Flamethrower was founded in 2004 in the City of Koprivnica. From the beginning the band was working on their own material. They are inspired by heavy metal with various influences of other genres, such as thrash and progressive metal. Their themes are based on personal experiences, introspection and personal interpretation and history.
They have released three albums like “The Birth of Flame”, “A Treason or the Truth” and “The Keeper of Remembrance”. Also, they held numerous performances all over Croatia, and the first foreign performance was held in July 2010 as part of Metal Camp in Tolmin, Slovenia.
On 12th of May, the band will finally play at the Valhalla Festival, which will take place at Club Močvara in Zagreb. So, we had the honor to talk to the frontman Tomislav Ferenc. See what we were talking about!
Hi! Thank you for your time for Metal Jacket Magazine.
Bok. 🙂 It’s no problem really.
Can you first tell us something more about the band name?
It was a long time ago and to be completely honest, I don’t really remember who came up with the name. The only thing I can remember is that the decision about the name was unanimous, more or less. Back in the day we were kind of hyped up with the idea of setting the crowd and stage on fire with our music haaiha, so I suppose the name “Flamethrower” was a natural way to go. 🙂
Flamethrower was formed in 2004. So far, you released two full-length albums “A Treason or the Truth” (2010, One Records) and “The Keeper of Remembrance” (2012, RockLive Records). How difficult is to find a label in Croatia?
Maybe it’s not an official release or an album, but I still see our demo “The Birth of Flame” (2007) as an important release for Flamethrower because it was completely sold out and presented us to an audience broader than our hometown.
Regarding labels, to be completely honest, I don’t know how difficult is to find one. I mean, it’s 2018, you don’t necessarily need a label to get your music heard and you don’t necessarily need to look for it in Croatia where there are no metal labels. 🙂 It really depends on what kind of label and promotion you are looking for.
In 14 years, only two albums. What are the biggest problems metal bands are facing: finding label, promotion, lack of musicians, money, time?
Basically, everything you have mentioned could be a potential problem for the band and most of the bands will have to face some of these problems in their career. But these are all quite normal and expected obstacles, so there is really no point in complaining about, I’d say, standard band stuff.
The hunger for music, creativity and expression should be a top priority for every band or musician. If you have all of that, I don’t see any problem in overcoming these basic obstacles.
At the moment, Flamethrower has only three active band members. Why is that so?
“The Keeper of Remembrance” and “A Treason or the Truth” albums studio sessions were done with only three core members, so we decided to give it a shot and perform in this line up live as well. We had a history with a lot of member changes, so this fact pushed us forward to pursue a more stable line up, even if it meant playing as a trio. It was challenging at first, but now we are really comfortable with power trio formation.
You started working on the third album in the middle of 2014. So far, what have you done?
Songs are written and pre-production phase is done. Last year we started with drums recording. The plan is to finish the rest of the recording by the end of this year and release a full album or just an EP next year. No hurry.
Basically, you are playing traditional heavy metal influenced by thrash and progressive metal. Which bands influenced you the most?
Straightforward answer would be – Iron Maiden, Death/Control Denied and Nevermore. These three bands probably influenced Flamethrower’s music the most.
But on the other hand, our list of influential bands could be endless. 🙂 I would say every band I’m currently listening or used to listen influenced me in some way. It’s important for me to find music I’m listening inspirational.
Can you tell us something more about the lyrics? What inspires you?
Everything I find fascinating or dreadful about every day life, art, nature, dreams, introspection and spirituality.
From the beginning, Flamethrower is based on author songs. Still, there are a few covers. What is the main criterion when you are working on cover songs?
I think that our covers of “Car Mrazomor” and “Konan Pustolov” are not classic covers at all. In a way, we’ve made completely new songs by using the themes and lyrics from the original recordings.
So, a song has to be suitable to be covered in Flamethrower style. In other words, if we can’t make it sound great played in our own style and how we think the song should sound, then we won’t do it.
