Interview with Disbelief Bassist Jochen ?Joe? Trunk
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Transcript by: Ulrika Henriksson.
Pictures provided by Sound Pollution
Thanks to Niklas ?Hobbe? Andersson at Sound Pollution for help with the interview.
I was lucky to get an opportunity to interview Disbelief’s bass player, Jochen ?Joe? Trunk. Disbelief have recently released their sixth album 66SICK and are now heading out on the road to crush Europe. This is what he had to say about the new album and about the band.
Hey, what?s up?
Hi Anders, thanx ?I?m fine and ready to go!!
To start off I was wondering of you could tell the readers out there a bit about Disbelief and the bands background?
We come from Germany and released 6 albums from 1997 on.
They are called ?DISBELIEF?, ?INFECTED?, ?WORST ENEMY?,?SHINE?, ?SPREADING THE RAGE? and our latest one ?66 SICK?! Over the years we did a lot of touring, mainly in Germany and the European states next to our border like Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic and so on! It was a pleasure to join stage with bands like SIX FEET UNDER, DEATH ANGEL, BOLT THROWER, PRO-PAIN or CROWBAR! We played DYNAMO in 1998, twice WACKEN (1998, 2004) and WITH FULL FORCE 2004 in GERMANY! Our roots regarding music is Death-Metal, but meanwhile we developed our own style which contains much more than this element!
You kicked off the band at the beginning of the 90?s, have you had some member changes throughout the years?
The only remaining members of this area are Karsten ?Jagger? J?ger (v) and Olly Lenz (g). In 1994 Tommy Fritsch (g) and Kai Bergerin (d) joined the band. One year later it was me, Jochen ?Joe? Trunk (b) to complete the topic line-up. From 2000 to 2004 Tommy left DISBELIEF and was replaced by Jan-Dirk L?ffler, but he came back, because Jan-Dirk had different plans for his future and so he quitted in agreement with the band. Tommy did the NO MERCY-tour and the future will show, if he will be the fifth DISBELIEF-member again!
Why did it take so long for you guys to release your debut? It came in 97, that means it took you 7 years to unleash the album.
The founding year was 1990, but the year where the final line-up that made the decision to work uncompromisingly professional was 1995. From there on DISBELIEF recorded the demo ?Choice? to search for a label and this was reached in 1997 with GRIND SYNDICATE MEDIA.
Your follow up album INFECTED came the year after (98) how did the press respond on the follow up?
It was surprisingly very good, because they recognized that there is a band finding its own identity. The album is really not that easy to get, but for this reason we are very proud of it. We made no compromise and relied on our own conviction and the feeling to have created something unique as a unity!
Are your older albums available today or are they sold out?
They were sold out but in connection with ?66 SICK? NUCLEAR BLAST decided to re-release both albums on one CD. So the fans have the chance to listen to our early days with a new cover-design!
You have been on a few different labels, which one have the legal rights to your older albums?
It is GRIND SYNDICATE MEDIA or BOOMER ENTERTAINMENT, how it is called nowadays. From ?WORST ENEMY? on we were licensed by MASSACRE RECORDS.
When and why did you sign on for Nuclear Blast and what?s the difference between NB and your past labels?
After ?SPREADING THE RAGE? the contract with MASSACRE was finished and we really had the wish to work with a big label that is able to promote us worldwide. The past labels did everything for us but they were limited in distribution and the whole infrastructure that is necessary to push a band. NUCLEAR BLAST showed interest very quickly and we took the chance, also for the reason that we know a lot of the team-members and this made it easy to decide.
What do you think of NB?s work so far with the album in order of promotion etc I mean?
They do a perfect job ? and job is not the right word to use, because we have the impression that everyone puts a lot of enthusiasm in DISBELIEF. They make the best of the amazing response of the press we get for ?66 SICK?. It is a perfect team-work and not business as usual!
You have released your previous albums with only one or two years in between, why has it taken you so short amount of time and do you think you?re going to keep up that speed?
I think we have to, because nowadays ? as a band that is not that common ? you have to show presence, otherwise you get lost in this ocean of thousands of releases every year! In the past we could easily handle with this pressure concentrating on our music. It is hard work, but it is the way that we chose. We focus the development of our own style and try to exclude record sales ? this is the way to keep pressure out of creativity!
What have been said in the press about your earlier albums?
With ?WORST ENEMY? we reached position 2 in Germany?s ROCK HARD ? magazine, ?SHINE? had very good reviews and was placed in ROCK HARD?s readers charts for nearly 6 months. ?SPREADING THE RAGE? was the most successful so far: album of the month ROCK HARD and LEGACY in Germany. So we cannot complain about bad reviews. ?66 SICK? again reached album of the month, this time METAL HAMMER Germany and HARD ROCK France, so the response still increases and this makes us really happy!
According to the bio you have worked with producer Andy Classen in Studio One quite a lot, have you recorded all the previous albums with him and what is it that makes him so special as a producer?
With the exception of SHINE he did all previous recordings.We liked to work with him, also he became a kind of sixth member of DISBELIEF and a good friend as well! It is really very comfortable to work with him and in Germany he is famous for his Classen-sound! I can?t compare him to other producers, we just felt save and sure about his good job!
This time you chosed to go to Denmark and Tue Madsens Antfarm Studio to record 66SICK, why the sudden change of place and producer?
