TM - Hi this is Amelia and Elizabeth from Twinmusix, and we are here with Bill from Northtale, thank you for having this interview with us today we really appreciate it.
BH – Awesome! Thank you guys for having me, thank you for the opportunity.
TM - How's everything been going for you?
BH - Well it's been pretty good, I think we are excited about the release of the record. We have been doing quite a few interviews trying to promote it, but unfortunately today we had the sad news that our European tour with Unleash the Archers has been cancelled, so that's kind of a bummer. It was going to be our first time going on tour, we have done festivals before but not a full tour so that's kind of a bummer, but other than that it's exciting times because of the album. It's been a while, we have been waiting forever for this.
TM - That sucks that you can't go on tour, hopefully you can soon.
BH - Yeah, I know, I get to go and do a bunch of shows with Doro in Europe, but the team doesn't. I was excited to come with the band for the first time, but I hope things will improve soon with touring and all that. I guess I can hope.
TM - I was going to ask you about that. You are doing for shows with Doro, what can fans expect?
BH - I played with her before, I have been to Russia with her, I have done an American tour, I have also done a couple of festivals in Sweden with her, so it will be a really cool set list at least for me as a musician. I'm going to be playing some songs that I never have with her, so that will be a bit of a change, and it will be super cool to support Michael Schenker you know? He's a huge Idol of mine! It's going to be cool to meet him and all that, and those are some pretty awesome venues in the UK we are doing. I'm really looking forward to that, that's the next plan for me. I am leaving on the 25th to do that.
TM - Back to your album Eternal Flame, it's out on November 12th, what can fans expect?
BH - So this is the most personal, most honest album. I am very happy; I couldn't be happier with this album. The pandemic forced everyone to sit at home, I personally had 50 something shows cancelled between all the bands I had to tour with so that gave me time to sit at home and write then record. That, at least in my opinion, was the best I could do it. It was a lot different than the first album for sure. So, anyone who likes the first album, know that this album will be different, in the same way as it will still have the same heavy choruses, the same power metal style, it's just a lot more experimental. It gets heavier, it gets darker, and it gets more Brazilian, because we have a Brazilian singer, and I am myself and from Brazil. It gets orchestral, it has all the elements that we didn't get to explore in the first album present this time around, it's still pretty much power metal heavy metal and all that.
TM - Do you feel like this is a continuation of your last album, and the song Only Human is a great bridge?
BH - Well thank you and that was the idea. I feel like the new album is a lot different and diverse then the first one, but I also didn't want to throw a curveball to the fans. Only Human could have been on the first album, but it was a good way to introduce the new singer and write music that's similar. Honestly, I read some people online saying some stuff like “sounds just like the first album”, I guarantee you it does not, it was just one song. So, people don't think we have changed too much. I am really proud of it, I really like the song, It's the most like the first album we have.
TM - What was your writing and recording process for Eternal Flame?
BH - It was basically all done online, like the first time the difference was that we had a real producer around. We had Dennis from Pink Cream 65, Uinsonic, and Helloween, and Dennis was working with me from the very beginning, even before I had the singer. We've done pre-production together; I basically wrote every song this time around and sent it to the band. Then I collaborated with the singer on a lot of the lyrics. I mean, the way it worked was Dennis and I sat and listened to everything and anything we like, and didn't like we cut it off, and we got everybody else's input. The recording process was different because the drummer and myself are both in Florida and the keyboard player is in Missouri, which is my as well be another country, even though it's in the US, our bass player is in Sweden, the new singer is in Brazil, and the producer is in Germany. It was hard to make that work but Dennis, our producer, was used to this software called Audiomovers where we delivered basically in real time. He was part of the recording sessions and everything, he was there with us the whole time, it was all done online, everything had been done online. The drums are done here in Florida, and then everyone else did their parts at home. They had a big studio for the vocals in Brazil, I flew there to be with the singer and started to write there too. It was a lot of work, it must have taken at least 4 or 5 months, something like that. All together I have to say; I'm happy with the result, it’s definitely what I wanted.
TM – That sounds amazing and that sounds like cool software as well. I have to check it out.
BH - You should if you do any other type of streaming with people. I feel old because I didn't know it, but it's awesome, being at home is more of a comfortable set up then sitting in a studio, but it's awesome that you can do all of that in real time because there’s normally a problem with delay and waiting and all that, but if you can bring that back to almost zero it becomes really comfortable to use. It is called Audiomovers, not endorsed.
TM - Now you might be.
BH – Yeah, they should pay us back for the $8 subscription.
TM - hahaha
TM - Can you tell us about your album cover and is there a meaning behind it?
