Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: April 11th, 2005
Let’s start by asking each of you who started the band and what year?
CONQUEST OF STEEL formed when the realization dawned that there was a dire need for new True, Heavy Metal Bands in the UK. CONQUEST OF STEEL was formed to bring True Heavy Metal back to the masses and to wipe away all the non-metal/poser metal bands that had been playing ‘so called metal’ over the last few years.
As a young man, did you collect anything?
I have always collected Heavy Metal music. As soon as I got into this form of music, I always wanted to get the next album by the newest band. Since then I have collected older classic metal, particularly on vinyl, and I am always on the look out for vinyl bargains. However, my lack of financial resources limits my spending!
What was the first concert you attended?
I attended many Heavy Metal shows in my youth and still do to this day, however they all pale in comparison with a CONQUEST OF STEEL show and therefore I feel unable to discuss my early gig going years, as it would tarnish the memory of every CONQUEST OF STEEL gig that we perform.
Did any of the band members play in groups before CONQUEST OF STEEL and did they record anything that was released?
We have all played in various bands that have all released albums and demo’s before playing in CONQUEST OF STEEL. None of these bands however matches up to the Power and Steel of CONQUEST OF STEEL and therefore it is apt that they are consigned to the past, and only the future of True Heavy Metal is talked about.
You play a traditional Heavy Metal. Who are your major influences?
Major influences are quite obvious to the trained ear, bands such as Iron Maiden, MANOWAR, WASP, Kiss, Dio, Megadeth, Judas Priest, etc., all influence the direction of CONQUEST OF STEEL. However the main and all pervading influence is the force of True Heavy Metal that guides us at all times and leads us to create new True Metal anthems for this new generation.
In 2000, you released a 5 track EP on Red Flag Recording called “Priests of Metal.” How has the band changed since that release?
The band has developed considerably since that first release. Although we still stand by the songs and the recording, ‘Priests…’ was recorded at a time when we had infrequent rehearsals and when our playing ability wasn’t up to the standard that it is today. We also only took 2 days to record the 5 tracks and therefore the finished result isn’t as good as it could be. However ‘Priests…’ has a raw old school Metal feel to it that we still approve of and therefore it is worthy of any true Metalhead who can get their hands on it.
I have noticed on all your releases you have drawing cover art. Who is the artist?
Dee Myers draws all the CONQUEST OF STEEL artwork. She is the mother of a friend of the band, and has been a great help to us over the last few years, realizing our visions for artwork perfectly and offering them to us for a good price! We value her contribution to the band and shall continue to use her artwork on all CONQUEST OF STEEL releases.
Did the band release any videos?
We are currently editing the video for ‘Only the Devil Can Stop us Now’. We recorded it over two days in a cold studio in February this year, and hope to have it completed by the end of April. The video will be used for promotional purposes and it is hoped that it will be shown on satellite TV music channels and will promote the band to people who have yet to hear the Power of the Steel!
Tell us what a CONQUEST OF STEEL show would be like?
CONQUEST OF STEEL’s live performance is the thing that sets that band apart from its peers. The gigs are full on Metal Power, crushing the fans and all-comers under the weight of True Heavy Metal. A Conquest show has to be seen to be believed. CONQUEST OF STEEL completed 40 shows last year and we are on target to play over 50 this year. We have played the length and breadth of the UK and have ventured into mainland Europe on 2 occasions, playing shows in Holland and Belgium. The only true way to experience CONQUEST OF STEEL is to see them live and raw. ‘None can face the Steel live and survive!’
Would CONQUEST ever play and acoustic set?
This would go against the very things that we stand for. True Heavy Metal should be played loud, distorted and with Power. Sitting down strumming acoustic instruments would not be Heavy Metal and therefore we would not entertain the idea.
Your music sounds similar to MANOWAR. Do you hear that a lot?
Yes, a few people have commented on this. We used to perform MANOWAR’s ‘Metal Warriors’ live and this also led to us being labeled as a MANOWAR sound-alike band. However, there is much more to CONQUEST OF STEEL than just MANOWAR, and although we have a similar attitude to theirs, our music is Raw Honest True Heavy Metal, with real feeling and without the pompous attitude that MANOWAR seemed to have developed today. We all love MANOWAR but we also love all the NWOBHM bands and other Metal bands that are out there and our influences are far wider than just MANOWAR.
If we were hanging out today, what CD is in your player as we speak? “If it is Britney Spears don’t answer.”
It certainly isn’t Britney Spears or any of that pop shit. Only Heavy Metal is played in my house. No other form of music compares. I have recently been listening to a lot of Dio, and have just finished listening to ‘Sacred Heart’. An awesome album, if a little bit too ‘rock’ in places for me, but ‘King of Rock and Roll’ is a classic!
