Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 57 - Interview with Damnation Angels

DAMNATION ANGELS

Damnation Angels are a new Symphonic Metal act that unusually comes from our own fair shores of the UK. After forming they have spent years just touring before putting out their EP ‘Shadow Symphony’ in 2009. This was greeted with rave reviews and after more touring the band has now completed and released their official debut ‘Bringer Of Light’. Dave Scott put together some questions for the band’s main composer Will Graney to find out more about the Angels.

Can you take a moment to introduce each member of the band to our readers and how they came to be part of Damnation Angels?

Well I'm Will Graney, guitarist/composer and also co-founder with John Graney my brother who is the drummer. PelleK is the singer and he joined us in 2010 after our previous vocalist suffered a vocal injury, he's actually Norwegian and we found him on Youtube via his Dragonforce audition. Dawn Trigg who’s our keyboardist joined in 2008 and Stephen Averill is the bassist and he also joined in 2010.

Your name has a grand feel to it. What factors came into play when you were deciding on the name?

Thank you. Well it was in 2006 that I'd been reading up on a lot of illuminati conspiracy and heaven and hell related things, that's where it came from but truth be told there wasn't any factors involved in coming up with a name. We basically went with it because it sounded good and interesting.

I have been fortunate to hear your debut, but for those who haven’t, how would you describe the style of your music?

We play Symphonic Metal. We try to create powerful, emotional and epic songs or music that evokes emotions so to speak. Film score music is a big influence but in saying that it's not film score music with a riff behind it for the sake of it. This is proper Metal with catchy riffs and then orchestration as well to enhance the music.

Is there any concept behind the album as a whole? There is a four part section in the middle and these obviously fit together but do the rest of the songs add to this story?

No, only those four tracks are the concept section of the album. Without giving too much away they're about a man who gives up everything he loves to become what he needs to be to save the world but because he is haunted by his past and hell bent on revenge it ultimately leads to his demise.

What was behind your decision to cover the Metallica track ‘No Leaf Clover’ and would you consider any other covers for your next release?

We've definitely thought about doing some more covers in the future, we've got some cool ideas but that's all we can say for now. Regarding ‘No Leaf Clover’, we really wanted to cover it as we felt it'd never been studio recorded and also that it would fit really well with the rest of the album. I've been a massive Metallica fan all my life and it was amazing to cover one of their great songs and put our mark on it.

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How do you go about composing such epic songs as a band? Do the words and lyrical content come first or is it more a case of music and arrangements coming into being before the lyrics?

It's a lengthy process, it can start with anything really; mostly an orchestral pattern or a vocal melody but sometimes a riff. I generally write the melodies before the lyrics though. As with the lyrics they just come to mind randomly and it's like a race to get them down, the structures and ideas of songs can be done in a matter of hours but the tweaking takes months. Sometimes I've had to just say right, that's it, enough is enough because it's hard to say when a song is done.

Where do you get your inspiration from when writing lyrics?

Inspiration can really come from anywhere, it normally hits me randomly and I rush to grab a pen. My mobile phone is full of draft messages of lyrics. We don't do many songs that are personal to us. A lot of the songs are fictional stories; some are influenced by historic events whilst some are inspired by films and other things. I never limit myself about what we can write about though; I just write what comes to mind.

The album cover is very distinctive and as grand as the music. Who designed the artwork and do you feel that it is an important facet of the album?

It was designed by Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove Design and yes I do believe it's very important. You can't really have one without the other if you're to be successful. Every part of the band has to be great, from the music to the art to the band photos; you can't neglect any part of it because it's simply too competitive out there. I mean sometimes the artwork may be the first thing that people see of you and it needs to tempt them in. Also we specifically wanted our artwork not to look cliché especially within the genre; we wanted our art to really reflect the music inside and the story as well within the concept section. I think we got it spot on.

Are there any interesting stories or facts about any members of Damnation Angels?

One interesting fact is our singer PelleK was actually a finalist on Norway’s X-Factor in 2009, another interesting fact is that I actually worked on Cradle Of Filth's last album and also have a side project in the works with Paul Allender but that's all I can say about that or I'd probably have to kill you! (laughs!)

What next for Damnation Angels after all the promotion with ‘Bringer Of Light’ is completed?

We'll be touring and then we'll be making our second album later this year, most of the material has already been written and we honestly can't wait to get it out there. I feel like we have a lot of momentum behind us at the moment and we don't want to lose that by taking a few years to do our follow up album.

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