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  INTERVIEW WITH IRON KNIGHTS

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.

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iron knights

Rising from the remnants of Stuka Squadron, life seems to have settled down for British Heavy Metal band Iron Knights who have evolved from the theatrical band of the past into a solid and powerful band.

With the self-titled album about to be released to an eager public, I caught up with the band to see how they are moving on from the past, what the future plans the band have and what they really think of social media.

With regards to their upcoming tour, I ask them how the band are finding the rigours of life on the road?

Larry: "It's good. Y'know, This will be the second time that this line ups been out live because we've already had a short tour in March and it's been a good growing experience from when we rehearsed together for the first few times to being onstage now, we've growing on stage and getting used to each other, y'know. We haven't actually split up yet (laughs).

Article continues below...

   


With the new 'Iron Knights' album about to be released, how does that feel?

Larry: "Speaking for myself, I'm really happy with the album and the whole direction of the band, y'know, so it's really cool to take it out there and play it live. We're kind of dismissing the first album ('New Sound of War', released in November 2012) so we're pretty much starting again with this new album. It's like we're drawing a line with the new album and we'll stand behind it because we're all happy with it."

The 'Destroyer' single was given away earlier in the year as a free download wasn't it?

Larry: "Yeah, it went down really well, actually. It was a statement of intent because there's kind of two Iron Knights. There's the old one, which is history, which was Stuka Squadron and all that kind of stuff and then once the line up changed dramatically. It's kind of a completely new band now. We've kind of got the history of it but it's totally new with a different vibe and different attitude, y'know?

iron knights

"With the 'Destroyer' single we were kind of saying to people 'This is where we're going' and ironically it started off as part of a song we wrote in the old band when it was about German night fighters and stuff and it morphed into the 'Destroyer' track that we have now which Jamie (Gibson, Vocals/Guitar) came up with (laughs).

"Jamie writes all the lyrics and stuff and we thought it's going to be a while till the album's going to come out so we just fired it out as a free download. The thing was that once it was announced, hundreds and hundreds of people were downloading it, y'know, and the vibes coming back have been really positive. We've seen people singing along to it, so that's always a good sign!"

The band have recently recruited vocalist Jamie Gibson and Wayne Mann on guitar, so I ask if the band is a bit more cohesive than it had been in the past?

Larry: "I don't know, you should ask the new fellas (laughs). I think so, yeah, it great with ourselves, but the real test is when you stick four or five guys in a van and they don't wanna throttle each other! So far so good! (laughs)."

Paul: "The thing for me with this line up is that before, it was a real preconceived idea about what we were doing and where we were going and how we were going to look. This is the complete opposite. We're going to do what comes naturally and just evolve naturally."

iron knights

Larry: "All that make up and vampire stuff, that's all gone. All gone for the show but what we do in our hotel room is nobody else's business! (laughs)."

So the band are back to being just a regular Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band then?

Larry: "It's all about Heavy Metal - we're a Heavy Metal band! There's no need for a particular image. We actually found when we were part of that vampire thing, that it was just getting in the way of the music. That was starting to be the focus of some people's drive and the music was definitely suffering as a result, in my opinion.

"It showed us on the tour we did with Vicious Rumours (in May 2013) because they were a band that we hadn't paid much attention to for an awful long time, but they were just a really good Heavy Metal band, y'know, really solid and no fancy imagery - just a good Metal band, so when these guys (gestures towards Jamie and Wayne) came onboard, I think they were the same as us that we don't want to dress up in frilly shirts and vampire teeth and all that."

Paul: "Apart from Wayne - but he does that off stage! (laughs)"

So how did Wayne and Jamie come to join the band?

Jamie: "I played in another band and one of our very first gigs was supporting the Iron Knights, and then about two months later I got a phone call offering me the job as a vocalist, so I said "Yeah" (laughs)."

Larry: "The thing was that we were looking for a new vocalist and I was thinking of all these folk I'd played with or seen on stage who were pretty good and Jamie seemed like the best fit. Originally he just joined as the vocalist with an eye to doing some guitar later on, because we had another guy on guitar but then he buggered off so Jamie kind of leapt in there. (Points at Wayne) We couldn't get rid of him (laughs)."

Wayne: "We'd played together in other bands on and off for years, and Larry called up one day saying he was looking for a guitar player."

With the band now in place and the album out, they are undertaking a short UK tour to support it, so does the band have any pre-gig rituals?

Paul: "(raises a pint of beer) You're looking at it! (laughs)."

