SHADOWKEEP's Nikki Robson: "We always try and enjoy playing to our fans. When we record I know what to expect and it is usually the most difficult thing you will ever do so preparation is the key."

The UK Progressive Power metal band SHADOWKEEP is back with a vengeance with an all […]
June 24, 2018

The UK Progressive Power metal band SHADOWKEEP is back with a vengeance with an all new album. The band is vastly underrated and has consistently brought to the front some really awesome albums. They are back after 10 years and no harm done. Metal Temple writer Jean-Francois Poulin recently chatted with guitarist Nikki Robson on how things are for the band after the hiatus.

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Ten years is a long time, what happened between the release of ''The Hourglass Effect'' and the new self-titled album?

Of course 10 years seems a long time but a lot of things can happen in ones life for instance myself and Chris had mainly financed the band since the beginning which initially left us in a lot of debt. Also myself and Chris in the space of a few years lost three grandparents, something very personal happened to me also so myself Chris had to deal with this which took time. Also of course the line up changes but people come and go that is what happens in a band! We have always believed in ShadowKeep and have never given up.!

In 2016 you guys hired James Rivera, one of the best singers in all of Metal in my opinion, what brought you guys to him and how did he become the lead singer of SHADOWKEEP?

James actually joined in 2017! Myself and Chris have been huge Helstar fans for years and have met James a few times already think it was 2005!! He knew of SK so the friendship began!!! Stony our bass player was in Austin with his tribute band and James happened to be there so to cut a long story short Stony asked him that we were looking for someone to Finnish the album the rest is history just brilliant! Of course we were all stoked that he said yes as his vocal style is so unique and fits perfectly with our style, James did a stunning performance on our album and to have him now part of ShadowKeep is unreal!

How was the recording process different with the likes of James Rivera?

The recording process was different as we had written and recorded all the music before James joined in 2015 at Thin Ice Studios with Karl Groom bar Never Forgotten. James came over after finishing the tour with Helstar promoting the Vampiro album. James also came to the UK in February 2017 to Thin Ice Studios to record Never Forgotten which I wrote and co-wrote the lyrics with James. This track is very special to me as it is for my Grandfather who died so to have James record this here in the UK really meant a lot to me.

Larry Barragan recorded all the vocals at his studio in Houston which was just awesome to have his help and valuable input and advice , Larry also did a guest solo on the Sword of Damocles which is Epic as myself and Chris are fans! Also this time our album was not mixed with Karl Groom as he had tour commitments with Threshold so Andreas from Pure Steel Records recommended Robert Romagna who mixes a lot of albums for Pure Steel artists and he did a great job.

Who did your album cover, its pretty wicked! I am always a fan of great album covers and this one takes the cake.

Thank you I am glad you like it! Andreas from Pure Steel records recommended Timo Wuerz to do the art work as he works a lot with Pure Steel artists and he is brilliant. I think this is the best cover we have had and I hope our fans think so too!

What were the bands that influenced you in your childhood and younger years?

Well there are so many but one of the bands that really influenced my guitar playing well got me playing guitar was Phantom Blue just loved that band so so impressed me !! Seeing a totally female Metal band was so inspiring I knew I wanted to play like them of course being female myself!!!! Of course bands like Whitesnake, Wasp, TNT, Leatherwolf, Crimson Glory, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Testament, Death Angel, Dio, Sabbath, Priest, Fates Warning, Queesnryche, Artillery, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sword, Heathen, Omen and the list goes on!

I saw some of the recording videos on your website, you guys seem to have a lot of fun and there is a lot of passion in what guys do, how is the recording process for you guys usually?

Yep for sure we always try and enjoy playing to our fans! All I can say is when we record I know what to expect and it is usually the most difficult thing you will ever do so preparation is the key! Also working with all the guys as all superb musicians! Again working with Karl Groom is a lot of fun he is a brilliant producer. Karl was unable to mix our album this time due to tour commitments with Threshold. So Andreas from Pure Steel recommended Robert Romagna who mixes a lot of Pure Steel artists again he did a great job and was nice working with him. I would also like to mention that being signed to Pure Steel is just great and Andreas, Kay, Michaela , Markus thank you so much for us now being part of the Pure Steel family.

With the 2018 lineup, do you think that now its the best incarnation of the band after so many line-up changes throughout the years?

This we believe is the best line up we have had with one of the most versatile and respected singers in the business things could not get much better I feel proud to be part of such a cool band! It is not just being in a band you love but also with friends!

Whatever happened to the ill-fated Live DVD album from the Belgium show in March 2013? I remember hearing about it a few years back but nothing came from it.

No idea to be honest!

Any bands you guys would love to tour with?

Crimson Glory! Flotsam and Jetsam well we did a gig with them in SAN Antonio many years back was awesome seeing them as I love Doomsday for the Deceiver! Omen! Hex, Artillery! To name a few!

What are the plans for 2018 for SHADOWKEEP? I know most of your gigs are in Europe, any plans on coming to North America for the release of the new kickass album?

Well plans for ShadowKeep is that we are going to the USA in OCT/Nov playing a couple of festivals one in San Antonio on the 10th November with Nasty Savage and a few more dates will be added as soon as we have more details.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you for Metal Temple and I wish you guys all the very best!

Thank you for the interview I really appreciate it! Also to all our fans for their patience and understanding. ShadowKeep are back!

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