Hi Pierre, with your new album 'In My Own Abyss' out now I feel it's time to introduce Doomed to the readers of Lords Of Metal. Especially because you do everything all by yourself. You started out in 2011. Can you tell us some more about this start? Did you think about getting a band together or did you decide to do this all by yourself from the start?
Hi Pim, first of all thank you for this interview. The year 2011 was a year of great transition for me. I had a lot of energy, a kind of "positive anger" (haha, is that possible?) and, yes, some real anger too. I wanted to stamp with my feet on the ground and let it all out! I know the power of Doom and Death Metal can have, because it is one of my roots since 24 years! And music does not have to be fast to be hard, agressive and powerful. Doom can also still transmit some emotions more. So - my own Doom Death band, that was it! Well, it was from the beginning the idea to implement Doomed completely alone, at least ideas, implementation, records and the visual style. Quite a long time grew in me the idea of forming a “band” without any compromises. I wanted to create an instance, which brings me back many of the old school times, something that remains and is reliable. Just a thing that really sound exactly like I want and something that bears the signature of my heart. It should deliberately not come to bear the influence of other band members. Not a pure ego trip, you ought to be thinking. The idea of turning it into a live band once I had, but I had absolutely no idea at first how I was reacting. That came later.
I assume you record everything by yourself at home? Can you tell us a bit more how you actually work? Have you got a specific idea how the songs need to sound before you start recording? It's always intriguing to know how a solo artist writes and records an album.
Yes, the most at home, that's how it is. It's the feeling that makes me do a song, not a plan. I have usually not a superior concept for songs. Quite often i have melodies and moods in my head. I hear that just simply. Then I play guitar, let me inspire of the sound. I try out a lot. Then I begin to combine, add other lead melodies. Often the result is a theme. And this theme is very important for a song. A leading melody. I think this makes a song characteristic. To the fact that I do not have the best memory, it is just right for me. I need catchy stuff ... :-) necessarily. Of course I like it too. To me this is very important. On the other hand I'm a total rhythm freak! I love it when it stomps, when it is powerful and hypnotic. It may still be a bit simpler, not necessarily progressive or polyrhythmic. But "honest" and with all strength! As you can hear maybe I love this neck breaker shit! Yeah, it kills me!
And once I have collected some good ideas, it's like begin to burn a fuse. The structures and the basic structure of most songs were created in a very short time. Not because I'm in a hurry, but because the songwriting takes complete possession of me. I'll be restless, can't sleep well, talking little, I forget everything, drink a lot (to the chagrin of my purse...and, yes, my memory too.... no water), can hardly think of anything else. It only works in these phases. I can not make a song this week, the next two months later, etc. That does not feel good. I can not understand how some can spend one year in the studio. It is inexplicable to me. Well, mostly it does not really even better, am I not right? Anyway...it is true exploitation of myself (my girl know what I mean - I am very grateful to her for her patience :). But I think that's a good thing. The only way I get into a coherent, in itself completed result. The only way I can really be pleased. And just so I know that what I have done, satisfies me permanently.
Why did you name this project/band Doomed by the way? There are some other bands with the same name.
Frankly, other names or existing names I am not interested. You can accuse me of a lack of imagination, but on the other hand, many of us also bear the same name. Still, we're all very very individual, right? I wanted a short, concise, little pompous name. Of course, a name that fits my ideas. As before I go full on in the name Doomed. I love that name and his appearance. That's it!
Quite soon after deciding to start up Doomed you released the album 'The Ancient Path' by yourself. To me it sounded a bit as a cross between Mournful Congregation and Bolt Thrower. Can you tell a bit more about your influences and inspiration?
Thank you very much! That's a big compliment for me. Of course that is not from somewhere. For over twenty years I am an really really big Bolt Thrower Fan! No other band has influenced and inspired me so much over this many years. Not only in style, but in the way of doing things. Forefront turn: reliability and consistency. This band has created their own thing, is unique for more than two decades. They never had a need to constantly re-invent or modify. If you love once Bolt Thrower, then you will always love Bolt Thrower. That's what I wish for Doomed! Of course, I do not copy the style or music. As I said, it's simply the "how they do it", which fascinates me.
