Metalsteel is a heavy metal band from Medvode (Slovenia) formed in the year of 1999. Almost twenty years of activity makes them one of the most enduring bands within the Slovenian metal scene. So far, they managed to record six full-length albums: “Usoda” (2003), “Taste the Sin” (2005), “Bad In Bed” (2007), “Entertainment” (2010), “This Is Your Revelation” (2014), “Beyond The Stars” (2017) and one live album simply named “Steel Alive” (2011). All that recording was, as expected, followed by lots of live shows all across Europe. On their musical journeys, they shared the stage with Destruction, Apocalyptica, Hypocrisy, Helloween, W.A.S.P., Hell and Steve Lukather.
Back in 2009, Metalsteel joined forces with American singer James Rivera (Helstar, Malice, Seven Witches) and formed the European chapter of the ultimate Black Sabbath and Judas Priest tribute band “Sabbath Judas Sabbath” and performed Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Metalsteel songs through numerous European countries.
Speaking of the present times, in a few days, Metalsteel will be performing live in Zagreb as a part of this year’s Valhalla Festival line-up at club Močvara, so Metal Jacket Magazine had a brief chat with the band’s guitarist and founder Rok Tomšič. Take a look and see what we talked about.
Hey there, Rok! What was the reason for naming your band “Metalsteel”?
We’ve formed the band when we all were like eleven to fourteen years old. At that time (and still to this day) we were listening to artists such as Manowar, Agent Steel, Metal Church, Metallica, etc., and Metalsteel sounded like a great name for a band. It kinda sounds a little bit funny and could be considered as a cliché, but we decided to keep the name because we already became familiar to a bunch of people, and, let’s be honest, it gets stuck in your head really quickly haha…
After merely twenty years of music making, is it hard to maintain creativity?
Sometimes we experience a creative block like all bands, but eventually, we overcome it with lots of new ideas. Then the energy starts to flow through each and every one of us when we start to work on a new album. We are always facing new challenges which make us constantly hungry for creating new material.
What was the best moment in your career so far? Is there something you regret or you would like to change?
It’s hard to say what was our best moment… Every show is a new experience for us. I could probably highlight our tours across Northern Europe, as well as touring with James Rivera in Greece. Our great accomplishment was doing a show together with the Ljubljana symphony orchestra, and a great experience was to share the stage with Saxon, W.AS.P., Helloween, Steve Lukather, Hell and some other great names.
I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m sure all of my bandmates would agree with me.
By your opinion, what is the unique formula for making a good song?
Actually, there is no formula. The most important thing is that you compose music directly from your heart, and all the members of the band should be included in the song writing process. If all the band members believe in the music they are composing, the fans will surely feel that as well. A strong bond will then be created between those two sides.
Not so many metal bands have appeared in a Toyota commercial. Can you tell us the background of that unusual story?
We were contacted by a Slovenian casting agency which was responsible for creating an international Toyota commercial. After a short meeting, they listened to our song “This Is Your Revelation”. Seeing their happy faces was a sign that we will make a deal and became a part of the mentioned project. It was truly an interesting experience, many of the people out there found out about our band and listened to our music just by the fact this commercial was uploaded on YouTube.
Are there any new projects or collaborations that you are currently working on? Would you like to announce any of your future plans?
Currently, we are mostly focused on promoting our new full-length album “Beyond The Stars”, which turned out to be pretty damn good. It’s actually our first concept album. That is the fact we are truly proud of, and we just can′t wait to play our new material in front of the audience in Zagreb. Speaking of collaborations, we are planning to perform once again with the Ljubljana symphony orchestra, and we will be opening for Iced Earth at Kino Šiška (Ljubljana) in July. Other than that, we are looking forward to all the gigs and festivals that await us in the near future.
After visiting so many countries and playing so many shows, you have surely gained a lot of experience. What is your advice for today’s young and new metal bands?
Our advice for all the young and new bands out there in the wild is to enjoy what they are doing and to focus precisely on their music. Every band member should get their part of the work done. For example, one can arrange gigs, the other can deal with the PR, the third could focus on the music production, and so on, and so on…
The most important thing is that you all should stay friends within the band, and you must act as one on the stage. Don′t forget to practice a lot. If you do, the hard work will pay off.
For the last one, tell me what do you expect from your appearance at this year’s Valhalla Festival in Zagreb? Do you have a special message for your fans in Croatia?
Our first show in Zagreb was a blast. The chemistry was just boiling between the crowd and us. I hope it will be the same this year, and we’ll do our best to prepare a killer show! Metal gigs in Croatia are always filled with good and friendly atmosphere. That is why I manage to visit as many concerts in Croatia as possible. People are truly interested in listening to the bands, there are not so many phone recordings in the audience, and the feedback is most of the times pretty awesome.
See you soon at Valhalla Festival, and don′t miss it! There are so many great bands playing this year!