Interview with ROAD WARRIOR
The Band: Road Warrior
Answers by: Denimal (bass, vocals, drums)
Hailing from South Australia, ROAD WARRIOR effectively recreate a time when heavy metal was oblivious to trends and the guys propose us a cool travel to that far land with their debut album “Power”, which is due October 5th, as you can also appreciate in the comments of Denimal in this chat. Road Warrior are an unabashed throwback to a time when metal skirted conventional and politically correct norms. 80’s lovers will love it, easy as that.
Hello Denimal, “Power” is your debut album, how do you feel about it?
We feel it is a strong, defining debut. We captured what we aimed for in the studio. No regrets. No mercy. No mercy for regrets.
Any evolution the listener might appreciate since your demo in 2016?
Evolution is a loose and misused term in music. Especially metal music. Especially heavy metal We have certainly evolved into a sound and honed an approach to song writing, since the demo. Obviously because we now have a solid band line-up.
Curiously your name was inspired by the popular Mad Max 2 movie, how was it?
Honestly I did not think of that when I originally settled on the name. Josh from HMH records pointed it out to me soon thereafter! Great film though. Best of the franchise. I had originally expected to find a band from the 80’s with that name already, but was surprised to find none. Don’t fight fate, I say.
The guys on Gates Of Hell Records were quick enough after listening your demo to sign you up, right?
Exactly right. They were initially curious to hear some more demo songs of newer material, so I sent them rough rehearsals I had made. Since penning the contract I must admit I am still waiting for the harem full of girls and barrel of scotch whiskey we were promised…what the hell??
Haha promises if not on paper are dangerous. Talking about your album I would like to consider several aspects. Firstly, Power is an 8 songs album. We are used nowadays to albums of 11, 12 or more songs, but I think 8 tracks fits perfect with your heavy metal approach and gives the album a plus of force and energy that with more songs might dilute
I completely agree with you here. In fact I still have a penchant for mini-albums. I cannot be sure many people have the attention span for full albums nowadays either! But yes, we deliberately wind up proceedings around the 36 minute mark, which is great for LP’s, the style of music AND for the attention deficient hahahaaa. I would rather 35 minutes of qualitative songs than an extra 15-20 minutes of filler. All thriller, no filler.
Musical winks to big bands as Judas Priest, Malice, Iron Maiden, Hexx, Villain, etc are present in your album
Why not! I am sure everyone will hear different influences, but whatever our influences are, doesn’t dictate exactly how other ears will perceive it. Judas Priest, early Iron Maiden and Hexx are definite influences though.
No taboo in your lyrics… sex, historical conspiracy, pre-diluvial civilization…
Without compromising class, we think it is important to speak freely in music. The lyrics range from quite simple concepts to more considered. It really depends what sounds right too you know? Rob Halford was a master at making heavy handed lyrics into catchy melodies, especially during the 70’s, as well as doing the same for more ‘low brow’ lyrics. Like ‘Love Zone’. An admirable talent.
No discussion on that. Denimal you are a guy with a very charismatic voice, giving the songs an extra point
That is me, so I have to agree with you there! Hahahaaaa My range is naturally lower but I do aim for interesting timbres and styles, instead of trying to scream out of my natural range. Thanks.
What belongs to the king we give to the king. Road Warrior is a trio, but the guitars sound as if there were two axes behind
Yes I originally wrote the album with 2 guitarists in mind, and we had another guitarist last year but we adjusted our sound to suit when we remained a 3 piece just prior to, and after the recording. There are some guitar flourishes, layers and overdubs, sure, but the bass guitar is also a very prominent feature in the sound, to fill things out. Maybe you have noticed that many bands with 2 guitarists will layer 3 or 4 different guitar tracks at any given time? I see little difference if there is no less effect in a live domain.
That’s right. Any intention to hire a second guitarist for live purposes?
If there was a 4th member (axeman), it would be a full time member. No ‘live’ members.
Although the album contains only 8 songs it’s great the variety it shows, for example the song I Am The Hunger has an amazing heavy progressive focus ala Fates Warning in my opinion
I recognise that many older heavy metal albums had much more variety, song-to-song, on any given album. The album plays out in an interesting fashion, as opposed to the opening track being the strict blueprint for every song thereafter. Boring. So, yes we will always strive for old-school variety. I Am The Hunger is a little different but it was influenced by other bands (Loudness, Hexx maybe), not so much Fates Warning. I love early Fates Warning and you may well hear influences creep through in the near future.
Oh yeah! You also play very well with the role of the melodies and the heavy touch throughout the album…?
It’s a fine balance to manage whilst being a 3 piece band, that is for sure. If we are too melodic then the muscle in the sound can be compromised. Ironically our next album is a little more melodic than the debut!
With the 80s sound you follow along the album I cannot avoid this question: what was lost in the last 20 years compared with the 80s legacy? Would you recover something from that time?
Production first and foremost. These shitty crystal clear, triggered, dry, treble-enhanced productions are a bane to my ears. Every instrument fighting for the same audio space. Otherwise, I think there is a growing number of newer bands that are getting it right, musically and production (again, to my ears), rather than not. There is big shoes to fill as the older, classic bands retire, so we need to understand what made these bands great, and learn, before it’s too late.
I absolutely agree on that. Any plans to tour around? Out of Australia?
Our debut show is at STEEL ASSASSINS Festival this November, in Sydney, Australia. That is all we have planned thus far. We hope that the album will generate some interest and offers for some overseas festivals. In the meantime we are preparing the next album to record and release around the same time next year.
How is to be a band from Tasmania (south Australia)?
Well South Australia is unique, like every capital city of Australia. There are still plenty of classic metal fans in the younger generation, but also many older fans (been busy raising children I guess) that are reappearing, especially for some older school bands touring through, like ANVIL and ROSS THE BOSS. Good crowds.
Thank you very much Denimal and congratulations for your great debut!
Spank you too!