After 4 productions with Classen there was the time for a change. If a band wants to improve you have to look for new approaches, that keep you working on yourself as a musician.And to join a different studio in a foreign country with a producer, who has a different philosophy has a big influence on a band ? a kind of creative kick-off!
Were you familiar with Tues earlier work? Have you heard anything that Tue produced before you?
I listened to 2TON PREDATOR and MNEMIC. The first one is very raw and brutal and the other is modern and full of different sounds. This made me really curious!
How was it to work with Mr. Madsen? And what?s the difference between Andy and Tue producerwise?
He is a fantastic guy. It was a pleasant and creative working. The DISBELIEF ? sound was new for him and he experimented a lot to reach the final aim. The result sounds very raw, atmospheric and is close to our live-sound ? and this is the main difference to Classen.
Who has done the mixing?
Tue Madsen did the whole production-recording, mixing, mastering!
For how long were you in Denmark and what did you think of my neighbor country?
I?m sorry that I cannot tell you that much about Denmark, because most time of the 3 weeks I stayed there, I was in the studio working or just waiting until one of the other guys finished his tracks.
How long has it taken to write and record 66SICK?
Composing always starts right after the previous album ? so it is difficult to tell you a certain amount of time, but when I sum it up it should have been 6 months to finish the songs. The recording took 2 weeks and then we had 1 week for mixing and mastering.
Who has written the music and lyrics and are the lyrics about anything in particular?
I am responsible for the songwriting and on 66 SICK Jagger did all the lyrics. They all describe the term SICK in a different way and from a particular point of view ? a kind of red link between all the songs. Sickness in yourself and in the whole world ? that is the main subject!
Why the title 66SICK? Does it mean or symbolize anything in particular? And what?s the idea behind the cover?
The cover illustrates the term SICK very well and the title contains the fact that it is our sixth one. We also wanted to express, that we are sick of all this evil posing (666). In the past it was really overdone and overstressed. The evil image of a band was more important than the music!
The bio describes you as being a emo-deathcore act but how would you like to define your music?
I prefer to describe DISBELIEF as the most extreme form of rock music, just as simple as that. No limitations and being different ? that is our philosophy!
What?s the story behind the band name, does it mean anything special to you guys or was it just a catchy name?
There is no story behind, just looking in the dictionary and choosing a catchy name ? that?s it!
Do you have any particular favorite tracks on the new album? If so which one and why?
LOST IN TIME, REWIND IT ALL or CRAWL mean a lot to me. When we play them live I always remember the state of feelings that I had when I wrote the song and that makes them very special to me.
Are you happy with the outcome or do you think you should have done anything in a different way now that you look back on the album?
We are totally pleased, made the best of the songs. It is not that useful to analyze the album now. We are still too much into it. When we start writing new songs the previous CD is not any longer in our heads, because at this point it is time to begin something new.
You have chosed to add 4 cover songs on the limited edition of the album, why have you chosen exactly those songs? Are they your favorite tracks?
They are not our favorite tracks, but we thought they are the perfect ones to arrange for DISBELIEF, putting a little bit of our sound in those songs!
How do you comment the fraise ?Disbelief ? a stands for pure energy? that can be read in the bio?
This is how we are ? we just leave all our energy and emotions on stage. Of course it is a fraise, because often used and no truth behind it, but if you will see us live, the fraise will come true!
You have already some dates in Europe booked, are you going to do more live shows than the ones that?s already been scheduled?
This is our masterplan ? play as much as we can! Two shows with SLAYER, one with ANTHRAX in Austria and two in Russia are already confirmed and we plan to do a lot more ? but nothing more scheduled yet, except the dates you can read on our homepage www.disbelief.de!
Are there any plans on doing any live gigs in Scandinavia? Have you got any plans on going over to the States and Canada on tour?
Of course we have the wish but this is not in our hands. DISBELIEF is definitely ready to go!
In which country or territory do you think Disbelief are biggest at the moment?
It is still Germany, where we really played a lot. All the other countries are still a kind of new territory for us, but I am sure this will change in the future!
Have you noticed any change in you popularity between every record release? I mean have you?re popularity increased?
It increases step by step ? DISBELIEF is not a over-night sensation ? we have to convince every single fan and that is a long but useful way. With our 2 video ? clips for REWIND IT ALL and SICK I think we will reach a lot of new fans, who never heard of us before!
Are 66SICK going to be released worldwide? Do you have any dates on when it?s going to be released in the U.S. and Asia?
Yes, sure. The release-date for the states is May, 17. and in Japan 66 SICK will be released in July or August!
How has the band developed music-wise during these years?
The music still is emotionally based on anger and desperation but our songwriting improved a lot through all the touring we did in the past. You get a feeling for what is necessary and elementary for a good song. For the reason that we are open-minded towards other styles of music we sound modern, without loosing our trademarks. This fact is important for the future of a band and we are really looking forward to all what is coming soon.
Are you professional musicians that can live on the music or do have other jobs besides the music?
From our attitude we are professionals but we do not earn enough money to feed everyone of the band and the crew, so we have to work, some of us in a daytime, some in part time jobs.
Finally, is there anything you would like to tell the readers of Metal-Rules?
I want to invite you to listen to our new record 66 SICK and perhaps we can manage to do some Scandinavian shows with your help and response. So stay heavy and see you soon!!!!!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks for your interest and support, cheers Joe
More info about the band: www.disbelief.de