1. Hello, Christian thank you for your time. How is everything in the Portrait camp?
We’re all good. We have some festival shows coming up so we are preparing for that, and then we will start to focus on getting the next album written.
2. You recently did the Seven Ageless Rites tour in the UK. How was that? Any interesting stories?
We had a great time and every show went good, audience was great. We also got to see Saxon and Hell in Wolverhampton which of course killed.
3. When was the idea of forming Portrait conceived?
Some time in 2004 or 2005 I think, but we did not start rehearsing with a full line-up until 2006.
4. Do you listen to newer bands or do you tend to stick to the older classic stuff?
I mostly like the old classics and also when it comes to new releases I mostly buy the ones from the old bands, like Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, The Rods, Nifelheim etc.
5. I must say I think it’s awesome you put out your albums on Vinyl. Are you a music collector? I personally prefer physical music to digital. When I have a download for example it feels like you don’t really own it.
Good to hear, yes, vinyl is my favorite format too. I have no problem with downloading though, but of course you don’t get the big album covers and so on.
6. How was the recording sessions for your latest album Crossroads? And how did it differ from the other albums?
We recorded it in three separate studios this time, and then mixed it in Necromorbus. It worked out fine but I think I prefer to do it all at the same place anyway, but this time it was more convenient for us. We’ll see how things will work out next time.
7. Since the beginning of Portrait to now, how has the band grown musically?
It is still the same core of the music but of course we have developed as musicians and songwriters. I mean, it is ten years since we started. I still like most of our releases though. What the main differences are now compared to the earlier stuff is better to leave for the listener I suppose…
8. How did the RAM split come about? Could you give us background on the two cover songs?
We have been friends for a long time and it felt as the right thing to do as we don’t really get along with that many other current bands. We choose to cover the Exciter song to show our appreciation for a band that kept going on also in the 90’s without compromising, and because we think that both ”The Dark Command” and ”Blood of Tyrants” are some of the best albums ever released. As for the RAM song ”Blessed to be Cursed” we wanted to take on something old as their newer material is simply too good to do any justice. And it is also a song that we managed to rearrange a bit, which was important as there would be no need to release it otherwise…
9. When it comes to songwriting do you come up with riffs and show the band. Or do you all come up with ideas and work with that? I must say I'm a big fan of your solos. One thing I really like about Portrait is that it keeps me coming back. It’s catchy (not in the pop sense obviously) but the riffs are memorable.
Thanks a lot. I have written most of the songs on Crossroads but everyone was involved in the arrangements and that stuff.
10. What gear and equipment do you use?
I play a Hamer KK V from 1984 and I use a Marshall JCM800 2204 along with a Marshall 1960 Lead Series cabinet, and an Ibanez TS-9 distortion pedal. And some reverb/delay things of course.
11. How did you get Mikael Castervall "Cab" on bass?
We knew him since many years back and he has always been into the band and we knew that he is a good musician since his former band Hypnosia. So we were very glad when he accepted our offer.
12. What’s the story behind Tyrant designing your logo?
There’s no funny story about that. I asked him and some weeks later he sent the logo and we were all satisfied, and still are!
SEVEN AGELESS RITES – UK and Ireland tour
30/1 Limerick, Dolan’s Warehouse, Ireland
31/1 Dublin, Gypsy Rose Rock Bar, Ireland
1/2 Belfast, Voodoo, Northern Ireland
3/2 Glasgow, Ivory Blacks, Scotland
4/2 Lancaster, The Yorkshire House, England
6/2 Birmingham, The Asylum, England
7/2 London, 02, England
28/2 Metal Union Festival IV, Agrinio, Greece
28/3 PRKL Club, Helsinki, Finland
28/5 Muskelrock, Blädinge, Sweden
30/5 Metallsvenskan, Örebro, Sweden
06/6 Sweden Rock Festival, Norje, Sweden
17/7 Bang Your Head Festival, Balingen, Germany
19/9 Storm Crusher Festival, Wiesau, Germany