Godslave arose from the ashes of Icon, and with having Into The Black released via SOAL they get some more exposure... Time to get a few answers! Thanks to guitarist Bernie for taking time to answer my questions!
Can you tell us something about the album cover? Who designed it? Artistic background etc.
The cover was once again designed by Jim Svanberg (www.jimsvanberg.se) who already did the first two artworks. This guy is amazing! He is the creator of our mascot 'Horst' and we are planning to force him to serve us forever haha. He studied design and does lots of works for games etc. Check out his home page, it's worth it!
The Cover and the booklet was designed by our friend Johannes Belach who also designed our shirts, our new logo and our latest two videos! (www.facebook.com/belachdesign82)
Songwriting at Godslave... Who's writing most of the songs?
Most of the music comes out of the hands and sick minds of the two guitarists, being Meyer and me. We join forces and ideas from time to time, I usually write complete songs up front and then we check ideas and songs out with the whole band.
What's the story behind song titles like Slippery When Dead, Zombie Park Holocaust, Anvilized, and A Shot In The Dark?
Well, normally I write about stuff that directly interests me or something I wanna get off my chest, something bothering me in the world or stuff. It's the same with Meyer, but he is a little bit more into fictional stories.
Slippery When Dead: Obviously a little play of words. ;-) I had the idea of the title while listening to Witchery. And the lyrics I wrote to that are pretty sick, gotta see for yourself hehe.
Zombie Panic Holocaust: The title was born on a Municipal Waste concert out of pure fun, but we actually made a song out of it. As the title indicates it's about a zombie attack, so purely fictional stuff for fun.
Anvilised: This is the most personal song and lyrics I have ever written. It's a tribute to Anvil and the everlasting will to carry on no matter the cost because you just have to do it, because it is in you, it's all that you are! When I watched the movie it was like a mirror for me, because in a much smaller degree it is a similar situation Thommy (singer) and I have been feeling ourselves into for many years. We both are like brothers and have been playing in bands together for the last several years and we shared the same vision from the beginning on and we're sort of like Lips (me) and Robb Reiner (Thommy). There are many citations from the movie in the lyrics!
A Shot In The Dark: The name of the instrumental on the record. We needed a cool name for the song and this is what came to my mind directly, don't know why. It sounded great - We took it :)
At the CD Into The Black you have some guests . . . How did you choose the songs for them? Was it easy to hook them up?
It was easy to choose the instrumental for the Solo of Bene from Mekong Delta, because it fits perfectly. The first solo is from Manuel Zewe of Celesta, a good friend of the band as is Bene. We've known him for many years, so it was clear that at one time, we had to have him on a record. :)
The songs for Mike were easy to find, we pretty quickly chose Thrashed because it is kind of a homage to the music and Mike fit perfectly and then Scholar Eclipse was our second thought. We met Mike and the guys in 2008 when we played with them and became friends. Last year we asked him if he would do us the honor and it worked out just fine, we're very proud of it!
The song Into The Black, where Gerrit of Sacred Steel took part in was kind of written for his voice actually. We wanted a slow and heavy song again like Where The Sun Sleeps of our EP Out Of The Ashes and during writing I had the feeling that Gerrit's voice would be great on it. The contrast between very heavy, deep riffs and his high voice is just great and we totally love the outcome of it!!
Do you have any bands you work together with as colleagues? Some future co-operations?
Actually we did two Split EP's called Thrashed Vol.1 and Thrashed Vol.2 with our friends of Impactor and Thrashtanica. So there are a few co-operations indeed! We are planning a short tour, we will keep you informed. ;-)
You did a video clip for Uncut, Unseen, Unrated, please tell us about the making of the video! And why did you choose this song?
We wanted to do a music video again for the record and you always have to ask yourself the question which song, which lyrics you can transfer into a video, what is actually doable? The idea came up to do it with Uncut, Unseen, Unrated, because it is a song full of quotations from horror movies. We thought we could just take a horror movie and some scenes of the band playing in a cinema and then we would have a cool video.
And what can I say: that's exactly what we did haha. And it turned out great in my opinion.
The movie used for the video is Garden Of Love from Germany's finest Independent director Olaf Ittenbach. We've been fans of his work for quite a while now and we were very lucky to know the producer of the movie and so we could make this all work pretty easily. :-)
Take a look at our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/godslavebernie
After releasing your second trash metal album as Godslave, please tell us, why does it sound as your former death metal band Icon? I think founding a new band, having a new name and genre, would create a new sound?
