16 May
Interview with METAL OF JUPITER

Two days ago, I got an email from Jo ''The Oracle” Gamel (host of the popular new interview series ''Jo Gamel's Rock Goddesses'', musician, artist, and more) which she has the kindness to send me a private link from her brand new metal band Metal of Jüpiter and to listen to their first single, ''Tel - Of - Ur'' (an excellent song; you should check it out for sure!). Jo “The Oracle” Gamel is on vocals and bass. The rest of the band are Tomas “Witchfinder” Ericson (Helvetets Port) on vocals and rhythm guitar, David Olofsson (Helvetets Port, Portrait, and many more) on lead guitar, Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Memento Mori, Notre Dame, and many, many, many, many more...) on drums and Kyle McNeill (Seven Sisters, Phantom Spell, and more) on keyboards. It seems and sounds very promising. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jo “The Oracle” Gamel.

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Jo, introduce yourself to our readers.
Salutations metalheads! It is I, the Oracle of Jüpiter. I am the bassist and a vocalist in Metal of Jüpiter (Jüpiter). I am also a fine artist and short story writer, all of which play into my musical expressions.

How came up with the idea to start the music project Metal of Jüpiter (or just Jüpiter) and were you involved in any rock or heavy metal bands before that?
This is my foray. The first Jüpiter single is the first I’ve been on record, ever. I waited for the right quality of musicians before getting invested. The roots of this project began when I was living in Stockholm. I wrote the lyrics for ‘Ode To Death’ for Enforcer and had the privilege of being present for the production of ‘Zenith’ at Rikard’s studio, where I learned a lot from Olof’s extremely hard work. I became interested in Enforcer because of the lyrics written by Tomas for the song ‘Katana’. He also wrote the lyrics to ‘Black Sun’ on that same album, Zenith. Tomas and I became fans of each other’s lyrics, poetry, and short stories. Eventually, we decided to collaborate on music in Gothenburg, and we were fortunate to attract brilliant collaborators. Tomas suggested we contact Snowy Shaw. His early work in Dream Evil, particularly ‘The Book of Heavy Metal’, was how I learned what metal was. I recall when I was 13 and I first heard it played at the countryside skate rink on goth night, and I requested it every time I attended thereafter. David Olofsson was enthusiastic about the project from the start and he is a natural talent. Kyle McNeill and David are good friends, and Kyle’s sensibilities for all things prog are unmatched. Olof was our automatic choice for mixing. Olof will be producing the full album.

Öracle of Jüpiter 

You have recently released your single ''Tel - Of - Ur''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The single will be released on May 17, so we shall see! 

Tell us a few things about the lyrics of ''Tel - Of - Ur'' and who is the main composer of your songs.
I decided to write the lyrics with a “rule of R” to make best use of Tomas’s Arctic accent. Other songs are written with different poetic rules, such as octosyllables. Thematically I was inspired by some treasures that are held on my street, namely the collection from the royal cemetery of Puabi, a Mesopotamian priestess and sovereign of Tel-of-Ur, in present day Iraq. Tomas and I sit side by side when we compose, so we consider ourselves equal co-composers.

'Tel-of-Ur' Artwork by Jo Gamel 

In a few days, you are going to release ''Tel - Of - Ur'' in a music video. How was the experience of making a video, and do you believe that a video clip helps bands promote their work nowadays?
We are doing this first video long-distance, so I can only speak for myself. It was similar to the process of other filmed performance art I’ve created as a fine artist. As for music promotion, video is hugely important. For example, any song by a band that has a video gets significantly more views on YouTube than a track without one, greatly helping the discovery of the music. I, for one, am always curious about how a band chooses to present themselves optically. Take a look at the acceleration of Castle Rat’s trajectory – two music videos with exactly the right elements to blast off! That ripples into everything around them. People are visual; again consider the showmanship of Kiss. A band is a conceptual whole, and visuals are a part of the gestalt. To me, metal is musical theatre. Sometimes it is solemn and macabre, other times it is whimsically glittering and fiery, and other times it is medieval fantasy with inventive characters and giant props. It is a widely expressive genre that has the power to sweep you away to many different worlds.

