Copenhagen, Denmark vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl is a busy man these days: Recently tabbed to front thrash legends, Artillery, he is also the voice of Ripe. The day before leaving for the 2012 Barge To Hell metal cruise, Dahl jumped on Skype with Metalholic, cup of coffee in hand, to bring us up-to-date on the dynamic new Ripe album, “The Eloquence of Silence“. He also talked Artillery, his musical influences, his top 5 rock albums of all time, his pick for best metal album of 2012, best rock vocalist of all time, and much more.
Ripe‘s music is a mixture of power metal, hard rock, and classic metal. Artillery, whom he performed with on the Barge to Hell cruise, being thrash, I asked Dahl about the divergent vocal styles he has to use approaching each group.
“It’s funny, I don’t think that much about how I’m going to do it. But clearly I have to do it a little bit different in Artillery than I do it in Ripe. But it comes naturally. Whenever we play with Ripe, it gets that certain feel and I do what I do. But of course I’m going to give it a little bit more edge in Artillery. And we have tried it out. We re-recorded one of the old songs, ‘The Almighty’ and I guess everyone can hear that I sing a little bit different, but it’s not that hard for me to do so it’s still that me.”
It is not too surprising that Michael would be in not one but two bands. His passion for rock and roll goes all they way back to his earliest childhood memories. Dahl shared that both his parents were big rock fans, and that music was always playing in his home.
“I remember as a kid, I guess I was five or six years old. My Dad did some work at home and he had these old huge tape machines, and he had ‘Let There Be Rock‘ by AC/DC on that one and ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath‘. And I’ll never forget how the equalizer would bounce up when Phil Rudd would pound the drums and the ferocity of, especially ‘Let There Be Rock’. I was totally enthralled. I was under the spell. So it was never kid’s songs for me. I was listening to radio and soaking up everything I could get my hands on. It was before the internet, so anyone who had anything–I would dig into that and listen to it. But especially early Sabbath and AC/DC. That was it for me.”
The Eloquence of Silence marks the band’s second effort with Dahl as vocalist, A Moment of Forever, being the first. For each album the guys borrowed a small house, very isolated and very close to the sea where they sat and worked out the tracks for the albums. The first album had a loose theme tying it together and Dahl talked about his conceptual theme and how that played into the new album.
“I have all these small bits of paper lying around where I work and close to my computer and I git this idea about a guy who was more alive in his dreams and his subconscious than he was in the real world. I don’t know where that came from I guess sometimes we feel like that. I guess the subconscious can have a lot of persons down there. I don’t mean it in a way of being like schizophrenic in any way, it’s just that we have so many facets. You can use yourself in many ways if you just look into yourself. So I just wanted him to have this problem about the real world and he evolves throughout the songs: Sometimes he experiences setbacks and other times he acknowledged that he had moved on a little bit, and at the end of the album he experiences some kind of liberation. It is not clear if that liberation is the death of his old self or the beginning of a new life.”
You can listen to the full interview with Michael below and check out our review of “The Eloquence of Silence” here.
Michael Bastholm Dahl – vocals
Jakob Højgård Olsen – Guitar
Jeppe Høiby – Guitar
Lars Byskov Madsen – Bass
Peter Egtved – Drums