After their show at MetalDays 2016 got cancelled halfway through, we had a chat with Hootsman and Angus McFife from Gloryhammer. We talked about storms, their show, festivals and some inspiration for their next album.
Hi Angus, thanks for doing this interview.
Angus: Mr. Hootsman is coming as well, did you know he has got the longest beard in all of England?
Cool, I have a long ponytail, but that’s definitely more impressive!
We already met at Graspop Metal Meeting some time ago.
Angus: Oh yeah, I remember that thing, it was like 3 years ago?
I think you guys drank some Leffe’s ad fundum together.
Angus: I can’t remember.
Yeah probably! (laughter)
Angus: But do we have it now? That’s the question!
I don’t think so, that’s a bummer. Anyway, we saw your gig here at MetalDays…
Angus: Yeah, how was it? (laughs) [The gig got cancelled after a few songs because of the storm, red.]
Well, everybody fled into the tent, but yeah… it was good before!
Hootsman: Before it was quite fun!
So what happened exactly, because the stage was flooded?
Angus: The rain broke some guitar effects, we hope nothing’s broken but at least we had to stop playing. So it was bad luck. I still think it was good because people will remember that. They will think “that’s bad!”, because it happened the second time already. We were in Germany for Summer Breeze I think and there was a thunderstorm coming up before we played and everyone had to leave the tent.
Hootsman: There was an air siren going on, there was about 12 000 people in the tent and then the siren went off and everyone got evacuated to their tents.
Wow, is it your magic dragon who’s messing around or something?
Angus: I think so. Maybe it’s the epic rage of furious thunder or something.
Yeah, I think he has to calm down a little bit.
Angus: Yeah he should! But anyway I don’t regret anything coming here because of this great festival and it was good fun because I didn’t expect so many people showing up. I hoped for it, but I didn’t expect it.
Hootsman: Fantastic! It’s like we played MetalDays in 2013, and it was the second ever show we played, so we were quite looking forward to coming back and being better than last time.
Angus: And it was much better than last time. Last time was great because it was our first ever festival show. But this time was quite full, at least it looked like that.
It was! Until the rain started the area was really full of people and everybody was singing along, so that was really cool.
Angus: Exactly! And that’s always what makes a great gig for me. If the people start chanting from the crowd, without anything I have to do, they just start, that’s great!
Bernd here is our resident DJ and we play your songs a lot too, so people start to know the lyrics. And at the campsite we hear a lot of Gloryhammer songs too. Maybe you’re more popular than you think!
Angus: I don’t know, but it’s good to know at least!
Hootsman: It’s that when the strippers are on or something?
Angus: I’d love to see a strip show to Angus McFife!
Maybe you can ask the strippers! So you like MetalDays?
Hootsman: We love MetalDays, a lot of us come to this festival even when we’re not playing.
And do you have time to party this week?
Angus: Well, tonight! Tonight will be the “bad night”.
Hootsman: (sings) “Bad niiiight”
So we saw you at Graspop, it’s our home festival, what do you think of Graspop?
Hootsman: I think that’s my favorite festival, I think it was one of the best shows we’ve done.
Angus: One of the biggest festivals we played I think also. It’s like Wacken.
It’s a little bit less than Wacken, they’re around 95 000, but it’s too many.
Angus: It’s probably too many. But it’s very impressive to see all the stuff they build just for a festival. It’s like a city they build.
Yeah, Hellfest is really cool for that as well. They have statues and really cool artwork.
Angus: We’ve never played Hellfest, we should!
It’s a really cool festival.
I have a silly question for you both. If you were a superhero, who would you be?
Hootsman: The Hootsman!
Angus: I’ll probably be Angus McFife.
Sure, they’re awesome too! And we noticed there’s a story line throughout the songs?
Angus: That’s just what people make up in their heads!
Hootsman: There is a story line? What are you talking about?
Angus: Of course there is a story line.
Can you tell us more about it?
Angus: It’s just so weird, don’t know, Chris makes this up.
Of course he does!
Angus: It’s about some evil wizard, and in the second album it’s an evil wizard in space! And he just wants to reign the universe so he sets it on fire.
Hootsman: Is it reign or rain?
Angus: I don’t care!
Angus: Both! So he wants to reign the universe, and in the end he destroys the universe.
Hootsman: My beard!
Angus: With your beard…?
Hootsman: I don’t think that’s what happened…
Angus: But it should be.
Hootsman: It’s close enough!
Angus: For the next album we might go to another dimension, because the universe or at least the world is destroyed. There’s a hole in the sphere, and Zargothrax flees through this hole, and after we follow. And then no one knows what happens next. Next time will be Japanese or I don’t know laser shooting dinosaurs or something.
Angus: Middle Earth!
We’re taking the unicorns to Isengard!
Angus: I just like Japanese stuff.
Have you guys ever played in Japan?
Angus: We’d love to play the big festival there, what is it called? Loudfest? I think it’s a pretty big one in a hall. I’ve seen some bands play there and Japanese people are just crazy. That’s what we like! ‘Cause we are.
Hootsman: Some of us are… A Japanese album?
Our time is almost over. Do you have a last shout out to your Belgian fans?
Angus: But you’re great as well, I’d love to return to Graspop. I hope we can return next year. I think Belgian fans are our best fans actually. Germans, Belgian and Dutch fans. So I hope we can return to Graspop next year.
You can play Graspop and then Hellfest as well, it’s the same weekend.
Angus: Is it? Good to know! I will tell it to our booking agent.
Great! Well thank you very much, hopefully we will see you guys tonight at the Beach Bar to party!