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The Power of Metal with Sven D’Anna from Wizard and Feanor

The Power of Metal with Sven D’Anna from Wizard and Feanor

WIZARD – Photo Credit: Jochen van Eden

The Power of Metal with Sven D’Anna from Wizard and Feanor

The almighty Wizard is now celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band waving the true metal banner very high and proud.  And now with the unveiling of latest studio album Metal In My Head via Massacre Records, Wizard present to their fans all over the world a grand and glorious fist pumping masterwork of an album to bang their heads to as these pandemic days rage relentlessly on.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed vocalist Sven D’Anna to discuss the dynamic Metal In My Head, being in a band for 3o years and counting, news on his second project Feanor, and other metallizing topics of intrigue.  Read on…

Let’s talk about the new Wizard album. Is there any story or concept behind that title Metal In My Head?
No not really – there’s no concept or story. I think the song describes our feelings regarding metal and regarding the scene. Yes – and that’s it.

You have a song on the album called 30 Years Of Metal. What goes on through your mind knowing that you’ve been with Wizard for 30 years and counting now?
It’s really crazy, you know. That song I wrote during the pandemic – the first lockdown in March. I sat in my cellar here in my heavy metal room and had a few drinks and thought about the 30 years of Wizard. So, I had to write this song because the feeling was really great. We have a lot of really great things done – a lot of great concerts all over the world. It’s fantastic!

When you look back at the first demo you did in 1989, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
The demo is really cool, but I’m not really satisfied right now when I listen to it. Because 30 years ago, my vocals were not so good. It was a cool demo for the first time and a long time ago, but it’s not the best album we made, ya know? (Much laughter)

Well let’s get back to Metal In My Head. Tell me about the second single from the album I Bring Light Into The Dark, and what was the inspiration behind it.
The inspiration of that was a film I saw – I look at a lot of movie things and mystic things.

Tell me about the song Whirlewolf – what was the inspiration for that particular song and where it came from.
I wrote that song for a great, great friend and brother Martjo Brongers (Vortex, Steel Shock) – he passed away in 1990. I thought I have to make a cool song for him to describe my feelings and all this shit. We cannot play any piano, so I asked my friend from FeanorGustavo Acosta to play some piano parts for me. He sent me those piano parts and I made the whole song of those piano parts. We don’t record often a ballad on albums, but this time we did as a tribute to our friend who passed away.

What was it like to write and record new music in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
It was very good because you have a lot of time to do this. All concerts were cancelled and all this shit, so we had to stay at home – and the best thing you could do is write new songs – so it was good – very good – for us – not the whole world.

I find that a lot of bands and musicians have been very creative and prolific during this time – because they’ve got all of the time in the world to do it now!
Yeah! You cannot do anything else than make music – otherwise you will go crazy without heavy metal. It’s not possible to practice, it’s not possible to play concerts – so yeah, you have to do something.

Tell me about your new guitarist Tommy Hartung and how he became involved with the band.
Tommy is an old friend of us, and he played with our bass player Arndt Ratering a long time ago in a band called No Inner Limits. It was not true heavy metal – it was more complicated metal – but it was cool! So, after Dano Boland was out of the band, we thought about going on as four people – but then came Tommy and asked us if we needed a guitar player and tried to practice together and checked some things together – and yeah, it’s good with him. It’s a good feeling.

What are you looking forward to the most about your shows with Stormwarrior in October – of course if they happen.
IF they happen. First of all, I think if this tour will happen, I will go naked on tour because I will have so fun if it’s going to happen… (Much laughter). So yeah, we will go for our first time to Sweden, so I think this could be a great event for us.

Has Wizard ever played here in the States and if so, what was the experience like?
We played one time in Chicago at the Ragnorokk Metal Apocalypse Festival (2012) with Virgin Steele and Brocas Helm and Skull Fist. It was a great experience, and it was also my first time in the US. We came there and all of the people were great, and we had a lot of fun – a great show. I was very happy because there were really a lot of Wizard fans out there. They came to the show with CD’s and wanted us to sign them. It was a really great experience for me.

Your other band Feanor has an album coming out in April. Tell me about the title of that album Power Of The Chosen One.
Power Of The Chosen One – that’s a song I wrote together with David Shankle. In 2007, my first wife passed away and it was a very, very hard time for me. And I thought back to this time when I wrote the lyrics for Power Of The Chosen One – because normally it’s a hard theme, but I tried to put this theme in a fantasy context to tell that you have to fight and also be with friends by your side. Life is not every time a party theme, you know? So yeah, I think that’s it in a short way.

What could a Wizard fan expect when they hear the new Feanor album?
I think they can expect epic heavy metal!

Would Feanor and Wizard ever want to do some shows or tours together, or has that already happened?
No, no that hasn’t happened. I was two times in Argentina that I made a tour with Feanor. But with Feanor, since now we have not had the powers to make tours in Europe. It’s hard because of the money and they all have to fly to Europe. But it’s like that – I never know what’s going on in the future.

And that kind of goes into my next question – what do you hope 2021 brings for you and for Wizard?
First of all, I hope that all people will love the new record. I expect not too much from 2021 because of the pandemic this year. Perhaps we can play some great shows at the end of the year – but right now I expect not very much.

Do you have any messages for Wizard fans here in the States?
Right now, you can hear our new songs on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music – and I believe that most of the people who listen to our new songs come from the USA – and that’s f*cking great! Thank you for the support = and check out the new album Metal In My Head – true f*cking heavy metal from Germany! So, visit us on Facebook, listen to us on Spotify, and better yet buy the new album!

Sven D’Anna – Vocals
Michael Maass – Guitars
Tommy Hartung – Guitars
Arndt Ratering – Bass
Sören van Heek – Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Wizard on Facebook
Feanor on Facebook
Massacre Records on Facebook

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