Interview With ‘Signum Regis’


SR exodusWith their two previous albums ”Signum Regis” [2008] and “The Eyes Of Power” [2010] Slovakian melodic metal band Signum Regis established themselves as highly respected band in the scene, especially with the diverse concept album “The Eyes Of Power” that received great reviews from around the world. The singer on these two albums were no other than Göran Edman, known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum and many more. Their third album “Exodus” is released on November 15th. in Europe and will be released in North America on December 3rd. through Swedish record label Ulterium Records. “Exodus” is an epic concept album that features different vocalists on each track.

Below an interview with Filip, Ronnie and Jaro of Signum Regis:

TMR: Hey guys this is ‘The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Slovakia ?

Filip Koluš: Hi! Not as good as in Holland, but I think we are fine.
Jaro Jančula: Hey The Metal Resource I think we are just fine and I personally do not see the situation so catastrophic and “black” especially when we look on the feedback from our fans nowadays.

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]

Filip Koluš: I am 25 years old financial manager and I play the guitar in Signum Regis.
Ronnie König: I play bass, I am 31 years old, I’m married, I have one daughter, I work as IT developer, I was born in Slovakia, but I live in Austria now.
Jaro Jančula: I am 36 and enjoy to play drums and flute. I’m married and working in steel business as sales manager.

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Signum Regis’

Ronnie König: When we started Signum Regis, we were (meaning Filip, Jan and me) playing in a band called Vindex. The main reason, why one band was not enough, was that we were a bit stagnating with Vindex. Also the limits of Vindex were set a bit too tight, I think. We wanted to move on and starting something new was a natural thing to do. It was a studio project in the beginning and some still call it that way, but after 3 albums we managed to have a line-up for playing live. I believe it is safe to call us a real metal band now. The first and second album were recorded with Göran Edman, the third one was done a bit differently. We invited guest singers for each song.

TMR: What is your musical background ? [for everyone personal]

Filip Koluš: I have been playing the guitar since I was 6 years old. I studied classical guitar for 12 years, then I have been improving my guitar skills by myself. Than I play the drums little bit also, but here I am self-educated. When I was a little child, I wanted to be a drummer, but we lived in a flat, so there was no space for practicing the drums and my neighbours hate me even when I am a guitarist, because I love to play really loud!

Ronnie König: I started quite old, I think I was 16 or 17 years old. I have always loved electric guitars, but I thought I was too old for that. I thought, that bass has less strings, so it has to be easier. Moreover, I was listening to Helloween – Better Than Raw a lot those days. The bass was very audible and cool on that record. At that point I came to the conclusion, that playing bass doesn’t have to be boring at all. It might be very cool, actually. Now, I have a 6 string bass and I can use all of them, so I guess I managed to learn, what I missed during the childhood.

Jaro Jančula: I was like 6 or 7 when I started to attend flute classes and continued till I was 14. Then, somehow a huge musician gap appeared in my life as I was keen on different things and suddenly when I was 20 and almost graduated the university, drums entered into my life and it was love at the first sight and first hearing – so it is still. I would say I am 100% self-taught person, but still working hard to get better. The only difference between Ronnie, Filip and me is that I am not allowed and of course cannot play my instrument nowhere else than at rehearsal room. But the practise pad is always a part of me.

signum_regis_ExodusTMR: The new ‘Signum Regis’ album “Exodus” is released in Europe on November 15th. I must confess it’s really a fantastic album. “Exodus” is released via ‘Ulterium Records’ how did you get signed by them ?

Ronnie König: Our second album – The Eyes Of Power – was released via Inner Wound Recordings. Ulterium Records and Inner Wound Recordings are run by the same people. The reason, why Exodus was released by Ulterium and not Inner Wound has to do with the lyrics. The Eyes Of Power was more secular and Exodus is a gospel concept album, so it fits to Ulterium Records better.

TMR: “Exodus” is largely a concept album, explain to the readers what the album is about and the reasons for doing it?

