Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Wolf! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! For those who do not know Darkside could tell us a little how it all started and also tell to us the line up?
Wolf: I started out as the classical metal fan of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest around 1980. A few years later I had my first band called “Metal Daze” (Manowar song from the Battle Hymns album). When I first heard Metallica, I knew it was time to change also with my music, so my next band was called “Deceiver”. In 1989 I listened to Sepultura and joined a band called “Disgrace” from which ashes finally Darkside arose. Until I joined Darkside I used to sing in all the bands I was in, Darkside already had a vocalist, so they asked me to play keyboards which I did for 10 years. From the “Cognitive Dissonance” album on I changed back to the main vocals. In 2004 an Austrian thrash band called DEMOLITION approached me and asked me to sing for them, which I still do. I also recorded a few other albums and projects apart from those two bands, if anybody should be interested in that please check www.myspace.com/darkside666 for more details.
When I started to listen to metal I used to buy albums, but soon I discovered tape trading and demo tapes as more valuable sources for new music e.g. I bought the first “Testament” demo when they still called themselves “Legacy”, I ordered the “No Life Till Leather” demo from the US and I also discovered “Death” via a tape-trading source. I must admit, that nowadays I don´t follow the underground scene as much as I did in the past, but since I am on myspace, I´m a bit more back into that. You can discover thousands of great bands there every day, one just needs the time….it´s a bit info overflow for me, but still I managed to find some very interesting bands e.g. “Beneath The Massacre” on myspace.
The story of the founding of DARKSIDE goes back a few more years to 1986 when Peter Böhm and Robert Grögler decided to start a band. They first teamed up with a guy called Reinhard Boisits (guitars) and formed their first outfit EXCESS. In 1987 they teamed up with Walter Oberhofer (guitar) and Peter Durst (voc) and renamed the band to DARK SHADOW. After that they stopped their activities for half a year to improve their musical skills and then came together under the name of DISGRACE in early 1988 to record a first demo. Myself, I had started back in 1984 with the band METAL DAZE as a vocalist, then we founded DECEIVER in 1986, already with Walter Oberhofer on guitar. In 1989, DISGRACE approached me, if I wouldn´t like to take over the vacant place of the singer after Peter Durst leaving the band. I agreed and we recorded a demo in 1990 before the band split up in December 1990. In the summer of 1991 a new band began to rise on the metal skies. Initially being only a project founded by bass player Peter Böhm and drummer Robert Grögler , they started to rehearse more intensely during the whole summer and even started to compose some first tunes, based on voivodesque bass riffs and complicated slayer-like drum rythems. A third member to complete the first line-up was found in Peter Durst and he supported those first efforts with his vocals and guitar playing. In spring of 1992 the guys recorded a first four- song demo entitled "Depression" which basically contained four tunes of powerful death metal. Some first experiences on the concert front the band gained by participating on the prestigious ATTACK OF FIRE Festival 1992.
To put a little more atmosphere in their songs, DARKSIDE decided to user the help of a former co- musician to record some piano-intermezzos for this first tape. After listening to it a lot of times, the band agreed on including a stable keyboard player in the line-up. The call for more melody and variety reached me.
Shortly before DARKSIDE were ready to record their second demo, Peter Durst started having some severe health problems with his right arm, so the band was forced to look for a substitute. Herbert Knöchel, a young guitar player from the outskirts of Wr. Neustadt was finally the person to fill out the vacant place and after the recording session ended up as the fifth member of DARKSIDE.
The second demo "Herbst", also recorded in the PAST Studio in Hradec Kralove/CZ , already showed the progression and was a first hint to the direction the band was heading for. Six compositions of doomy, but still powerful death metal clearly showed the way towards a bigger range of melodies and sounds. " Requiem" ,with a running time of about 12 minutes, soon brought some kind of cult status to DARKSIDE in Czech Republic, with the whole demo getting excellent reviews in the czech press. Thanks to the friendship between DARKSIDE and the maybe best death metal act KRABATHOR a series of concerts in Czech Republic / Slovakia followed that brought to the band their strongest support.
