First off, congratulations with the release of your full-length debut 'Perdition Of The Sublime' via Willowtip records! Since Sophicide will be unknown to the biggest part of our readership, could you start off by giving a short introduction to your band and the music that you play?
Thank you! I first started Sophicide as my solo death metal project in 2009 to realize some of my heavier musical ideas. My goal was basically to fuse technical and brutal riffs with melody and groove. I wrote and recorded the first EP ('The Art Of Atrocity') and after I released it online I've been given the opportunity to sign to Willowtip Records. Since then I've been working on the debut album which came out this August. Besides that my friend and guitarist Sebastian Bracht joined me in order to complete our line-up. Basically, this is the whole story in a nutshell.
The band was only started in 2009 by you. How did you manage to land a record deal so quickly?
Well, I released the first EP for free and it spread through a couple of underground blogs to some extent. It gained some pretty positive feedback, eventually Willowtip took notice of it and they seemed to like it as well. But you're right, it all happened really quickly, I guess I was lucky that things worked out so smoothly.
The talent to write some scorching technical death metal tunes is clearly present on the new record. When did you yourself get interested in metal and when did you start playing and writing music in this genre?
I started playing acoustic guitar at age six and played for about six years until I got bored with it. That was the time I first got into metal so I had to switch to electric guitar. At that time I really got obsessed with music and my instrument and started writing music also. But actually the first death metal songs I wrote are those on our debut album, before that I was more into progressive metal, stuff that's not exactly that brutal.
What band or musician has influenced you the most as a guitarist and why?
That's not easy to say, there are many bands that influenced my guitar playing. The first ones were probably Metallica and Megadeth, when I started to play electric guitar and later on bands like Dream Theater, Nevermore and Opeth, which is still a huge influence. Besides that there are the usual suspects for a guitarist like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen and probably my favorite guitarist of all time Guthrie Govan, who is just ridiculously good.
You wrote and recorded the album all by yourself, hats off to you for this achievement! Do you see yourself mainly as a guitarist, or a drummer, or maybe something else?
Thanks! First of all the drums are sampled only, so I'm certainly not a drummer *laugh*. My main instrument is the guitar, but I rather see myself as a musician. I'm trying not to write too much from a guitarists perspective but from an unbiased view, as much as I can.
Besides you on guitars, there is now also Sebastian Bracht in the band on guitars. Are there any recruitment processes going on for other members? What are the latest developments?
There is recruitment going on, that's right. At the moment we're looking for a drummer and a bassist to complete our line-up. There are some potential members already, but we're still keeping our eyes open for good motivated musicians.
What does the near future look like for Sophicide with regards to promoting the new album? (I assume it is momentarily not feasible to go on a tour.)
At the moment the album is promoted mostly online, there have been quite a few reviews and interviews, but the goal is definitely to go live with the album as soon as possible.
Will you remain the sole creative force in the band? How do you see this pan out in the future, if other band members show interest in adding to the compositions?
I'm not sure yet if or how a full line-up will change the songwriting, we'll see. I like being responsible for the creative work, but I don't insist on doing this alone. All that matters in my opinion is that the result is good and everyone in the band is happy with his position.
What do you try to do differently in order to stand out from other technical death metal bands?
Actually I'm not trying anything in particular to stand out, I'm just trying to realize my concept of death metal, that sounds good to me. For my taste this involves variety, mixing melodic and rhythmic parts with fierce and raw riffs and every now and then passages that could be considered 'progressive'. It's just the mix that I thought works out well and I'm really happy some people seem to agree with me on this.
Can you elaborate on some of the topics that are addressed in your lyrics?
The main topic of the album, kind of the golden theme is the intellectual decay and ills of modern society. One of the central aspects of this is religion, including radical Islamism, honor killing, Scientology and in general every institution that tries to impose a certain belief system on everyone claiming it to be the unquestionable truth. I think humanity has huge potential and it's tragic to see people kill each other over preposterous beliefs. We have developed great technological progress but ethically I think there's a lot room for improvement.
What does the name Sophicide stand for? Why did you choose it as the moniker for your band?
The term 'sophicide' is a neologism and could be translated to 'murder of wisdom'. Originally I was looking for a name that's not commonly used, something that can be linked to the band easily. But I also wanted something that at least suggests a meaning, so I came up with Sophicide. I liked the sound as well as its meaning, so I decided to stick with it.
These were my questions for now. Thank you very much for this short introduction to the band and hope to hear and see a lot more of you in the future! If you have anything to add, please feel free.
Thank you, I really appreciate it! I'd like to end this interview with the words of Charles Chaplin: 'Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.'