I do not feel forced and do not to undergo Doomed such a change, as it was, for example, in the 90 years trend. Many of my favorite bands took part, with a tragic end. (For my taste - of course everyone should try! The world is not monotonous and stagnant. Also the music world should not stagnate! I think you know what I mean!) Bands like Morgoth, Paradise Lost (damn, i love “Gothic”- one of the best albums ever!!), Cancer, The Gathering, My Dying Bride and many more.... they all lost exactly all what I liked about them. They changed to their (my) disadvantage. Sometimes I was so angry...I would have preferred to crush the world in ruins! I loved their music!! Damn! Why did they now something completely different? Bolt Thrower was always rely on! All of a piece! Just as Doomed should be!
To my "shame" I must confess that I did not know 'Mournful Congregation'. “How can that be?” the seasoned Doom fan is thinking. No idea! Was not drawn up some comparisons I had never heard this band before. I must admit that it's a great band. Yes, sometimes I can see some parallels. As I said, I have not (yet) only one album of theirs in my collection. Maybe we tick somehow similar? I'm more inspired by bands like Funeral (for me “From These Wounds” is one of the best Doom Metal albums ever) or KYRCK, which of course does not always mean that the music will also sounds that way. Also, I am a great lover of Baroque music. Perhaps also contributes his part. I don't know. It is always important to me to hear as little other music while I'm creative. You can still affect very quickly. Of course not always bad!
'The Ancient Path' has a powerful production. Any secret to your sound?
The secret is a clear, concrete idea of the sound. There is, on the contrary to the songwriting, a solid plan. To implement it is not easy, but feasible with a little know-how. Ingredients: roughness, fat, compactness, sphere. I had no desire to make doom metal with the sound of the Rolling Stones, fortiori with the sound of a Metal Core album! Somewhere between Bolt Thrower's “Realm Of Chaos” (there they are again...hell), KYRCK's “Cherno” and The 11th Hour's “Burden Of Grief” I wanted to lie. All three are insane albums with an insane sound! I've taught a few things as far as the sound technique that I really can do anything good themselves. For you who are interested: I use Guitar Rig for guitar and bass. For my guitar I use it live as well! Anyone who thinks that demystifies the whole Doom(ed)-thing, you are wrong! Although there is no true tube glowing constantly, it is still hard work to create his own sound. And with this I can create a very unique sound. The technique does not decrease anything and is also stubborn, haha! Ultimately, it is nothing else than a hardware guitar amp, but more flexible! This is all not magic, the technique does not make it on its own. And important is what ultimately comes out! So it makes no difference to the hardware! To get a good result you need not even the most expensive equipment, but experience, calmness and good ears. Even if the sound engineer guys does not like to hear (Alcohol affects your hearing! ) - without a bottle of red wine nothing works! :-) Well, sure - with a pile of junk, it will not happen too! The sound on "In My Own Abyss" is something fierce. I already go to the limit of the bawdy, but it's intentional. I Love this sound. But do not forget: loudness is not everything! It depends on character. Many of the 90 albums have a very special character. It has become a trend to produce louder and louder, so overproduce. Only pressure and wall of sound. That seems to be a real competition. I think about it too much. Many albums gets the not good! But sound is a thing apart. The tastes are very different. I know that.
Another aspect that draws attention is that besides the music, the lyrics and production you also take care of the artwork and so on. Is that because you're a control freak or perhaps because you want to make sure everything comes across exactly like you envision?
Just as you say: I am only partly a control freak. The point is to do exactly what I imagine. Realize what's happening in my head - without detours! Everything related to it is in my hands. It is tremendously exciting to be a band with some members, I also love that (with my brothers from P.H.A.I.L.), but it's different. Compromises are made, arrangements have to be made, much time will pass before you take a step forward. To make Doomed alone has nothing to do with pure egomania. I said that already. It's a dream I realize. At any time I can work, can be productive, can handle criticism constructively immediately. I have an idea – I do it.... I have to ask anyone! It is also not necessarily blinkered! That is also a great experience. I do so very sincere, not to "shine" constantly. I love to make it exactly like that. Of course I'm looking forward to a feedback. Nobody does something like that just to include it. I'm happy when people have it in part, find themselves, like the music and special atmosphere. Again, the mirrored. Not to change in giant steps does not mean that you do not evolved. It will always remain interesting. But Doomed will not be a flag in the wind. If you like it, then it's your thing, and you can count on. If not, then it's not for you. All right?