After the release of the tape, DARKSIDE took part in the legendary Horepnik-Slamdance amongst others together with ZED JAGO, ARAKAIN, ROOT and more as well as in the ATTACK OF FIRE 93. A first highpoint was the tour together with KRABATHOR and SCABBARD in autumn of the same year through Czech Republic and Austria. DARKSIDE was lucky enough to support CARCASS in Prague in February 1994. After that the band started to rehearse for new material, with the objection of recording a cd on their own, the winter passed quickly and in the beginning of March 1994, DARKSIDE were back on the road supporting KRABATHOR on their Blasphemeous Mini Tour 94.
In May 1994 finally DARKSIDE started with the recording sessions for their first full-length cd "Melancholia Of A Dying World". Within 14 days they laid down the basics and after the album was mastered at the Rudolfinum Studio in Prague (RAGE, Y. J. Malmsteen and others ). Twelve songs full of melodies, melancholy and breathtaking power paired up with female vocals, death-typical grunts and some grinding guitar solos brought the cd to a running time of about 53 minutes. For the band it meant first acknowledging in the foreign countries ( 8 points out of 10 ROCK HARD ) as well as premium rates in the polls of the czech magazines ( newcomer of the year ROCK REPORT, best foreign underground band ROCK REPORT, newcomer album of the year BANG !, 10 out of ten METAL HAMMER CZ ).
The final official release was in September 94 with a first edition of 1000 cds and 1000 tapes. The artwork was done by the famous science-fiction painter Martin Zhouf from Prague. On the concert ground the most important gig for the band for sure was the concert in Prague with CARCASS in front of 2500 spectators, as well as a tour together with VADER and KRABATHOR in Czech Republic and Austria. During this tour there started to be problems with HERBERT KNÖCHEL, which ended by him leaving the band in early 1995. The last show with HERBERT was on November 13, in Ruzomberok / Slovakia together with PHANTASMA, PURGATORY and KRABATHOR.
1995 was an important year for DARKSIDE because they finally reached their long awaited target - a deal with a label. The german company Impact Records, although being originally a punk-label, decided to found a sublabel named SYSTEM SHOCK and DARKSIDE was to be the first band on it. The next band to follow was VADER. Impact offered to release "Melancholia..." with a different cover and booklet artwork all over Europe, what happened in September 1995. Later on the Florida-based independant label CONQUEST MUSIC licensed the album from SYSTEM SHOCK for the USA, Canada and Mexico. On the livesector in 1995 DARKSIDE started to concentrate a little bit more on their homecountry Austria, where they played a series of gigs with VADER, KRABATHOR and some local bands. In November the band went on a tour together with KRABATHOR and DISTILLERY through Poland, but the highlights of the season for sure were the ATTACK OF FIRE 1995 and the festival in Hustopece before an approximate 3500 people, where the security had to stop the show of DARKSIDE two times because of security risks for both band and spectators caused by masses of people invading the stage.
In January 1996 DARKSIDE finally took part in their first european tour together with SINISTER and CREEPMIME, playing 23 shows in various countries. Again also Austria and Czech Republic were on the tourplan of a series of concerts, some of them DARKSIDE played with THERION.
After the end of these activities DARKSIDE began with the work on their second album "Shadowfields" which was interupted by the second european tour supporting SIX FEET UNDER. The last efforts propagating "Melancholia.." were to be the forth concert on the ATTACK OF FIRE 1996 as one of the headliners together with KRABATHOR and SINISTER and a show in the ice-hockey arena of Hradec Kralove / CZ. Right after, the band started the recording sessions for "Shadowfields" in the PAST Studio under the productional wings of VINCENT DIJKERS, a dutch producer. The new album contained a lot of orchestral arrangements mixed with aggression and a very low feeling throughout the whole work.
The release of "Shadowfields" in March 1997, getting excellent reviews throughout the european metal press ( 8,5 points ROCK HARD, 89 points AARDSHOCK , Hansi Daberger from ROCK HARD naming the album among his top favorites of the year and many more ) opened the door for the third european tour in companion of VADER, during the one DARKSIDE played some headliner shows in Italy and Czech Republic, as well as a tour with SCABBARD in Czechia. This tour contained also a festival with SINISTER, HECATE ENTHRONED and BAL- SAGOTH. In late autumn of the same year, DARKSIDE started to work on their third album, tentatively entiteled "III" then.