You really think that it sounds like Icon? Seriously?? haha
I can't agree with you on that, not even a bit hehe. I think it's totally different to our former band. Although it's the same singer and guitarist, I really think that the sound and the songs sound totally different to what we did in the past. You might recognize Thommy on vocals and also me on guitars, but that something we really can't do anything about haha.
So I can't answer you that question properly I guess.
Who have inspired you the most? Who's your biggest influence in trash metal?
I gotta say I am influenced by the old masters of thrash metal as well as the new wave. Destruction, Exodus, Kreator, Witchery and Whiplash are as much influential for me as Warbringer, Evile, Gama Bomb and Havok are.
Whereas the musical influences come mostly from the past, because the new bands are also influenced by it, I am pretty much influenced by the energy that the new bands create in their playing and their shows. Mostly because we are about the same age and I would say that I am pretty competitive to be honest and that I want to keep up with the bands living the dream. They always give me the energy to carry on.
Your biography states, that you found your very own place between Bay Area trash and old school German trash which is putting you right between the two most respected trash scenes. Mind the beginning of the Bay Area trash and German trash and contrast it with the social origin. Could you identify yourself with this?
Not at all and I can tell you why: 2011 is NOT 1985 and it will NEVER EVER be! ;-)
We are talking about a difference of 26 years! The whole world has changed completely within these years and you just can't compare it with each other.
The spirit of the 80s came mostly from the hard working young people without much perspective whereas today, metal is worshipped by all kinds of people and many of them are educated. So today it is all totally different and you just can't compare the origins with today.
Social origin has no influence in metal today in my opinion.
Describe 'Underground': what does it mean for you? Always staying in the underground, because your are proud of being an important part of the scene? And if you had to pick would you prefer to stay underground or touring the world?
I have to be a little controversial right now: for me, 'Underground' has no special meaning. Underground means not more than 'without much exposure' for me.
And the controversial part: From personal experience: most of the bands that praise the underground would take the first chance to play in front of thousands of people. The ones who know that they will never have the chance or would never take it because the are too afraid always state that they will not leave the underground by any means.
That's my personal opinion. ;-)
Sure, I would love to tour the world!! Sure, I would love to earn my daily bread with music. That's what everybody would love to do! And don't be mistaken, that's what everybody wants. If they had the chance and would dare to do so, they would do it!
Fact is, that it is nearly impossible to have that much luck so it is very very unlikely to happen ;-)
What I never understood completely: is every band a sell out when they have success? Do they all alter their music along the will of the fans to earn money when they sell more than 20 records?
So why does everybody cheer Iron Maiden and Judas Priest? They did exactly that and everyone loves them... think about it. ;)
I personally don't care shit about all these names, be it 'old school' or 'underground', I always did what I wanted to do and I will not stop to do so and it is exactly the same with Godslave!
You have 4 concerts listed so far between March and September 2011. All in smaller places somewhere in Germany. Is it difficult for you to get gigs?
Simply put: yes! ;-)
Problem is that we have a pretty bad timing at the moment. We concentrated so much on the new album that we couldn't focus on getting gigs, we were just too occupied. And now the summer festivals are all full hehe, bad luck, bad timing.
But we are already working on some stuff, a little tour and a booking agency, so there will happen a lot in the future, keep yourselves updated via SAOL!
Is it a commercial trick to say that 2011 will be 'the Godslave year'? or what is the background for this?
Not really a trick, no. It is what we feel. We already said that 2009 will be the Godslave year and it was. Actually every year is the Godslave year for us because we are growing constantly and every year is better than the last one. Into The Black is distributed all over Europe, we have exposure like never before and we certainly have the best album in our hands that we could make. So, yes, 2011 is the Godslave year!! :)
But 2012 could also be, and 2013, 2014... 2020...
Have you any plans for future recordings? Material that did not fit into the Into The Black CD?
At the moment we are totally focusing on the release and the promotion for Into The Black so we don't think about new music at the moment. We have just a few riffs over from the last session and I am sure that there will be some pretty sick tunes as soon as we begin writing new material. :)
Why keeping a website, if it's only leads over to MySpace? And why not adding a link to Facebook, YouTube etc. Wouldn't it be better to have everything in one place for your followers?
Well, to be honest: the guy that runs the homepage does not do his job properly!
We are working to keep the site updated and we originally planned to create a real homepage, we will see what happens in the future...
By the way: http://www.facebook.com/godslaveband – click us! :-)
What about future plans?
Having an up-to-date homepage first of all. Haha.
Our plans are simple: playing live as much as possible!! so, BOOK US!! ;-)
Thank you very much for the interview, these were some of the most challenging and interesting questions I ever had to answer so thank you for challenging me. ;-)