Interview: Chris & Elliot from Alestorm

Last Thursday I had the opportunity of interviewing Chris & Elliot from the fearsome pirate metal Alestorm. See below for a laugh...


What was your first ever alcoholic drink? How’d that go for you?

Chris: I didn’t drink until I was 19! My first drink was actually a pint of Worthington’s Creamflow; it was shit. The first time I got properly pissed was on quarter of a bottle of mead; that got me steaming; at 19. I wish it was still those days. It would be so economical!

Elliot: I’m sure it was a Buck’s Fizz or something at Christmas but the first time I got properly pissed was a bottle of JD and it ended horrendously and I’ve never been able to drink it since!

One beer. One Spirit. One Non-Alcoholic drink:

 Chris: Spirit would be Gin. Beer would be that Cherry one... Lindemans or Timmermans. Pineapple juice. Spirit & non-alcoholic are 2 of the 7 ingredients in a Singapore Sling so I can pretend; you could stick a bit of the kriek in it too...

Elliot:  I haven’t had peppermint cordial for years and I remember really liking it, so probably that; that and crème de menthe (They once told someone they’d put them on their guest list if they brought them a bottle of crème de menthe and they did!). I’ll pick the cherry beer too. Dunno about spirit... I quite like coconut liqueur...

What’s the most absurd thing you’ve done while drunk?

 Chris: It was actually about 2 or 3 nights ago and it’s the perfect answer because we get this question a lot and I’m like “Well I got drunk and I vomited I guess”. But 3 nights ago we played in Bristol.
Elliot: After the show we had a party on a boat and we had these big jugs of alcohol.
Chris: I needed a poo but I decided not to go to the toilet and I ran off the boat into the street, I pulled down my pants and started pooing just as a police car drove past. It was like me and my mate and a cop says “Excuse me, is your mate pooing?” and he was like “Oh no, of course not!” and the policeman obviously not wanting to get involved just drove off and we got away with it! We spent the rest of the night in Kebab shops screaming “POOOO!” It was a good night!


Why a pirate metal band? Why not something normal like thrash metal?

Elliot: Yes; why pirates, Christopher Bowes?
Chris: I dunno.
Elliot: Disney seem to make loads of money out of pirates so...
Chris: We’re sellouts. I will go on the record to say we’re sellouts ‘cause y’know, I like going around the world playing shows to thousands of people and getting paid for it. Y’know, I like that. Am I not allowed to do this?

 What’s the first ever musical artist you ever remember enjoying listening to? 

Chris: (To Elliot) Is yours more embarrassing than mine?
Elliot: Erm... mine was probably the original 1981 cast recording of Phantom of the Opera with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. My dad had it on vinyl and it was wonderful. I’d obviously heard music before but that was the first time I really appreciated it.
Chris: I don’t know when I first started to appreciate music but I remember the first thing I owned was the Blackstreet – No Diggity single. I think I just acquired it from my brother and thought “wow! I have a music collection now!” I had that, the Tellytubbies album and The Smurfs’ album and that was my music collection.

You shouldn’t really feel guilty about any of your choices in music, but really, what’s the one musical artist you feel really embarrassed about telling people you listen to?

Chris: I think... everything!
Elliot: Just listen to the music he writes!

To be fair, a lot of people have said to me that you’re their guilty pleasure...

Chris: I think my guilty pleasures are the kind of thing that people who say Alestorm are their guilty pleasure, they will just scream and run away at the kinda shit I like. I like, y’know, like Scenecore and screamo nonsense, anything like that. All our fans like all their Viking metal and dressing like Vikings and I just like the commercial sellout pop-metal. And John Denver as well.
 Elliot: I think Simon & Garfunkel as well; they’re not so much of a guilty pleasure but it’s like everything we could never hope to be so it’s not really appropriate, is it?
Chris: I think Attack Attack Is my genuine guilty pleasure. The crabcore one, not the welsh one; nobody likes them.

Anymore Wurzels covers in the pipeline?

Elliot: Erm... did they do anymore songs?
Chris: Yeah, they got erm... Combine Harvester but it’s not really piratey. “On The Way To Shepton Mallet” is another one we could do.
Elliot: Oh yeah, Ok.
Chris: Next question.


What’s the last thing you ate?

Elliot: I had an egg and cress sandwich.
Chris: I had a Melton Mowbray pork pie and...
Elliot: No, no; I’m lying. I had a scotch egg after that!
Chris: The last two things I ate, in reverse order were this Melton Mowbray pork pie and and a sun-dried tomato & three cheese quiche; both from ASDA.