Ronnie König: Except from the Helloween cover, I would say, that it is a pure concept album. Few years ago, I wrote 3 songs: Let Us Go!, Wrath Of Pharaoh and Exodus. Honestly, I can’t remember, what was the inspiration to write such lyrics. Probably, I was reading the Bible or watching the Moses movie. One way or the other, those 3 songs were meant to be together. The idea to record a full-length album came from Emil Westerdahl of Ulterium Records. He liked the idea so much, that he suggested, that we write more songs and release it all together as a concept album… and we did.

TMR: What are some of the more challenging moments when doing a concept album? Tell us about some of those challenges that were possibly the most difficult to overcome, but the most rewarding once conquered on “Exodus”.

Ronnie König: For me it, was the first time, that I wrote lyrics for the whole album. Our main lyricist has been my brother Tommy, who has been writing lyrics for 9 out of 10 songs. This time he was not available, so I had to step in. Becoming that prolific was the first challenge for me. The second one was, that when you don’t write a concept, you simply record 12-13 songs, when you are done, you choose 10 and put them into any order you like. When you do a concept, you have to think about the song order on the album from the very beginning. Not only the music and lyrics have to match with a particular mood, they also have to create a unit of 45 minutes, that are interesting for the listener from beginning to the end. You have to avoid having all fast songs in the beginning and all slow at the end, or stuff like that. It might correspond with the story, but it would be very bad for the flow of the record. The third challenge was to find a match between the song and the singer. I think the second challenge was most difficult. The feedback regarding the third challenge seems to be very positive. It sounds, like those songs were written for each singers. Positive feedback is a reward for me.

TMR: What inspires you to write songs and what influences do you draw upon in formulating a song?

Ronnie König: I write songs, because I enjoy the process of creation. I am not sure, if you can call it inspiration. I just have the passion. I love the feeling, when a new piece of music is created and I like listening to it over and over again and imagining that other people listen to it as well and they like it as much as I do. It just makes me happy. I am influenced by all the other music that I like.

TMR: What are some key principles or philosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person? [for everyone personal]

Filip Koluš: I try to be just my self and seriously do only those activities which I think I am good at. I like to be my self with my good and also bad sides. In my opinion, every person is unique and that is a reason why I think being just yourself is the best decision. I do not like falseness and absolute perfection.

Ronnie König: My conscience and faith guide me. I just don’t like the feeling when I do something wrong. Of course, this doesn’t make me perfect, I am far from being perfect, but I try to be a better person. It’s a struggle for the whole life. I believe, following the teachings of Jesus Christ, is the way to a happy, meaningful life and also the way to get to Heaven after you die on this Earth.

Jaro Jančula: I try to be honest and open as I hate hypocrites and hence it follows I really don’t like falsehood, superiority, vanity, smugness especially among musicians and bands in our metal scene. Despite this I accept different opinions and if there is risk of conflict I try to conclude with compromise. But nevertheless, I think I am easygoing man, who has no issues with other people.

TMR: As a Christian what is your relationship with God like at this point in your life, and what sort of message would you share with the readers at this time, that would inspire and encourage both believers and nonbelievers to cling onto the things of God. [for everyone personal]

Ronnie König: I think, it is good not to forget how fragile our life is. Something can happen and your whole world can fall apart. When you imagine this, the next step is to think about, what you can do about it. The wrong answer is, not to care, live like there’s no tomorrow, because all that matters is this very moment. The better thing to do is to think: what if there is a life after death? What if the whole world isn’t just a coincidence? What if the real meaning of life can be found in the teachings of Jesus Christ? What if you are not alone in your darkest hour? What if there’s a help and love for you, regardless of who you are, what you are or what you did? It is worth trying to find the correct answers, because there is nothing you can loose, you can only win. Big time!

TMR: What is the Slovakian metal scene like?

Filip Koluš: It depends on which metal genre we are talking about. When we are talking about Power & Heavy Metal, in Slovakia is very little scene, but I see some progress last years, it becomes better and better and there have been some new serious heavy bands and some new rock radios formed. I hope, we will keep it that way.

TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band? [for everyone personal]

Filip Koluš: I like to lift weights in my free time. It’s my big passion nowadays. Then traveling to some interesting places with my girlfriend, fishing, cycling and so on … and partying sometimes of course, switch off at the end of the working week with my closest friends is also great thing

Ronnie König: I used to play ice-hockey, I used to go fishing, but since we have a daughter, I simply don’t have much time for this. Except from spending time with my family, my job and music, probably the only thing that I do, is listening to talk radios, sometimes listening to audiobooks and occasionally writing some blogs. Maybe one day, if I stay healthy enough, I will play ice-hockey again, but now it’s not possible.

Jaro Jančula: I like skiing very much and reading books, especially horror books of my favourite writer Mr. Stephen King. I really do not have much time for other activities same as Ronnie because I already have children too – two boys, so all of my free time is devoted for them.

2013-SignumRegisBand-smallTMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all times ? [for everyone personal]

Filip Koluš: It is hard question, but in my top 5 are Black Sabbath´s Sabotage and Technical Ecstasy, Grave Digger´s The Grave Digger (with best heavy metal guitar sound I’ve ever heard), Rammstein´s Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da and Ozzy´s Ozzmosis. But I listen to dozen of great metal and rock bands. From the new albums my favourite should be Adrenaline Mob – Omerta, really awesome masterpiece for me.

Ronnie König: sorry, I can’t tell you only five. I need to mention more than that:
Megadeth – Rust In Peace
Helloween – Better Than Raw
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Best Of
Impellitteri – Eye Of The Hurricane
Yngwie Malmsteen – Facing The Animal
Grave Digger – Knights Of The Cross
Rod Stewart – Best Of
Metallica – Black album

Jaro Jančula: Tough to answer as I am not keen on metal/rock only. I have plenty of them so I can just tell you the ones I am listening the most:
– Adrenaline Mob: Omertà and Covertà of course – even this is only EP.
– Arch Enemy: Wages of Sin
– Rage: 21
– Korn: Issues, The Paradigm Shift
– Symphony X: Paradise Lost
– Pantera: Vulgar Display Of Power, Far Beyond Driven
and many many more of course from other genres as well. Depeche Mode for example.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

Filip Koluš: The main method how we communicate with our fans is internet. We have official webpage, we have also facebook page and we have our youtube channel.

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]

Filip Koluš: To be honest, I do not visiting so many gigs. Only the bands I really want to see. But sometimes it is possible to see me on some smaller metal and rock gigs in Bratislava too. I listen to Black Sabbath´s 13 this days. What a great comeback!
Ronnie König: I go to gigs only ocassionaly. Right now, I am spinning the new Stryper album. I like it quite a lot!
Jaro Jančula: The last concert I visited was Adrenaline Mob gig in Bratislava so I must admit I visit gigs very occasionally.

TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?

Ronnie König: To find the right people, playing for right reasons. There are plenty of good musicians, who would play for money, but you can’t establish a band like that. You are starting from zero. Not many people have the will to go on, when things aren’t going that well. It takes years and years.

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Filip Koluš: I would like to advice to fellow bands to do what they like. If you like your music and some other people too, practice hard and stick to it even when the things are not going that well. I had that idea of ending with music sometimes, but it was short-time bad idea, because music is my favourite hobby and I want to play. And I am still here.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future ?

Filip Koluš: We prepare some new surprises for our fans nowadays. For example, it will be the studio video jam sessions, where we will play some Signum Regis songs from every of our three records, so stay tuned! Then we’re going to play some gigs in middle and western Europe.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Signum Regis’ all the best for the rest of the year and already for 2014 … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?]

Filip Koluš: Thank you very much for your wishes, I wish also all the best for Metal Resource and my final statement is simply … STAY HEAVY GUYS!

“Signum Regis” [2008]
“The Eyes of Power” [2010]
“Exodus”  [2013] REVIEW

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Myspace

Video below  ‘The Ten Plagues’ (Live with Matt Smith)

Video below “Exodus” Album Teaser

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