Interview by Dale Roy with Taan late 1999…

For those that do not know Ironsword play magnificent heavy metal with superb power metal scream embellishments and fine musicianship and quality catchy material! Look out for the new demo “Die By The Sword” which should be out for the beginning of the new millenium. Let me not waste any further time and present Taan the master of all facets of this amazing one man band. Due to Taan unfortunately taking close to a year to return this interview it was never published in any of the print issues and see's the light of day only now. Enjoy…

* Update - Sometimes it surprises me which bands stay around and which ones leave. For some odd reason I expected to find Ironsword had faded away but they are apparently still around as of 2007. Well their site was last updated in late 2006 but I assume they are still going? Nevermind I have looked again they have a big festival live appearance coming up April 2007. I must confess the last thing I heard from Ironsword was their debut album in 2002 so I cannot speak to how good their newer material is but cheers to them for still fighting the good fight after so many years. 



Greetings my metal brother, how are you today? Tann please describe what an average day in your life consists of for you? If you could live in another period of earth history which would it be and where?   

Everyday I get up early in the morning and immediately I put some metal on my stereo! Then I go to work. I am an officer employee in a Maritime yachting/sailing club. All of spare time afterwards is spent answering mail, doing interviews, playing the guitar, rehearsing, reading books, listening to music, going out with my fiancee etc etc. Only on weekends I go out to rock or metal pubs and drink until I burst! I really would have liked to live during the Iron Age period with my forefathers in Lusitania, what is now known as Portugal. I have a great fascination for that period in time and archaeology in general as well. I also spend a lot of time visiting ancient Roman ruins, megalithic monuments etc studying these subjects and other past lost cultures and people like the Egyptians, Aztecs, Celts, Vikings as well.      

Tell us what inspired you to start Ironsword and are you happy with your progress so far? Please describe in depth your first two releases (Promo tapes ’95 & ’98)? Which release do you like better? Why so long a time between releases? Anything you would like to change about those releases?

I started IRONSWORD because I wanted to play traditional raw Heavy Power Metal and be under control of everything. I was highly inspired to be a kind of Manowar clone, but soon I realize that I need to put my own personal touch and express through my music some of my ideas and ideals. When I started IRONSWORD, Power Metal was not too popular like it is nowadays, and I really remember the media saying that IRONSWORD was outdated, non-original etc etc, and years later I see the same people praising new Power Metal bands (I see this too, fucking trendies!! – Dale), which is ironic. I kept faithful, always with an underground spirit and attitude, still fighting and surviving, never sell out, so all this makes me very happy of course. Nevertheless, since I’m the one, alone who takes care of everything the progress has been very slowly. About the promos, to tell you the truth I like both a lot, I really don’t have any fave one. Promo 1995 was important for me because it was a turning point in my musical career, I had no studio budget and I just wanted to play metal from the heart. Promo 1998 was to prove somehow that IRONSWORD was not dead, it put me again on the right track, I was totally disappointed with the musical business in and general and still I wanted to play metal! Changes!? I think not (GOOD!! –Dale), I like the way the songs are, but if I ever change anything it will be small parts, probably you will not notice, it will not be radical changes. There is so long a time between releases, because after releasing the promo 95, a few months later I was already working on some new songs which I intended to be released as a demo tape by the name of “Power Metal Thunder”. Meanwhile, I got a great contract deal from the underground German label N.E.P. to release my first cd, still entitled “Power Metal Thunder”, consisting of the old promo 95 songs and the new ones supposed for the demo, but it was not enough. So, for almost a year, I kept composing new songs just to fill in, When I was about to enter the studio and record the album, the label cancelled their activities because it (the label) went bankrupt. With all this time lost, I decided then to compose 5 new songs for a new promo, that was recorded and released early 98.         

I understand you are very inspired by Portuguese history. Could you give me and my readers some highlights of your countries history and in particular the parts that interest you? Are there many ruins and old castles or other historic landmarks in Portugal?

Yes, Portugal is very rich in monuments, may it be old castles, Roman ruins, pre-historic sites etc. For example in the village where I live, there is a place from the XVII Century of a noble rich marquis. Portuguese history does interest me a lot, especially from the Iron Age period, my forefathers of pre-Celtic origin. I think the highlights of my country’s history must be the time of the discoveries, our powerful navy fleet, the maritime rotes, the navigating instruments and all the sea knowledge they left as heritage. I’m just not too fond of the religious (christianity) influence upon our past history.

Describe life in Portugal? What are America and Canada viewed like by the Portuguese people and press? Tell us a few things about the underground scene and bands in Portugal?

