On Gloryhammer's debut release: I wanted to make a really good power metal album, and I think we've done that. But let's face it - it's a cheesy genre. Everyone knows it's a silly genre, but it's great fun. It's all the cliches rolled into one lump of epic Brie.
His role in Gloryhammer: The music's been written for a long time. It's just been an executive role I've been doing mostly these days, and you're kind of saying, 'Yes, do this. Make this happen.' The whole album came together last summer. We were still working on it when we were back in the States last time, and we only finished it in early December. So now we're just planning the whole live show, because that's our next big endeavor. I'm working out ways to have pre-programmed, automated lighting shows and all this cool shit. It's going to be big.
Plans for live shows: It's going to be very theatrical. You've seen the pictures and stuff and the video. We're going to dress the same way onstage. There's going to be lots of posturing, lots of posing. We might try and arrange to have some sort of sword fight between me and the singer, because of course, the singer plays the role of Angus McFife, and I play the part of the evil wizard, Zargothrax, so it would be cool if we could have some sort of duel onstage.
Killing time on the road: I just play video games. Minecraft and all these really terrible games on my iPhone, like Candy Crush Saga. All these horrendous things, the scourge of Facebook, all these horrible games that you see. I play a lot of World of Tanks as well. That's a good game. You just drive tanks around and shoot people. It's great fun, just rolling across the countryside in a World War II Panzer and just ruining stuff...I'd love to see a Gloryhammer video game. How awesome would that be?
Working in two bands at once: Alestorm's still doing its thing, but it kind of looks after itself. It just kind of putters by, doing its thing. Just turn up and play, and rock out, and it's always an awesome show. So Alestorm doesn't need much work on it right now. We're all just too good at doing what we do, until of course writing the next album. Of course, Gloryhammer is also new, so everything needs to be thought about and worked out and arranged, and rehearsals and these things. Getting all our stage setup right and learning the songs. Soon that will all settle down, and we'll get into a routine, and I can start focusing on Alestorm again, I think.
Origin of the band: The whole Gloryhammer thing was all my idea. 'Hey guys, do you want to be in this band?' 'Sure.' So I think they just follow my lead and do what works. I kind of run all the day-to-day business side of it, and they just come along and rock out.
Composing songs: Pretty much with both bands, I just sit down and write songs. With this one, the rest of the guys have put a bit more input into it. I maybe wrote 75% of the music for this, and I passed it on to the rest of the guys, and they finished it off. Tom wrote lyrics for two songs, Ben wrote the music for a couple of songs. Everyone has done bits and pieces, at least something. If anything, it's a more collaborative thing than Alestorm ever is, which is quite interesting.
Forthcoming Alestorm DVD details: Everything worked well. I was panicking so much. It's hard enough doing our own headlining show in our own country, never mind bringing an entire production to the other side of the world along with a DVD crew. So there were so many things that could have gone wrong. It could have been a complete nightmare. Everything could have been nothing that we wanted. But thankfully, it all went really well. Everything was great. The camera crew were great, the lights were great, the venue was great, the sound was great. I mean, there were a couple of technical issues, but that happens at all of our shows, as is to be expected. I think it's going to make for a really good DVD. So I'm looking forward to that getting finished.
DVD setlist: We wanted to make sure it was very much a 'best of all 3 albums' setlist, because the DVD is not just promoting our latest or whatever. It's meant to be almost a retrospective of everything we've done so far, so we tried to make it as balanced as possible with songs from all 3 albums. I think we managed that. I think it's a good setup.
There are no cover songs the DVD for two reasons: we wanted to make it all our own stuff, plus it's a little bit of a legal nightmare when it comes to covering songs. There's all these royalties, and doing it on a DVD would make it complicated, so we just stuck to songs we wrote ourselves.
DVD progress: I'm guessing late summer. Basically, it's done when it's done. The mix is being worked on right now because it's going to take a while to get that perfect. There's a lot of tracks. Everything's live. A lot of bands when they do a live DVD, it's not live. So many bands play to backing tracks and stuff, so it's just a case of taking the backing track and adding some vocals, and bam, instant live DVD. Our one is 100% live, every single instrument, so it takes a lot more mixing to get a nicer sound out of that.
Timetable for next Alestorm studio album: I think people are still expecting a new album. I should really start writing one, because it would be nice to release an album maybe next summer and then start touring straightaway. I should really get writing, but I can't be bothered.
Illegal downloading of the Gloryhammer album: In the run-up to the release date, I was checking all these torrent sites everyday, checking on YouTube to see if someone had leaked it, because it's good to know. When something leaks, it's kind of a sign of your popularity, so you can judge how good your album's going to be received by the number of people seeding it on torrent sites. The one thing that annoyed me was the first leak of the album was full of errors, like a couple of the songs had that 'boop-boop' Windows noise in the background like someone had held a microphone to his speakers to record it. There was one song, 'Magic Dragon', the first minute and a half, it kept skipping and looping. That's the worst thing. I don't care if our music leaks, but at least it should leak in decent quality. I don't want people to think that our music sucks and that it's full of errors and glitches and this really lo-fi stuff. That's the worst part, really.