Interview to LION’S SHARE
PRESENT YOURSELVES OUR READERS...
“I’m Lars Chriss. Guitarist and founder of the Swedish Heavy Metal band LION’S SHARE.”
WHO ARE LION'S SHARE AS BAND MEMBERS?
“Lars Chriss - guitar, Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals, Sampo Axelsson - bass. On the album we had Richard Evensand (Chimaira, Soilwork, Therion) on drums.”
WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?
“We formed in 1993. I put the band on hold 2002-2006 after four albums and now we are back with a great new lineup and our fifth album in 2007.”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...
“The first LION’S SHARE album was released 1995, and back then we were more into the progressive stuff and probably sounded like a mix between Black Sabbath (R.J Dio/ Tony Martin era), Dream Theater and Queensryche. We then signed to Century Media and did “A Touch Of Evil” for “A Tribute To Judas Priest – legends of metal Vol. 1” with Helloween, Testament, Saxon, Devin Townsend, U.D.O. among others. We did a European tour with Saxon and in early 1997 we released our second album “Two”. Then we toured Europe with Iced Earth and Nevermore, plus did another tour with Saxon at the end of the year. More touring followed with U.D.O., Dee Snider, on our own etc. and we also did our first visit at Sweden Rock Festival (Manowar, Deep Purple, David Lee Roth, DIO, Motörhead, HammerFall), before our third album “Fall From Grace” was recorded. Right before it came out with did a month of arenas opening up for DIO, Manowar & Motörhead in a package called “Monsters Of The Millennium”. In 2001 we released “Entrance”, and it was after this tour I put the band on hold in December 2001, simply because I was totally burnt out and needed a break. Now I feel re charged again and we have recently unleashed our comeback masterpiece “Emotional Coma” on AFM Records. The first new album from the band in six years.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?
"Lion's Share" 1995, "Two" 1997, "Fall From Grace" 1999, "Entrance" 2001. We also did a song for "A Tribute To Judas Priest - Legends of Metal Vol 1" together with bands like Helloween, Saxon, UDO, Fates Warning, Testament etc in 1996.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
“Our new album is called "Emotional Coma" and was released this summer on AFM Records (Audioglobe distro in Italy) and it's absolutely great!”
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
“We've done a lot of touring in the past with bands like DIO, Manowar, Motorhead, Iced Earth, Nevermore, Dee Snider, U.D.O., Saxon etc. Obviously our new record deal with AFM is a high point. In July this year we were invited by Manowar to play on their Magic Circle Festival. By the time we played there was 10 000 people there. Two of our songs from that show will be featured on the next Manowar DVD that will come out in November. We also have our own Fan Club at www.lionssharearmy.com which is a privilege of course.”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE "EMOTIONAL COMA"?
“It’s a great record for any fan of well played, written and produced melodic heavy metal in the style of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Dio, Accept, Megadeth etc. We also have some more modern influences of course, but we’ve stayed pretty true to our original influences but also tried to put our own stamp on it and bring it up to 2007. We’ve always been known for delivering high class products with great musicianship. We always spend a lot of time and money to make the best album we possibly can. . I think we have a good balance between really heavy riffs and catchy melodies. We have an E-card that people can check out here www.fanbay.se/buy/index.asp?movie_id=1897&company_id=39”
IT SEEMS THAT POWER METAL IS THE HOLY LAW FOR LION'S SHARE...
“We actually don’t think we play power metal. Power metal to me are bands like Stratovarius, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Edguy, Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, Sonata Artica etc. and we feel no connection with this style. We are influenced by old school, traditional, classic Heavy Metal like Judas Priest, Accept, Black Sabbath, Megadeth etc. We are much more aggressive, darker and doomier than the “happy sounding” power metal style.”
I NOTICED A STRONG INFLUENCE OF RONNIE JAMES DIO IN YOUR SOUND...
