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Deadlock

The German band Deadlock was never averse of a small escapade into unexpected musical directions. And the same goes for their new album 'Manifesto'. At some points at their new album they carry it quite far through. Just ask with vocalist Joe about the how's and why's of this…

By: Patrick | Archive under different metal

Congratulations with yet another great album! What was the goal for Deadlock before you started to write new material for this cd? Did you have any intentions style-wise?
Thank you! :) Well of course we talked about what the new CD should sound like and created first plans for a concept, but the new definition in Deadlock's sound came step by step during the composing process of the new songs. Some samples and ideas just made it on 'Manifesto' while the recording sessions and I guess, that is what describes our sound and way to work best: We are not a band that follows any strictly defined plan, we do just do what we want to and make the sound we love most. Deadlock will never set any artificial boundaries to its creativity and musical playfulness.

Musically you have always been the kind of band with a balance between intensity and aggression on one side and melody on the other. How difficult is it to find that balance?
The process of integrating Sabine as a full band member already started somehow while the recording of our CD 'Earth.Revolt'. When she became a permanent member before the 'Wolves'-period we already had a concrete idea about our reconditioned sound and style. It was not easy to find the perfect mixture but I guess we found a pretty good balance between aggression and melody right from the beginning. And while 'Wolves' was still something like a first carefully approaching to our new style we definitely found it with our new baby 'Manifesto'. On the new CD we tried to find an ultimate balance between the brutal parts and the melodic stuff, but also wanted to put these two instruments of music to their most extreme borders and actually overcome them.

One of the characteristics of your music is the enormous cavity between the pitch-black shrieking by Johannes and the soft as velvet, poppy vocals by Sabine. While writing the songs and vocals do you already have in mind whom will be doing which lines or is that something that just develops during the writing and/or recording process?
To give you an answer to that question I have to give you a short introduction in Deadlock's way to compose new songs. I do not know how a band normally writes its new material but with our songs its always like this: Sebastian (guitar) creates new melodies and guitar riffs and summarizes these ideas in collaboration with Tobias (drums) to a new track. In his studio he produces a rough mix of that track and then it is my turn to find lyrics, that fit perfectly into the atmosphere the song builds up while listening to it. While the lyric-writing process Sebastian and I decide which part is for Sabine and which is mine and in nine of ten situations that decision is the right one and makes it to the final production. Normally there are only minor changes in the studio. The recording sessions mostly take the predicted course and only some smaller parts, screams or additional voices come spontaneous as addition to the lyrical ideas. For example in the song 'The Brave/Agony Applause' we added some lion roaring in the middle of the song.

You have always been a band that was never averse of a small escapade into unexpected musical directions. Just think of the techno part half way 'End Begins' of the album 'Wolves. On this album that is no exception. Where it is common for you, it is quite uncommon to use in metal. Why is it that you have several of those musical escapades (f.e. the saxophone in 'Fire At Will', the rappers in 'Deathrace')?
The main question I have is, who decides what is common or not. We were really excited about the idea of adding a hip hop part to our CD and the more we thought about that idea the more we fell in love with it and finally we decided to integrate a rap part into the lyrical concept of the song 'Death Race'. I would not be a fan of such experiments, when they were just there for provocation or something like that, but I love to involve these ideas and experimental musical escapades into our whole concept and when you achieve, that a totally different music-style merges with metal, I guess than you did a good job. Hopefully we managed to reach that goal.

'Seal Slayer' has previously been recorded for 'The Canadians'; an organisation demonstrating against the seal hunt. By then it was made know under the name 'Kill, Kill, 'Kill'. What made you decide to change some lyrics and the title after all?
'Seal Slayer' has always been the working title of that track and in comparison to the other titles of 'Manifesto' it simply fit better than 'Kill, Kill, Kill'. Lyric wise there have been no changes in the song we only recorded it once again to have exactly the same sound like all the other 'Manifesto'-tracks have. We were really proud that PETA2 was asking us if we would be interested in recording a song for 'The Canadians' and as a Vegan Straight Edge Band we did not have to think twice and directly started recording 'Kill,Kill,Kill'. It is unbelievable how brutal these bastards treat and torture the baby seals, not any normal human being can accept this as a normal job, I guess it is better to die than to feed your family with money earned by the blood and fur of these beautiful puppies.

