Shadowkeep was formed in Guildford, England, in 1999. After ten years of hibernation, the band is back! The fourth album “Shadowkeep” will be released on March 30th, 2018 via Pure Steel Records. Here is an interview with Nikki Robson, Shadowkeep founding member.
We had a lot of financial problems as myself and Chris mainly finance the band and “The Hourglass Effect” put us in a lot of financial strain and debt and although a very good album the sales were poor. The music for our new album was actually finished bar the track “Never Forgotten” in September 2015. It was over a year before James began recording his vocals with the help of Larry Barragan in Houston. James had been understandably busy with Helstar and the Vampiro album was released and he also toured the album.
Let’s talk about new album first. It supposed to be released in March. I was privileged, so I already heard it, but let’s pretend I know noting about it. What was the main idea about the new album simply titled “Shadowkeep”?
The new album is called “ShadowKeep” as this is a new beginning having James in the band will bring elements to the band that were not there before but were needed and we now have. The release date is 30th March 2018 with Pure Steel Records.
Where did you record album, for how long and who produced it?
We recorded the album at Thin Ice Studios in the UK by Karl Groom from Threshold, Larry Barragan recorded James vocal bar at the track “Never Forgotten”, James came over to the UK in February 2017 to record at Thin Ice Studios. Pete Szabo record the bass for Stony in Austin TX. So a lot of different helping which was just great! Larry Barragan also did a guest solo on The Sword of Damocles.
New album, new label?
Just awesome to be signed to Pure Steel Records we feel that they are the perfect label for ShadowKeep really cool label to be signed to. Our new album entitled ShadowKeep will be released on the 30th March 2018.
Tell me something about the art cover. From my perspective, interesting concept.
Andreas from Pure Steel Records recommended Timo Wuerz who has done a lot of Pure Steel record covers we are all really happy as he is a great artist. Just worked out really well with our Greek Mythology theme to the album.
New album also brings new singer as you already mentioned. Magnificent James Rivera is part of Shadowkeep since January 2017. What he brought to the band? I can not resist to notice he sung it the way if late Warrel Dane colides Rob Halford.
James is one of the most respected singers in Metal and fits perfectly with our style of Metal particularly with the new album and is what we have been looking for all these years! We have known James for a long time and are fans of Helstar and have been for 30 years!
The sound of new album is more in 80’s style. How would you describe your sound today, ten years later?
We started listening back to our earlier influences which included a lot of speed metal and thrash from the 80’s which included such bands as Flotsam and Jetsam, Testament, Death Angel , Helstar, Agent Steel, Liege Lord, Artillery, Heathen, Sanctuary, Slayer, Exodus, early Solitude Aternus to name a few. But at the same time being inspired by more contemporary bands. We have always loved thrash and speed metal and thought that we would make our album heavier and darker and more aggressive sounding
Shadowkeep faced too many line-up changes over the years. Only you and Chriss Allen survived. What was the main reason of those line-up changes?
At times this is what happens when you are in a band you may not have the same vision as each other or at times personalities clash and at times people came bring too much negativity so you don’t have a choice really. Myself and Chris have survived as we have always believed in the band and mainly financed it! This is the style we love to play and our writing partnership works really really well.
I think this might be your 10th reincarnation. Is it time to settle down?
Things fans have to realize we finished recording all of the music bar “Never Forgotten” in 2014 it was not about finding any singer but one that fits so perfectly to our style that’s why we asked James.
You are the only woman in the band? How do you feel in men’s world?
It does not bother me I think at times people are surprised when the find out I am a woman and then they say hey she can play! It is my drive for music and passion that keeps me going I am in the band I want to be in and play the music/ style I love.
What do you think, do women in metal feel like they are in the shadow?
I think for a long time it was like this but things have changed now over years there have been far more women in metal but to be honest usually singers, bass players or keyboard players! I am not say thing there are not any female guitarists out there as I know there are but I think I am kind unique in a way playing this type of music and to think that now having James Rivera at the helm is just brilliant!!!
What do you think of heavy metal scene today?
I am very picky on what I buy but the scene is there but not with say the classic style singer we have a lot of bands these days have growls vocals which I don’t mind but not all the time.
Do you have any tour plans?
Yes we are in a few weeks off to do some dates in Europe our first with James Rivera first headline gig this is gonna be awesome cant wait! For more informations, check out Pure Steel Records.
Over the years you shared the stage with so many bands. Tell me, as a headliner, what band of younger generetion would you like to see as your support band?
To be honest I am not sure but for me supporting Flotsam and Jetsam and Dio and Halford was just the best time for me!
One more time, thank you for this interview. Welcome back!
Thank you so much for your support. See ya on the road!