The powerful German combo MYSTIC PROPHECY are shaking the metal world with their new chapter Metal Division, probably their best album in years and at the top of their discography. They are touring already and have more dates coming to present these new songs that won’t disspoint any old fans. Eleven studio albums is a number that not many bands can pronounce, after 20 years they are eager than ever and hitting the charts!
Hello Lia! Mystic Prophecy is an old veteran act reaching the 11th album with they new work “Metal Division”. What is the difference between the MP of the 2020 and the MP of 2000?
The most obvious difference is the chart entry at #20 in Germany, but there were other chart positions in other countries too like #2 in Greece, # 73 Switzerland and hit worldwide the digitalcharts . That’s a huge success and all the years full of work finally pays off. That’s not done by the band, that’s made by the fans, who are the most important part of us.
But that’s just a number. Twenty years of touring, songwriting, living, traveling, good times, big parties and bad times with problems and fights, tours through huge venues and small clubs, many festivals and stages which where not bigger than a drum riser… all that shapes a band and the way of getting its work done. That gave us a lot of confidence which made us work with more ease, but focussed on our sound and songs. On the other hand personally we didn’t change very much. We’re still the silly men going on tour, talk bullshit and have fun.
“Metal Division” is your new album how was the composition and recording process?
The recording process is all the same for all bands and all albums: You spend the whole day in the studio as long as possible until your body stops working and you can’t hold your instrument any more. Then you repeat that days until it’s done.
But this time we did something we never did: We invited fans and let them sing on “Metal Devision”. The chorus is sung by everybody who wanted to join us and could make it. I never had so much fun in a studio. The songwriting itself was brilliant. We all tried to open up for new influences on our way back to our roots. We wanted it straight and hard, full of melodies with a modern touch. And all that happened by itself. We didn’t force it, that came straight from our hearts.
What are the main variations between “Metal Division” and the former “War Brigade”?
The way we sound! We used some old school machines like an Adat Tascam band machine. We could do all that cause we took a lot of time for the mix. We tried, failed, tried again and found a new way. It is not that compressed, we let the songs breathe and give them more room.
But that’s it. We’re still Mystic Prophecy and even if we improved some methods our album is still what you can expect. It’s not better than our other albums, it is just what we want to do right now. Albums and songs are like photos: They show and conserve the moment.
In 2018 you released a cover songs album with much fun, how was the perception by the fans?
The cover album “Uncovered” is the tenth album of the band with which we tried to do a special for the fans and for us. It was an experiment cause most of the songs were no metal or even rock songs. It was pure fun to write them but I can assure that it was almost more work than a regular album. And this iwas respected by the fans. We tried several songs on stage, the response was overwhelming. And all that was worth the effort.
Let’s talk about your new work, what are the lyrics about in “Metal Division”?
First of all we have this song called “Metal Division” about our loyal fans, an own community which is strong connected to the band. It’s our way to say: Thank you. Thank you for all the years, the good times and bad times we had. For the money you spend for the albums and merchandise.
Dracula is a “just have fun” song. Listen to the music, the immense groove is different to what we did all the years. The lyrics of the other are inspired by our situations, our lives, but we wrote about serious and historical themes also. “Hail To The King” is about the Hellenic King Alexander the Great. It fits to our music cause his personality and strength offered him the power to be the conqueror he was.
And we have extreme serious lyrics too. Listen to “Eye To Eye”! A song about a dark future when we all have to fight for food and water. Where the main reason to live is survive and all that leads to a big civil war the world didn’t see yet. “Curse Of The Slayer” continues this. It draws a picture of the apocalypse. Perhaps the church will send us an exorcist because of this… That’s just a short overview about our songs. Some of them are really personal and I like to share them with the world. Just listen and feel.
Cool. All songs have a great level but my favorite is Dracula, any song with a especial meaning for you in this new album?
