Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Interview with Steel Messiah' member Marius Röntgen

Steel Messiah is a German heavy metal band whose killer debut EP, "Of Laser and Lightning", was previously reviewed. Now I'd like to present a interview that I recently conducted with band member Marius Röntgen. 

Andy-Would you please introduce yourself and tell me how Steel Messiah first came together. 

Marius-I am Marius, the singer and bass-guitarist of Steel Messiah. We came together from quite different genres. I was playing with Kai and our old drummer Daniel since 2012 in Mandatory Suicide (a band that never really moved on due to the fact that our line-up constantly changed). Marcus and I played in the band Laser. In that band we first got the idea for some of our up coming songs. Songs like "Fast and Sharp" and  "Motorcycle Maniac" were first formed there. These songs were then finished within Steel Messiah. After Julian (our old guitarist) left Mandatory Suicide in 2015 we asked Marcus to join us. He did because Laser was falling fact our drummer was moving away to study somewhere else. So we formed Steel Messiah. In the Spring of 2016 Daniel left the band because of personal time issues and then Moritz joined. Since then we have been playing with our current line-up. 

Andy-Who are your influences? 

Marius-We have got a lot of different influences that shape our personal style. Everyone of us has a different direction based on heavy metal. Kai and Moritz prefer some of the more modern stuff while Marcus and I tend to listen to old-school rock and metal. Bands that really tend to influence us are Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead, and a lot of other older groups. 

Andy-Those are three bands that I happen to love! Especially Motörhead!! Steel Messiah is such a cool name for a heavy metal band. How did you guys settle on that? 

Marius-Actually we don't have a cool story for this. In 2015 we were looking for a fitting name because we has finally agreed on making heavy metal in the style that we do now. "Struck by Lightning" was the only complete song at that point that we had and we just brainstormed a lot of band names. It's difficult to find a band name that's not already used. So we came up with Steel Messiah. 

Andy-Well, like I said I think it's cool. So, how have your fans reacted to the new EP? 

Marius-I think we have had no really negative voices concerning our EP. Everybody we showed it to so far has really liked...although a few people complained that the sound could have been better. But as a band we are quite happy with the result. 

Andy-Speaking of it's sound, "Of Laser and Lightning" has a really cool vintage feel to it. Was that your goal heading into the studio? 

Marius-Absolutely not. We just wanted to achieve the sound that would best fit the songs. We had no real intention to produce music that would hit one specific corner of a genre. We wrote the songs that everybody was happy. Because of our different tastes that was not a easy task. We worked very closely with Robin to get the most authentic sound we could out of the songs.

Andy-Speaking of which, Robin Szekely recorded and mixed your album. Was that somebody that you knew? How did you make the connection? 

Marius-Robin has been a friend of mine for quite some time. Before Steel Messiah I sang and played bass in the death metal band Furcate. My lead guitarist Armin knew Robin and we planned to create a little death/black metal project with just the 3 of us. Robin records a lot of his writings at home and has quite a bit of experience in recording. He sometimes helps us out with mixing or advising the sound guy on how we have to sound. We are really thankful for his support! 

Andy-As I alluded to earlier I really enjoyed the sound of your EP so I think it's a great partnership. Changing gears a bit here, but how would you describe your band to someone who had never heard Steel Messiah before? 

Marius-I think I would describe ourselves as traditional heavy metal with a lot of high pitched vocals. If you like this idea then you might want to check us out. 

Andy-From what I read your EP was limited to only 100 CD copies. Do you have any plans to re-issue it? 

Marius-We limited it to 100 copies because it made no sense to create more. We are a very small band. We are working on increasing our range. We only have limited financial resources and we still didn't sell all of our EPs. If we run out and the people are still interested in buying them we will release some new ones. 

Andy-I'm kind of surprised that there are still copies left. Especially given how cool the EP is. Weird. But anyway, who are some of the bands that you've played with? 

Marius-The biggest act we played with were the awesome Steelwing from Sweden. It was a great experience for us to play with an international act and they were pretty nice to us. We had a lot of nice conversations with them and they seemed to like our show. Other bands we played with are local acts. Big thanks go out to Spitfire and Mutoniatus who helped us out at our release gig. Also thanks to Demons Dream as they gave us the chance to play our first festival (Chainbreaker 2016). Other bands we had a blast with were Eisenhauer, Ruynor, Human Thrash Mashine, Cyrence, Chaossphere, Burkhartsvinter and a few more. I hope that everyone I forgot about will not be mad at me (haha). 

Andy-What's the next move for Steel Messiah? What does 2017 hold in store for your band? 

Marius-Right now we are hard at work on our first album which we want to record in summer 2017. We are also working on our live show and on our outfits so there will be quite a bit to look forward to.

Andy- I let artists have the last say. Care to add anything? Final thoughts or words of inspiration? 

Marius-Support the underground and stay heavy!

Andy-That I will Marius. And to our readers I would like to encourage all of you to do the same. Let's all work together to make 2017 the best year ever for all thing metal!!

For more information on Steel Messiah be sure to check out the group's Facebook page.

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