LightningLord's Greg Swanson Discusses the Blood Eagle of NWOBHM


Speed metal thrashers LightningLord are currently in the process of releasing their nw 6-track release "LightningLord: Blood Eagle" due out soon. Vocalist/bassist Gregory Swanson caught up to discuss this release and the plans for the future.


1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in LightningLord, and how long the band has been together?

Greg: I'm Gregory Swanson, singer/bassist of the group, Lou and Alex are out right now doing something, not sure where, clearly they just aren't here lol…. so ya, we've been a solid line up for about a year and a half. Turn up and shred dude!

2. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Greg: Sure. After about 3 years of looking for players for a NWOBHM band, I checked out LA and NYC, I couldn't find a line up, so I posted this add, and next thing you know, who responds? The real NWOBHM. Gary Young from Avenger drops in, we ended up talking and recording the All Father Death Stalker EP. Now that I had something to display the idea, I showed it to Lou, we had played together before, he came in on drums in NYC, and he knew Alex from a past group, and we got together. No bullshit, the first time we got together, was the day the world ended on the Mayan calendar, I'll never forget lol.

3. Where is the band based out of?

Greg: We are based out of NYC. The Big Apple.

4. Why did you want to go and call yourselves LightningLord? Who is this so-called LightningLord, is it someone in the band?

Greg: LightningLord is named after Thor, the Norse God Of Thunder. He is a symbol of strength for the viking people, and carries the enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Doesn't get more metal than that. Can you shoot lightning bolts??? Ok then.

5. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Greg: We play NWOBHM, Speeds Metalz. Bands like Avenger, RAVEN, Gaskin, Angel Witch, Tank, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Tokyo Blade, Weapon, Jaguar, Diamond Head, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Saxon…. to stuff like Metallica, Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, Sex Pistols, Zepplin…… We take a big influence from the 80's, and that comes across in many ways from rock, to thrash, to speed, to hard rock…..no limitations in place…… Give it some attitude, put some stank on it.

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Greg: Hmmmm….. Our lyrical theme is vast… often I try to tell a story with the lyrics. It might be a story from my life, a movie I saw, a friend, anything…….. a lot of the topics will usually be more aggressive, because when we're playing the last thing I want to do is sing a fucking love song. Bleh! The sounds are loud, the alcohol is flowing like a river, let's rock the fuck out!

7. Do you write your own songs? Can you discuss the songwriting process in detail?

Greg: Yup, we write all of our own material. I wrote a batch of material at first, but now, we mostly write a group and it's cool, that's what I want, I want to write with the band personally. I don't know about Al or Lou, but, often I could write a whole song, and present it to the guys, but, I like to leave it open ended on purpose, so that everyone can write it together, because it's not complete until everyone puts their sound in it. Why play with people you don't want to create with? I want to write with others.

8. You have yet to release an "official" music video - do you have an idea of what song you would want to use and will a video be made from it?

Greg: We are in talks about that right now actually. Right now, we're bouncing the idea of Children Of The Night from the All Father EP, Or Blood Oath, which will be coming this year on our new 6 song release "LightningLord-Blood Eagle" we're in recording that right now, and NWOBHM legend Paul Gaskin is going to throw down some guitars on it, so we're doubly stoked. Very cool to get to jam with him.

9. How would you describe the overall sound of the new album?

Greg: On the All Father Death Stalker EP the whole plan was to just do what we do. Go fast, go hard. On Blood Eagle, we open the sound up more, so you'll here different kinds of grooves, at different speeds. It's all metal.

10. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Greg: NWOBHM. Metal. We want to make metal. Not core this and math that. Metal. NWOBHM.

11. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Greg: I used a vaporizer.

12. When did you start writing for this album?

Greg: These songs have all been written in the last year and a half.

13. Did you feel any pressure whatsoever about writing and recording for this release?

Greg: None to be honest, we're just doing what we love to do, our way. We just write what we want, play it how we want.

14. How is the vibe in the studio for everybody?

Greg: It's cool. We're a live band, so we don't gravitate towards the studio, but, once you get us in there, we just start doing our thing…. allow ourselves to be absorbed.

15. Who produced this album and what was it like working with them?

Greg: I don't know if we have a producer on the Death Stalkers ep. I think we are the producers…. Dean Thompson produced the drum sound in England over at Bear Sound Studios hmmmm…… for Blood Eagle I'm hoping to bring in Dominic Gallucci from the School Of Rock over in New Jersey. I've done some session work over at his studio and he nails it, really good flow. Swords And Chains records from Chicago and ourselves have talked about putting the Blood Eagle tape collection out, like we did for the first ep also. They're such a cool label, tapes are metal dude.

16. Have you picked a title for it and will it have a concept behind it?

Greg: "LightingLord:Blood Eagle" coming in 2014 with guest guitars from GASKIN. I'm stoked, it's metal! LightningLord "All Father Death Stalkers" 2 song EP, featuring Gary Young, of AVENGER and BLITZKRIEG is already out.

17. Who will be the artist behind design the album artwork, can you say how you want this design to look and how will it represent the album?

Greg: I just called up Mike Fisher of Maximum Floride Killustrations over in LA. He's working on it as we speak. He did our art for the All Father ep also. He's awesome. I just dig his work. I've seen some of the hockey helmets, skateboard decks, ect.. he's done also, just got a wicked sense, and he's easy to convey and bounce ideas with.

18. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Greg: Totally. I mentioned Blood Oath already. That one is strait ahead, pounding NWOBHM in the vein of Avenger or Raven. Balls to the wall. Then you've got a track like "Death.Comes.Quickly.To.My.Foes." which brings out more of a Motley Crue style riff, with more metal, aggressive lyrical content. Both of those are full band collaborations, just started by throwing down a riff, and free styling.

19. What other plans do you have for the future as a band?

Greg: There's so many cool possibilities. Right now we're in recording the Blood Eagle album, writing new songs all the time, looking in to…. y'know, we've got a lot of plans actually, I'm gonna keep some surprises. We're gonna throw the hammer down, and make some metal, and let's roll lol.

20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Greg: We have a site, it's lightninglord.com, you can get all stuff LightningLord there, from music, merch, shows, videos, etc. You can get tapes from Swords and Chains Records, one can find them online, and you can check the band site to see if the EP is sold at a store in your country, if not, you can order from us.

21. Anything else you'd like to add or care to say?

Greg: Stay metal out there!!!!! NWOBHM invasion is coming for you!!!!!!!!

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