By Rosine Alleva, José Oliveira, Journalist/photographers- Rock At Night France, Switzerland
HARD ROCK SESSION
Last year, as the Festival had doubts about continuing the HRS, we were right to emphasize this would be a big mistake to cancel it. This 2018 edition has seen attendance increasing to 7,000 people and this reassures not only the Promoters but also all Hard Rock and Heavy Metal “afficionados”! But there is no secret, this 2018 vintage had an enticing program: the Swedish H.E.A.T. and GHOST and the German bands DORO and POWERWOLF
The 4 bands came this time to promote their latest albums, all released quite recently.
H.E.A.T, the Swedes who opened the evening, are together with VINTAGE TROUBLE and THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT, part of bands marking the new generation. Although from different music styles, they will help revive the flame of Rock N’ Roll. They have everything a good rock band needs: wild riffs, overflowing energy, a singer with a awesome look and a perfect communion with his audience. Headed by frontman Erik Grönwall, the band’s heavy sound is strongly influenced by past melodic rock groups from the 80’s such as Whitesnake, Def Leppard. Their latest album, INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN, was released in September 2017 and is probably the best album of their career. These musicians know how to use their instruments, efficient solos, with bluesy touch, strong choruses added to the stunning lead singer voice. These guys will rise very fast! Eric Grönwall is also an actor in Sweden and knows exactly how to seduce his (female) fans on stage!
After the departure of Eric Rivers in 2016, the former guitarist Dave Dalone rejoined the band and took part on/in the latest album. Before the show, just after the Press conference, Erik Grönwall and Jona Tee were astonished when José showed them his ARIA FIFA Collect guitar. What happened was just great! They delivered us a spontaneous and heated version of ”Johnny Be Good”!!!
DORO – Interview
D.P.- Hi, thank you ! Good Coffee in France!!! I’m so happy to be here, first time in Colmar. It’s always excited to play in a great festival. Can’t wait to play all highlights All we are, Burning The witches, I rule the ruines and we have a new song from the new album “All for metal” and expecting that everybody sings along.
-Tell us some news from the new album
DP – It will be out next 17th August and is called “FOREVER WARRIORS” It’s the first double album with 25 songs . The first single was “All For Metal” , we have a new video out on YouTube , many many guests as Johan HEGG (AMON AMARTH), ROSS THE BOSS ( MANOWAR) ,Mille PETROZZA (KREATOR)SABATO.
The cover of the album was designed by Goeffrey Gillepisie.The first song written for “Forever Warriors, Forever United” is titled “Living Life To The Fullest” and is dedicated to Lemmy Kilmister. Several rock heroes were involved in this new album. Moreover, in “All For Metal”, you can hear several metal voices.
TOMMY BOLAN, WARLOCK guitarist also appears on the double album.
Everybody in the Band is so excited with this new material. The second single out is “LIFT ME UP”. A very soulful and powering song!
-The meaning of this title “FOREVER WARRIORS”?
DP- Of course, the Warriors. The Metal friends, fans, our band, we’re all together fighting the good fight, for good things in life. Fighting for a largest access to our music. Giving the possibility to our fans to see us much more on stage than just to hear us on Spotify! Living in perfect harmony inside our Metal Community and support each other. That’s why we’re living for!!
– Tonight will you play “Breaking the Law”?
DP – Yes because it was my first cover in 1986 from JUDAS PRIEST’ great song! It was a “dream come true”! We opened for them and it’s great for the Fans. Even people who don’t know our music that much, they know “BREAKING THE LAW”. Tonight we’ll have only 60 minutes but many things to show! Twelve songs to express all the power we have!! Great challenge! In the next tour we will play more new songs from this new album but in this kind of festival our fans come also to hear our hits, you know! And we will come back in France next March!
RAN- You design your own clothes. And as a vegan, you use synthetics and no leather. Do you think of a DORO COLLECTION?
DP – Yes, One time we had a lovely Black Collection with a great Company but it don’t exist anymore. Well, it’s not a priority but look at my sweet jacket. It looks like leather but no animal is there!!Eventually I will try to continue with the Black Collection!
RAN- How do you feel to be known as the METAL QUEEN?
DP – I don’t think of that! I’m just happy when I can make people happy. When I hear something positive, it’s enough for me! When people say “I love your show, I love your songs” that’s really great, you know! Doesn’t have to be always super, super, you know the top but when people have good things to say, make me so happy and I always try to do my best. I do it for the fans and the fans give me so much. Motivation, inspiration, I would like to do it till the day I die, if it’s possible! But I don’t feel as being a Queen, you know!
-What do you think about the new singers generation?
DP – Oh! There are so many great singers and also great musicians! I love ARCH ENNEMY, Alissa, Cristina Scabbia from LACUNA COIL, Angela Gossow, the Swedish CRUCIFIED BARBARA, an all-female hard rock and heavy metal band…
I always try to support the female singers as well and I thing now it’s much more balanced as well. It’s always hard for the musicians to survive. Even if you are Man or woman. It’s always hard to fight for your music! I had a big luck to tour with great musicians, great bands in the past as SAXON, RONNIE JAMES DIO or JUDAS PRIEST. They treated me with such respect. I’ve learned so much with these guys, you know. It was a good school! And, a record was produced by GENE SIMMONS! Oh! I’ve learned so much with GENE! All these people were very polite, very kind! And being an only child, I feel very lucky with all the Brothers In arms!!!
POWERWOLF & GHOST
For anyone who lived through the original period of Peter Gabriel, all this scenic fantasy, musicians hidden behind masks and makeup, it’s all “déjà vu” But for a generation that had no chance to live these highlights it is logical and justified to have all this fascination for these mesmerizing show.
Founded in 2003 by the brothers Charles and Matthew Greywolf, the German five piece from Saarbrucken came to Colmar with their fresh release “The Sacrament of Sin” (July 2018). Behind the musicians a giant replica of the album cover was decorating the stage. With make-up, costumes straight out of a zombie movie, they deliver theatrical, power metal, it’s definitely a band to see live! Inspired by many religious songs, with organs, howling wolves, blood-curdling screams, they set fire to the venue. Even flames heated the stage despite the high temperature. The fans raised their voices in communion with Attila Dorn, who’s vocal style is as impressive as ever. The band closed out with “Sanctified With Dynamite” followed by a rousing “We Drink Your Blood”. POWERWOLF left the fans alive enough for the last Hard Session show…
Change of scene and costumes for the headliner GHOST. On tour to support the last album “PREQUELLE”, TOBIAS FORGE, Ghost’s mastermind changed his Papa Emeritus character for Cardinal Copia. A cathedral wall, nameless musicians dressed in black tailcoats, it all gives this extravagant show a taste of “dark tragedy”. FORGE identity revealed in 2017 rather fueled the idolatry of his fans, taking them towards new mysterious horizons. In the early set, their first last album single “Rats”, with killer guitar solos reminds the 80’s rock style. Tobias Forge said he “wrote the song to blow people’s mind immediately”. Believe it, he did!!! GHOST’s music diversity kept the large crowd entertained and blown away by this theatrical production. The show closed this 2018 Hard Rock session, after Cardinal Copia’s blessing.
Many thanks to the FAV team (particularly Stéphanie Juen, Christine, Claude Lebourgeois) for the organisation and the great programming.