ALESTORM (Christopher Bowes)

Interview: Martina Šestić – martina@venia-mag.net
Photo: Pavao Hodap, Martina Šestić

Earlier this week on Tuesday, September 30th, I got a chance to talk with Alestorm‘s frontman Christopher Bowes right before the band’s concert at Vintage Industrial Bar in Zagreb. The show was sold out, many people dressed as pirates were mingling around chatting with the band members and, all in all, it was a very nice sunny autumn afternoon.

intie_chrisopher_bowesVENIA: Hi, Chris! Tell me how has the tour been going on so far?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: It has been absolutely wonderful. All the shows have been huge, everyone’s been lovely, nothing’s gone wrong. We’re having good time.

VENIA: That’s awesome!
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: And now we’re in Croatia, drinking vine and Sun in shining. It’ s a shame we didn’t have any shows at the seaside. But… Never mind, this is good enough.

VENIA: Your new album was entitled Sunset On The Golden Age. When you revealed the name, many people started speculating that this is the last Alestorm album.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: It’ s just a cool name for an album. There’s nothing serious going on. It’s always fun when people think we’re going to split up.

VENIA: I see, same thing with the lyrics. Everyone thinks that soon you’ll have nothing to write about. But here you are with the fourth album.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Exactly! They’ve been saying since the first album “ooohh, that was nice, but there’s only so many things you can say about pirates”.

VENIA: But then you moved on with so many bizzare things going on – especially on the new album.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Yeah, you know, there’s a song about time travelling under water, squid wars, it’s wonderful.

4-aleVENIA: Do you dream that stuff, how do you come up with all of it?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: I don’t know where it comes from. It’s just a complete nonsese…. What’s that?
[laugh, someone puts Happy Meal flag in his hair]

VENIA: There is one thing I was always curious about. In 2011 Turisas released their Stand Up And Fight album which included a song entitled Hunting Pirates. Later that year your third album also came out with a song Back Through Time in which you sing about hunting Vikings. Is there a connection between the two?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: That was a complete coincidence! We’ve already written our songs, by the time we realized Turisas had it. We wrote our songs, then they released their album and we thought “oh, shit they wrote one about killing pirates” and we had one about killing Vikings. Everyone thought “there you have it, Alestorm and Turisas having a fight”.

VENIA: So, it was, Alestorm and Swashbuckle situation all over again?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Yeah! It’s all made up lies. Everyone likes each other. We all just have lots of fun.

VENIA: How do you feel about music piracy?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Well… I’ve not bought an album since 2005.

VENIA: What was the last album you’ve bought? What attracts you musically?
CHRISTOPER BOWES: Musically, lately I’ve been getting into American country music, country-pop music, really thrashy country-pop. That’s my new obsession. I rarely listen to metal music anymore.

VENIA: And what about Gloryhammer?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Oh yeah, that’s a bit fun and all.

VENIA: Can we expect something new?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Yes, yes! We’re gonna go to the studio and do another album in April, I think. So next year there’ll be new album, tour and usual stuff.

VENIA: One more thing! I heard about a something called Christian Balestorm. Can you tell me more about it?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Well, we were on a tour through USA and Canada and it was Halloween so we decided to all dress up and we dressed as Batman characters, called ourselves Christian Balestorm, ’cause the main actor’s name is Christian Bale. We said we’ll never do it again. We did it once before in 2009 and we did it again in 2011 or 2012. And that’s it – there will never be another Christian Balestorm concert again. That was once in a lifetime thing and it was such a great show, everyone loved it.

33_AlestormVENIA: Were there any weird situations with your fans during the tours? Like, for example now, you getting and Happy Meal flag.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: We’ve been getting some weird gifts. Someone gave me a pipe, we get lots of cake. There’s always cake.

VENIA: Yeah, I think there is one waiting for you at the bar.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: [laugh] I saw that one! I told you, there is always some cake.

VENIA: So, tonight you’re playing a sold out concert. What are your expectations from the crowd?
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: We had absolutely no idea this is going to sell out. We just assumed this is going to be one of those weird shows where nobody shows up apart from some scary guy and a dog. [laugh] But, this show, I think it’s going to be really great. I’m a little bit terrified, you know there’s going to be a lot of people going crazy.

VENIA: And tomorrow you’ll be playing another sold out show in Ljubljana.
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: Really? I didn’t know that. Is that for real? So tomorrow is also sold out.

VENIA: So let me just tell you – congratulations on your success with this album and the tour. Thank you for the interview, Chris!
CHRISTOPHER BOWES: No problem! Thank you!

Concert photo gallery – CLICK