Interviews > Mystic Prophecy Interview
Mystic Prophecy
Interview by Athena Schaffer

Mystic Prophecy conjure pure Power Metal enchantment with their excellent 7th album, Ravenlord. (Massacre Records) Full of addictive hooks, thundering foundations, and powerful vocals, this offering takes us to realms of fantasy to demonic evocations to fist-pumping anthems to even a revved up cover of an Ozzy Osbourne classic.

Hailing from Bad Gronenbach, Germany, Mystic Prophecy are: vocalist Roberto Dimitri Liapakis, guitarists Markus Pohl and Constantine, bassist Connie Andreszka, and drummer Claudio Sisto.

The Ravenlord album lures us into a world of sword and sorcery; from start to finish it’s filled with intriguing lyrics and excellent musicianship. This one immediately went into the Crowgrrl’s personal heavy rotation stack. I recently caught up with vocalist R.D. Liapakis to find out more.

I absolutely love your new “Ravenlord” album! It took 2 years for you guys to make?

First of all I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about our new album ...

With “Ravenlord”, we managed to make a really versatile record - you 'll find fast and aggressive stuff, mid-tempo powerful songs, rhythmic and melodic diversity, we really believe we've come up something original. I think there is material that will cover all tastes in the Metal genre.

Yes, this time it took us 2 years to make this album. It was reasonable that, after touring with Stratovarius in early 2010, the band needed some time to write new songs. Besides that, "Fireangel" entered the German charts in 77th place, and in order to make a good album reach the top takes some rather serious effort, so the only thing we focused on for the last two years was making some really good new songs, to satisfy our audience who warmly support us for the last ten years.

Tell us the story about the “Ravenlord” in the title track.

As you probably already see, "Ravenlord" is a lyrically concept album. We have 11 songs and each one represents a warrior, who takes place in the last battle. The Ravenlord is actually the incarnation of Death, and, of course, the only winner of the battle... for thousands of years war prevails, nothing has changed... in the album, the Ravenlord takes the form of Death in the battlefield... there's no winner in war, there's only Death...

What about the inspirations for “Wings Of Destiny”?

This is an epic song, with epic lyrics. It describes the sensation of battle in the best way possible. As I said in your previous question, "Ravenlord" is a concept album. Each warrior has his own perspective of the battle, and they describe it in their own way - one fights for his faith, another is a mercenary and does it for the money, one other is a natural born killer and wants to quench his thirst for blood. If you look, even these days everything is still the same, but in "Wings Of Destiny", you can actually feel yourself in the battlefield, with the taste of blood in your mouth. HA!

“Hollow” is absolutely catchy! Can you tell us more about this song?

One day Markus brought us the riff and I liked it a lot. Now, a lot of people might say that the main riff sounds like "Message In A Bottle" from Police. Markus doesn't listen to Police, he's more keen on "extreme" music, so, there wasn't any intention to steal, or thinking like that. I personally liked it very much and wanted to keep it. I really believe that "Hollow" is the album's hit, and one of the best songs ever written by Mystic Prophecy.

“Cross of Lies” is another favorite of mine from the album. Can we talk more about that song?

I think the song's title is self explanatory: Cross of Lies, Religion of Lies, Killing in the name of God, Holy Wars, crimes never punished... this is a very strong concept to build a song on, and of course, the guitar riffing in the song is absolutely amazing, completed with a very strong chorus.

What inspired you to do your cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Miracle Man”? How did you give the song your own signature?

One day Markus told me that he did "Miracle Man" in another tempo. I listened to it and liked it a lot, because he gave the song some more aggression and rhythm. I believe it's rather boring to make a song cover and not change anything. Of course, the original always sounds so great, but you just have to do something different in it, to make it interesting, in your own way.

What’s your personal favorite song on the new album?

You know it's so hard for us to distinguish any song from the album, these are our babies, so we cannot say which one is the best. All the album has very good songs, but I personally believe that "Hollow", "Eyes Of The Devil", "Ravenlord", "Endless Fire", "Wings Of Destiny", are amazing songs, again without saying that the rest ain't so good.

Any video plans for any of the songs on the album?

It's not actually in our future plans to make a video clip for a "Ravenlord" song. On top of that, I believe that if a video is to be made, it should be perfect in its everything; and a perfect video clip costs a lot of money, as much as a scheduled concert tour. So, we prefer touring, that way we 're closer to the audience, and they can make their own videos from our concerts and post them in YouTube.

Who does most of the songwriting for the band?

In this album the songs were written by three people: me, Markus, and Connie. Six songs were written by me and Markus, and the other five by me and Connie. Markus is in the band for the last eight years and knows exactly what is needed for a song to sound like Mystic Prophecy. I personally think that he is one of the top-five rhythm guitarists in the world. Connie is with us for the last three years, but he is unbelievably talented... he plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboards... he has a really good voice. He was interested from the very beginning to compose with us. I believe that the new album has versatility and freshness, because more than two people worked on making it. A new, good musician, always adds something fresh in the band.

