Power of the Chosen One with Gustavo Acosta
There are many stories regarding creating our latest release, Power of the Chosen One 2021, but 99% of them can (and should) be shared only on a table with some beers and laughs due to the sensitive content of most of them. In any case, this album was made in between Germany/USA/Argentina, so it was indeed a hell of a ride.
It was quite a trip. It all began in Brazil at the end of our South American tour back in 2018; David Shankle (Former Manowar guitar player) told me he had a lot of music intended to be included in the sequel of the album he recorded with them, The Triumph of Steel. Of course, no other band than Feanor can provide the layout and template to develop those since we are 100% into the true metal vein. We agreed to start working on a new album, and ideas and demos began to flow and fly on the USA, Germany, Argentina triangle of true metal. Our singer Sven (Wizard Band) recorded all of his vocal tracks in Germany; David provided his tracks from his home studio in the USA. We delivered pounding drums and bass and guitars from Buenos Aires. It was an amazing experience. At this time, we have it oiled up and ready for more steel as we are starting the writing process of a new album.
I was surfing the web and suddenly came across the works of Serbian artist Dusan Markovic, and I was stunned. He is talented, and the moment I saw his drawings, I knew I needed him and no one else, so I got in touch with him. The artwork concept started to be crafted way before having the actual album ready, we were doing demos, and the cover was already done. My idea of the cover was to portray a mighty warrior coming back from his adventures riding a powerful eagle. I saw something like this many years ago when I was a teenager in a CD booklet called Return Of The Metal Kings. Of course, it worked at many levels since we had composed The Odyssey in nine parts; the story, of course, talks about the return of a king to his homeland. The name of the album “Power Of The Chosen One” also applies beautifully to it since The Chosen One is the warrior per se. Another important point is that I wanted the cover to be worked on in yellow tones. After this album, we released an EP on blue tones, aiming to use red on our next album. I like vivid colors to have a nice true metal bouquet.
Power Of The Chosen One is carried by different stories, experiences and thoughts and is not a concept album. With the title song, I describe the everyday struggle of life. In 2007 my first wife died suddenly and unexpectedly. With two kids in my luggage, I suddenly stood in front of a huge mountain full of shit and somehow had to see how I got over it. In the end, I made it because I believed in myself and the kids. Not least because I had good friends and great families by my side, each of us has a sack-like this, sometimes more, sometimes less. Yes, and so I wrap real life in fantasy lyrics. It is a story that doesn’t directly reflect the event but reflects it in a certain way.
We usually tackle the ‘belief in yourself’ theme through different approaches, but of course, we love to write about mythology and antique stories. For example, in our 2016 album, We Are Heavy Metal, we have a song based upon a Lord Byron Poem, Tolkien saga, a song about the Sumerian Gilgamesh story, on Power Of The Chosen One, of course, have antique Greek poem The Odyssey, we have a rather sexual sadomasochist track on Bringer Of Pain. Then we have a sort of autobiographical theme in Raise Of The Dragon, talking about the return of David Shankle to the true metal scene. In our EP Boundless I Am Free, we aim at people that lost some beloved ones in these tragic times (or any other) with a perspective of the famous circle of life, where nothing ends, and all is transformed. After losing my father, I’ve written a lyric, sharing my perspective on the afterlife with our audience and somehow expecting to alleviate the weight of a loss. All in all, our lyrics aim to reach people using poetic language that requires interpretation from the listener or not; sometimes, the literal take works out for some people.
If I sit down to play something, I know something fresh will appear, we love to write music, inspiration can strike at night, or in the morning, walking on the street, you never know the only thing we aim for is to surpass our limits and try to raise the bar album by album, with better production, better songs, better mixing, better instruments, we try not to repeat ourselves in terms of sound. Still, it has a high cost to remain true to our never-ending quest for musical excellence. It takes a lot of time and countless hours of takes and retakes, but once we’re satisfied with the result, we can go to sleep at night knowing that we did our very best, keeping nothing under our sleeves.
I got into heavy music thanks to Manowar, of course. I love traditional metal music, but Manowar was my source of inspiration to pass from a simple listener and music enthusiast to being a musician, especially a song Thor the Powerhead, which was the first one I’ve learned to playback in the day. Also, I have to say that my mind construction is representative of the rebel-like figure portrayed in most of their lyrics, the mediocrity surrounding me filled my heart with black venom, and I needed to let those feelings out, so yes, that band was the main reason for me playing.
