Old school metal with RAM
Sickened and disgusted with the current bullshit that was going around in today's metal scene Harry Gronoth decided to put manners in his own hands. With a true love and passion for true metal he put plans into action by forming RAM in 99. Inspired by such legends like Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. Oscar and Daniel quickly requited likely minded indivuals who has the same love for traditional 80s metal in Leif, Oscar, and Morgan. After that formation they played numerous gigs they released forced entry and sudden impact on Black Path Metal Records. Then in 2009 they released another power metal opus titled "Forced Entry" on AFM. Three years later the band found a new home with Metal Blade Records which released their newest masterpiece of powerful masterpiece of traditional metal "Death". Growing up listening to Maiden, Saxon, Priest and King Diamond, RAM plays true metal that would make the metal gods smile with envy. One listen to this album I was already a fan. Here's my interview lead singer Oscar Carlquist.
Good day! What RAM been up to these days?
Headbanging and eating virgins livers
To get the metalheads up to speed please give a brief history of the and how long the band been together?
Harry (guitar) and Daniel (guitar) started the band back in 99, it was very hard to find anyone around here who wanted to play the Old-Schools style then so it took them until 2001 to find me. I brought in Bassplayer Leif Larsson and Drummer Morgan Pettersson. In 2003 we released the E.P "Sudden Impact" and played our first gigs. In 2005 we released our first fullength album "Forced Entry". In 2007 Leif was aked to leave the band and we recruited Tyrant from Nifelheim as a session bassplayer. In 2009 we released our second LP called "Lightbringer" and were joined by Christian Strömblad to handle bass duties, Christian could'nt join us on the European tour that we headed out on to support Lightbringer so we called in Tobbe Petterson who ended up becomming a permanent member of the band. Now in 2012 we have just released our third full length "Death" and feel stronger than ever.
RAM relesed your opus death on Jan. 31st. What the response been so far?
Very positive, both from the fans and in the press, but I try not to let that get to me, of course I prefer good reviews over bad ones but it is very important for us that outside inluences does not affect our creative process. We want to write the album that we want not the fans or the press they will have to live with what they get.
I been listening to album for the first, there's a definately a Priest/King Diamond influence in your sound.
Absolutley, I won't deny that, we grew up with that stuff so we could probably not wash it out of our sound even if we wanted to. When we sit down to write music Old-School Heavy Metal is what comes out, it is very natural for us, that gives us a very honest sound.
The band been though some line up changes, you feel that this lineup is much more stronger than the band's previous lineup?
Yes defenatley, Tobbe brings some new dimensions to our sound and espescially to our live performances. He is extremely dedicted to Heavy Metal music in general. He is also younger than us and brings a youthful spark that motivates the rest of us.
You guys shared the stage with the infamous black metal outlaws Watain. What kind of reaction you recieved from Watainiacs?
Mainly a positive reaction, those who have an understanding of real black metal and the fact that it is an attitude more than it is a musical term, enjoy us very much since Mercyful Fate and Venom are main influences for us and that our lyrical content is of the darker kind. I love what Watain are doing, they are truly taking their responsibilty as a real metal band and keeping metal dark and dangerous without compromise, true art is sacrifce and Watain are true black arts in the flesh.
Me personally growing up listening to Priest, Maiden and Saxon. Your music is an welcome change to the current bullshit going aroung in the scene these days?
I agree, evolution in music is one thing but that does not mean total disregard of the traditions. Many new bands style is a tree without roots and it just sounds stupid, People are listening to it because it probably to the untrained ear sound new and fresh but it has no substance so it will die. Nobody will 15 years from now listen to lets say Attack Attack for nostalgic reasons unless they are complete and utter tasteless idiots.
My favorite song on the album "I Am The End". The song reminds me so much of Judas Priests "Dissent Aggressor", especially the riffing?
We may have drawn some influence from there yes. Mainly when bands today want a song to have that 70'ies feel to it they will write a Black Sabbath'y riff, this has been done to many times, we like to look at old Priest and old Scorpions for our seventie influences.
How well Tyrant working out as the band's bassist?
Well he is'nt in the band anymore, we had a great time with him during the time he was in the band, he is a great friend and a fellow true metal maniac. Last time I met him Was at a festival in Denmark where both bands played, we got in a fight and I ended up breaking 2 of his ribs! He noticed it a couple of days later when he was at an Iron Maiden show in England. But thats just how we roll, we are still great friends!
Are there plans for a U.S. tour in the near future?
Nothing is planned at the moment but we recieve alot of e-mails and comments through social media that want us to come over. Sooner or later we will appear and destroy you country.
What your take of the tradition metal scene you think it's much stronger now?
Well it had to be, one direction in things always creates an opposite direction, the scene was becomming a superficial joke, and the music did not sound like metal anymore so peoples eyes were turned upon the old sound again, its all natural.
Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions is there anything you like to say to all the metal maniacs out there?
Beware of the Heavy Metal Tyranny!
Interviewer: Paul Lewis
Feb 5, 2012
Feb 5, 2012
Next interview: Everything old is new again with Outrage