Official site of True Power Metal band HOLY DRAGONS



Reporter: Jurgen Thunderson
JORGE ALVAREZ Guest musicians:Chris Caine and Band Home Page:

?Hailare, some questions … HOLY DRAGONS!!! You guys REALLY RULES!!! Here they about the band and your CD:

1. Thanks a lot for sending us your CD and for accept this interview for BOLIVIA!!!!!! ?Would you please tell us all about the history of HOLY DRAGONS? ?Could you please tell us all about the professional career of the members of the band?

Holy Dragons were invented by Jurgen Thunderson (ex-Kingspeed (1989-1991,) Axcess (1992-95), Izverg (1993-94)) and Chris Caine (ex- GB-5 (1991-94), Lamia (1994-95) in May 1997. The drummer and bassist didn't survive in the band for the long time. There has passed a lot of people through the band before the line-up got stable.

The first album was recorded in 28 hours of studio time at the local 32 channel digital studio. The album "Dragon Steel" contained 12 tracks . The recording was finished on the 25th of December in 1997. The same year the local label "Centre Records" released the 65 minute album "Dragon Steel" on a tape. This recording was the first and till recent times the only one official release of a rock band in Kazakhstan.

After the recording of the first album to Holy Dragons came vocalist Daniel Throne. The first 4 albums are with his voice (the first album was later rerecorded with his vocal).
In 1999 one local firm which was dealing with business far from musical industry made a decision to sponsor and promote the band under the condition that the band would create a ballad album. As we had enough ballads so far, the first test for the new crew was that ballad album. Soon this album was recorded, containing 8 songs. In September 1999 it was completely mixed and finished. It got the name "Rock Ballads". The interesting fact was that all the songs were specially created for it, but not taken from the other albums as it is usually done.

Unfortunately the firm didn't implement any of its promises, but the local label got interested in it. At the same time our friends were making an amateur video for the song "Christmas Time", which was specially made for the 2000 the year of the Metallic Dragon (according to the Eastern horoscope). It was actively rotated on the local music channels till some "good person" lost the original S-VHS studio tape and we only got the video, recorded from the TV on the home video recorder. Approximately at the same time the local TV programme "Jazz city, Blues city" ( in this city it is the prevailing and the only one welcomed style, except pop music, of course) shot a live show with the interview of the band. Its half an hour version was also broadcasted on the local TV channels. Unfortunately, the band had no money to buy the master tape on BETACAM and the material was erased. In September 1999 the instruments for "House of the Winds" were recorded, but the band was busy with concerts and the vocal for it was recorded later. In January - February of 2000 the band rerecorded the voice for the debut album "Dragon Steel" with Daniel's Throne voice. In April of 2000 the local label "Fair Play" released the collection of early songs of Holy Dragons on a tape , called "The Best". It was made of "Dragon Steel" and "Rock Ballads".

The band continued working in the studio. In May 2000 the voice for "House of the Winds" was recorded.

In October 2000 "Thunder in the Night" was created.

"Thunder..." is being broadcasted on many international Internet and ordinary radios. But at that period the atmosphere in the band grows tense and it is being torn by the grave contradictions between the members of the band. But despite it the "Dragons" continue to work on the new material. On the 14th of May in 2001 it was finished, (8 tracks, totally 37 minutes) but because of all the misunderstanding and difficult psychological climate inside HD the recording didn't satisfy the founders of HD and there were a great deal of clashes and very serious conflicts. Chris and Jurgen, trying to save the band make compromises. The result of such compromises was the creation of two "strange" songs "Starlight Stranger" and "Highway Lights" and an odd demo "Warlock". At the same time as the result of great efforts of the band members one of the local labels release a long tape (90 minutes) with two albums "Thunder ..." and "House..." and one single "Starlight Stranger". This release gets the name "Rage of the Dragon Lords". In a flash there were sold all the 3000 copies. But it was all in vain. The band breaks up on the 16 of December 2001.