I am a fighter; when I was 14 yrs old told my family that I wanted to play bass, my family couldn’t afford it, so I went to the streets to sell Christmas cards and worked as a mailman while studying, I worked my ass off to buy my first bass and gear, so I know from an early age the meaning of the fight for your dreams. I will never give up. I remember being in college. Some of my friends studied only a few days before the test. They approved with A’s while I, on the other hand, always needed to burn my eyelashes to accomplish the tasks. One of the things I’ve noticed back in the day was that if I read the lessons out loud, everything enters into my brain more easily, so I have kind of an ear for music and languages. I can speak Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English and a little Greek, everything “by ear”, not to mention all the instruments I play… so yes, working hard and realizing that I have an ear was the pivotal moment of my life that led me to today.
Two things motivate me to write music. On the one hand, I came from my mom’s side from a German family, all my family speaks German until my aunt’s generation, so my mom was really fond of classical music. I’ve listened to tons of classical music vinyl when I was a boy. Then from my dad side, I have a mixture of Spanish and local Indian blood, and all of the members from my dad side are folk musicians, so you can say that I was destined to have music in my life. The second thing, I remember a couple of my friends playing in a band when I was 13, they made some punk music, the thing was that they were able to play live and had access to fresh pussy, I remember that I’ve thought to myself “why the fuck I am here as a spectator watching them play live and have pussy and fun when I knew in my heart I could do it better?” So, that little punk band gave me the main kick to start a band for myself.
I have composed many songs under the strangest circumstances. Normally I pour a glass of wine or a beer, grab my bass or piano and start right away. A couple of times, I’ve woke up in the middle of the night with a melody in my head and chant it in my recorder for safekeeping it and then pass it to Sven to transform it from a crazy mumble into a real melody that happened actually a couple of times, other times I find myself inspired while singing taking a shower or being involved into more scatological endeavors, so all in all, the creative process is quite diverse. My only routines are martial arts training, and the fetish ones have no relation whatsoever with music.
I am an electronic engineer; I love high tech stuff and read about science, but also, I love mythology, history, science fiction, Tolkien, and as I’ve told you before, many of our lyrics are born after personal issues, portraited with poetry on a vague form to be able to reflect each person experiences.
Music gave me the chance to meet so many incredible people, and of course, it gave me the most satisfying experiences. I do not doubt that it makes us resonate in the same frequencies. Look at my band, people from 3 different continents, with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, but we sound like pneumatic hammers pounding a concrete street together. The invisible ropes of true metal-bound us. No distance nor age can break it. Music unites us, and music binds us. Music gives us hope, a reason, a meaning, and, if needed, an escape from this world that can be as beautiful as sometimes really dark, is a universal expression—one of the highest art forms where we all as human beings can find a definition. Sometimes we need entertainment, sometimes we need a lift, sometimes we need a simple companion, all that is music and whatever you choose is always fine.
I was 12 years old, and a neighbor gave me a bunch of tapes, among those tapes, there was a local band called “RIFF”, sort of mix between Saxon and Acdc, it was love at first sight, I knew immediately that heavy music was the thing I was looking for, and as my love for heavy metal grew, so did me despise for the weak pussy pop and techno shit of the early 90s, so my seek and look for fresh bands came to a peak when I’ve meet Manowar’s “Kings Of Metal” in 1988, since that day I knew what kind of music I wanted to play. The only reasonable solution was finding a job and buying my first bass and amplifier at the age of 16. I do not come from a wealthy family, so I’ve had to work on anything I can to have CDs or music. It was an incredibly formative experience, earning my own money keeping the school with nice grades. Fight hard for your dreams, work and sweat your balls off and never give up. Amazing times indeed. Then, of course, it made Feanor a reality at the age of 18 and from that point onwards, it was nothing but pure metal enjoyment since music gave me the chance to meet so many wonderful people along the way; I am really blessed.
Traveling and knowing the world opens your mind and is the greatest factor to avoid directing our music into some topics straight ahead. I have met tons of people from different religions and even non-religious or non-spiritual at all, and on all fronts, you always find good and beautiful people and some big fuckers. It doesn’t mean anything to me what you believe or don’t believe. If you have goodness in your heart, that’s enough. And, of course, we try to insufflate power into people’s lives. I know from first hand those days when you feel drained and empty. You can barely get down from bed, let alone face the rest of the day… Those challenging days and times in my experience were always better with some good and nice true metal in my ears. That extra pump was very important to me and played a crucial role in my life in my hours of need. Finally, yes, we love to read books, so it is normal to find references to literature in our songs. Perhaps you feel tempted to grab a book after hearing one of our stories/songs, and what better way to expand your mind than reading? When you go to the gym to exercise your muscles for sure you will notice in the improvement in your overall feeling and body, same happens to your mind, we need to keep our brain busy, reading, listening to music, whatever you choose, is the way to keep growing and expanding yourself and of course that eventually leads to a better choice-making process that will be highly beneficial in your life