INTERVIURI

Interview DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT

Many newer bands think you still need a low-fi sound for Black Metal… just because Burzum did it 20 years ago. It's 2015.

Der Weg Einer Freiheit is the eleventh band to be sharing the stage with Agalloch, Dirty Granny Tales, Shape Of Despair, Esben and the Witch, Wallachia, Farewell Poetry, Manes, Darkher, Skepticism and Sangre de Muerdago, for the 6th Dark Bombastic Evening Festival, in August 2015, at the Alba Iulia Fortress.

On March 23, Der Weg Einer Freiheit will be releasing their third album, Stellar, described as a much more organic, yet atmospheric record. Till then, the band talked to us about the new album, influences and the German Metal scene in the following interview.

First of all, congratulations on your new release: Stellar will be out on March 23 and we’re looking forward to it. How easy – or difficult – was the piecing together of the new record?

Songwriting wise there was not much of a difference from the previous releases. I only write music when I'm in the mood and not under pressure or because I have to. I like the idea of letting the song “write itself”, giving it much time to develop and finish it at 100%, not just 99%. Whatever comes to my mind flows into the music, so it pretty much describes how I feel and think at that very moment.

How would you describe the sound of Stellar? What do you hope your listeners take away from this new album?

Compared to the other releases Stellar is much more organic sound wise. We've been recording in a really good sounding, large room and there was no need to add artificial reverbs or rooms on the recorded tracks which made it sound more natural. We also tried to record all instruments exactly the way they should sound at the end, so the mixing process went quite smooth without adding to much effects in form of software plugins and stuff like that. While Unstille had a quite aggressive and harsh tone, Stellar may be a little softer and warmer which fits the more melancholic atmosphere very well in my opinion. I hope the listeners will listen carefully as it's a very dynamic album and no easy listening which requires patience and an appropriate ambience. If this is the case they will discover many new things and surprises on the record.

Requiem” from the forthcoming Stellar album

Who does the songwriting? Is it a collaborative effort? We’ve enjoyed the video updates and it sounds like the band loves to jam until everything sounds just right. Tell us about your creative process.

To be honest, there has barely been jamming within the band ever so far. Until now I have taken care of all the songwriting by myself which also includes the works on the new album. I'm recording the demos and pre-production with a drum-computer at home and then meet up with our drummer Tobias to elaborate every detail regarding the drums, rhythms, patterns, breaks etc. This procedure also results from the fact that we're all living 3-5 hours away from each other so rehearsals on a regular basis rarely happen.

The partnership with Season of Mist, how did it happen and how would you describe the collaboration so far?

Season of Mist saw us at the Summer Breeze Open Air in Germany 2013 and approached us personally right after the performance which was quite unexpected. We briefly talked about our future and possible new releases and later on got into detail by mail. Since they were always one of our favourite labels with a splendid catalogue and we indeed searched a new label for the new album we eventually signed a deal with them. Now we're more than happy to see that the collaboration works out very smooth, professional and fast which is very important for the release of Stellar.

Could you introduce the other band members to our readers and give us a bit of an insight about each of the band members’ backgrounds?

All of my band mates are part of the band Fuck You And Die, a technical Death Metal band in the vein of Necrophagist, The Faceless, Obscura to name a few. They're all coming from the Black Forest region in southwest Germany. They're belonging to the most devoted musicians I know and I'm proud to be able to call them my best friends as well. The chemistry is perfect and although we're not living in the same area in Germany we're in contact on a daily basis. Tobias is playing drums, Sascha plays guitar and Giuliano plays bass and doing some backup vocals live.

What vision did you have for DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT’s sound originally?

At the time I wrote the debut album I really was into German Black Metal like Nagelfar, Orlog, Drautran, Nocte Obducta and stuff like that. Not that much into Scandinavian bands which our sound is often compared with. Originally my vision was to create a very melodic, melancholic but still fast and aggressive Black Metal sound.

What kind of Metal did you grow up listening to? How does it differ from what you listen to today? What are your guilty pleasures?

I grew up listening to Deep Purple from my Father. I guess this was the first touch with heavy music. Nowadays I listen to actually every kind of music as long as the atmosphere and spirit catches me. This can be Classic, Indie, and Electronic, whatever. There are many bands nowadays that push boundaries and that's a good thing in my opinion. To answer your last question, I've got the first Avril Lavigne album and a single by Robbie Williams getting dusty in my shelf but this is no pleasure at all, haha.

