Metal Evolution (2011) s01e10 Episode Script

Power Metal

Sam Dunn: This weeks' episode
takes me back to Europe
to explore metals most over
the top sub-genre; Power Metal.
Power Metal is known for
its high vocals, epic song
arrangements and Dungeons and
Dragons like band names,
like Man O War, Hammerfall
and Blind Guardian.
It's a metal style that's hugely
popular in Europe, and seems to
bear all of the hallmarks of
traditional heavy metal,
but oddly, this sub-genre
is completely alien to me
so what exactly is this
thing called Power Metal
and why has this style
remained so mysterious.
My exploration of
Power Metal takes me deep
into the heart of Slovenia;
a tiny European country
on the eastern
edge of the Alps.
Slovenia is home to Metal Camp,
an annual 3-day celebration
of all things Power Metal.
Fan: We are the (beep) epic
metal warriors from Austria,
Austrian Metal Empire
for all our glory,
strength, beauty and wisdom.
Sam: I'm trying to understand
what the hell Power Metal is
cause' when I grew up I
didn't know what this is,
it didn't exist in Canada.
Sam: How would you describe
Power Metal? The sound of it.
Fan: Girlish. Lots of people
who go to festivals have
girlfriends and they need a band
to show the girlfriend to.
Fan: It's called Power Metal
because everybody can scream
with it, it's strong and fast
music with very high vocals.
Sam: So why isn't it
just called Heavy Metal?
Sam: How would you
define Power Metal?
What is it?
Sandro Buti: Very easy
melodies, very happy melodies,
so melodies that you
can sing-a-long.
Some people still call
melodic power metal happy metal.
Carl Begai: I was
playing dress-up.
This loud obnoxious fun music
with studs and armour plating
stuff like this I mean
that's part of the fun.
Goetz Kunhemund: Power Metal you
want to get everybody involved.
Every Power Metal band that
enters the stage wants
the audience to sing-a-long
with them. It's more important
to them to bang their
heads or play air guitar.
Martin Popoff: You see the crowd
locked in arms singing along,
it's not an embarrassing thing
to be singing along to riffs,
or solo's or lyrics at
a Power Metal show
it's like a big beer hall soccer
hall chant sort of situation.
Sam: The strong element
of Power Metal is this
joyous sing along, is
it important to have
that feeling of the
crowd being with you?
Hansi Kursch: When we compose
songs this is what we have
in mind you know. You
wanna have a sort of
sing a long which people
easily can relate to.
Marcus Siepen: It's amazing you
know you start playing the show
and everybody in the audience
is singing every single word,
and it still gives me goosebumps
you know, its its pure magic.
Goetz: When people go out to a
pub in Germany and they have 10
beers the stuff they can sing
must be very simple, as melodic
as possible so everybody can
join in and that's what we call
schlager everybody in
Germany grew up with that stuff.
Sam: You see people who are
dressed up in battle gear
and all of these
kinds of things.
Sandro: It has to
do with our history.
People look back into
their traditions because
they believe in them, because
it's just cool to show.
If you think of Swedish
or Norwegian metal fans,
Vikings are really part
of their history,
the history of
hoards and swords.
Martin: You hear this
kind of strange
European Alchemy going
on, you hear melodies
you hear little hints of
classical things happening.
Sandro: Classical music out of
the 17th century, 18th century,
19th century many European fans
even if they're rock fans
or metal fans some how
have in their blood.
It's something you get from
parents, from aunts and uncles.
Luca Turilli: Bach, Paganini
that were the first metaliers,
for sure the emotional
impact they were
transmitting through the use
of the Italian orchestra
it's the same you can
get from a metal band.
There's clearly a strong
link between power metal
and traditional European
music and culture, and this is
beginning to explain why
this style is so foreign to me.
But Power Metal also emerged
in the 1990's when thrash and
glam metal were dead and
more mainstream sub-genres
like grunge were exploding.
Goetz: Grunge music was all
about not being a rockstar,
not being cool, not
being in party mood,
not celebrating what you love.
