Master Of Disguise is genaamd naar het debuut van de '80's Speed metal band Savage Grace en spelen dan ook in hetzelfde genre. Vorig jaar bracht Masters Of Disguise hun derde langspeler ‘Alpha/Omega’ uit en ik was zeer onder de indruk. Wie mijn review gelezen heeft zal dit dan ook zeker gemerkt hebben met mijn 5/5. Het was ook een van de beste platen in zijn genre van de laatste jaren voor mij. Het is eveneens zeer aangenaam om dan een interview te mogen voorbereiden...
Keys and Chords: Congratulations with your new album. For me it was a fresh sounding and good metal record in its genre. The motto of the band is "Speed Metal with class", wich is 100% a fact, but how are things so far?
Kalli: Hi Jason, things are running smooth these days. We are still receiving very positive feedback for ‘Alpha/Omega’. Additionally, ‘Alpha/Omega’ has just been released on vinyl, which looks simply great in its blue transparent color. Also, the much bigger cover compared to the CD booklet does justice to the superb cover artwork by Stan W. Decker.
Keys and Chords: Also I noticed between ‘Alpha/Omega’ and ‘Back With A Vengeance’ the songs are still a bit different in writing proces, is there any reason? How did the writing proces go? I noticed the speed and heavy metal but also some true hymns in some songs!
Kalli: You are right, the writing process was slightly different this time. As you know, Masters Of Disguise started with the heritage of Savage Grace in mind since our first line-up has been the last existing Savage Grace line-up minus singer Chris Logue. So the first album ‘Back With A Vengeance’ was intended to be released as a new Savage Grace album, with all the trademarks Savage Grace was known for. But after the band split-up, we decided to go on without Chris but with a much better and more handsome vocalist called Alexx Stahl, with whom we already worked in our NWOBHM cover band Roxxcalibur. Over time we felt that we don’t want to record the same album again and again and stopped writing new songs in this classic Savage Grace style but rather added some personal preferences. We started doing this when we wrote the second album ‘The Savage And The Grace’ which sounded slightly different compared to ‘Back With A Vengeance’ and finally, this approach cumulated in the songs for ‘Alpha/Omega’. To me, they are the perfect mixture of 80s US speed metal and our personal writing styles.
Keys and Chords: There is a bit of line up changes from the band but is it now on a fixed base?
Kalli: As I already mentioned, we started as the last Savage Grace line-up. Since then, drummer Neudi left right after the recordings to ‘Back With A Vengeance’ to join the mighty Manilla Road. He was replaced by Jens Gellner, who is still in the band. Guitarist Roger left before we recorded ‘The Savage And The Grace’ because of personal reasons, so I played all the guitars on this record. He was replaced by Wolle Buchinger just before we toured Europe with Omen in May 2015. Since then, the line-up is pretty stable. Apart from that, Alexx joined Bonfire in early 2017. Due to his strict schedule there was just little time to promote ‘Alpha/Omega’ after the release, but we do our best…
Keys and Chords: The ‘Alpha/Omega’ cover is totally different than previous records. Is there any reason why Knutson is not on the cover?
Kalli: We wanted the cover to be as different as the songs compared to what the people have in mind when it comes to Masters Of Disguise. We realized that we need our own identity apart from the Savage Grace heritage and wanted to show this also by the cover design. The artwork reminds me of early 90s Scandinavian death metal... What more can you ask for, haha?
Keys and Chords: On the last EP ‘The Fine Art Of Aging Gracefully’ you guys did only covers like Agent Steel and Cirith Ungol why did you make that decision?
Kalli: Before writing ‘Alpha/Omega’, I needed to know how Wolle and me as guitarists would complement to each other in a recording situation. The easiest way to find out was recording some US and speed metal classics! We also wanted to offer something new for our tour with Manilla Road in 2016. So this little EP was the perfect gimmick for the fans and showed me the way for the guitar arrangements for ‘Alpha/Omega’.
Keys and Chords: Most of the reviews are positively, does the band receive live also those positive feedbacks?
Kalli: At least, I didn’t hear any negative feedbacks when we played live so far, haha. I mean, most of us know their stuff for 30 years and Alexx is a top singer, so what could be the cause for negative feedback, except you don’t like metal at all?!
Keys and Chords: Is there any change for more gigs, or a tour, outside Germany for this year? Because there are also other projects in the running for some members of course?
Kalli: This year, we won’t be playing live any more, I fear. Alexx is on tour with Bonfire, I am busy with the preparations for the 20th anniversary of my thrash band Abandoned in 2019, Jens plays in several bands plus we all have families and day jobs.
Keys and Chords: What is the future for Masters Of Disguise?
Kalli: We will see, what happens. Maybe we need to replace Alexx because we are completely dependent from his Bonfire schedule. But we are all good friends and really don’t want to let him go. So that would be a hard decision to draw. Nevertheless, we will surely start writing new songs by the end of the year. I would love to release a new album in 2019, but we first need to sort out if Alexx can stay in the band… thanks for asking!
Jason Proot © 2018 Keys and Chords