Interview: Mountain Throne

Today we are happy to present you an interview with the German metal band Mountain Throne. We hope you enjoy reading it!

André: Hi, thanks for spending time on our blog. How are you?

Andreas: Hi, thank you for your interest in our band! At least I know your blog and have looked at it often (and with pleasure). Well, things are going well for us, I’d say. After the new album has been waiting for 8 years now, it’s slowly becoming more and more concrete, although I still can’t imagine that it will ever be released. But I would be very happy to be positively surprised in this respect! Seriously: instrumentally, everything is already in place, the artwork is finished, all that’s missing are the vocals on six tracks, so even we should be able to finish that within a reasonable time frame.

André: Mountain Throne has been around since 2009, but it would be great if you could tell our readers something about your band history so far.

Andreas: Alright! Well, 14 years ago Jochen (drums) and I (guitars) joined forces under the sign of old heavy metal, after we had already played together for six years as the rhythm section of the doom metallers Mirror of Deception, and I had been nagging him for some time with my ideas. We have then as now a preference for “classic bands” of the 1970s and 80s (in the sense of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, the Scorpions, Motörhead, Candlemass, old Manowar, Bathory, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Trouble, Rainbow, Molly Hatchet, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, old Metallica and so on) as well as more under-the-radar candidates from different eras but with a similar sound (some of whom are better known today than they ever were back then, like Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, Cirith Ungol, Wytchfynde, Slough Feg, Saint Vitus, Manilla Road, Iron Man, etc. ) shared. We didn’t have a huge output or an incredible number of gigs, but we always stayed on the ball within the limits of the possibilities that life left us and played concerts and released records regularly, but with a bit longer intervals in between. We have also survived a few line-up changes, since summer 2021 bass player Clemens has been on board, who is a real enrichment in every respect; and the same goes for Matze, who has been delighting us with his bright vocals since May last year.

André: How do you classify yourselves stylistically? Metallum says heavy/doom metal.

Andreas: We simply see ourselves as a traditional heavy metal band. Sure, we have doomy moments, and also the one or other complete doom metal piece; but in my opinion, that belongs to real metal. And if you take a look at the band names thrown into the ring above, it makes sense and doesn’t leave us standing alone. We also have a fair amount of heavy and hard rock in the band’s DNA, which weighs at least as heavily as the doom part and for me even stands above it qua priority. But in the end it doesn’t matter anyway, because we are who we are and sound the way we sound. At the beginning, I think, we still had “Ancient Metal” as our style on our MySpace page. Some people complained that we wanted to open another sub-genre, but in the end the name still fits very well to what we do, haha! I also like your description of “Epic Metal” on the blog page: “Epic Metal is not just a simple genre. It’s an everlasting adventure through mystical places and ancient lands. It brings memories of old back to life and tells long forgotten tales.“ I would say the same for our “Ancient Metal“!

André: Which bands have influenced you the most?

Andreas: See above; the list is certainly not exhaustive. Apart from that – and maybe I can only speak for myself now – it’s like this: many things (and not only those of a musical nature) inspire and/or influence the creation of music. The sound of Jethro Tull, for example – who for me are one of the most important bands ever – is probably not to be heard in Mountain Throne. Or Rush, an absolutely great band, but that is not reflected in our music either. In addition, I personally have a preference for many different old and new blues people, traditional Irish and Scottish folk artists, Italian dark prog from the 1970s until now (e.g. a good part of the Black Widow back catalogue), Queen, Jimi Hendrix, of course the divine Rory Gallagher, the Allman Brothers; also genuine Central European folk music, the fantastic Ashbury or old music from the Renaissance downwards, countless Southern Rock bands and still endless more. Now let’s talk freely! You might not hear it, but it is – in one way or another – on board or accompanies me through life. But what comes out in the end ideally has more to do with a certain feeling than a defined sound that reminds you of band XY. This also applies, for example, to the influence of literature: quite a few of our pieces are directly inspired by a literary work, and here, too, it’s more about mood than style. Apart from that, we have often been told – much to our delight – that we sound quite unique, which makes me personally proud, because I also perceive it that way.

André: How do you assess the German doom scene at the moment? Are there many opportunities to perform? And have younger bands emerged in the last few years that you find exciting?

