John West (Royal Hunt and Artension singer) new solo album is a concept cd based on the story of the native american spirit Shenandoah on his journey through lifes and times... He gathered such musicians as Chris Caffery (Savatage), Mike Chlasciak and Bobby Jarzombek (Halford), Kevin Chown (Artension), Vitalij Kuprij and Andre Andersen on keyboards... and the result is fantastic. Read this conversation and you will know a bit more about this awesome musician and his work.



- Congratulations, I think your album is really great. By the way ¿how did you get all that colaborations for the album, are they friends of yours or you just like them as musicians?
A combination of both. I felt like this would be a great combination of players. I have been friends with Lonnie Park and Chris Caffery for many years. Metal Mike and I met about three years ago. He introduced me to Bobby. Kevin has done many albums with me, and he was the natural choice on bass.

- I suppose the sound of the CD has much to do with the musicians, I mean ¿does it sound heavier because you played with musicians like Chris Caffery or you went for that sound deliberately?
Absolutely. When you put Chris and Mike together on guitars it will be extremely heavy. I liked that sound idea.

- You have been working with big names of the scene (Lynch Mob, Cozy Powel, James Murphy...) and it must be an interesting experience... What can you tell us about that?
I have been lucky to work with such big-time names. It has always been my goal to be a singer and work in the music business. Of course you can't plan...

- I know this one is a very little original question but your fans would like to know which bands are you listening to nowadays?
I really like Hoobastank, Stone Sour, Queens of the Stone Age as far as new bands. Older stuff, I listen to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath after Ozzy.

- Some time ago it was probably better to live in the USA for a Hard/Heavy/Aor band but now it seems like the turn has come for Europe, Do you think this situation will remain for a long time or maybe we´ll do as the american fans and go with the flow (listening bands of Nu Metal & so on...)?
I think things change constantly, and that is a good thing. Just enjoy it now, becuase who knows what is next?

- Let´s keep on talking about USA, What do you think about classic american bands like White Lion, Winger...?
They are okay. I was never into the pop metal bands like that, so much. I prefer heavier and progressive rock and metal.

- Not much time ago there was a tour accross USA with LA Guns and old american bands from the 80´s (maybe trying to keep the spirit of the style alive...) but perhaps it would be better to take present european bans to that country, don´t you think so?
There are still a lot of fans for this music here. It is probably very expensive to get all these bands to Europe with equipment and everything.

- Coming back to Europe... we have some big Heavy/Power festivals like Wacken in Germany or Rock Machina in Spain, and there are always Hard Rock bands palying... (for example Axxis & Shakra in Rock Machina), Is it possible to you to come to this spanish festival?
Absolutely. We just need the invitation, and we will come, of course.

- Maybe you´re not going to play festivals but What about a tour? (I mean a John West tour)
It is possible. Probably Royal Hunt will tour again sometime soon.

- Lately many musicians (vocalists, guitarists & drummers) are releasing solo albums, Why? I think it would be better for a band if every member can compose songs for the group, and not just a member composing (that´s very usual). Sincerely I think there are too many albums to buy and vey little money to get them all so fans can´t listen to all the material...
Sincerely I think there are too many albums to buy and vey little money to get them all so fans can´t listen to all the material... I think it´s important to create something from your own point of view. Sometimes you can't write in a situation. My writing role is limited in Royal Hunt, so I do other things. I am very creative type of person, and I need the outlet.

- By the way, How are sales going for "Earth Maker"? I hope they´re going well...
Pretty well. We appeal to the fans of many different bands including Halford, Savatage, Royal Hunt, Artension, etc. I will say that piracy and bootlegging have hurt our sales a lot, though.

- At last, let me tell you that here in Spain people like your album very much... Thanks for your time and your album. You´re free to add anything else.
I have really enjoyed my visits to Spain. I love to play concerts there. The fans are great and energetic. The next tour should be great!!

- Interview by Rodrigo Mayayo.
- Translation by Gema Pérez.