Well, Portuguese metal is not too popular and there aren’t too many known bands as well. However, I can recommend Tarantula, Rebellion, Drakkar, Demon Dagger. I apologize for not giving too many details about it but I’m quite isolated from the scene, you know. There’s simply too many shitty bands and assholes who behave like rockstars, no-cooperation at all. So, they don’t get my support! I guess life in Portugal is ok, I do like living here. It’s a beautiful peaceful country. Maybe for an outsider the idea of beautiful landscapes, beaches, nice food and wines will be attractive, but Portugal is much more than that. Well, Canada is viewed like a familiar neighbor country, because a high percentage of Portuguese people are living there (immigrants). I also think of bands like Exciter, Anvil, Piledriver etc. About America, I really cannot give a general view from the Portuguese people and press, I think the biggest concern is the conflict between races and cultures, the unbridled society of consumption, and the “never to be second best” philosophy (very true there – Dale).

Ironsword is a one man band. Do you prefer it this way? List the good and bad points of a one man band? Have you ever thought of kicking out one of your body parts due to musical differences? Which instrument do you prefer and which instrument to you feel you are most talented with?

IRONSWORD is not a one man band anymore. I am already working with a drummer, and if we find worthy members for the band we’ll have a stable line-up, time does not matter. It’s important all members have the same musical tastes, agree 100% with the musical direction of the band, and fit the image, attitude, lyrics etc. I’m the boss and everything must be under my control. I really don’t like mixing my ideas with others. Or the musicians follow me and obey or they can freely leave. They have to respect that! Too many people judging and deciding what to do does not take us anywhere. The bad points of a one man band is for example when you take care of the band only on your spare little time, answering mail, doing interviews etc etc. Sometimes I’m really too overloaded, but all the fan support so far has been very encouraging for me. I really don’t like any fave or feel talented for any instrument. I enjoy playing guitar and bass guitar most. I think I prefer show my talent when I composing and final song as a whole.

Do you have any plans to add members to Ironsword? Possibly just session members for live shows? Do you even care to do live gigs? Please describe an average day start to finish for you when in the recording studio with your promo tapes?

Session members for live shows and studio recordings does not work for IRONSWORD. I have tried that before and it failed. It’s important to have a stable healthy line-up and sooner or later this might happen, maybe we haven’t found yet the right people for IRONSWORD, but we are patient. When I say I’m the boss, that the members must obey me or leave, I’m not being arrogant. All my bad past experiences made me behave like this. I really hate being dependent of anyone, and we cannot afford to search and wait for other people to fit in. The band must continue, this cannot slow us down. In the past I always felt I had the strength to carry on alone, but it was hard. Now I want to change that, patiently. It’s part of my plans to have a full line-up, to play live with decent conditions. Working in the studio sometimes it’s a bitch, when machines don’t work and the equipment suck. I record almost everything on the first take. I really don’t like to improve or experiment things when I’m in the studio, I prefer metal energy and feeling and play it loud! (Hails to that!! – Dale)

Do you think the world will end as many predict at the start of the new millenium? What are your opinions on computers and the internet? Do you have any plans to promote Ironsword on the internet? Do you spread many flyers throughout the underground for your band?

Hopefully not! I still want to release some IRONSWORD albums first! Well, when you are used to since several years to spread flyers throughout the underground, hand-written letters, tape trading, xeroxed fanzines, all the wasted time and money with mail, rip-offs etc obviously, computers and the internet made things easier and helpful in all aspects, however I feel now that the underground spirit is lost (Yes it seems this is the price we pay – Dale). I don’t have at home a computer nor internet either, but I know that some zines and fans already featured IRONSWORD on their official web pages. All promotion for IRONSWORD is done in the old way!

Please tell us you as a person? Your hobbies/non-musical interests? Tell us your history as a musician? I know you were in Moonspell (I only like the Moonspell “Anno Satannae” demo tape and MCD “Under The Moonspell”), did you leave Moonspell due to their new wimpy musical direction?

I don’t like talking about myself, hope you respect that. I can say that I’m a crazy metal guy with a high fascination for archaeology and ancient civilizations. My musical career started in 88 more or less I can’t recall, and played in several metal bands. Yes, I have played guitar in Moonspell for two years, recorded with them the mini-cd “Under The Moonspell” and the first album “Wolfheart”! I was kicked out of the band on very bad terms  due to several matters, and the musical direction was one of the reasons. I guess back then we all were immature, and the shock of different personalities was not favourable. I just regret there was no honesty and respect to solve that problem upon their side.

Has there been much label interest for Ironsword? I heard you are releasing soon a split 7”ep with Metalucifer, tell us all about that? When will we see your debut full-length album?

