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Toledo Steel Discusses Debut Album "No Quarter" And The Resurgence Of Traditional Metal

Heavy metal is a genre which has spawned more sub-genres that anyone would care to count. Over nearly four decades, we've witnessed the birth and rise of thrash metal, black metal, death metal and so on, but while the traditional take on heavy metal is sometimes overshadowed by its offspring, it will never go away. As time has gone on, many younger musicians have taken on the duty of keeping denim and leather alive, to the point some are even calling these groups, the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal, featuring such bands as White Wizzard, Cauldron and Amulet.

This past weekend, I caught up with one such band, Toledo Steel, from Southampton in the south of England, to discuss their role in this movement, why metal fans are still drawn to this style and their plans for a new album, among other topics. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: You're currently promoting your debut album, "No Quarter," which came out last year. Now that the dust has settled, how would you say the reaction's been?

Rich Rutter: For the most part it's been pretty positive, kind of mixed, but I'd say good overall really.

Oz: Good. I've seen one review on Encyclopaedia Metallum which was very positive. It's got some really cool album art as well. Who did the artwork?

Rich: Ah, that was an Italian painter who goes by the name of Velio Josto. He's done quite a few other bands' artwork over the years. I think he did Vulture's first two albums too.

Oz: Cool. I know you've got some shows coming up in Germany, as well as doing some festivals in Greece and Spain as well. Have you been able to play out there before?

Rich: Yeah we've played in Germany quite a few times already. We'll be playing in Spain next month, going over to Greece in December, just the one show in Athens. Next year we're planning to go out and tour Europe as much as possible.

Oz: I know recently you played your first show in France, in Lens. How did that go?

Rich: It was great! Obviously we didn't know what to expect since we hadn't been there before, though Felix had been out there with another band and said it has really energetic crowds, very positive...

Felix Dock: Yeah, I think they're one of the most passionate crowds. I think because there's not that many French bands over there then they're really really hungry.

Oz: It's surprising because people don't really think of France when it comes to metal but French metal fans are mad. They always want to know if you know Trust.

Felix: Yeah, they're mad in the best way possible!

Oz: Since the album came out last year, to work on or record a new album in 2020?

Rich: Yeah, we're going to record our second album for sure next year. Hopefully we'll start recording in January/February time and hopefully release it mid way through the year at some point.

Oz: What will be interesting about that album is that it'll be your first full length album with Felix, even though you're the original bass player.

Felix: Yeah, that's right. I was in the band at the start and then did the first gig, but I've been back now about a year.

Oz: So it was a case of the album came out and then you came back like, "Oh for fuck's sake, I missed that one."

Felix: Yeah, but I'm looking forward to being part of this one though. It should be good.

Oz: There seems to be a renewed interest in traditional heavy metal. There's bands like yourselves and Vulture and Amulet... What would you say is the driving force behind such interest?

Rich: It's a tough question really. I suppose the interest in this kind of music started around 2010 with bands like Cauldron coming out and since then, it could have easily gone and died off, but I think if anything it's gone the other way, there's been more bands coming out and building momentum.

Oz: Yeah, I wonder if where younger bands have had to go through metalcore and such, hearing the old stuff with today's production has helped them realise that it is good music the roots are where you need to go sometimes. But thank you for speaking with me today and I wish you all the best with the new album and I know you're going to have a blast in Greece and Spain.

Rich: We're really looking forward to going there and obviously Toledo being part of the band name, it seems weird to have a Spanish city in our name and not actually go to Spain.

Oz: Yeah, what led you to decide on Toledo Steel as a name?

Rich: That was down to our drummer Matt. He used to collect medieval weaponry and Toledo in Spain is where they used to forge a lot of swords and at the time, Toledo steel was known to be the strongest for weaponry and obviously having a keen interest in that kind of tied in well with this hard hitting heavy metal sound.

Felix: I think we just did it strategically to try and win over the Spanish before we even go there!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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