Another quick-fire interview, and some great answers from Sebastian Reichl of German melodic metal masters Deadlock. They signed to Napalm Records recently, and have a new album, The Arsonist, out recently (July 26th in some territories).
A little bit about you first. Formed in 1997, five albums and a sixth on the way about now. I take it you’re still enjoying life as a band! How do you keep things fresh?
Hey Iain, I guess you are completely right! We still enjoy creating music. For me personally this is one of the best things in life. We always want to integrate NEW things to the basic “Deadlock-Sound”. This is how we keep things “fresh” and “new”. Everyone knows, that you can’t reinvent the wheel or something but especially for me it is important to move on.
For example I like to combine things, playing with people’s expectations, changing keys. I love to create feelings with several modes and stuff. I love the lydian mode for example. Nothing new in general but we try to make it sound “new”.
We also decided to play 8 string guitars on the new record to have a heavier, darker and wider range. We wanted to extend our low end to create a deeper and more emotional sound.
This is the first album since John moved onto vocals and his bass position was taken by Ferdinand. Was there ever any question about Ferdinand becoming part of the band after spending time with you in other positions (manager, driver, merch…)?
Well we had some big names and some other options for the bass position when John moved onto vocals. Ferdinand always did bass and guitars in several bands before Deadlock and we knew that he is an outstanding musician. So after being tour manager, driver and merch guy it was the logical step that he will become a full time band member. Besides that he has long hair and a beard. We thought this is quite metal ;-)
Has the change in line-up had an effect on the band’s sound? I know we’ll find out soon with the album, but from your own viewpoint…?
Well, not that much. Of course a new line-up might change a sound, but when it comes to guitars or arrangements I am responsible for the songwriting of Deadlock since the very beginning of the band. My personal development as a musician represents the development of the band. It might be another fact, that working together with Benny Richter as an external producer changed the sound a little bit.
Any “surprises” on the new album? In the past you’ve put in guest vocals, saxophone, techno…
We love to do experiments and we won’t ever stop this. But we do not put those experiments into the songs any more as we did in the past. On the limited edition of The Arsonist there will be 2 exclusive “non-metal” remixes – the same way we did on the last album. Maybe a surprise could be the melodic male choirs we used a lot on the new album. The last chorus of “I’m Gone” for example. I remember that we recorded this 3 a.m. in the morning. Quite strenuous times ;-)
What’s your live show like? What sort of selection of tracks can we expect with the new album coming out? A focus on the new material or a good mix between old and new?
We always want to transfer the best possible power and energy to the audience. On the upcoming tour there will be a lot of club shows with a quite reduced set up and sort of an intimate feeling. So the main focus we will be on the interaction with the people. The sweat has to drop from the ceiling ;-)
As you mentioned we will have a good mix between old and new. Tracks from Earth.Revolt, Wolves, Manifesto and Bizarro World will be found on the setlist plus 6 songs off the The Arsonist.
You’re touring Germany a fair amount at the moment. Any plans to travel further afield – such as the UK – with the new album?
Yeah! We will start with some festivals in summer and have our third headlining tour throughout Germany. There are some plans for heading over to Japan and Russia again by the end of the year and hopefully a longer European tour at the beginning of 2014. So I really hope that we can make it over to the UK. So far we only played two show in England – Newport and London. Both shows were awesome and we would love to come back!
Anything else you’d like to tell us about the band, music, etc? Many thanks for your time and good luck with the new album!
Yeah maybe about the lyrical background from The Arsonist.
In my opinion you can set the earth on fire or you can set your thoughts on fire. Like a spiritual Arsonist to rethink traditions, rethink behaviours, bringing back humility and so on. I think mankind maybe will destroy “a nature” in which it can live but mankind will never destroy the earth as a whole. It was said a thousand times before but we have to comprehend that we are all people of this beautiful planet and until we fully understand this simple logic maybe we set this world on a funeral pyre. So let’s revolt ;-)
Thanks for the nice interview and hopefully we will meet someday in the UK.