SEVENTH STORM released their debut album, “Maledictus,” via Atomic Fire Records in 2022. We chatted with drummer Mike Gaspar about what the rest of 2022 was like for the band. Read the complete interview here…
Last year, one of your goals was to finish your debut album. Something to cross off your list as you released “Maledictus” in August. How has the year been for you working towards this goal?
It was a huge expectation, [we were] super anxious to finally share with everyone what we had been working on for the last 2 years. This year, after having everything delivered to the label, we focused on promotion. It was a rejuvenating experience; finding the right people for all the tasks. We were lucky to have the best support from friends, fans, and professionals believing in this new adventure. It was a lot to handle but sure paid off. I feel I can now easily do it all again, without the preoccupation of whether things will work. So the next album will be much smoother and better for sure. We couldn’t be happier in achieving this goal. The pressure felt like a mountain but now I can finally say that this was a great leap in my musical career.
You mentioned last year that despite having rehearsed for already a year, few people know SEVENTH STORM’s music. With the release of your debut album, has that changed a lot?
Yes, it sure did change a lot! We went from nothing to a strong new presence in the metal world. Still nothing crazy, but for a band that just started, the recognition, approval, reviews, and live shows… I think for most bands what we did in a short time is truly amazing. I sincerely just wanted to get the name out there. Make good music, reconnect with the fans, and enjoy the life I started way back then. I also felt a warm acceptance from the public. [I was] happy that this band was created but also that I continued and didn’t give up. The rest I think will take time like everything in nature, we built a strong foundation. Now just have to watch it grow.
Other than releasing your debut album. Did you have any other musical highlights in 2022?
We did some acoustic shows to promote the release of the album in a chain called Fnac. They have small stages that bring you close to the audience. The simplicity of it all worked so well. The stripped-down versions of the songs felt even bigger in a scenario like that one. We sometimes forget our roots: the basic acoustic guitar, melodies, and vocals, the banging of just one drum. It’s so odd to me that it worked so fantastically. It proved how our songwriting can transcend. As complex as we can be, I always felt a strong foundation would bring light to the songs. A touch of worldwide was felt in these performances, we will repeat it again next year or anytime possible. It connects deeply in another form from the full shows. It’s all good, it’s SEVENTH STORM!
Were there perhaps some things you feel like you wanted to achieve in 2022, but didn’t have a chance to do as a band?
We achieved a lot as I mentioned, for a young band. In Portugal, we went straight to number 2 on the national charts. We had a good 8 weeks also. For metal in Portugal, that’s a miracle as I would say. I’m so proud of my country and the fans that made this happen. It shows how lots has changed and metal is a big thing here. Even though there was a lot of media that still haven’t acknowledged us here. Another reason to recognize the force that we have nowadays – social media, mouth-to-mouth, and of course the metal brotherhood. They did not fail me nor I shall fail them. I guess the one true thing we didn’t get to do yet, is a tour through Europe or anywhere else. We have a much bigger notion now of what we can do. Now we have a small fan base that we can’t disappoint.
Have you (re-)discovered any new music during 2022?
I listen to many bands that I toured with for some reason. I have my favorites of course. But the bond you feel with some bands after weeks together is just different. It brings you back to those moments. Like THE GATHERING, Anneke’s voice, for its time, in that genre, was not common. I remember the tough metalheads melting over her voice. That sound still is unique to me. At festivals, I would play between hardcore bands oftentimes. I became a huge fan of BIOHAZARD, SICK OF IT ALL, and I also love BODYCOUNT, of course, although I never played with them. New stuff… maybe ZEAL & ARDOR. I never was curious to check them out at first but when I finally did I was blown away. The mix of styles is perfection. It speaks to the soul. It’s very well done and I love all the emotion. It inspired me a bit for this new road of mine, like how we mixed fado and metal, opposites attract!
What can we expect from Seventh Storm in 2023?
We hope to finally tour and do some festivals. We already have some shows lined up in Portugal. We are still looking for a booking agent/agency to take the band to the next level. Maybe plan out some small shows around Europe, so the audience can see us for the first time. It’s exciting in a way after so many years of having a solid agenda on the road. It’s a new world and we are ready to take that journey. I can’t wait to see my fellow pirates on the road. We will also start to write some ideas for the second album. We are trying to keep the band as busy as possible, lots to do still. I want to thank everyone that is helping us to get all our wishes to become reality. I hope to see you live soon.
Article by Laureline Tilkin