ESPACIO RADIAL DESTINADO A DIFUNDIR EL MEJOR METAL DEL MUNDO !!!
Date: 02-OCTOBER-2003 Object: VIRTUAL
Band: HOLY DRAGONS Country: KAZAKHSTAN
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
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
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
"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
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
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,
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
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
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!!!
SEE YOU SOON!!!!!!
Here you can order any albums of HOLY