Julie(GC): I remember when I first talked you and you were about to release “Gothic Electronic Anthems”. How has things changed for you since the release of the first CD to now with your second release out?
Gothminister: Well Julie, a lot of things has happened with Gothminister since the first release. One of the most important change was the license to Drakkar Entertainment in late 2003, with the re-release of the album, which more than doubled the sales. Another important thing that happened was booking agency Protain signed Gothminister on their rooster. Bigger sales and getting to play on big festivals in Europe has made GM a bigger band off course.
And band is another keyword – on the new album GM has become a rock/metal band, now also with drums on record and live.
GC: Also in our early talks a couple years ago we had talked about your sound and comparisons to other gothic and industrial artists like Ministry to Rob Zombie, do you feel now Gothminister has an own defined sound?
Gothminister: People tell me the new album “Empire of Dark Salvation is different from the first one, but still it sounds like Gothminister. I think most of all the vocals and song structure defines a bands sound, and being me writing all the songs and doing all the vocals, I think what I do defines the GM sound, even if guitar players or drummers come and go.
I mean, Nine Inch Nails has had new musicans on almost every release, still you`ll always know its NIN. When one person writes, he leaves a pattern which becomes representative for the bands sound. I been listening to "Empire of Dark Salvation" a lot and what I noticed was that music has taken a more heavy route and there is definitely a difference in the music from the first CD. For example, the electronics on the first CD seemed to have more of a danceable feel while these electronics don’t as much but do have some at times. Can you tell us more about your recording style for this record? Yeah; the recording process was quite different from the first album. The main word to me is: BAND. We also recorded live drums on this album, which gives a totally different feel. I also had plenty of opportunities to test out the riffs and the ideas in the rehearsal room instead of only in my own studio (as on the first album). When I knew that a song works out from the bass,guitar,drum combination from rehearsing this, I went back to my studio in peace working it all out with the electronic stuff, recording vocals etc. In this way I also think the new album sounds more realistic than the first one, because we recorded live drums and bassguitars as well. So, its all in all more of a rock/metal sound!
Also the guitars are much more present in the mix, more heavy, the electronics are stripped down a bit and we made room for pompous orchestral parts instead. If the first album was 50%rock 50% electro I would say the new album is 70%rock/metal and maybe 30% electronic stuff.
The feel of going in that direction is because I grew up playing in a band (since the age of 14) and has always loved the real organic sound. ;)
GC: Do you feel that with less use of electronics and more focus on this newer heavier sound will leave listeners with mixed feelings and wanting the electronics more? You know how people get use to something and you take it away they can’t handle change well.
Gothminister: Well, I notice off course that some people liked the first album better because of more electronics, but a lot of people like the new album better because of the more organic sound and heavier guitars, so…you can`t please everybody all the time. I think the best answer to this matter is one fan who said: I am glad to have BOTH albums, because both are excellent in each their different way. So he meant the two albums complete each other. And I don`t wanna make the same album over and over again just because I am afraid of losing fans. I have to make the music I like, after my own taste, and hope that a lot of other people have the same taste for music etc. You always have to go for what YOU feel like, otherwise its gonna be dangerous and you`ll end up unhappy with your music, and maybe quit for good. Just think of making an album which you think people will like, but you don`t like yourself, and then it flops…what is left then, what is worse than that? Nothing.
GC: Why has it taken so long to finally get a deal for the CD’s to be released in the U.S?
Gothminister: Good question, but we haven t actually worked very hard for it. Things have gone extremely well in Europe, and we`ve had a lot to do over here, now for instance prepearing for a 22 shows European tour with Lacrimosa, and then the festivals… We have now licensed the two albums to Dancing Ferret in the USA, www.dancing-ferret.com and they re already talking about a Halloween show and a US tour, so lets see, I have big faith in Patrick and DF, they are really enthousiasthic about signing GM so nothing is better than that…;()
GC: I am know I am probably jumping the gun here but will this lead into possible shows in the U.S.?
Gothminister: As I said, YES, they demand we go on tour in the US actually, he he. So no escape now. Lets see, everything will be posted on www.gothminister.com and probably www.dancing-ferret.com as well. ;)
GC: You recently, or I should say the band have done some live shows, how was the crowd reaction to your new songs from “Empire of Dark Salvation”?
Gothminister: Very good. First comment was that it sounded REALLY HEAVY, and that’s a thing I like to hear ;) Among the new songs I think Monsters must be the most liked track among the fans according to the feedbacks, which is good, as it is the single, currently on no.11 on the German Alternative Charts.
GC: What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming European Tour with Lacrimosa?
Gothminister: Performing in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Poland, cause we`ve never been to those countries before. Also I am excited because we have a new guitar player and a new drummer the last 3 out of 4 weeks. Lets hope the LM crowd likes Gothminister; we`re gonna give 110% on stage!!!
GC: Correct me if I am wrong but since the first CD there are new members, if so how have they contributed to the development of the new Gothminister CD “Empire of Dark Salvation”?
Gothminister: Android on keyboards is only officially new member, he was heavily involved in the production on the first album (Andy Moxnes). Chris Dead (Christian Svendsen) is completely new member, playing drums both on the album and live. It has made a difference as I said earlier, testing out drums in the rehearsal room etc and writing some songs especially for live drums as I used to be a drummer for 10 years myself and I kind of know what could be cool to play and what will not. Anyway, getting to test it in praxis really made a difference.
GC: So many times when an artist releases their second release it is not as well as the first one in the listeners viewpoint. How does this new CD compare to the first release? As I said, its very ambivalent. We got 9/10 in Sonic Seducer, 8,5 in Orkus and Zillo as I recall, about the same as the firstalbum, medienconverter gave first album 5/6 and the last album 6/6 and meant this was the final masterpiece.
They will always compare the second to the first. But in my opinion; whats the point of making two albums that sounds the same?
GC: What were some of your influences for songs such as “Happy in Darkness” and “The Calling” which tend to be my favorites from the new CD?
Gothminister: Performing in countries we never been before, like Spain, Italy & Poland. I just did an interview for an Italian radio show. Gonna be great to get over there!;)
GC: Are you hoping this CD will attract more gothic metal listeners?
Gothminister: I know it already has. And I grew up with gothic metal myself, but also death and thrash metal, horror movie soundtracks etc., so I think this new CD has something for everyone…
It will be very interesting to hear what is next for Gothminister. I think by redefining your music with this CD it will keep the music strong alive.
GC: Have you given any thought about what the next step for your music will be like?
Gothminister: No not yet. But maybe I get some new inspiration on the European tour. All I know is that my main interests are dark, catchy but also really heavy music, so lets see what the future brings…;=)
GC: Anything you would like to share with our readers that they might not know about Gothminister?
Gothminister: Well, I have a few last words;)
Face your darkest demons and get inspired!;)
Be creative but don t spend too much time inside your home in front of your computer or television!
All the best from B:A & GOTHMINISTER;)
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