Andreas: Let’s take a broader view, both stylistically and geographically. [laughs] Well, there are plenty of exciting bands! Newer and not so new, German and international; Visigoth, for example, have been great since the vinyl version of Final Spell 2012 on Sarlacc Productions, and that hasn’t changed in the last 11 years. I always liked Wytch Hazel, and I also find Riot City gripping. Lunar Shadow are (were?) sensational, I love all their albums, the debut EP and the first album being my favourite. Doom-specifically I don’t have the plan, but in January we played with the dramatic Black Revelation (not for the first – or second- time [laughs]) and Mustum, and they are both fine Doom Metal bands, whereby especially the latter sound extremely unique, untypical and actually not comparable with anything I know. I loved the last album by our old companions from Mirror of Deception, The Estuary, but that was a while ago! Apart from that, I personally don’t get much out of pure doom stories, and to be honest, I’m not that interested in it; nothing in that direction has blown me away for a long time. As a young man, doom metal had an extremely strong hold on me and influenced me: for a while I listened almost exclusively to stuff like Candlemass, Cathedral, Warning, Thunderstorm and Pentagram, the first Doom Shall Rise took place, and from 2003 onwards I got to play a lot of concerts with Mirror and shared the stage with many different bands from the extended genre, which was absolutely great. But about 10-12 years ago I lost the interest a bit, because in my ears a lot of the music from that genre started to sound relatively the same, generic and often a bit boring… Maybe there were just too many bands for my old brain and my limited recording capacity, who knows. What would be great, if it would show up, would be the 3rd album of the Saxons from Dreaming! I’ve been waiting for that since II (and that came out in 2006). Ah yes, I think Wucan is great too, I like Heretic Tongues very much. The range of concerts is pretty good right now, I haven’t been to as many gigs as I am at the moment for a long time, that’s great. However, it’s not always that easy for bands of our size and popularity, so a few more gigs would be nice. To be fair, though, we’ve already had to cancel a few cool events this year because we couldn’t make it – the famous life on the side.

André: Are there any live dates planned for this year that we should make a note of?

Andreas: Nothing concrete at the moment, but there might be a few later in the year. I have to have an operation on my hand soon, and in the course of that I have to take a break on the guitar for a while. Priority number one is to finally, finally get The Silver Light out.

André: Have there been any albums released this year that have excited you?

Clemens: New releases 23: Blood Star, First Sighting.

Jochen: I’m glad that after a long time a Doom Metal album has grabbed me again: The Eternal Penance by Nine Altars. Apart from that, I’m getting a lot of this modern black metal stuff on Bandcamp, and then something does stick with me. At the moment I’m playing two modern BM jewels from Denmark: Om hundrede år by Afsky and Intet Mere Er by Kold. Saturnian Bloodstorm by Lamp Of Murmuur also has some great moments. And, most recently, Corrosion of Hearts by Austere. From the more classic realm, Outsider by Night Demon, and the new Wytch Hazel also promises to be big again, as far as you can listen to it.

Matze: AhabThe Coral Tombs.

Andreas: Riot City‘s Electric Elite turned out as fantastic as one would have wished, but also expected. Tanith probably won’t be able to disappoint me in this life either, and although Satan are also in a class of their own, I find Russ Tippins (still) unbeatable(er) with this band. Fer de Lance was new to me, I saw them as support for Visigoth and bought the record right away. The acoustic guitar accompaniment throughout gives the whole thing a fine Bathory touch. And of course the flute! Above, I complain about Jethro Tull all the time and then forget about the new album! P.S.: I definitely have to agree with Clemens about Blood Star.

André: Cliché question: Which five albums would you take with you to the infamous desert island?

Clemens: RainbowRising; Thin LizzyLive and Dangerous; Iron Maidens/t; Trust Marche ou Creve; Black CrowesSouthern harmony and musical Companion.

Jochen: Five albums? After a short time they are all listened to dead. I’d rather choose five cases of selected beer, you’ll get something out of it for longer. So: one well beer from Gruibingen and definitely a crate of Meckatzer Weiß-Gold. From Bamberg, I’d like an Ungespundetes from the Mahr, and a Gößweinsteiner Wallfahrtsbier. And once Stoertebeker Bernstein-Weizen, but only if I can take a glass of it with me.

Matze: MotörheadNo sleep till Hammersmith; Iron MaidenKillers; Metallica Kill ’em all; AC/DCHighway to Hell; Kisss/t.

Andreas: Five??? That was always at least 10! Ok, I’d probably have to pack Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath, The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden, Songs from the Wood by Jethro Tull, Manowar‘s Battle Hymns and In Trance by the Scorpions. Actually, you should also take the first LP you bought yourself? That would be 7800° Fahrenheit by Bon Jovi!

André: Last question: Which book did you read last?

Clemens: Christoffer CarlssonWhat comes to light.

Jochen: The last book I read in its entirety was The Circle by Dave Eggers. Starts interesting and then visibly slows down.

Matze: Florian WeberThe Wondrous Aesthetics of the Drowning Posture; Brian Holden ReidThe American Civil War and the Wars of European Unification; William F. Nolan/George C. JohnsonEscape to the 23rd Century.

Andreas: Stephen King Billy Summers, Robert Louis StevensonSt. Ives, Erich Maria RemarqueThree Comrades.

André: Thank you very much for this interesting interview. Hopefully we will hear new music from you soon. I wish you all the best – enjoy the summer!

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