Interview With Jens, Guitarist/Vocalist For Lonewolf

Well I have had the opportunity to listen to the new record, "Unholy Paradise", available now through Goi Music. I really enjoyed it. Tell us, what is the response you are getting right now with the new album, and do the fans seem to like this one more than the debut?

JENS: First of all, thanks a lot for spotlighting Lonewolf on your website. It's an honor for us! And I'm happy to see that you enjoyed our CD. Yeah, the response right now is very positive and good. Until today, I only know of one bad review. Concerning the first fan reactions, it seems they prefer the second album or at least, like it as much as "March Into the Arena". This is important for me as we got very good responses in the underground for "March" and I really hope not to disappoint anyone with "Unholy". After releasing a CD, no one knows what the main reaction will be, but I'm very happy with the response. Most important thing was not to disappoint those who supported us since so many times!

In your opinion, what is the difference between the debut and "Unholy Paradise"?

JENS: Maturity, new influences (NWOBHM), and better played instruments. Guitars for example, sound much better and more aggressive. "March" was rather "dominated" by my influence (Running Wild, Grave Digger). So, I invited the others to write more, in order to bring some variations and more personal touches. It's our bass player, Dryss, who brought us this NWOBHM influence we hadn't had before. My brother Felix (drums), even if his style remains very German, brought songs like "Unholy Paradise" with a brand new atmosphere for Lonewolf. Also this time Felix recorded the drums with a clic, so the tempo is regular, and it's more easy for us to play the guitars. No need to "run after" the tempo! We can concentrate on the riffs, it's why they're more aggressive and present. This time, we work on the different chorus together and then sung them also together, it was very important for songs like "SPQR" or "Erik the Red". Definitely, I think it's a usual musical evolution, but it remains true heavy metal (without futile experience) that comes straight from the heart.

The band made a line-up change at the second guitarist spot. Mark was replaced by Dams, with Dams making his debut with Lonewolf on the new record. How does that change the band's sound, and do you feel this change adds a different element to the group?

JENS: I believe that there are new elements on "Unholy", but I don't think they come that much from Dams. He would rather listen to guitar heroes like S. Vai, M. Friedman/Cacophany, or J. Satriani. He's more in finding good solos than writing riffs. But yes, you can say he brought new elements in the solos, I find them more "mature" than on "March", and it gives our songs a new personality. I love the solos of "Snake in Eden" and "Behind The Cross", they are not just "listen what I can do", they are full of feelings and the melody perfectly fits the songs. Dams is a guy we have known since a long time, before "March" he always showed a lot of respect for our ideas of music and what Lonewolf stands for. As Mark quit for professional reasons, we didn't search long for our new guitarist! His motivation and pleasure of playing with us gave a great kick in the ass to Lonewolf. He isn't involved that much in the writing process (although he brought riffs on "Stronger than Evil", "Medieval Witchcraft"), but he is very important for the band as a "human being".

How does a band in France play true German power metal in the same style as Grave Digger and Running Wild? One could argue that Lonewolf are as good as most newer German bands, and seem to compare more closely to the older bands than the newer ones.

JENS: Thanks very much for the compliment! I don't know if we are as good as some newer German bands, but one thing is for sure, we share the same passion for true heavy metal. Yes, we're often compared to the older ones. We never hide our 80's influences, our favourite bands come from this period (Running Wild, Stormwitch, Maiden, Manilla Road) and it's really the music we stand for! There are always people thinking we're "has been" guys lost in the 80's spirit.. it's really what we want to do !! We share this pleasure with those who enjoy our music, it's only what matters! It's absolutely not a problem being compared to 80's bands; I'd rather say it's an honor for us! We defend true heavy metal and will always be loyal! As we play with our heart nothing else can be done (laughing)! It's not so easy for an underground band like Lonewolf in France but I have to tell you that there are some people who really fight for heavy metal, shall it be zines, webzines or any others, several help us to spread our name. It's that way we played with Grave Digger, a great step forward for us. True heavy metal fans are, in my opinion, the most faithful fans ever. The most support we receive comes from the underground of course. Of course, we'll never be the "Big French Metal Band" and that's not our goal. We want to have fun and share this passion, and when people worldwide tell us they enjoyed what we made, it's really our best reward!

"True heavy metal fans are, in my opinion, the most faithful fans ever."
Are you happy with the promotional efforts of Goi Music, and how different is it to work with a record label after doing everything on your own prior to this album?

JENS: In fact, Goi Music already re-released "March" with a bonus track. So, "Unholy" is already our second "official" release. Goi Music is a pretty small label but did a good job with "March", advertising was made in Greek and German magazines, Lonewolf appeared on samplers, so for a small band as we are, I found it was good promotion, it gave us a lot of good contacts and responses. But, everything is not so nice with Goi. For example, they are slow to answers questions, we can wait very long time before we have answers. It's very boring sometimes. But anyway, things are quite ok, it's the kind of label we needed. It's different because we saw promotion in major magazines, have reviews in others (Greek and German Metal Hammer, Rock Hard). Concerning the money aspect, the difference is that we don't have to pay for the pressing of CD's nor for the layout. Even the artist for the cover. Anyway, we still work on our side for promotion of the band.

Did the same artist that did the fantastic cover for "March Into The Arena" do the art for "Unholy Paradise"?

JENS: Absolutely! J.P. Fournier. So talented that he also made covers for Immortal, Impaled Nazarene, Edguy, Nightmare, etc. many bands! One of our generation's most talented artists in my opinion. It's fantastic to see our album with such great covers!

A 7" is being talked about now, with two unreleased songs, "Hellenic Warriors"/Child Of Oblivion". When will this be available and who is releasing this?

JENS: You're right! "Hellenic Warriors" is available since beginning of July. Eat Metal Records released it. It is the biggest "thank you" we could make to our Greek metal brothers who allowed us to play in Athens last year! One of the greatest gigs Lonewolf was involved in. The reaction of the public was unbelievable. We have a very good distribution there, thanks to our underground friends, we're much more known in Greece than in France for sure. We'll never forget what they have done for us during our journey. This 7" was our way to show our eternal gratitude. Anyone interested shall check eatmetalrecords@hotmail.com, they recently opened a website eatmetalrecords.com as far as I can remember.

What are the band's current plans? Will there be any gigs to support the album?

JENS: We'll try to find a good distribution here in France, although, I must say "thanks" to Holy Records distribution list who gives us a great help in being "known" here. In the end of August we have a gig already planned, maybe another big one in September. But nothing sure yet, so I don't want to tell too much. One thing is sure, we're very impatient to defend "Unholy Paradise" on stage. Right now, we're still working on promotion besides what Goi Music does for us.

When will writing begin for the next album, and will Goi Music be releasing that?

JENS: Goi Music will release the third album. That's a contract clause. We yet have no ideas of the release date. We think something like September 2005. But we already have new material, three songs are almost ready. In rehearsal, we play both "Unholy" songs and new material. We're beginning to search a studio at this time, we want something more powerful. Then, when it'll be time to record, we'll be ready (June/July 2005 shall be ok), but nothing sure yet. Anyway, the new album we're working on will have some new elements but be sure it'll be true metal.

Well, thank you so much for your time and we wish the band the best of luck for the future!

JENS: Thanks a lot to you for your interest and support in Lonewolf. Thanks for this interview, it was really cool! A very big "hello" to all your readers. Everyone interested or curious shall check the English version of our website http://www.chez.com/lonewolfweb/. Thanks for all. Stay metal! Hail!

JensEric Compton9/13/2004

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