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středa 3. července 2019

Home » » Interview - DEATH KOMMANDER - Bands should not be seen as a source of income but rather as something enriching musical culture.

Interview - DEATH KOMMANDER - Bands should not be seen as a source of income but rather as something enriching musical culture.


Interview with death metal band from United Kingdom - DEATH KOMMANDER.

Answered DEATH KOMMANDER, thank you!

Translated and questions prepared by Duzl, thank you!

Hi DEATH KOMMANDER! 

I discovered your band recently when you appeared as a support band at the gig of CARNATION, BODY HARVEST, DIVULSOR. I listened your demo before that gig and I was immediately clearly sure about who is my headliner for that night and I must say that you really did not disappoint me! Your performance of pure old school death metal was amazing, honest and true! Was it your first gig in London or have you played there before? And how did you enjoy the gig? 

K: We are extremely glad to hear that! Live appearances are very important for us. We always try to give 120% and are more than happy when people enjoy it - what else can a musician ask for? It was indeed our first gig in London and we were more than happy when Alex asked us. Thanks to him, it was a truly enjoyable experience and as a band you cannot ask for a better promoter. The other bands were putting up really great shows (and I have seen many bands and not half of them have as much power as they had), which made us proud opening for them. 


As I mention I didn't know about the existence of your band until they confirmed you for that gig. So if you can tell me a little bit about the background of your origin in 2018. How did you get together, who invented the name and especially why you decide to walk in the footsteps of BOLT THROWER? 

George: The whole idea of creating Death Kommander is around 7 years old. As a big fan of Bolt Thrower and Old School Death Metal in general, I really wanted to create a band in this style, especially after Bolt Thrower's split up. I recorded Onwards and Shellshock 7 years ago and by meeting Ben and seeing that we shared the same feeling for some bands, we decided that we should definitely work on this project. Then Kruxator and Mark joined and Matt came to complete the line up. I couldn't ask for better musicians to fulfill the vision that me and Ben had for Death Kommander. 

You have actually released one demo called "Summer Offensive '18" from 2018. Where did you record the demo and who took care of the sound? 

Ben: We literally recorded the demo in our homes, upset neighbours included. I’m glad that the vocals came out consistent, I was a bit worried about them as we recorded them in three different flats. Mixing the bass was another challenge because we recorded it through the guitar amps. I think we went as far as we could to give it some bottom end but if we had a bass amp I think it would have been much easier. On the other hand it rumbles with a lot of dirt and bite now - a bit like a tractor haha! 

I did all the mixing, but I got a few tips on how to make the drums sit better in the mix from a sound engineer at work. I’m rather pleased with the overall result I must say. 


For some of you, this is the absolutely first record from your music activities, what was the feeling of recording your very first "record"? 

Ben: I think recording the demo was good for us to set a bar that we want to beat with the first full length. It has also helped us to get our music out there and brought some attention to the band in general. It does feel rewarding to have something in your hand you worked hard for and you’re passionate about. The demo is only the first step towards the real record though! 

Who is the main composer of riffs and who is the author of the lyrics? War themes are really specific matter, do you intend to keep it or will there be a change with another album? 

Ben: Apart from Georges initial compositions it's the two of us writing and arranging the songs. I’ve been responsible for the lyrics. I think we will keep the lyrics related to war, the first world war in particular, at least for now. 

K: Although Ben has written all lyrics so far, I will try to come up with some lyrics for the upcoming songs. Some of my ancestors wrote down their memoires, which I would like to use as lyrical inspiration. 

A lot has been written and filming about the wars. I am interested about the theme of war myself and the very first book about war which left an indelible mark in me was "Under Fire" from Henri Barbusse. Are there any books that essentially influenced you? And what role do war movies have? 

K: Way more WW2 than WW1 material exists, and therefore I would like to point out the movie “1944” depicting the struggle of a small country caught between two world powers. Regarding WW1, I can recommend “Stosstrupp 1917” (“Shock troop 1917”) because it shows the realistic use of tactics and weaponry during that time and “Beneath Hill 60”. Unfortunately most war movies of WW1 and WW2 are highly political; although “Stalingrad” from 1993, “Das Boot” (1983) and “Enemy at the gates” are good examples that you can create a movie focused on the experiences of the soldiers and not ideology. There are many good reads, depending entirely on what you prefer. “In Stahlgewittern” (“Storm of Steel”) is a book everyone should have read. 


Which event in war history do you personally perceive as the most fundamental and why? 

K: I believe that is very subjective and also depends on which nation you want to talk about. If you ask the Eastern States, WW2 had the biggest impact on modern times, not only due to the disappearance of German and Jewish life but also due to the fundamental shift in population aka russification due to Sowjet resettling and deportation politics. 

