With over a decade of high quality releases, Spain’s Iron Curtain have established themselves as one of their country’s finest traditional metal bands. From day one their no frills, zero prisoners approach to music has captivated the metal underground. With partnership from our friends over at NWOTHM Full and Dying Victims Productions, we are excited to present you the opening track to their upcoming fourth album – “Wildlife”! Also included below is an interview with founding member, vocalist, and guitarist Mike Leprosy.
Danger Zone expected release: December 1st, 2019 via Dying Victims Productions
Hi Mike! How’s everything going on behind the Iron Curtain? I guess you are just looking forward to finally see this new album released as much as we do, right?
Hi Edu! I’m right now in the beach, surrounded by pretty girls, drinking a few beers and listening “Custom Killing” of mighty RAZOR! Yes we are very excited to release a new record. Our previous one was in fall 2016 and we wanted to look forward. We hope that Heavy Metal fans love the record as much as we do!
First of all, I’d like to introduce this new advance song, “Wildfire”, a fast and dirty rocking tune which also happens to be the opening track of the album. How would you describe the influences for this song? I see some Exciter and an overall strong speed metal vibe on this one. Why did you decide to open the album with this one?
Yes!, Wildlife is opening track for the new record “Danger Zone” and have that Speed Metal vibe of Exciter, Acid, Venom and Spanish legends Muro, probably that bands were in my mind when I wrote Wildlife. Lyrics speaks about lust, passion, primitive sex and hell.
When the songs were finished I ask myself about what song should open “Danger Zone” and I think that Wildlife fit perfect, start with like an intro and after go for the throat, speedy, catchy and no more than 3 minutes!.
I’ve had the chance to listen to the whole album and, at the risk of sounding like a cliché, I think this is your best work so far. How has been the creative process of “Danger Zone” during these past three years?
Thanks bro!!, You are right! I think that it’s our more personal, variety, risky and best record till date. You can find song from Speed Metal graves to 70’s Hard Rock and of course NWOBHM and standard Heavy Metal attack. The writing process was between December 18 – April 19, only a couple of riffs before that time. 2018 was a hard year for the band and myself, I had too much work, I had a (precious) baby, we change our drummer, Alberto was busy as fuck and impossible to continue with us, we were some months stopped thinking about the future… “Danger Zone” is the mirror of than time, mixed experiences, high and low moment.
This is the first full-length you have recorded at SUP Studios in Cartagena, close to your hometown Murcia, instead of Moontower Studios in Barcelona where you recorded all your previous albums. Was this decision merely logistical or did you want to try something different? How was the experience?
Both things, we wanted to change and try another studios, even we are extremely happy with Javi and Moontower, he know the band since the very begining, we are friends and he have a killer studio too.
But it’s important to discover new experiences, at the same time it was complicated to drive 750 kms (1500 come and back) in the weekend to record in Moontower cause they are close to Barcelona.
SUP studios is a new place, Dani is young producer but have a lot of great ideas, his tech skills are awesome, he plays in many bands and he knows exactly what are you looking for. You must check Injector, probably one of the best Thrash acts from Spain nowadays.
SUP have a great future insight, with more experience he will improve more and more. “Danger Zone” is probably the most effort of the studio at this moment, and he was in all the process.
Besides Motörhead, Tank and the Canadian speed metal bands you are often compared with, I also see many influences from the early NWOBHM and plenty of harmonies reminiscent of 70s bands such as Thin Lizzy or UFO. Even within that Motörhead influence, I tend to see a die-hard worship of their classic 70s productions and rock ‘n’ roll sound, rather than the 80s fat sound most bands influenced by the legendary power trio try to emulate. How would you describe this mix of influences and the balance between them?
We have a lot of influences, too much maybe, cause we are developing our music in every song and record. Musically we have a lot of the NWOBHM, specially Venom, Motörhead, Tank, Jaguar, Sweet Savage, Raven or even first Def Leppard… my voice is closer to Lemmy, Cronos or Algy Ward thats true, but it’s 100% natural. Many bands of 21th century sounds similar to just 1 or 2 bands, we sound like Heavy Metal should be, another ART manifestation.
Another important point in the band foundation are the 70’s Hard Rock and all the proto-metal bands. That’s the place to find the roots of real Heavy Metal sound. I specially worship Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, Purple, UFO, Ted Nugent, Lucifer’s Friend… Oh! and I can’t forget Rainbow, Riot or Grand Funk Railroad to name bands that inspired me A LOT!.
Balance? Iron Curtain is: 30 % NWOBHM, 30% Hard 60’s & 70’s Rock, 30% Speed Metal, 10 % US Metal.