Larry: "No, there are no prayer circles or group hugs or anything like that. We just take the piss out of Wayne for a while if that counts (laughs). I guess there are habits you get into like you don't eat immediately before going on, that kind of stuff, but we don't do all that standing round holding hands like we're doing it for the kids, y'know. It's not really us all that stuff. 'Cos we don't do all the blood and all that shit anymore - we're back to being a good old fashioned honest Heavy Metal band and we stand or fall on the merits of the music, y'know!"

iron knights

So how is the vibe on stage with this line up?

Larry: "As a band, everyone has their individual abilities onstage but it takes a while for everything to gel and work on their stagecraft and it's come on in leaps and bounds so it was much more comfortable on our last tour in March. The first time we had a small technical disaster was on the very first night of that tour (laughs)"

Jamie: "My guitar decided to be in a completely different tuning to the one everyone else was playing in. It's quite amusing trying to tune a guitar whilst sing two songs (laughs)".

Larry: "It's been good though because with stuff like that you never find out till it happens, what people are gonna do and all this kind of stuff, y'know, how you communicate on stage and for the last tour we did in March. 'Effortless' is the word that keeps popping up. It all just slotted in and no-one told anyone particularly how to do things - we all seem to know what we're doing and we're all on the same sort of wavelength both musically and performance-wise. It's great and that's why we want to play more gigs so we can get better and better."

So how does the band feel about social media applications like Facebook/Twitter?

Larry: "It's a double edged sword, in my opinion because, it's important whether you like it or not and it's here to stay. A lot of people base a lot on it, because it's a lot of people's window on the world, y'know, for good or bad. That's just how it is. If you're a small band and you don't use it at all or don't use it well then you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot.

"The flipside if you're a small band is that if you believe everything you read on it and believe these people who live in fucking Russia but will be at your gig in Bristol, if you believe all that then you're just stupid and it's not going to work for you."

Larry: "You have to use your brain with it and be intelligent with it, but to me, I use it to promote the band, y'know, and I have some genuine friends that I have on there as well, but for people you don't know, it's kind of like a free mail shot. It's like, this is what we're about and this is what we're doing. Mail shots have a shocking statistic that something like only four percent actually hit home and get taken notice of and Facebook and Twitter are kind of the same - it's so fast and everything is so fleeting but I do think it helps to get the name out there. Some media guru will probably come out with all this brand recognition shit, and although it pains me to say it, they're probably right."

Larry: "We're all the same - we hear a band name and think we recognise it but it's probably been flicking up somewhere. I think it's misplaced to have this complete trust in it, though, it is what it is and the sooner people realise what it is, y'know, it's a very powerful tool and it's very cool. You "meet" a lot of people with the same interests and that's great - that's the power of the internet. I wrote to Bob Daisley (ex-Ozzy Osbourne bass player from 1979-1991) and I couldn't believe it when he replied!"

Paul: "I think for me, is that it's all about the music and when the stuff around starts detracting from it, and when the focus is more on the social media and all of that stuff, than the actual music and the gigs and the stuff that in my eyes is "real", that's when the problem comes from. When people are losing of track of what it's all about."

Jamie: "I don't think it's any kind of substitute for playing live, though, because I think you give off so much more as a live band and I've seen bands on Facebook who have great promotion and you think 'Wow, these guys are gonna be really good' and you see them live and it's like (pauses) like a Wonderbra, y'know, it all looks really great from the outside but the reality doesn't quite match up It's disappointing but that's the name of the game."

Larry: "It's quite interesting now with this situation where bands are buying "Likes" on Facebook. Y'know, they say 'We have five thousand people who like our band and ten thousand people following us' and then they post something and two people actually click the "Like" button (laughs). There's no point to that - it's just people starting to believe that that's actually the real world, and it's not.

"The same with videos too, they are part of the game but that's not what this music is about. This music is about blowing people's bollocks off on stage and that's the game. That's what Heavy Metal's always been about for me. Music videos are good but they're no match for seeing a band live on stage."

iron knights

How does the band feel about modern technologies used by bands in the studio these days?

Larry: "We had a conversation about that earlier today about stuff like auto-tune and sound replacement, all that kind of stuff, y'know, even now it's getting a bit murky on albums. There was a certain band who we've been involved with recently and their last album was ninety percent not done by the band - it was done by the Producer, a drum machine and auto-tune and you think 'well, what's the point?' because when you go and see them they can't do it live and that's why the whole live thing is so important.

"People keep saying that the record industry is dead but it isn't - it's just changed. The emphasis is now back on live music and this is where bands will stand or fall. If you can't do it onstage then go away. Heavy Metal was always about the live experience and that's why with this band even though we were working on the new album, we made the effort to go out and play some shows and you think it this the right thing to do, and we decided it works for this band. That's the game and that's how it is and it's exciting."

Bringing our chat to an end, I ask what's next for the band?

