The Temple of Metal (GR)

INTERVIEW WITH LOGAR’S DIARY Temple Of Metal : First of all let me thank you for sending me you new CD „Book 1: Iostros„…

Christoph: Thank YOU for giving us the chance to promote our debut by giving an interview to a Greek webzine. Indeed it´s our first interview for Greece and we´re very proud of it. We estimate Greece as one of the best countries for Power Metal, coming up with a strong scene during the last years.

T.O.M. : Please give us the historical background of Logar’s Diary…

Christoph: That´s no thrilling story! Logar´s Diary was formed in 1998 by Steven Schubert. I met him during our civilian service in a hospital. We realised that we liked the same music and decided to pay tribute to our love for fantasy and Power Metal by founding a concept band. Micha was also working with us, so he joined somehow by chance. Felix and Hagen were two guys playing in a progressive Death Metal band, but we knew that they also had a Power Metal heart (hehe) and asked them to join. Especially because Hagen has a very good „sing“-voice and uses it very less for „Dawn Berlin“, their other band. That´s the basics!

T.O.M. : Your first CD is a concept album. Please tell us the story behind it…

Christoph: We tell the tales of the adventures of the magician Logar in the Earthdawn universe. Logar is a character played by Steven. He wrote down his adventures while playing and we are the bards who tell them in a musical way. The first adventure deals with a big story about betraying mankind. An evil necromancer plans to destroy all human beings and Logar and his comrades have to stop him somehow. But their way is long and difficult to walk. They have to struggle with demons and ghosts, and even their own emotions…

All in all a very natural fantasy story, but the difference to other stories is, that this story was played. It lived once!

T.O.M. : You’ve mentioned the role playing game Earthdawn which I’m not aware of. However, I’m familiar with other great RPG such as Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft and Call of Cthulu (which I was a DM also!). Do you like such games? What characters do you usually prefer?

Christoph: We play more the „brighter„ RPGs. The above mentioned are all very dark in their setting and atmosphere. Earthdawn is not so depressing I´d say. But every RPG has its own advantage, even Shadowrun or DSA (the biggest German RPG). Steven seems to play magicians, while I usually prefer thiefs, priests or individualists, that means mixed characters with faults, weaknesses and different from the standard heroes. I love characters with strong background stories! Elves, dwarves and standard fighters are very boring to me! A character has to be unique!

T.O.M. : I like more dark characters. Anyway, is „Book 1„ based on a known campaign from Earthdawn or is it a totally new adventure that you came up with?

Christoph: As I said, the adventure from „Book I“ is a played RPG-session. The story was created by Oliver Kalmutzke and he directed the game. It wasn´t a campaign from a book.

T.O.M. : Concept albums are far more difficult than simple albums. How did this work out for you? Do you had trouble in setting up the story?

Hagen: No. The story was already finished before we started the musical work. Steven divided it into the chapters, and we created the songs fitting to the mood of the certain chapters. This way is much more sufficient and easier than trying to create both the lyrics and music in one step.

Christoph: It´s right that concept albums are more difficult to create, cause you have to keep a special eye on linking the story and the music. Sometimes it hinders you from taking one melody you created for a riff, but the result in the end is stronger and offers more to the listener. I love concept stories, even if they are cliché! Fantasy Power Metal needs dragons, wizards, fairies, fights, heroes, love, glory and all this stuff!!!

The stronger the lyrics are the stronger the music gets! And if they go hand in hand, you´ll get a full picture, like a movie in your head. It´s even stronger than reading books. I´m not sure if we achieved that goal by now, but at least it is our aim…

T.O.M. : Even though I don’t want to give the ending of this story, it is bittersweet. What should we expect in the new chapter?

Christoph: We don´t have much figured out yet, but I can tell you that the difference to the next story will be mainly the setting. As far as Steven has told me about Logar´s last adventure, the story will happen in just one town, so no more Bloodwoods and Serpent Rivers. It will be more detailed and focused on one strong storyline and setting!

But we are also as curious as you are, cause we don´t know how it all will look like in the end, too.

T.O.M. : Musically, if I had to describe you I would say that you sound like a mixture of Blind Guardian (mostly for the lyrical themes and the catchy refrains) and classic German old school Power Metal. Can you describe your music?

Hagen: We also have listed BG as one of the bands that has influenced us musically. Of course you cannot avoid some slight similarities to other bands, but in my eyes - why should you deny your musical preferences anyway, if you do not want to create a totally new style or something? It's no shame to reveal your influences, unless you don't copy or steal other music.

