Hi, Mark, thanks a lot for your time. My colleagues and I are big fans, especially Aidan who saw you in Essen a year and a half ago. I want to start with the most important question: How are you?
Mark Briody: I’m doing fine, thank you for asking! I hope you are doing well. Of course I miss concerts and tours, but those will return some day.
I know that you had to cancel a lot of concerts due to this damned pandemic. What are you missing the most at the moment: The gigs themselves or hanging around with your bandmates, being on the road, visiting other countries?
Probably all 3 equally. None of my bandmates live near me, so it’s always great to see them. They are like brothers to me. Being on the road is my favorite place. I’ve always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places, that’s a great benefit to being a musician.
What are your favourite festivals in Europe? And where did you play one of your most memorable gigs?
Both Keep It True and Bang Your Head are special festivals to me. KIT has the perfect crowds, great fans, the promoter is fantastic and we get to stay in a wonderful village with very nice people. Bang Your Head is memorable because it’s the type of festival I dreamed of playing since I was a kid.
What do you think about the German or European Metal fans in general? Are there any striking differences between European audiences and the fans in North America?
There are a lot more Metal fans in Germany and Europe in general, so it’s very cool having a big crowd sing along with the songs. But despite being smaller in numbers, the Metal fans in America are very dedicated. Some of them drive all day to come to a gig. I appreciate that.
Yeah, and I know a lot of American fans thanks to Facebook and Instagram. Most of them are really die-hards, in my opinion. Another topic: What was the last record that you bought?
I just bought the new Wytch Hazel, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’m listening to the songs online and I like them. They sound very old school to me.
Fantastic record, no doubt about it. Are there any extraordinary precious gems in your collection?
Not that many, I guess the rare gems are my Iron Maiden 12” collection. Of course the rarest Iron Maiden is The Soundhouse Tapes, but I’ve never owned a copy of that.
On our blog we focus on Epic Metal. How would you define this term? And what do you generally think about such labels? Are they just a tool for lazy journalists?
I would define Epic Metal as Heavy Metal bands with big epic songs. The earliest ones for me were Manowar songs like »Battle Hymns« and »Blood of My Enemies«.
Do you think that the music of Jag Panzer contains any epic elements? According to me, you’re very popular among Epic Metal fans.
I think Jag Panzer has always contained epic elements. From the early days we have »The Crucifix« and »Iron Shadows«. I try to put at least one song on each album that has epic qualities.
Which Epic Metal records are your favourites?
Warlord – Deliver Us and Manilla Road Crystal Logic are two of my favorites.
Are there any young Epic Metal bands that you appreciate? Can you recommend some artists who our readers definitely should check out?
I hear some epic elements in the newest Wytch Hazel album. They are sort of a unique mix of old school Heavy Metal with a touch of Hard Rock elements mixed in with some epic moments.
A completely different topic: What’s your opinion about social media platforms? I’ve talked with a lot of young musicians and most of them stated that they are very important for them nowadays in order to reach a larger audience.
I have mixed feelings about social media and the internet in general. It’s great to be able to have instant contact with fans and to also hear new bands. But the downside is that many listeners don’t give the required time to the music.
That’s definitely right…
This is always an issue with Jag Panzer, much of our music takes a lot of listens to fully appreciate what we are trying to do. You can’t give a Jag Panzer song 20 seconds of listening and get a good feel for the song.
That was my last question, Mark, thank you very much. Stay healthy – and see you on the road very soon, hopefully at the Hammer and Iron Festival in Essen. My colleagues and I are looking forward to seeing you there live on stage.
Thank you for the interview! I hope to see you on tour soon!