Kai Hansen: Classic metal
had gotten a bit stale.
If you were a band that
was playing this kind of
classic metal you
were seen as like
a dinosaur and something
completely out of fashion.
It was tough times; it
was a time of confusion.
Sandro: Everyone was saying
heavy metal is dead and
I think somehow the crowd was
missing this kind of approach;
this kind of traditional metal
and they were just looking
for a band to come
and play that sound.
Sam: Take me back to when
you guys first started and
describe to me why was it
important to you to create
the style of music that
Hammerfall plays.
Oscar Dronjac: We created
Hammerfall so that we would have
something fun because nobody
else did anything on stage
or at concerts and albums
that we thought was fun.
Everything around us was what
we did not want music to be.
We basically created the band
that we wanted to listen to
and watch play live ourselves.
Sam: Why do you guys think
you made that really quite
immediate impact?
Oscar: The metal community
was wanting this without even
knowing it probably. I don't
think we even expected
it until we went on stage for
the first time in Germany,
Wacken Open Air in '97 and
that's when we realized,
wow people were actually ready
for this type of music.
Sandro: Hammerfall were one
of the first bands to bring
back rivets and the leather on
stage, that's something that
of course in the grunge times
with it being laughable
for most of the fans
and most of the bands.
Martin: What you have is, is a
band saying we're not going to
apologize for any of these
clichés anymore, these clichés
actually served a whole lot of
bands well for 15 or 20 years
and they're gonna
serve us well dammit.
Goetz: When Hammerfall entered
the German charts heavy metal
broke out big again and they
sold a lot of records, of course
other bands were signed too
from Finland, from Belgium, from
Holland, from France, the time
was right for heavy metal to
come back, for real
heavy metal to come back.
I now have a better
understanding of why Hammerfall
and the power metal scene made
such a huge impact in Europe
during the 90's but I'm still
uncertain about power metal's
connection to the
history of heavy metal music.
What exactly was power
metal attempting to revive?
(Crowd cheering)
Power Metal is a sub-genre
that revived classic
heavy metal's obsession with
fantasy and European folklore
but this obsession didn't start
with bands like Hammerfall.
The band that pioneered
fantasy metal was Rainbow.
So I'm revisiting the
interview I did with Rainbow's
legendary vocalist Ronnie
James Dio five years before his
untimely death in 2010 to
understand how he laid the
groundwork for the
power metal lyrical style.
Ronnie James Dio: I read
at such an early age and
read all about dragons
and knights and
damsels in distress and great
science fiction works.
I was just whoa I got to
create what these images
are and upon myself,
that's so cool.
I decided to put all the things
that I wrote in this kind of
fantasy area which made
you have to think,
what is he talking
about? Oh he said that,
I wonder what that looks like.
I wanted people to have to use
their imagination the way I did
and create their own dragons.
Martin: Rainbow is a direct
influence on modern power
metal, probably the main reason
would be Ronnie James Dio as a
lyricist and this world that he
creates of fantasy through songs
like "Temple Of The King",
"Kill The King",
"A Light In The Black",
it's legend and myth, medieval
times, renaissance times.
Jone Nikula: When you think
of the power metal bands,
Ronnie James Dio was like a
prototype of a lead singer,
he was able to define the
whole thing of being
the singer hero as opposed
to a guitar hero.
Kai Hansen: Ronnie's way of
storytelling was really amazing,
everything was left to
imagination, it was like
painting pictures in
somebody else's head.
Marcus: I've always been
a big fantasy fan and
he brought it into hard
rock and metal music.
Yeah and the horns,
Dio brought the horns.
Not the Vikings. (laughs)
Ronnie: Evil is a great
subject, the symbolism which
is incredible for artwork,
for stage presentation,
it goes well with black
leather and chains and lights
and pyrotechnics, it's just
a perfect medium for it.
Evil is something we know about
but don't understand why it
happens and don't ever really
meet up with the devil, again
it's kind of uh having to
use your own imagination.
While Dio established the
Power Metal lyrical style,
the singer who created the
blueprint for the Power Metal
vocal delivery was
Judas Priest's Rob Halford.
