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What happens when a bunch of 90s kids stumble upon some instruments and a couple Power Metal records? Simple: They write songs about ninjas from Outer Space and dinosaurs with laser canons and call themselves VICTORIUS.
In this interview, Danger Dirk 3000 and Astral Andy give an insight into their inspirations, what to be excited about with the new album and what to do in case you land in a Ninja-Dino-Apocalypse!
Huge thanks to Julia Dähnhardt (@nekos_camera) for taking these awesome photos!
Shieldmaiden’s Voice: If you had to describe VICTORIUS in three words, which would you choose?
Danger Dirk 3000: Silly.
Astral Andy: Power Metal.
SV: Are there albums, songs or artists that majorly impacted the music you’re making?
Danger Dirk 3000: For me it’s HAMMERFALL, BLIND GUARDIAN and HELLOWEEN. Those are my favorite bands, but that only influenced us in the beginning. We’ve found our own style in the meantime and are not that heavily influenced by other bands anymore. The major Power Metal bands were very impactful to me though.
Astral Andy: The same goes for me. I have to name HELLOWEEN, MANOWAR, HAMMERFALL and BLIND GUARDIAN. The new bands are cool as well but we try to distinguish us from others and we want to do our own thing.
SV: Your concepts and albums are quite unusual. Where do you get the inspiration for that from?
Danger Dirk 3000: Well, we are just a bunch of nerds. We are 90s kids and love the old cartoons and trash and silly films are just our thing. At one point we just decided to try it. We are creative people and then you just create your stories. There is not a lot of external inspiration, actually. We imagine it and then we just have a go at it. [laughs]
SV: What is your target audience then? Are you trying to more people besides the 90s kids?
Danger Dirk 3000: In general we want to reach all the people. The older generation is, mostly, harder to reach than the younger one, because they just love everything that is colorful, flashy and new. The goal though is to reach everyone aged 0 to 99.
Astral Andy: We have played concerts for which we received feedback afterwards that the older people didn’t quite get what happened on stage. What’s up with the dinosaurs? Why is the music so fast? Some people don’t understand that. However, there are a lot of open-minded older people that are really into it. At the same time you can find a lot of young people that think our music is ridiculous. It depends, as always, on personal taste.
SV: Why should you be taken seriously if your topics are as silly as they are?
Danger Dirk 3000: In the end it’s still really good music. At the end of the day, everything is open to subjective opinions and everyone can decide what they like best. I think though that we have to be accorded a certain musical quality.
Astral Andy: We have done everything right when the people have fun at our concerts or while listening to our music. That is what this is about. In the end it just doesn’t matter if we’re taken seriously or not as long as the people enjoy themselves and we have fun doing this.
SV: You are working on a new album right now. Can you give an insight into what the fans can be excited about?
Danger Dirk 3000: The people can be excited about an epic story that will be continued. I think it’s an album that many have waited for, that many have asked for and they will get exactly what they want.
Astral Andy: VICTORIUS extended universe!
SV: How did you get the idea to incorporate ninjas into your stories? Normally, that is a topic that isn’t relevant in a European context.
Danger Dirk 3000: That’s true, but this brings us back to the trash subject: There is a vast amount of movies that contain ninjas and those are also far from the Japanese reality. We had this Dino-EP and asked ourselves what we could do next to advance the story while also staying kind of silly. We thought that ninjas are quite hilarious.
Astral Andy: And when we were younger, we played a lot of ninja games on the playstation in which we chased each other! [laughs]
SV: Wouldn’t it be cool to release a VICTORIUS video game then?
Danger Dirk 3000: Yes! That would be cool! We have so many ideas. We would love to have VICTORIUS action figures and lunchboxes and whatever else there is, but that’s a budget question in the end.
SV: We are now in 2021 and thus the second year of this pandemic. Which influence did this have on the songwriting and the production process of the new album?
Danger Dirk: It didn’t have any impact on the songwriting whatsoever. We knew that we would have a forced break and I thought that it’s a good idea to write an album. When if not now? We have time now. I can’t say that anything was different.
Astral Andy: We are not processing pandemic experiences, we only reproduce interstellar space battles.
SV: That suggest itself almost!
Astral Andy: It’s almost the same, really!
SV: Doesn’t it get boring to be releasing new albums all the time? Is there a point at which you just have enough?
Danger Dirk 3000: Yes, to be honest, because it’s almost like assembly-line work. The label always wants a new album. If you are in this cycle over and over again, it becomes quite tiresome. [Speaking to Andy] What do you think? You don’t have that many songwriting credits.
Astral Andy: I am involved in the production process, but not as creatively as David or Dirk and it’s not really a burden for me to make an album. It’s true, nevertheless, that you are at a high risk to exhaust yourself content and personality wise when you release a new album every two years. You have to avoid that somehow. Maybe it would be apt to take a longer break, but it’s an economic decision at the end. You need a new product in order to stay relevant and to be able to tour. As a band, you are kind of forced to continuously do something new.
SV: Touring is a good point: You have played a number of concerts abroad. Is there a point at which you feel like you’ve done everything or are there things you still want to do?
Danger Dirk 3000: There is still a lot we want to do. We haven’t been to a number of countries that we want to play in.
Astral Andy: We’ve never been to the US, we would love to play there. Russia is also a possible destination. Simply said: Wherever people like Power Metal.
SV: What would be the best way to support you, from your point of view? If you could give your fans a hint what you need right now?
Danger Dirk 3000: Buy our album! The physical copy, in a store! Streaming is important, but actually buying it is more important!
Astral Andy: There are a lot of bands that have a donation link on their Spotify page but we don’t want that. We don’t want anything handed to us. If they want to support us, they should buy our products. That’s the most honest form of support, when they buy Shirts, CDs or something similar from us.
SV: To finalize this interview, you could maybe offer a piece of advice: What should you do when you land in an apocalypse in which ninjas fight agains dinosaurs?
Danger Dirk 3000: You need laser canons! And sufficient laser ammuniton!
Astral Andy: I would for sure switch sides and join the dinosaurs. I have the feeling that they could win.
Do you want to be a part of these intergalactic fights? Have a look at VICTORIUS‚ very own battle gear!