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Interview with Dirk Schlächter from GAMMA RAY

bul version

interview-gammarayHello Dirk Nice to hear you. How are you, and where are you at the moment?

Hello I'm Fine. At the moment I'm sitting in home, in my office and guest room. Looking at the screen of my computer (Laughs)!

In the middle of March GAMMA RAY will visit Bulgaria for the 5-th time. The show will be a special one because you will be touring again with HELLOWEEN. What are your expectations from the show in Sofia?

Hm ... Oh ... Well. That is not an easy question! (Laughs). We know that we have really wild fans in Bulgaria and we hope that we can do our best to make this show really special. The bad thing is that there are a lot of things to be prepared, because we are going to be eight weeks in a roll on the road. That is long time away from our families and paperwork, so there is a lot of work to be done before.

What is it like to be on the road again with HELLOWEEN?

Well I hope to be nice and friendly like it was the last time. We really had a lot of fun the last time and that was how the idea to do it again came up

Do you remember something from your previous visits in Bulgaria?

Well I remember this tourist area Kavarna. It is my strongest memory because we were there not in the season and it was kind of weird. Our hotel was at the beach, but it was empty (laughs). But it was really nice and I was thinking someday to go there for a holyday.

On the day of your gig in Sofia you will be releasing your new EP "Master of Confusion". Can you give us more details about it and what makes it so special?

Well the special about it is that we finally made it (laughs). It will contain 2 new songs. We already recorded some other new material for the new album but on these two tracks we concentrated the most. The first track is what everyone wants to hear from GAMMA RAY. It is named "Master of Confusion" and it is old school track like "I Want Out"

Oh that's cool.

Yes! If you haven't noticed there is always one song in every GAMMA RAY album that is in this "I Want Out" style.

Oh really?

Yes, we call them "Written strict to the law of I Want Out" (laughs) It's the same production, how we put the guitars together, no keyboards and stuff you know.

So it is successful formula?

Yes!. And there is a second track called "Empire of the Undead" and this will be the title track of our upcoming album. It is typical double base killer song. It sounds really raw and guitar riffed. We did put two cover songs on the CD. SWEET's "Love Angel" - we recorded the drums of this track back in 2007 with our previous drummer Dan Zimmermann. Kai is huge SWEET fan and he always wanted to do this, but I actually don't know why we haven't finished this track earlier. The other track is "Death Or Glory" from HOLOCAUST. It is one powerful guitar based song which we played in our own style and sound. It is a great "pumping" song.

You also have some live recording in the EP?

Yes, we recorded two shows for the "Skeletons and Majesties" DVD in Pratteln and Bochum. In the DVD there was a bonus video from the Bochum show which was not included in the audio version. So that was the idea to include it in the EP, and make it even more special

It is released exactly on the date of the gig in Sofia. Does that mean that the fans will have the chance to buy it on the gig?

Yes we will bring it anyway. I don't know if it's going to be in the shops on that day in Sofia.

For the fans will be even more special if they buy it from the show.

Yes. So we will have it.

Are you going to include the new songs from the EP in the set list for the shows on the tour?

Uuuuuuu (laughs) interesting question!. Well yes off course we are going to play them!

Kai said that new album of the band will be coming in the end of 2013. What can we expect from it and are you going to include the songs from the EP in the album.

Yes we are going to include them because they are the main tracks from the album. "Empire of the undead" is the title track and "Master Of Confusion" is such a great song and we cannot leave it out. Off course there will be lot of cool other songs too. We still have time to do this because the record company said: If you can't make it till September we will have to release it in the beginning of 2014. Now we are on the road with HELLOWEEN 'till summer and we can continue working on it in August. We also have some festival shows in august so we don't have much time and that is the reason why it's going to be released in January 2014.

When I spoke with Marcus he also told me about the awesome experience to be on a metal cruise... You guys also joined the FULL METAL CRUISE. What is it like to be on a sailing festival? Is this a first time for you?

Well we played the 70 000 tons of metal before. It was back in 2009 and it was really crazy. You are always together with all the fans. It is really relaxed because everyone knows that you can't go away (laughs). It's a nonstop party five days in a row.

I personally know that being on a GAMMA RAY show is an energizing experience. You guys are always in a good mood, smiling on stage. Is there a formula for that?

The formula is in the music. The music has this energy in it and triggers every time when you play it. When you are on stage and you play and see the people having a good time you can't be different. Otherwise I must stay in home and play piano or something.

You are in the band for 23 years. What is the craziest thing that happen with you guys while you were on the road?

Hm... The craziest thing? ... On the road?... Hmm let me think. I remember one Gods of Metal festival in Italy, and we were not sure If we could make it because out tour bus was stuck in traffic. The tour manager was always on the phone and arranging all the stuff, so when we arrive - the guys form other band had done the sound check and arranged the stage for us. When we finally arrived, we changed our clothes in the tour bus and went directly on stage. There were 10 000 people waiting for us, it was crazy. I'm not sure if this is the craziest thing but it is something that always comes to my mind. Of course there are a lot of other stories with drunken nights in Vegas, missed flights and broken busses and stuff like that, but there way too many to tell.

I see they are not for a single interview?

(Laughs) Yes exactly!

Can we expect some surprises from GAMMA RAY during the show in Sofia?

As you mentioned before you can expect high energy performance. I think we have really good set list. It will be a mix between Skeletons and Majesties and the new stuff. We will only play 65 minutes and we can't play all the songs that we want to play.

Yes that is always a problem.

Yes we are still working on it. We have some discussions with the management, but since there is going to be a third band with us, everyone will have to cut down the playing time. We will have a final rehearsal today and we will decide which songs we are going to play. I guess we will be able to change some songs during the tour.

Can you leave a message to your Bulgarian fans?

Stay metal and keep listening to GAMMA RAY!

That was cool! Thank you for this interview and see you in Sofia.

Hope to see you there! Bye.