BH - I don't have anything super intelligent to say about the album cover other then we wanted to look super cool. The first album we had that whole ice concept, and the thing is that was mainly because we had so many Swedish people in the band, at the time there were three of us that are Swedish, so we were thinking Swedish has its cold ass ways, we are power metal, let's talk about being cold and ice. Then when we got rid of those three, this singer, and brought in the Brazilian singer. We were thinking we should bring some Brazilian fire in and melt that ice. That's kind of the concept of the cover, it's like the band didn't really die, nothing really happened, we got a new singer so what we do burns eternal. The truth is that we just wanted something that looked cool, and the album cover was by Gustavo Sazes, he's done a lot of album covers for bands like Amaranthe, Kamelot, and Machine Head, just about anyone who has a cool album cover he basically designed it. He also happens to be from Brazil ,so that was pretty easy to work with him.
TM - You did a cover of Eraser by Ed Sheeran with the International Metal Army, what inspired you to pick this song?
BH - I was talking to JT one day, we are really good friends, and I was like “man, everyone is doing these online collabs, can we do one to?” His response was “yeah I'm actually thinking about doing an Ed Sheeran song” and my response was “I actually like Ed Sheeran a lot! What song were you thinking?” He didn't have one in mind, and I suggested Eraser, and he raps in the song do you know what I mean? I said to him “with you being Swedish and rapping over Ed Sheeran is going to be super unexpected!” We went and visited our friend Vikram Shanka, he's a fantastic keyboard player, and we had him play on the song. He is in the band Redemption, and he did an amazing job. I brought in Michael from Northtale, and Alex Landenburg he's drummer in Kamelot, and that's what was cool, we kind of started a band without really starting a band. We started this project online and it sounded so cool and they're planning on doing more.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs; what band would it be, what song, and in your style or their style?
BH - I would love to see Helloween play Shape Your Reality from the first album. It would be cool because that was just us basically trying to copy them, so it would be cool to see them playing that. If anyone from Helloween is listening, dudes get on it, cover our song!!
TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live, can you tell us a story?
BH - There's a lot, but I think it's now become a favourite memory because it's so classic, my first show when I was 10 years old. I saw Michael Jackson on the dangerous tour in 1993 and I was just a kid, and it was a huge Stadium show. My parents and their friends are there, and it was insane because we were at the stadium all day waiting for the show, and when he got on stage I could hardly believe it, it was almost like he was an alien. That show pretty much changed my life, and then as far as a show I went to where I was a little bit more aware of what things were that I didn’t understand when I wasn't so young, that was probably Steve Vai in 1998 in Brazil, that was pretty mind blowing to me.
TM – Wow! That's pretty cool! Two awesome shows, I like Steve Vai I've seen him live myself, that's pretty cool.
BH - Steve Vai is one of my biggest heroes and biggest influences, and his show in 98 when he was 30 something years old was pretty mind blowing.
TM – There’s a song on the album you call the Slayer song, what inspired this?
BH - How do you know I call it the Slayer song?
TM - I listened to another interview.
BH - Oh that's awesome! I love it, the actual song title is Midnight Bells, but the working title was the Slayer song. The reason was there were so many riffs that I learned from Slayer, which is not really a thing that people do in this genre of power metal, especially in the middle section I was thinking play a Slayer type weird guitar solo, put a keyboard solo on top of it, power metal Slayer. That's one of my favourite songs on the album, and it gets really heavy. Also, the lyrical content is awesome, it's about this Brazilian religion. I didn't write the lyrics, the singer did, and he did an amazing job. It's about his religious beliefs, at first glance when you look at it, it might sound like he's talking about a ghost or a demon but it's not, it's really his spiritual guide. These are really deep lyrics, and it's a really rocking song. That's one of my favourites as well.
TM - I also know you have a song called Eve that's a tribute to your mum's dog.
BH - I was just talking to my mum about it before this interview, about this song, unfortunately Eve passed away at the time I was writing that song. I channel my emotions through music, I'm not really good at demonstrating otherwise, and I saw my mum got really sad. I thought I've got to do something, some sort of tribute, and that was my tribute to her. She was an awesome dog, she was my mum's companion for 15 years, she was so tiny, she was probably 600 grams, and unfortunately, she passed away. She was pretty old and I figured this song could be pretty good, parts of this song reminded me of Star Wars princess Eve that I named her after.
TM – That’s so cute!
BH - I'm glad you knew that story.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
BH – please, please, check out Eternal Flame because it's the best thing I have ever done in my life musically! It's far superior then our first album, and I hope everyone likes it. I hope that we make it to Australia sometime soon and I hope that we get to tour, so ask your local promoters, and ask your magazines to talk about us, and your radio stations and all that, and check out our album because I think it is super awesome! It’s out November 12th through Nuclear Blast Records.
TM - Thank you for this interview, we really appreciate it.
BH - Thank you and I hope we get to talk to you in the future again.