AIR RAID, a brand new Traditional Heavy Metal band from Sweden is ready to take the metal world by storm. This year they released their first EP “Danger Ahead” and at the moment they are finishing their first full-length album, so shortly we are about to witness a pure Heavy Metal attack. In September 16, AIR RAID will also perform in Underground Metal Meeting festival in Athens – Greece, so we took the chance and had a few words with guitarist Andreas Johansson and singer Michalis Rinakakis.
When Air Raid started and what made you create this band?
Andy: Air Raid was formed by me & Johan in early 2009. As we both are old school metal fans, it was obvious for us to have Air Raid in this style.
This year you release your first official material through Stormspell Records, a mini-CD entitled “Danger Ahead”. How did you get in touch with Stormspell, how was the composing procedure and what was your feedback from the fans and press?
Andy: Stormspell was very fast to make an offer and contacted us just after we had recorded our 2-track demo. They have a great reputation in the underground metal world, so we accepted the offer without hesitation. Iordan, the label owner, is just great to work with! I wrote nearly everything on the EP musically, but always with important input from the other guys. Michalis wrote all the lyrics except "The Metal Cult", which I and Michalis wrote together. The feedback has been really great, both fans and reviewers seems to enjoy it very much.
At the moment you are recording your first full length. Give us all the details on that one.
Andy: We are in a studio called "Deep Blue Studios" in Nyköping, located in the east of Sweden. Also the hometown of our great friends in Steelwing. The producer is Nicko DiMarino, a really awesome guy. The recordings are progressing very well and we can't wait wait to let people hear those songs, as they are our strongest ever.
Do you have a release date and which label will release it?
Andy: No we don't have a release date, but hopefully it will be out this year. We have a couple of interested labels, but nothing is signed yet.
Which are the best new Heavy Metal bands according to you?
Andy: There are many good bands but I personally like Steelwing, Skull Fist and Axxion.
It would be interesting to know how things are in Sweden for traditional Heavy Metal. What kind of help a new band can take and how the people outside metal, the country and the media see Heavy Metal?
Andy: There's a small group of true believers here in sweden and classic metal played by new bands is not very popular. All the new old school bands have their main following outside Sweden, like Germany, Southern Europe, Japan etc. In general, the media thinks that these new old school bands are very outdated, but it's a growing underground movement and hopefully more and more people are starting to rediscover 80's metal and that feels great!
Michalis: It's looking good at the moment! A lot of people seem to be reminiscent of the genre and a number of Swedish bands have already answered the call. As far as getting help goes, it is basically the same as everywhere else... it's mostly up to you. There are ways to get some support but you need to check a lot, find the necessary information and follow it all up until you actually get something out of it... which takes a while. People and the media perceive Classic Heavy Metal as a heavier version of Hard Rock and that helps a few bands get some exposure, on occasion, but nothing extraordinary.
Michalis, how did you joined the band and since when are you in Sweden?
Michalis: I first came to Sweden at the end of May 2009 with the intention of spending the summer in Gothenburg so I could check out the city for a possible continuation of my studies in Acoustics. I liked it a lot here so I decided to stay until the spring of 2010, at which point I had to return to Greece for my army duties. In the autumn of 2010, when being relocated from Cyprus to Crete for my last month of serving, I happened to browse through a Swedish website with band ads and stumbled upon an ad from an 80's heavy metal band looking for a singer in Gothenburg. I contacted them and got an e-mail with an awesome piece of instrumental music which, after a couple of days of writing lyrics and melodies, became "When The Sky Turns Red"! Coming back to Sweden in the winter of 2010, I settled down in Gothenburg and in the beginning of February 2011, I met up with the band and that was basically it... Air Raid was now complete!
By the way, tell us a few words about your other band, Event Horizon X.
Michalis: Event Horizon X is a one-man band forged on Crete in 2002 when I first started turning some of my fiction stories and theories into heavy metal concept albums! After three consequent official releases in 2003 (Fall Of Darkness), 2004 (Along Came The Winter) and 2005 (Far Across The Wasteland) as well as numerous live shows with a few unique live line-ups, I took a break at the end of 2008 to complete my studies in Acoustical Engineering along with everything else that required completion at that time… which brings us to the present day! Already in 2008 I had concluded the first part of my next concept which is called... well, Event Horizon X! I had also, up until that point, composed music for more than five future album releases and now I simply need to find some time for the completion of the eponymous ones... or maybe a couple of singles and EPs instead... who knows?!.. I can just say this: Stay Tuned, Archonians!
In September 16 you are playing live in Greece. Do you give often live shows and what should we expect from you?
Andy: Air Raid has been active since about one year. We have played a couple of gigs in Sweden together, and are already a very tight band.
You guys can be sure that we'll give you a high energy show! We will also play some songs from our forthcoming album for the first time live!
Which are your expectations and what the future holds for Air Raid?
Michalis: My expectations are quite high! The music we are making just comes naturally and I feel eager to see Classic Heavy Metal resurface with a force similar to that with which it first came to life. The future holds a lot of live shows and a number of releases that will hopefully contribute to the notion that Classic Metal is still alive… and pounding!
Andy: We can't wait to enter the stage in Athens, it will be just awesome!
Right now we are finalizing our debut-album, and hopefully we will go on tour next year.
September 16, 2012,
AIR RAID will play live at the
Underground Metal Meeting
at Kyttaro Live Club, Athens - Greece
Support the Heavy Metal Faith!