Christoph: Most people compare us to Blind Guardian, which makes me indeed very proud, as they are an all time favorite of any Fantasy Power Metal fan and very less bands are compared to them during the years. That´s a big honor for us!

When you ask me to describe our music, I´d say we are 100% Logar´s Diary; that means we are a unique Power Metal band with influences varying from BG to Running Wild. We are five individuals in the band who listen to very much different kinds of Metal and all influences us in a way. But we have a common dream and imagination from Logar´s Diary and so our sound comes up. I think it´s easy to compare new bands to hundreds of older bands, but as Hagen said, stand to your roots and influences! Don´t be ashamed, show where you come from. As long as you play Metal right from the heart, it doesn´t matter if you have similarities to well known bands…

T.O.M. : However you really like to experiment in songs, like „Ti An„, that other bands seem to avoid like hell. Also the outro called „Déjà vu„ is fantastic.

Hagen: Thanks for the compliment. Of course we knew we would not only get positive feedback but also provoke criticism, because we don't always stick to the rules of pure Power Metal (as you just said). But that's the point what makes our work more interesting and varied. We just enjoy playing with different elements and combine them to our individual style. And if then somebody still likes it, it's even more joyful for us!

Christoph: Metal is freedom and we use what we like. Of course we won´t use some computer samples or modern shit in our music, cause it doesn´t fit the style and our attitude. But it´s very important for us to offer the listener a wide variety of styles and ingredients. The songs have to stay exciting while listening to them even the 10th time. You always should have the possibility to discover something new in it. And we love choirs and what you can do with them in Power Metal, so we use them. And you mentioned the outro: Although we know that the average listener will listen to it one time and then skip it likely, we thought it is a great idea to let Logar remember his adventure and remind him with the help of some strong melodies during his quest. It´s a very nice ending of the story and rounds up the concept album! But we can´t promise to repeat something similar on the next CD…

T.O.M. : Your singer needs a lot of work, but he is very good. Does he, or any other member, have previous experience in other bands?

Hagen: Everyone of us has had former projects with other bands/musicians. That's of course how we all gathered the experience we have, although we know that we have to improve much more, if we want to compete with big international bands. Some of us also have parallel projects right at the moment, and we always meet other musicians to try out new things with. This is also the way Logar's Diary has developed.

Christoph: We all have to improve a lot! We know that and we are happy with it, cause improvement is what keeps a band alive. Look at all those bands, who remain on the (mostly high skilled) same level for years… We are hungry and have much work to do. That´s good! And I also have to state clear that Logar´s Diary has priority in our musical career!!!

T.O.M. : The production is good, but the guitar´s sound is a bit of „buried„. Where was „Book 1„ recorded?

Hagen: You're perfectly right with the remark in the question before - there are many points of criticism concerning the vocals on "Book I". I simply - for economical reasons - didn't take enough time for all the parts I had to sing. Moreover "Book I - Iostros" is my first try of singing this style of music. That's why you feel that somehow this or that part is not perfectly done.

Since the CD we're talking about was thought to be a demo that should help us to get a record deal with a company, the other members and I thought that what we had was enough to show the basic idea. Now the problem is that many people listen to the whole thing with the "wrong" (or not intended) background - seeing this professionally done cover and hearing the general production the record is often considered a professional album with a label in the background and all... But this is not the case - everything was done and paid by ourselves without any help from outside (just think of a producer). We have not anticipated such a great and mainly positive resonance concerning our work. Everything was recorded, mixed and mastered in Felix' living-room at his little PC by Felix himself! How could we believe that he would do this job so great that we could not only give some burned copies to some record labels, but also sell some records to people who really like the songs and production. If we had known this before, we or at least I would have worked on the recording until full satisfaction. Now I must live with my somehow incomplete work.

Christoph: Nevertheless we are very proud of the result! - Always in mind that it's a demo you're talking about. But concerning the guitar sound: I don´t think it is „buried“! After the CD was finished we realized that it sounds very different on different CD-Players. But basically the guitars are in the front (at least it was intended so, cause we are mainly a METAL-band). Also the people´s opinions differ from each other; some consider the sound as great and nearly perfect, some state that it is more weak. I think it depends on the parallels you draw…

T.O.M. : I also find the layout work very good. Is the front cover an original theme or a take out from a book?

