Austrailia’s Stormtide have return after a long hiatus with their sophomore album “A Throne Of Hollow Fire”. If you are looking for a brief description how about some face smashing epic melodic death/folk metal? Sounds good to me. We caught up with vocalist Reuben Stone regarding all things Stormtide including the new album, the lineup changes, the writing and recording process, the scene down under and a few other items of note… check it out…
On a Throne
Congrats on your most recent release “A Throne Of Hollow Fire”….what has been the response to it so far?
“Truthfully – We are blown away. We are proud of the album, and there is always some trepidation when making something like this, but the response has been great. A few people miss the more folk based stuff from the first album, but most people we’ve heard from seem to think it’s a positive direction for the band.”
It has been 5 years since “Wrath Of An Empire”, what has been going on in the Stormtide camp since then?
“Well, we’ve had some line up changes during that time. Tyson and I are the two remaining original members. We’ve been lucky to have had some great people along for the ride, but for the past two years we’ve been a really solid unit with Dean, Daniel, Tyson and I. We’ve been playing live shows and spending lots of time writing. An album like A Throne of Hollow Fire takes many years!”
Less is More?
It appears that there are less members in the band since your last album….how did having less members change the dynamics of the band and aspects like writing, recording, performing, etc?
“We are now a four piece unit. I think in some bands it might make things a bit difficult to have less members when it comes to writing – but we’ve been really lucky. It was generally Tyson and I who conjured up most of the ideas. Now that we have Daniel (also from the fantastic band Anatomy) on board with guitars, it really gives us an edge. He sort of breathes a bit of real “metal” into the songs – where Tyson and I often get really excited on big ideas. Daniel is able to look at a song we’ve written and go “ok, but how do we make this sound more interesting, more technical”. Dean is also a beast on the drums and is able to compliment everything we do – he is good at hitting things with sticks.”
From a description point of view, I immediately gravitate towards “melodic death” but that seems simplified and doesn’t really encompass what you do….could you describe yourselves better or is there a genre that you fit in to better?
“That’s a tough one! We generally consider ourselves to be “Epic Death Metal”. The way I describe it to people is “Imagine the sound track from Lord of the Rings and throw it behind a melodic death metal band””
What/who are your biggest influences in terms of music, books, movies, etc?
“I think it’s safe to say that our biggest musical influences are bands like Insomnium, Equilibrium, Wintersun and Fleshgod Apocalypse. I’m heavily influenced by old school Dungeons and Dragons style games, which really comes through in a lot of the lyrical themes of the album!”
How does the process of constructing tracks work for Stormtide? Does is start with ideas/lyrics or riffs? Are parts worked on separately and then pieced together? Do all members contribute to the writing process?
“Usually Tyson and I will construct a whole mess of riffs that kinda feel like they could fit together. I’ll then spend a few weeks/months joining them together and altering them to make a complete song. Daniel will then spend a lot of time working on the guitar work with Tyson. I’ve usually got a good idea of what sort of drums will fit – but often Dean will absolutely blow me away with something he adds in for drums.”
“I don’t write the lyrics until after the song is pretty nearly complete. But with each song we are really trying to tell a story, not just with the lyrics but with the music itself. So I’ve usually got a good idea about where the song will fit in for the story of the album!”
Australia has a rich history of folk metal and related acts from Trollgasm to Saralisse to Valhalore and many others….how is the scene there?
“The Australian music scene is something we’re really proud to be part of. It’s very insular – everyone knows everyone else! We’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside the bands you’ve mentioned, and consider them good friends of ours.”
How did the title of “A Throne Of Hollow Fire” come about and the epic cover?
“It’s all to do with the story of the album. It’s the continuation of the story we wove in Wrath of an Empire (our first album)”
“Without giving too much away (because we want people to listen to the album!). It’s about a powerful warrior on their quest to seize the Throne of Fire from the hands of a mighty demon king.”
How do you feel about performing live and touring? Is it something you look forward to? Pros and cons?
“Performing live and touring is absolutely one of our favorite things to do. Playing a live show is like nothing else. The only cons are we don’t get to do it enough!”
Is balancing being in a band and life outside of the band (personal and professional) easy? Do you have set schedules to write and practice?
“We’ve always found a natural balance with the band and our personal lives. We all have full time jobs, so it’s usually a weekend practice sort of thing! We’re all a bunch of easy going dudes and there’s no super intense personalities so we just take it as it comes with scheduling and rehearsals. Writing sessions are usually the result of a few cheeky beers on a weeknight!”
How has the pandemic impacted Stormtide this last year and possibly in the near future?
“Much like everyone else in Australia (and the world) we have been unable to play shows for a good while. We had a European tour booked which we had to cancel – but we have been very lucky here in Australia that the Pandemic hasn’t changed too much about our way of life compared to some parts of the world. We’re definitely keen to get back on the stage though!”
“Thanks for taking the time to tune into this interview! And also please buy the album.”
“We need money to buy enough beer to write the next one.”