Here at the Flag we love nothing more than a bit of fantasy metal, so when we get the chance to talk to the people that write fantasy metal, it gets us all excited. I was lucky enough to be able to pin down Alestorm frontman and Gloryhammer keyboard player Christopher Bowes.
TBF: Hi Christopher and Thanks for chatting to us, can you tell us what you listened to growing up?
CB: I didn’t actually listen to any music until I was 16, when I got into weird avantgarde black metal. I guess that’s the reason I make stupid music.
TBF: When did you learn to play and what instruments?
CB: Like any spoiled middle class brat, I learned piano from a young age. I was a shit at it, but that’s how it goes.
TBF: What was your first experience of performing music?
CB: I played percussion in an orchestra when I was young, does that count? Christ I must be coming across as a pretentious arse right now.
TBF: You play a Keytar in Alestorm, what made you switch from Keyboard?
CB: You can’t give rapey looks to babes when you’re behind a keyboard at the back of the stage. So the change was an obvious decision.
TBF: How did Alestorm’s Pirate theme come about?
CB: Gotta sing about something man! Vikings was overdone.
TBF: Is the story something that is as important to you as the music?
CB: Well a good story is always fun, but mostly it’s because i’m utterly emotionally void and can’t write “serious” lyrics, so crap pulp fantasy has to suffice.
TBF: GloryHammer’s first album centres around Angus McFife, who is he?
CB: He is the Crown Prince of Dundee, the Heir to the Throne of Fife. His kingdom gets destroyed and now he’s out for vengeance. What a badass dude! And entirely fictional, I might add.
TBF: Can you tell me more about the story and location?
CB: Like I said above, Dundee gets destroyed by the evil wizard Zargothrax (that’s me) and his army of undead unicorns. Swearing holy vengeance, Angus McFife goes on a quest to find 3 powerful magical artefacts, and with their aid, defeat the evil wizard. There’s some battles in there too somewhere. All in all, it’s stupidly epic.
TBF: How did GloryHammer come together?
CB: I just asked my friends if they wanted to be in a cool power metal band. They said yes, which was nice. We found the singer Tom through his audition to join Dragonforce…you can still see that video on youtube today!
TBF: Can you describe the writing process for the album?
CB: Same as any other album i’ve written really. I just sat down with my laptop and tapped away in guitarpro, until I had an album’s worth of epic power metal. Got the rest of the guys to add a bit of input, we all learned how to play it, then BAM it was done.
TBF: How would you describe GloryHammer to someone who hadn’t heard it?
CB: Ultra questing legendary power fighting music for true heroes. Insert guitar solo here.
TBF: Is it hard not being up front this time?
CB: Nah it’s great. I don’t have to sing, which means I can relax and just enjoy the show 😀
TBF: When and Where can we see
GloryHammer live in the UK?
CB: A tour is currently being arranged! Expect us in late 2013!
TBF: What is next for you? More Alestorm? A solo album?
CB: Aye, gonna write the next Alestorm album. I’ve also got my new side project, with the ridiculous name of “G. M. Hartnell & Sons, Landscaping & Garden Care”. It’s an extreme metal band whose topics of interest are exclusively limited to gardening, 19th century infantry tactics, and the collecting of model windmills. Watch this space.
Sounds epic, there aren’t enough fantasy metal bands that sing about gardening. There you have it, the weird and wonderful mind of the very talented Chris Bowes, coming to a stage near you soon with more rapey looks than a premiership football team.