Christoph: The artwork was done by a friend of us. We worked very close together. Many sketches were sent by the internet until the final version was ready. The cover is a collection of many small and singular fantasy pictures, gathered in a nice border. The pics themselves came from a big database from our friend. They were collected by him during many years.

Generally we consider the artwork of a CD for very important. The eye is also a listener! A CD (especially a concept CD) with a nice booklet and lyrics printed inside makes much more impression on the listener than a copied one. When you see our debut you should know what expects you inside! Regarding what some bands published during the last years I´m even prouder of our cover…

T.O.M. : Do you have a contract with a company?

Hagen: No, we haven't. "Book I - Iostros" is - as I said before - the effort to find a record company to work together with. Up to now nothing has developed. But certainly we'll not give up so fast and keep on trying so that perhaps one day we meet a nice partner for our musical work.

Christoph: I´d say we are a year too late. The Power Metal boom is over, not every new band is signed anymore. Indeed it is very hard again to find a label to work with, cause every label now has their Power Metal band…

That doesn´t mean we want to jump on a train, cause we feel what we play. It´s just a fact, that we are a bit too late. Some companies have told us some nice sounding words, but nothing printable is done so far. It would have been better if we had released our debut one year ago, but we were looking too long for a drummer. When you are an unknown band you have the privilege to take as much time as you need, and that´s what we did. I strongly believe that if you are an honest Metal band, you will some day get a contract, cause the people feel it!!! And even if not - we play our music, cause we love it and not to earn money from it.

T.O.M. : It seems in our days that worthless bands have contracts and promotion while others, much better bands, lack these luxuries. Can you explain that?

Hagen: Hm, I think this is not a tendency special in these days. There have always been bands or music you'd have said of: "Damn, how do they deserve to be supported that much!". But after all, music and arts in general are mainly confronted in a subjective and emotional way, and different people think differently about the same style of music or the same element within one style and so on. So, actually the whole discussion is useless. No band keeps a contract with a company for a long time, if not the people listen to its music. So the reason can also not be searched in the companies but rather in the population and the manipulation of its musical preferences.

Christoph: Damn right! Music lives from tastes and emotions, individual things that every fan absorbs! Hopefully the fans will learn to resist to be influenced too strong by the media. The Backstreet Boys will always sell more CDs than running Wild. Is that something you should be angry about? No, it´s natural, accept it and be happy that Iced Earth were able to enter the charts!!!

T.O.M. : In which band’s tribute album do you wish to participate and with which song…

Christoph: I´d participate on every tribute album, as long as it is a Power Metal band and it deserves one. Blind Guardian, Running Wild, Grave Digger, Rage, Manowar - the big ones. The problem would be that I don´t like tribute CDs at all, cause they are just to make money in general and to rip off the fans. But it would be fun, no question!

From Blind Guardian I would pick „Lost in the twilight hall“, „Banish from sanctuary“, „Welcome to dying“ or „The last candle“!

Hagen: It would seem very vain to me, if a band that's not even started any career would do such a thing, before having really worked out an own identity. But if you're asking for a band we all really like, it may indeed be Blind Guardian, although of course there are so many bands we like a lot.

T.O.M. : Has the band played any live shows? With which band do you wish to play live?

Hagen: I think every member has stood on stages for several times, but in this constellation we haven't (shame on us!). At the moment Logar lacks a drummer. We intensively are searching... Perhaps in July we have one. So we had no opportunity than to stay at home and bore ourselves and concentrate on the promotional work.

Christoph: But we WILL enter the stages some day, I´m sure!!! I can´t hardly wait to hear the people sing along our choruses and to feel the magic of Logar on stage!!!

T.O.M. : What are your favorite top 5 albums?

Christoph: Crystal Eyes - In silence they march

Freternia - Warchants and fairytales

Domine - Dragonlord

Hammerfall - Glory to the brave

Haggard - And thou shalt trust… the seer

And hundreds more, changing every day…!

Hagen: Candlemass - Tales of creation

T.O.M. : Name a band / musician you wish to KILL!!!

Hagen: If you look into the booklet of our CD, you'll see that Christoph has listed up two or three bands that seem false to us. Their whole musical intention concentrates on financial profit. One could say that they would even sell their souls for money. That's an attitude we strongly dislike. Also, we notice an alarming tendency in the German Metal (rather in eastern Germany): Right-wing people populate the scene, and some crummy idiots maltreat some instruments, call it Metal and spread their sick ideas. Mainly the Black Metal scene is infected by this fucking disease (although this is no typical German problem, it also occurs in the Scandinavian countries, eastern European countries and the US).

