MELODY LANE interviewed the Swedish power metal band LANCER! A band that is an engaging and exciting steamroller, highly recommended to fans of bands such as HAMMERFALL, BLIND GUARDIAN, ANGRA and EUROPE. Their latest album "Tempest" was released on August 11, 2023 via the Fireflash Records label. 

"...We're definitely power metal in our foundation, but I think you can find stuff all over the place in our music... progressive, classic heavy, thrash, classic rock.... We don't limit ourselves...."




MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name LANCER come from?  

Fredrik Kelemen: When we started the band we tried to find a shorter name that had a lot of punch in it, that also suited the power metal genre well. One day our original vocalist Isak passed a car on his parking lot that said Mitsubishi Lancer. Since Lancer means a knight with a lance it felt like the perfect name for the band. But if we had started the band today I would probably have chosen a different name, because everytime you Google on Lancer all the results are only of cars, haha! :D


MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the actual line-up of the band…For the record of the album and live …will the same musicians be involved? Can you tell us anything about the roots of LANCER ? And where the band was born?

Fredrik Kelemen: Lancer was formed in 2009 while we all were studying at a music academy here in Sweden. At that academy people were mostly in to classical music, jazz or folk music but I really think it was fate that there were five guys that really loved to play metal. Through the years we have changed members and I am the only one that still remains from the very beginning. But in my opinion the line-up that recorded Tempest is very strong and all of us are equally a part of Lancer now.


MELODY LANE: Can you list us 5 songs, from  LANCER’s discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 5 songs that can help our readers to know LANCER at the best.

Fredrik Kelemen: From the very beginning up until now I think that we started as a traditional European power metal band, but through the years we have developed our sound to be more outside the box, more unique and a sound of our own. If I would pick five songs from old to new to represent that development I would say Mr. Starlight, Masters and crowns, Mastery, Entity and Tempest.


MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?

Fredrik Kelemen: Mostly a new song comes from either myself or our other guitar player Ewo, but once someone present a new idea we always rehearse on it a lot and change or add a lot of details to the song. Everyone is allowed to bring in his own ideas and then it becomes a team effort when we finish the songs together.


MELODY LANE:  Can you tell us something about contents and messages of your new album ? …Can you tell us anything about the whole concept of “Tempest”? And please tell us where does this title come from?

Fredrik Kelemen: Tempest is not a concept album in the traditional way, but since I wrote a lot of the lyrics they are all somehow connected anyway. I am very bad at writing traditional power metal lyrics, I can’t write about warriors and dragons, or gods and demons. It’s not my thing. I have to write about stuff that is real, and then it always turns out very dark. I’m not dark as a person but it is just easier to write about things that are wrong in the world, depression and anxiety. Then it actually means something, and that is important to me.


MELODY LANE:  …After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your previous  album “Mastery”? If you could… would you change anything? About TEMPEST…What did you focus on to make the sound better and perfectly consistent with the musical ideas you had in mind?

Fredrik Kelemen: We were very happy with Mastery when it was done, but now in retrospect I would have done things differently. That is always the case when some time has passed by, and I feel that with every album. Today I would have made the production sound bigger and more powerful.

For Tempest we wanted it to be more dynamic, bigger and diverse. We don’t want to be a part of the so-called loudness war where everything is super compressed and maxed out. Tempest is supposed to sound alive and played by actual human beings.


MELODY LANE:  So after the covid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see  LANCER playing live here in Italy or in Europe in the next months/year?  

Fredrik Kelemen: The last time we were in Italy was back in 2017 together with Hammerfall and Gloryhammer, I think we were outside of Milano that time. We absolutely wish to come back as soon as possible! There is no tour booked at the moment and we are working it. We will see what happens, the sad part is that after Covid everything got extremely expensive and it’s not easy to do a tour for a small band like us.


MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like LANCER to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for LANCER to play with and that playing with them would help to enlarge your fan base…And why these bands?

Fredrik Kelemen: It would of course be some bands in our own genre, but that write songs that are a little bit more technical and advanced like we do it. It would be totally awesome to tour with either Angra or Blind Guardian. But from a more commercial view I think that Sabaton and Hammerfall are perfect for us as well.


MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define LANCER’ sound? Are you a Power Metal band…a Classic Heavy Metal band… a Melodic Heavy Metal band…Or…?

Fredrik Kelemen: We are definitely power metal in the foundation, but I think you can find stuff from all over the place in our music. For example progressive, classical heavy, thrash, classic rock. We don’t limit ourselves in that way, but still I would say that people will probably say that we are a power metal band.


MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?

Fredrik Kelemen: I have been listening to power metal for 25 years now, and those bands will always be a huge inspiration for me. But now adays I actually listen mostly to other stuff. I’m a big fan of AOR and bands like Toto, Survivor, Journey, Night Flight Orchestra, Europe and stuff like that. But two biggest guitar inspirations are Kee Marcello (ex-Europe) and Steve Lukather (Toto). Their style of playing is just phenomenal!

And I’m also very in to prog metal like Dream Theater, Seventh Wonder and Symphony X. A lot of amazing musicians in those bands as well!


MELODY LANE: As musicians, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future?

Fredrik Kelemen: The European tour with Hammerfall in 2017 was absolutely a life goal. Totally amazing to play in front of so many people and meeting all the fans afterwards. I’m very thankful to Hammerfall for giving us that opportunity. But also the one time so far that we went to Japan and performed a show in Tokyo. The Japanese fans are just something completely different of what we are used to here in Europe. It’s on a whole other level. Totally amazing! We just wish that the market for smaller bands will open up soon again, after covid made everything difficult, so we can come back to all of these places. Another dream would be to play in South America.


MELODY LANE: Until today...What was the most important concert for  LANCER’s career? And why?

Fredrik Kelemen: I can’t name a specific one, but apart from the Tokyo show I mentioned, there were a lot of good shows on the Euro tour. Just to mention one would be in Warsaw, Poland. The fans their made a huge circle pit during our song Behind the walls. That had never happened before, it was awesome! :D


MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.

Fredrik Kelemen:  If you are a fan of any melodic metal you should check out Lancer, and I truly hope we’ll see each other on tour very soon!