True metal, sure the official genre name has been around for only a few years, but the music and attitude has been around for decades! Some consider singing anthems about and to HEAVY METAL itself as cheezy. Some other consider it a lifestyle and a form of dedication and WIZARD is one of these rare groups of people! Proud to be more MetalHead then musician WIZARD declares war on the non-believers and deceivers of Heavy Metal. Even though the band and myself are separated by the ocean and many borders, listening to their music and message makes me feel a kinship with them. From across the sea a metalhead known as Snoppi answered my call and has been kind enough to enlighten me about the mighty Wizard. Long Live Metal and it's WIZARD.
   
Prof.ManiC: When and how did you come up for the idea for the Band? Back then did you choose the True Metal path or did it just happen? Why the name Wizard?
SNOPPI: That was a long time ago, when I formed Wizard. It must have been at the end of the 80s. I deceided to play drums, and than I forced my neighbour and friend Maassi to buy a guitar to make music together. Later there came other musicians to us, and we had a band (with 2 guitar players and 2 bass players). After a while we kicked the second guitar player and the second bass player, and the line up was stable since then (I guess about 1990). In the first time Wizard played thrash metal like Kreator or US-Thrash bands. Sven (singer) did not sing but shout J After a view years Sven deceided to “sing” and so we played something like “True-metal”. To that time there was no style named “true-metal”, it was simply “heavy metal” or “power-metal”.
Prof.ManiC: With bands Wizzard and Wizards have you ever thought about a name change? Did you ever have to fight for the rights to the name Wizard?
SNOPPI: No, I never thought about changing our name, why should I do this? There is also the finish band Wizzard (2 ‘z’), and one day Teemu (leader of Wizzard) contacted me. He said that he also had a band called “Wizard”, but as he heard from us (we were older) he changed the name in “Wizzard”. Than he came to germany and we drank a lot of beer together. That’s the way this should be solved. I hope that we never will have to fight for the rights. The name fits very good to our music and texts, ‘cause Leson (bass) and I are really great fantasy fans, and fantasy texts play a big role in our music (except the new album, this is only about Odin, not about fantasy).
Prof.ManiC: What do you think are the major differences between True Metal and Power Metal?
SNOPPI: I really don’t know. Perhaps Power Metal is a little bit heavier? Not so many melodic parts? I don’t care about such nonsense difficulties.
Prof.ManiC: Do you consider yourself a metalhead or musician first? Why?
SNOPPI: First I am a metalhead, because I started as a metal fan, and I am still a metalfan. I am only musician, when I play drums. I feel very familiar to the “normal” fan, I also have to pay for CDs, have to pay for concerts, have to stand in the que etc. Perhaps this will change if we sell 100.000 CDs, hahaha.
Prof.ManiC: How much of the music and lyrics do you come up with? Do you play anything besides the drums? If so why play drums in the band you formed?
SNOPPI: I am not very involved in the texts of wizard. The most texts were writen by Leson (bass) and Sven (vocals). I only play the drums and manage alot of things around Wizard.
As a musician I started at the age of 4 in the music-school, where I learned to play flute and trumpet (yes, I played over 8 years trumpet in an orchester and in a quartet etc., it was SHIT, since than I don’t like classic music very much).
Prof.ManiC: So how is the work on the new album coming? When will it be out and will it be on LMP again?
SNOPPI: The work is done for the new album. Everything is ready now. The cover and the fotos were ready last week, and I guess that the promos will be pressed this week. The album will come out on 24th of march! It will be published via LMP again. There will be a limited edition with 2 bonus-tracks and a video clip, there will also be a vinyl-version of the new album (which is called “Odin”).
Prof.ManiC: Are you guys working with Uwe Lulis again? What have you learned from him during your work together?
SNOPPI: Uwe is a very gentle guy, and we had a lot of fun with him recordings the last album. Puh, what have we learned? I guess Sven learned, that there is the possibility to sing more than 2 vocals at the same time (you know what I mean?). They experienced a bit with the vocals, and Sven could learn much things, as I know.
Prof.ManiC: What did you think of the whole deal between him and Chris after the Grave Digger break up? What do you thing of Grave Digger without him? (Personally, I wasn’t too fond of the new Grave Digger album, just didn’t have the same vibe to me) What do you think of Rebellion?
SNOPPI: Till we recorded the last album I did not own a Grave Digger album, hahaha. The voice is not soooo good, in my eyes. I also did not read anything about the split between Uwe and Grave Digger. Of course Uwe told us a few things, but I guess that the truth lies in the middle. But that’s not my part to deceide (and I will not do it). I don’t know the new GD album, so I can’t say if you hear that Uwe is missing. I thing he is a very good guitar-player, and so I would not be surprised if you hear it that he’s missing. The new Rebellion is OK, I don’t like the story between the songs (OK, I know, we did the same thing on the battle of metal, hahaha, but on our album you can skip them).
Prof.ManiC:

Does it follow the same format as “Head Of The Deceiver”? What are some of the song titles and concepts behind them?

