PRESENT YOURSELVES TO OUR READERS...
"The band is active since the year 2000 and we've been playing more or less heavy metal the whole time. After extensive gigging in Estonia and establishing ourselves as the household old schoolish metal band around, we managed to have our debut demo "Heavy Metal Wakes the Beast" with a few extra tracks released as an album in China. Lately we've been less active in Estonia and have concentrated our efforts to play in other countries. Most recent gigs were in Latvia and France."
WHO ARE HERALD AS BAND MEMBERS?
"Regular people. None of us is a professional musician, we all have day jobs and families. Most of us are also active in other bands."
WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?
"As I pointed out, the band's been together since 2000, but we started actually playing concerts after incorporating the current vocalist Mart Kalvet."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...
"It was pretty hard to find a good and persistent drummer. When Rajakas finally joined full time, we were still searching for a vocalist - although the bassist Mart Veski had already vocalised for Herald on a "Tribute to Judas Priest" compilation track "The Sentinel", the band were looking for something different. The final brick in the wall was added when we managed to recruit Tauno Nava on the second guitar. We've changed bassists since then, too, but it hasn't affected the band as a whole."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?
"Everything we've recorded so far - except for the Priest tribute compilation track mentioned in the previous answer - has been released by Area Death Production in the format of the album "Heavy Metal Wakes the Beast". It includes a remix of our 6-song demo of the same name plus four previously unreleased tracks recorded especially for this release. The extra tracks include "Dreamreaper", one of our oldest songs, and three newer ones - "God Found Dead In Space", "Summon Us" and "Black Heart Blues"..."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
"We have huge following in Estonia, especially among lifelong hard rockers and bikers, but also teenage audiences in Slipknot shirts and emo haircuts have been known to go off their rockers at our gigs. Also we have an established fanbase in Colmar, France, where brothers Uibo from the local black death act "Bloody Sign" as well as Nathaniel Colas from the fanzine "Mutilating Process" have done great promotion for us. We recently played a gig over there, and it was great to see dozens of people singing along to all our lyrics. I know we have strong support in Finland and Latvia, where people are eagerly waiting for us to perform. Hopefully it will happen soon."
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
"The release of our album by Area Death Records. Also gigs at Hard Rock Laager festivals in Estonia have given us possibilities to prove ourselves in an international context."
HOW TO INTRODUCE US "HEAVY METAL WAKES THE BEAST"?
"It is a solid 45 minutes of catchy riffing and insane heaviness that will nail your ears to the speaker and leave you writhing on the floor, screaming for more!"
WHY DID YOU SIGN WITH XMUSICK LEAGUE?
"Xmusicl League /Area Death Productions were the first label that approached us, instead of the other way round. Also, the deal required minimal financial output from our part, since we only had to record four songs in order to have an albumful of music, and we've maintained artistic freedom and integrity."
WHAT ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
"Since the demo songs were recorded much earlier and our style and preferences in sounds have veered towards the more experimental, the newer songs on the album sound somewhat different from the. This, I believe, is a sure sign of evolution, and I don't find that it decreases the quality of the record as a whole."
ANY PARTICULAR CONCEPT CONCERNING THE ALBUM?
"Nah, we wouldn't write a whole album based on just one concept, we're not a bloody prog rock or power metal band. The only theme that unites all of the songs is the relativity of morals, the relativity of violence. When does freedom fighting become terrorism? What measures would you apply in order to preserve your integrity? We want our listeners to think about these things, and maybe appreciate the meaning of militant imagery as slightly tongue-in-cheek, in our case."
WHAT'S THE MOOD OF IT?
"I wish everyone gets the same kick out of the album as we do playing the songs on it. The whole music of Herald is about intensity and catchiness. Mosh is relevant, but to make people mosh you have to know what buttons to push. Herald have access to these buttons."
THE SOUND IS A MIX OF THRASH METAL AND TYPICAL NWOBHM CRUNCH, RIGHT?
"That's a nice way to put it, and we certainly feel proud for being associated with these genres, but to tell you the truth, I'm not that sure our good friend and sound engineer Arne ever thought along these lines. So, no, not consciously or directly."
THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?
"Even if it doesn't sell platinum, I'm content in the fact that there are several songs on the record that will remain underground metal hymns for a generation of people who will always have strong connections to the type of music we play. I believe there'll still be people in leather and denim, singing "Heavy Metal Wakes the Beast" or "Hell Brigade" on the darkened streets of the post-apocalyptic future world of the year 2100."
WHAT ABOUT THE FEEDBACK?
"We get great feedback all the time from all over the world. It's such a shame that we can't answer all the letters and mail we receive, but we hope to get better at it in time. Of course, there are reviewers who don't like the vocals or the arrangements or the overall sound, but that's only to be expected if you choose such a rigid and canonized style of music as old school heavy metal."
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
"Intensity, integrity, fury and fun!"
"We're open to suggestions, but I don't think we'll be doing any extensive touring before the completion of the next album."
YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
"Heavy Metal is the only true religion in the world."
THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
"We're working on the next album, so it all looks pretty bright."
ANY LAST REMARKS?
"Rock'n'roll will never die!"
Official website: www.metal.ee/herald