Signum Regis is a progressive/power metal band from Slovakia. They formed in 2007, released their self-titled debut in 2008, and released The Eyes of Power on Inner Wound Recordings in 2010. Below an interview with founder and bass player Ronnie König [picture].
TMR: Hello to you from ‘The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in Slovakia ?
Hi, thank you for having me on! In Slovakia, it’s like in all other part of the Europe, right now. The governments are broke and now, the people, who produce something and never contributed to the goverment debts, are being crushed with high taxes and inflation. Goverments never solve problems, they just create them. What can I say more?
Actually, I don’t live in Slovakia right now. I’ve been living in Austria for almost 6 years, but every other 2 weeks, I am in Slovakia with my family and also with the band.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
My name is Ronnie König and I play bass. I am also the main composer. We are six guys: Filip (lead guitar), Ado (rhythm guitar), Janči (keyboards), Jaro (drums) and Göran behind the microphone.
TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Signum Regis’
We are metal heads, who have huge respect for the rather old school band from 80s and 90s and we play also this style. You won’t hear no rap or vinyl scratching on our records : )
TMR: Why the name ‘Signum Regis’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
Well, yes. There are two things combined. First thing is, that it sounds classical and we have some classical elements in our music. No too much, but you can’t miss it. The second thing is, that the family name of me and my brother Tommy, who brought this name up, is König, which is “king” in English and it’s “Regis” in latin. Signum Regis is the signiture of the king, so to say. It’s kinda wordplay.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or study do you do beside the band ?
Not at all. We have all our 5-9 jobs. We do IT, graphic design, economics, sales, music merchendise. Göran is the only one who is or rather used to be a professional musician. Now, he has a civil job as well.
TMR: What is your musical background ?
I like heavy metal and rock music. I am not into the trendy stuff, but basically I can listen to anything between John Fogerty and Megadeth. It can be more euro-sounding like Judas Priest, it can be more US-sounding like Metallica. The important thing is, that there has to be power, melody and a good level of musical skills and songwriting.
I came up with almost all of the music, I did a lot of vocal melodies, but many of them were done by Göran, similar thing can be said about the guitar solos. Some melodies were part of the song, but Filip the guy responsible for the shredding. Lyrics were done by Tommy who is our external lyricist. The whole process was, that I had some idea or a riff in my head and I wrote it down to my computer. Soon there comes a whole song structure, grooves and melodies. When this part is done, we usually record a demo, while Tommy is working on the lyrics according to the melodies that are played by a piano on the demo. When the lyrics and demo are done, Göran can record his lines. In 4 out of 5 melodies, he puts his own character to them. That means, he can add some emotions or change the whole line without changing the background music or the lyrics.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Signum Regis’ the best ?
I would say, that it is heavy metal with shredding guitars and memorable vocal melodies and the songs are rather up-tempo.
TMR: How does ‘Signum Regis’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
The music was not very much of a reflection of our believes or views on the situation yet, but me personally, I am not against it. I am Catholic and liberty loving person with a good overview on economics and politics, so I definitely don’t rule out, that you might hear something against taxes, statism, socialism, keynesianism, globalism or crazy environmentalism from me.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Signum Regis’ ?
We did two albums so far. The first one was a classical rock album with all kind of lyrics, there was no main theme. On the other hand, the second one – The Eyes Of Power – it’s a concept, a true historical story from the Middle East. It all happened few centuries before Christ, in the days of ancient Rome and Persia. We have a great, extended booklet for the CD, you can’t have the full experience of the music, if you don’t listen to it while having the booklet with additional notes, explanations in your hand. Every song has not only the lyrics, but a part of the story. Even the instrumental tracks, which I find quite unique and original.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
Well, if we ever do a tour, I don’t care that much, if I am a true fan of the headliner band. I mean, it would be great if I had the chance to tour with a band that I like, but the more important thing would be, if they are nice guys, if the treat us with respect and if they keep their word. You know what they say, when is it, that a star looses his/her fan? It’s when the fan meets his hero personally : )
TMR: First record you bought?
I can only remember the first album on an original CD. It was Helloween – The Time Of The Oath. Actually, Tommy bought it, but we shared our music cabinet as we were kids, so it was for me, as if I bought it.
TMR: What makes you laugh?
I like comedies and comedy series. The last one, that I really enjoyed was something with Adam Sandler, but not the one that got all the Golden Raspberries : )
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?
