SHADOWLORD Hi from Russia! If someone was to make a poll "the greatest stereotypes in metal music", the statement "there is no metal in Africa" would be on the third position after "Cradle of Filth are f**king posers" and "Metallica sold out". Not long ago the situation started to change somehow and the world began to receive the news about metal bands from this hot continent. We know that Agro already visited Wacken Open Air. So what is the turning point for the development of metal music in Africa and especially in South Africa? What do you think about the future of metal in your country?

Shadowlord: Hi, Herman Le Roux here from Shadowlord. Well, there were never a turning point, there has always a far back as I can remember been hundreds of Metal bands here, these days however more and more international bands come past here on their tours and we are finally receiving some of the well earned recognition we deserve. As for the future of Metal in this country, it looks better than it did a couple of years ago, but I still don't see much of an international scene opening up here though. Well, the most traditional question, where does the title of the band come from and what does it mean? Why did you choose to play heavy metal?

Shadowlord: Well, we needed a title that could describe the band, something that would describe our music for what it is. It was hard to get a name that isn't too death-metal or too lame, it had to be strong and not wussy. It had to scream leather, denim and chains! As for the second part of your question, I play metal because it has always been in my heart, I grew up with it, I have never been interested in anything else, nothing else makes any sense in life and I will never play anything else than Heavy-Metal! Don't you think that all genius things are already created in this style of music? Is there anything new that a listener could find in your songs?

Shadowlord: It is very hard to create a sound that is unique to your band, we just work hard at everything from tone to stage act and interact with each others musical tastes and influences, over the years we have evolved into something very unique yet true-metal. If we take a look at your image we can say that Manowar has had a lot of influence on you. But there are a lot of bands in the world that copy this true metal style. Aren't you afraid that you may be labeled Manowar copycats?

Shadowlord: There is no doubt that they have influenced us. They have always been my favorite band and always will be the band that has inspired me the most. As for being copycats, no way, our song structures and themes would never fit into a Manowar album (or any other bands album for that matter), if a fan is familiar with our music they would instantly recognize our style of riffing and music as being our own. What do you think about Manowar's last album. It's too opera-like and too unusual for these true guys. They sound like posers. What's your idea?

Shadowlord: I have respect for anything that they do, my critic only lies with the incorporation of power-metal and neo-classicism into their unique barbaric style, they shouldn't become another rhapsody, they are Manowar dammit!! So the new album isn't in my favorite list of their albums, but they are nevertheless still a great band. I also dislike the way Nuclear Blast is milking them with all the singles, box sets, etc. As a Manowar collector, I simply can't keep up and the new stuff is almost not worth it. Another thing is the midi classical stuff, very non ballsy, makes the album a bit lame, I always skip it. The song "Swords in the Wind" is one of my favorite though. Do you play any Manowar cover songs on your gigs?

Shadowlord: A couple of years ago we used to cover 'Pleasure Slave', 'Hail and Kill' and 'Metal Warriors', we cover one or so songs per gig because we are an unsigned band and we want the fans to see where we come from, these days we tend to cover more Iron Maiden stuff like 'Aces High' and 'The Trooper'. We can find a lot of epic medieval motives in you lyrics but we can find a song called 'Schoolgirl' and right next to it 'Hail & Thunder'. Don't you think that it's a very bizarre mixture?

Shadowlord: Yes, anything that I consider true-metal I use in the band, we don't stick to one particular theme, anything metal goes. From sleaze to bikes to Metal to our deeper emotions to religion, anything we feel appropriate for the Metal theme. It's kind of fashionable to release concept albums. Do you have some ideas on creating such an album and dedicate it to some historical person, Attila for example?

Shadowlord: No, we are too diverse, we'll have one song in a blues-based 80's hard rock style and the next in a more thrash-metal style. I have thought of some ideas but not within the next couple of years (we have to release an album first anyway). Almost all musicians in your band give private music classes. Are you good teachers? Yngwie Malmsteen, for example, told us frankly that he was not a very patient teacher…

Shadowlord: I do teach, but I don't thing I'm very good at it, the rest of the guys are getting pretty good results from their students though. What international metal festival do you want to play at?

Shadowlord: I've been to Wacken twice and it blew me away, I would love to play there, if we get invited to play anywhere outside of this country, we'd be there in a second. You are sitting on Harleys in your promo picture. It's a very expensive bike and a symbol of a high living rate worldwide. So how did you get them?

Shadowlord: Well, my mother owns a Harley shop , so we just sat on them to look cool for the photo hehe. I saw one very cool picture in your PHOTO section on the site, the one where you're playing in front of some kind of swimming pool. Can you tell us more about this place? I've never seen such venue before?

Shadowlord: I'm sure you don't have places like that in Russia, but there are a couple of places like that here with artificial waves and shit. That venue was called 'Splash' and we built the stage over the fake ocean, the crowd was in the water, it was awesome. Do you know any bands from Russia?

Shadowlord: I am a very big fan of ARIA, I only own 3 cds though, the stuff is very hard to come by outside of Russia but I really love them a lot. I always get my Russian friends to translate the stuff for me, I also like to play their riffs on the guitar, they are a very unique and brilliant band, they have inspired me a lot. Thanx for the interview and your final words to Russian metalheads…

Shadowlord: If you think that it might be hard to be a metalhead in your country just take a look at us. Its really hard to get recognized, hope we could help inspire you or motivate you to keep the banner of Heave-metal proud and high and if any of you could help us to organize a gig or a mini tour in Russia that would be the most awesome thing ever!! We would love to hang out and abuse vast amount of alcohol with the Russian metal fans!! If any of you could help us, please e-mail me at Thanx!!

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(May, 2003)

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