like playing with all kinds of bands. We played on festivals as the only metal band among bands playing very different styles of music. The feedback during and after the gigs was always really positive – from metalheads and the other guys.

A-Are there any other local bands that our readers should check out?

S-We sometimes played with Terror Blade (thrash), Metalhead and Somewhere In Nowhere (both power metal). These are really nice guys and we like their kind of music.

A-I'll have to look into those three bands then. But, if you are able then please by all means send them my way! My goal is to continue to support underground and independent acts no matter WHERE they happen to appear on the world stage! Now, "Under The Pentagram" (digitally at least) can be found on the usual sites like Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes (which is where I snagged my copy of your very excellent sophomore release!). And while that is cool and all (and I should know as my digital collection is out of control when it comes to all things metal!) there is just something about being able to hold an album, look at it's artwork and flips through it's pages. Where can fans find hard copies of the album then if they want to add it to their collection?

S-If you want to buy a hard copy you should check out for example Amazon, and if you have the time and we are around you can just visit a gig and buy it there. We always carry copies with us. Otherwise send us a message. For digital releases you can check out "Under The Pentagram" on every major channel, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and If you want to listen to it first then you should have a look at our Facebook page under and listen to some tunes there. And if you don´t like Facebook just check out Youtube (but be careful – obviously there is a computer game with the same name – don´t look at that!). You can also find some links on

A-That brings up a similar question. Where can fans go to find out more about Skyconqueror?

S-The easiest way is via our homepage and the Facebook link. Or you can find us in beergardens and bars in and around the towns we live!

A-What does the rest of 2014 have in store for the band?

S-We would like to play some concerts in autumn and winter. We hope that works. Perhaps we are going to start working on a new recording. We want to get rid of all our CDs (YOU can help us with that!) and after summer we plan to make a (very late) release party in the Whiskey Dungeon in Münster, Germany.

A-Hopefully this interview and my previous review WILL help you move some CDs as your album is a real banger! 

A-What do you ultimately want Skyconqueror's legacy to be?

S-Wow, that sounds as if we were suspended yet! It´s to early to talk about a legacy. We are going to make more music, music that we like – that´s our legacy.

A-As a fan of solid heavy metal I hope you do continue to make music for a very LONG time! 

A-Final thoughts? The mic is all yours and the audience is listening!

S-You readers, if you like heavy metal of the old school then just have a look at our homepage and listen to some of the new songs! Stay with us for the new stuff and the coming gigs. Support the underground and take care!

A-The same goes to you!

Review of "Under The Pentagram":

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