Earlier in this series I
explored Priest's role in
forging the heavy metal
identity, but what was
innovative about their music and
Robs approach to metal vocals?
Rob Halford: I'm always looking
to try and experiment,
you just wanna do as many things
as you can possibly do and
you always want to go to
eleven (laughs) you do.
Before inner ear monitors,
before any decent monitors you
had to scream your (beep)
throat out just to hear yourself
on stage, you know your battling
against all that volume, I mean
you can't lie back you know
you gotta rip your throat out.
Martin: All of us head bangers
as kids would sit around
and listen to that and go
"Is this even metal?"
It was so foreign because Rob
Halford was classical studied,
singing high almost all the
time, without Rob Halford
you wouldn't have Ralf
Scheepers from Primal Fear,
you wouldn't have Timo
Kotipelto from Stratovarius.
Basically the characteristic
Power Metal vocal,
almost to the point where
it's not Power Metal
if you don't have
this kind of vocal.
Joacim: Judas Priest is
more less the definition of
Heavy Metal in my opinion.
Oscar: Yeah I would
have to agree with that.
I mean the combination
of Halfords singing and
Tipton and Downings
guitars, that's what made
me hooked on them
in the beginning.
Sam: What did Tipton and
Downing do that was different?
Mat Sinner: If they had only
one guitarist it didn't give you
that Power Metal
approach they have.
The songs were that good because
they have 2 guitarist playing
the same riff in a very
tight way at the same moment.
Marcus: Especially in a
life situation, if you have 2
guitarist it gives you much more
options because if there's just
one player and he plays a solo,
you know all the low end all the
bottom is gone because there's
no rhythm guitar anymore.
Glenn Tipton: If Ken take the
lead I'll play the rhythm so you
don't get something falling
out, if I play lead Ken can play
rhythm exactly the same and we
could do fast harmony's together
you know which is
heavy metal harmony.
K.K. Downing: I think it's
really exciting to have
2 guitar players in the
band when the guys
are just pounding out a riff
or just head-banging together.
Judas Priest wasn't the
only British Metal band that
used 2 guitars for
added attack in dynamics.
In the early 80's London's
Iron Maiden forged a sound that
brought a new melodic and
epic sensibility to the genre,
becoming heavy metal's
first sing-a-long band.
Sam: How does the melody in
the music make the live
environment with an
audience stronger?
Steve Harris: Things I've always
wanted to do with Maiden,
is that basically any
guitar melody could be
a vocal melody or vice versa.
In a lot of countries you
go to where English is
not their first language
or they don't even speak English
at all, they're still singing
the melodies and to me
that says it all really.
Bruce Dickinson: Well, call
us old fashion but unless
there's a tune I think I'm
probabaly going home.
Any melody is a combination
of notes that are exciting or
pleasing to the ear played
in a sequence which is also
exciting or pleasing to the
ear and that's all it is.
Adrian Smith: People say Maiden
is metal and I suppose it is,
but you have that melodic
almost folky influence.
Steve: You try and calm
frank melody with power
and aggression and the
progressive thing
this is what we
were trying to do.
You have all those elements
it's a pretty potent force.
Mat: They are big anthems, so I
think they were very special
in creating a very epic
style of heavy metal.
Marcus: When I started listening
to this kind of music and more
less the other guys who are
playing power Metal today too,
Maiden has been the big thing,
they have been the metal band
that kind of unified the whole
scene. The kind of band
that everybody in the metal
scene could agree on.
Power Metal was strongly
influenced by the classic
British Heavy Metal bands, but
most Power Metal bands are from
Germany, so I'm gonna take this
time to explore the history
of German Metal and how it might
be related to Power Metal.
There's no other place to
start than the Scorpions.
Sam: Tell me a bit about what
Germany was like culturally
when the Scorpions
just started to come up.
Rudolf Schenker: Everything we
had in Germany was for us,
as young guys terribly.
You have to be and work hard and
make sure that you have a job,
which you can, maybe
do until you are 65
and we said this is not
what we wanna do.