Larry: "We're hoping to do some shows with (Newcastle based Metal band) Def Con One, y'know, maybe a double header type thing and have a trawl around the UK and see what we can do with that but it's still in the early planning stages and then hopefully another UK tour in September/October and we're also going to pick up odd gigs here and there like SOPHIE-Fest and Rock and Metal Circus. The new album is where it's all that so once that's out we're hoping to get on a few festival bills too."

The new self titled Iron Knights album is available from Monday 5th May on Metalbox Records.

You can hear the track 'Destroyer' here:



You can catch Iron Knights live here:
Sunday 25th May – SOPHIE Fest (Rock Bar), Tamworth
Saturday 31st May – Rock Haven, Lincoln
Sunday 14th May – Rock & Metal Circus, Sywell Aerodrome Northamptonshire

Iron Knights are:
Jamie Gibson - Vocals/Guitar
Wayne Mann - Guitar
Paul 'Beam' Robbie - Bass Guitar
Larry Paterson - Drums

Iron Knights Online:
http://ironknightsband.com
http://www.facebook.com/IronKnightsBand

Thanks very much to Jamie, Wayne, Paul and Larry for their time and to Anna Di Laurenzio for arranging the interview.


6.5.2014







 

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mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: SAXON WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO LEMMY AT GOLDEN GODS, HAMMERSMITH ODEON
Ticket price is a very reasonable £6.66 with all proceeds going to Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline...

mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: MOTÖRHEAD'S MIKKEY DEE ANNOUNCED AS SCORPIONS DRUMMER
"We would like to continue our Return to Forever tour with James, but we have to realize that his health is priority..."

alex dickson gun BREAKING NEWS: ALEX DICKSON REJOINS GUN
As exclusively predicted by MetalTalk last week, guitarist Alex Dickson has re-joined Scottish rockers Gun...

cockney rejects WEST HAM UNITED TRIBUTE 'GOODBYE UPTON PARK' TO BE RELEASED BY COCKNEY REJECTS
"We were all born within a mile or so from the hallowed Boleyn ground and have all stood on the terraces through snow, rain and sunshine from a very early age."

ac/dc AC/DC RELEASE TICKET REFUND DETAILS FOR MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
If you don't want a refund, then we'll see you at The Olympic Stadium in London as we think we're about to witness a major piece of rock history...

deep purple IAN PAICE AND DON AIREY SCHEDULE SOLO EUROPEAN DATES AS 2016 DEEP PURPLE TOUR APPROACHES
Deep Purple are kicking off their 2016 tour next month in Japan, before heading to Israel, Russia and Europe in June and July.

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT TO RELEASE 'THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE LIVE IN LIVERPOOL', HIS ACOLYTE TO 'WOLFLIGHT' WITH GENESIS REVISITED TOUR
"Besides, it's not as if Liverpool is known for having any good music – there's never been a good band from there. Ha!"

lacuna coil LACUNA COIL LAUNCH NEW ALBUM TITLE TRACK 'DELIRIUM'
Lacuna Coil will be making their much-anticipated return to North America as part of the 'Delirium Worldwide' tour starting in San Francisco on May 7th

bibeau YOUNG, PROGRESSIVE BAND BIBEAU OFFER THEIR FIRST SINGLE/VIDEO, 'MARK THIS'
"We were also hoping to convey the look, feel and flow of some of the classic, timeless rock and metal videos from the height of MTV's popularity..."

virginmarys THE VIRGINMARYS ANNOUNCE HEADLINE UK TOUR FOR JUNE 2016
"It's going to be so great to get back in front of our home fans again, and really important to us to play some of the towns we've been wanting to come back to..."

weapon uk WEAPON UK TO HEADLINE THE RETRIBUTION ALIVE ROAD TRIP IN MAY
"They toured with Motörhead in the 80s, including four sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odean and I have to say, we're pretty excited about this!"

headbangers ball ICED EARTH AND ENSIFERUM TO HEADLINE MTV HEADBANGERS BALL TOUR 2016: FULL DATES HERE
"So brace yourselves for the ultimate Metal experience of a lifetime! See you in front row!"