What do you think separates the German Metal scene from that of the northern or eastern Europe, for example?

In my honest opinion I'd say their scene is much less bigoted, more open-minded and grateful than the one we have here in Germany. However, and please don't understand it as a generalization but rather just as an observation, the eastern scene seems a lot more NS-afflicted, which is always quite a big issue here, in Germany. We're strongly dissociating ourselves from any kind of rightwing ideologies and thinking.

Were there any challenges you had to face emerging as a new Black Metal band outside the German music scene?

Surprisingly, we're accepted quite well in foreign countries, although Germany and Central Europe is still our main territory where most people know about us. But considering that our lyrics are all German and only people from Austria and Switzerland understand what we're saying many people from other countries get our messages by just listening to the music which is really great. We're always very excited about playing in a country we've never been before.

What stereotypes do you think are most prevalent in regards to Black Metal today?

Many newer bands think you still need a low-fi sound for Black Metal. Come on, I want to hear the riffs and words in clarity if they have something to say. For me it makes no sense to record with a headset just because Burzum did it 20 years ago. It's 2015.

What do you think of today’s musical climate? Do you pay attention to what happens outside the Metal scene?

Yes, quite much. Although the Metal scene is a very consistent and loyal scene there are many other genres worth checking out and listening to. However, as it becomes easier and cheaper to produce good sounding music right with your laptop the quantity of bands and artists increase while it's getting more and more difficult to find real quality music as the pool is just too big. I don't like this trend.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Emperor, Muse and Bach.

Do you collect other people’s music? And if so, do you prefer analogue or digital media?

Yes, I do. There are plenty of albums or just songs on them which are worth owning and with the purchase I also want to show support to the artist or band even though it's really just a small fractional part. My favourite format is vinyl, back in the day it was CD. Downloads have never been my cup of tea. Lately I check out many new bands on Spotify which is a nice tool but you can't really call Spotify your personal music collection.

Looking back, what's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Not to rush with decisions especially when it comes to business related things like contracts and deals. This can be very tough but always follow your heart and instincts and focus on the important things in your life.

The band did a lot of touring last year, Russia and Israel being two of the places that stick out. Tell us what the experience was like.

In April last year we visited Russia for about one week. It was the very first step into this huge country for all of us and we just knew about it from telling, the media or the internet. What we found was a country and people with a quite distinct “fuck it” mentality which was kinda sympathetic at the same time. The people we've met were very nice to us and we had a warm welcome at every place we played and stayed. We also call this tour our most successful tour we've played so far, not financially seen but regarding the experience we got out of it. Playing over a 10" Line 6 guitar combo while getting electric shocks whenever you touch the microphone with your mouth, having a drumset with only 2 cymbal stands and the kick missing its resonant head isn't quite easy to handle - but you're learning how to get the best out of it and at the end every single show was a blast! In Israel we stayed for 3 days in Tel Aviv where also our performance at the Tel Aviv Death Fest took place. It was really interesting at that time and apparently we had no clue that only a few weeks later hell broke loose between Israel and Gaza. Though the organisation of Israel's biggest annual metal festival left a lot to be desired we had a nice accommodation right in the city center and got to know many new people.

Speaking of which, what do you know about our country so far? Are you familiar with any of our local Metal bands?

We've never been to Romania, neither with the band nor private. So we're very excited to visit your country as it's always interesting to learn new things about culture, music, people and stuff like that. I only know Negura Bunget and Dordeduh from Romania and both are great bands.

What about DBE? Why did you accept the invitation to play here? Any impressions about the already announced bands?

We're good friends with Heretoir who were part of the DBE in 2013 and they told nothing but good about the festival. Also, as far as I know Lantlôs had their first performance ever at the DBE so we were really happy when we've gotten the invitation to play this year's edition of the festival. I'm very excited to see Agalloch! However, I'm not really familiar with the other bands confirmed so far. But I'm sure they're all worth watching.

How long will the show be, how many musicians will there be on stage and what expectations do you have from the audience?

Well, the show will be as long as we're given time for our performance I guess. We're not a fan of 30 minute sets, so hopefully we're able to play longer so we can also include older material besides the new songs. We're four musicians on stage and a sample pedal for additional samples, guitars, whatsoever.

To end this interview, tell us what’s the best part about being a musician?

Doing what I love, creating a medium that connects people and going to places I've never been before.

Thanks for chatting with us!

Thank you very much for the interview!

 

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