EMMANUELSON (RISING STEEL): “The Lyrics Are Pretty Dark And Critical About Society In General”

Rising Steel Band Photo
Photo: Christophe Levet

French Heavy Metal That Channels The ’70s & ’80s Legends That Came Before Them:

Hailing from Grenoble, France, Rising Steel debuted on the scene with their Warlord EP in 2014. It wasn’t long before the Heavy Metal act had their first full-length album under their belt, 2016’s Return of the Warlord. Now in 2020 and signed to Frontiers Records, Rising Steel releases their second full-length album Fight Them All. Rising Steel front man Emmanuelson took the time to answer some questions for Metal Express Radio in which he talks about the formation of the band, a track-by-track breakdown of the new album, and more.

Metal Express Radio: If I knew absolutely nothing about Rising Steel, how would you describe the band’s music to me?

Emmanuelson: Rising Steel twas born by accident (laughs). Formerly in 2012, Tony Steel and Zard were parts of a project called “mountains sessions.” Around 40 musicians of the local scene, from different styles, were involved to create 10-12 project bands. The aims was to record one song per project and press an LP. As Tony and Zard were in different Garage Rock bands, we decided to take this project as an opportunity to work on some Metal material.

We always loved it behind the Rock bands. At the end of this project, almost all the bands were splitting, but for us it represented the beginning of something. Members formerly of Rising Steel had done this just to have some fun. Tony and Zard were in search of musicians who can carry a real metal band … 2 years after, I joined the band to prepare the first EP to spread Heavy Metal.

MER: You recently released your second full-length album Fight Them All on Frontiers Records. Can you talk about the meaning behind the songs…

E: The lyrics are pretty dark and critical about society in general…

“Mystic Voices” – A girl serial killer tries to hypnotize me and kill me.

“Fight Them All” – I’m fighting all kinds of dictators.

“Steel Hammer” – A nostalgic communist serial killer.

“Blackheart” – A liberator who will become a dictator

“Savage” – The savage life… an illusion…take the freedom of my life.

“Gloomy World” – The cult of humanity, the Earth’s parasite, the politics, the religions.

“Malefice” – A curse that is spreading…the human race…A malefice…

“Metal Nation” – A song for musicians in the metal world.

“Pussy” – The demons of Rock n roll.

“Lead By Judas” – Music industry.

“Master Control” – Fight against the dictators, fight to change the world.

MER: Rising Steel’s bio states you were influenced by ’80s era NWOBHM. Besides the bigger bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, were there other bands from that genre/era that influenced you?

Photo: Christophe Levet

E: Personally, I love bands like Forbidden, Vicious Rumors, Savatage, Symphony X, Last Crack, many more and of course Nevermore. All The singers in these bands have strong personalities and unique vocals. I love Layne Staley [Alice in Chains] and Mike Patton [Faith No More] too.

MER: Fight Them All was put together all throughout Europe it seems. The band is from France, your producer is from Sweden, the mastering was done in Finland, and the album was released by an Italian record label. Was it not possible to do all the work in France?

E: Good question. This is not a question of countries but to optimize the possibilities to have a very good product. For the recording part we worked with Elliot Tordo, a young producer with a solid reputation in our town. We were confident with him, so the takes were done very seriously. The proximity left us some opportunities for touch-ups or re-recordings.

Personally, I recorded my voices in four days. [Tordo’s] harmonic approach is interesting. I am influenced by singers like Warrel Dane, Rob Halford or Dio and it was fun to work with someone who does not necessarily know these great singers very well because he’s much younger. It brings different things.

For the mixing and mastering part, we made the choice to do it totally differently and get in touch with some experimental engineers on the international scene (Rickard Bengtsson and Staffan Karlsson [Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, Grand Magus, Shining]). Mastering in Finnvox cause the reputation is excellent. We don’t regret our choices. Those guys are very talented and did an awesome job.

Photo: Christophe Levet

MER: Did Frontiers Records discover you or did you submit material to them?

E: This story is a kind of madness for us. When the second album was recorded and mixed, we spent some days to contact labels to get the first returns on the production. [I have] a friend, Aldo Lonobile (studio sound engineer and musician for Frontiers Records), he immediately asked us if he could send to Frontiers, as he thought the music was really good. Two days later, we get a proposition for working together with Frontiers Records. Thanks Aldo.

MER: Who came up with the band’s name and what inspired it?

E: The name of the band is a nod to the old line-up of our previous bassist called Still Rise. We wanted a two-word name that sounds good, holds well and fits into tradition. ’80s Heavy Metal bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Mercyful Fate.

MER: You’ve shared the stage with rock legends Nashville Pussy and Annihilator. Did you get to hang out with either band? Did you learn anything insightful from them?

E: Nashville Pussy have a fucking good Rock N Roll attitude. I love that. Real people. Music in their blood. Annihilator is a legend. Tony spoke guitars with Jeff Waters. Cool guy, amazing band on stage.

MER: Do you have any rituals before you go on stage?

E: Personally, I like to drink some beers and laugh with the band. No satanic incantations (laughs).

MER: Have you ever had a Spinal Tap moment?

E: Yeah of course. When you drink a lot after the show, some strange adventures with the material and the people happen. We keep an eye on everything to avoid the worst (laughs).

MER: When you’re not playing and recording music, do you have a day job?

E: Yeah, I book bands [around the world]. I have a lot of bands to survive. I like to record a lot of musical projects on vocals or on guitars. For example, a new project with Julie Eplion Davis (Ex-Hydrogyn) or the new Ellipsis [album], my band for 20 years.


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.