If you’ve never heard the name Alestorm, chances are you’ve been missing out on the glorious world of pirate metal. This band embodies the raucous fun of metal sea shanties, and awesome folk/ power metal filled with lyrical tales of adventure and plundering. These piratical badasses hail from Perth, Scotland, and will be gracing our Australian shores this May. Ahead of the tour, we got the opportunity to chat with vocalist Christopher Bowes about their upcoming album, alcohol and wenches.
You guys are heading to Australia for the Back Through Time tour, and we are very excited to have you back. What’s your favourite thing about playing in Australia?
I love the fact that you guys speak English! Seriously! We spend a lot of our time touring around europe, and we make a lot of jokes on stage, which tend to completely fly over the heads of our audience. Everything seems more natural when we play to you guys. Also the good weather helps too! 365 days of rain a year gets a bit boring.
What can fans expect from a live Alestorm show?
If you’re expecting a bunch of gay-ass historical re-encators to tell authentic pirate tales from days of yore while dressed up in ridiculous anachronistic costumes… you’re at the wrong show! We’re coming to your town to rock out and party hard. Expect alcohol and lots of wenches.
What has been your favourite moment on tour with Alestorm?
Just getting the chance to see all these places around the world! We’re all poor-as-shit dole scum kids, who wouldn’t have had a chance to see the world if someone wasn’t paying for our plane tickets to all these mad daft far-flung locations. Australia and the USA have been definite highlights of that.
Which Alestorm song is the most fun to play live?
Personally I love playing "Captain Morgan’s Revenge", cos it’s really easy to play and gives me an excuse to bounce around the stage like a lunatic. I’ve perfected the art of playing the keyboard solo in it while pogo-dancing. Damn I’m so fucking cool. I wanna touch myself right now. A lot of our other songs require more concentration to pull off.
Can you tell us a bit about what to expect from your upcoming album Back Through Time?
Expect the most ridiculous folk/power metal album you can imagine! There’s blastbeats aplenty. There’s inhuman black metal screams. There’s a 2-second long song. And there’s more accordions and violins than you can shake a stick at. It’s generally a lot more varied and experimental than our previous albums, I just hope everyone enjoys it!
The video for Keelhauled was all kinds of epic. Any plans for future Alestorm music videos?
Yep! By the time you read this, we’ll have jetted off to Serbia (of all places) to film a video for our new song "Shipwrecked". It’s going to be all ridiculous and CGI. We’re going to feel rather silly dancing around infront of a blue screen. Apparently they’re gonna photoshop in some hot babes with massive racks. I can’t wait to see it!
You guys are pioneers of pirate metal, but what did you grow up listening to? What bands inspire you?
The band Bal-Sagoth inspires me the most, they’ve been my favourite band for as long as i’ve been into metal. The way they have this incredible amount of keyboards in their music, as well as the fantastic atmosphere they invoke, I just find it all totally amazing. They’re what made me want to write ridiculous overblown music like I do. One day I’d love to play a gig with those guys!
When the band first started out, did you ever imagine Alestorm to be as successful as it has?
Hah, of course not! Back when we started this band we were just kids who knew nothing about the music industry or anything, we were just having a bit of fun and writing some cool songs about pirates. If you’d told me 5 or 6 years ago what I’d be doing now, I’d never believe you!
Have you always known making pirate metal was your calling in life? What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in music?
I was at university studying Mathematics when this band got signed and we got our chance to throw it all in and go on tour. I’d have probably ended up in some research facility designing nuclear weapons. I’m sure the pay would have been great, but this is much more fun! My plan is to keep doing the music thing for as long as I can!
If Alestorm could collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would you choose?
Prince. I’d love to do a duet with him. He brings the sex. Or maybe Elton John, just so I could do that "ladies and gentlemen, Mr Elton John!" thing.
Finally, what does the future hold for Alestorm? Will pirate metal live on far into the future?
I’m sure we’ll write another album in a couple of years, who knows what it’ll sound like though?! There’ll definitely be tales of piracy and alcohol abuse. Might throw in a few other crazy elements too… We shall see. Right now we don’t feel like we have to confine ourselves to the "folk metal" sound. Of course we’ll have accordions and violins and singalong choruses, but there’s so much more else we can throw into the songs. You ain’t seen the last of us, that’s for sure.