When I heard the first time,
Little Richard, Elvis Presley,
a new dimension came into my
life even as we were doing
it at the start, the English
we understood the message,
here is a way we
can live our life,
enjoy life and make
other people happy.
Sam: Why do you think the
Scorpions seem to set in motion
this whole new movement
of German rock and metal?
Rudolf: Because of the
history of Germany we had
always the feeling when we
came in different countries
that we want to show the people
there's a new generation
coming up from Germany,
not coming with tanks
coming with guitars
and bringing a laugh.
Kai Hansen: The Scorpions were
of absolute importance to me.
I was listening to Tokyo Tapes
up and down, this album for me
was a big revelation as well as
Uli Jon Roth's guitar playing,
having the hard
edge and the melody.
Uli Jon Roth: Klaus,
Rudolf and myself
the ones who kind
of wrote the music
we were all very
melody driven people.
Being a rock band that was
really melodic both in terms of
vocal and in terms of
dual guitars was unusual.
Hansi: It was like delivering
great rhythm guitar
orientated music
but at the same time having such
extraordinary lead guitar.
Klaus Meine has a unique
voice that gave confidence
to any vocalist in Germany to
go in a different direction
and not follow any of the
British stereotypes.
Mat: I think the Scorpions
showed every German band
what is possible to go out and
play your music in every little
part of the world where it's
possible and they showed
all the other German bands
what could be done.
The Scorpions blew
open the door for future
generations of Metal Musicians
to pursue heavy metal music
and then the next German
band to make their mark
on the international
stage was Accept.
Udo Dirkschneider: We always
said ok we are harder
than the Scorpions, that
was always our thing
to say okay we are much heavier
than the Scorpions and
I think we were much heavier
than the Scorpions.
That was really also for the
first time a band was doing
really something special
on stage, also clothes by
stage clothes in the beginning
there was all this leather
and blah blah blah, then
came up this military stuff
and yeah then the
whole thing was born.
Sam: When I've talked to
other bands they've cited
Accept as a big unfluence.
Joacim: If you look at
Hammerfall live you will
understand that they
were a big influence,
with the synchronized
movements and
Oscar: I remember Udo said once
in Moscow, if you're gonna do
these movements make sure
everybody does them in time.
Kai: They had this ballet
element in there; guitar ballet
that was synchronicity and
stuff. Priest had that already
but uh except maybe even more
German marching. It gave
the band kind of uniform,
power coming from the front.
As the '80s progressed,
heavier sub-genre's
like Thrash metal were on the
rise and bands like Accept
and the Scorpions were no
longer on the van guard
of heavy metal music. But the
German band that embraced
metal's faster more aggressive
sound was Helloween.
Sam: When people talk as you
know about Helloweens music
they often say, it was kind
of like Iron Maiden but
of something a little
bit different.
Kai: When we did the first,
I think it was a mini LP or
something, in the magazines and
the reviews they called us Iron
Maiden on speed and they
definitely were not so wrong
with that because we were very
Maidenish with the twin guitars
and stuff but everything a bit
faster a bit more aggressive.
Goetz: In the beginning
Helloween was Germany's answer
to Iron Maiden so they had
to sound unique somehow.
They were the first German band
to take traditional heavy metal
as we knew it from
England back in
the early '80s one
step further.
The other guitar player Weiki,
very much the melody guy and I
was more the thrash guy
and we put that together.
Sam: The keeper albums
get held up as very
important records, why do
you think those records
have been considered
in this way?
Sandro: The 2 keepers can be
seen as the foundation for
90 percent of melodic
power metal bands, without
these 2 albums there
would be no Stratovarius,
no Sonata Arctica.
Hansi: There was no one you know
mingling Speed Metal elements at
that point with Maiden melodies
having some Priestish attitude
as well, and all without
denying its German roots.
In terms of lineage they
would be our direct father.
Next stop on my journey
into power metal takes
me all the way to the medieval
town of Bologna, Italy
in hopes of meeting up with
Swedish guitar legend
Yngwie Malmsteen who took
the sound of power metal
and transformed it into a
neo-classical phenomenon.
