Vår skribent Anthony Ceylan blev lite nyfiken på bandet Roadwolf efter att ha recenserat senaste albumet Midnight Lightning och skickade över lite frågor till bandet. Bandets gitarrist Vali svarade och nedan kan ni läsa hela intervjun.

Servus! Congratulations on the new album Midnight Lightning. What are your
expectations for this album?

Dere!!! Thank you very much! The band is really happy that we could finally release Midnight
Lightning! Our expectations? That many people will listen to this record, celebrate it and want us to play live for them so that we can perform as many shows as possible. Also, we hope it makes a strong positive point about contemporary heavy metal! It lives!

Could you describe the content of the album and how you worked on it?

Midnight Lightning is our second album and our first one for Napalm Records. We recorded 10 classic bangers for every metalhead out there. You like late 70s NWOBHM? Check out Midnight Lightning! You like 80s US Melodic Rock? Check out Midnight Lightning! You like Speed Metal? Midnight Lightning! Fast paced Blues Rock? You know what we mean… Still, we aimed to find our own sound amidst all those influences and we think we managed to have a distinct attitude and signature of our own which was very important to us.
Midnight Lightning was recorded during the year of 2022 and was produced by our drummer
Emanoel who did an amazing job. We put all of our best and most creative ideas together and created a strong record. We are really proud of our work.

Are there any songs you want to promote a little extra with this album? For example, something I noticed was that you used saxophone on High Under Pressure.

Not really. We like all of our new songs so we would rather promote the whole record! But yes, the Sax was definitely a cool experiment, which sounded amazingly good so it was a keeper! Also, hats off to Franky for making Roadwolf’s first ever ballad work so well on the record. He did an amazing job on that song.

The song Sons Of The Golden Horde has a historical edge after all, what is the song about?

This song is about the attack of the Mongols led by Batu Khan. They actually came pretty close to Wiener Neustadt, our hometown, back in the days. Hungary was run over by the Mongols – the border is just an hour away. This town was the last bastion before Vienna, so it had quite an important role back then. But you know, it’s still a heavy metal song and not a history book, so don’t take it too literally, haha 🙂

Personally, I liked the songs On The Run, Midnight Lightning, High Under Pressure, Don’t Deliver Us From Evil a little extra. Anything you want to say about them?

On The Run is an old song we used to practice for a long time but we could not find the right arrangement and chorus. During the writing sessions for Midnight Lightning we managed to
finish this song and create a fast heavy rocker about breaking the chains that hold you down
livin’ the life the way you want to! The title track is based on an old melody our drummer Mano came up with. We combined it with some strong guitar riffs Valentin, our guitarist, wrote. Together we jammed along to these ideas and wrote one of our best songs so far! This one took a lot of work to polish, but it was worth it! High Under Pressure is also based on an old guitar riff from Julian, our ex-guitarist, that we used to jam along. We finally decided to play it a lot faster, in a high paced, bluesy-rock styleMano brought the Chorus, and Franky wrote super cool lyrics about street fighting. Later we came up with the idea to ask an old friend of Franky, Herbert Könighofer, to play Sax for this song. It was a super fun and beer driven recording session. The results got carved into vinyl. Just outstanding as we think – some things just happen and can’t be recreated. Don’t Deliver Us From Evil is a song Roadwolf used to play live for many years. Our drummer Mano had the idea for this song and the chorus after watching a million 70s horror
movies and sang the melody of the guitar riff to Valentin. Franky wrote the lyrics about our
biggest influences and heroes and we dedicated this song to all the metal heads out there
who feel the same. It’s also our nod to all the bands out there that work with only one guitar –
it was a definite decision to have no rhythm guitar under the solo – which is not really
common anymore today but we think it works great.

This is your only second full-length. As a band, you have existed since 2011 and released a lot of material. But your first full-length came first with Unchain The Wolf ((2021). How would you describe the years 2011-2020? Were you a distinctly
underground – and live band?

Nya albumet Midnight Lightning.

I’m a little curious about the Youtube Channel NWOTHM Full Albums. Is it the case that you as a band upload your album yourself, or is there some kind of agreement with the page’s administrator? How does it work?

We have been in contact with Tiago who runs the channel since before the release of our first record “Unchain The Wolf”, which also was released on his channel. We just sent him the record after talking a bit, and he basically decides if it fits his channel. It does obviously fit like a super tight leather jacket in our case. The whole old school heavy metal community seems to hang out on the channel to find new bands and music, like we do as well. We could definitely feel the impact it had and we have a lot of gratitude for the work he does. It’s great to know it reaches exactly the right audience and people that feel and think like us. The new album is on there as well! Check it out!

This is your only second full-length. As a band, you have existed since 2011 and released a lot of material. But your first full-length came first with Unchain The Wolf ((2021). How would you describe the years 2011-2020? Were you a distinctly underground – and live band?

