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PROMETHIUM

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Uk metallers Promethium finally released their third album. "Faces Of War" is a real and honest metal album, and the red line or concept if you prefer is as the title already gives away about war. We had a nice chat with singer Steve and guitarplayer Dan, enjoy!

Written by Nico and quoted PROMETHIUM

PROMETHIUM

Hey Dan & co, how are things?

DAN: All good just doing as much promo as we can to get "Faces of War" in front of as many ears as possible.

STEVE: Things are pretty awesome. We have all been blown away by the positive reception to the new album. Excited to get out on the road now to promote it!

 

First off guys, if we look back to "Origins" and the new record, we see a lot of new faces! Only Dan and Rossi remain from the old line-up, are you so hard to work with? ;-)

DAN:  HA HA, yes we are as bad as deep purple.  Sadly Barry Mills who was playing bass struggled to commit as Massive Wagons were really taking off. Our previous drummer Dom sadly passed away last year however he has just come into play on the album and wasn't going to commit fully time.  With Gary the singer sadly it was a struggle with the distance where he lived and we needed to be playing more.  So, I had to look at who I wanted to get in to fill the voids.

STEVE: I will be honest. Of all the musical projects I have been involved with up to this point Rossi is one of my favourite people to work with. His professionalism and attention to detail is fantastic. Rossi and I are very much on the same page when it comes to the right way to go about things on an off stage and creatively when working on music.  We share very similar ideas for what works well musically, thematically and lyrically. When we are working on songs Rossi has some awesome ideas and we really bounce off each other very well. Dan and I were good friends before we started work on Promethium and share the same hunger, enthusiasm and drive to push the band forward to go further than we already have . We have very different approaches but I think we complement each other very well. The Yin to the others Yang. Dan teaches me as much as I teach him ha ha. I would say the line up as Promethium is now is the strongest line up we have ever had. We are a band of brothers all on the same page, firing on all cylinders and hungry to do even more and bring it to audiences 110% full throttle! Promethium as it is now is a well-oiled machine!

 

On the long awaited "Faces of War" your old singer Steve Graham returns to the band. Around what time was he in the band? For he never sang on a record before!

DAN: Originally when I started Promethium, Steve was the first singer.  We recorded an EP together and then sadly Steve and I had a big bust up. When I announced that Gary was leaving Steve was the first one to contact me, which I thought was hilarious, but when he came to rehearsals and he just blew everyone away.

STEVE:  I will be honest here. When I was first in the band I was only 18-19, still young and immature in a lot of ways. The rest of the guys in the band were older and more mature than me.  If I put myself in their shoes now at 32 years of age married with 2 kids and I had to put up with the way I behaved back then I'd have fired me too. Dan and the rest of the guys did absolutely the right thing for the band at the time.  Since then I have matured as a person (to an extent) and my voice has matured. We are all different people now than we were back then and we have all learned from our past mistakes and communicate and collaborate in a much healthier, productive way. Whereas before we might have bottled things up and had a row we are much better at talking about our feelings, using our words and working through things. 

 

"Faces Of War" shows a different and way heavier Promethium, intentional?

DAN:  Honestly, I think it's because everyone has brought their influence to the table.  We have Henry in the fold now who also is a killer guitar player and a great writer so his ideas were very influential.

STEVE:  This album from when I came on board was a fully collaborative effort. Every member had an input on lyrics, subject matter and melodies. In the past we have sometimes been referred to as 'Hard Rock' which is fair because we love good songs and melody but when I was first told about the concept and  heard the music for the album as it was all completed before I came on board I knew straight away. "This is a heavy metal album!" everything we worked on from that point with vocals was done to suit the music that was already there. The power and passion in the music was its greatest strength. My job as a vocalist is simply to complement and emphasise what the music is doing.

 

It took a long time to release this record, what caused the many delays? Was it frustrating at times?

DAN:  It was highly painful.  The bulk of the album was done within 2 months and then due to Gary leaving only the vocals were left.  When Steve came on board, rather than just chuck him in the studio straight away, I wanted to get him going with live dates first and get him warmed up.

STEVE:  The most frustrating part is having the songs written and recorded but having to wait to get it out there to an audience. You spend so long listening to it over and over again picking it to pieces and you just want to see if people receive it and enjoy it in the way you intended.

 

How do you feel now that the record is finally out?

STEVE: I'd say other than my kids it's my proudest achievement to date. I'm insanely proud of the album. I think we all pushed ourselves to the limit on this record. I poured everything I had into it and to read some of the reviews that have come back - all the time and effort that went into it was worthwhile. When I listen to it there is a lot of passion, energy, heart and brutal honesty in the album and with the concept it focuses on, I think that does what we set out to do justice.