Although Yngwie is an
internationally renowned
musician he isn't the
easiest guy to pin down.
Sam: It's not easy
getting Yngwie Malmsteen.
He's a little elusive.
We had a plan we were
gonna go to a castle
but now he's not going
to the castle until a day after
we are here it's complicated.
He's a bit of a legend, he
kind of knows he's a legend,
that's part of the problem
he's very aware of it,
his legendness so
umm we'll get him.
We'll get him.
Sam: Well thanks for
doing this Yngwie,
I'm glad we could
make this work.
Yngwie: Me too.
Sam: What do you think metal
and classical music share?
Why do they work well together?
Yngwie: If you listen to
Vivaldi, you listen to the
melodies, the themes if you
just turn it up and put it
through a marshall stack
it sounds amazing.
It lends itself
to be played loud.
Sam: Were you attracted to
classical music because of
the virtuosity?
Yngwie: My older brother and
sister were playing Jakovsky and
I didn't feel like I was gonna
be left behind and I go
"Well I don't know that stuff,
but I know this blues scale".
Not saying that blues is bad,
it's just I wanna go further.
Martin: Yngwie Malmsteen
would quote classical music,
he would cover classical songs,
he recorded with an orchestra,
he was just this intense and
intensely European guy,
he was probably the guy who
made the biggest impact
on all the Power Metal
guitarists to come.
Kai: Yngwie really established
classical influences so
much into metal solo's
with the accuracy and
the speed especially in
this kind of controlled
wildness in his play.
What Blackmore had started,
Yngwie took it 1 or
2 levels further.
Yngwie: I think I was 9 when
'Made in Japan' came out and
I became fanatical about it and
I learned how to play all the
parts exactly so I figured out
if you took the LP and put it to
the cassette player, and
replaced left channel with a
little microphone the guitar
parts were more less gone and I
would just play everything, then
I would take these cassettes
around and I would play them
for my friends you know,
'hey listen to this', 'oh
ya ya it's Made in Japan',
'Is it?' 'Yeah.. No it's not'
and I would be so proud you
know, cause' I fooled them.
By combining the influence
of Deep Purple with
Classical music, Yngwie created
a sound that hadn't been heard
before, but it was one of
Yngwie's band mates who took
Power Metal beyond the
realm of the guitar.
Martin: What Jens Johannson
brought to the Yngwie Malmsteen
band and proved to be an
enormous influence on the future
Power Metal bands is that he
was aa virtuosic as Yngwie was.
Sam: How did you and Yngwie
work together in terms of song
writing and composing the
music that you guys made?
Jens Johannson: We would often
sit and get drunk listening
to Paganini that was
like his favourite.
And I would be like
'Ahh Paganini sucks,
Bach is much better
listen to this',
'Uhh ya it is better
but this is faster'.
You could have like this
interplay between the guitar and
keyboards, I would say it's
a fuller sound or a more
varied sound then you
get with 2 guitars.
Goetz: I think the difference
between Jens and other keyboard
players that were around in
the late '70s or the early '80s
is the fact that Jens
played heavy metal.
Jens used the keyboard
as a full instrument.
He had turned to what Jon
Lord had done with Deep Purple.
Sam: If you think about
what Deep Purple did
and you think about what
you did with Yngwie
what do you guys think you
did that was different?
Jens: I think it was harder,
like everything in the '80s
got harder, just a
different level of speed
with the solo's, and tempos.
Martin: With Yngwie Malmsteen
and Jens Johannson,
keyboards was no longer
something we had to
apologize for in
a metal context.
In the 1980's, Yngwie
Malmsteen and Jens Johannson
boldly took Power Metal
in a slicker more
keyboard oriented direction,
but then along came Man O War
who created their own
sub-genre called True Metal,
a style that brought Power Metal
back to its caveman roots.
But even after dozens of
phone calls and travelling
hundreds of miles to a
metal festival in Slovenia
to interview Man O War
band leader Joey DiMaio,
he refused to talk to me
and so I'm going back
across the Atlantic to
meet with an ex-member
to find out something
about this band.
