Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview with Guitarist Stefan

Interview by MetalGeorge

Featuring a sound that takes just as much influence from old school Thrash as it does modern Metalcore, the German act Deadsoil certainly seem to have what it takes to deliver a truly harsh beating upon most metal fans' ears. Containing ex-members of infamous Teutonic Thrashers Night In Gales, Deadsoil are primed and poised to take over with their debut ep for Tribunal Records, entitled "Forever the Enemy". Hell, as I type this, the band is locked down in a studio preparing it's debut LP for new label Lifeforce (entitled "The Venom Divine"), so I'm sure we can only expect bigger and better things from this up and coming mosh crew. In the meantime, get the scoop on a band that's sure to be going places.


What's up, man! I love your new ep, "Forever the Enemy"! What's the reaction been to it so far? Positive, I hope! Has it fulfilled your expectations, and do you feel it's a good initial representation of what Deadsoil's all about?

Thanks for the interview, man! Awesome that you like the stuff. The reaction so far has been overwhelming for the European version of the record, which has been out for like a year now. With the chance of releasing it in the USA through Tribunal Records, including the great work they've done for us so far makes "Forever the Enemy" like a perfect start for us. We can't wait for the new stuff to be released.



Speaking of which, what do you think you set out to achieve with Deadsoil when you formed? Being that you all came from different bands, were you intentionally looking to do different this time? Unfortunately, the only band you guys have been that I'm familiar with is Night In Gales, who I also love! How do you think Deadsoil stands as it's own entity; what are your aspirations?

Maybe you also know Caliban (sure do!-mg), which is Boris' other band now. (nice!-mg) I guess you're right, though. We've had some experience from playing other bands before, and personally I love the combination of the influences from both the metallic and hardcore background everyone brings in. Maybe you can hear that in the way we write songs. At least that's what we try to do. (you succeed!-mg)



"Forever the Enemy" rides that line between thrash metal and hardcore excellently, I think. Certainly a bit different from what I heard in Night In Gales, but no less killer! Did all of you come up within both the hardcore and metal scenes, and was it always the intention to sort of take the best of both styles and combine them into the Deadsoil sound? Where do you think the band stands out, and what makes you original? What do you feel you bring to the table?

Chris and Jens (our new guitarplayer, who also played in Night in Gales) have more of this background in the metal scene, while Boris and I are more from the hardcore side. Freidrich has always been playing in both scenes with his bands. A lot of bands nowadays combine metal and hardcore, but at least that's what it's like in Europe, mostly, with members just coming from one side, mostly the hardcore scene. Maybe that's something that makes Deadsoil different from other bands. The new stuff is quite some progression in this direction, I would say.



The songs here on the ep are extremely well-arranged, I think. Do you guys write songs as a group at practice, or does any one member take care of songwriting? Do you think it's really important for a song to flow well, rather than just being a bunch of riffs thrown together? I think a song like the title track shows this aspect really well!

The songwriting for this upcoming album, "The Venom Divine", took a really long time because of this reason. We didn't just want to throw some riffs together, but to create sosngs we're satisfied with ourselves. It's mainly Boris and Chris coming up with all the songs, and we throw it together when rehearsing, as we're quite scattered around the country, and don't practice all together every week. So the combination with Chris and Boris works out pretty well, I think.



Like I said, I hear strains of old school thrash metal, melodic death, modern thrash metal and 'core all wrapped up in your sound. I dig how you can go from an up tempo thrash part in a really heavy breakdown in the blink of an eye! Is variety an important aspect to the band's sound, and where do you feel your influences come from? Also, where did the band name come from?

 It is! Personally, I think it's again this combination of different backgrounds and influences in songwriting between Boris and Chris that makes it somewhat come out really well. Certainly we have our influences like every band does. I guess it's a large variety of styles that influence the songwriting indirectly, as there's not many bands everyone in the band likes. The band name supports an overall feeling that is also transported through some of the lyrics. We thought the connection of "Dead" and "Soil" would perfectly fit.



Also, the sound of the album really helps and adds to the heaviness of the record. How was it in Sonic Sound studio? Was it an easy and fun recording, or was there any difficulty getting it down? I'm not familiar with the studio myself; what was the atmosphere like, and what other bands have been there? Is it a popular place?

