Danish metal band Iron Fire prepare to release their seventh studio album on January 27th (Europe) and February 7th (USA) and it will be the third consecutive release for the present line up. The band has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years with shifting line-ups and clashes with record companies testing the strength of the group’s foundations. However, they now set themselves up to release what is their most anticipated album to date, Voyage of the Damned, via Metal Blade Records. I spoke to guitarist Kirk Backarach to find out more about the upcoming record and discover more behind the roots of the band and what the future holds for their fans.
Dan Aston: What can fans expect from your forthcoming album, Voyage of the Damned?
Kirk Backarach: With “Voyage of the Damned” You can expect an album like no other Iron Fire album before it. It’s an epic space adventure, with a horror twist, it is also the most eary and symphonic album we’ve done so far, as well as it’s the most well written, I think. And to top it all off we have guest appearances from legendary vocalists such as Nils K. Rue from Pagan’s Mind and Dave Ingram from Benediction.
DA: You’ve fought hard to get where you are today and have overcome many hurdles including consistent line-up changes, how did you find the making of this record compared to the ones previous?
KB: To me this have been one of the most calm and easy going albums, production wise, we’ve done so far, because for the first time we had a good amount of time on our hands to finish things before the different deadlines. Of course… Like always we did some arrangements and some rearrangements in the studio, in the last minute, but this is however how it always is.
DA: This is the current line-up of the band’s third consecutive record together, how does this line-up compare with previous ones?
KB: The current line-up is by far the most effective, when it comes to arranging. With the ones before we tended to choose the easy way out, or just to play it safe instead of going into long arguments about how we each would like it to be. With this line-up I’m sure you will hear on the new album, that we’ve spend a lot of time in rehearsals, to get a little extra detail in the arrangements and variations.
DA: Is there a particular song or moment on this record that the band is particularly proud of?
KB: As a band we are very proud of what we’ve achieved with the new album in its entirety. For my own personal part I’d like to mention the title track Voyage of the Damned. That track in particular have exceeded all of my expectations, because of its structure and the grandeur of the extensive arrangement / orchestral score. Very epic.
DA: You know how hard it can be for a band to get a record deal, with the state of the music industry today how do you think new bands will be able to cope and achieve their dreams?
KB: Maybe they should try to think a little more out of the box… And I think that in this day and age you have to be extremely persistent and devoted to achieving your goals. This is where the most bands nowadays fail. Otherwise the possibilities of exposure are almost limitless, with the help of the social medias and networks we have today you really can achieve a lot.
DA: What are your plans to tour the new album?
KB: Currently we don’t have any decisive plans, but something will happen, that’s for sure.
DA: There’s no disputing Iron Fire’s dedication and hard work ethic with your string of consecutive releases over the past few years, when and where does the band find time to write new material?
KB: At the moment we are two songwriters in the band, Steene and me (Kirk), I don’t know what Steene does to make things happen. For me in the early days music was always like an addiction, so I didn’t have any second thoughts about spending a lot of time writing or practising. Nowadays we set a time frame… Let’s say one month, then we both agree that when this month has passed, we both will have to bring two new songs to the table each.
DA: What is your view on today’s metal scene?
KB: I find it more exciting than ever. Never have there been such big variety of different bands and styles like there is today. Any thing you can think of is available. I think that’s very exciting and inspiring.
DA: Has the band ever contemplated a live release?
KB: This is something we’ve never discussed and we have no plans about doing it at the moment.
DA: We look forward to hearing the new album, is there anything you’d like to say to the metal masses?
KB: Look out for the new album, it will really be worth wile, otherwise I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all out there, hopefully within the next year we’ll be playing a venue near you. Cheers,