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Brainstorm: No Free Buns

I was overcome with joy when I heard that Brainstorm present their new album. Their new child is called "Memorial Roots" and delivers exactly what the fans want to hear: premium power metal which is catchy but pretty tongue-in-cheek as well. Reason enough to grill the band about their latest effort. Happily, they answered all my questions in an entertaining conversation.

How is the feedback to Memorial Roots so far ?
Itīs always good when itīs positive. In this case itīs very good till now.

Were there any objectives to achieve?
Not exactly, of course you aim at something and then try to get as close to that as possible. As long as we like it we at least assume that it canīt be that bad, however, you canīt always please everybody and we donīt want to, either. We always give our best, we wonīt change that only because somebody doesnīt like it.

That a band has a certain fanbase also mirrors the recognition value of a band.
Thatīs why we always stick to what we have published so far, which will remain true also in the future. We donīt follow every trend but we put our own preferences first.

Whatīs the main difference between this album and its predecessor?
It appears more spontaneous, some say that itīs simply more fresh. This shows that we must have done something right.

What about team work?
At first we take our song ideas into our rehearsal room, mostly as a guitar track. As soon as bass player and drummer agree on what to play on it, we work out the lyrics. After that we do the precision work. So far that actually worked best for us.

Letīs talk about the lyrics Which topics are being discussed?
This time we refer strongly to our roots, the ones of our band but also of the whole mankind. You can see that already on our cover. Many possess a long history, our band makes no exception. Thatīs the reason why we took up this topic.

Something comletely different now. What do you think about downloading music instead of buying an album?
We think that itīs hard that you put a lot of energy into an album, from the writing and creation of the songs to recording and mixing in the studio and in the end somebody puts it into the internet for free and itīs being downloaded a thousand times. The money we lose by that compromises the chance to record a new album drastically, or that a band can even exist, let alone the record labels, which make all of that possible. Due to the fact that music is available almost everywhere it loses its value. You canīt go to the bakery and get your buns without paying for them, but itīs quite a similar situation. The knowledge that an act is wrong gets more and more lost.

Beside that a lot of energy goes to the cover which then gets missed.
The whole artwork is another story, it doesnīt get honored in any way by downloading. You donīt have to be surprised if you canīt find any limited editions or extravagant cardboard covers anymore. A Jewel-Case is always the cheapest option and you donīt have to put too much work into it. But weīre happy about everyone who still buys records and thus gets a big record collection, which he/she can show off to his/her friends. Lots of records will remain in the collection for years, in contrast to other music genres, where todayīs trends are frowned upon tomorrow.

That goes especially for the mainstream.
Exactly, here only one or two tracks are important to sell a record. But in our genres, every song on an album is important because only together they make up the story we want to tell.

Back to your record, how will you remember it later?
Every development process of an album is different from other ones, but every process has an impact on the history of our band. The tour to promote the album will be remembered for a long time. I think itīs worth more than a photo album on a computer. A harddisk can bite the dust, but no one can take away your memories, no matter what happens.

Author: Markus Seibel, transl. Fabio Sgarlato, photos: Brainstorm
Date: 2010-01-15

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