An Interview with
(Frontman/Guitarist of The Heretic Order) that took place 22nd February, 2019.
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Where did your alias 'Lord Ragnar' come from? Why did you decide to go for this as opposed to Danny Felice as you have been known before? Was it to show this is a new character / alias just like the way Norman Cook often re-invents himself?
Lord Ragnar: It’s just another side of what I am, a warrior name. Everyone has many sides to their self and it’s another type of art for me. I always wanted to do a different musical experience, especially with a concept on the occult and the paranormal, a subject that has always enthralled me.
Glenn: The Heretic Order came to be after the breakup of 'Breed 77' – what aspects of your former band would you say you have taken from it both musically and also the work ethics of it and why?
Lord Ragnar: None really. I have been working on the idea of the Heretic project for many years.
Glenn: Was this musical style always in you or has it developed bit by bit over the years due to various influences both consciously and sub-consciously?
Lord Ragnar: It’s always been my main passion since I was an upcoming young musician. I was a fan of classic metal before I even started playing an instrument.
Glenn: How did this initial line-up come to be and how are things going in the band right now? Any differences having Dany Jones (Priestess Morgana) in the band on bass (apart from being female of course)?
Lord Ragnar: We knew each other before we had played a gig together. It makes no difference what gender people are, Priestess Morgana fits the band really well musically.
Glenn: Like 'Breed 77', 'The Heretic Order' leaves the outsider/fan/listener wondering about this name. Are there particular reasons why this was chosen? (I was obviously thinking about the Puritan Witchcraft era unless there are other things too thrown into the melting pot.
Lord Ragnar: Heretical is anything or anyone that differs from the accepted mainstream beliefs and goes against the mainstream spiritual views and rules. People got burned for that in the past, our song subjects speak for themselves its quite obvious I would say.
Glenn: Are the looks/image of each member chosen from a particular character from a part moment in those heretic times, from films or your own creations that are based on the basic idealism that signifies the overall style that you wish to portray? If so, what and why those in particular? (A deep kind of question right?)
Lord Ragnar: It’s just having a bit of fun, I am always evolving. It’s like putting on armour, we also use many symbols and objects that reflect characters in some of the songs.
Glenn: Going back to the past again, just the once or maybe twice in the same set of questions, what do you miss from the Breed 77 days? Why did you decide to call it a day?
Lord Ragnar: The Past is not even a shadow of what it was, everything has an expiring date alpha/ omega I don’t miss things in life. We are all eternally evolving, it’s how it is, we life in the present moment.
Glenn: What was the initial reaction from the hardcore fans of yourself and other members when you changed from one musical style to another? Did they get it straight away or did it take them a while? Did you find it was a new fan base cos it was so polar opposite?
Lord Ragnar: It’s like a different world. I have seen some people I knew from the past but there is lots of new souls I hadn’t previously encountered. On the subject of ‘if they get it or not’, you would need to ask them. I have to do what I love, if somebody gets it; cool, if not, tough it’s their problem. I do this for myself and with maximum freedom.
Glenn: Why Massacre Records as a company to sign to? Did you have more freedom or was it also a Promotional / Financial decision too or other reasons?
Lord Ragnar: Total freedom to create what we wanted. The company have done what they set out to do.
Glenn: Second album in with 'Evil Rising', what were the memorable moments during its writing, recording and promotional process and why those moments in particular?
Lord Ragnar: We are still making memorable moments, touring through Germany as I write. Evil Rising will always be special to me, many live changing events happened to me whilst recording some very dark moments. Life is about experiences.
Glenn: Do you have certain songs that mean the most to you and why?
Lord Ragnar: All the songs are special to me but Visions tackles a subject of death and the idea of reincarnation. I saw the face of death and its gloom needed to find hope.
Glenn: What aspects of this current tour are you looking forward to? Any particular highlights so far and why? What would you say are the toughest parts of touring and how do you overcome them?
Lord Ragnar: The road is the road, there’s not much change. lots of time waiting, travelling, sharing moments of energy when you are on stage. I’m having an awesome time with THO and the guys from Negacy.
