BW&BK Interview: GAMMA RAY – The Metal In Your Head

By Carl Begai

Gammaray2German bashers Gamma Ray have a new album out called To The Metal! and I recently caught up with long time bassist Dirk Schlächter to talk about it. The main point of discussion was the lack of trademark speed and shred on the record in comparison to their previous outing, Land Of The Free II. Then there’s the even more pronounced than usual use of the tricks Judas Priest and Iron Maiden ever taught them. Read on…

Schlächter: “Yeah, there are some Priest-ish riffs in there and of course some Maiden-ish riffs, but things will always be like that with us. People criticize us for that but it’s just not possible to play this kind of music in E without being reminded of Iron Maiden. We’re tuned down to D now, which makes things sound a bit different, but if you play the chords E, D, and C – which they use in all combinations 10 times on every album – it will always remind you of part of a Maiden song. It’s not that we’re ripping something off from those bands, it’s just the shape of the music.”

“I find it funny when people call Gamma Ray power metal because the term didn’t even exist when we started doing this,” Schlächter adds. “I’ve heard people call us German melodic speed metal as well and I’m like… ‘Huh?’ (laughs). That’s why we called this new album To The Metal!. This is our definition of Gamma Ray’s music. We don’t need to have a stamp on it. It’s just our kind of music, the stuff we like to play.”

Go to this location for the complete interview.


— band photo by Axel Jusseit