The Band: Iron Driver
Russians Iron Driver have published this year an Ep under the name “Prisioners of Time”, although it might well be titled fast and furious, cause they deliver speed-light guitars, crazy tempos and interesting compositions. Russia has always been kind of a mistery in many matters, I think Metal is no exception, so this interview is very interesting in my opinion, a look to a different scene.
Hello guys, tell us about the origin of the band?
Greetings! The idea of forming a band like this came five years ago or so. Alex the guitarist and Khoitch the drummer used to get drunk together at gigs and discuss it pretty often. But our first gig happened only a bit more than a year ago, on October 3. We’ve also released our first single on this date.
If I’m not wrong, you got 3 guitars in the band, is that a tribute to Iron Maiden, Aria or whatever?
Correct. Actually, we’ve decided to add third guitar for the sake of having three guitars – like Maiden. We don’t hide our love for this band. It’s a huge pain to have six people in a band, not only because there are always troubles with getting them all sound good on stage but also it’s nearly impossible to gather all six mother fuckers for rehearsals.
Hahaha yes, it seems a little complicated. So, with three guys playing guitar, are there any fights between them to play the solos in each song?
Yeah, there are always fights. Every one of us is a strong personality, so it’s unavoidable.
In fact, the performance of guitars in your new album is a kick in the ass. How would you define your style, Heavy Metal or nearer to Speed Metal?
NWORHM – that’s how we define our style. New Wave Of Russian Heavy Metal. Like NWOBHM it’s a marriage of Hard Rock and Hardcore (British kinda) Punk. Asses are kicked.
Interesting concept. In 2015 you have released your new album, your debut album in fact, “Prisoner in Time”. How long you worked on it and how satisfied you are with it?
It took a lot of time to mix and released it, for we are an independent band and do everything on our own expenses. Actually, when the album was finally out, we already had enough material for another one. Yes, we are satisfied with “Prisoner Of Time”, it sounds good and got a kickass design.
They are only little more than 30 minutes, but pure headbanging from beginning to the end. The shorter the better?
Thanks man, happy to hear that! If you can bang head to it for half an hour – then we did something right. The catchier the better, more like that.
I don’t wanna look like a pain in the ass, but why only 7 songs? Are you composing new songs for a second album?
There’s gonna be more than 7 tracks on our next full-length, it’s a promise!
Great. In “Prisoner in Time” we are not going to find only speed, but also references to the nwobhm or classic bands as Iron Maiden, right?
Bull’s eye. Also, to classic Priest, to Motorhead and all that. NWOBHM fucking rules forever!
I like that point of madness you put in almost every song…
Sometimes we feel that madness is all we possess. Actually, “Harvester Of Haze” is more about dealing with betrayed love and trying to stay in cold blood. But it also deals with madness in some way.
Smoke Tthrough the Water is the probe that you also can play slow and with very good taste, a combination of Spanish guitars that kick ass
Haha, it’s just our bassist got a hold of double bass, so we’ve also decided to throw in some fingerstyle and also a fucking organ. We’ll keep on experimenting, that’s for sure. Making music should be exciting and fun – in other case it doesn’t make sense at all.
Totally agree. My favorite song is San Trautman, but which one is the most successful in your gigs?
Yeah, it sounds like some faster Maiden stuff, we love it ourselves. Did you like the earlier version? People who come to see us live seem to enjoy the whole set, as far as we can see. Iron Driver are lucky to have fans so loyal and appreciative.
With the amount of Metal there is out there that is actually a treasure. Russian artists, musicians among them, have often distinguished for their virtuosity, we can say also this of Russian Metal in your opinion?
Russian Metal was always something very special. In fact, there’s basically no truly remarkable Heavy Metal bands left, mostly posers and double-dealers. You should check out some old Soviet Metal legacy. It deserves a huge book written on the subject.
A great unknown monster to be discovered, at least out of Russia I guess. What bands have influenced your sound?
Apart from Maiden/Priest/Motorhead – basically every NWOBHM band. Savege, Raven, Cloven Hoof, name it – we love it. Early Scorpions are fantastic. One of our singers, the one who used to sing on early recordings and on the third track on “Prisoner…” – he’s also a huge fan of High Spirits, a modern Heavy Metal band from US. His biggest dream is Iron Driver/High Spirits world tour.
I praise your good taste. I don’t know if you are very young to answer next question, but let’s try it. Many metalheads keep in their mind the memory of the Moscow Musci Peace Festival. Did you live it? How important was it for the future generations of Russian metalheads, bands and so on?
The forementioned dude is 34 and he owns an original shirt from that legendary event (but he was too young to attend it anyway). Our bassist is of the same age, and they are the oldest guys in our band. It was groundbreaking and totally epic, we’ve heard lots of stories from ageing metalheads. Such a lineup is unimaginable even now.
Absolutely. In the rest of Europe we don’t know much about the Russian Metal market, we know such bands as Aria, Gorky Park, etc, but the languague and the difficulty to follow the bands is a big wall in the way, what do you think?
Yeah, you’re so right. Russian is kinda hard to take. Actually our decision not to sing in Russian was more like spontaneous. We’ll definitely write some songs in Russian, just for the sake of it. Got a couple of ideas already. It’s not a main option for us – to search for some foreign market, we’d love to see our local audience grow too. With all respect for Aria – we’re here to steal the youngest and the cutest females.
Hahaha Russian bands don’t use to play out of Russia, what is the reason for that?
Some of them do. But most of such artists are just following some modern trends. Heavy Metal scene is not like that, and we really hope to go touring and see some other countries. Probably, Scandinavia first, because these lands are close to us and are famously welcoming for Metal bands.
I think you have just published a split with the band Sunisgone, right?
True. They’re our friends and they kinda rule. In their own genre. Brotherhood is our basic ideology. United struggle against the odds and pathetic fakes.
What are your plans for the future?
Keeping Iron Driver alive and well. Drinking, getting high, banging heads, playing gigs, conquering planets. Defending our faith and screaming for vengeance!
Not bad, not few. Thank you very much for your attention!
Never hit the hay! Listen to NWORHM!