Alestorm Plays Metal Inspired By Pirates: "Other Metal Bands Don't Get Drunk Any More"
When the then-teenage members of Scottish metal group Alestorm formed in 2004, they wanted to distance themselves from the saturation of European metal groups singing about things like Vikings and dragons. So instead, they decided to seek inspiration for their brand of power metal from pirates.
"Because pirates are cool," band leader/vocalist Christopher Bowes says. "They're good role models for us to live our lives by!"
On albums such as their 2008 debut Captain Morgan's Revenge and 2011's Back Through Time, Alestorm uses the medium of heavy metal to tell tales of pirate-influenced mayhem. With a subtle snarl, Bowes mutates the pirate sing-along into guitars-and-keyboard-driven tunes that inspire moshing and
Alestorm's songs may be about pirates, but Bowes is quick to point out that the band's image is not overly threatening.
"We're more like Disney pirates. My favorite pirate is probably Johnny Depp [who] embodies what piracy is all about for me. Getting drunk and being badass."
This emphasis on drunken revelry is especially prevalent in tracks like "This Famous Ol' Spiced" and "Nancy The Tavern Wench." Bowes credits the prospect of drunken shenanigans at an Alestorm show as the reason they have slowly gained a Stateside following.
"Other metal bands don't get drunk any more. They're too busy protecting their voice or making sure they can play their minor-seven three-note arpeggios every night."