Power metal winds of change. Or Tempest. A conversation with LANCER.

Sweden’s power metal crew LANCER releases its new album “Tempest” on the 11th of August. With a new singer (Jack L. Stroem) and drummer (Pontus Andrén) they’re striving for a new sound. Guitarist Fredrik Kelemen brings Stargazed up-to-date.
The front sleeve of LANCER’s new album “Tempest” pictures a raven flying from a devastated landscape to a sunny one. What does it mean?
– We’ve had birds on our record sleeves before, but then we used ostriches. People thought we were some kind of comedy act! In fact it was an inside joke which only the band understood. We changed to a raven, which is a more metal bird. The raven will look powerful on our merch. The landscapes symbolize what the band has left behind and the band’s future. We’ve recently changed drummers and singers. Also, we strive to reach a style of our own, a bit more distant to Edguy or Helloween.
What has new singer Jack L Stroem meant to the band?
– A whole lot. He’s brought new energy and lots of creative spirit. Unlike our previous singer Isak Stenvall, he’s not really a power metal singer, but rather a classic rock vocalist who reaches high notes. A bit like Mark Boals or Jeff Scott Soto. Jack has released a solo album as well as a duo AOR record and albums with the band Vandor. So he keeps himself busy, but we all do. Our guitarist “Ewo” Solvelius for example plays folk metal, black metal as well as classical music besides playing with LANCER.
Who writes the songs for LANCER?
– Normally me or “Ewo” comes up with an original idea, but then the whole band contributes. It’s all teamwork.
What are the lyrics about?
– Isak’s lyrics involved classical power metal stuff such as monsters, angels and dragons. I suck at writing those themes. Instead, I pick topics from reality. Often dark and depressing topics, although I’m not really dark as a person.
My favourite tune is the album’s epic finale, “The grand masquerade”. What is there to tell about that song?
– I wrote that one, very influenced by The Night Flight Orchestra. I wanted that 80’s vibe, you know Rocky soundtrack, Survivor-style. The feel of driving down Sunset Strip in a Cadillac.
This doesn’t sound very dark…
– Ha ha, the darkness lies in the lyrics. It’s about a guy whose inner self is full of darkness and chaos, but he shows nothing to the outer world. Nobody knows how he feels.
Who are LANCER’s biggest influences?
– I guess we still resemble Edguy and Helloween to a certain extent, although we’re striving for a dirtier sound on the new record. Myself, I’m a huge Angra fan and I know “Ewo” is too. Basically, I love bands who make cool key changes. The Night Flight Orchestra, Survivor, Toto, Dream Theater, Seventh Wonder…
I’d say LANCER’s sound is warm and human rather than machine-mechanic. What do you say?
– I say you’re totally right! That’s what we’re striving for, an organic, dynamic sound. We’re all totally allergic to loudness wars, with all life being compressed to death. I hate it when the drums sound as though being played by a robot. Or the guitars, for that matter.
Your music includes nice choirs. Where does this inspiration come from?
– Fat choirs are a vital part of classic power metal. I especially love the choirs that Tommy Karevik came up with on Seventh Wonder’s “Tiara” album. It helps that we all have experience of musical theory, thus being able to write down our ideas. On “Tempest”, Jack has sung all the choirs and then we have doubled his vocals with David Åkesson, who’s an accomplished musical pedagogue from Sölvesborg.
What was it like to be touring with Hammerfall?
– Fantastic. They treated us so well. I’ve understood this ain’t always the case when smaller bands tour with bigger ones. The opening act often gets inferior sound and lighting, then get to eat the headliner’s leftovers. Not so with Hammerfall. They treated us like equals on every level. Also, this was our first European tour which was a lot of fun. It has to happen again!
Which have been LANCER’s historical highlights?
– The Hammerfall tour is definitely one. We travelled on the same bus as Gloryhammer and did lots of silly things which won’t leave the bus! Our first Japanese trip is another one. We played a gig in Tokyo and the dedication of the fans was incredible. They waited in the hotel lobby to get autographs and take selfies. They even brought us presents! A third highlight was releasing our previous record on Nuclear Blast records. A dream come true. Markus Wosgien, who used to work for Nuclear Blast, has signed us to the new Fireflash label, which is much smaller, but it’s always a thrill to be working with such a nice and dedicated man.
What’s next for LANCER?
– We’re planning some release gigs during the autumn, but I can’t tell you the exact dates yet. Then we hope for a European tour in the spring and festivals next summer.
“Tempest” is being released on purple and orange vinyl. Which one is the coolest?
– Ha ha! The purple one was what we ourselves ordered, so I’ll go with that one. Purple is a very metal colour. The vinyls have even got their own names. “Purple sky” is named after a song on our first album. “Burning orange” is just a name without any special history.
You hail from the city of Ulricehamn. What’s the metal scene like there?
– Very, very small! Sports is much bigger. But there are a few dedicated metal fans who run a rock club in Ulricehamn.

Power metal winds of change. Or Tempest. A conversation with LANCER.

August 9, 2023

Sweden’s power metal crew LANCER releases its new album “Tempest” on the 11th of August. With a new singer (Jack L. Stroem) and drummer (Pontus Andrén) they’re striving for a new sound. Guitarist Fredrik Kelemen brings Stargazed up-to-date. The front sleeve of LANCER’s new album “Tempest” pictures a raven flying from a devastated landscape to a sunny one. What does it mean? – We’ve had birds on our record sleeves before, but then we used ostriches. People thought we were some kind of comedy act! In fact it was an inside joke which only the band understood. We changed to a raven, which is a more metal bird. The raven will look powerful on our merch. The landscapes symbolize what the band has left behind and the band’s future. We’ve recently changed drummers and singers. Also, we strive to reach a style of our own, a bit more distant to Edguy or Helloween. What has new singer Jack L Stroem meant to the band? – A whole lot. He’s brought new energy and lots of creative spirit. Unlike our previous singer Isak Stenvall, he’s not really a power metal singer, but rather a classic rock vocalist who reaches high notes….

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