I guess it’s the opposite. So far, I haven’t demonstrated too much interest for it, because all of my efforts have been in promoting the band across the nations instead of finding a label and getting signed. Besides, in my plans I still want to release first a demo tape and a couple of 7” inches, but if occasionally I find a honest worthy label where I can trust my work and if they support me 100% things might change, it’s just a matter of time I guess, or else IRONSWORD will be an eternal demo tape band! Unfortunately, about the split single with METALUCIFER I cannot give further details, I have sent all my material more than a year ago, I don’t the reasons for all this delay and it seems I recently lost contact with the label. Anyway, as soon as I release the new demo tape I will definitely concentrate more in spreading my music throughout the labels, underground, major, whatever.

What inspired you to play power/heavy metal in the ‘80’s tradition with Ironsword? Please list some of your favorite bands of all-time? Also tell some fanzines you have been enjoying lately? Are interested in horror/gore movies?

This is all natural for me, I grew up listening to 80s metal, it has been a lifestyle for me, and it’s normal that I play from the heart this traditional heavy power metal. I honestly don’t find any attraction for the 90s stuff. I was inspired by Manowar to start the band and Ozzy, Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon are some of my all time faves. I’ve been enjoying lately “Metal On Metal” (Hail the Canadian scene! – Dale), a Brazilian fanzine, very cool. About horror/gore movies, I like some of that stuff, it’s quite fun! I prefer movies like “Excaliber”, “Braveheart”, and “Conan”. Not forgetting the movies of “Beavis And Butthead” and “Bad News”!

What are the new Ironsword songs sounding like? Next time you record will you use the same studio as the promo tapes? Describe your music for someone who has never heard of your band?

Yes, I will use the same studio I recorded the promo tape 98, since the promo 95 is a home recording on a 4 track. Anyway, I will use some different equipment in the studio. The new songs are sounding very raw, powerful and epic. More or less in the vein (of past songs like) “Call Of Doom” and “Guardians…”. For those that have never heard my band the best description is that I play power metal in the good old 80s way! Death to false metal!!

How do you go about the song writing process? Do you start with guitars or drum beat first? How often to you practice each instrument? When your rehearsing do you just have a tape with the drums on it and play your guitar and sing to it or what? When you write a riff and play it can you imagine the rest of the song playing in your head?

I rehearse and compose during my spare time, maybe 2-3 hours per day. At the moment, the song writing process is done by myself on guitars (the drum beat etc is already done in my head) and then on the rehearsal room I show the riffs or the whole song to the drummer, and we start working. It can take 5 minutes or 5 weeks for example to finish the song in it’s final form. Sometimes, during jam sessions we also come out with some good stuff and we never try to improve. The feeling and energy of metal is what counts! It’s easy for me to compose songs because I know what I want for the band!

Please give a few words that come to mind when you read the following words: a) Canada b) Metal c) the sky d) Money e) Porn movies f) Metal shirts g) Recording costs h) Food?

a) The leaf on the flag  b) Heavy  c) Skycald  d) Buy my upcoming demo! e) Yeah Tracy Lords and Savannah rule! f) 80s Metal shirts are rare!  g) Fucking high for a bastard like me!  h) I’m into meat and heavy drinking!

Okay Taan my extreme thanks and appreciation for taking the time to fill this interview out! Please plug the merchandise you have available and give some last words to the readers?

Thanks a lot brother for all your support! Hope to receive some metal from Canadian and American metal freaks! Keep your eye on the upcoming demo “Die By The Sword”, available for 5 USD! Hail and Kill!

IRONSWORD, P.O. Box 4, 2780 – Oeiras, PORTUGAL


IRONSWORD – “Promo Tape” 1995 + 1998

Oh man! Fucking amazing pure ‘80s power/heavy metal.  That will have you punching the air with your fingers out in goat horns and headbanging in unison. The guitar riffs sound so classic as they backdrop some unforgettable choruses. Ironswrod bring to mind bands like Manowar, Warlock, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Grim Reaper and more. It is hard not to list a lot of influences as almost every song on these promo tapes sounds different but always representing pure heavy metal. Did I mention this is a one man band and that one man is Tann (Who was in Moonspell for their MCD and debut album). He is one talented individual and his vocals pull off high piercing screams (something almost no retro bands are even attempting!) and smoking smooth solos. I bow to the might and magic of Ironsword! Metal brothers unite!! (Review by Dale Roy)



The Complete Ironsword Discography 

Promo Tape 1995

Promo Tape 1998

"Ironsword" CD 2002

"Return of The Warrior" CD 2004



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