SNOPPI: The new concept album is called “Odin” and it’s about Odin. The Song titles are for example: The prophecy, Betrayer, Hall of odin, The powergod, Thors hammer, Beginning of the end and so on. The album will be a little bit different to the “Head of the deceiver” album. It is not as fast as that album, and you will perhaps have to listen to it twice, because there happens very much during the songs. So that’s very unlike to Wizard, but if you have heard the songs 2 or 3 times you will never forget them, be sure! For me it’s our very best album. Also the artwork is very great.
Prof.ManiC: Since “Our Victory Is Your Doom….” Perfectly describes “Head of the Deceiver” what do you think should be the new albums catch phrase?
SNOPPI: That’s a very good question, hahaha, I also have thought about it. What should stand on the backs of the new shirts? I have to say, that I still don’t know. The story is the story of Odin, and perhaps we could take a phrase, that you can not only use in the context of the story, but also in a general metal context. We have to think about that!
Prof.ManiC: Since odds are I will never get to see Wizard live ( inless I do someday get to go to Germany and Wacken ) can you tell me what your live shows are like?
SNOPPI: We try to give the fans very much on our concerts. A good show is essential in my eyes. So we use much pyros and fire, spitting blood, using intros, inviting the audience on the stage and so on. We want to communicate with the fans, and not only play our set. In the most cases this concept is taken very good from the fans. They like it very much, and if they like it, we also like it. You know what I mean?
Prof.ManiC: Can you give me an idea of what the metal scene is really like in Germany? I mean is it one big family or is there a lot of backstabbing going on between bands and band fans? Or is it just friendly competition?
SNOPPI: Puh, in the underground (I count Wizard to the underground) there is not very much competition. Each band knows that every band need as much luck and help as it could get. We have lots of concerts together, so during the time you get to know all the people in the bands (of course not from every band, but from a lot). The bigger bands I don’t know so good. I guess that there is much more competition, because they have to live from the music. There are much assholes, but also much nice guys (Kai Hansen, Uwe Lullis, Piet Sielck etc. ).
The fans are often the same. Some fanatic people drive to the whole of germany to see bands, and that’s amazing. The most fans party with us very much, and this is what I like, when playing a concert.
Prof.ManiC: Does the IRON WAR symbolize anything to you or the band?
SNOPPI:

I don’t have the text in my mind at the moment. For me it does not symbolize anything, because the text is written in the context of the four thunderwarriors. Of course we have to fight for the metal, but I guess it is more a symbolic text.
Prof.ManiC:

I’ll name a couple bands that I consider True Metal and can you please tell me what you think of them as a band and people!?

Paragon??

SNOPPI: We know them very well and we had a lot of fun with them in the past. The first albums are very great, I don’t know why the press ignored them.
Prof.ManiC: Wolfs Moon?
SNOPPI:

I know only from the name, I never heard there music and I don’t know the people
Prof.ManiC: Sacred Steel?
SNOPPI:

We also are very familiar with SS, we played a lot of concerts and had a lot of fun. Especially with Matze (drums) and Olli (guitar) they understand us very well. It’s a little bit petty that they don’t play live very often. I have not heard from them for a long time.
Prof.ManiC: Majesty?
SNOPPI:

Also a Band where we played with. They remind me a little bit to the time when I started with Wizard. The music is very simple, but there are very good choirs and a lot of “metalfeeling” in the songs. Of course Majesty make this more professional now than we did in 1990, hahaha. I wish them all the best on their way, and I guess that they will become very popular!
Prof.ManiC: Are there any True Metal bands that you consider a must in anyone’s collections?
SNOPPI:

Slayer, Testament, Virgin Steele, The first Metallica-albums, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden (the first ones)… and of course Wizard. There are much more, I mentioned just a few. Everybody should listen to the bands you listet above (Paragon, Majesty etc.). They need the money much more than the big bands. And the underground is often on the same level as the top bands are! Believe me!

Prof.ManiC: Final Comments?
SNOPPI:

I thank you for the interview. Greetings out to all metalheads! Our new album “Odin” will be out on 24th of march, be prepared.

For more information (coveroartwork etc.) please feel free to visit us under: http://www.legion-of-doom.de or contact us at wizard@legion-of-doom.de

In the sign of the Wizard
Snoppi