April 1998 finally saw the band in the HAZIENDA Studio of Milos "Dodo" Dolezal, recording their third cd. The producer they chose this time had a 10 -year experience in producing and his work until now sold well over 2,500.000 copies of various bands, some of them selling over 60.000 pieces in Czech Republic. "Evolution" , so the final title of the album, was mastered by Jan Nemec, a producer well-known for his work with RUNNING WILD, X-WILD, CELTIC FROST and more, in his studio in Hannover, Germany. He also produced the czech band KREYSON, who also sold a lot not only in Czech Republic but also in Germany. The album was released in September 1998 through NSM Records. The band shot their first video-clip for the song " The Gloaming" under the direction of David Beranek, a great czech director for film and TV, on locations in south- Bohemia. On these facts, POPRON s.r.o. licensed the album for Czech Republic / Slovakia. DARKSIDE appeared for the fifth time on the ATTACK OF FIRE Festival that year. Beside that, DARKSIDE once again had the great opportunity to tour with MOONSPELL and THERION, playing 46 shows in 16 countries.
After coming off this tour it was time for a lot of great shows all throughout the year of 1999. DARKSIDE played a lot of prestigious festivals, amongst them NOISE ART in Austria, DYNAMO NORTH POWER JAM in Czech Republic, NEFILIM FESTIVAL in Hungary and to end it all DARKSIDE supported SLAYER and TESTAMENT at Vienna´s prestigious MOM Festival in July 2000. DARKSIDE were invited to record a track for the MEGADETH tribute album on DWELL RECORDS, where the band marked the first spot on the compilation with a heavy version of “Go To Hell”.
The preparations for the fourth DARKSIDE album hadn't gone without any troubles. Robert Gröglerleft the band being replaced by Bernd Pichlbauer. In this line-up the band recorded at track for the Queensryche tribute on DWELL RECORDS, featuring the song “Someone Else” with both, Peter Durst and me on vocals as well as the excellent skills of Martina Hornbacher (Therion, Alas) as third vocalist. Peter Durst left the band, while the producer wasn't satisfied with the new material, which left the band without a new recording. However, all came around, when new material was written (only part of the previously written songs were kept), and a new guitarist was found in Vlastimil Koritar. “Cognitive Dissonance” was then recorded with Peter Boehm handling the bass and vocal duties. But during the live shows he felt he couldn't perform both duties as well as he had liked, which lead to me taking over the vocals. Cognitive Dissonance was actually re-recorded with me on vocals! In the meantime, the band recruited a second guitarist, Radek Hajda (of Czech Grammy Winners 'SILENT STREAM OF GODLESS ELEGY'). DARKSIDE had changed style without ignoring their roots. The signs were set.
In 2001, DARKSIDE played an avalanche of festivals in Austria and Czech Republic, among them NUCLEAR ASSAULT festival, HELL ON EARTH festival and OPEN HELL festival. Finally DARKSIDE supported MEGADETH on a single show in Vienna.
DARKSIDE went on another European tour with MORTICIAN and CARNAL FORGE in early 2002. Markus Grandegger was handling guitar duties on these shows for DARKSIDE.After coming off the tour, Peter Boehm (bass) decided to leave the band, Vlastimil Koritar hooked up back with mates in COLP and Markus Grandegger started having heavy problems with his left arm from which he is not cured until this very day. Sad enough, but all these circumstances meant, that DARKSIDE at that time was nearly non-existing. Finally, in 2003, Bernd Pichlbauer (dr) started his ongoing studies at Vienna University, while I was joining thrashers DEMOLITION for the recording of their third album “Existence”.