Sam: So he's in Queens on
Metropolitan and so I've come
to a batting cage of all places
here in New York to meet with
Ross the Boss, the founding
guitarist of Man O War, because
I wanna ask him what did they
think of this term, True Metal.
Ross the Boss: Power Metal, True
Metal what is it? What are we?
I mean I dunno, to me it's
rock n' roll heavy metal.
We wanted to be one step beyond
what was happening that day,
one step beyond let's say
Judas Priest or Iron Maiden,
one step beyond the black
leather and the chains.
And Man O War
everything was bigger.
Goetz: Conan the Barbarian
combined with the drama
of Rainbow, and the pure
heavy metal of Iron Maiden
and the outcome is Man O War.
Sam: Why does Conan and
metal work so well together?
Ross: Because he's
such a kick ass guy,
I mean he just did
what he wanted to do,
he didn't follow any
rules and neither do we.
Carl: Biceps, sweat, loin
cloths, 3 quarter naked
woman on the album cover.
Musically speaking you know I
mean Man O War is Man O War man.
I mean seriously.
Jone: They are a very
entertaining live band,
its pure machismo it's
also like homoerotic
you know can't they
afford a shirt?
Sam: Man O War are talking
about True Metal,
what are they talking about?
Martin: Something to delineate
between frilly sleeves,
keyboard, moat metal, castle
metal, Yngwie Malmsteen
crushed you know velvet jacket
metal and guitar based
biker loose jean jacket
leather jacket metal.
Ross: Man O War tells you to
you know; go out in the world
kick ass do what you have to do,
be true. Be true to yourself,
be true to your family, be
true to you know your ideals.
Sam: So maybe True Metal
isn't such a bad term after all.
Ross: I don't think it is now
that I'm thinking about it.
Through the combined
efforts of Man O War and
the European Power Metal bands,
by the dawn of the 2000's
Power Metal had successfully
revived the majesty
and epic quality of
traditional heavy metal.
But how does a genre based
on nostalgia actually evolve?
And then along came England's
Dragon Force who started
to redefine the future
of Power Metal.
Sam: What was it about Power
Metal that really drew you in?
Sam Totman: I think really
just like the catchiness
of the chorus's you know,
it's already happy and
uplifting and like but it was
also most of its fast.
Even though we liked the music
a lot, we also thought there
were a lot of things that could
be a lot cooler about it.
You know so cause' it was like
they were always traditional
with the laced up pirate
shirts and pretty nerdy
kinda guys and they
were all pretty ugly.
Herman Li: The way Dragonforce
came about was I was playing in
some Death Metal bands and stuff
and they kept kicking me out
saying oh there's too much
guitar solo's blah blah blah,
and when we started Dragonforce
I thought you know what
they're not gonna like
us anyways so lets just
make it that they
definitely don't like us.
That's why were coming up
with long 8 minute songs, no one
really plays a solo for 2
minutes in a 7 minute song.
(Plays guitar)
Herman: I think the speed came
from our love of Thrash Metal,
so we brought in those
other influences
kind of like a summary
of our lives in metal.
Martin: I think the metal
fans looked at that band
and just almost laughed
because it just seemed
that it was so over the top.
If Yngwie himself was an over
the top larger than life figure
and a true guitar hero,
here were a couple of guys
in Totman and Li who were
even faster than Yngwie,
they were like an
instructional video.
Sam: I wanna talk
about guitar hero.
I guess guitar hero has
helped bring young people
to appreciate guitar
solo's and good playing.
Herman: Even though we hate a
lot of the older rock metal fans
going "no, no way these guys
don't know anything about music
they got into rock
because of Guitar Hero".
Times have changed you know MTV
don't have videos and VH1 less,
video games is kind of the
new vehicle for metal music.
We need to give people
choices for them to decide,
guitar hero was a
really good vehicle.
(Guitar Hero song plays)
Sam Totman: A lot of people
who aren't necessarily into
metal they are gonna hear it and
its true people did like it.
