Earlier today I did my review of the 2012 Limb Music reissue of Dragony
‘s debut album, Legends
, which can be viewed here
. I also e-mailed some interview questions their way through Freeman Promotions. In what is quite possibly the quickest turn around, vocalist Siegfried Samer got them back to me a few hours later. The following is what he had to say.
Thank you very much for sitting down to answer a few questions real quick. Before we go on, how are you doing? Everything alright on your end?
Yeah, thanks – things are going fine. Right now half of the band is on summer vacation though, so we’re taking a bit of a break, haha… but we will be back in full force by fall, when our next live shows are coming up. But until then, we’re just recharging our batteries right now, which is really necessary after the eventful past year, with the album production, live shows and album release! At the moment, I’m really mostly occupied with doing some PR stuff for the band – so thank you very much for your detailed review of our album, and also for this interview opportunity!
First of all, why did Dragony decide to record and issue a full-length album independently instead of doing a traditional demo or two first? Was this a conscious decision, or was there some other reason that made you go this path?
Well, the thing is, I’ve been paying very close attention to the music scene for the past five years, as I’ve been writing for a rather large Austrian metal webzine myself since 2007, so I think I got a pretty good idea about the business side of things in the metal world. And my experiences in the past years have shown that especially with the situation for record labels becoming tougher and tougher in recent years, it’s really become difficult for a band to be “discovered”. Because I suppose what you are referring to is the “classical” process, where a band releases one or two more or less “raw” sounding demos or EPs, then they catch a label’s attention, and the label goes on to record the first full-length album with them? Now the thing is, while this procedure was definitely a viable option back in the day, with the current state of the music business in general, I think it’s really not the case anymore.
Labels understandably don’t really want to risk very much with new acts, and invest a lot of money in the recording of the first album of a relatively unknown band, not knowing when or if at all that investment will pay off. So nowadays, I feel it really just works this way: you as a band are asked to take initiative, and produce a decent record, and then see if you can manage to get a record label interested in you and maybe sign a deal for that album. That way, the label naturally has less risk to take into consideration, and that again raises your chances to get signed and thus get more exposure considerably.
Of course there are still bands out there that are being “discovered” and then pushed to the moon by (mostly bigger) record labels, but usually even those labels who have bigger budgets are hesitant to invest money in things where they are not 100% sure that they will pay off, so most of the bands that seem to appear “out of nowhere” on big labels these days, those are mostly bands who are very marketable for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s because the specific style is in high demand at a particular moment, as it was the case with the numerous Folk and Pagan Metal bands a few years ago; other times it’s just the image and look of the band – say, if they have a nice-looking female singer, it might be easier since there is quite a big market for that particular style – and other times it thankfully is still because they’re just that damn good.
But as you can tell, classic Power Metal like we play it isn’t exactly the “trendy” thing to do right now, and when last I looked, I also wasn’t a nice-looking female singer, haha – though sometimes I probably sound like one!- so we knew from the start that it wouldn’t be easy for us to get “out there” with our very traditional style of True Metal.
So as said, we took matters into our own hands, and tried to produce an album to the best of our abilities (and resources), and to be honest, we’re actually really happy with the result! Of course, we didn’t have the budget of bands like NIGHTWISH or EDGUY, but we really think that for a debut album of a young band, “Legends” has turned out really really well. Sure, there is still much room for improvement as well, and there are also things that we would do differently the second time around; but that’s just a matter of the experiences you make – and if we’re honest about it, it’s rarely been the case that a band’s first album was already THE perfect album. It’s a process, it’s development as artists and persons… but we think we had a real good start, and the deal with LIMB Music is helping us also to get the name out there, and increase interest in our stuff. So even if we might not have the production of bands like BLIND GUARDIAN or HAMMERFALL, I think “Legends” still sounds pretty nice, and I also think the songs speak for themselves – I think we managed to pack a nice set of tracks on that record with a lot of catchy hooks and great choruses, and we hope that fans of our genre will enjoy those songs as much as we do, and come back craving for more, haha!