Can you cook? What’s your signature dish?
Elliot: I really like cooking Thai curries ‘cause I like cooking it and it’s the best.
Chris: I like cooking eggs Benedict, that’s my favourite thing to make but you’ve gotta make the hollandaise sauce and nobody can make hollandaise sauce.
Elliot: I really like making eggy bread but it’s not the most exciting culinary achievement.

One Fruit. One Vegetable. One Meat. One Cheese. Go:
Elliot: Camembert, Venison, Kiwi fruit & Corn on the Cob
Chris: Pont-l'Évêque, Fillet steak, butternut squash & banana

Is Scurvy a worry for the band?

Chris: Is scurvy really a worry for anyone in the modern age?
Elliot: To be honest, the actual medical condition is quite relevant to touring musicians.
Chris: How’d you get it?

It’s basically like not eating enough vitamin sea. People on ships got it a lot.

Chris: Well my diet on tour is roughly the same as when I’m at home.
Elliot: You basically get a few choices. Like when you’re touring in mainland Europe, the choices slim whereas in the U.K. you’re just handed some money and told to go buy your tea.
Chris: We go to Subway a lot.
Elliot: If you just go and buy kebabs every day then it really is a worry but buying a footlong subway is like 2 meals and you get all your veg!


What sports do you follow? What are your teams? Do you play or are you a fat bastard?

Chris: I think you’ve asked the wrong members of the band.
Elliot: I think two of them are really into football.
Chris: I like watching, when it’s on, the curling.
Elliot: I didn’t think I’d enjoy the Olympics but I did. I had loads of time off during the Olympics so I was at home and it was on.
What would you do if you came face to face with an antelope?

 Elliot: I’d befriend it.
Chris: Stroke it and just be nice to it. They’re quite docile.
Elliot: You’d think as a food source for predators they’d be quite easy to catch.
Chris: I’d probably just play with it then it’d be on its merry way!

How many times can you bounce up and down on Satan’s big old trampoline?

Chris: Yes. I nearly bought a house recently with a trampoline literally installed in the front garden. I loved that house but couldn’t get it.

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve currently got in your wallet?

Chris: Am I gonna win this or are you?
Elliot: I had loads of things but I threw them all away. Y’know cards from people on holiday who sell animal skins. I’ve got an AA card but I don’t drive.
Chris: There must be something good in here... I got my health insurance card. Oh I’ve got Alestorm’s membership to a catering supply company.

I think I’ve asked all my questions now...

Chris: Well they were certainly interesting questions, well apart from the “Why pirates?” one. It’s like a running in-joke how long it takes for an interviewer to say “So... Why pirates?” I really wish I had a good answer to that.

Oh, actually, Chris... Gloryhammer. Is that actually happening?

Chris: Yes! I’ve heard the first finished track right now, I mean, it’s taking longer than expected because in June we recorded the drums; the bass guitars and vocals and all that stuff then we got the same guy that does all the orchestra stuff for Alestorm, he’s gonna arrange a massive orchestra and keyboards so it’s gonna be really like Rhapsody and Symphonic. He’s taking ages. We were expecting to be finished by the end of August but it’s taking ages. I’ve heard one finished song and it sounds great!

Is Gloryhammer gonna tour?

Chris: Yeah, that’s the plan. We’re currently working with a graphic designer and the album art and booklet are almost finished. It looks beautiful. There are like maps and like seven cover-worthy pictures in it. Everything’s almost ready and we’re currently aiming for a mid-January release. Roughly then we’re going to Australia with Alestorm then after that we’ve got all of February off in which time I wanna start doing some gigs with Gloryhammer. So yeah, it’s gonna be happening and it’s gonna be fun. I started thinking about it in like January 2010 so it’s gonna be like 3 years. It’s genuinely gonna blow people’s minds. It’s good, like really good. Y’know most power metal bands these days are shit because they’ve lost the essence of pop song writing.
Elliot: It’s now just about how well you can play a guitar.
Chris: Yeah or how well you can compose a symphony whereas most of Gloryhammer’s songs are like 3 and a half minutes long and have sing-a-long choruses. I think that’s why people like Alestorm as well; because are songs are simple.

Thanks for the interview guys. Was a pleasure and a good laugh. I’ll spam it on your Facebook page when it’s online.

I turned the recording off.

Chris: Right... do you want to hear the first Gloryhammer song?

How could I refuse? Chris said it would be mindblowing and it is. It’s literally everything you want in a power metal song but that’s all I can say for now...

This was certainly the most fun interview I’ve done so far!

The gig was great too. Alestorm were good fun, as expected and played all of the songs you’d expect them to. I actually really enjoyed Dragonforce too, unexpectedly!

Alestorm Facebook Page:




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