interview with HUMAN FORTRESS

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Have any of you played in other bands?

Well there were a couple of bands where I was involved for a while:

BEDLAM, THE NET and TIMEZONE which was the predecessor of HUMAN FORTRESS.

2008 I formed with Michael Bormann and Marco Grasshoff THE TROPHY.

We released one album on Frontiers Records.

How is it that you started playing music?

After many years of practicing it was really great to plug in your instrument and to rock

with your friends

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?

Gus Monsanto – Vocals

Todd Wolf – Guitars

Volker Trost – Guitars

André Hort – Bass

Dirk Liehm – Keys

Apostolos Zaios – Drums

All musicians are in a ripe old age, lol

Have you had other previous members?

Jioti Parcharidis, Dirk Marquardt, Pablo Tammen, Carsten Frank, Frank Sawade

were previous members (to name a view)

Did you make music even when you were young?

I started to play an instrument when I was a little bit older. I bought my first

electric guitar when I was 21 years old. At school I had guitar lessons, but I really

played and practiced wholehearted when I started my in-firm training.

Where are you from? Hannover/Germany

What year did the band form? 1997

What's your style of genre? Epic melodic metal

What inspires you? Melodies, beats and touching stories

How often and where do you reherse?

It depends! When we have to prepare our live gigs I would say one or

two times weekly.

How have you developed since you started with the music?

Oh, I developed a lot. It´s a matter of practicing and experience referring

to songwriting or writing lyrics.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Oh yeah, sports and having a good time with my family

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?

HUMAN FORTRESS signed a booking deal with LUCKY BOB. This agency has artists

like NAZARETH, RAGE, GUS G, FIREWIND etc. It´s very cool to be a part of the

LB family now.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are on AFM Records/Soulfood and we are very happy with our record company

What made you decide to make this music? Well I like the combination of drama, heaviness and melody.

What are your songs about?

We wrote a lot of anti-war songs but on the other hand I wrote lyrics

about touching stories. Unfortunately during the last five years family members,

friends and neighbours past away, so death was my constant companion. So I wrote

also songs about death and humans I miss very much.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?

Well the main writers in HF are Dirk and I but the whole band is important to

create new music. Many parts of the puzzle makes the picture.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Music comes first and then I am thinking about stories I could tell.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment?

In general I compose in my music room at home. It´s the same with Dirk and

Volker. Later I meet the guys for songwriting sessions and we pick out the best

ideas for us.

Have you done any covers live? No I was never interested in covers.

What language do you sing in? English – the language of Rock´n Roll.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?

Oh, I guess the most people we had at Wacken but I can not

remember where we had the least people.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? Between 16 – 55!

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? I prefer to vary to make it more interesting for us and the people

Do you have a regular place you play live often? 

We always try to play a show in our hometown but in general we

are playing everywhere where you can find power outlets.

What was your first gig like? I played my first gig with Bedlam in a youth club.

What was your latest gig? Last year with HF at Lux/Hannover

Have you had to cancel a gig? Yeah one time, because the organizer did not sign the contract.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year?

Lucky Bob are planning gigs for the upcoming festival season 2019.

Please check our website.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?

We started to sell merchandise when we finished the production of Eternal Empire.

During the last live gigs we sold t-shirts, cd´s and hoodie jackets.

Where can people buy your merchandise? During our live shows and online of cause

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days?

Well paid downloads are ok. Streamings are killing us because we do not make money.

A local phone call (if you do not have a flat rate) is probably 300 times more expensive

than a value for a music stream. So you can say the music industry give away our work almost for free.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?

Well the listing habits of the people have changed. They want to listen to their

music with their mobile phones, online streaming in the car etc.

That´s ok, but the musician needs a fair equivalent to pay the production for the album etc.

Nowadays music seems to be a disposable product and the internet is a self-service outlet

where music is for free (if you know where you have to search to).

What do you think of my work?

The press is very important to inform the fans about news, reviews etc.

Interviews are interesting to find out more about the band. Personal things and

stories behind the music

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Every interview can help us to improve our awareness level. HF are not a famous band. 

Do you have any role models or idols? Oh yes of cause. The list is very long but I am a huge fan of Gary Moore (rip).

Why do you think that they exist? Gary has a big influence when I started playing guitar.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?

For me it´s not different between older or new bands. Good music is good music and

a good song is a good song.

What have been your biggest obstacles?

Well it´s not easy to find the right people for a band. For me it was hard to leave HF

during the dark times in 2008. Never leave your road and give the fans what they

are expecting.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Work hard, follow your dreams and don´t give up

How do you get psyched for a gig?

I warm up my fingers half an hour before I go on stage

and I never drink alcohol

Do you have any new material? Yeah we have just finished the recordings for our new studio album.

What are your web sites?

What are your plans for the future? More live gigs in 2019, hopefully in Scandinavia too

Do you have something to add? Thank you for your support and please say hi to our fans in Sweden

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