But Chris was haunted by the idea to give the new album a name "Judgement Day" and in the period of 10th of January-29th of March Jurgen and Chris record instrumental for the new album. This name has played an unpleasant trick on the authors. As we now remember the recording sessions of that period, we can say that it was the real "Judgement Day" for us. Everything was getting out of order, twice the recording was very close to be stopped and the whole recorded material went into the waste basket, but finally we've got through. But there still remained the problem of a vocalist.

In autumn of 2002 the band finally finds a singer. It was Holger Komaroff (btw, he already worked with Jurgen in Axcess in 93-94) and without any previous rehearsing they record the voice for the unlucky "JD" (Russian language version), then HD invite bassist from Black Fox Chris Larson and the formation of the new crew is finished. Soon there came Jurii Morev (drums)

But again the band never stops and HD record a brand new album with the name "Gotterdamerung" ("Twilight of the Gods") the recording session goes very fast beginning on the 4th of January 2003 and finishes on the 16th of March (Russian version). But as it was only the Russian language version, Chris at the moment is working on the English language version of Gotterdamerung.

2. ?How do you define the musical style of HOLY DRAGONS? ?Who are the most significant influences in your career? ?What Russian bands you judge important for your music? If you let me tell you, there is some interesting weight of BLIND GUARDIAN in the vocal lines and a little influence of BLACK COFFEE (a '80s Russian metal band), or am I incorrect?

Chris Caine : People say different things about our style, but I personally think that the style we play is power/speed metal. But that doesn't mean that we'll never include any other good elements of other metal style into our music. We've always tried to take the best from every style.

Jurgen Thunderson : Speaking about the influences we were mostly influenced by Iron Maiden when we started. Another big influence was German heavy metal, especially such bands as Helloween (early) and Gamma Ray. What concerns Russian bands, Black Coffee is still one of the favourite bands of our singer. He really has taken a lot from that band in terms of vocals.

Chris Caine : When we started to work on Judgement Day album we found out that Holger's voice was a bit similar to that of the Blind Guardian vocalist, though he never heard BG before.

Jurgen Thunderson : But after all we made him listen to Blind Guardian. : ))).

3. ?What can you tell us about the lyrics of your CD: TWILIGHT OF THE GODS? ?Could you please make a review of the songs, one by one, and explain us about the thematic of them? ?What differences do you found respect to JUDGEMENT DAY, your previous work?

Chris Caine : That's a very interesting question! My personal opinion is that words should play an equal role in any song together with music. Because we are sure that we really have something to say to the people of this world. Just because of that we're now recording the English version of TWILIGHT OF THE GODS. Well, but as we now don't have it here's the review of all the songs :

"Blood of Elves" - the lyrics of that song is based on the book of polish writer A. Sapkovskii with the same name. The theme of the song is the fortune telling for the elven people, saying that soon their world will be destroyed by some hostile evil forces but still there is some hope for them : there is a magic warrior on the rainbow bridge, who can fight and win this last battle with the legions of darkness. The last stanza of the song says that in the far away future the blood of elves will be reborn in the human blood. This last words are inspired by one of my friends, who (you'll not believe it) really looks like a real elf! Even having this peculiar elvish ears! He really resembles Legolas from Peter Jackson's LOTR even without any make up : ))).

"Steel Eagle" - a song about the brave british pilots in the times of the 2 world war. Well, you know, pilots' battles in the air were something like knights' combats in the middle ages. It was Jurgen's idea. He always wanted to become a pilot himself. This song is somehow a tribute to the Iron Maiden's "Aces High". ; - )).

"Heavy Metal Maniac" - it's a song about a person, a cool person, who is faithful to heavy metal and is cool because of that. The idea is that heavy metal fans are cool guys and girls! I mean it, heavy metal fans are great people doesn't matter where they live!

"No future" - I think the idea of this song will be very close to all the people in any country, especially young people. Have you ever felt that nobody cares about your future and your fate? Have you ever felt as if all the doors are closed for you? Have you ever felt unnecessary in this big world? Have you ever felt that there is no way out of such a situation and the only possible way out is ... to commit a suicide? Who cares about this world if this world doesn't care about you?
All these feelings have merged into this song.

