Stormwitch, the "Masters of Black Romantic", is a heavy metal band which was founded in 1979 in Gerstetten, Germany. The band was very successful during the 80's and inspired quite some other bands, like e.g. Hammerfall. Albums like "Walpurgis night", "Tales of terror" and also the more mainstream album "The beauty and the beast" need to be part of every serious CD collection.
From 2005 on it became quiet around Stormwitch. There were several line-up changes and actually some fans were doubting if the band still exists.
A few days ago I had the chance to ask guitarist Ralf "Stoney" Spitznagel about the current status and the future of the band. It seems that we can expect quite a lot in the coming months. Stormwitch is back.
Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Stoney, how is it going with you and the band?
Stoney: Thanks for asking. We are feeling great and everybody is very happy with the current line-up.
MHMB: It was very quiet about Stormwitch during the last years. Tell us a little bit about the current status of the band. Is Stormwitch still existing?
Stoney: Definitely yes. Stormwitch was always in business. We never stopped with the band. Of course we were less present between 2005 and 2010, but than things changed.
Since 2010 Andi (Andreas Mück - vocals), Wanschi (Jürgen Wannewetsch - bass) and myself were pretty busy with Stormwitch. In 2012 Peter (Peter Langer - drums) joined the band again and since a few weeks we have with Volker our second guitar player on board.
MHMB: Stoney, what happened since your last album in 2004?
Stoney: A lot of things happened. Andy was writing new songs and also brought Wanschi, who was the bass player in the very first line-up, back into the band. In 2005 we played an open-air show in Gerstetten and we had a radio interview with Radio Freudenstadt. But it took us time to get a steady line-up for getting back to attack.
MHMB: Talking about a steady line-up. Who is in the current line-up?
Stoney: The band members are:
Andy - vocals
Stoney - guitar (ex-Tyran Pace, Chinchilla, Black Abyss)
Volker - guitar (ex-Late Night Romoe, Chinchilla)
Wanschi - bass
Peter - drums
We can definitely say that this is a stable line-up. It makes a lot of fun playing together as one unit. Our fans in Czechia will be the first ones seeing us back on stage with an enthusiastic show. Right now we have the reheasals for this show and I can promise a 'wall of sound'.
MHMB: It's now almost 10 years since Stormwitch released their latest album. Can we expect a new record in the near future?
Stoney: Yes. We are working on the recordings for a new album as we speak and we hope to release already a mini CD end of this year.
MHMB: That means that you have written already new songs?
Stoney: Yes indeed. We have a lot of new songs and we will play some of them already during our live shows. We have "Evil spirit" which sounds very much like the old Stormwitch songs and we have a mid-tempo song called "Taleysin" with a drop tuning. Furthermore we have a great rock song called "Runescape", which has a catchy melody. "Last warrior" is a straight-forward song which I have written already in the Black Abyss days.
MHMB: For October 5 you announced a concert in Giengen, which will be a tribute show for Harald Spengler (who died a few month ago). Who had the idea for such a show?
Stoney: Of course the whole thing has a very sad background. The basic idea was born during the funeral of Harald. Ronny (Gleisberg) and Stefan (Kauffmann) spoke to Peter about it and than they approached me for getting my opinion about the idea. I've talked about it with Andy and we all came to the conclusion that it is a great idea. We can show our respect to Harald by doing such a concert. This means that Stormwitch will play that night in almost the line-up of the old days. This is sensationsal! The only change is that I will replace Harald, which is a great honour for me and I'm very much looking forward to it.
We will play actually 2 sets. The first part will be the current Stormwitch band, followed by the original line-up from the old days. This will be Andy, Stefan, Ronny, Peter and myself.
MHMB: Sounds great. What can we expect?
Stoney: Everybody can expect a fantastic show and an unforgettable evening.
MHMB: How will the setlist look like? Will you play all the old classics?
Stoney: We don't want to say too much at this stage, but I can tell you that we will play songs which we haven't played till ages and some we haven't even played live at all so far. Just join the show. It will become a memorable night.
MHMB: Have you also planned more live shows?
Stoney: This will be the only show in the original line-up. All the ones who want to see the band in this setting need to join the October 5 show.
But we will play with the current band also a show in Czechia on August 24 and we will be in "Uwe's Rockshow" at Radio Freudenstadt on September 29.
MHMB: That means that we can expect much more again from Stormwitch in the coming months? The band has of course still a lot of fans out there.
Stoney: Oh yes, definitely. And we are already in negotiation for more shows in 2014.
MHMB: Stoney, thanks for spending some time with me and I think we are all looking forward to October 5.