Interview: WARKINGS
Title: Challenging historians

With a mighty bloated chest, uninhibitedly pretentious appearance and combative-agile Heavy Metal anthems, these multiple-unusual power protagonists take to the starting line.

Not only from their own, real-geographical origins they make a well-kept secret full of pathos, preferring to let the music on the bombastically roaring debut album "Reborn" announce everything. Thus, the four sworn Warkings have completely devoted themselves to the old legends of the gods. Without compromise.

By Odin! According to the martial presence of the much discussed old masters of Manowar the quartet lets it crash monumentally and epically in the warrior alliance as old Roman tribune, wild north warrior, strict crusader and murderous Spartan!

How did you come together as a band?

The Viking: „That was long ago … we all died a glorious death on the battlefield or in the arena and on our way to the other side, we met. Call it Valhalla, Elysium or Paradise … in the end it’s all the same. That is what we realized when we stood in front of the gates to the realm of the All-father. Time, space, distance…that doesn’t matter. We shared out stories, our songs and our music … and the All-father decided to sent us back.“

Have you already gained experience in other bands?

The Crusader: „We were warriors once, we lived to fight and we died as we should. Like it has to be and now we’re reborn and we return to fight again, this time with our music. We bring the stories of our battles and past to the people today. So the answer would be no … until we sang our songs together we didn’t know what a ‚band‘ is … but now it looks like we are one. That feels great, we are so different and yet we are able to create music together … something that feels like being a king again. And we know how that feels …“

What is behind the band’s name, when you think deeper?

The Tribune: „Well … we all were leaders and kings in our time, we fought our wars, we drank, we loved … so this was just so obvious. No deeper thoughts necessary.“

„Reborn“ - how do you feel now, after having finished these new, outstanding collection of songs finally?

The Viking: „It feels amazing … we wrote this music together in the realms of the All-father. It came to us as naturally as swinging an axe. We learned to play this crazy and awesome new instruments: guitar, bass and drums and we perfected this craft like we perfected our fighting-skills in the past.“

Please describe the main musical character of the new Warkings release with your very own words!

The Spartan: „It’s Heavy Metal … pure, raw and hard. We discovered this epic music when we learned about the world nowadays and we loved it from the first note we heard. It’s the perfect soundtrack to our tales. Nothing else would have fit better. So that’s it … Metal. You can sing the songs with us, chant the words and feel like a warrior of the past.“

What is the most important for you on the new release of your warrior bunch?

The Viking: „It’s a new start, a new beginning, we’re reborn with this album. It’s our first step in world nowadays and we will enjoy every moment. We are alive … again. At the moment, it feels a bit weird being alone without an army standing behind us. But this will change. There are some shows and tours coming up and we will forge a new army with all the people out there who love Heavy Metal as much as we do.“

What can Warkings do for the curious listeners what other bands can’t?

The Crusader: „It’s not up to us to answer this. It’s up to our fans, our prospective warriors! They will decide if they wanna follow or not. There is one thing we do know: ‚You’ll never win a battle alone.‘ Even The Spartan can’t kill every enemy alone … doesn’t matter how often he claims this! We know that there are a lot of great bands around which paved the way for other Metal bands. They deserve their success well and we’re thankful for all their inventions, technically and musically. Would be nice to meet some of them one day, but let’s get back to your question: Never forget, the Warkings don’t compare, we don’t follow! We lead!!!“

What’s your very own personal view about the heroic, epic and traditional themed ‚spirit' of the new album?

The Tribune: „It’s funny that you try to peg the music as traditional themed music. Sometimes we forget that you all didn’t see all the times we did. For us it is not traditional. These stories may be ancient, but they’ll never get to old to be told. I’ll give you an example, try to imagine: you enter the arena, thousands of people around you chant your name and want to see your blood drain in the sand. Your veins transport the adrenaline, your heart is pumping … and horns play the tunes of war. I can assure, you’ll never get this out of your head. We can tell a lot of tales about all that! That’s what we wanted to re-create … these emotions and feelings. The blood-rush, the power … everything.“

What kind of emotions dominates the new songs?

The Viking: „Like the Tribune said … all these feelings before a fight, the blood pumping through your veins, your heart beating in your chest. The feeling you got when you won the battle or the sorrow you felt when lost a companion. But tell me, you’re the listener, the people out there are the listeners. Every blacksmith will tell you that his sword is the sharpest and most solid sword you’ll ever used. As long as you didn’t use it you’ll never know. You’ll never become one with your sword until you fought and came back alive. So listen to our songs, ‚use’ them, come to our shows and then tell us what you feel.“

Are there any special, historical visions which raise in your imagination while playing these new material?

