Denner / Shermann recently released their great new EP Satan’s Tomb – read our review here. We caught up with Hank Shermann to find out more about it.
When did the inspiration come about to collaborate, as original MF members, writing an old school classic metal record?
We got onto the idea while recording the videos for Mercyful Fate’s 30 years anniversary for Melissa & Don’t Break The Oath. It was a natural step to take it further, and soon we were into the brainstorming how we wanted to announce our joined forces. After announcing Denner / Shermann, things went fairly quickly from there.
How was the process of writing a Denner / Shermann metal classic different from the days of Mercyful Fate?
Actually in quite the same way as I did in early 80s, usually jamming on the guitar and composing spontaneously, shaping it in a direction that I feel is right and that I react to. As the main writer of the music, and having been composing songs since the late 70s, there’s a lot of experience goes into the songwriting for sure.
Where did the ideas for Satan’s Tomb come from?
Well there is a twist to the song itself, I was requested by a big-name US band to make a song in style of Mercyful Fate, so I did this track, however it never happened as the band had internal issues! We used this track with some modifications, and sent it to Sean and that became the first track we did together. Sean has an unlimited imagination for ideas for his lyrics and this fitted perfectly and became the title track as well as perfect fit for the album cover!
What was the atmosphere like in writing and recording the EP?
Very inspiring and fun to dive into composing the classic metal again, which is our trademark and what we do best! Sean and myself had a good flow and ping-pong forth and back with recordings, and when main guitars and vocals were completed, we shipped to Marc Grabowski, our bass player in Denver, to add his bass lines and ideas, this worked out flawless having a shared server and Skype and what not as our assistence. The band is based in Denmark, Sweden and the USA, and this would not be possible back in the day!
Do you feel metal music is still magical/occult now we have technology and greater reasoning manipulating more behind the scenes?
We were brought up on the natural 70s and 80s type of recordings, which mostly were very true to the bands real level and the very unique sound and human feel to the mixes from back then. Nowadays it all seems a bit too generic to me, no surprises really, and we all have access to the million dollar sounds, whether it is guitar, drums or bass. But luckily it seems fans and bands start to tire a bit out of this sound, and are going back to the more personalised signature sound, but its a matter of daring to do so. With Satan’s Tomb we wanted to keep it as natural as possible and Arnold Lindberg created a more old-school feel to the mix, that makes it different from the more standard these days.
Thats why I personally love the records from 70s Judas Priest to 80s Slayer or Megadeth. As for the Occult these days, its more difficult to scare or impress fans nowadays, and if a new band painted in white and blood and having dead pigs on stage, you have seen it before sort of, well speaking for myself. But by perfection and tailoring your bands image I think we nowadays see much more entertaining bands out there – I’m thinking of Ghost, King Diamond and Slayer and others, who really give it all. However I do really like to see a band in a small club with British Marshall stacks as a background just playing their songs, there’s something special about this, I feel is very satisfying..
[If] Heavy Metal 3 is in production what Mercyful Fate or Denner / Shermann song should make an appearance and what is the story it would accompany?
Satan’s Tomb if it were Denner / Shermann, would be a perfect fit I think, have all the elements to be cranked loud in a theatre! Mercyful Fate would be honoured to have Black Funeral in the movie, just because.
What can you say about the forthcoming album?
When we completed the four tracks for the Satan’s Tomb EP, we took a short break, then went full throttle again composing songs for the album. Sean and myself went ahead on the good wave we had from the EP, and we have now completed about 7 songs, absolutely awesome tracks that we are sure the fans are gonna love. A bit more heavier, a bit more metal, a bit more intriguing and a bit more plotting and last but not least a lot more guitar solos! We are shooting for a May 2016 release if all goes as planned!
Thank you for your time, rock on!
Thanks, our pleasure.