For starters I would really like to congratulate you guys with the release of ‘Thin Red Line’. I really enjoyed listening to it! So, how are things going?
Thanks! We’re currently in the middle of preparations for the album release, booking shows to promote the new album, deciding on new merch and stage visuals and so on… Over the past months we’ve been quite busy finishing the album, and listening to the final master I definitely feel it was worth all the effort. So far, everything looks very promising and we can’t wait to finally take the new album on the road and play those songs live!
It has been six years since your last album ‘Sindustry’. What has changed in the meantime and how has your music evolved?
Well, most notably, there’s been a change in our line-up. In 2012, bass player Domi and the band parted ways due to various reasons. In 2013, Alex (g) hit me up and asked whether I’d like to help them out for a few shows. And well, before you know it it’s 2017 and you’re in the middle of the whole thing *laughs*. The five of us just 'clicked' on both a musical and a personal level. We’re having a lot of fun together, and I feel that it shows in our music and especially our live performances. Of course, this doesn’t mean that our music has suddenly turned into some happy metal stuff – actually I feel the new album is one of the darker themed records Soul Demise has done, with an overall more aggressive vibe and lots of high speed passages. On 'Thin Red Line', the devil is in the details – there are many subtle changes and variations which you might not notice on first listen. Also, I feel the riffing has become more complex. Some of the riffs are much more complicated to play than they appear to be. The previous records are a bit more straightforward as far as that is concerned.
You have often been compared with bands like In Flames and At The Gates, from which the latter also is mentioned in your online biography as being one of your biggest influences. In what way do you think Soul Demise has an own sound that clearly tells the difference between them and you?
That’s a fun one. We keep on getting those At The Gates comparisons/references, and frankly I do have a hard time understanding that. Obviously, we’re all playing melodic death metal, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end as far as I am concerned. To me, each of these bands has their very own approach to melodic death metal, and that also holds true for Soul Demise. The overall vibe might be similar (which makes perfect sense, as it’s pretty much the same genre), but Soul Demise is much faster and blastbeat-heavy than any of the abovementioned. Thinking about it, I don’t even feel Soul Demise is an archetypical melodic death metal band at all. If you swapped a few riffs around and removed some of the melody layers, some songs would be 100% oldschool death metal. The last song 'Hopeless Case' is a good example for that.
What can you tell us about the lyrics on ‘Thin Red Line’? Do you have a central theme or something like a ‘thin red line’? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Our singer Roman is responsible for all lyrics on Thin Red Line. I feel his writing style is very personal, while at the same time leaving enough room for individual interpretations. For that reason, I don’t want to go too much into details regarding the background of the lyrics. Let’s just say that in many cases there’s a real life event lurking behind all the metaphors and twisted wording. Since the release of our last album Sindustry, some of us have had to cope with some really shitty stuff, and once the shit keeps on coming and piling up, the thought of just letting go and bringing an end to it all sometimes is no longer too far away. Thin Red Line symbolizes just that – sometimes all there’s left is a very thin (red) line until you do something which can never be undone, you know?
What can you tell us about the songwriting for this album? Do you compose them as a band, or is one person in particular responsible for them?
For this record, the majority of the songs were written by Alex (g) and me. I’m a guitar player first and foremost and also have a neat little home studio, which we made heavy use of. Only very few songs were written by one person alone; most of the time Alex and me would meet at my studio, have a few beers and just throw around riffs and ideas. I feel it was a very spontaneous yet focused process. While writing, we immediately made some rough demos with programmed drums, which made it very easy to get an idea of the song’s direction very early in the process, while also being able to quickly change around song structures, try new things etc. We’d then show the other guys those demos and worked with their input, changing parts, adding more layers etc. Our drummer Jan also added his personal touch and style, especially when it came to recording the real drums.
So all in all, I’d still say that it was band effort rather than just the work of the two of us.
Most of the gigs that are planned are one off shows. Are there plans for a tour as well and maybe some gigs in Benelux?
As of right now, there are no plans for either a big tour or any Benelux shows. The thing is, many of our pack are married-with-children, and once you’re at that point in your life it becomes really hard to find enough time for a full-blown 4+ weeks tour. Those one-off shows are much easier to handle in that respect. That doesn’t mean we won’t be touring anytime soon…a shorter 1-2 week tour, would definitely be possible – I guess we’ll see what the future brings! As far as Benelux is concerned, it’s been way too long since we played our last shows there. We’re in touch with a few promoters from that area, but as of right now nothing is confirmed. We do have quite a few gigs lined up in southern and (north-)eastern Germany as well as Austria, which I’m really looking forward to.
Thank you very much for your time, I wish you well and as tradition demands it I hereby offer you the final words to our readers. The space below is yours!
Thanks a lot for the interview! And to any of your readers who’s into any sort of death metal make sure to give Thin Red Line a listen – it’s going to be worth your time!