The album includes a cover song ('Temple Of Love' by Sisters Of Mercy); why did you decide to go for a cover? What made you decide to go for a track by Sisters Of Mercy and why specifically this track?
Temple of Love by Sisters Of Mercy is one of our all time favourites and a classic legendary rock song. As we always talked about recording a cover version, we finally decided to give that hit another renovation and we are pretty satisfied with the result. A second reason for choosing that title was the suitability to combine my screams and Sabine's singing in one song, maybe the next cover version will be 'Somethin' Stupid' from Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman ha-ha...

For some bands lyrics are just there to accompany the music, for others they are there to communicate. Lyrical content seems really important for you. Do you want to achieve with your lyrics (f.e awareness, having people think about environment, et cetera)?
Music is a strong instrument and I think it should always be combined with message. Let me compare it with eating something: It is very important to eat something and bread for example is pretty healthy, but combined with margarine and a filling it is much more tasty! It is great to hear that people like our music and it is also great to talk to people that tell me that they like the lyrics, but only the combination of both is what makes our songs to Deadlock songs. Music without message for me is like a pistol without bullet or a car without wheels, simply not pretty effective. Our lyrics always deal about Animal Rights and Environmental Awareness, the only chance to make this world a better place to live is to find the way back to altruism and respect to all human and non-human beings on planet earth.

You entered the studio with Sebastian as producer. Is it important for you to have the production being done by one of your band members? In which things on the new album can you hear his ideas, vision and thoughts and which of these elements do you feel are unique because of having Sebastian as producer? Did you also consider bringing in someone else from outside? Why (not)? The mixing has, once again, been done by Jacob Hansen. What makes him so good that you have decided to have him do this album as well?
Recording all the material except drums in Sebastian's very own studio 'Slaughter's Palace' was simply the best decision we could take, because we always had time to listen to the tracks directly after recording, make a break for one day, checking if everybody is satisfied with the song and change something for the better when necessary. An other good thing on that way of recording was that we could meet directly after or before work, on the weekends late at night or when ever we thought that we have to take care of our new baby. This made the recording period very relaxed and gave us the chance to change things we would have had to accept as unchangeable in a regular studio session because the lack of time. For recording the drums, mixing and the final mastering of 'Manifesto' we decided to fly to Denmark to meet Jacob Hansen, We did not think about to many other guys for this job, because working with Jacob was already great when he did the mastering for 'Wolves' and so we decided to hit Jacob Hansen Studios for the last steps of finishing the recordings for 'Manifesto'. And what should I tell you, he did exactly what we expected him to do; he made our new CD also sound wise the best people can hear from Deadlock so far.

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There is a guest appearance for Christian Älvestam (in 'Dying Breed'). Why did you specifically ask him for a guest contribution? What does he add to the song that one of you could not bring?
Christian is simply one of the most talented and greatest singers in nowadays Metal Scene and with his new band Miseration he became also a label mate, so we decided to ask him for some guest vocals. Nobody could have done this part of 'Dying Breed' better than him and that is more than a good reason for his guest appearance.