The Crusader: „It’s not historical for us. I as the Crusader know the tales the Spartan told me. That’s then historical for me as well, I have to admit. But the different tales are our lives, we lived them. So we re-create our past with these songs. And we all together found so much common ground that we easily could write songs and lyrics. We’ve got one mission and either we tell ancient tales or recruit new War-king Warriors!“

Is it allowed to ask you about any special musical influences which led to the new songs?

The Tribune: „It is! It’s the live we lived and the tunes we heard. The old songs, the old melodies connected with the power of Heavy Metal. There is this song called ‚Battle Cry‘. You may listen and understand that Odin (he is an incredible guitar-player) himself gave the idea to the main riff, while the guitars play ancient melodies from Sparta and the words are about a battle of the Tribune. That’s how we work, no limits. As long as there is an idea and it sounds well, we’re gonna use it. You can compare it with a fight: if you fight to survive you’ll use every technique, every experience and all weapons you can grab.In battle there is no law …“

„Reborn“ - what is behind these title?

The Crusader: „Well … like I said before … we were warriors and leaders … and died with sword and axe in our hand. And now we are reborn … that’s all … we’re back. Like our music and words … we say what we mean … no secrets, no riddles and mystical rhymes … pure emotion carved into music.“

Be so kind and bring the main lyrical content of the new tracks a bit closer!

The Spartan: „We re-live our past. We wrote about what we’ve been through. Like the song ‚Battle Cry‘, it’s about a battle of the Tribune’s legion, or ‚Sparta‘ which is about the battle at the Thermopylae. ‚Never Surrender‘ is a song about the raids of the Viking and ‚Holy Storm‘ tells tales about the crusades. ‚Hephaistos‘ tells the story of the god of fire. We met him, we drank and he didn’t stop talking … so we had to forge his words into a song.“

The songwriting process of Warkings itself, what is to tell about in general?

The Viking: „That’s quite easy! We all sat together, a bonfire in the middle and talked about the good old times and what we did. We had some mead and wine … and when the Tribune started to sing the first words we noticed that we can bring these songs to Heavy Metal. And this is how we did all songs. One started with a melody and we all created the song. This is why we could form all these different ideas to one solid album. The Allfather told us where to record these songs, so we recruited a real champion of Metal, the incredible Eike Freese to bring all these pieces together. In the city of Hamburg, he forged our album and we couldn’t be happier.“

Who wrote the lion’s share of the new songs?

The Crusader: „I can’t tell. You’ve got to know that this question seems to hit the wrong band. We don’t care about all this. As long as one worked on the music, the next one wrote down the words, hunted for food or brought more mead. There are thousands of problems showing up when you write and record an album, especially if it’s for first time. And we were used to fight not to play … but we learned it all We solved this duty. That’s the only important part. For example … there where 300 Spartans (we all know, they where more … but the Spartan claims this number) fighting against the Persian army at the Thermopylae's . Do you know each name of each spartan warrior? It doesn’t matter … it’s what they’ve accomplished together. This is how we work: we stand as one, we write as one and we play as one …“

How long was the work in total for all the material?

The Tribune: „Time doesn’t matter in the afterlife … we drank, we sang … and that’s how the songs came together. A year, ten years, a lifetime? The recordings took about a month, because we re-corded here on Earth in the real world.“

What have been the hardest or most difficult passages of the done songwriting-process?

The Crusader: „It was a very strange situation to connect battle hymns from the Viking with Spartan melodies, or integrate holy battle cries to a song from the Tribune. We often needed to lay back and have a drink, two or three … oh … now I know the biggest problem of all: not to drink to hard …“

Please tell a bit about the line-up situation and the chemistry in the band!

The Viking: „Four warrior-kings from different times and nations … we would have fought each other if we would have met back in time … but in the afterlife all this is useless. We became friends, we share the same stories, we lived similar lives so to speak, we love this music … so it’s like it should be. Who cares about origin, religion or whatever … in the realms of eternity no one cares. You can’t kill each other, you’re already dead. But you can share your memories, re-live your past and celebrate the life you lived.“

What drives you mainly as artists to do what you do in Warkings?

The Tribune: „We want to shares all our stories of the past with the people out there … we were there, we saw it, we lived it. And we fell in love with this music you call Heavy Metal. Nothing compares to that sound … it’s like ten-thousand soldiers chant their war-cries over the battlefield. So we were kings, we are kings and now we are also something like the storytellers and bards of the past … and we like to celebrate this with everybody around.“

© Markus Eck, 26.10.2018

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