Blackwelder is a group of metal musicians from around the world (Germany, Brazil, Sweden, USA):
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray)
Aquiles Priester – Drums (Primal Fear, ex-Angra)
Bjorn Englen – Bass (Dio Disciples, ex- Yngwie Malmsteen)
Andrew Szucs – Guitar (Seven Seraphim)
2.You have a new album coming out in April, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
For me, the music is difficult to describe, however others have described it as Power Metal with Progressive Metal elements.
There are no ballads on the recording –we just wanted to make a clear and focused metal statement, where you can set the CD to shuffle play and get a song that is different each time, yet still has all the key metal elements of what we’re about.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Overall, the lyrics focus on darker themes; ranging from fantasy-based, to more real-world / introspective ideas
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Blackwelder'?
One day while driving around Los Angeles I saw a street sign called “Blackwelder Ave,” and thought, “hey, that sounds like a really good band name.”
At first, this CD was going to be another Seven Seraphim release, but more and more, the name on the street sign seemed to suit this music better, so, eventually, the band became “Blackwelder.”
5.All of the band members come from different parts of the world, what kind of impact do you feel this has on your musical style?
We all have similar metal roots, in terms of the music we enjoy, so we are pretty like-minded, although the cultural differences really bring a lot of additional dimensions to the music that would not be present if we were all from the same place.
6.Has the band done any live shows or has this been strictly a studio project so far and also are there any plans to take this band on tour?
Playing shows is something we have talked about and is definitely something we want to do. At the moment, we need to see how the CD does and what kind of a demand there is for that.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of power and progressive metal?
People really seem to be embracing this music, and that is a very humbling feeling. We are very happy to see this and it truly is a great honor. We are very grateful for all of the interest people are showing us.
8.What is going on with the other bands these days that the band members are a part off?
Things are going good for the related bands, although updates are changing all the time, so I don’t want to give out any incorrect info. As for Blackwelder, the main focus is promoting the “Survival of the Fittest” CD release.
9.Are there any plans for a future album?
Yes, the plans are to take Blackwelder as far as possible, and that does include future releases.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A lot of the European metal bands of the 70s and 80s have had a big impact on my music: UFO, the Scorpions, Rainbow, MSG, Yngwie Malmsteen, Accept, Helloween, etc.
Nowadays, I still listen to those bands, and I mix in some eclectic stuff, like jazz and classical, as well
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, exercising, good food, and good movies when time permits.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you so much for this interview, Metal Underground! I enjoyed answering your questions and I really appreciate your interest!
Our new CD Blackwelder “Survival of the Fittest” will be released April 24 – I hope you and your readers will enjoy it!!!
All the best,
Andrew : - ) \m/