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The Black Flag Meets Christopher Bowes of Alestorm and Gloryhammer

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,...

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.

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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.

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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.

Catch up with Chris on the GloryHammer Facebook page or on Alestorm’s Website.

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