For 'Wolves' you have recorded one video ('Code Of Honor'). From your new album a video from ''The Brave/Agony Applause' has been made. Who decides for what song there is going to be made a video (band, management, record company) and why did you pick this song? Which other song(s) will be chosen to make a video from (or is that too early to answer this)?
We can decide this on ourselves and you can expect a really, really cool video for 'The Brave / Agony Applause', which will not leave ones mind too early. I would love to do a video for 'Slaughter's Palace' or 'Martyr To Science' if we get the chance to record a second video. By the way, the video to 'The Brave / Agony Applause' was made by Philipp Hirsch (www.film-m.de) who also was the guy responsible for the latest Heaven Shall Burn video and he really did an unbelievable great job. Horns up has a very special meaning for me since the video shot – you will understand this when you watched it. ha-ha

'Manifesto' is already your second release through Lifeforce Records. How important have they been in your career till now?
Manifesto is already the third output on Lifeforce Records and we just signed a new contract for another two Deadlock releases in the future. Working with Lifeforce Records is the best that could happen to DL, because it is not only the fact that they do a fantastic and very professional job in releasing and promoting our records, they also have become close friends to us and that is something that is not normal in the music business and makes this relationship very special. And for us as a band it is definitely better to be one of the top-act in Lifeforce's rooster than go under in the mass of release of a major label.

It is a pleasure to see you return to the Netherlands for a couple of concert (three at the end of December, one half way February). What can people expect from a Deadlock show?
They can definitely expect us to give always our best and try to make party with them. They can expect a program with material taken from the 'Wolves” and 'Manifesto” releases and will for sure get the chance to dance to different beats… We really look forward to that dates in the Netherlands because we did not play many shows there so far. Ladies and Gentlemen when you read this and think you can handle something like 60 minutes of pure melodic metal craziness I would say do not miss one of our shows in the Netherlands these days and prepare for getting your asses ripped off from the first to the last second …

You are heading into a European tour with All That Remains and The Haunted as well as some shows with Textures. How did the contacts with these bands and did these tours came about?
Touring with the guys from Textures is a plan of ours since two years now, but there were always some problems or other tours that made it not possible, so we are totally excited that we finally made it happen. We think they are great musicians and it is a very good combination to tour together. The European Tour with The Haunted and All That Remains is the biggest tour in our history and so this will be something special for sure. Their management contacted ours and quickly we decided that this is the perfect chance to promote our new CD in Europe. At least three new countries will be veganized by us as we never have been to France, Denmark and Sweden before!

You have toured with a really divergent line-up of bands in the past. Do you tailor your set to the particular crowd/tour at all or do you play what you like and hope it sticks?
That is a funny question because we only tried to tailor our set to the crowd once and this was somehow the most shitty show we ever played. Since that day, we just hit the stage and play the songs we want to, because that makes an authentic show and that is what the fans want to see and hear. Different styles and sounds are what makes a concert a special experience, when every band would sound the same it would be enough to leave the hall right after the first band. Throughout the years we developed our very own Deadlock typical sound and I think when people come to one of our shows, they definitely deserve the complete spectrum of sounds, so we would never play a concert, where we play only older songs because of a metalcore audience or something like this.

A lot of bands say that they are happiest when playing concerts and being out on the road. Is it all worth it when faced with eating gas station food, travelling in a van with a bunch of sweaty dudes and hoping to make some money night after night? Do you ever crave the security of a 'regular' nine-to-five type of lifestyle?
We definitely love to be on the road, but that does not happen to often, because up to now every band member has a normal job besides the band and that makes it sometimes hard to do longer tours. We will see what 'Manifesto” brings, but we really would love to tour much more. The year 2009 will start with that amazing tour with The Haunted and All That Remains, we hopefully play lots of festivals in summer and than later on do another bigger tour, US or another bigger Europe thing would be awesome!!! What could one wish more than to hang out with your friends, do not care for anything, play some cool concerts and travel all over the world- we simply love to be on the road!

Are there any other happenings or things going on with the band or you personally that you would like me to let people know about? Do you have anything to say or add for closure?
Well, so many things! Everybody should check out our new baby Manifesto!!! Watch out for our video to 'The Brave/Agony Applause” and do not hesitate to come to one of our concerts in the Netherlands or wherever you want! J Special thanXXX to you for your interest in Deadlock, thanks to all the people that read and enjoyed this interview! See you soon at one of our shows! Join the Anti-Anti-Hip-Hop-Alliance! Veganize!

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