"Altairs of Liars"- about false gods, maniacal religious ideas in different periods of human history, which were imposed into people's minds in many countries. About fanatism of any sort in any religion. The song draws parralles from the ancient times to the present days.

"The Templars" - this song tells about France in middle ages. Jurgen once read a historic book about France in the times of the templars, their glorious history and their fall. And he was very much impressed and fascinated by it. The song is written about the times of the fall of the templars when they were prosecuted and opressed. Imagine : inquisition, fires burning, templars are being burnt in these fires, but still they are proud of their deeds in the name of France and they die proudly and having no fear of death and this injustice towards them.

"The Cursed Spirit"- a very interesting song. Funny it appeared on halleween of the last year. Basically it's a ghost story in the best traditions. The song is sung from the personality of a ghost, who has fallen in love with a woman, who is alive and that's the main obstacle for their love.

"Twilight of the Gods" - a song about this crazy world, in which there it seems that gods have just forgotten about us. That they are just sleeping somewhere there in the skies. A presentiment of the close Judgement Day. Here's the connection of it to the album Judgement Day.

4. ?What are the founts of your inspiration? ?It is there some kind of epic insight around TWILIGHT OF GODS, or am I wrong?

Jurgen Thunderson : When I was doing TWILIGHT OF THE GODS my sources of inspiration were the following bands: early albums of Blind Guardian, Rage of the times of "Missing Link" and Black Sabbath with DIO. I listen to lots of different music but at that time these bands were the leaders of my personal top 100. Generally I'm not inclined to give any forebodings but at present days the situation in the world very much reminds about Judgement Day. German people (and I have some german roots) call such a situation "Gotterdamerung" (Twilight of the Gods). Here you can see the link between these two freshest albums.

5. It's really unusual for us to hear from bands of your country, in fact, you're the first one I have the opportunity to talk tocan you tell us about the "Kazakhstan's … ?What metal scene"? ?How is the support of the journalists and the metal fans?

Jurgen Thunderson : Well, unfortunately we can't talk about the existences of "Kazakhstan metal scene" as it is, because it simply doesn't exist. Unfortunately. Not because people here don't like heavy metal, but because here we don't have any labels, which would work with not just heavy metal bands but even with rock bands. All the labels which were able to produce something has gone bankrupt and they don't exist anymore.We don't have any club which could be adjusted to the needs of metal bands, where they can come and play. My friend from Germany was simply shocked by this fact when he came here. You'll not believe but the equipment in all our clubs is made only for phonogramme perfomance and here it is considered normal. Everything everywhere is full with foolish pop singers, who can't sing in the full sence of this word and only open their mouth under the recording singing in public. They think of themselves as very big stars, though a person (not necessarily a heavy metal fan) will not listen to them, because for him it's the same thing as to buy a product with bad quality. Almost all of our so-called "stars" have not recorded a normal complete album and they are not known anywhere far than outside our region.

Chris Caine : But still there are two young metal bands : Black Fox and Phoenix. They are very young and they are recording their albums in our studio. Hope by the New Year their albums will be recorded.

6. ?How do you see the actual metal scene? ?What metal styles have preponderance on the press and the fans on your country? ?Do you feel that the heavy metal sound is part of a "rebirth" of the scene?

Jurgen Thunderson : May be I'm wrong but the situation with power metal is gradually beginning to resemble that situation, which was with thrash in the edge of 80-ties and 90-ties. There suddenly appeared lots of thrash bands and most of them were much alike : they played the same riffs, they had a similar vocal and similar lyrics. And do you remember how it all ended? Thrash has lost its popularity. And now most of the leaders of this style mostly play a totally different kind of music. I think that power metal is coming the same way, unfortunately. The general technical level of the musicians is very high. This can be said about guitarists, singers and drummers. But everyone forgot about poor bassists! There hasn't appeared a new Steve Harris! : )). Another observation - in the 80-ties, the real heroes for the majority of teenages there were Ritchie Blackmore, Ingwie Malmsteen etc - a person with guitar. And at present the beginning musicians with whom I communicate now is Jens Johansson - keyboard man : )). These are just my observations about the actual present day metal scene.