Do the lyrics come first? Does the music come first? What is the songwriting process like for you?

Music always comes first. Music is the inspiration for the lyrics, and that's the way it works, 9 out of 10 times. We take the song from the top. I think it's very important to build a song from a strong chorus, and make sure that our listeners click with it from the beginning, then the riffing on the guitars, along with the rhythm structure. But this doesn't mean we can't work the other way around, it's just that it's easier to have a clear picture of the song in our minds, that's why it works better for us this way.

Any stories behind the cover art?

The cover artwork was once again made by Jonas Kawalek, who is a very talented graphics designer, and we're happy to have him in our team. As for the front cover concept, it simply shows what the lyrics say about the Ravenlord, the only winner in battle... Death comes in wings.

You’re currently touring Europe with Powerwolf?

We played with Powerwolf, Stormwarrior and Lonewolf, from March 30th to April 30th, we did 14 shows in 5 different countries. It was an amazing tour, we filled an average 90-95% of the venues' capacities, and in last show in Matrix, Bochum, the concert was sold out with 900 people!!! And all the shows were a blast. The response of the audiences, breathtaking... Our official Facebook Page is filled with pictures from these concerts... be free to check them out.

You’re also doing the Metalfest Open Air Festival?

Yes, we have three shows to make in MetalFest, one in Mining, Austria, one in Dessau, Germany and one more in Loreley also in Germany. It will be an honor to play in these festivals, along with some the greatest names of the International Metal scene, like Death Angel, Dark Traquillity, WASP, Fear Factory... and most of all, to be side by side with our die-hard fans.

Any more extensive tour plans?

We have several more festivals in July and August, in Germany and Switzerland, and in September we have ProgPower USA... this will be the first time for Mystic Prophecy to play across the Ocean. We really can't wait. More gig confirmations are coming as we speak, just visit our official website as well as our official social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) to learn about more concerts this year.

What is your live show like?

The German version of printed Rock Hard magazine wrote a live review of one of our concerts, saying that "Mystic Prophecy is the best live Power Metal band in Europe." Playing concerts is this band's heartbeat, we cannot wait to go out there and play. Our shows are fast, aggressive, full of energy and passion. Just be there to witness it... living on the road, playing live in front of our die-hard fans... ecstatic, satisfied, happy, full of energy... they are the band's biggest asset. Without them we wouldn't manage to keep it together. We owe it all to them, for supporting us warmly for all these years.

Does your live set list contain mostly songs from “Ravenlord”, or your other albums?

We play a lot of the "Ravenlord" songs in our shows, but we also have songs from "Satanic Curses", "Savage Souls", “Fireangel", and "Never Ending". We selected what we think represents the best of this band over the years, songs like "Dark Forces", "Sacrifice Me", "Savage Souls", "Evil Empires", and this selection creates an exploding result.

What kinds of merch do you have available ?

We have various kinds of T-Shirts, in all sizes, men's and women's, in several different designs and colors, zipper jackets... the are always available in our shows, and in the website http://www.musicatweb.com/index.php You can also find all of our CD releases in our shows.

What do you do on your “down-time” on the road? Do you bring movies or videogames? If so, which ones?

There are times during a tour, when you have no free time at all... touring can be very exhausting, traveling from one place to the other, preparing your show, then pack again and head for the next town, the next country. But when we have some free time we do all kinds of stuff, drinking some beer and having fun, watching movies (especially porn hahaha) and all kinds of smartphone apps to fool around with.

Any long-form DVD plans?

So far we have filmed many of our shows, and we would like to see if this footage is good enough for releasing a DVD, but we haven't worked on it yet, because we are 100% focused on our concerts right now. Hopefully in the near future. Again, for all our activities one can visit our websites for more info.

Constantine is substituting for Primal Fear’s Magnus Karlsson for some of their shows?

It was Constantine's choice to join Primal Fear. We had scheduled the Wolfsnachte since September 2011, we are now proud to have Laki Ragazas (Devil's Train) on guitars, he is a great guitarist, and he fitted perfectly with the band. All the shows with Laki on board in the Wolfsnachte tour were amazing, and the band now has a great chemistry... only the future will tell us how it's going to be.

How Hands-On are you with your Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace pages?

Social Media is a must, especially when you want to spread the word about your music. We are constantly in touch with our fans through them, and give them a clear picture of what is going on with the band. It's a very important tool. That's why we update our pages on a daily basis, and we would like our fans to know that we 'll be always there, as they have always been there for us.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you want to tell our readers?

I believe that everybody who knows Mystic Prophecy and watch the band's career they know that we always show our best in every new album, actually better every time. For us, quality in songwriting and sound is absolutely crucial, and there 's not a chance that we let our fans down with any musical experiments. The new Mystic Prophecy album has got balls, power, melodies, fast and mid-tempo songs... anything a metal fan needs to be happy.

Take care and see you on tour !!!