Necrophobic are currently gearing up to release their brand new album Dawn of The Damned via Century Media Records. Prior to the release, our senior editor got the opportunity to chat with guitarist and songwriter Sebastian about both the upcoming album and his thoughts on the music industry at the moment.
How do you feel the response has been to the songs released so far?
It has been overwhelming actually. I always get a little bit anxious doing stuff like this, as I tend to write this music for myself and don’t do this to make a commercial project at all. When we decide for them to become Necrophobic songs and the label becomes involved, it becomes a product that we come out with and I start to see the music differently. I can fully enjoy the music when it’s mine and not out there, but I wouldn’t say it’s destroyed when opinions come back on it. It’s just a different feeling. But, so far it has been really good and we’re really happy with that we’ve seen so far.
Was the production behind this album any different?
It was the same writing session as the previous album actually, and the first video single was written before the release of that album. I just had a spur of writing and felt that I should just keep writing and keep this creative flow moving. The songs that came out this time were a lot more layered and deeper than the previous album, compared to songs that were kind of hit songs and easy to like for an audience. This time around, I wanted to take a few chances on ideas and create more epic sounds than I would usually do. That led to this writing session being a lot more interesting for me than it would normally be as I could use more atmospheres and themes.
What equipment did you use for this album?
I’m an endorsed artist by Jackson, but I also like building and modifying guitars to fit me. I don’t build them from scratch, but I put them together from various bits. I’m at the stage now where I can’t pick up a guitar off the shelf and play it due to being so accustomed to my custom guitars. We try not to complicate it with regards to our sound and use tried and tested gear.
I’m not sure actually. When it started I just let the door open and let it flow. I scheduled my writing to make it fit with my life as I have 4 kids and work full time. I started to get up really early in the morning, around 4am, to write and let the creative juices flow. I try to channel what I hear and feel into my music and having those hours allow me to work on it uninterrupted. I started doing this about 4 years ago and I guess this is what enabled me to get into a really creative flow as I could let it go on for all those mornings.
Which song would you say is your favourite on the album?
I think “The Infernal Depths of Eternity” as it was a song that we wrote together and it sounds exactly how I want a Necrophobic song to sound. I had that feeling when writing it that it was the perfect song and that I couldn’t write any better!
How long does it take to get into the stage clothes?
Just long enough to get into character for the show. We try and get into character to help us play the music better and through the change we can transform into this other side of ourselves. It’s something we don’t stress about and is just as important to us as the concert is. You don’t want to be on stage thinking about what your wife is doing at home, you want to be in the mindset of the music.
Do you think that music should challenge the listener?
It depends on what you’re wanting to do with the music. Most music these days is made for people to move their body, which is something I’m not interested in at all. With my music and with me wanting people to experience what I felt when I was writing those songs, I have to challenge the listener to take their time and question it. I always try to take the time to chat with fans and discuss it with them which makes it worthwhile for me to release the music. When I engage the listener and make them think, I feel as though we have some kind of connection and in order to do that I must challenge the listener.
What inspired you to start creating music?
I started my musical drive after seeing bands like WASP, Motley Crüe and Alice Cooper. The American shock rock bands are what inspired me to start playing and I was part of the first wave of death metal, but that’s not due to me trying to play or write music like that. It just comes out like that.
Do you think you’ll ever do a musical project with your sister?
We’ve rehearsed together a few times and she’s much faster on the tremolo picking than I am. We’ve talked about having a heavy metal project together, but finding the time to do that would be difficult as we’re both very busy people. She also lives in a different town to me as well so that only adds to the issues that we’d have trying to make it work.
Is there anything you want to see less of in the music industry?
Politics. I really hate when that is mixed, but there are genres that mix it although that’s a different thing. Facebook has become an arena of very hasty opinions and people aggressively speaking about things. When the kind of black metal that we play is put into that arena it will explode. When you think about our stuff in a political sense, it will cause a huge clash and is very over the top. I think that’s a clash which is destroying the music as bands and musicians are getting censored because they are afraid of being cut down in the political arena. I think we need to take back myspace and ban politics as black metal and politics do not mix. People these days like to tell you what you meant by something, when I actually didn’t mean anything like that. People fear what they don’t understand.
What are some misconceptions about the band?
That we actually make money from the band. We have the label and the management, but we don’t make a living. We’ve been doing this for 20 years now and we do it because we love to do it. I’ve always kept a day time job to keep this music as my hobby. If we did around 250 gigs or more a year, we could maybe survive but we could never have families. If you look at a band such as Slayer, they are big in the metal scene but not in the music industry as a whole. You compare that to a band like Iron maiden or Madonna and Slayer is tiny. Compare that further to us in Necrophobic and you can see why we don’t make money.
What are the bands plans for the next year?
We’re working on the provision that the world is open and that we can tour again and every gig will happen. We rehearse every week and are getting new booking every day, so when the world opens we’ll be ready to go and play.