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¬ Ignitor - Metal is the law!!

Just a few weeks ago you played the Keep it true Festival in Lauda-Königshofen/Germany!! Was this the first time you’ve been to Germany so far? And what was the trip alike, have you enjoyed the country, the people and so on??

Erika: The trip was wonderful. We had such a good time. This was my second time to Germany, but it was the first time for the rest of the band. I felt it was a great way to see some very authentic German culture, as staying in little towns is much more “real”. You really get to experience everyday “life” more so than when you’re put up in a metropolitan hotel, where everyone is used to international travellers. The small inn where we stayed (Hotel Kern) was comfortable, and Frau Kern was so nice to us, even though she spoke no English and I didn’t do very well with my very bad German!

It was a beautiful time to visit the country; the landscape was very pretty, and we were all quite pleased that the weather was so nice. And of course, the metal heads we met were the best. German fans are so enthusiastic and kind, which is a refreshing change to how American crowds can be. Maybe this is silly to call out, but I love the fact that people have long hair and wear leather jackets with the patch-vests still in Europe. That was the metal look I grew up with, and I miss seeing it here in the US.

And what do you think of the KIT festival? How has the cooperation with the organizers been, how has the band Ignitor been treated and would you like to come back soon and play KIT again or one of the other European Underground festivals like Headbangers Open Air, Swordbrothers or Heavy Metal Maniacs?

Erika: Oliver and Tarek were great – we had no worries about where we would stay or any confusion about the show. It was a pleasure working with them. They are very good organizers and deserve a lot of commendations.

Of course we would love to come back as soon as we can. We’re working on it – we’ve spoken to the fellow who does Swordbrothers, and also have been tentatively invited for HOA 2007. Ideally we would have loved to come back in the summer, but most of the festivals have already been filled up, plus we may be going back down to Monterrey, Mexico again, and maybe Brazil (which is really crazy to think about!) if the planned fest there can be worked out.

Even though Ignitor was the first band to play on Saturday and most people were most likely still a little hammered from Friday’s pre-party, you succeeded easily and putting the masses in a rage and making them freak out completely!! Have you expected such a huge reaction before and what do you think, why did the fans go so damn crazy on your music, that afterwards almost everybody agreed to Ignitor being the best opener in KIT history so far??

Erika: The crowd reaction was so intense I was caught between laughing and crying through the entire set. The fact that people came up to watch our soundcheck like it was part of the set was so unusual for us (one  - that we had a soundcheck, two – that people got excited over it!). We were hoping for a positive reaction, but the crowd really exceeded our expectations. Playing for everyone there was one of the most sublime experiences of my life. We all felt so happy, and then hearing all the accolades of “Best opener in KIT” history, was the icing on the heavy metal cake, so to speak!

Besides alot of classics from the “Take to the sky” CD like “Demon Slayer”, “Execution” or “The last King Tiger” you also introduced two brandnew songs: “Scarlet Enigma” and “Road of Bones”!! Were these tracks already appetizers for the next Ignitor album??

Erika: Absolutely. We’re working on the new material right now, with preparations to record in January/February. Right now we have 7 new songs, and enough music for 4-5 more. Writing is going very well. The new material is definitely a step ahead from the material on “Take to the Sky”. It’s faster, more complex, has more double kick, and the vocals definitely have developed in intensity and style. I’m really excited to get feedback about it.

The song that earned the best reactions of all was “Reinheitsgebot”, for me and many others definitly the hymn of the whole festival!! What do you think is it, that gives the song such an enormous cult potential!?

Erika: I think the very memorable chorus plays a part in that. Reinheitsgebot was one of those songs where I came up with the chorus first, then the band developed the song around it. When we wrote it, we really wanted the song to stick in your head, and I think it does. We heard reports that people were still singing it that night in the youth hostel!

I think the song also captures the pride and enthusiasm for the genre that all metalheads carry in their hearts. Something about it makes me feel just like I did when I was 15 and going to my first metal shows – exuberant joy coupled with power and freedom. I hope others experience those feelings when they hear it.

The lyrics are partly in English and partly in German... were you already a little familiar with the German language before or was it completely new to you? And was it difficult for you to write and sing the German parts of  the lyrics?