You come from Edinburgh. Scotland generally does not have such a history in metal as England. Can you compare the scenes a bit and mention where do you see a main differences? Is there something like underground and what about the support from fans at concerts? 

K: When we started, the metal scene in Edinburgh was rather consisting of Heavy, Doom, Core (such as Runemaster, Dog Tired). Some local Death/Black Metal bands such as NNGNN (now Valaraukar) or Úir existed but at least we did not have that much contact with them. In general we try to support whenever a concert is up and it seems some other fans do the same as far as we can tell but I would not go so far to say there is a “scene”. 


How difficult it is for a new band with a first demo to get into the fans' awareness and promote the band? Finding a label, book gigs? Does it help that few of you have the experience from other bands and you already have some contacts, or it was hard work and you had to do everything from the beginning? 

K: Every beginning is hard but especially in comparison with Demonic Obedience (where already 3 albums have been released), we were really surprised on the feedback we received. I would say the main factor was uploading the demo on youtube. After that, we have received multiple inquiries from labels and promoters, which we did not expect at all. Unfortunately Ben has moved to Switzerland and I have moved to Estonia due to work/studies, which makes playing live more difficult. However, we plan to play abroad at least twice a year if vacation and the financial situation allow it. On the other hand, it makes us appreciate every single gig and we don´t run into the danger of those bigger bands where you sometimes can really see that they don´t put in too much effort because it´s nothing special for them anymore. 

Can you briefly tell me about your another music bands/ projects? 

K: Here is a list with all the bands/project: 

Ben (Death Kommander, Vötary) 

George (Death Kommander, Demonic Obedience, As I Suffer Silently) 

Matt (Death Kommander, Am Basteir) 

Mark (Death Kommander, Demonic Obedience, Krux Aega, Stormwinged) 

Kruxator (Death Kommander, Demonic Obedience, Am Basteir, Ziegenhorn, Krux Aega) 

We also do/did have other projects but they are not worth mentioning. Actually, we have just recorded a Demo for Ziegenhorn and it should be released in July. 


You are relatively young guys and I wonder how big your ambitions about the DEATH KOMMANDER are, is it just a leisure time activity on the "second track" or are you heading up? Can you imagine that you are touring the world after 30 years or do you have other plans? 

K: That is indeed a good question. If we could keep it like Bolt Thrower, who were releasing an album and touring every now and then, that would be great. I believe I speak for all of us when I say that music plays an important role in our life. But that also does not depend solely on ourselves but rather how it is perceived in the scene. I would say, a lot depends on the success of the upcoming album. 

I am really looking forward to your full length album, so I would ask what the plans are for the future and when you will release new album? 

K: The plan is to record and release our full length some time in 2020. One of the reasons it´s taking us so long is that we are living a bit far apart but also that we do not want to rush ourselves and release an album we are not satisfied with. 

I am a vinyl collector so I have to ask - is there any chance that you will be also release a vinyl version? 

K: Vinyls are amazing! I personally love vinyls and the guys would also love to see our album released on vinyl. We might release it ourselves or with the help of a label, we will see what’s possible. Actually, I recently had inspiration from some bands that were not only releasing a vinyl but actually had great ideas when it comes to the whole package, aka additional stuff etc. Hopefully we will manage to get something similarly done, so it is really worth buying the vinyl. 


And last question - basically you are „new age“ band, so do you see bigger potential in physical music media or in mp3 format spreading via internet ? What is your philosophy about all of this? 

K: Nowadays it is simply naive to believe a new band can get recognized without the help of the internet. My personal opinion is that bands should not be seen as a source of income but rather as something enriching musical culture. Of course, producing music is really expensive but fans can support us directly either through bandcamp or by buying merch. My vinyl and t-shirt collection is already way too big and if I was buying every single album I like, I would be too poor to buy food, so it would be quite paradox and arrogant of me expecting the same for others. Support the bands you like with whatever means you can and even sharing their music or attending concerts helps. 

Thanks for the answers, I was pleased to meet you and to take a „few“ beers with you guys. I wish you a lot of success on the metal scene at home and abroad, and hopefully we will meet on the metal scene for at least another couple of years. The last words are yours guys... 

K: It was really great indeed and thank you for the interview, we hope likewise! My last words go out to those who showed great support to us, be it through comments, messages, sharing our music, supporting us at gigs or buying our demo on bandcamp: Thanks a lot! 

George: Thanks so much for the interview and the support Duzl! It was a pleasure to meet you, too. Stay tuned and some good things will come soon. Until then, keep on supporting Death Metal! Hail!


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