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In Words: Dementia

- Dementia - March 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Dementia

Dementia - March 17th 2011 (by email)

Dementia isn't a new band, but for many fans Beyond The Pale is the first encounter with the band. Time to reveal a bit about Dementia!

Dementia was founded in 2004 and after a demo the following year you released 3 albums on your own. Are you satisfied so far?

Actually we are around since 1994. When it comes to 'success' or being popular, we probably could have reached way more in this long time-span. But musically and art-wise we are more than satisfied. We are deeply rooted in the underground and all these years of making and creating music together has helped to create something original in my opinion.

Beyond The Pale is now released via MDD Records. How does it feel to have an album in stores? To make your music easier available?

It feels really great as you can guess. The first time we saw our own record in the stores besides all the 'big' names made us really proud. I mean, first of all we make music for our own pleasure, but every artist is pleased, if he gets feedback, so it's for sure a good opportunity to have our music available easily for anyone who's interested. With MDD Beyond The Pale is available in the most big CD-stores (at least in our area) and of course also in all relevant online-stores.

Nina was released in 2004. Why the long break?

All songs for Beyond The Pale were written before 2006. Then, we decided to build our own studio to record them. It took a while to complete the studio, to learn how to use all tools properly etc. Finally in December 2007 we started to record the drums. But when it came to lay down the tracks for the bass, our bass-player left the band, so we had to search a new one. He needed time to compose his bass-lines, so it was autumn ´08 when the bass-tracks where finished. The next draw-back was the loss of our rehearsal place / studio. We had to find a new one and rebuild everything. Then everything else was recorded. Mostly we could only work on the CD on one day during the weekends, so the weeks and months went by. With music like ours, it's also very hard to come to an end, we always added something (some harmonies, orchestrations etc.) and the mixing process took also quite a while. Yes, you can call us 'Def Leppard of Death Metal'...

Have the songs been writing through the years? Or when you decided to record a new album?

As I said before, the writing process took not too long. But then, every time we record the songs, they change very much in the process of recording. In the rehearsals we compose and play with just the normal band-setting (2 guitars, bass, drums, sometimes keyboards and almost no vocals since our singer lives quite far away). When recording, we use the technology to overlay more and more tracks in order to make the songs more thick, rich and multi-layered. So in the end there are many harmonies, dual-guitars, different kinds of vocals, organs and keys that make the result quite different from the first versions of the songs.

Where did you record the album? And how long did the recordings take?

We recorded it in our own studio called 'Scrapyard'. As I mentioned before, the whole process of recording including all draw-backs took about two and a half years.

Why the title Beyond The Pale? What inspired you?

We always try to use a matching part of the lyrics that can represent the whole album itself. We did a concept album some years ago, so the decision for the title was quite easy then. Now our songs and therefore the lyrics contain single different stories and kind of single emotions. But that's the point. All emotions and themes can be united somehow, 'cause they're all very negative and angry. Only the situations and the (human) objectives are different. Beyond The Pale consists of emotions and thoughts that we do not let come out in normal life, so they go 'beyond the pale'.

Symmetrical Life Criticism is one of the titles... What's the story of this track?

It's about the symmetry that maybe we all feel from time to time. I mean we all try to handle the same everyday tasks, most of them at work for sure. Hopefully you all got the job you wanted to have. But think of all the same shit you have to do and think of the insignificant things in life that get you every day. And there are all those disgusting dummies with the same annoying symmetrical faces who got the power to command you. Think about that and get the impression of a gray meaningless life. We criticize that although we are definitely a part of it. The square stands as a mathematical symbol for that.

Musically you combine different sounds, use elements of different genres. What makes it so interesting for you to create this mix?

Yeah, you implied it already in the question: It's interesting for us the create and to play this mixture. We are metal fans and musicians for about 20 yours now, and we like so many different kinds of music in the metal / rock genre that it would be very limiting to just play, say brutal death, or thrash metal or whatever. We don't like to limit ourselves – when a part sounds great we like to think about how to use it in a fitting way. So playing in this band for such a long time keeps being 'interesting' - it's always thrilling creating new songs since almost everything can happen!

You are inspired by many different sounds, but what do you listen to nowadays? What's in your player at the moment?

Most recently I listened to some good old Uriah Heep, Blue Öyster Cult and Genesis, then the great Ghost-album, to In Solitude, to Kaleidoscope by Mekong Delta, old Utumno, old Gorement, the new Enslaved-CD, the new Desultory-CD, the new Negligence-CD and of course always some King Diamond-classics.

You don't follow any trends, to have a unique sound doesn't make things easier. Pretty often it means that media is ignoring you... What keeps you going?

Yes, you're perfectly right! But the answer is plain and simple: The love for music keeps us going. We like what we do and if anyone states that our music sounds original it's the greatest compliment. We like it more to be unique (and therefore offend some people) instead of jumping on some useless trend or to simply be a 'clone'-band of some popular groups. Since the music is our hobby it doesn't matter for us, if we sell thousands of copies – it's just great to meet up with the friends in the band, have fun, be creative and on top of it have people that really understand and dig what we are trying to express. That's the best counterpart to our normal day job life. Generally, I really don't understand, why some parts of the media and also metal fans are so narrow-minded nowadays. Are there any rules in music what's allowed and what's not? Take a classic band like Rainbow for example: They always had fast songs, epic songs, rock'n'rollers, ballads – every single song on a record sounded different, but did anyone say that they lacked an own style? Certainly not! I think it's important that the music comes from the heart and is sincere. But of course it would be nice, if the media – and also some 'fans' on concerts - were a bit more open-minded instead of ignoring you, if a song takes longer than 3 minutes...

With the internet getting more and more important, do you feel a change? Is it easier for you to reach out?

From the band-point of view MySpace and all these online-stores make things much more faster and easier. Let alone writing emails instead of snail-mail... But on the other hand, being the old fart I am, I'm not too fond of all these social-networking-bullshit. It's mainly a waste of time in my opinion. Then, there are so many bands in the vastness of the internet, so it's really hard to differentiate between talented and sincere bands and useless followers. It's really impossible to get an overview with myriads of groups being around. In the old days, I liked it more - from a fan-point of view – that everything was much more 'mysterious'. You had very few information from 'zines, when a new record came out it was like a happening and so on. Today, everybody seems to post his opinion either if it's interesting or not, you can get in touch with almost every band and the 'mystery' is gone. Also from a collectors point of view, I miss the feeling and the reward of finding some rare record after hours of searching some second-hand store or mailorder list – nowadays, everyone is able to buy everything on the whole planet by just clicking once.

Through the years you supported bands like Bolt Thrower, Sentenced and Pungent Stench beside playing club shows. Is anything planned for the next months?

Unfortunately, we have no plans for gigs until now. Hopefully we can get some offers to play the next time!

A question I should have asked? Anything you want to add?

Thanks for the cool interview! Check out our new CD Beyond The Pale or visit us via demonic internet at!

Well, it's true these days there are so many bands it's hard to survive and difficult to create something unique - and if a band does they didn't get the attention, coz people are narrow-minded. Give Dementia a chance, coz they don't take the easy way and jump on the band wagon.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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