DAN: I'm sick of fuckin hearing it ha ha.

 

You chose to produce the record yourselves and got Curran Murphy for mix and mastering, can you tell us something more on that?

DAN:  I decided I wanted to take a step back on this CD.  I knew the sounds I wanted but I didn't want the task of having to mix again. I love the studio so much but I thought I needed to allow someone else who had more talent to take over that role. I met Curran on Facebook about 8 years ago and I was such a big fan of his band Shatter Messiah.  I loved his production skills. We had been talking for a long time about him doing it - in fact right back to the days of Welcome to the Institution, however this album was the one that felt right for him to do.  I won't go anywhere else now. It's like Metallica and Bob Rock however our albums are better ha ha. 

 

The lyrics are fantastic, not your typical heavy metal stuff, but real and to the point kinda stuff! Who or what inspired them? 

STEVE:  Inspiration for the songs on the album came from all over the place - "P.O.W" was inspired by the film Zero Dark Thirty and the brutal interrogation techniques used on detainees in an attempt to extract information. I'm also a big fan of the Saw film series. How much are we able to endure to survive and where is the line? When does it stop being about the greater good and crossover into deriving pleasure from the punishment of a perceived enemy? That whole idea interested me. "Declaration" was largely inspired by the story of how WWI began and how wars in general come about. "Shell Shock" was very personal to me. I was in a very dark difficult place when it came to writing that song. More than I probably realised at the time. "Turncoat" came from a strong lyrical idea Dan had with the line 'You turn on me'.  That was before we had anything really in place for it. Rossi then mentioned Blue on Green attacks. Insurgents joining the local police force working with UN forces. Going out into the middle of nowhere as a small unit then shooting the people around them. I'm always keen to try to make songs personal and relatable and was interested in the interpersonal relationships in the scenario. To meet someone, befriend them, trust them to protect you and have your back and to be betrayed by that person and the how that might feel and how you might react. I would say the mostly lyrically ambiguous song on the album is "Kill on Demand". That song was by far the hardest to write lyrics for but ultimately the most rewarding. By the time we came to the studio it had been rewritten in full 6 times and even then we were still changing bits in the studio as we went but it was inspired by the idea of tyrants. I often thought of the film ' The Last King of Scotland' which is all about a tyrant Ugandan leader. Tyrants surround themselves with people who support and enable their behaviour who often end up doing their dirty work and carry out orders that are fundamentally against their own beliefs. But all tyrants become paranoid when they gain power because the only thing they are afraid of is losing power. So their behaviour becomes more ruthless and erratic. The song is basically from the point of view of the right hand man of a tyrant sick of doing the dirty work and staging a coup. Though the lyrics 'Stress and tension, dedication. Sacrifices will not be in vain!' came from just exactly where I was at in my head at the time I wrote the song! I just wanted it bloody finished and was sick of re writing it and it not being right! Ha ha. 

 

Seeing this is a concept album, was there any research regarding the themes?

Steve:  Every single track on the album I'd say with the exception of "Enemies Fate" which came very quickly. Largely in part to Rossi's contribution .Was heavily researched before the lyrics even started being written. For "P.O.W" I did a lot of reading about Abu Grahib and the human rights violations that occurred there. I spent an extensive amount of time reading about WWII and the rise of the Nazi party and the story of the Holocaust and the Nazi idea of the "Final Solution". For "Shell Shock" I watched a lot of documentaries and read a lot about PTSD and its effects specifically on war veterans and their return to 'normal' life after serving. Many hours well spent as the lyrics were pain painstakingly sifted through with a fine tooth comb before we went into the studio...apart from "Kill on Demand"!

 

I've heard there is also an acoustic record in the works, when would that see the light of day?

STEVE: The acoustic album is already half way done. All guitars are down and half the vocals are done. We just have to finish the vocals and then it's into mixing and mastering. We are aiming for an August release. We're just taking a break to focus all our efforts on "Faces Of War".

 

I guess you guys are ready to promote the new beast as much as you can by playing lots of shows! Is it easy nowadays playing gigs in the UK?

STEVE:  I think it's getting more difficult with smaller venues closing down all the time. We do a lot in Manchester and the North of England but with the release of the new album, which is a representation of the strong line up we currently have, we are looking forward to branching out and gigging further afield.  Hopefully making an impression on the festival circuit which is booming in the UK at the moment!

 

I'm not sure, but weren't there plans to rerelease one of your older records?

STEVE:  2020 marks the 10 year anniversary of our debut album "Welcome To The Institution" and we fully intend to do something special to commemorate the occasion.

Anything left to add?

Go buy your copy of 'Faces of War' here!!!  www.promethiumband.com "Death comes to us all!"

 

Nico

 

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