Royal Hunt

Royal Hunt are back with their new opus titled “Cast in Stone”. Grande Rock had a utterly interesting talk with the songwriter, keyboardist & mastermind André Andersen about the new album, the sound and the band’s future steps…
Royal Hunt band pic

Hi André, I’m glad we have the chance to talk about Royal Hunt’s new album “Cast in Stone”. It’s a fascinating album on the whole. Kudos!
A: Thank you! smiley
At first, do tell us… what happened on the band’s camp those (almost) 3 years from your previous album “Devil’s Dozen” till the release of the new one?
A: After the release of “Devil’s Dozen” we went on a festival tour, recorded one of the shows and put it out as a double live album – “Cargo” – moved on to a full blown world tour, recorded and filmed a full show and released it as a DVD/BluRay package – “2016” – got home and recorded “Cast in Stone”… so we’ve been busy.
The album was released in Japan via King Records and in the rest of the world via NorthPoint Productions. Which were the reasons that made you change labels in Japan and worldwide?
A: We’ve been with our labels for a while and – since our contracts were up – decided to change some things around us… to get a bit more involved in that part of the business.
Do you believe that it’s better for all musicians to have the total control of their work not only in the music part but also in the distribution/sales/ads one, or the responsibilities are too many too handle in general?
A: It’s pretty important nowadays, you have to steer your carrier in the right direction: the music business has changed dramatically over the last 15 years, so you have to evolve.
And how did you come up with the album title “Cast in Stone”?
A: A combination of trying to accumulate all things “royal” (musically) and the ambition of our sleeve designer to “re-invent” our logo a little bit: kind of re-cementing what we’re all about.
How did you approach the songwriting part of the album this time? Was there any kind of changes?
A: This time around we were fortunate to not have any specific deadlines. I started writing songs all the way back in 2015. Having an opportunity to work on them for a while, go out to play some shows, come back and continue writing/re-writing, switch to working on a live album, go out again and so on was priceless. I didn’t have that kind of luxury since… well, ever.
Same with the actual recording: the ability to experiment with different sounds/set ups, possibility to come back weeks later and redo some parts, change the arrangements and so on… I hope the listener will notice the added variety and experimentation which we inserted into this album, while staying true to the original Royal Hunt – style/concept.
And not to forget the most important part – I’m extremely fortunate to work with a bunch of insanely talented guys: Andreas, Jonas, DC and Habo are all bringing their very own “thing” to the table and it got spread all over these tracks… always something unexpected yet undeniably great.

Are you responsible for the album’s production and why did you decide to go “back” to the analog sound? Do you think that the thing with the digital sound & productions has gone too far over the years? I see various bands going back to the analog sound these days.
A: I’ve always been “an analog guy”. Sure my studio has computers and stuff but the main core of it is still tape, tubes and other analog devices. To me analog still sounds best – at least for rock‘n roll it does. This time we decided to go all the way in putting that fat, warm sound on every single track.
You have already booked some live shows for Russia, Japan & Europe, right? Will there be any other new dates for Europe or the US in the near future? I’m looking forward to seeing you in Greece.
A: Greece has already been penciled in on April 20th in Athens. As for the rest: sure, we’ll have more dates this Spring, as well as in the late Summer/Fall.
What are your expectations from “Cast in Stone” in general?
A: A gold record in every country and RH logo/dragon statue (just like on the cover) in every capitol around the world.
What are these things that you want to achieve with Royal Hunt that you haven’t done yet?
A: To get even better as a band, to play places we haven’t played yet… in general, I want this band to keep evolving.
Time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Royal Hunt initially?
A: I saw a painting on the wall of one of the castles in Denmark – it was called The Royal Hunt… I was looking for a “big/colorful sounding name” to fit the music… it did!
Are “social media” a “compulsory part” of music biz these days or bands, artists & labels can do without them as well?
A: There’s no way you can do without… and while at it, check out our site or find us on facebook, twitter etc. – lots of extra stuff and a great community we’ve got there.
Which music kind can’t you bear to listen to at all?
A: Rap.
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
A: Shallowness.
If you found a genie in a bottle and you only had 3 wishes what would they be?
A: Health, wealth and 33 more wishes.
Top 3 fantasy movies of any era?
A: Not a fan.
Is there a particular book you can’t recommend enough?
A: “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome.
Which are the top 3 Symphonic Rock/Metal albums of all time according to you?
A: Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”, Queen – “A Night at the Opera” and Kansas – “Leftoverture”… and I don’t care if there´re not metal or symphonic enough!
Fill in the phrase… “Symphonic Metal wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
A: Royal Hunt who still inspires tons of bands in that genre!
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
A: Stevie Nicks used to be hot back in the day.
Which do you consider to be the best female & male vocalist in metal history?
A: Not a fan of female voices in metal, but R.J. Dio was a king of it all in a male category.
If you had the opportunity to invite any famous person, living or dead, over for supper whom would you choose and why?
A: W. Churchill… a genius and a solid drinker.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
A: To the future: would like to see if the statue of me has been carved anatomically correct.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
A: “Machine Head”… you wonder why?
If you could be any historical person, which one would you be and why?
A: God… I would have tried to do a better job in those 7 days he’s been given.
Finally, we’ve come to the end André. Thx for talking to Grande Rock. Say anything you feel like saying before we close. Take care, dude!
A: Hello all you fellow metalheads: now go to – we have our new album in all shapes and forms, merch and a lot of extra (free!) stuff up there… grab a copy and enjoy. See you all in Athens on April 20th… let’s have a party!