Rampart is more or less known band among heavy metal killers, they are from Bulgary and plays non modern heavy metal. here you can know some more info about them, as well as you can check their latest video here!
Hi! Tell me about Rampart. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Rampart is bastion, fortification! We have the mission to be the bastion of heavy metal in Bulgaria! And as far as I know for the past years we are succeeding to fulfill it… Actually the name comes from the game “Heroes of Might and Magic”. Do you play strategies?
And besides all of this “Rampart” just sounds good…
“Codex Metalum ” album was released several months ago. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
„Codex Metalum” walked its long road to reach the fans. The conditions in which the band is working are such that every song from it is ripe and suffered enough before touching the listener. From a musician’s point of view there is no instrumentalist who does not say that something could be done better. But being the producer and the manager I decided that this is the product the metal fans should hear from us at this moment. If in the album there are some small defects, this is because I was too tolerant toward the musicians from the band who consulted the recordings without having the necessary training for this. But although this fact the album is ripe enough, it has excellent indices of the recording and a clear concept which we achieved for the first time. For us remains the pride from our achievements in “Codex Metalum” and the pleasure for presenting it live!
Tell me more about “Codex Metalum”? Album ideas etc…
Compared to our previous albums the songs in the new one are not connected with a common story. But there is a common idea. Somehow we try to refer heavy metal to an ancient system of values. Each of our songs tries to tell the part of the moral codex which we defend through our music. With the title of our new album “Codex Metalum” we express our feeling for the anthropological eternity of the main values. That is why when we were searching for the artist for the artwork of the album we explained to him the idea with direct parallel between knighthood (The Knights Code) and the metal culture (The Metal Codex). It was not possible for me not to touch topics from our contemporary times in the lyrics. This made me think that we express ourselves by the means of the contemporary universal language and by contra-pointing the topics of nowadays for the title of our album, I decided to use the Latin – the universal language of the antiquity. This philosophy reflected also on the graphic design of the CD. The main concept of “Codex Metalum” is that the metal attitude comes from the ancient times and it could be represented by venerable symbols as the knights’ codex of honor.
How can you evaluate cooperation with Iron Shield Records so far?
Iron Shield Records proposed us very good conditions for the release of our new album, and the label was very efficient in releasing of “Codex Metalum”. The label fulfilled its engagements toward the qualitative parameters of the release. The cooperation between Rampart and Iron Shield Records is excellent. From now we hope the fans to judge the album on its merits so that both the label and the band to be satisfied from the work accomplished!
Your first two albums were released by Inferno records, but then you have changed two more labels, why so?
When in 2013 the Bulgarian label „Metal Industries” offered us a release we did not cease our relations with the French label Inferno Records! It was a question about one release in Bulgarian language which we made for the Bulgarian market and the Bulgarian fans. We did not expected strong interest in the other countries because of the language barrier. Afterwards it became clear that it is not such a big barrier… but anyway… At that time we kept our good relations with Inferno Records.
Later both Rampart and Inferno Records passed through some difficulties. Our mutual activities somehow exhausted all possible means for innovations. I required special attitude toward my band while the label was keeping somewhat socialistic principle of equality of rights toward the artists signed to it. Since 2007 we have always been great friends with Inferno Records. The label helped the band a lot and we appreciate it very much. The delays of the new recordings and the artwork from our side postponed the release too much. Then came the proposition by Iron Shield Records, and on this stage it was irresistible as parameters.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
We take inspiration from the world around us, from the approaches we understand it and from our vision for the ways we can change it. We are a social engaged band and we express our positions with music and lyrics appropriate for each different idea or song. Just like every band, every artist or even every human we are like a mirror of the world reflecting it by our inner light. The rest could be explained only be the means of your ears.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define Rampart’s sound?
Our sound is classical heavy metal on creative and constructive basis which accommodates different musical influences to a moderate extend. According to us metal is the contemporary classical music! Now we make it the way we want it because we gained the skills necessary and we have more freedom of expression.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
It’s good to see the feedback from the metal media and the fans. But I already started to write some new songs. Everything is still in working process. We will keep the direction of making fast dynamic songs with evident own specific melodies. Now we are focused on some live gigs to present “Codex Metalum” but meanwhile we will spend lots of days working on the brand new album as well. I think that it will be the next step of development for the band.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
I believe that Kai Hansen is the best vocalist of Helloween. Besides the names from the heavy metal scene I am a big fan of Testament, Kreator, Laaz Rockit and many more. Victor thinks that the air is invented by Iron Maiden. He is a great admirer of Iced Earth as well. Alexander considers Steve Harris as a living god. Yavor admires Pink Floyd and Queensryche. Velislav is amazed from everything from glam rock to thrash metal. Everyone from Rampart could mention a hundred favorite bands as an inspiration but no one wish to go to extremes…
No matter how strong is our liking to the music of our metal gurus at this moment being on this road for more than 10 years we have cleared a distinguished face as a band and our own metal path. The framework of heavy metal may seem restrictive but we have the skills and the will to go ahead on our own way.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
We did not plan guest appearances but who knows… I’ve always dreamed to record a duet with Chuck Billy (Testament, Dublin Death Patrol). It should be in our veins to invite Majk Moti (Running Wild, Wild Knight) to participate in some of our future albums.
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
First, our strategy includes qualitative heavy metal with high-class virtuoso compositions. After that come the good pressing of the releases and the number of the shows played. Till now we keep our ascending position of development on all of these key indices.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
Now I write my next book “Apocalypse over Europe”. It’s about our tour supported by Wacken Foundation. We would like to thank them for the inspiration which they are for us. The book is describing the incredible kaleidoscope of impressions we gained and the richness of different experiences in the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Belarus, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and of course – Bulgaria. We were continuously chased by the feeling of empathy with the audience and the sense of Apocalypse right at our heels. These fatalistic emotions also inspired the opener of our new album “Codex Metalum”. The book will include a bonus CD with early live concert of ours at London. This recording is a sincere phrase from the beginning of the Apocalypse.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
On the path we have chosen and we walk already 10 years I think that it is clear that our relatives support us. Some of them had their doubts and sometimes have said: “Why do you put so many efforts when the results are not evident?”. But our style and our messages swarm from us and we are convinced that we have to be motivated to present them to the world. Now we face only total support.
How’s the metal scene in Bulgaria right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days?
At the moment in Bulgaria we pass somewhat stage of accumulation: there are many new and active bands and the rock clubs are getting more and more. But we did not reach the qualitative stage of music supply! The conditions in the most of the clubs are of compromise and a big part of the bands offer warmed-up material of the big names. Our country already included in the global network of the concert activities on all stages and here play plenty and diverse artists from all over the world. This stimulates the skillful musicians and some of the young formations already shame the elder while on stage! So, to play here could be easily achieved.
As it is in a global aspect the supplies are slow in comparison to the free internet consumption and they are happening more on the principle of the free-will alms, if I could say so. The frequent concerts transformed the public into a hard to please spectator who buys selective and prudent. You must offer high quality show to sell a moderate quantity of your releases!
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
Thank you for your support! Stay tuned for our future activities on our website: www.rampartmetal.com
RAMPART is coming to get you and don’t say we didn’t warn you… A loud Metal On!