The Metal Epic Masters have returned with a new wonderful album. Warlord are again among us and that is very encouraging for the heavy/epic metal music. The glory and the power are here to stay. William J. Tsamis talked honesty to Metal Abyss about the past and the future of Warlord in a really satisfying interview.
you believe that this comeback shows the fury and the power that you had
as a band since the 80's?
let me thank you for this interview and for the support of the Greek
fans. I'm very sorry things didn't work out for Warlord live in
Greece. As to your question, I think this album is very intense
and powerful. It contains all the elements of classic Warlord, yet
it is more advanced. I think a song like Enemy Mind is quite
furious and powerful, and I think the rest of the songs retain my
melodic metal style with Mark's advanced drum technique. Plus, the
production is top-notch. My greatest disappointment is that some
critics said, "Ah, Lordian Guard songs . . .," and they didn't
think there was anything new on this album. I think that's absurd
and ridiculous. First it ignores the wonder of Mark's drum work
with these songs. Second, it ignores the big difference in the
guitar sound and the added harmony leads. Third, it ignores the
powerful male lead vocal. Fourth, it ignores the great production
quality. That really disappointed me, and I said, "To hell
with these people . . ." Everything they complained about
with Lordian Guard, I changed it and gave them epic metal on a platter,
and they're still complaining. Sometimes, it makes me think the
whole thing is not worth it . . . maybe it's not. There are plenty
of other bands to listen to.
"Rising out of the ashes", is already a fact. Which is the
reaction of the press and all those that have heard the album?
reaction has been very positive. The fan reaction has been even
better. Many people have said that it captures the early Warlord
sound and that it is one of the purest reunion albums ever. So,
that makes me happy.
idea is behind the title "Rising out of the ashes" Do you have
anything to say to those who said that Warlord were history?
I came up with about 20 titles for this album, and "Out of the
Ashes" was just one. I was trying to capture the myth of the
phoenix. Then, a friend of mine suggested I put "Rising"
at the beginning, and Mark and Joacim liked it. To me, it was a
bit simplistic compared to some of the other titles I had . . . but
perhaps keeping things simple is good sometimes. As far as Warlord
being "history," that kind of statement doesn't apply to
music. Is Rainbow w/Dio history? No. Is the first
Angel Witch album history? No. Neither is Warlord to its
true fans. The music always lives on no matter what . . . that's
the beauty of art . . . it's always alive.
do you explain the fact that Warlord is regarded as a legendary band in
the epic/power genre although you had only recorded 13-14 songs till
People ask me this question all the time, and my honest answer is,
"I don't know." I think Warlord always combined the best
of heavy metal, from power to melodic to epic to sad, sometimes fast,
sometimes slower, good musicianship. I think that's it pretty
much, and also the fact that Warlord was always consistent. Every
song was a killer.
after the latest cancel of you live show here in Greece, will there be a
chance to see you at last here in Greece? We've been expecting this live
show a long time now with great anxiety. And if you can tell us what
exactly happened and the show was cancelled, cause many strange things
were told here in Greece.
I hope we
can come to Greece. The bottom line is "money." It
costs a lot of money for us to come from the States and use stage
session musicians, and pay for their expenses, and everything. We
need to have "tour support" $$ from our record company, and in
Germany we got burned . . . Mark and I lost a lot of money. We're
still digging ourselves out of that ditch. And see, everything was
promised to us, but we didn't have any details . . . it wasn't the Greek
promoter's fault at all. No, not at all. The Greeks were
great. It was our label that said they would help us with tour
support, but what they say and what they do are two different stories.
In order for us to come, we have to have "tour support," which
probably means another label - a bigger label.
I want to believe that Warlord is here to stay and they won't disappear
again after "Rising Out of The Ashes". What are the plans
about the band's future?
Mark and Joacim are very enthusiastic about doing another album and a
European tour in 2003, so we'll see. It's really up to me, whether
I want to do it or not. And I love working with Mark and Joacim,
so I am inclined to do it. I just want the songs on this next
album to be massive and mindblowing - and I need some time and space to
"write" those songs, although I have some in the box right
Metal Blade wants to release it on CD, along with the first Warlord
video on DVD. Drakkar also wants to release it on CD. And we
have two offers for DU and Rising on vinyl and 12" picture disc.
So, the companies are going to put out a lot of Warlord stuff.
well documented. Simply put, we never had a singer who could sing
live, the way he sang in the studio. Rick Cunningham sounded
terrible live. We did do many showcases with Jack Rucker. He
could sing live, no problem. But with Jack, he just wasn't into
know. Thanks for the compliment. I just write the kind of
music that I want to hear. I love melodic music that is dark,
powerful, and epic.
singer do you prefer most from those who Warlord used to have? Do you
think that Cans is the best choice for Warlord?
the singer that Warlord was always looking for. Don't think of
HammerFall. See, that's part of the problem. People mix it
up. But the melodies that he sings with Warlord are far different
than the HammerFall melodies. When DU first came out, the critics
said the singer sounded too much like pop. We always wanted
someone heavier. Rick Cunningham was heavier, but he couldn't sing
live. So, Cans turned out to be the best guy, a Warlord fan, a
humble guy, a great friend, and just a nice human being. Oscar is
the same way - a super nice guy.
we all know that you are a Greek. In what age did you leave the country
and what are your stronger memories from Greece? And what do you love
most from Greece?
I wasn't "born" in Greece. My parents were from
Nemea, and I was there when I was 4 and 8 for a time. My
parents moved to Canada in the 1950s, then to Kansas City, then to
California (where I was born in Oakland, and where I was raised), and
then they moved to Florida. I didn't move to Florida, though,
until I was like 27. I don't remember much of Greece. I was
too young. When I heard that heavy metal was popular in Greece,
though, I was very surprised. But I was surprised when I heard
heavy metal was popular in Finland, because I didn't even know they had
electricity up there :-) Now I hear there is a heavy metal
scene in Turkey! Anyway, when I was a kid my mother brought me to
the Greek Orthodox Church (I always loved the music), and to Greek
School. But I was never really interested in Greek culture until I
began studying philosophy and ancient history. So, now that I know
a lot about my heritage, I'm very proud to be Greek. When I teach,
two of my favorite segments are the pre-Socratic philosophers and Plato.
I also teach extensively on Spartan culture, the Greek and Persian wars,
Alexander the Great, etc. Hopefully, I will be able to come to the
weird question before the end. Imagine that your wife is selling your
whole album-collection just to buy for her an expensive, good ring. How
would you react?
wife would never do that so it is purely hypothetical. I'm really
not that materialistic. I have lost an entire album collection
once or twice before. My CDs aren't organized or anything; they're
all over the place. I don't really care . . . it's not that
important to me. If I have a guitar and a Bible, that's all I
T: Well, thank "you" for the interview. I wish you all the best in your endeavors and I hope we can bring Warlord to Greece soon . . .
Thanos, Kyriaki & Alex