lunes, 5 de abril de 2010

7 Seals interview, March 2010


After getting my hands on Moribund, the debut of these German power metallers (and only album so far), from 2008, I thought that could be interesting to interview them. I decided to contact my friends in so the petition would look more "professional" and the result would reach a wider audience; so thanks to them and to the band for accepting the interview out of promotion period. It was answered by guitarist Dom Fiekens. Now go to, turn on the player and read on!

Thanks for your attention and (late) congratulations for your debut Moribund! How’s things in Germany these days? What are the Seals doing?

Greetings back to Spain and thanks for doing this interview with us. It's awesome that our music has made its way to you, yeah! In fact things are just becoming more interesting after having some kind of hibernation. But now spring is coming and some gigs are on our agenda, too. Beside of that we start to write some new songs for our upcoming album.

Can you please tell us shortly the history of the band, from its formation until today?

Long story short: 7 Seals were founded by Götz von Selle and Thomas Luther already in 2003 but in the absence of a proper singer the project had to rest till summer 2005. Then a new drummer (Björn Spilker) and two vocalists (Hilke Saathoff & Markus Wagner) entered the band and the first demo-EP "Mooncurse" was recorded. Many gigs and changes in the line-up due to all kind of reasons later we do now consist of Götz, Thomas, Hagen Hirschmann (perhaps already known by his fantastic work with Desilence, Logar's Diary and Duskmachine), Yvonne Kalff and myself, Dominic Fiekens.

Why did you decide to self-finance your first album? Are you going to do the same with the next one? (I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but I refuse to believe that there isn’t any label interested in your music…)

Actually there have been some smaller labels that wanted to work with us… but as much to often in life contracts have their "small prints" and "backdoors" so that these deals seemed not very reliable. Keyword: "Buy in" in order to sign with a label. So we decided to do all the production on our own (…for sure we had some friends familiar with such a production that helped us a lot). By the way we have signed with TWILIGHT ZONE RECORDS in the meantime, so our upcoming album won't be produced on our own in that way again, I think.

It’s not very common for a new band to make the first album a conceptual one. What led you to this decision?

After the Mooncurse EP we had to decide how we wanted to go on. Especially Markus and Götz are very interested in literature, myths and so on, so there was the idea about doing some really "big" right for the start. As much as I can remember the decision was between The Edda and The Nibelung… Siegfried won… and so Moribund had to be written.

Your singer and lyrics-writer Markus Wagner is the second Wagner I know who writes about the myth of the Nibelungs. Have you as a band, or any of you particularly, been influenced by the great Richard?

Sure we are. Classical music - and especially Richard Wagner - can be really stomping and heavy and then some bars later very light and melodic. That is what we like in Metal, too. Just imagine the electric guitar had been already invented in 1840… Wagner surely had made use of it!

Das Nibelungenlied is an ancient myth set in the Middle Ages, and is now considered the national epic of Germany (correct me if I’m wrong). What do you know about other region’s epic myths? Do you know the Spanish poem Cantar de Mio Cid and its protagonist, El Cid Campeador?

Yes, the Nibelungenlied is somewhat accessed to Germany, but we don't see it like that. It was written by a german monk, but it deals with information and partly-true-partly-invented stories, that this monk collected and scraped together. To us it's more a great drama that connects several areas all across Europe and shows how bad things can work out if you are not careful… or it is just fate?! ;) Unforunatelly Götz and Hagen are on vacation right now. Both read a lot and surely know about El Cid much better than I do.

Your style is undoubtedly power metal, but it doesn’t ressemble the big bands too much – your music is less speed metal-ish than Gamma Ray or Helloween, certainly more epic than Stratovarius, but not even half exaggerated and orchestral than Rhapsody. So, what can you tell me about the influences of 7 Seals? Any particular band/s all of you bandmembers like?

First of all thank you, that you see our music in such a differentiate way. We already have been compared to bands… you just wouldn't believe it. And yes, these bands you mentioned (and a lot more) influenced our style, too. One band, what I think, that comes even closer to our sound as Blind Guardian in some of their "sound-periods" are Falconer from Sweden! Just check them out! Other influences to mention is hard. We all do hear very much music and partly very different stuff. When sticking to metal and to name same bands the intersection could reach from Blind Guardian, Rage and Iced Earth - over Testament, Savatage and Candlemass - to In Flames, Soilwork, Paradise Lost and Subway to Sally… but that's just a shot in the dark (…well, Ozzy is cool, too! ;)

Germany is considered by many the cradle of power metal, and has been (and I think it still is) the first country that comes to mind when talking about this genre. What do you think about the current German power metal scene? And abroad?