Glenn: When can we expect a Sheffield show because I am sure there are still fans of your good self at least in the area? What would it take to make this happen?
Lord Ragnar: Hopefully soon, we are planning a UK tour after this summer.
Glenn: Do you find there are many differences to fans over in Europe than in the UK or beyond or would you say they are similar in ambience, vibe, energy and sex ratio wherever you perform?
Lord Ragnar: No. Music is a common language, we encourage all witches, demons and undesirable creatures of the night to come and witness us.
Glenn: What are your most preferable types of shows – bars/bars, clubs, larger venues or festivals and why?
Lord Ragnar: All gigs are different worlds from each other, another cosmos, as long as I am playing, I’m satisfied.
Glenn: How did the current tour with Negacy come to be?
Lord Ragnar: It’s going really well, everyone is having fun playing etc. No not really we hate each other, fighting and drinking, the evil is rife and the mood is dark, blood will flow, hate is born. Ha ha.
Glenn: What songs seem to go down well best in concert? What has surprised you about the response to certain songs?
Lord Ragnar: The 'Evil Rising' album is going down really well. All Hail the Order.
Glenn: Do you have a certain title for the fans of the band like some acts do like Quo, Kiss, WASP or Twisted Sister do and if so, what? Cheesy Question I know – lol.
Lord Ragnar: Not really, I don’t like to use the term ‘fan’ on people that like our music.
Glenn: What have been your favourite support slots on tours over the years since you've worked alongside many acts that include Diamond Head, Exodus & I Am Morbid (feat. my buddy Ira Black on Guitar)?
Lord Ragnar: We’re lucky to have done some very cool gigs and tours plus some amazing festivals. I couldn’t say my favourite, there have been so many. Ira is a not only a great musician but also a great person too.
Glenn: Care to unleash any grandiose tour stories over the years and Spinal Tap moments where you won't get sued? Lol
Lord Ragnar: That would be too dangerous, I better not…. ha ha my life would be at risk.
The metal law states – ‘WHAT HAPPENS ON TOUR STAYS ON TOUR’.
Glenn: What is next after the current tour and what are your main aspirations for 2019 for yourself and also the band and beyond?
Lord Ragnar: We have Hammerfest next then Breaking Bands and are still working on other stuff that looks good to me.
Glenn: Tell us about life outside of The Heretic Order – what else do you do and is it possible to make a living out of being in a band these days? Are you all involved in outside ventures in order to make ends meet, especially since the band is based in London?
Lord Ragnar: My private life is boring and of no consequence to my music, besides I don’t think anyone would want to know ha ha.
Glenn: Any parts of London you recommend when it comes to music that you all like to frequent?
Lord Ragnar: We love places like The Unicorn, The Lounge 666, The Dev and The Big Red. These venues are at the forefront of the Rock & Metal scene there right now. London is buzzing, it’s the age of the beast!
Glenn: What have been the been the biggest ordeals the band or you personally have had to overcome while being a part of the music business and what is it that makes you keep striving on in particular?
Lord Ragnar: I love making music it’s a way of life for me. This business if you can call it that, sucks. It’s only the love of what you do that keeps you going, add to that when people enjoy and get what you do. Lots of horror stories have occurred but they better not see the light of day, as we don’t need enemies.
Glenn: What have been your proudest moments so far either inside or outside the band and why?
Lord Ragnar: Music related I have been very lucky to have done many things, like touring with Megadeth, supporting Black Sabbath, meeting and supporting Motorhead etc. I have had many special proud moments. When I finish an album and hold the copy for the first time that is up there too, a very special feeling. But I never dwell in things so I move on and need to keep creating and getting my fix of adrenaline.
Glenn: Anything else you would like to discuss that I haven't covered in the interview?
Lord Ragnar: Yes. Stay heavy, stay evil. Behold the end is nigh.
Glenn: A big thank you for taking the time out for an Interview while on Tour. Have a good one!
Lord Ragnar: THANKS.
Big Thank You's also to Steve Goldby (Tour Manager)
& Dave Bonney (of Metal Heart Management) for setting the interview up.