Roadwolf started as a “twin lead” guitar band. But the guitarists caused a lot of trouble. They had stage fright and drank way too much, or they didn’t show up to rehearsals because they got lost in the woods, or they screwed your girlfriend or got stuck in a midlife crisis. Valentin changed that when joining in 2012 and in 2016, when Franky joined as our lead singer, we decided to play with only one guitar. So during the years 2011 – 2018 we were basically busy with playing live to bond with our new members and get all the songs in shape. In 2018 we
got ready for the “Unchain The Wolf” recordings.

A follow-up question to the previous one. You basically released everything independently before your first full-length. But on Unchain The Wolf you were on Spiritual Beast, which is a Japanese label. What was it like working with them?

Unchain The Wolf was released via the german label Metalizer Records. The deal with
Spiritual Beast was something in addition to setting foot on the Japanese market. They were very uncomplicated and helpful. They sent us copies of Unchain The Wolf with a Japanese booklet! It was really interesting to see our lyrics in Japanese letters. They’d also ask us about our favorite movies and computer games and printed cards with our vitas and such which was lovely. You can still find the album in record stores around japan! Gotta catch ‘em all, haha!

Before this album, you were signed by Napalm Records, which is actually fromAustria and is one of the biggest companies in the industry, mainly in extreme metal and Goth. What has it meant for you to be signed by Napalm? And is it the case that
Napalm, by virtue of being your countrymen, wanted to help you?

The record deal with Napalm was something really special to us. When we heard about the chance we met and talked it through. We decided to “jump in the fire” and give our best! Because as you said, Napalm Records is one of the biggest in this industry and we wanted to see what will happen. We don’t think it has anything to do with us being countrymen -Napalm is run mostly from Germany we think – It was the great reception of the first album that opened that door in our opinion. The record was released recently so we are not really
experienced with them so far. But the partners of the label treated us with respect, gave us complete artistic freedom and yeah, they helped us out a lot! Also, we can definitely feel the recognition and “reach” of Napalm is way bigger than what we did and had before. If it helps spread the old school heaviness, we’re in!

Austria is not exactly known for having a lot of classic Heavy Metal. How would you
describe Austria’s Heavy Metal scene historically and today? Are you in any way a kind of leader on that scene nowadays in your home country?

The Austrian classic Heavy Metal scene is kinda small. But it’s gettin’ bigger and bigger and
a lot of younger bands are really ambitious in playing live and recording LPs. For example Venator, Liquid Steel and Küenring! Really nice bands! We did experience a time though where we were the only classic heavy metal band at least around vienna. We do think we might have had some influence on some newer bands around here which is great. We saw a lot of them in our audience and then we saw them on stage which is cool. Back in the old days Austria also had some fine Metal acts. But they didn’t get that much attention like the German bands for example.

I’m a bit curious about the split album Austiran Heavy Metal Alliance from 2015 where you participate. What was the purpose of that project?

The purpose was to create an Austrian classic metal Union and to strengthen the scene –
and maybe create a spark for a new uprising of local metal bands! Compared to Germany and Switzerland, Austria are not heavy metal giants. Is it
German and Swiss Metal that has mattered a lot in Austria? Or does it look different? Of course the German and Swiss bands mattered a lot in Austria. The reason why Austrian metal didn’t get the attention it deserved is because of the austrian society. The musical heritage of Austria is CLASSICAL MUSIC and Falco (since he died) and not classic Heavy Metal. Everyone knows Mozart and the others. The New Year’s concert in Vienna is
broadcasted to the world every year! So there is a bigger support from the government when you play classical music or folk music. Meanwhile, other countries like Sweden and so on knew that popular or rock music can be a product that sells well if supported and allowed to grow. But hey, it’s still underground music, and it will always live on, help or not.

A somewhat odd and stereotypical question. But in this album I still think you have a good variety in your sound. Because Austria is world-renowned in classical music with greats such as Mozart and many others. Since there are examples of metal
musicians promoting classical music, would you see it as interesting to maybe work with a song in the future that has some classical elements to stand out a bit?

Maybe. We have nothing like this planned. We are also maybe more blues influenced than by classical composers. But let’s see what happens.

I have been to Southern Germany many times. If you go to a festival or a gig in the alpine landscape, are Würstl, Leberkäse, Bretzel, Radler and Beer on the menu?

Yes. This is pretty much southern German/Austrian cuisine. And it’s really tasty!

Do you have any upcoming gigs or tours booked? Where can we see you live in 2023?

We have some local shows in Austria and we play in Germany in fall 2023. Also we will play our first Poland show at Helicon Metal Festival in March of 2024. We will see what else will happen this year! Everything goes!

Thank you Vali and Roadwolf for taking the time.

Intervjun gjordes av Anthony Ceylan.