Boris and Marcel (our old singer, who can also be heard on the MCD) recorded there already with their previous bands Copykill and Drift, and we had some other friends who tracked their stuff there, so we kinda knew what to expect. They're kind of easy to handle, and the sound is pretty decent if you don't have a major budget. I wouldn't say it's a popular place, but there's quite a lot of bands doing the metallic stuff recording there lately.



The material here sounds like it would go over really well live, especially a song like "Reloader" or "Pushed Into Ruin"! What kind of reactions have you had from the shows you've played with The Haunted, Hatebreed, and Dew-Scented? Were these major tours, or sporadic gigs?

In general, we were lucky to have somewhat of a perfect start by getting Poisonfree.com Booking before we switched to M.A.D. They helped us a lot with good shows with good bands, where it was easy for us just to perform. We got such amazing reviews from people at shows, which made it easier for us as a band, as well. Especially the ones you mentioned were more like sporadic shows. All of them were great shows for us, as well. The scenes in Europe are still more divided into metal and hardcore, with hardly any people going to shows from the other genre, but those barriers are getting smaller and smaller, also thanks to bands such as the ones you mentioned, especially Hatebreed or Dew-Scented.



Any offers to come over to the States anytime soon? Have you heard of the New England Metal/Hardcore Festival? I'm from the area, and I think you guys would go over great there! Have you had much fan reaction from here in the US?

I think Boris' other band Caliban played the fest last year, didn't they?(yup!-mg) We'd love to come over to the US somewhere late 2004 if we can find the time for doing so. No concrete ideas, though. We've had quite some reaction from people on our signing to Tribunal, which were all pretty awesome! People seem to like what we're doing, and that means a lot to us.



How did you get in touch with Tribunal, and how have they been for this ep? I understand you guys have signed to Lifeforce for the full length? How many songs do you have written so far, and how do they sound in comparison to the ep? How do they differ, and what can we expect? Any titles yet?

Basically, the first contract was through our European label here. Matt seemed to like the idea of putting it out, and so did we. As I said, we're really happy with the way they work, and what they've done so far. Yes, we're on Lifeforce Records, and we're tracking the new album, "The Venom Divine", in Berno Studio in Sweden, as we speak. We're really excited about the way it turned out so far. About the new material, I personally think it's way more elaborate compared to the mCD....quite some more metal parts, but still a lot of those heavy breakdowns, and way more variation on the vocals, as Friedrich is really a great enrichment here. The complete tracklist and some mp3's will be online at www.lifeforcerecords.com  or www.deadsoil.net maybe in the beginning of June.



How's the scene over there lately? I've always loved the European style of metalcore, like Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn, and the Belgian Edgemetal scene; you guys just seem to do it so much better. How do you think your style differs from the more American styled metalcore?

That's a rather difficult question that I cannot answer in general. As you mentioned, the Belgian scene I think it's getting smaller and smaller. Some years ago the scene was so huge there, nowadays it's hardly anyone at most of the shows I've been to lately. Germany on the other hand seems to have an ever growing amount of people listening to hardcore music. Those bands like Caliban or Heaven Shall Burn get a lot of attention, most likely being the biggest European bands by now. I don't know in what ways in general the European style differs from the US that much now. I can hear a lot of bands sounding pretty much influenced from bands from your country, like Hatebreed, or KsE , for example. On the other hand, there's also some bands that leave this path, and try to create their own style.



While on the subject, are any of the guys in Deadsoil edge? If so, do you feel it's a personal thing, or would you like to see this as a positive thing to be brought to the metal community?

As Jan left the band, there's only Boris being straight edge. So yeah, it's more like a personal thing. I mean, we're not a sXe band, and we do not promote this way of living, although it's not the worst thing to be edge, I think. Everyone should decide for his or her self. I don't think it's a good thing to push people into believing something like that.



Please fill us in on some future plans!

We're looking forward to having the new material released, which will be the end of July in Europe, and August 24th in the States. Then we'll be touring all over Europe, being part of the M.A.D. Raid Over Europe Tour, this year including Caliban, Destiny, and Machinemade God, which I think is a killer package. The easiest way to be updated to what we're doing is to check our websites. Hopefully we might be able to make it over to the US in late 2004. No detailed plans on this thus far.



Ok man, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer this! You guys rule, and I wish you all the best! Any final words are yours! Take care!

Thanks for the interview. Watch out for "The Venom Divine" to hit the stores August 24th, released through Lifeforce Records / Victory Records.

Official website: www.deadsoil.com