In summer 2003 Peter Durst rejoined DARKSIDE officially, some month later he was joined by Thomas Pippersteiner aka Pit of DEMOLITION. Lukas Siska was recruited for drumming duties, hailing from Slovakia, where most of the preparations and the recording of the new album took place all throughout 2005. Towards the end of the year 2003, Peter Boehm, now living in Slovakia, approached the band with the idea of doing some stuff together with a drummer and a guitar player from Slovakia. Some first ideas were rehearsed by various combinations of musicians until in early 2004 Peter Boehm announced his official return in DARKSIDE. Three thirds of the original line-up are back in DARKSIDE, enforced by 3 young, prospective musicians. DARKSIDE played the BRUTAL ASSAULT Festival in 2004.
Right after that, DARKSIDE was ready for some live activities in support of their album “Amber Skeletal Journeys Through The Void”. The band had to suffer one more line-up change shortly before their summer appearances on KALTENBACH OPEN AIR and their support show for MORBID ANGEL. Peter Boehm announced his departure from the band because of private reasons, he was replaced by Daniel Hanak, bass player of the Slovakian death grinders CRANIATOMY.
In autumn 2006 DARKSIDE signed a deal with Austria´s up- and coming metal label NOISEHEAD RECORDS, who offered them to release the album. During January and February 2007 some remixes and overdubbings took place and then the album was in the finishing stages to be released on March 26, the first day of DARKSIDE´s tour with their longtime friends, the Portuguese metal masters of MOONSPELL. Since Pit decided to leave the band in November 2006, Guitar duties on the MoOONSPELL tour were handed over to Janos Murri, axeman of RESURRECTURIS (ITA). After nine years the band was touring again in support of MOONSPELLs Memorial Services 2007. DARKSIDEs “Skeletal Journeys” took them to a few festivals like FUCK THE COMMERCE, SUMMERNIGHT FESTIVAL and Viennas DONAUINSELFESTIVAL before the summer. After some more touring in 2008, Lukas Siska left the band in August 2008 leaving DARKSIDE without a drummer.
The last active line-up of DARKSIDE was:
Wolf – vocals (DARKSIDE, DEMOLITION, MARGINALIA, WAVES, CITITEN X, LACRIMAE CHRISTI)
Janos Murri – guitars (RESURRECTURIS, PRIORITY)
Peter Durst – guitars (THE ANTIPRODUCT)
Daniel Hanak – bass (CRANIOTONY)
Lukas Siska – drums (CRANIOTOMY)
Right now the line-up of DARKSIDE actually consists only of one person, me. Time will tell if there will be a future for this band on the live side. As far as further albums are concerned, I have two albums ready to be recorded. One is “Decayed 1.0” which will sum up the first decade of DARKSIDE by re-recording the best songs of that period and adding some cover songs for a complete review of DARKSIDE´s first decade. The other projected album is “Inferno”, a conceptional album about a young woman in medieval times.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics for Darkside?
Wolf: Well, mostly I deal with very personal topics, but a great source of inspiration for me are all kind of books about religion, conspiracy theories, occult topics, WW II a.s.o. As I already mentioned, I get inspired by a lot of different things in writing my lyrics. I deal a lot with psychological topics, I have big interest in history and science and of course I do follow the daily happenings around the planet. Out of this conglomerate of influences I try to fit the lyrics into the songs, being based on a similar vibe as the music, or depending on atmospheres within the track. Of course I also deal with some typical topics like the stories of H.P.Lovecraft and his Cthulhu myth or some seriál killer stuff, but on a little more sophisticated level, more from the psychologist´s point of view maybe. A writer, which has especially inspired me over the years is an austrian expressionist called Georg Trakl, who has quite a unique technique of describing certain moods or atmospheres by using a lot of abreavisms and surrealistic descriptions, way ahead of time he used to live.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any singer that you admire the most?
Wolf: Favorite bands…let me see, for sure I´d have to count MORBID ANGEL, ATHEIST, SLAYER, CYNIC, WATCHTOWER, MOONSPELL, VADER, DEATH, SIX FEET UNDER, but there are so many good bands, so it is really difficult to choose. As far as singers are concerned, I admire Fernando from MOONSPELL for his charismatic appearance and very distinguished use of lyricism, Peter from VADER for his work with VADER in general, Corpsegrinder from CANNIBAL CORPSE for his amazing performance on “Bloodthirst” (the album), but there´s a lot more singers I like to listen to, Bruce Dickinson, Chris Barnes, Schmier and many others.