Within a year's time you already have a new album ready, 'In My Own Abyss'. Lots of ideas and inspiration I guess? How would you describe this album compared to 'The Ancient Path'? Did you do a lot of different things when it comes to composing and recording/producing?
For me, it feels good, that are "In My Own Abyss" and "The Ancient Path" related. But they are also independent. Of course, it is a fairly short period of time in which the two albums have been created. But that's not bad. I had so much energy and ideas, I could not stop (the song “Restless” is about it). I wanted to just make more, but still a strong character songs. I had also wanted to be a little firmer and to improve the sound a bit too. I had to fight not, for now it was just not over yet. With "In My Own Abyss" I have strengthened my style and also the concept of Doomed as a whole. For me, it feels good that both albums are closely intertwined. All in all I have not changed too many things. Because they are good! I will continue to do so!
'In My Own Abyss' has been released by Solitude Productions from Russia. How did you end up with them? I assume they take a lot of hard work away compared to releasing an album all by yourself?
Solitude do a great job! It's a nice contact, very reliable and accurate. Both guys know very well what they are doing! They have created with their label a real instance of Doom Metal and related bands. The products are usually really excellent quality. Of course, they take a band from a lot of promotional work. Alone I could not accomplish it. It would be cool if we can work on together. Of course, inevitably changes the direct contact with the people. Now you can buy "In My Own Abyss" anywhere, whether on CD or digital download. The band's website as a single source is lost. So, for example you get even less personal post when ordering. But that's ok. It is important that Doomed comes out from the hometown. And it works very well. Still, I would hope that people will continue to make travel pics with their CD's or whatever. That was a cool thing ... So here is the call: Take pictures with your next Doomed CD (so you have a tray copy). Please do not send me pictures on which are you to see downloading doomed's stuff illegally! :-))
I noticed you now also formed a band to play live. Can you tell us a bit more about this and what are the plans to play live?
Yes, after the consideration what was needed to implement Doomed live, I asked some of my friends and colleagues per email: “Do you fancy playing together with me Doomed on stage?” All have promised, and I was absolutely delighted! We have everything we need to rehearse, it does not bother to play finished parts and to take instrumental roles. This is great and very exciting. Because in the interaction of the musicians the music develops its own character again. Still raw, colorful, immensely powerful, simply live. I love it when it gets loud! Haha - no I would not record the next album with the band line :-). Ok, we currently have, next to me (rhythm guitar & vocals), the following lineup: my brother Yves - lead guitar, Uwe Reinholz (my buddy, guitar teacher and gifted progressive guitarist) also lead guitar, his girlfriend Frenzy - bass (it is crazy! She's really small and delicate), my brothers from my other band P.H.A.I.L., Andreas on drums and Frank on rhythm guitar. We have to be at least four of us, so it's feasible live. We now have time to rehearse properly. We are not rushing. For the second half of 2013, the first live gig would be cool. Time flies by then. I hope we find some good places to play. I know very well how hard it is to get good live locations. I hope we have some luck. I am looking forward to it, even though I almost collapsing before a live gig! I get probably never get rid of! Damn!
You're already working on your third album although this one won't be out that soon yet. But, can you tell us a bit more about the ideas you have for the new album?
No, I'll start in late summer or autumn to take on new songs. I have to wait for my next phase described above (laugh). Now I need a little break. I think that's good. I focus on the live thing!
Of course, I also now have ideas, but after all – step by step. In the meantime, my girlfriend and I try to complete the silhouette clip for "Sun Eater". She is instrumental involved in the silhouette images that appear in Doomed's artwork. All Paper Cut Artwork you can see is handmade. Characters and environments are not created on the computer. Only the background. We create all on a traditional light table! So “Sun Eater” will be a cool and very gloomy clip with oldschool stop-motion silhouette technique. An insanely expensive work, but it looks really cool!
Okay Pierre. That's all I have to ask. Anything else you want to tell our readers?
Ok, thank you Pim! Only one thing must be said: Remain faithful to your cause! Support all the bands that you can find really good, if they have a label or not. A lot of good bands out there go under. Many have it deserves to be heard, even if they do not follow the trend. I think it does not matter who has the most blood in the face! To me it comes down to how sincere someone doing his thing! Of course it's also a bit of a show stage, it was ever thus. But without idealism, authenticity, and without hard work, many things loses their appeal! I'm convinced! What do you think? Stay “Doomed” Metal Heads and Thanks a lot!