You know we've seen on the
internet, there are things like
school choirs singing that song
and there's sort of nerdy
jazz bands playing it and stuff
and it's quite cool actually.
Through Guitar Hero
Dragon Force introduced
Power Metal to a much broader
audience pushing the genre
closer to the mainstream than
ever before, but then it
was Finland's Nightwish who
put Power Metal on the
European charts, taking the
genre all the way to number 1.
Sam: What was the sound that
you were excited about making?
Tuoma Holopainen: My biggest
passion is field music and
soundtracks which I consider
contemporary classical music.
I wanted to do kind of
like movie sound tracks
but just in the terms
of heavy metal.
When you go to the basics of
what metal music is, what Black
Sabbath did, it's something
grand, it's something that's
really heavy, pounding, big
grand melodies and riffs and
that's exactly what classical
composers like Wagner did.
Carl: The whole opera vocal
thing for me never worked
when I first heard it but
I couldn't stop listening
to the damn album and I
couldn't figure out why.
Amazingly enough it has
not turned their music
into cheese the more that
they've put this classical
bombast into it which
is very hard to do.
Sam: Heavy Metal music
tends to be a very male
dominated style, and do you
think part of that reason for
the success you've had is that
you've carved a new direction.
Tarja Turunen: There were
many girls before me
into metal but not the
kind of voice I had
at the time you know
classically trained.
If you listen to Nightwish it's
not the metal that you know
you consider a 'metal metal',
True Metal it's different
so this was the beginning
of something new.
Jone: It was about time woman
started to have sort of like a
proactive role
within rock music.
The young girls who wanna have
something else to do with the
band other than blow
the guitar hero you know.
Tarja: I only do what I feel.
I love the harder riffing in
guitars and I love the symphonic
side of the beautiful melodies.
It's maybe the matter of
fact that having these elements
presented in the music that can
really reach people, not only
the stereotype of a metal fan
or classical music listener.
By expanding the sound and
audience for Power Metal,
Nightwish and Dragon Force
created new possibilities
for the future of this style.
But 2 bands can't insure the
survival of an entire genre so
I've returned to the European
Festival scene to find out what
role festivals play in
keeping Power Metal alive.
(Band marching and playing)
Sam: Why are festivals like
Wacken important for Power
Thomas Jensen: A good
friend of mine calls that
Scandinavian German type music,
uhh glorious victorious
those bands they live
with a big scenery,
the power metal band
you want to see
in front of a big crowd,
they really work with
a big production,
lights lights lights.
I think that's really
good for a live situation.
Tuoma: What could be more
perfect than a sunny day in a
big festival and a
chorus that everybody knows.
Thomas Youngblood: The
culture of the festivals in
Europe are amazing, I mean
when you first come over here
it's astonishing to
see so many people.
You walk out on stage
and there's literally you
see people forever.
That's just something in
the U.S. you just don't
really experience.
In Europe they'll take a
whole week off to come to
a festival that they are
probably gonna watch 2 bands at
and the whole other time
they're camping having fun
with their friends
having a beer.
That kind of dedication you
gotta go like wow that is cool.
Carl: This is just an
uncomplicated fun thing.
It's loud it's obnoxious it
works well with drinking beer,
that festival culture
is basically a result
of stuff like Power Metal.
Tarja: I've seen families
really coming with the parents
and the children and
you don't know really
who is the biggest
fan in the family.
Marcus: This unification thing
you have everybody is into it,
everybody is singing, everybody
is banging their heads,
it's great fun lots of energy
exchange between band and fans,
lots of very positive vibes.
Hansi: A lot of beer
and a terrible smell.
At the beginning of
this episode I set out to
understand what Power Metal is,
and why it is so foreign to me.
And what I've discovered is that
while Power Metal may look
and sound just like a heavy
metal cliché, it's a movement
that revived the tradition of
heavy metal back in the '90s
when metal in North America
had hit its all-time low,
but ultimately Power Metal has
been elusive to me because
it's part of the European
festival culture and
it's these festivals that
will ensure the vitality of
Power Metal and Heavy Metal as
a whole for years to come.
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