We are now on a small hiatus, actually, but the social networks and internet in general are the main way to do the promotion. Except from that, we have our old band called VINDEX ( and we share most of our fans, but not all of them, so you can do that kind of cross-promotion, when you remind your fans, that you also play in another great band : )
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
It’s always two things: it’s rehearsing and practising before the show and getting prepared for the gig – meaning preparing the equipment. I use Ampeg 4×10 cabinet and SVT-3 head. Except from that some wireless stuff and pedals so you can never forget to check the bateries and stuff. I don’t need to do any special warm-ups. It’s a good thing to do, but in case you start the show with a couple of songs, that are not that difficult, you might get warmed-up during the show. This is of course bass specific. I don’t recommend playing without any warm-up to guitar players, singers or drummers.
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
We don’t have our own stage design yet, but those who heard us playing, really appreciated how well we could play those songs. Not only the special energy that you get on almost every live event, but also the technical skills. We usually don’t do many mistakes and the songs sound pretty tight.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked
Never got a dumb one, yet. All interviews I have done were for smart guys.
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy?
I am Christian-Catholic so that is my philosophy, but when we talk about how the society should work, I am libertarian. I think it is absolutely not desirable to have a nanny state, that takes care of view from cradle to the grave. It’s the kind of philosophy, that conservatives in USA had a hundred years ago. I also think that law cannot change the morality of people and that you should not punish anyone who doesn’t hurt someone else, I believe that you are the owner of your body, that taxation is theft and all these things, that libertarians think. If you go through the history, most of the time, most of the governments are tyranical and evil.
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days?
I go to a couple of gigs per year. The last one was Judas Priest. I have few Megadeth records in my car, I listened to Alice Cooper’s Trash last week. Cool stuff.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record-industry today?
I think it all about minimizing the costs. The good thing is, that you can do it, thanks to the advanced technologies and high productivity, which can be achieved, the bad thing is, that the quality of the recordings sometimes suffer. This is of course not because of the digital technology, it’s because of the lack of experience (now as everyone is his own sound engineer) and also because the CD sales are not a source of income anymore. I don’t know how the industry will look like if we talk about the ways of distribution, sales and so forth. The more important thing will be the monetary and debt crisis of almost every country under the sun. As the economy goes down, people cut spendings and music is one of the first parts of economy, that feels this. The only positiv thing could be the side-effect that often occurs during the bad times – they say, that metal music gets stronger, when all the other things go bad. Let’s see : )
I partially described how the songwriting process looks like. The recording was done at my homestudio. I have Windows based workstation with M-Audio hardware and AKG+Shure microphones. The drums we recorded using 8 mic and they are pretty natural. We used a little bit of triggering here and there, but I would say that the sound is 85% natural. We used digital guitar and bass amps. Göran uses some great sounding vintage gear. If you are interested in details, you might wanna visit his website. The engineering and editing was done by me, the mix was more of a cooperation of myself and Filip. It works like this: I put it all together and send the result to Filip. He would listen to it very carefully and write down his notes. I work then to correct/improve all what is necessary and repeat the whole process till we are happy with the result. The mastering was done in Vancouver/Canada by Greg Reely. He is a true proffessional who totaly understands how a great recording should sound like and he can also fix a lot of stuff that you don’t delivery in the best possible condition. I highly recommend his services.
TMR: The album is released in 2010 by ‘Inner Wound Recordings’, how did you get signed by them ?
We were simply doing our research, to find out which labels still sign bands like us. Inner Wound appeared on the list. The other good thing was, that Inner Would already knew us and liked the first album and they heards some nice words from the organisers of Switzerland’s Elements Of Rock festival. That lead our way to make a deal.
TMR: What about your plans for this year or the near future ? [European Tour / New album ?]
There are no plans for a tour. I have a couple of new songs, but right now, I am not thinking of recording new album. I would like to promote the 2 albums a little bit longer. Some of the reviewers highly appreciated the bass performance, that I did, so I am thinking of recording few videos of the coolest bass licks that appeared on the albums. The same could be done for the guitars.
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
If there was a question like this from someone who wants start doing some music, I would recommend him not only to practice 10 hours on the instrument, but also to invest some time into songwriting and music theory. When I say this, I am having on my mind all those guys, who can play insane shreds, but you never ever hear them coming up with a great song.
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?
Money, lack of free time (in case you have to pay your bills from your own income), interpersonal stuff and the lack of interest from those who can pull the strings in the business.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Signum Regis’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
Stay metal, fight for liberty, don’t believe propaganda and keep in mind, that “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” ~ James Madison
Göran Edman – Vocals
Ronnie König – Bass
Filip Koluš – Guitars
Ado Kaláber – Guitars
Jan Tupý – Keyboards
Jaro Jančula – Drums
Signum Regis (2008)
The Eyes Of Power (2010)
Buy ‘SR’ albums here at First Paradox