London-based Grimgotts will this spring release the second studio album called Dragons Of The Ages. PowerMetal.no had a few questions to ask in that regard, and vocalist Andy Barton answered willingly.
You have stated that you once were the best Harry Potter themed symphonic power metal band, not in the world, but to come out of West Sussex. That I need to hear more about! I guess you are (or were) massive Harry Potter fans?
Andy: Personally, I like Harry Potter, but I am by no means a super fan! Myself and my friend Fraser Watt [keyboards, 2015-2016] formed the band back in 2015, and we thought that it would be funny to make a Harry Potter themed band. It kind of was.
Did you ever write any music as this Harry Potter themed band?
Andy: We did! In fact, tracks on our second and third EP’s are set the in the world of magic. «Struck By Fire», from the Part Man, Part Beast, Part Dragon , for example. I would say that you’d need to take these tracks with a pinch of salt…
And the name Grimgotts? Does it have anything to do with Harry Potter?
Andy: The name, well… The bank in the world of Harry Potter is called Gringotts… Grimgotts came from a typo, but we loved it, and made it the band name.
There is a strong relationship between (fantasy) literature and power metal. What are your relationship with literature and what kind of literature do you prefer?
Andy: I myself am a huge fan of fantasy literature! I am currently reading The Wheel of Time series which has been awesome so far. Before this, I read Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy. Amazing series!
Is literature a good inspiration for the band when writing lyrics?
Andy: It certainly is, our upcoming record Dragons of the Ages is a concept album… I am by no means a creative writer, meaning the story follows almost every fantasy cliché you can imagine.
You describe the band now as a symphonic/folk power metal band. How would you describe your music and who are your musical influences?
Andy: As a whole, we just love Power Metal! Of course, we all have other influences… folk, film score and other styles of metal… But overall, we all just love Power Metal. We probably should just identify as Power Metal.
The band was founded in 2015 and released a bunch of EP’s and singles before releasing the debut album “Lions Of The Sea” in 2017. How would you describe the development of the band from 2015 and up till the release of “Lions Of The Sea”?
Andy: I would say that we’ve developed more of a unique style, and shown that we have the capacity as musicians to write songs in varying styles.
How was the reception of the debut album?
Andy: Overall, it went down well… We think that people would have preferred a more ‘metal’ album… We took this on board and have tried to deliver this for the follow up album.
It seems like the upcoming album have a kind of pirate theme. Is that correct, and what’s the inspiration for that?
Andy: The nautical theme didn’t really come out of anything in particular… I think we just liked the imagery, and there’s lots of different styles that work well with the theme… Symphonic, folk, heavy… it all works, meaning we can try create records full of variety.
What can you tell me about the conceptual story on Dragons Of The Ages?
Andy: Dragons of the Ages is a concept album. It’s about a group of rebels living in an Imperial Empire – they worship and ally with the Dragons, and together they look to bring down the Empire. Having lost his first battle against the Dragons, the Great general Sir Jeffrey Gannon (aka Gannon the Cannon), finds himself before the King Under the Sea – together they look to save the Empire. There’s all manner of things going on! Curses, shamans, sea battles… Like I say, very cliché.
How will you describe Dragons Of The Ages musically?
Andy: Dragons of the Ages will be an epic, symphonic, huge album! I think our song writing has improved, and the band as a whole in more involved in composition, which gives the album more variety.
You are still an unsigned band, are you looking for a record label and will this album be released on CD?
Andy: For now, we’re just taking everything as it comes. If the right deal came about then we would certainly consider it, but we’re not activity seeking it. However, physical copies will be distributed though Stormspell Records again.
How is it to be an unsigned band in 2019? I understand that the technology brings a lot of possibilities, but it does also mean that every unsigned band has the same possibilities. Is it difficult to stand out – especially when there are so many power metal bands around?
Andy: Being unsigned is actually great. We all work, we all have lives, and we can control everything we do. The only way to stand out is on merit…
How are the power metal scene in England? From my perspective it seems healthy. I discover more and more up and coming bands from England, and at the same time you have the already established ones. What are your thoughts on that?
Andy: Power Metal in England is very healthy, especially in London. There’s loads of shows we can go and see… I think it’s great for us, it means that people out there may actually be interested in our music!
Do you have any future plans regarding touring and concerts?
Andy: We do! We should have at least 1 show in London in the coming months, and we’re confirmed for Ragnarok Metal Festival in November.
Grimgotts second studio album, Dragons Of The Ages, will be out this spring – hopefully April.