“Yep. We all love him and his work with Rainbow, Dio and especially Black Sabbath. When we played at Sweden Rock Festival this summer, we were able to see Heaven & Hell play and it was absolutely awesome. In 1999 we supported Dio for a month and it was a dream come true for me to be able to hang out with my all time favourite singer Ronnie James Dio every day. He even told me in front of his band and crew I was welcome to come up on stage and play with them any time I wanted to. I never did out of respect to them, but it knocked me out to hear these words coming from my hero.”
THE MOOD IS VERY EPIC AND EMOTIONAL...
“Thank you! Yeah, we like heavy and doomy riffs as well as ripping heavy metal riffs like Judas Priest. Always with a good catchy melody on top though. We are a riff band. All our songs are based on great riffs. It's very rare we only strike out chords or notes.”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
“It was recorded in different studios around our home town Stockholm in Sweden. We recorded guitars, basses and vocals in a smaller studio and the drums and mixing were done in a big more expensive studio. I have produced all our records but I always hire the best engineers around to help me with the sounds. We spend a lot of time and money to make the best album possible.”
THE ALBUM SEES THE FEATURING OF SOME FINE MUSICIANS...
“Yes! Bruce Kulick from KISS did a guitar solo for "The Edge Of The Razor" and Glen Drover from Megadeth did one for "Emotional Coma" plus Mats Levén (Yngwie, Therion, At Vance, Krux) helped us with the backing vocals for the whole album. Eric Peterson from Testament was working on a solo too for “Bloodstained Soil”, but unfortunately we had to start mixing before he was done.”
THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?
“It’s more up-tempo, raw, aggressive and in your face. In the past we were pretty influenced by progressive stuff like Dream Theater, Rush and Queensryche. We also used more keyboards and big backing vocals in the past. This time I more or less returned to my roots and the kind of metal I started out playing as a teenager. My main influences have always been bands like Black Sabbath (especially with Dio), Judas Priest, Megadeth, old Metallica, Accept, Saxon etc.”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE FEEDBACK OF MEDIAS?
“The reactions have been real great both from the press and the fans worldwide so we are very happy and excited to be back. Of course we were a bit worried about the reactions since we were away for six years and are now back with a brand new lineup and more guitar heavy sound. Fortunately we have kept in contact with our fans through our web site www.lionsshare.org, the MySpace page www.myspace.com/lionsshare and of course through the official Fan Club at www.lionssharearmy.com so we knew many people were waiting for this cd.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
“We try to make the kind of album we would like to buy ourselves. We write from the heart no matter what trends are going on around us, all we can do after this is hoping as many people as possible have the same great taste in music we do.”
“We have been doing some really great gigs this summer. Especially Manowar’s Magic Circle Festival was great for us. Germany is an important market and we played in front of 10 000 people there. Sweden Rock Festival was great too. Many fans both at the show and the signing session. We recently came back from Norway after playing Metal Heart Festival with Testament, Queensryche, UDO, Candlemass and others plus followed this up with a Swedish mini headline tour. We’ve received a couple of offers so far for a full blown European tour. It’s all about timing and going out with the right package though so nothing is confirmed yet. Of course we hope to be able to go out with some bigger band and play all around Europe before the next album gets released.”
YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
“I try to be fair and reliable.”
THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
“We will spend the ending of this year writing and making demos for the next album since both we and our label would like to have the next cd out after the summer 2008 to establish the comeback feeling so to speak. We will have 2 songs on the new Manowar DVD from the Magic Circle Festival that’s gonna be out sometime during November I think. We will also have “Emotional Coma” released in Japan, Russia, South America and USA during the next 4 or so months.”
ANY LAST REMARKS?
“I would like to thank everybody that has supported Lion’s Share in the past and hope you and many new fans will continue to do so for the future as well. On October 26 my and Sampo's side project ROAD TO RUIN will be released on Metal Heaven Records. It’s pretty much a celebration to the bands we grew up listening to within this genre like Whitesnake, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple Mk3 etc. We have Matti Alfonzetti (Skintrade, Scott Gorham, Jagged Edge) on vocals and the album is really good so check it out (homepage www.roadtoruin.org). Ciao and ROCK ON!!”