Tell us another band from your area that fans should check out?
There are a lot of good upcoming bands in our area. The Enchanted play aggressive yet melodic Death/Thrash, Bloodstream play more modern Death Rock/Metal, Tefra play awesome Doom Metal. Further a field Centurions Ghost from London play great Doom/Epic Metal, The River are also getting great reviews for their brand of Doom Metal. Ireland also has some great bands in particular Scavenger who we have toured with on 2 occasions; they play super tight Metal in the vein of Megadeth/Iced Earth. Hexxed from Northern Ireland are also worth checking out for their aggressive and technical Death Metal.
Are you working on any new material?
We are currently working on recording a 7” single that is tentatively to be titled ‘Return to the Priests of Metal’. This release on a German label Killer Metal Records will consist of 2 re-worked tracks off “Priests of Metal” (Righteous Victory (of War) and Steel is the Law) and two brand new tracks (Halfway to Hell and Priests of Metal). This should be released before summer 2005. We also continue to work on material for our second album, which we hope to have released in early 2006.
If you had the chance to open for a major act who would that be?
We would love to open up for any of the big Traditional Metal bands. Playing With Iron Maiden, Dio, MANOWAR, Judas Priest etc would be awesome and would be a great way to get our music across to the people who really love True Heavy Metal.
Over the last few years, we have been able to open up for Return to The Sabbat, Ackercocke, and Pungent Stench from Austria, and we are looking forward to playing with GWAR in a fortnight!
Tell us what the wildest thing that happened playing live?
Every CONQUEST OF STEEL show is wild; you never know what will happen when we get on stage. All that can be expected is sheer Metal Fury and Steel played to the highest order, non-stop head banging, thrashing and action in a full on Metal show to end all Metal shows.
What can we see in the future for CONQUEST OF STEEL?
The future looks bright for CONQUEST OF STEEL. We are the masters of our own destiny. We will play more gigs home and abroad and bring the Power of the Steel to as many Metal Warriors as possible; we will release more high quality Metal music and will endeavor to ensure this is heard by all who call themselves Metal.
Does CONQUEST OF STEEL read their fan mail?
We are honored to have so many loyal faithful fans that come to our every gig, and we consider it our duty to respect the fans wishes. We answer fan mail, have our photographs taken with fans and will sign whatever is put in front of us. Without the fans supporting us, we are nothing.
I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind -
Unnecessary bullshit. There are no egos in CONQUEST OF STEEL.
Hard work but great fun if everything goes smoothly. Plenty of beers help to make the recording process an enjoyable one.
We are a self-managed band. We work extremely hard to promote the band as hard as we can with assistance from our great record label. We book our own gigs and organize our own tours (with support from some great promoters). This is fucking hard work but it is very satisfying to know that everything we have done we have achieved ourselves. That said, if the right management deal was offered to us then we would certainly consider it, anything that enables us to play Metal to more people has got to be a good thing.
Unavoidable, but necessary in this world in which we live. A good contract should hopefully support the band and enable us to survive into the future.
The band is all about having fun. If we don’t enjoy what we do then there is no point doing it. We don’t make any money from what we do, we enjoy every minute of it, particularly being up on stage and playing True, Honest Heavy Metal in front of a mad, thrashing audience. The time it stops being fun is the time we give it all up. This doesn’t mean that we don’t take what we do seriously though. We are 100% serious about the band and our commitment to Heavy Metal is unwavering, but we have to enjoy what we do otherwise it just becomes like a day job.
CONQUEST OF STEEL
MORE BEER, MORE SPIKES, MORE METAL THAN METAL!
LONG HAIRED, BEER FUELLED, ROCKIN’ BEASTS!
HEAVY METAL ‘TILL DEATH!
A necessary evil. We work so that we can run the band, without the money from working we couldn’t afford to live and continue the band. As soon as we get the chance to quit our jobs and play Heavy Metal full time we will be doing it!
There is no God except the God of Heavy Metal.
A great way to help promote music and spread the word of Metal, although personally I prefer a printed fanzine, but webzine’s still do a great job in this technological age.
Again, a great way to promote Heavy Metal. A useful tool and great for contacting people around the world, arranging gigs, and making contacts etc.
Produced some of the finest Heavy Metal ever to be played. Iron Maiden, MANOWAR, Wasp, and all the great underground NWOBHM bands. Also produced some great fashion disasters – Denim and Leather YES, Bright colored spandex NO NO NO NO!!
Shit, horrible non-metal toss.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Cheers Brian, thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions. Looking forward to spreading the word of True Heavy Metal and CONQUEST OF STEEL in the USA.