EMQ’s With Iron Kingdom
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Heavy Metal band, Iron Kingdom. Hugh thanks to their guitarist, Chris Osterman, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Chris Osterman, I play Lead Guitar and am the Lead Vocalist for the Canadian Heavy Metal act Iron Kingdom.
Iron Kingdom formed in 2011, and since then we’ve released 5 full-length albums (including “The Blood Of Creation”’ to be released this November 04th 2022) and toured across 3 continents. Iron Kingdom is a Traditional styled Heavy Metal act with a similar approach to our influences (acts like Helloween, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Scorpions – among many others.)
How did you come up with your band name?
Well, it was actually quite challenging at first, the funny thing is that we told ourselves whatever we chose, we can’t use the words ‘Black’ or ‘Iron’ in the band name… clearly we failed with that idea, Ha ha! Once we came across the word ‘Kingdom’ we were pretty much settled, ‘Iron’ just added the nail to the coffin so to speak, plus added a lot more meaning. Essentially the ‘Iron Kingdom’ is a haven or Mecca for Metalheads, it’s more of a place than anything else, an imaginary or fantasy realm where Heavy Metal is the law, and it’s a community of people (not unlike a Metal Festival) that work and live together.
What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?
We’re from Vancouver, Canada. The Metal scene here can be quite diverse, but we found our crowd of old-school Metal lovers over the years by playing every Metal show we could get our hands on. Personally, I think our scene is amazing, there are lots of great people who look out for one another, and we have some fantastic promoters and venues along with some rad bands too!
What is your latest release?
Well, currently we’re promoting our first single ‘In The Grip Of Nightmares’ as it was just released in support of our coming album “The Blood Of Creation” due November 4th, 2022. I think this album will be a truly special release for fans of the band new and old, I think there’s a lot of diversity in our writing on this one, along with a fantastic production job from all fronts. Really can’t wait to get this one out there!!
Who have been your greatest influences?
For me personally I’d say Helloween, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, Judas Priest, Fates Warning, Crimson Glory and Savatage among a bunch of others, most bands that have a bit of a Progressive touch, but also killer riffs and vocals, those bands draw me in pretty quick!
What first got you into music?
Actually I’d say my interest came from two directions, first was my sister playing Classical Piano in the living room of my family home, hearing her play, I just knew that music called to me, but I also knew I wasn’t capable of whatever sorcery she was creating on that piano ha ha ha!. Secondly, around the same time, my uncle gave me Deep Purple’s Machine Head on CD. I recall listening to Deep Purple and just being astonished by the sound they got across that album, everything was perfect, every note, every hit on the drums, I couldn’t get enough of it, but I didn’t even understand what I was hearing. To me, this was just how music was made. I found out pretty quickly that was not exactly the case, and I developed my specific taste in music from that point on.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I think it would be really cool to do something with Kai Hansen from Gamma Ray and Helloween. He seems like a really fun guy, but I also think he’s very talented, and I think we’d have some really cool ideas together if we ever had the chance!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
As typical as it probably sounds, I think the main stage at Wacken Open Air would be incredible. Ever since playing in a Metal band, I saw that as a kind of ‘You’ve made it’ moment. To successfully achieve that would be a dream come true for me.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t know if it’s considered weird, but I do think it’s the coolest ha ha, a fan (and now friend) of ours from Chicago sent me a Bobblehead of myself! Gotta say, I didn’t expect it and I was totally blown away, I keep it on my speakers as an inspiration!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Do what makes you happy, life’s hard enough as it is, so you might as well be working towards things you enjoy!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Definitely Dio. His death hit me hardest and I just wish he was still around, he seemed like one of the most genuine people and I wish he had more time to keep bringing amazing music to the world.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love going on tour, playing music for our fans and seeing the world all at the same time, is just amazing to me.
Never been much of a fan of the financial struggle that music has these days. I wish there was a little more money to go around, for the venues, for the promoters for the bands, I wish it was easier, but we do it for the love of it. Maybe someday the money will get easier but it’s a long way to the top!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’m not a fan of Digital platforms. Yes in some ways it’s cool, easy to travel around, and easy to consume, but it really kills the art of it all. I think physical albums are the best format and I think you don’t truly experience the music the same way when it’s been turned into an mp3 on your phone.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Deep Purple – “Machine Head”. It’s just perfection, top quality musicians writing some of their best works all on one record with amazing production and everything just feels so natural yet so perfect.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs or Downloads?
Vinyl, when mastered properly, that’s simply the truth. An analogue signal taken from the recording studio and directly imprinted onto the record is the purest form to listen to music. It’s certainly not the easiest way to listen but it sounds the best because it’s the highest quality. Anything digital can still sound good, but it’s simply a fact that the waveforms are digitally reconstructed to replicate what may have been played prior to digitalisation.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Probably Keep It True XVII in Germany. Performing with other amazing acts from around the globe in front of 2500 die-hard metal heads all crammed into an arena with merchandise from all your favourite bands? Yep, this one takes the cake for now!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well, I also do lighting, audio and video for events, so I guess I’d keep doing that! It’s actually pretty fun!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Klaus Meine (Scorpions) and to top it all off Jack Black just to keep things interesting!
Would be great to actually get to know them as people, and I think Jack Black is hilarious, but also someone I respect and think we could get along.
What’s next for the band?
After we release our new record “The Blood Of Creation” I think we’ll be discussing touring options, where we want to take the record in a live setting! Hopefully, that will include some festival appearances as well!
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Official Website: www.iron-kingdom.com
Stream – In The Grip of Nightmares – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0HrAd6WGNI
The Making of The Blood of Creation – https://youtu.be/TSrv44SXQ-A
Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?
Guessing here… Tea Cake…?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just to say thank you so much for the interview, and thanks to everyone who took the time to read it! If you haven’t heard our new single yet, go check it out! ‘In The Grip Of Nightmares’ on our YouTube channel. Truly hope you all enjoy the new record as much as we do!
Keep It Steel!
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