The legendary english heavy metal band Blitzkrieg will release it's new album "Judge Not" on the 27th of april through the danish label Mighty Music. We had a talk with the longtime member and guitarist Ken Johnson about the new album.
Hallo. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Why did you choose this title for the record?
Ken Johnson: The title `Judge Not` phrasing in full is `judge not lest you yourself be judged` , an old saying simply meaning those that are prepared to judge others also leave themselves open to be judged themselves in whatever form.
When did you start working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?
Ken Johnson: I initially started working on material for this album in 2016 , started recording a few ideas I had and building on them and editing them until I was happy myself with them to a point , we then signed for mighty music in the January of 2017 , and the plan was to first release a single so the tracks `Reign of Fire ` and ` Judge Not…` were chosen for the single release , while after the recording we continued to work on the rest of the album material , from the intial starting point to the completed arrangement ready for recording , its probably taken just over a year to complete the process for the album , as for writing the material no it wasn’t hard at all, once got into the stride the ideas seemed to come out quite easily
Where did you record the album, and who produced it? How did the cooperation go between the band and the producer?
Ken Johnson: We recorded the album at Downcast Base HQ in Newcastle under the watchful eye of Phil Davies , phil is also the drummer in Mythra so he knew what we were looking for and the cooperation from him for keeping us in check and work ethic was excellent , then the tracks were sent to Denmark to Hansen Studios where Jonas Haagensen mixed the album
Are you trying to express something through your music?
Ken Johnson: I don’t think we are trying to express anything in our music apart from the obvious were a british metal band with our roots implanted in the new wave of british heavey metal genre
Since we are closing in on the release date of the album, how has the response from the press been?
Ken Johnson: First off , id like to say Mighty Musics promotion of this album has been outstanding awesome, the press response has been very good as well in fact , but like everything you wont have everyone that likes what youre doing , so theres been a couple of colder responses , but I guess every band has to accept that once you put your material or work into the public domain
You've already released the first song online for your fans to hear, how has the new material been received from the fans so far?
Ken Johnson: It seems like the fans are really liking what we have done, and some of our closest friends who have heard a little more all have been very complimentary and also excited for us
Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?
Ken Johnson: Lee Murphy was the artist , he also worked on other Blitzkrieg releases , not soo much an idea
Blitzkrieg (like maiden) have lets say a mascot which is the Bird of Armageddon that has been featured on every release to date , so here he is now in his 2018 form
How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?
Ken Johnson: I think personally it’s a good natural step from the last studio release `Back from Hell` , and the inclusion since then of matt graham on drums has gave us a more dynamic on the drums and sonically the overall mix for me is outstanding
What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?
Ken Johnson: Hmmm I grew up listening to Judas Priest , Kiss , Scorpions , early Rainbow , etc etc and also grew up through that NWOBHM period in the UK , as for new music its not really new but I absolutely love bands such as Symphony X , Queensryche , Edguy , Eclipse etc
Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?
Ken Johnson: For me when I was writing some of the material , the inspiration points came from the likes of .. Priest , Accept , Queensryche and Dio
In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far and what has been your biggest experience through the years?
Ken Johnson: To Date for me playing to about 70,000 at Wacken is a stand out , also touring with Saxon and also having the chance to tour South America and Japan.
But I think for any band the chance to go out and tour or play festivals off the music you have made is a very good achievement
Could we expect any European tour and maybe see the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
Ken Johnson: We Have a couple of shows in Europe in May , May 5th at Metal Bash in Hamburg Germany , followed by Nordic Noise in Copenhagen on May 11th , we are currently finalising a European tour for September
What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
Ken Johnson: I think speaking for us all in the band it would have to be to tour with Judas Priest
Do you have any breaking news with the bands?
Ken Johnson: No nothing at present , apart from the fact Judge Not will be also released in the far east in Japan through Spiritual Beast
That's all we've get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
Ken Johnson: Just that were so excited about this release our first on mighty music , and we all really cant wait to come out and play live throughout 2018 and beyond and big thanks to EVERYONE who made this all possible , and a salute to the Blitzkrieg fans for staying with the band over the years through thick and thin
We would like to say thanks a lot for your time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.