RYL: When you will release your new album “ Rage of the Gods” ?
Vanlade: We have been working very hard to bring you the best-quality product that we possibly can, and I can tell you that we are about to enter the studio for our very last mixing session.
After that, it’ll be sent away for mastering to our friend Stu Marshall (Death Dealer) in Australia, and then it’s off to pressing.
As for an official date, that has yet to be decided. When producing completely out of pocket and independently, these things take a lot of time and attention, but I can promise that we will have something for you very soon.
RYL: Why, in your opinion, “Blood Eagle” is the favorite song of your fans in ITunes?
Vanlade: That’s a good question! I would have to say it has to do with the music video for that song that can be found on Youtube, which we filmed in early 2013.
It’s also been a live staple and crowd-favorite for years. It was actually the first song that the full “Iron Age” lineup collaborated on, so it’s a special one for us.
RYL: Is there a common meaning/theme between all your songs?
Vanlade: Not really! I try to stick with a fantasy vibe for the lyrics, but each song kind of takes its own direction with it.
The songs on “Iron Age” were the first that we wrote together and the first that I had ever written lyrics to, so I kind of went all-out with all sorts of different themes and ideas.
The lyrics to the new album, “Rage of the Gods” however, are more jointed. There is an overarching fantasy story to the album that kind of acts as a metaphor to explore different social themes that apply to the real world.
RYL: Do you remember how the lyrics of “Iron age” have been written?
Vanlade: Sure! Like I said, that album was the result of us first exploring our chemistry and how we played and wrote together.
Those songs happened over the course of a couple years of jamming and getting our feet wet with the whole thing, so there wasn’t a lot of method to the madness at that point!
I think one of us would pitch a lyrical concept and then I would write lyrics to whatever vocal melody I had come up with.
For instance, our drummer CC came to us one day with the idea to write a song about the blood eagle, which was an old viking torture method. I’d do a little bit of research and it all just kind of came together! Once I have the vocal melody down, along with the basic concept for the song, the lyrics generally come pretty easy.
RYL: how do you, usually, write the lyrics and music of your songs?
Vanlade: Zach is the driving force, musically.
He will generally prepare the basic skeleton for the song, and it is hashed out, rearranged, and riffs will be added, subtracted, or altered by the rest of the band. Once we have the basic song ready, I will take it home and come up with vocal melodies.
Lyrics are always the last step for me.
There are times when another member will pitch the first riff for the song, or even times when I will come with a chorus idea to write a song around. “Iron Age” was more of a group effort, but the bulk of “Rage of the Gods” was written by Zach with help here and there from the rest of us, and vocal patterns and lyrics by me.
RYL: Tell us everything about “Bound by Fate”….
Vanlade: I can tell you that the song is about a character from a certain fighting game. The character is sick of being considered “number two” to his best friend and rival, and turns to women and fast-living to numb the pain.
I don’t want to name any names, but if “The Rising Dragon” rings any bells, you should be able to guess the franchise. There is also a nod to another fighting series in the song. Right before the solo, you will hear a voice say, “Round one. Fight!”
RYL: Which is the most important thing for you while doing music?
Vanlade: I always maintain that we make the music primarily for ourselves. We are making something that we can be proud to look at years from now. Don’t get me wrong – we absolutely love our fans and supporters, and there is nothing better than playing a good show or getting a great review.
At the end of the day though, Vänlade is just something we do because we love to do it.
RYL: Which is the best verse you ever wrote?
Vanlade: That’s a tough one! Some of our earlier songs like “Iron Age” are based around a single, very simple idea, which provides an opportunity for some fun lyrics. Although they are by no means my most thoughtful lyrics, “Iron Age” has a couple verses that are just fun and anthemic.
“Bow down, or you shall feel our blades/Heads bang – The metal seranade/All charge, together we can fly/Tonight, we ride with horns held to the sky”
“We are the legions of the brave/Strike true, and send them to their grave/One chance to make this world our own/Are you prepared to die for rock and roll?”
Like I said, nothing groundbreaking or insightful, but it’s a great rallying song.
There is a lot more depth and darkness to the lyrics in “Rage of the Gods,” and a strong grounding theme, but it still retains a lot of that fun fantasy imagery.
RYL: Which is the last song you wrote (not published yet)?
Vanlade: The last song we wrote was called “As Above, So Below” and will be the final track on our upcoming album. You can hear a snippet of it on our “Rage of the Gods” teaser on Youtube!
That is one of the very few we have yet to play live. It was mostly completed just before entering the studio and we didn’t have a lot of time to hash it out in practice, but I think it turned out surprisingly well! It’s one of my favorites on the album.
RYL: Tell us about your projects of touring this summer…
Vanlade: I’m about to start working on a two-week outing in late Summer 2015.
It’s hard getting our work schedules to align, but once we can start booking I am going to be looking at heading west towards California and then back this way. We have a lot of friends out in that direction and should be looking at
Thank you for having me on! Remember to follow us at www.facebook.com/vanlade for updates on our upcoming album, “Rage of the Gods,” as well as booking contacts and merch information!
You can also find a link to a free download of “Iron Age!”