I can’t help but ask about this one. I think we’re both Arnold Schwarzenegger fans, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw you have dedicated a song to The Running Man! What a killer movie! Has there ever been a more heavy metal villain than Dynamo? Which other movies have influenced Iron Curtain? I know you have also played with Western aesthetics before, with Outlaw for example, a song about Josey Wales.
Hahaha, Dynamo should be in a Piledriver cover artwork! Or isn’t it yet?. Pure Heavy Metal, with all the electricity, sexual perverted, pure 80’s icon. I was re-watching The Running Man and I though!, fuck I need to make a song about this! Hahaha, and I’m very happy with the final result, think that it’s one of the best song of “Danger Zone”.
For this record lyrics have more special point. “Danger Zone” speaks about “Top Gun” movie and the fight in the air between the pilots, “Mad Dogs” is about “Bonny & Clyde” after see last movie “The Highwaymen”, the man who chase the gang.
Yes!, the Outlaw Ep was dedicated to that movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, and definitely it was something that worked very good and I wanted to repeat and to be honest, every time that I listen IRON MAIDEN think: “Hey Mike, you need to make more songs inspired in movies”, cause they have a lot and it’s a great fountain of inspiration.
Let’s talk about the artwork! It’s an amazing photo illustration by 2112 Producciones. As I told you the other day, I feel like it brings back the old tradition of artworks such as Judas Priest “Sin After Sin” or the Black Sabbath debut, which were right between an actual photograph and an artistic illustration. How did you come up with this idea? Which were the directions you gave to the studio?
Thank you Edu, really appreciate. We had some ideas in mind, all of them were photos and the concepts was something like you exactly said, 70’s or first 80’s works. Judas Priest, Sabbath, The Rods, Piledriver, Lucifer’s Friend… After think a lot, Joserra, bass player said that he knows a old Hermitage that could works. Sunday evening I took the car and look for that place, I found it and definitely I saw that idea. Next weekend we were shooting pics. Laura, Joserra’s wife help us, she is the lady of the cover, all the elements are real, but the works was done by our friends of 2112 Prods (they worked with us in the “Take it Back” video”). Definitely Sergio made a GREAT work giving the final result a great touch fucking old school.
We wanted something that fit with the band tradition but stepping forward. Only Iron Curtain is doing that artworks nowadays.
The main direction I did is: Please No digital result, No funny shit. He is a fanatic of horror movies, old school guy, I was total confident with that he would nailed it.
90% of the people has understand the cover and the idea to look forward and like it a lot, others, were expecting I did in the 3 previous cover, this time was to change.
We’ve talked about the opening track before, so now it’s time to talk about the last song of the album, Lonewolf. It’s an epic and climactic 6 minute track that takes us back to those old Western dusty lands you love, with the story of outlaw Sandy Williams. I don’t really want to give too much away, but that rocking influence of bands such as Thin Lizzy or UFO we were talking about in a previous questions is stronger than ever on this one, and I think I had never listened to an Iron Curtain song similar to this one. What can you tell us about it?
I think that Lonewolf is the best song we have done till date. It’s a classic song, musically inspired by that epic songs of Triumph (Lay it on the Line), Sortilege (Chasse le Dragon), Saxon Christopher Cross (Ride like the Wind), Judas Priest (Out in the Cold), Scorpions (No One like you) among others. Big songs, Big Bands, Top Quality.
The lyrics continues were “Outlaw Ep” stopped. This time is an invented story about a cowgirl named “Sandy Williams”, that need to fight in a man’s world. I could say that it’s a feminist story trying to speak about real world and our social problems.
I’m very happy with this song. In the past we did cool songs like “Burning Wheels”, “Cheaper Whiskey Woman” or “Guilty as Charged”. “Lonewolf” is another important step for me as a songwriter to be honest.
To finish this interview, let us know which are your plans to promote this album now, are you preparing any live dates?
We have very good offers to play live cause we are almost 2 years without playing for the reasons I said. I would like to play as much as possible but work, family and other issues make to play live every day more difficult.
I have cool ideas to play live, stage, lights… Probably we’ll make a release date spring 2020, it’s close some shows around that time too, some of them for summer 2020 too and time will tell.
Recently we got a mail to play in the States, but It’s difficult. Let’s see what happens!
That’s all, thanks a lot for your time Mike! Feel free to add anything else.
Thanks Edu for the support and the interview, Thanks to Ride Into Glory for the room too! and thanks to all the readers to spent some time reading this! We hope you like the new record as much as we like it.
Heavy Metal without Anesthesia!!