the RING :  interview with Jakob Samuel



organized by

Scarlet Records and GryphonMetal.ch                                            review "Tales of Midgard"


e-mail interview by 

Marco "Norman Knight" Signore ___             





Marco: Hi, this is Marco from GryphonMetal.ch. We are here with the mythical The Ring, and I want to thank you, first of all, because possibly you brought in music the dream of thousands and thousands of Metalheads and Tolkien fans. And so, what made you conceive such an ambitious project as The Ring?


Jakob: Hi Marco! Ambitious it is, maybe to much for my own good but it has certainly been a thrill. It all started with me reading an article about the filming of Lord of the Rings and how Tolkien has used the different old Nordic and Celtic legends and myths of The Ring in the weaving of the story.
We had written In The Beginning a couple month before in a total other version and lyrics but I remade it and wrote Gathering Darkness and Signs by the Silverstream, showed Marcus & Pontus the idea of a theme album with new written music and melodies but lyrically based on the many stories in the realm of The Ring. From the start a lot of people thought it was a too  ďambitious and seriousĒ task, understandable but still I was convinced that it could  be a fantastic combination. And during the writing process became  more and more obvious that it was going to be a great album, Iím very proud of it and Iím quite curious to see  the reactions of this one.

You managed to capture the atmosphere with almost "essential" music, never using too many keyboards and virtuosoís. Was it difficult to compose songs about the most famous non-religious book in the history of man?

The music came very natural actually with an easy flow like we knew  where we were going, which wasnít the case, the lyrics was harder though and was rewritten a number of times.


Now a question about the lyrics. As I remarked in my review, you never used any of the names of people or places in your lyrics. Nonetheless, every song is a masterpiece of lyrics. You managed to capture the feeling and use phrases of the book without actually using them... such as "Are you afraid? Not enough" in Into the Wild, or "lead us on crownless king" in The Gates of Doom. Was it difficult to write a set of lyrics for this project?

Yes definitely, itís been quite a trip, but Iíve always had a great interest in the lyrics part of the work, I made quite a few versions of it and with some  good correction/angle help of some very dedicated people ( check the thanks list on the album ) it turned out to something really cool to me.

How do you see the works of professor Tolkien? Do you really think that those who try to use his works for political reasons are craps, or are they right?

He was a giant, simple as that, Tolkien took inspiration from not only the British fables but also a lot of the Nordic Asa tales and the old Germanium folklore and believes and of course you can view this kind of complex story in a political way but if that was the intention I  can not tell.


And what about fantasy in general? Tell us of your approach to fantasy.

Iím not a great fan of the genre in general. Like so many others we grew up reading those books from time to time and itís definitely one of my all time favourites but the album is not specifically meant to deal with only Tolkiens stories. During the writing process Iíve been as the album title reveals inspired by mainly the Tales from Midgard with myths of Favners bane and every thing from Wagner's Rheingold how Alberich cursed love and forged The Ring of power to Z. Topelius work with The Swedish King Carl XII and  the myth of his Ring of power and the list of Rings goes on.


How do you think that fantasy influenced Metal music?

Very strongly through the years, it seem to be a great combination of the two worlds.


Now tell us about your "tolkienian" colleagues: Blind Guardian, Battlelore, Rivendell...

Had no idea that any one done it before until the album was ready and I havenít heard any of the other attempts, we have of course hard to believe that anyone can match our fantastic, thunderous metal album.

And what about other "fantasy" Power Metallers, such as Rhapsody, Domine or Hammerfall? Do you think that we are going too far or that the power-fantasy productions are more than adequate and good?

I really  donít have the knowledge to have an opinion, I know these bands musical quality too little but a good album is a good album, each production/band speaks for itself not itís genre.


Now something about your music. Some people have criticized you in the choice of music. You avoided the Power Metal "standard" both in music and lyrics (and IMHO this is well done!) and instead relay on almost "old fashioned" metal music. Do you think that your sonorities are adequate to the modern metal world?

We were in the point where we really wanted to do a great classic metal album on the peak of our ability as far as played, singed, written and performed with the atmosphere of the bibles we listened to as teens, that really takes you to a different time and place.  


I have seen that practically all of you play all the instruments in the CD. But what will happen when you will come to live performance?

We are actually putting a live setting together right now we are doing some shows in Stockholm in September then weíll see what happens. A drummer and a bass player is called for, they will be official soon but not now.


And talking about live performance, will you tour Europe with your masterpiece?

We are looking for a production company to set the show on the road letís hope for the best. Many plans nothing readyÖ


Finally here we are with the Game of the Tower. This is a game we always play with the bands we interview for the first time. You are on a high tower, and you have three bands there with you. You have to push down two of them saving just one. Just one, remember. Now, you are with Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall. Which ones will you throw down from the tower?

Weíll itís not nice to through down your old friends and I think Anders, Magnus and the rest of Hammerfall would have the safest seatÖif they behave!


A salutation from you to all the Metalheads out there...

Have a little patience waiting for us to get online soon our home page will be up and we really hope to see you soon on tourÖNow,  bring us that horizonÖ

Thank you very much for your kindness, and I hope to hear you soon live in Italy!! All the best and my compliments again!


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