Erika: I learned German for 4 years in high school, which unfortunately was a long time ago! I have forgotten quite a bit (as poor Frau Kern at the hotel in Unterbalbach could tell you). Foreign languages aren’t taught very well in American schools, so unfortunately I’m really not a very good German speaker, despite my enjoyment of the language. My friend Matze translated my English lyrics very nicely, so I have him to thank for the words. Otherwise, I could not have done it. I’m sure my pronunciation is horrible as it is…

Another cool news that was announced at KIT was the soon-to-come release of the “Take to the Sky” album on vinyl!! Dies Irae Records from Brazil will take care of it... how have you got into contact with them and how’s the work with them so far...

Erika: Dies Irae got in contact with us through our friend Rainer in Berlin. Ader from DI is an excellent fellow, very organized and professional. Right now we’re waiting for the LP inserts to be finished, and then they will go on sale. Seeing the sleeves in Germany was really great – it was the first time I’d seen them, and I was very pleased. Having your music pressed on vinyl is just so cool! CDs cannot compare.

By now, the LP might already be out... have you already seen and heard it yet?? If so, how satisfied are you with the final result?? And if not, what do you expect this release to be alike in terms of sound, quality, etc??

Erika: The LP should, I hope, sound as good as the CD. I don’t own a record player so I can’t even listen to mine! I did learn, (after the fact, of course, this is how these things go) that mastering for LPs is different than mastering for CDs, so perhaps if we do another LP release in the future, we’ll get a separate master for the LP so the sound is engineered for that medium. I can’t wait to see the final printed inserts – they’re going to look very cool. Lots and lots of pictures, flyers and a bio. I think people will really enjoy it.

According to you’ll be buisy with recording a new album in the coming months... can you already give us some info about it? Albumtitle, songtitles, musical direction, etc?

Erika: As I said earlier, musical direction is still classic metal but a bit harder, faster, more complex. It’s a natural progression – we’ve grown as songwriters and it shows. We don’t have an album title yet, but I’ll give you the song titles:

Road of Bones
Scarlet Enigma
Hymn of Erin
Wings of the Blackheart
March to the Guillotine
Reinheitsgebot (probably as a bonus track, English and German version)
Broken Glass (possibly a B side for a single)

And will the new album be an independent release again or has there also been label interest in the meantime??

Erika: We’ve love to have the new CD picked up by a label. We’re definitely going to shop this one around hard. There have been tentative mentions of interest already. I feel much more confident about it than I did about “Take to the Sky”. To reach all the fans around the world, we really need the help of a label. I really think Ignitor has a lot to offer – it’s just a matter of reaching the right people and finding that perfect fit.

What else can we expect from Ignitor in the future? Will the release of the coming CD be accompanied by some cool shows and some new merchandise?? And is a vinyl version planned as well??

Erika: New merchandise will definitely be on the way. We were supposed to have shirts with the King Tiger tank on them for the KIT fest but the printer screwed them up. We may still use the artwork for a shirt or possibly do some new art, inspired by the new songs. Of course we will always give 150% at our shows, which I hope helps make them cool! Like I mentioned earlier, we have some tentative international plans for this summer, although nothing is solid yet. Over the past six months I’ve collected so much video footage that I need to sit down and start making some simple live videos similar to our “Demonslayer” vid on the website. We have enough to do an entire DVD, but I think we need an full length album first!

Whoever met you and/or your bandmates at the Keep it true Festival might know by now, that you’re not just a bunch of musicians, but also of crazy Metalmaniacs... so please let us know, which albums by other bands you enjoy the most at the moment... what bands or records would you recommend our readers to check out?

Erika: I’d have to say the new Dragonforce is just insanely amazing. It’s almost too fast… Of course Primal Fear “Seven Seals” is very good. So is Nevermore’s “This Godless Endeavor”, although that one takes a bit of listening to really digest. My dirty secret right now is that Nightwish’s “Once” hasn't come out of my CD changer for over 3 months, especially since Tarja got booted out of the band. However, Pestilence’s “Consuming Impulse” is in the slot next to it, so between the two, I find a balance!

That’s it!! Before we close, please leave a message for all the Ignitor fans and fans-to-be out there!!! All the best & Up the Gorgons, TOBI 

Erika: “We hold our banner high and sing out from our hearts”… we do this for you, the fans, and without you, Ignitor would not exist. Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far. To learn more about us, go to for pics, videos, bios, merch and all the latest news. Thank you Tobi, have a great holiday banging around the Christmas tree!

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Fragen: November 2005 by Tobi
Antworten: Dezember 2005 by
Erika Swinnich