Nevertheless our aversion is not enough to kill someone, but something must happen!

Christoph: What differs us from these sick idiots is that we would never harm someone, but if I had an enemy it would be them. No politics in music and no right-winged people in Germany (or elsewhere)!!! Metalheads unite and stand together against these bastards!!! Don´t let them overtake or underrun our scene!

Away from the political matters, from an idealistic view I absolutely dislike bands ripping off fans and don´t respecting them, e.g. Iron Maiden, Limp Bizkit, Marylin Manson… they are bad models, transporting wrong ideals, if any ideals at all…

T.O.M. : What is your opinion about the whole „true metal„ movement, you know bands like Hammerfall and their clones…

Christoph: I don´t understand the zines and fans. It makes me sick. I still remember 1996 and the years before. You were happy with one good Power Metal CD every two months. Grunge, Crossover and Death/Black Metal were big. Then came Manowar with „Louder than hell“ and Hammerfall with their brilliant debut, followed shortly after Rahpsody´s debut. They opened the gates at the record companies for many young bands. Bands like Domine existed for ten years and more, but no one got the chance to listen to their music, cause the labels ignored them. Then they realized that they could also earn some money by signing such bands and that´s good for the fans. It´s 1000 times better to have the opportunity to choose from 10 Power Metal CDs each month than to have to be happy with one Power Metal release each two months.

And young bands playing Power Metal similar to Hammerfall or Helloween are no clones! They have the same influences and they play what they like! That´s allright! Why do they should try to sound different, just to sound different? They should play what they want and don´t be misjudged by the press. These days it is very hard for Italian bands to get a deal, cause if you hear „Italian band playing Power Metal“ you consider them Rhapsody or Labyrinth-clones! But I hope that good music will prevail, regardless zines, time and mass-opinion! Enjoy the big amount of good bands and choose your own pearls among them!!!

T.O.M. : Except Metal which other music styles do you like?

Hagen: I like every sort of music where you find instrumental artistic (as I call it). I get a feeling of happiness when I notice that someone masters and loves his or her instrument (including voice)!

Sometimes I listen to Free-Jazz, and ask myself: "How can a person control his instrument so perfectly!"

Christoph: When I listen to Free-Jazz I ask myself „How strong has a man to be to sustain such musical torments?“

No, really I don´t listen to anything else than Metal. It´s my music and it always will be. But I also accept other honest music, as long as it transports feelings, is skilled and stays out of my life ;-)

T.O.M. : I’m pretty sure you anticipate the „Lord of the rings„ movie like I do…

Christoph: Hell, yes! It will be the best movie ever filmed! The trailers I saw and the words I read are absolutely amazing. It seems like Peter Jackson banned the whole Tolkien-atmosphere to film. Unbelievable. No childish Action movie like „Episode I“ or „Dungeons and Dragons“, no, it will be something unique, a quiet and yet strong movie, dealing with the most epic story ever written, focusing on characters and not on scenes! Now there are rumors that the trilogy will be 10 hours in the whole. Fantastic!!! I guarantee you that the start this Christmas will be followed next year by many Fantasy Films…

Great times to come!

T.O.M. : I usually ask all the people that I get in touch with my zine about the three following matters : a) child abuse, b)world pollution and c) drugs, please tell me your opinion on these subjects…

Hagen: All three subjects cannot be discussed in few words, actually. They must all be objected, although the word "drugs" is very open, and I would call everything a drug which can make a person addictive in any way. This does not mean that all the concerned things must not be consumed, be dealt with and so on. Only should be handled carefully with drugs like alcohol, tobacco, also usual sugar (sounds funny!) and so on, while harder drugs should not be touched at all and ought to be entirely be banned from any society.

Child abuse is the worst thing possible (among rape and murder), because the victims are the most helpless and vulnerable ones.

World pollution is an effect of civilization. Up to these years it's been dealt with nationally, but only if we find a world-wide solution of the basic problems to it, we can really fight it. Hopefully, this tendency, introduced by the general globalization, will continue and bring global solutions that stop the destruction of room for plants and animals (which are only innocent victims) and us.

Christoph: I agree with Hagen in general.