How difficult or easy was it to cope with the other band members of this project, They live in Sweden, and you are located in the USA.
I am greatly fortunate to work with extremely professional musicians. Kyle, David, and Snowy could not be more perfect. Tomas, Olof, and I have long rapports that give us the grace to openly give and receive ideas. I will point out that I am not always long-distance from the others, as I have been granted Swedish residency. I am also fortunate to be a self-employed business owner, so I have total flexibility.

Tomas “Witchfinder” Ericson: vocals and rhythm guitar, David Olofsson: lead guitar, Snowy Shaw: drums, Kyle McNeill: keyboards 

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings that you would like to share with us?
Nothing comes to mind.

Do you have a record deal proposal yet, or are you going to search for it?
I have had my eye on a certain medium-sized label from the start, however, I feel dissuaded by the wisdom of my more experienced acquaintances.

What attributes do you think a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
I’d like to lay out a few examples: Leather Duchess, Sölicitör, and Jinx Dawson’s Coven. Each of these very different acts have one thing in common, which is a total commitment to their lore. Leather Duchess delivers exactly what the name suggests, a glam, fringy, gritty look and sound with lyrical themes to match. Amy of Sölicitör described to me how she pictures herself as an archetype of the sound she is creating. Jinx took Coven’s satanic cult appeal so far that her first album was in fact taken out of distribution because it was so convincing (and because it occurred just after the panic-inducing Manson murders that had nothing to do with her). I think this kind of conviction can be mirrored in an act easily – just follow your true interests. If you can’t stop watching, reading or consuming a topic, lean all the way into that. If you’re already in a band, you are probably doing this unconsciously. Go over your lyrical themes and look for the pattern. You are already writing songs about things that matter to you. Now pour gasoline on it and think of how that should look visually. Everything is contrivance, no matter if you try to be or try not to be. I like to see that mastered.

Which are your main influences?
Sonically, Rick Wakeman’s discography, Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and Jenny Darren’s Queen of Fools album influenced the vision for the band. Personally, Grace Slick, Jinx Dawson, Tina Turner, and Sandy Denny influence how I sing.

Öracle of Jüpiter 

Do you see any differences between the US Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc.)?
Given the huge populations (the EU holds something like 440 million souls, and the US holds something like 330 million souls) anything I say will be a generalization. However, I have noticed a turn in American metal towards the genre’s roots in gospel wails and gritty rock roots. From what I can see at this time, the EU features more classical music elements. Fans everywhere are passionate and eager to connect with their like-minded peers (a special shoutout to Mexico for being especially open-hearted). I’ve come across several small labels in the US focused on doom metal but I can’t say I noticed any pattern in the EU.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
I like the nature of this question! It’s a great demonstration of leadership and a manner of putting a spotlight on your community. I had a great time in Athens when I visited myself. To answer the question, Ruthless Steel aka Scarblade, Achelous, Medusa’s Wrath, Receiver, Selofan, and Saturday Night Satan are some bands I’ve been turned on to. I have heard some fantastic things about Up The Hammers and I hope to check it out next year.

In the last 4 years, worldwide, we have faced many dark, strange, and new situations in our everyday lives (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
A dismal topic!

What are your future plans?
For myself, in June I exhibit art at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona. While there I will also be photographed at Sonia Anubis’s photography studio, which is delightful. Later we’ll be releasing another single, and after another big exhibit in London in the fall, I’ll be leaving the US to live in Sweden permanently. Once there, the final parts of the production of the album will wrap up. I plan to continue my interview series 
‘Jo Gamel’s Rock Goddesses’ for the forseeable future.

Thank you very much for your time, & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thanks to you as well! 10… 9… 8…

By Steve the Filthy Dog.




Spotify name: Metal of Jüpiter 

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