You recognized that too? That’s good! Dracula is special! Indeed! Not just because of the lyrics but because of the riffs. All these shuffle riffs need to be played very dirty, with a lot of feeling but still with tons of power! We just wanted to do this song so we did it. Perhaps “Dracula” is our way to show the world: Expect the unexpected! We’re still Mystic Prophecy, we may be experienced and not a new band, but we still have ideas and music to get figured out!!!
“Metal Division” is an album with moments of Power, Speed, Thrash Metal and even you dare to touch the progressive side. Is this a return to your roots?
That’s what I said right before: It may be a little back to the roots. The old influences came back, straight and rough. I guess roughness is what let us bring back that old feeling. Nowadays everything needs to be played exactly on time. If you double guitars they need to sound like a machine. We went back, brought more feeling to our riffs and playings. It sounds more natural, more human. That all is supported by the way we mixed it.
But we cannot turn back time and we don’t want to! No way! We live right here and now, not in the past. Even if we try to bring some old feelings to our music we sound modern though. Let’s say: We arrived in 2020 with some listenable roots in 2000.
Yeah! We are gonna find big choruses and solos, the essence of Metal
This band is founded by Lia and Gus G, two musicians with extraordinary visions and skills. Choruses and solos were one of the recognition features since then. Of course we keep this tradition.
Back to your question: The importance of guitar solos shrinks more and more. You can find millions of guitar videos in youtube, you don’t need songs any more if you want to listen to technical solo guitars. But they’re still manifested in metal or in jazz! Choruses are important for all kind of music. A song without a recognizable part is no song. That’s the connection you can bound with the fans on stage even if they don’t know the song. The chorus is the heart of the music we write.
Amen. How do you think these songs will work out on stage?
They’re made for the stages!! They’ll kick ass big time and the fans can be part of the show, sing with us, scream with us or clap. All the parts, the vocals and solos are made to get played live. Bring it.
Sure you will burn it out! After 2 decades playing and 11 albums, what is your best moment as a band, some especial deed or whatever?
You may kill me but to be honest I cannot remember everything we experienced. To much things. Sometimes we sit together and tell our newer band members what we did and try to remember ourselves through what we’ve been through. Some adventures are to private to tell, some to disgusting and many of them got lost in our minds.
All in all it’s about the shows! The feeling, entering a tourbus after a party with fans, promoters and other bands. This is probably the best part, live the tour life, meet fans, people and friends all over the world.
How do you see the Power/Speed scene in Germany?
Is there a Power/Speed scene in Germany? Right now all I witness is that there is a growing metal scene all over the world, even in Germany. We all let borders disappear. When I was 16 we had all the music fans listening separate kind of metal. Today, and that’s really positive, one clicks from a poser rock song to a black metal song. The new blood brings new compositions, new ideas and their own attitude.
What I see is that the scene is growing and shows get more versatile. That helps bands getting new influences and fans more different styles to listen. I love that. I also see that times get harder. The bands need to find other ways to get their fans. The internet offers a lot of possibilities but kills even more chances. The CD sales decrease and tours need to get recouped by merchandise and tickets. That increases the ticket and merchandise prices which leads to less ticket sales. I see all that with suspicion.
Do you have any schedule or commemorative actions to celebrate your 20 year anniversary?
I don’t think that we’ll have a real celebration. We can be lucky that we’re still here and play! Perhaps we’ll have an extra beer on tour. We celebrated our tenth album with “Uncovered” and let the fans be part of this. I think we party enough. Better not to find another reason!
And finally, what can you we expect from MP in the future? Another 20 years?
20 years? Then we’re almost 70 years old beside of our two youngsters Hanno and Evan. Perhaps they can push us old guys on stage with a wheel chair. But they will ask for extra money doing this job which we won’t be able to afford. I don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean that we quit or give up. As long as we can give 100% on stage we’ll be there and kick ass!
Sure you have many years still ahead to kick assess!! Thanks Lia for your attention and congratulations for your album & career, if you wish to add something…
There is not much to say. It’s all about the fans. Only they can support a band and help to let this music survive! I hope you all keep going to shows and support this music! It’s worth it, we all believe in it. If you’re into metal, you take this to your grave. Like we do!