“Car Mrazomor” is a very interesting cover song. Maybe one of my favorites, since I have always been a fan of The “Elm-Chanted Forest“. Why did you decide to cover this song?
Well, thank you very much. 🙂 There is a theory (of mine :)) that there are certain songs which are not necessarily recorded in heavy metal arrangement, but still – they’re metal as fuck. “Car Mrazomor” is maybe the perfect example of this theory. It sounds dark, epic and mysterious, but it’s been arranged to be suitable for a cartoon theme.
Originally, “Car Mrazomor” was never meant to be released. On of our good friends suggested that we make a cover of this song, just for fun. So, a home recording demo was made and everybody was super-thrilled and pleasantly surprised how good the song sounded in our version. That’s why we decided to properly record it and play it live.
You are also active member of Soundbringer. In Flamethrower you are a frontman, while in Soundbringer you are playing guitar. What suits you better, to be a leader or a follower?
Actually, I have a different role in every band I’m playing in, but I equally enjoy all of them because it has its challenges and it helps me with my development as a musician and an author.
For example, Flamethrower currently writes songs on the basis of file sharing, basically making pre-production demos while exchanging files between band members and recording it simultaneously. This approach is brilliant and it worked great so far, because we haven’t lived in the same city for a few years now. But hey, this is one way of making music and band functioning. Sure there are others as well that needs to be experienced.
That’s why I also like playing in a band Batistuta (nuclear blues band from Zagreb) where we’re making songs the old school way – jamming endlessly in the rehearsal room with lot of improvising and disagreements, but as long as the final result is good, everything is cool. We even recorded some of our releases live and this was really a bombastic experience.
So, I like diversity when it comes to playing music. If you stick with your same old band role, same old approach to music, songwriting and even with playing same style of music, it could easily become monotonous and counterproductive. Different approaches can sometimes help in development and being more creative.
Tell us something more about cooperation with legendary Pharaoh, Control Denied vocalist Tim Aymar?
It seemed like a cool thing to do, since we’re huge fans of Tim’s voice and his work in Control Denied and Psycho Scream. Also, some of our songs seemed very suitable for his voice. We asked him if he would be interested to sing one of the songs, he accepted and did a hell of a job. One of the best experiences we’ve had in Flamethrower and while making music in general. I surely hope that this is not our last cooperation with legendary guest musicians.
He contributed on “Flamethrower”, song which is followed by video. Tell us something more about the story which video follows.
The theme story of the video is “Death and Resurrection of Flamethrower”, hahaha. Simple as that. 🙂 There are three stories, each one representing stupid/tragic/funny death of band members and their coming back to life just to pick up the instruments and play heavy metal all over again.
It seems you have been one of the most active Croatian metal bands. Any shows by now you would mark as highlight of you career?
There were a lot of great shows we’ve played. The most important ones are shows on Metal Camp 2010, Metal Fest in Zadar 2012, Krematorij in Močvara 2006, and of course, back in 2008. when we played Koprivnica’s main square on a super big stage for a large audience. This was a truly magical evening, probably our biggest concert.
On the other hand, I would say that the true highlights of our career are our releases. This is what counts at the end of the day. 🙂
On 12th of May, Flamethrower will play at Valhalla Festival. Any expectations?
A killer metal evening and metal party that we’re gonna be a part of by playing a concert and having a good time before and after the show. I’m sure it will feel really good to play Flamethrower songs live after all these years.
What does the future hold to Flamethrower?
It’s hard to tell, but one thing is certain – we’ll continue to make music because this was always our top priority and after all – this is why we’re playing metal. So, a new songs and releases can be expected from Flamethrower and from our other bands and side projects as well. We are already in the process of recording a new release, as I’ve already mentioned. And then we’ll see what happens, we try not to get carried away by some big plans or expectations.
It was nice to talk with you, I wish you all the best in the future. Last words are yours…
Take it easy and we’ll see you at Valhalla Festival in Močvara. Take care and prijatno.