Editor’s Note: If there was a pirate font or some type of translator I could use to transcribe this particular interview with Chris Bowes, the vocalist of Alestorm, I absolutely would! In a world where it seems like 86% of the songs are about emotions, broken relationships, and hating their parents, Alestorm has flipped the script and created some of the most fun music out there about swashbuckling, walking planks, and just living life to the fullest by throwing the absolute best party that one can. Here is my conversation with Chris Bowes, vocalist of Alestorm at the Vans Warped Tour stop in Shakopee, Minnesota.
M.T.C.: Thank you very much for the time to interview with me! Tell me who you are and what do you do in the band?
Chris: I’m Chris and I sing in Alestorm. Thanks for having me!
M.T.C.: You describe your band as pirate metal. Who would you make “walk the plank”?
Chris: There’s so many people! *laughs* But we’re nice guys, we wouldn’t do that, maybe have them walk the plank into some jell-o.
M.T.C.: What kind of jello?
Chris: I like the kind of creamy ones, like vanilla flavored.
M.T.C.: What inspired the band to create “pirate metal”, was it like an Amon Amarth sort of thing where they created “viking metal” or history obsession or?
Chris: Neither! It wasn’t really a viking type of thing and none of us are interested in history, I just happened to write a song one day, and it had to do with pirates, I just so happened to take that song to our first rehearsal, it was pretty cool, let’s all be a band of pirates, it was all a big dreadful mistake and it happened. *laughs*
M.T.C.: You guys are from Scotland tell us about the music scene in Scotland?
Chris: There’s nothing. Really. We don’t really consider ourselves to be a part of a scene or anything like that, we can’t go “oh, these are our buddies we play shows with them”, we have never played with a Scottish band before, even when it’s an unsigned, local show, we’ve never played with a Scottish band.
M.T.C.: I love the music video to “Mexico”, especially the video game scene at the beginning of the video, have you played shows in Mexico before?
Chris: We have played shows in Mexico in the past, as of this morning(Sunday, July 23rd), we just announced a Latin American tour, and the first date of that tour is going to be in Mexico City, so that is all going to just go off, I’m so stoked for that, as soon as the intro to “Mexico” hits, the crowd is going to explode! That’s going to be the funnest thing.
M.T.C.: Is that how you’re going to open the show?
Chris: No, it could be a part of the encore or something, or during a great moment in the set.
M.T.C.: Have you had any ale or beer from Mexico?
Chris: I haven’t, no idea dude! *laughs*
M.T.C.: Give me a day in the life of the recording process to “No Grave But The Sea”.
Chris: It’s supposed to be me sitting at home on a computer and my piano, and have some epic riffs and melodies coming here and there, its about the melodies, then we laboriously sit down and type it out on the computer, and the lyrics are sort of haphazardly thrown on at the end. For “Mexico”, the lyrics came first, because it was inspiring for a pirate’s home, this sounds fun. I know this sounds less exotic to you as an American, but we went to Florida to record our album, whereas we’ve recorded in Germany where it’s cold, and we got the call to record in Florida, and that must mean, “yeah, we’re an important band because we get to make an album in America” *laughs*! We went to Florida to make it and the sun was shining and it was hot and there were palm trees!
“Mexico” by Alestorm
M.T.C.: Besides the sun and the palm trees, what did you like about Florida?
Chris: I liked that it wasn’t freezing cold, I just like it there because there’s things to do, where we usually record in Germany, it’s this studio in the countryside, and there’s nothing to do. If we’re not playing or singing on that day, we go insane because it’s so boring.
M.T.C.: I’ve never been to Scotland before, and you’re a tour guide, where would you have me go in Scotland?
Chris: Stay away from the cities because they’re f****** dreadful, I would go up to the far Northwest, along around the coastline you see some crazy s***, beautiful countryside, and highlands. It’s a great car drive.
M.T.C.: Let’s say, there was a worldwide prohibition on alcohol where it’s illegal to drink, how would you change your songwriting as a band?
Chris: Not sure, but it would be kind of funny.
M.T.C.: There’s synthesized dog barking on “No Grave But The Sea”, who does the dog cite as its biggest vocal influence?
Chris: Lil’ Bow Wow! He likes to rap. It’s our friend’s pet dog, he’s a good dog, his name is Boo Boo.
M.T.C.: What can fans expect by checking out Alestorm on Warped Tour or at any Alestorm show?
Chris: I suppose we’ll play some songs. People tell us that we’re the most fun band on Warped Tour, we have fun and make people happy.
M.T.C.: Is there anything else that you would like to add in regards to “No Grave But The Sea” and where people can find you?
Chris: I would like to tell everyone to eat recycled pork because it’s good for you. Go to Google and type in Alestorm, we usually come up.
M.T.C: Thank you very much for your time, I know that you have to play in about 20 minutes.
Chris: Thank you!
And there you have it! Go pick up a copy of “No Grave But The Sea” via Napalm Records! Find Alestorm on tour near you:
Thursday, July 27th -Vans Warped Tour at Providence Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas
Friday, July 28th- Vans Warped Tour at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas, Texas
Saturday, July 29th- Vans Warped Tour at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Sunday, July 30th- Vans Warped Tour at NRG Park in Houston, Texas
Tuesday, August 1st- Vans Warped Tour at NMSU Intramural Field in Las Cruces, New Mexico
Friday, August 4th- Vans Warped Tour at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California
Saturday, August 5th- Vans Warped Tour at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California
Sunday, August 6th- Vans Warped Tour at Fairplex Pomona in Pomona, California
Wednesday, August 9th- Leyendas del Rock in Villena, Spain
Thursday, August 10th- Rockstadt Extreme Fest in Rasnov, Romania
Friday, August 11th- Metal On The Hill 2017 in Graz, Austria
Saturday, August 12th- Into The Grave 2017 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Saturday, September 30th- Backstage Munchen in Munich, Germany
Saturday, October 21st- Elysee Montmartre in Paris, France
Friday, October 27th- Aurora Concert Hall in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Saturday, October 28th – Delta Mekong Concerts in Moscow, Russia
Sunday, October 29th- Yekaterinburg, Russia
*further tour dates, tickets, and further information can be found at Alestorm’s official website
Check out Alestorm at the following locations: