Traveler unquestionably belong to the spearhead of the currently so enormously strong Canadian metal scene. Therefore, we are very glad to be able to present to you an interview with Matt Ries (guitar) today. Have fun reading!
Hi, thank you for your time, how are you?
Matt Ries: Thanks for having me man!
What’s the last record you listened to before this interview?
The last record I listened to was Atomkraft – Future Warriors. Totally addicting speed metal.
Let’s move on to Traveler: You guys are playing at Hell’s Heroes next year. I have to say, the billing completely blew me away. I suppose it’s a dream come true to be able to share the stage with so many great bands.
Oh yeah man we’re excited! Riot V, Whiplash, Dark Angel are bands I’ve never seen. Can’t wait to rock it.
Which of the bands playing at Hell’s Heroes end up on your turntable the most?
I probably listen to an unhealthy amount of Riot. So, I’ll have to choose them.
I like the fact that you also sell your albums as tapes. Do you like this format yourself?
Well, I grew up in the 90’s. CDs were too expensive. And as a kid I never understood the appeal of LPs until later. So I always turned to cassettes. And once heavy metal sunk its teeth into me, I started really digging deep into collecting cassettes. Not sure how many I have. A few hundred?
How would you actually label your music? The Metallum says Heavy Metal, but especially on your second album there is also a good shot of US Power Metal.
I guess that’s the beauty of metal. It can be many different things. To me, it’s heavy metal at the end of the day. But the influence of speed and power is obviously there.
Which bands would you classify as the most important sources of inspiration for Traveler?
Maiden, Vio-lence, Priest, Crimson Glory, Deaf Dealer, Riot, way too many. But those are staples for myself.
Two years ago you played at Keep it True. Looking back, would you consider this gig as a highlight in your band history?
It was definitely a huge highlight. It’s kinda hard to top that one. We’ve had some amazing experiences along the way though. It’s just been fun, man. We’re lucky.
I have seen you live at Hell over Hammaburg last year. What did you think about this festival? And what do you think about the German fans in general?
I absolutely love Germany. And the fans there. They just bring a whole new level of excitement to the shows. And the beer. Is there better beer than German beer? No. But there are still plenty of places we can’t wait to play that we’ve never been to.
With which bands would you like to go on tour together?
Lets seeeeee… Maiden, Helloween, Priest… But realistically, I’d love to tour with High Spirits. Probably my favorite newer band.
The Canadian metal scene has been one of the strongest in the world for many years. What do you think is the reason for that? And what’s your favourite Canadian metal band?
Maybe because we’re so desperate to play somewhere else that we work just a little harder, hahah. It’s tough to tour around here. Longgggg drives with not a lot of payoff. I’m hoping to change that. But there’s too many great Canadian bands to choose from. Deaf Dealer, Razor, Voivod, Sacred Blade. But I’d have to say Voivod as the all time favorite.
Epic metal plays an important role on our blog. Do you like this genre? And what makes music epic for you?
I guess to me it would just be many many layers of instruments and vocals. But my first taste of epic metal would probably be “Alexander the Great“ from Somewhere In Time. They went full power on that one.
What is your general attitude towards social media? Do you enjoy being active there?
Not really. I never really liked the idea of glorifying yourself to strangers. For a band page, it’s completely different. You kinda have to put yourself out there. In reality, I’m a bit of a recluse. I like to keep to myself and close friends.
Last question: Manilla Road or Manowar?
This is a tough one because I absolutely love Manilla Road (RIP Mark). But I listen to more Manowar. Those early albums are perfect in every way.
Matt, once again, many thanks! See you on the road soon.