Hanna Tsepesh: I read that you now have a new project, right? Can you tell to us about that?
Wolf: Right now, I´m focusing on a project called MARGINALIA. I had the concept for it for years lying in my desk, when I encountered Alessandro Vagnoni, a very talented guy from Italy, who entered the ranks of DEMOLITION last summer. When he stayed at my place for some days during the rehearsals for DEMOLITION, we listened to some stuff I did apart from DEMOLITION and DARKSIDE. I told him about the MARGINALIA thing and he would agree to work on it with me. Whilst I am responsible for all the lyrics and the conceptional idea behind this project, Alessandro wrote and recorded all drums, guitars and the basic bass tracks for this album. We will have some guests on the album too, but it is to early to mention any names, but if you are familiar with people I know for a lot of time in the business, you may take a guess (laughs). Anybody interested can find it here (www.myspace.com/marginaliaproject)
Hanna Tsepesh: The band has a new album called “Amber - Skeletal Journeys Through The Void”. For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about this new album and what the band wants to accomplish?
Wolf: The development of DARKSIDE has taken a long time, in fact almost 18 years now. Whilst we started out as a doom death metal band back then, now we play Florida inspired death metal without ignoring our thrash roots…does that make any sense? (laughs)…anyway, I think, “Amber…” is our best album by far. Everything, songwriting wise, technically. Well, what we always tried to express with our music is originality. We never cared about any trends or conventions when creating our art. For Darkside it was never important to have an image, because the music is what builds our image. I prefer to think about creating pictures in our listeners minds when listening to our songs, than to serve them with prefabricated images of some weird worlds. If you just let loose for some minutes and let the music do the talking, you will experience a totally new impression about all the different atmospheres and moods within our songs. T be free to create our art nd to let the same freedom to our listeners or audiences is very important for us. Darkside is a band which cannot be labelled “death metal” or “black metal” or whatever and that is what makes us a little bit outstanding, I think. Of course this kind of approach has made it also difficult for us, because a lot of people simply seem to need this kind of “branding” a band or art in general, but on the other hand we have our own vision about this band and whoever wants to share it with us is more than welcome. You asked me about the most important thing, right ?! To sum it up, the most important thing about our music is probably the final result – the combination of everyone´s individuality through which this band lives! I don´t know, if this is actually something new, but of course, Darkside always tried to be a very innovative, progressive band with its own style. We have a broad musical taste which reaches out from IRON MAIDEN over VOIVOD to MORBID ANGEL and QUEENSRYCHE. When we started to use keyboards combined with raw death metal, nearly nobody did that, except for NOCTURNUS maybe. After that, we started to integrate classical arrangements to our music, also quite unusual for the time we did that and of course we were very exited about playing with experimental structures and progressive patterns on every of our former albums. Quite funny about all that is, that we don´t even do it on purpose… so, we don´t go there and create extremely strange music like a construction kit, but what you hear, is what we like and what comes out of our minds when we sit down and start to work on songs. Actually we really tried to keep the songs as concise as possible and cut out a lot of the really weird stuff we had prepared, but don´t worry, all those parts will be used on our next album. We really tried to keep “Amber - ....” quite simple and not to complex, but for the next album, we will not undergo any compromises, because the next one is going to be a concept album.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band feels proud with the final result or you think that miss something? Everything went well at recording studio?
Wolf: Actually. We recorded all the basic parts for the album in a studio in Bratislava, Slavakia. We did a first mix and finally finished the album, producing credits went to Peter Durst and myself. After that we were looking for a deal and came across the guys from Noiseheadrecords. Mario, the owner, also has a studio and he offered us to remix the album, which in the end was the final result you can hear now.
I wouldn´t say that the creation process was an easy one, it took us nearly three years to create, record and finish the album, which was mainly caused by the geographical distance of the various members of the band. We drove to rehearsals to Slovakia for over one year, weekends only.
Finishing the album finally in Vienna together with Mario was a great relief and I think we are very proud of the result.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Wolf: All the reactions we got were very positive and the reaction by the audience on tour and on festivals was very satisfying for us after the long process of creation of “Amber…”.
