German melodic death metal band Deadlock are currently riding high on the recent release of their album The Arsonist. We caught up with Ferdi, one of their guitarists, for an interview.
Could you introduce yourselves to the readers of Soundscape Magazine who may not know who you are?
We are a five-piece melodic death metal band from Germany. The band was founded in 1997 by our guitar player Sebastian and our drummer Tobias, just to kill some time. In our early years we played true death metal until our female singer Sabine joined the band for our third studio album Wolves. Since that time, we describe our musical style as a mixture of technical and melodic metal with the harsh atmospheric nature of today’s modern sounds. In a nutshell – catchy metal music with pop elements.
You recently released your brand new (and extremely awesome!) album The Arsonist. Can you tell us a little bit about the writing and recording process for it?
We had the first sketches for The Arsonist in late August 2012, but it really started in January 2013. It was the first time that we worked together with an external producer and we worked in 4 different studios at the same time – beside the main recordings in our own Slaughter’s Palace studio, we produced the drums at the Chemical Burn Studios with Alexander Dietz. Eike Fresse mixed the new songs at the Hammer Studios in Hamburg, and finishing and mastering touches were provided by Olman Viper at the Hertzwerk Studios. Every person who was involved gave their very own tiny influence on the sound of the album.
Your cover of Small Town Boy was one of my highlights of the album. I found it to be a fresh and interesting take on a classic. What made you decide to cover it?
For us, it was obvious to do a cover song from a different genre and we all really like the original version of the song. The intention was to show a musical middle finger to all narrow-minded idiots around. If you are a metal band with melodic pop choruses and clean vocals, and a female singer, there are always some underage purists who denote you as “untrue” or even “gay”. So why not do a cover song of a gay anthem to add some fuel to the trueness-fire 😉
Was it easy for John to make the transition from bassist to frontman? His vocals are incredible on The Arsonist, he just fits the band so well.
Ever since I’ve known John, he’s done vocals in different metal bands and we even have another band together. Furthermore, we started to play live shows with John even half a year before Jo left the band officially. On the whole, I guess it wasn’t that big of a challenge for him. The main thing was that John and Sabine cooperate on stage as a unit – and they do perfectly!
You chose to release ‘I’m Gone’ as a single – what made you choose that one over the others?
We wanted to choose a song that gives our fans a meaningful first impression of what The Arsonist will sound like. We had a few songs in the shortlist but in the end that decision was taken off us by our management and label – maybe caused by the fact that we couldn’t reach a decision!
Which is the track on The Arsonist that you’re most proud of?
Before we started writing The Arsonist we set ourselves the target that every part, every vocal line and each and every note had to live up to the expectations of all band members. With that said, it’s hard to choose just one “best” song. For my part, my favourite songs change weekly.
On your album Manifesto you collaborated with a few musicians, including Christian Älvestam from Scar Symmetry. If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
It would be a pleasure for us to do a depressive cover version of Elton John’s Crocodile Rock with the Cavanagh Brothsers from Anathema.
On a similar subject, your track Deathrace features a rapping section. On the outside, it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it fits wonderfully into the track. What prompted the decision to include the rapping on the track?
All musical decisions, including that one, are made by our mastermind Sebastian, who is responsible for the songwriting of Deadlock since the very beginning of the band. His personal development as a musician represents the development of the band.
Which song is your favourite one to perform live?
Our live set starts with The Great Pretender – the opener from our new album. Without an intro, that song kicks ass from the very beginning.
Do you have any interesting tour stories or anecdotes?
1 or 2 years ago, Deadlock were booked for a very large festival in Ukraine, with our arrival and show on Friday, returning Sunday. Because of some 1000 fake tickets, the organizers weren’t able to pay all the bands, crew, security and especially the ground rent after the first day. Fortunately, we already had our return tickets, but the owner of the site (the Ukrainian Army) was hardly willing to compromise and started to clear the festival area with military means on Saturday afternoon!
Deadlock’s album The Arsonist is out now and you can read our review of it here. You can check out their most recent music video for The Great Pretender below.