I think the first two topics are relative clear, every one will say child abuse is bad and world pollution is one thing we have to work on, what else? The only thing you can discuss about is drugs, as they are ambivalent. I´m an enemy of drugs in every kind, so I´d like to legalize them, cause that´s the only way to fight them and to help the addicted!

T.O.M. : Ok, please tell me the last song you want hear in your earthly presence.

Hagen: If I think of having to choose one of thousands of songs I'd daily love to hear, I say: I rather never die! Or I prefer to die in silence.

Christoph: Definitely „Master of the wind“ from Manowar (or „Hammerheart“ from Bathory)!!!

T.O.M. : A thief gets into your house and steals all your CD’s / LP’s you’ll do what?

Hagen: I'd instantly move into a friend's flat until I have gained a new collection of CDs. Mostly I'd prefer Christoph's apartment, since he simply has the most CDs of all people I know. Or I had to rent a collection (is that possible?).

Christoph: I´d look for the three trucks, he would need to transport my collection! Then, when I had found him, I´d shake his hands for he is obviously a real (Power) Metal fan, cause I don´t have nothing else in my collection…! I´d tell him where to get those CDs for a cheap price and then meet with him (and Hagen, who lost his CDs…) again to have a Metal party!

T.O.M. : Have you ever been here in Greece, we are one of the last strongholds of Metal…

Hagen: Yeah, I've been to Greece twice, although I haven't seen the mainland so far - I've only visited many of the Greek islands (Rhodos, Symi, Mycanos, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Lesbos and a few more) and spent two days in great Athens. I had also many nice experiences with real Greek Metalheads! Those nights - sitting in fucked-up bars, listening to Metal music and drinking too much - those will always stay in my mind! And surely I'll come back and visit all I've missed so far. Probably we'll be able to play in Greece soon.

Christoph: I was in Greece, too. I spent two weeks on Crete, although I didn´t meet any Metalheads there. I know Arryan Path (a great Greek Epic Metal band) are from there. I have many contacts to Greek Metalheads and I appreciate the scene over there, cause they are very dedicated to Power Metal for years. I love bands like Marauder, Innerwish, Airged Lamh (Gods!), Phantom Lord, Royal Quest, Wolfcry, Power Crue and many others…

Imagine what would happen if the Power Metal boom would also conquer Greece, what great bands we would get to hear on good produced CDs…

T.O.M. : What is your opinion about fanzines / webzines?

Christoph: They are very important! The Metal scene lives by its fans and fanzines are the mouthpiece of the scene. They are more honest, cause they mostly are able to resist to the business. They should remain independent!!! I write with the FAME OF METAL () zine for years and I know how much work it is, but it´s worth every hour you spend! Especially the internet is a great media to publish good zines. It´s not so expensive anymore (you don´t have to print and send the zines anymore) and it can be more up to date. Now fanzines can have news in it, for example!

Thanx to every fan who spends hour by hour in writing reviews, thinking of interviews, typing them and paying their tribute to our music we all love so much!!!

T.O.M. : How can someone contact you/ buy your CD’s?

Hagen: Well, we can be found in some German mailorders (Hellion). If someone hears about us and is interested in our music, I would recommend taking a look at our homepage, where you can download one full track („Lonely...“) and two samples. If these convinces the person, he or she can directly order a CD from Christoph.

Christoph: The people from Greece and Europe have to pay 12 US $, people from outside Europe will have to pay 15 US $ (depending on the shipping costs). You can contact me by email:

Then we settle the details.

T.O.M. : Give the readers a good reason to purchase „Book 1„…

Hagen: I hate self-praise. So I will not - and hopefully no one else of Logar's Diary - praise my own music. I can only ask people to visit our homepage, read the reviews that deal with our music and decide on their own whether our songs please them and give something to them. If so, then I hope they support us in some way.

Christoph: We love what we play and if you like Fantasy and Power Metal in the style of Blind Guardian, you should be able to feel it, while listening to us. We try to offer a lot - just check us out!

T.O.M. : Thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet Logar’s Diary…

Hagen: It's on us to thank you for the opportunity to represent ourselves through your fanzine!

Christoph: I´d like to end the interview with a quote. It´s from Wizard „Gladiators of Steel“: „It doesn´t matter what you were, it doesn´t matter who you are, the only thing that matters is that there is Metal in your heart…!“

An epic hail from Berlin to Greece!

Interview by Michael Dalakos