It still rocks! Today you can say that way more young bands are playing some kind of deathmetal-stuff and powermetalbands can have a rough time to get some gigs in their local area, but there are still some fantastic bands out there waving the banner of powermetal… to name some really noteworthy from the german underground and beyond: Torian, Orden Ogan, Solar Fragment, The Claymore, Logar's Diary and Van Canto (no guitars, just vocals, but still powermetal). Perhaps some of your readers will like them!

A non-musical aspect I love about Moribund is the cover artwork, made by the Belgian genius illustrator Kris Verwimp, who usually draws covers for extreme metal bands. Why did you choose him for this one? Are you happy with the result?

Cool that you like it! Yes, we are more than just happy with Kris' work. He's really a awesome illustrator. When discussing about the coverartwork we all were cool with the idea of a real printed cover - not some computergraphicstuff. Götz had had the vision of a painted style roughly like the cover from Bathory's Blood Fire Death and Markus, who is really into blackmetal, too, came up with Kris's name and his creditlist. Some emails later Kris was in for the job …and I do not want to speak about money, but it wasn't really that much and more than worth any cent of it. Kris made a full-color scratch with our ideas we told him and already that was fantastic. We just came with some minor-changes and he painted it just the way we wanted (but with much more details we could have imagined).

As we say in Spain, “a little bird told me” ;) that you’re working in your second album, to be released this year. What can you reveal about it? Is it going to be conceptual again?

Hehe, what a fast travelling bird! Yes, we work on it already. About four tracks are already done in instrumental (we, especially Götz, writes the instrumental tracks first, then Hagen adds the lyrics). And yes it will be conceptual again… but the subject is still secret. Just that much: Fate and destiny will play huge roles in this epic drama again…

I think 7 Seals is a band with a great potential, but not very known really. I’m sure you know more bands in this situation, for having shared stage with them or what-not. Is there any of these not-so-known bands that you recommend specially?

As mentioned above. Orden Ogan and Van Canto are two powermetalbands doing just the step to the big mainstays (which makes us very happy as we do know both band very good) … specially recommend i would like Torian and Bloodwork (who already played at Wacken two times!) from Paderborn. Both bands are very good friends of us and we are working very close together in several ways. For sure they rock really hard ;)

Nowadays, illegal downloads is a very discussed subject, these days specially in Spain, because of a possible future law, as happened about one year ago in France. What’s the situation in Germany?

Yes, I heard about that law in France, but I'm not sure if such a law can be work out in Germany. Filesharing is a big subject here, too. There have been some, who were punished hard, but in fact most of the people that are downloading aren't afraid to be caught that much.

And most importantly, what’s your opinion as an active band about this subject? Do you see it as free promotion, or rather as stealing someone else’s work?

As musicians we can just appeal to the fans of our music, that they should pay for it and other music, too. Sure one can say that "if I am downloading a song, that is not stealing. That is just not giving money to you." Of course it doesn't hurt that hard as its good to know that many people like our music, but if everyone does so, in the long run there will be no independent music at all - 'cause making good sounding music IS VERY EXPENSIVE. Then you just can watch "Super-Idol-Star-Search"-shit in TV. Surely there is some "promotion-factor", but if someone wants to know what our music sounds like, then he can just go to our webpage or myspace or others, where we have several tracks for free listening in full length.

Let’s talk about touring! Are you a very active band touring-wise? Have you played outside Germany? Any chances of coming to Spain anytime soon?

Well, unfortunately we have not that much gigs planned right now, but I think there will be more to come, soon. We haven't played outside Germany either and Spain is quite a long ride… but if there is any booker/eventmanager/whatever outside who can make an offer that we can't deny … ;) (an offer that copes our traveling-costs)

The album has many female vocals. How do you cope with that live? Do you take a session female singer with you?

On our shows Markus sang the songs in a slightly different way on his own. Now Hagen and our new female vocalist Yvonne are performing most of the duets as they are recorded.

Well, this was all, thank you for satisfying our curiosity! We wish the band the best of luck for the future. Any last words for our readers?

Thanks for this interview and we wish your magazine many interested readers at all times. And, as we say here: be always "jut drupp!"

1 comentario:

  1. an english interview! :)

    if we consider it's a self finance disc, it sounds really really well.

    Talking about their style: power-viking-power :D Well, they aren't my favourite band (i've discovered them right now) but they are slighty different from (and better than) other well-known bands.

    It's a pity powermetal scene would be overloaded. Anyway, i will not be surprised if they become "rich & famous" soon ;)

    And, as we say here: "qué cruja!" :D


Por favor, ponte algún nombre o nick, pero no dejes comentarios anónimos... gracias :)