Iron Jaws will release their new, third, album “Declaration of War” after 7 long years on May 28th, 2021 via Pure Steel Records. So I thought it would be nice to talk to their guitar player, Roberto “Micini” Quaglia. If you need more speed in your life, Iron Jaws is the best choice for you.
Hi, welcome to Abaddon Magazine. How are you?
Hi Ivona, I am great, hope you are too. Thanks for this interview!
The mandatory question in the past year unfortunately is how do you deal with pandemic?
We are trying to move on and use music as a good distraction. Missing the live shows though!
So, seven long years… Where have you been, what did you do?
Yes, time flies! We were having fun. We never stopped playing, always kept rehearsing, and played in gigs occasionally. Also, as soon as new songs were coming up, we always played them to our fans at live shows. But, yes, it has taken a while to put together enough material for a new album.
The band was formed in 2006, 7 of 15 years were not active, what has changed over these 7 years in the band and in the world of metal?
The metal we love has not changed at all, luckily! There are good underground metal bands emerging, and sometimes the big names still release good albums (think Judas Priest). As mentioned, we have been active, we just have not released a new album! One reason has been the changes in the line/up. Ricky, who played drums in Guilty, left soon after that album was recorded, and we luckily found Mark. Also, I moved to Wales around 5 years ago, but again we were lucky to find Mauser who stepped in for the regular rehearsal sessions and is also contributing massively to songwriting. The boys keep playing regularly; every now and then I am able to go back and play in rehearsal or at concert, and we still all participate to songwriting.
Of course, there have been some line/up changes. How hard is it to get up from the ashes after 7 years and find the energy, motivation to continue your journey?
Mauser and Mark are more than bandmates, they are friends! And they have brought new energy and ideas to the band, so it has not been difficult at all. Plus, we love speed metal and we love the people who support us, so plenty of motivation there!
Considering the situation, is it possible to have rehearsals nowadays?
The situation changes continuously, so sometimes, yes, sometimes no. Mauser and I write most of the material, so we normally come up with ideas on our own and then evolve them with the others. The first part continues, the latter is more difficult now.
How did your work in the studio look like, I guess there was a lot of fun?
Recording is always fun, clearly Covid has made it more difficult, but it did not stop us from enjoying it. The funniest bit is always the recording of the backing vocals!
In 2010, you released debut album “Louder Is Not Enough”, can it be the parole of the band?
Louder, and faster! Yes, definitively!
The next one “Guilty of Ignorance” was released in 2013. It seems Pure Steel Records recognized quality since 7 years after you are still under their wings?
Pure Steel is a great label and they are very supportive, leaving us complete freedom on what and how to play. Plus, they produce plenty of other great bands, all with the common aim to bring metal forward without losing its roots.
“Declaration of War” punches from the start in the vein of Exodus or Overkill. Tell me something more about your influences.
Thanks, it means a lot to us to be put even close to these great bands. Our main influence is from North-American speed metal bands, like Exciter and Agent Steel, but there are plenty of other bands that over the years have made their marks on our style. That includes German thrash metal bands as well as heavy metal bands from Europe and US.
From the song titles you can easily conclude what the band is focused on, but for all those who are getting to know Iron Jaws better now while reading this interview, tell me, what inspires you to write lyrics and music, how does the creative process look like?
In my case, it always starts from a guitar riff and a title/theme. Then it develops from there. It is so much fun to make this music about war, witchery, bigotry. All themes that are so much in contrast with our personalities! We are nice guys, you know? Ahahaha!
Ok, my favorite song from this album is “Satan’s Bride”. Can you please tell me something more about it?
Thanks a lot! It started from the intro riff, the idea of having a song that punches in your face immediately. Then the chorus riff somehow called for the word “Burn” to be there, and there we realized it had to be about witches burning at the stake! A lot of other bands have sympathy for witches, we do not have any! Burn them now! They are dangerous, man.
Another one, “Horns Up For Metal” has an interesting story behind, will you share it with our readers?
That song was written in 2018 by Mauser after we came home from the show in the Juz Live Club in Andernach (Germany) where we played at the IRONHAMMER FESTIVAL along with such bands as Night Demon, Stallion, Midnight Rider, Screamer, Wildrider Wolfen and Sex Gepard. That was our first time in Germany… The audience gave us a solid response and we were very excited! The song pays homage to the metalheads that came to see us and is an anthem to the music that we love! It’s the longest tune of the record because it tells an “on the road” story that starts from the travel and ends up with the gig… Everyone who feels the spirit of metal as a way of living can identify with the lyrics. Musically, it drives a very classic vibe and we can’t wait to hear the people to sing along the chorus with us!
There are two songs that are pointing to religious extremism, tell me something more about that songs.
Yes, the common theme is: Do you want to be an idiot bigot and go around killing because of some old belief? Well, come on, we are ready to declare you war!
You live in Italy, in a small city, so how is the relation with citizens in your area and religion?
Great, we have friends of all ages that support us from there. The influence of religion on the real life of people has really faded out. It’s more something like a tradition that some people still respect, but I could not say how many really believe…
The band’s name is Iron Jaws, but obviously you have sharp tongue. What can we expect in the future from you?
We are looking forward to play in festivals and venues again! Bringing the new songs to the public and meeting new bands.
The fascinating fact is, even if you were absent for so long, you have a loyal base of fans with the band logo tattoos. Tell me, how do you feel when you see that?
They are more than just fans, they are great friends! We can only be grateful, and they are the main reason we keep and will keep playing.
Just not to forget, who stands behind the art cover?
The cover was designed by Augusto Peixoto, who designs for Pure Steel. Impressive job, really!
If you would review your own album, what would you say, what is the strongest and what is the weakest link of the album?
I think for the first time we have an album without weak songs, I find them all different and interesting. “Speed Metal Commando” is perhaps my favorite, but if you ask me tomorrow, I will give you a different answer!
To be honest, I do not know any Italian thrash metal bands, the first association to Italy is power metal, so can you tell me something more about the Italian thrash scene?
You’re right, the famous bands from Italy are either power or more traditional heavy metal. But there are now a lot of interesting bands. I suggest you listen to our friends Alltheniko, they are influenced by thrash and heavy metal! Great stuff!
Overall, if you look back, which Italian band under your personal opinion is the best metal ambassador?
Ok, the new album will be released on May 28th. Now, when there is no concert activity, how will you promote it?
Pure Steel is helping us a lot with the online presence and promotion. We have our Facebook page that we hope will help us reaching as many metalheads as possible!
What do you think about social media as a channel for promotion?
I think that nowadays they represent a huge opportunity to keep in touch with people. Of course, they are a means, so you need to work hard on the contents!
On a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you want to get back on the stage and where would it like to happen and with which bands?
10 of course! We would like to play in Germany again where we know a lot of people are waiting for us there!
Can you promise there will be no more long breaks, because this world needs more bands like Iron Jaws?
I can promise we will do our best to come up with another album that is true to our speed metal roots! And hopefully it will be sooner than in seven years.
If you would declare a war, you would declare to what or whom?
To those too busy telling others what not to do!
At the end, tell me the one thrash band, thrash album, and thrash song that influenced you the most.
Tankard, “Kill’em All” (Metallica), “Hiroshima” (Whiplash).
Thank you so much for this conversation. Thrash till death!
Thanks a lot Ivona.