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK ADDS MORE BANDS, DETAILS METAL 2 THE MASSES FINALS AND ANNOUNCES FIRST NEW BLOOD STAGE WINNERS
Bloodstock HQ is readying to send Team M2TM out on the road for the finals, but in the meantime, there's a few more band additions to the August bill

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN DATES FOR JULY/AUGUST IN SUPPORT OF NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'MAKE SOME NOISE'
The Dead Daisies, the biggest new name in Rock, have just recently announced the addition of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) as their new lead guitar player

wolf hoffmann WOLF HOFFMANN TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM 'HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY' ON JULY 1st
"I have always incorporated classical music in my song writing with Accept, especially with 'Metal Heart', but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do..."

jaegermeister JÄGERMEISTER RELEASE FULL DOCUMENTARY OF WORLD'S FIRST MUSIC GIG ON AIR, SEA AND LAND
"We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too..."

john otway JOHN OTWAY PLANNING ON BEING FIRST ARTIST SINCE THE ROLLING STONES TO RECORD IN MONTSERRAT
"Although the old Air Studios are now derelict the studio in the basement of Sir George Martin's house is sound – it just needs rebuilding..."

fates warning FATES WARNING - NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'THEORIES OF FLIGHT' ANNOUNCED, ARTWORK UNVEILED
"There's a loose theme running through a lot of the lyrics, and this developed organically and separately..."

amon amarth RAISE YOUR HORNS AND BE IN AMON AMARTH'S NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Swedish Heavy Metal goliaths Amon Amarth are inviting their fans around the globe to be a part of their forthcoming video...

sixx am SIXX:A.M. ANNOUNCE THE "#REASONTORISE" CAMPAIGN, TOUR DATES AND 'VOL.1 PRAYERS FOR THE DAMNED' DETAILS
"It is our duty as citizens of this world to come together, communicate with one another and rise up to demand more of ourselves and our leaders."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AND CLUB APPEARANCES
"For our first time in Spain, it's gonna be sick! And as if this wasn't enough - Saint is playing for the first time ever in Japan..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION TO REFORM IN 2017
"Preparing BCC Rocket Ship Re-launch for 2017 - all systems go."

tarja TARJA PREMIERES OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO OF HER NEW SINGLE 'NO BITTER END'
'No Bitter End', the opening track of the prequel album 'The Brightest Void', is the first glimpse of Tarja's new work – her heaviest to date...

stratovarius STRATOVARIUS RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'UNTIL THE END OF DAYS'
"To me it's a testament to the fact that paying attention to song writing and production was expensive, but so worth it..."

brian johnson EXCLUSIVE: PROMINENT AC/DC CREW MEMBER GIVES REMARKABLE INSIGHT INTO AXL ROSE APPOINTMENT
AC/DC are covering themselves in case Axl's poor reputation for unprofessionalism manifests itself...

brian johnson THE DARKEST DAY OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE: BRIAN JOHNSON ISSUES PERSONAL STATEMENT ON AC/DC DEPARTURE
"I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that..."

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE BASS PLAYER AND NEW DRUMMER FOR 2016/17 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS
Thin Lizzy are undisputed legends and to be a small part of their lineage is a humble honor for me...

ian gillan IAN GILLAN TO PERFORM UNIQUE SOLO SHOW OF DEEP PURPLE CLASSICS IN BULGARIA
There is a possibility that Ian will also play some material from his catalogue outside of Deep Purple...

don airey DEEP PURPLE'S DON AIREY AND FRIENDS ADDED TO CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL PLUS ATOMIC ROOSTER
Expect to hear many classics from Airey's illustrious past which includes time spent with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne as well as his current job with Deep Purple...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE SUNDAY NIGHT HEADLINERS AND FIVE MORE ACTS
With June creeping ever closer, Wildfire Festival's impressive main stages line-up is all but finalised...

whitesnake THE END OF WHITESNAKE: DAVID COVERDALE TO RETIRE IN 2017
Whitesnake headline the UK's Ramblin Man Festival in July in what could be their final ever UK appearance...

axl rose AXL ROSE CONFIRMED AS AC/DC SINGER FOR THE REMAINING ROCK OR BUST DATES
The worst kept secret in rock is now official...

aerosmith THE END OF AEROSMITH?: NO FAREWELL TOUR CONFIRMED AT THE MOMENT
"A farewell tour is something we've talked about doing for years, let's say roughly in the last five years..."

hrh united ALESTORM, HAMMERFALL, FINSTERFORST, NAPALM DEATH, ARMORED SAINT, VENOM INC. AND EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCED FOR HRH UNITED
HRH United 3 will be an exclusive upgraded Metal Edition taking over the entire site @ Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales...

rolling stones PROUD GALLERIES PLAYING HOST TO FABULOUS ROLLING STONES PHOTO EXHIBITION: TERRY O'NEILL TO ATTEND SIGNING SESSION
It's a wonderful book by photographer Terry O'Neill of Rolling Stones images from 1963 to 1965, an era when the Stones were just "breaking through"...

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN SUMMER DATES
As well as the European tour dates, BTBAM have launched a live video for 'The Ectopic Stroll' whih you can see here...

jade vine LONDON BASED ALTERNATIVE PROG ROCKERS JADE VINE ANNOUNCE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW
Jade Vine's music has been influenced by artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Anathema and Pain Of Salvation...
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