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Wolf: Simply check out the website of our record label Noiseheadrecords (www.noiseheadrecords.com)
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Wolf: I can´t really tell you which track I like the most cause I dig them all. I find the title track particularly interesting, consisting of acoustic guitars up to 60% and having a length of well over 10 minutes; it is a very epic track and shows the power of this band very nicely.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band is thinking about a European tour? You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something? I know that you guys played in same tour then Moonspell. How was your experience for you and the band?
Wolf: Of course it is always a great experience to support well-known bands, but since then I guess we have even taken it one step further by supporting bands like SLAYER, TESTAMENT and MEGADETH as well as PAIN, ATROCITY, AMORPHIS and NAPALM DEATH. We have had quite great reactions from some of those musicians on our new material, which we already partly play live since last summer. To support such big bands gives you the opportunity to learn a lot, to see, how the really big professionals go to work and you can take away a lt for yourself from such shows. Not forgetting about the big chance your band has, every time when supporting such great names before a lot of people.
The thing with MOONSPELL was and is a very particular thing. When we first toured with them in 1998, for me it was a first time experience. I didn´t know their music at all before coming on the tour and it ended up with me being a big MOONSPELL fan which I am to this very day. When we got the chance to tour with them again in 2007, it was like a dream come true for me. Being on tour with a band that is actually your friends is a totally different thing and this friendship is also extended to MOONSPELLS crew and friends of course. Jorge, their sound engineer, did the sound for us on that tour – amazing!!!
I have so many great memories from that tour and I try to refresh them as often as I can by visiting MOONSPELLS shows several times a year.
Whenever DARKSIDE will be ready again to go out and tour, Portugal would be one of the countries we would really really enjoy to play again. We just played two shows there in 1998 but they have remained unforgettable for us.
Hanna Tsepesh: How are the things about metal in your country (Austria)? The bands can get some kind of support from people, magazines, radio, etc.?
Wolf: Judging from sales, I would say yes. Austria surely belongs to the ten most important metal markets in Europe sales wise, I think. The national scene has suffered from a lack of interest over the past view years, but with bands like ABIGOR, EDENBRIDGE, DORNENREICH or HOLLENTHON and the reunion of old heroes like PUNGENT STENCH and DISASTROUS MURMUR, a lot of new bands have grown up to the scene, it is getting stronger again and Austrian bands start to be interesting also for foreign labels. The only problematic point is the support by the media, which, for a few exceptions, is simply non-existing. Bands I could recommend include DEVANIC, IN SLUMBER, THIRDMOON, THE SORROW, MASTIC SCUM, DARKFALL and of course DEMOLITION (www.myspace.com/demolitionat).
Hanna Tsepesh: Thank you! Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Wolf: I don´t know, I don´t think that Darkside has the ONE message. Making music has been everything to us since 1991 and to everyone in the band it sure meant different things at certain points in time. For one it was therapy, for the other one fun, for someone else self-destruction or resurrection… Most likely in the first place, we always did our music for ourselves. Obviously it´s nice when somebody else likes what you do and it gives you unforgettable moments for your whole life, but I don´t really think that Darkside has a message to spread apart from “Metal is our life”!
Life is live! As I have an atheistic outlook on the world and it´s inhabitants, I do not care too much about “souls” or whatsoever… I have my own kind of theories about all these things and I try to read as much as I can about all kinds of spiritual philosophies, because this is really something very interesting for me, but I like to keep my personal views on this topic for myself. If you read some of my lyrics you can get a bit of an idea about what´s going on in my head…
For me personally, it is already a big success what we have done with this band and I absolutely don´t care what anybody else thinks about this. It is a success for me personally and I have so much to share for the rest of my life that I would really call this a success. Maybe not in terms of how success is normally measured, but still I think, I wouldn´t have traveled around that much, met so many nice people, without being in this band. The goal is making this as long as possible!
Me, I quit when I die!
I deal with lots of different subjects in my lyrics, but it´s not that I really intend to go out there and preach….whatever. Of course, if I come across something that really catches my awareness; I try to elaborate that in some lyrics, but generally my lyrics are more kind of self-reflective. I try to spare out politics in general, because I don´t think that politics are a topic that goes with rock´n´roll. We had a couple of songs on these topics on previous albums, but nowadays I really try to avoid that.
