Saint Deamon is a new melodic metal band from Sweden. The band and the members might be a bit unfamiliar to most of you, but the band's main songwriter Ronny Milianowicz (right) is a seasoned pro, whose credits appear on many metal albums: Dionysus, Primal Fear, Cans, Ride The Sky... we conducted an interview with him, and here are his answers.
Ronny, by reading the press release I get the idea that you're very much in demand as a songwriter. How did you get this status of a "songsmith", almost like a "Desmond Child of Euro-metal"?
Ronny: Ha,ha Thank you, I never heard that before :-) But I always liked to write together with people. For example we wrote Sinergys "Beware the heavens" in only 8 days. Some people might say its impossible and would never ever put them in that situation but if you working with professional musicians almost anything is possible. The same with Cans, Primal Fear, Sinner, Ride The Sky ... With Dionysus I was more of a loner in the songwriting but in Saint Deamon I'm back writing with unbeliavable talented musicians. To me it's more fun and even easier, as long as you work with inspiring people I can work 24 hours a day with music, i just love it! I'm very much dempending on inspiring people around me, thats the key to success and great songwriting.
Now that you've got this band, will you still continue to work with other artists?
Ronny: I will do some like Primal Fear and new Kiskes Place Vedome but that much more.
Were all these songs written for the band especially, or have some of them been offered to others?
Ronny: "Run for your life" and "My Heart" were originally written for Tarja. We sent them to our publisher and we got a email from Germany that they loved the songs. Then it went dead silent, still today I dont know if she ever heard them so we took them to Saint Deamon and arrange them a little heavier.
The aforementioned press release says that you found your singer Jan Thore Grefstad (left) via internet. That sounds interesting, apparently Journey found their current vocalist via YouTube. Can you tell us about the search process? did you just google "a great metal vocalist"? :)
Ronny: We googled a bad ass singer with bad jokes and a strange dialect ha,ha.. No seriously it was Hammerfalls old labelbanager Markus Woskien that recomended Jan Thore my sending and email with his information. I just called him up and he liked the songs. When he got to my town and sang "Run for your life" I was in heaven !!!
While listening to your album, I had this weird "moment of clarity" - Jan Thore G. sounds like a metalized version of Joey Tempest! The songs demand that he uses the higher register more than Tempest, but somewhere a bit lower his tone reminds me a lot of Tempest. Do you think that he would curse me for thinking like that?
Ronny: Seriously yes ha,ha. I think he'd think Tempest is a great singer but a little to wimpy for comparison. But I kinda agree when he sings the softer stuff. I know he hates when people tell him he sounds like bla bla...on the other hand as bigger he gets people will tend to make comparisons with him instead which he will be more pleased with :-)
One of my favourite songs of the album is the one you made the video for, "My Heart". A great melody is what makes a song for me, and this one does have higly melodic verses and a cool chorus. Did you intentionally try to write a "single"?
Ronny: Yes but as I said for Tarja. Strangly I had always have easier to write for somebody else and then kinda steal it back for myself ha,ha... I would lie if I said it wasn't the intention.
Another one that could be a hit if it was given some exposure is the fine ballad "My Sorrow". Do you have plans to release it as a single/video?
Ronny: We actually have recorded a new video for the song "The Brave Never Bleeds" Ballads are a tricky ones, either people love it or hate it. I think it would been too obvious sell out if we would release it as a single. Maybe next album when people know what music SD stands for.
You also have a song called "My Judas". I have to admit that I haven't really paid that much attention to the lyrics, but do these three "my-songs" form a "trilogy" or something? Or is this just a coincidence?
Ronny: The "My-songs" are bound together in that perspective they are very much down to earth from a normal life point of view situation where a song like Deamons is more of fantasy like...
Frontiers are notorious for releasing "project albums", and those projects never really tour. Is SD more of a band and do you have touring plans?
Ronny: It's as much band it could be. It's ran like a company, we have our own studio. We have gigs in Sweden and Norway, headline tour in Italy. Headline festivals with Elvenking as a support in Austria, we play Bloodstock in UK and Prog Power in US so the term project is not even thinkable.
You've got both Swedes and Norwegians in the band. Us Finns, we have a funny relationship to our neigbours in Sweden, and it's a subject of thousands of jokes. I wonder whether it's the same with Sweden and Norway - is there a never-ending verbal arm-wrestling going on in your band?
The jokes are about stupid Norwigians in Sweden. The jokes about the finns is more of that they are silent and not so social. "There is nothing u cant solve with a knife and Koskenkorva" is one joke :-) But one guy thats the total opposite is Ewo, the manager of Nightwish. We toured with him in Japan 99 and he never shut up :-) A really really nice and cool guy.
Last but not least - is there anything you'd like to add, something I didn't ask? [What, "some serious questions, please"??? No no, we don't do those!)
Well, I never played in Finland, please talk to your local booker. We play for anyone as long as we get the gasoline money and a place to sleep. I havent been there since i lived at Alexi Laiho's place back in 99 but I really loved the people there when we rehearsed with Sinergy in Children of Bodom's rehearsal room. Say hello from me if u see them, what a talented band!!