Chris Osterman of Iron Kingdom talks new albums and a July tour
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Back in January I got to speak with a Douglas College student named Chris Osterman. Osterman is one-quarter of the Surrey-based metal band Iron Kingdom, and since speaking to him last, he’s been working overtime in order to see the band he loves so much flourish.
Iron Kingdom played a free concert at the New West campus last month, which also served as the location for their upcoming music video. After speaking with Osterman again recently, it’s becoming ever more clear that Iron Kingdom, namely music, is the focus of his life right now.
“I’ve been planning [our July] tour, the video, and the album on and off for the past six months,” Osterman starts. “I go home, and there’s four hours of emails to figure out, and then the next day I wake up and do a couple more hours before I go to work.”
In speaking with the artist again, I’ve received a great deal of insight into the life of the indie musician. Osterman, again, works consistently all hours of the day so that Iron Kingdom can reign supreme. Every step of the way, something new happens for the group—whether it’s a concert to play, a music video to film, or even just finding the inspiration to write a song. Each time something new happens for this independent band, they’re getting their name out there, and becoming that much more successful.
“Obviously before our first album we didn’t really have anything to promote, [but] ever since [then]… things just started happening. We went from absolutely nobody to actually [having the potential to] tour around Canada. We’re hoping that our next [album] will get us in Europe. We have a little bit of a fan base [over there]—we’re selling some albums, nothing major, but to get out there [and perform] would be… awesome.
“We played a show in Toronto a little while ago, and that was our first show ever outside of B.C., and it was like… hitting a whole new market. We’ve played so [many shows] here that the people who go know us fairly well [by this point], and they’ve probably seen us enough times that they don’t need to come out and see us again for a while. But to go out to another city… we’re [hoping] to do some kind of circuit around B.C. and Alberta so that we’re not just in Vancouver all the time. We want to keep playing shows because that’s what we love doing, but it’s hard to get lots of people out to a show when you play so many. We’re doing like three a month right now.”
In regards to this month’s tour, Osterman informed us that:
“On July 6 we’re doing a show out in Surrey, and it’s at Olympia Pizza—that’s our tour kick off party. We go out to Kamloops on [July] 7, then on [July] 9 we’re in Kelowna. On July 12 we’re in Calgary, July 14 we’re back in Kamloops, and then on July 15 we might be in Penticton.”
Tickets can be purchased through the band’s website (http://www.iron-kingdom.com).
[quote style=”boxed”]Every step of the way, something new happens for the group—whether it’s a concert to play, a music video to film, or even just finding the inspiration to write a song. Each time something new happens for this independent band, they’re getting their name out there, and becoming that much more successful.[/quote]
“[Afterwards we’ll be] trying to complete writing all the songs for the next album, which will be starting in August,” Osterman continues on their upcoming album. “We found this really cool studio out in Abbotsford to [record in]—half the price of the studio we [used] last time, so [we’re saving quite a lot]. We had the same artist [Nicholas Frenette] do the cover art—which we’ve already got—and we’re really excited because this one’s just… crazy. It’s insane. The next album is going to be themed on heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad—that kind of thing. Most of the songs are on the evil side [so far], but there’ll be the odd… positive [piece]. I don’t want to go into too much detail, I want there to be a surprise, but it’s really [cool]. We’re hoping to have that released around the time we get back on tour.
“My hope is December 14 [for the album’s release], which sounds very accurate, but the last album [Curse of the Voodoo Queen] was released on December 14, so to be an exact year [apart would be] cool. This [current] tour is more to promote [that] album. [We’d like] to [make some] contacts [on the road] so we can do a full cross-Canada tour for the next album.”
In terms of the band’s evolution since they started, Osterman’s gradual mastering of operating independently continues to be a learning process—an exciting and fun one at that.
“It’s really interesting because we’ve changed a lot, yet we’re still very similar. I feel like we’re going to do a lot better with a more modern audience, although we’re not changing [from] being a traditional 80’s metal band.
“Basically, we’re making [things] happen on our own… it’s just us four. We have a very clear vision, and if anyone told us that that vision was wrong, then we would just go around them and continue [on our way]. We’ve had management before, and it was nice, and they were even [into] what we wanted to do, the thing is [though]… we [love being] independent. We found it’s just better to do it ourselves. You have to make your own path, there’s no set nine to five kind of thing. You have to work for everything you do, and you have to be your own person.”
If you’re an artist of any sort, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you’ve got a show coming up or just want to get your name out there, we’re eager to from you!