If you are here as a band with a very special message and you do a limited edition of 250 copies then this message must be a very secret one and meant only for a few people, right?!?!
I guess I´m not the guy to intrigue people with messages, but in these case I´d like to point out that people should not lose their integrity within today’s world. It is something you have inside yourself, you can cultivate it, you can grow it and it is your only and best friend throughout all the difficult decisions have to take every day. It will be your source of inspiration. As long as you can rely on yourself, no harm will ever bring you down, because it gives you security to back up all of the important decisions in life.
The other big topic?
The download syndrome! Something the industry tries to sell as their biggest loss despite of the fact that it was their own invention… I mean, who came up with the digital sound carrier? The fans? Only that evolution was too fast for everybody to react in time I guess
The problem is not so easy to judge I think. On one hand, if the industry looses to much money on their big stars, they cannot afford (or are not willing) to invest more money into smaller bands or non-mainstream music, which results in less opportunity for young bands and artists, while on the other hand, it´s way easier for young bands to spread their music among download forums and get more attention from the fans directly.
I tend to think that the whole system is changing and that there might be a time not so far away, when nobody will buy cds anymore…so the profits will have to be raised on other occasions, because you still need to go to a good studio to record quality music, or at least consult somebody who has good equipment and is able to operate with that in order to achieve a good result. And quality is always expensive… So if the band cannot earn on selling cds, where will they raise the money for the next record? Or where should the company? Music business is not about spending money for nothing, it´s about profits! Ok, you could say, we don´t need all those labels, we can promote ourselves via the web and that´s it!
I don´t think, it´s that easy right now, because the industry is still there and they cooperate with the important media and especially the metal scene is still very old fashioned in this sector, with fanzines and print magazines, not everybody interested in metal has Internet access a.s.o., so now it´s a really hard time for all the bands who don´t have a good record deal with a company who is still able to provide all the important facilities to make a record a success as e.g. promotion, advertisements and also touring budgets of course.
For instance we decided not to send out as much promo cds as we did before, there is a site where everybody can download the whole album as voiceover tracks for a review for free. And I don´t see any reason why somebody comes up telling me “These are voice-over tracks, I can´t write a real good review, because I can´t hear the whole song…” Bullshit! There is a few words spoken on every track, explaining also a bit on the song itself, but you can always hear the music. I think it´s not necessary to enforce the people who put up the promo cd on the web 10 minutes after they get it. I don´t say we earn that much money with our albums, but it´s a difference if you sell lets say 1000 or 3000 copies – it´s the difference whether the expenses for the album are paid or not. I am sure, there´s not going to be high class releases for ever, if nobody buys them! And let´s be honest, it´s not a question of high priced cds, I mean, would the same people who download the album, buy the cd if it was 2 euros less? I don´t think so…
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes, i really understand you! Thanks so much for your answer. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a great success with this fantastic album! We hope to see Darkside very soon in here…
Wolf: Ending this nice interview I would like to hint at a few interesting projects I did in the past. First of all CITIZEN X, a project I realized with Peter Böhm of DARKSIDE a few years ago. We wanted to write an album about the gulf war and our thoughts about it. People can check it out under www.myspace.com/satanation
Another interesting project was working with Dodo, the producer of our “Evolution” album AND Wolfgang Rathgeb, drummer for SKULL CRUSHER, on a project called WAVES. We recorded an entire album called “Songs From The Planet” which sadly enough was never released. We also recorded a few cover versions for American label Dwell Records including “Crystal Mountain” for a DEATH Tribute: Anybody interested can find more at www.myspace.com/wavesaquamusic
I need to thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak out in your Webzine and hopefully we have gained the interest of some of your readers and they will at least check us out on MySpace or take a listen to if they come across our releases. We have been doing this for a long time now but I can assure you that there is still a lot to expect from Darkside in the future.
Hanna Tsepesh: Thank you Wolf for this important information and words! All the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
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Publicada por THE GATES OF METAL Webzine