Chris Caine : we don't have special metal press in Kazakhstan and our local press ignores such a style as heavy metal, so I can orient by the Russian press. Judging by it, I can say that heavy metal and especially power metal is having a rebirth really. And it's a very promising fact. Speaking about the fans of metal in our country it's difficult to follow any preferences among them.

7. ?What can you tell us about your live shows? ?Do you had the chance of make some out of Kazakhstan?

Chris Caine : Live shows are always fun! Especially those, that we're doing on Halloween.
Unfortunately we didn't have any chance to play live out of Kazakhstan, but we don't lose hope and some day we'll go on a big tour.

8. ?How was receiving TWILIGHT OF GODS in your motherland? ?How do you see the future of the band?

Chris Caine : We have a very good reaction through the Internet for that album. As we haven't released it officially yet for bigger public we don't know. Unfortunately we are better known abroad than at home. But the reaction that we've already had through the Internet is very good.

9. ?What can you mention us about another bands of your country? ?Is it there someone of it that have a remarkable success at present?

Chris Caine : Well, as I have mentioned above there are two very young bands Black Fox and Phoenix. They are both being produced by Jurgen and supported by Holy Dragons. Hope that in some time we'll be able to speak about "Kazakhstan metal scene" ; - ))).

10. ?Do you have some kind of information about the "South American metal scene"? ?Do you had hear some South American band recently?

Jurgen Thunderson : I have all the albums of Angra and some of Viper in my archives. Our band has good contacts with the Brazillian band STEEL WARRIOR. I know that there are lots of new young promising bands from South America. And I heard that Brazillian MTV is very good unlike the European and American ( I mean USA).

11. Supposing you have the possibility of select an international band to play with… ?What band do you will desire, and why?

Chris Caine : WOW! First of all guitars : there will be Kai Hansen and our Jurgen Thunderson. Bass guitar - Steve Harris and our Chris Larsson, drums -Uli Kush and Mike Terrano and our Jurii Morev. Vocals : Bruce Dickinson, Dio and our Holger Komaroff.

Jurgen Thunderson : Now personally for me Holy Dragons are the dream team! For the long time I couldn't say so. Now, all the people who play in the band are very good professionals and their only drawback that their names are not yet know to the international community! But if I chose from the musicians that don't play in Holy Dragons I would choose : guitars - of course Kai Hansen. It's a fantastic guitarist, he has made a great influence upon me, though Roland Grapov is closer for me to my manner of playing. But I'd play with Roland with pleasure too. Any member of Gamma Ray line-up is worth to play with in an international team. Two most respected bassists - Steve Harris and Marcus Grosskopf. Marcus Grosskopf is a very unique as a bassist because he plays in a band with double bass drums, two guitars and etc and his bass guitar is always distinctly heard and it doesn't shadow the guitar line. I think that it's the highest class of a bassist. Drummers - I'll not be original - Uli Kush and Mike Terrano. What concerns vocals I like many of them : Dio, Dickinson, Halford, Peavey Wagner and many others. There are many other great musicians with whom unfortunately I'll never play because they are dead.

12. At the end of the interviewthe METAL … ?Do you want to tell something to HEAD-BANGERS and to the audience of "El Poder del Metal", in ORURO-BOLIVIA?

From Holy Dragons :

Metal has no borders and that's great! By the power of metal we're here in your country and it's very cool!!!

"Feel the Power of the Steel!
We will get the score
We were born to fight and win
In Gory War!"

(Holy Dragons/Glory War)

Thank you very much GUYS!!! It was a great pleasure to talk with you, and GOOD LUCK!!!

STAY HEAVY, and don't forget us!!!



Here you can order any albums of HOLY DRAGONS

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