Hey Guys! Congratulations to you for the new album! Please tell us about the developing process of “The Fiction Maze”. It took you quite a long time since the last album in 2006...
Thank you! Yeah time sure flies, doesn't it? We started working on the album around 2007 but the collapse of our label at the time, Dockyard1, made us lose focus and motivation for a while. At the same time a lot of personal things happened, people starting families, having kids and so on. Typical 30+ stuff, you know? Me and Emil worked on material on our own but it was hard to find the time to gather the whole band, our schedules were just not compatible for a long period of time. Eventually when things calmed down on the personal side a few years had gone by. We still didn't have a label but were fortunate enough to find the good guys at Inner Wound. They've been very supportive from the start but pushed us to get the material done, something we really needed at the time.
What are your self- defined trademarks and how do you separate yourself from other bands of this genre?
I think we blend melody and aggression in a way that's not too common. We're not afraid to throw in elements of thrash, death metal or what ever. We don't really have a formula of sorts, the ideas and songs come pretty spontanious so every track gets it's own identity. The only thing we may plan in advance is to keep the tempo shifting a bit through the album, nothing more boring then 45 minutes of double bass drumming in 160 bpm.
When I listen to Songs like "Sent to the grave", I guess the sound is heavyer and even a little like thrash metal. What was your intention to the sound of the new album?
No big plan really, it was what came from the collective brain pool. we obviously had a lot of time to reflect on the material, not sure if that's good or bad..But ultimately we just tried to make the best songs we possibly could. All members of the band have to be 100% satisfied, something that can be quite time consuming, but in the end it worked out for the best. We had a hard time just picking what track to leave as bonus for the Japanese release, a good sign for sure.
What is the "The Fiction Maze" about? Tell us about your ideas in writing the lyrics.
The theme circles around things like who's right, who holds the truth and who is the fool, and is there a way to know the difference?
This can be applied to believes (is there a "true" religion and what does that make all others - fiction?) or just everyday life that we all know can be a labyrinth of decisions and doubt. The Cthulhu mythos is touched upon, worshipping something that brings forth your owndemise...
The underlying theme has always been to think for yourself - question what's real or not and don't bundle your mind into a set system.
Jens, your voice is often compared to German Metal singer Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian. What do you think about this comparison?
Jens is not here to answer the questions but he sent me a text response: "It's a flattering comparison, but wrong. We have two different voices that happen to be in the same range. There are a lot of singers that sound a little alike, listen closely and you'll hear the difference. Cheers!"
You guys play Power Metal – that`s for sure. What is your opinion of the general situation in today's Heavy Metal?
Over all I think the metal scene is alive and well, there are so many bands that I can't keep up! Personally I don't find that many new bands that truly touch me these days, maybe it's an age thing..I tend to listen to my old favourites but try to have an ear out for new stuff. So much music, so little time... And the power metal label is strange to me, to be honest. When I think PM I hear bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Rhapsody... I think we have more in common with bands like Metallica, Iron maiden and Wasp. But it doesn't really matter what you call it, if it's good - it's good.
What are your plans in future? Is there a chance to see you live in Germany as well?
You just might actually, we will try to get out and play as much as we can between day jobs and family life. Hopefully we can get some sort of European tour together later this year, that's at least the plan. Other than that we'll try to write some more music so we don't end up with another huge timelapse before the next album. We're on a roll right now so we might as well ride with it.
Efraim, Thanks a lot for your time – any last words to the readers of metalglory.de?
Thank you for the support, hope to see you all in the pit in a not too distant future!