Helsinki 2013

(c) Engel Official

"Passing frontiers"

Suiciderock: You are around since 2005. How would you describe that time so far?
Steve Drennan: Well, I’m not in the band since the very beginning. I’m bass player number fife by the way. I’m in the band since six years now which makes me the longest lasting bass player in that band so far. You know we had a couple of line up changes due to the fact that people are meant to grow and change. Some of the former members just moved on with other projects or whatever but that didn’t stop us from continuing. For me those six years have been really interesting and fascinating. It wasn’t clear at all when we were playing together that I would join the band but obviously I did as you can see. Otherwise we wouldn’t sit here now talking to each other.

Suiciderock: Your new work “Blood of Saints” is out since last year. It was one of the most eagerly awaited releases of last year. What is different if you compare it to your first two records? I think the music basically stayed the same since your first release.  
Steve Drennan: “Blood of Saints” has the Engel style but of course you always try to do better and to evolve with every album you record. That’s what we do as well. I think when it comes to the music and to the touring aspect we achieved a lot and it opened a lot of new possibilities for us.

Suiciderock: How would you describe “Blood of Saints” in your own words?
Steve Drennan:  I would say that we had the chance to get over some frontiers that we couldn’t get over before. “Blood of Saints” has electronic effects as well as dubstep along with metal. We got the chance to try something new musical wise and the result is pretty good.

Suiciderock: You haven’t been playing in Finland that often so far…
Steve Drennan: No, that’s true. Finland is still a very new touring country for us though it is so close to Sweden. We have played a festival on Finnish ground last year. I think it was the MTR close to Helsinki. Besides that we also played at the Finnish Metal Expo. A own tour is a different thing than playing just a couple of songs at a festival or this gig at the Metal Expo. We can show the people more what Engel is actually like if we get the chance to play a little longer than just 30 minutes. But of course we love both.

Suiciderock: You played in Tampere last night. How did that go?
Steve Drennan: Pretty well I would say. We have some pretty crazy fans. But when I’m saying crazy I mean it in positive way of course. We got away with a quite bad hangover. I guess we are not used to the Finnish drinking habits. We should come more often to train on that.
Mikael: That’s true that was really crazy. We got some home made poison as a gift. It was fun.

Suiciderock: Yeah right, you got some surprise, you got your very own brand for shots. Many bands such as Nightwish for example have their own wine. So are you going on the market with that now?
Steve Drennan: Who knows. Though we are more the shots guys. The wine is not really our style. I mean you are right, there are many bands like for example Amon Amarth who have their own bear. Motörhead started the whole thing. So I think we should be specialised in shots than. It should definitely be something that you will regret the very moment you put it in your mouth.

Suiciderock: You got a new singer with Mikael. How does he fit into the band and how did he get into Engel? Was it easy to adapt to an new singer?
Steve Drennan: It is really difficult when you have to change your singer. But it hasn’t felt complicated with Mikael at all. We got together for the very first time at our rehearsal place and after we have played for a while it actually felt as we would have done it for ages so it felt really confident. After that we knew right away that he is our new singer. I mean there was no doubt about it. We are really lucky that we have found him.

Suiciderock: How was it for you Mikael? Do you agree with Steve?
Mikael: I have to agree. The hardest part was to adapt to Magnus writing style. It was also hard to learn about 60 songs in about two weeks. But I managed and I’m pretty happy to be in the band.

Suiciderock: So Steve, you are not from Sweden, you are from the UK where you still live. How do you combine the rehearsal with a band that is actually based in another country?
Steve Drennan: That’s true, I’m originally from London. Well it is do- able. I spent more time in one of Ryanairs planes that somewhere else but that’s ok once you get used to it. I tried to find a job in Sweden but in the end my family lives in the UK and Sweden has such expensive living costs that I decided not to do so in the end. It is really cheaper to fly there all the time. The flight time is not that long and so I can combine all very well.

Suiciderock: Future Plans?
Steve Drennan: We hope to be able to tour a lot for the rest of the year and of course, we hope that we will be back here in Finland very soon again.

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