Hey guys, you have been around for some time now, yet we at Lords of Metal never conducted an interview with you guys. So, let’s change that. Especially since quite a lot of things changed for the better in the Heretic camp. For instance, you signed to Ván Records last year and now the new EP ‘Alive Under Satan’ has been released. Can you tell a bit more about the move to Ván Records?
Thomas: When we decided to look for a new steady label, Ván Records was #1 on our list.
I have known Sven ever since the early days of The Devil’s Blood and of course Jimmy has for even longer. His views on releasing records together with his boundless passion for the music as well as the product/packaging were something we could totally relate to. It was simply the right time to finally start working together when all the little pieces started falling into place.
’Alive Under Satan’ only has one new song. The other tracks are re-recorded songs from your sold-out 2009 record ‘Gods Over Humans, Slaves Under Satan’. I understood you recorded these tracks in a proper studio where in the past you often recorded at home. Can you tell a bit more about this change in recording your material?
Tom: The four of us have a click both personally and musically. We wanted to introduce the new and improved Heretic and capture the vibe of our recent live shows. We felt the only way to do it was to make the most “organic” record Heretic ever did. I believe we succeeded and I’m happy and proud to be part of it!
Another big and important change is the line-up. Last year you added new drummer Tom Aufderaxe as well as second bass player Jimmy Blitzer. Can you tell a bit more how this all happened and how are things working out so far?
Thomas: This line-up is pure magic!! Never before has Heretic been more of a collective than right now!! Creativity is flowing like wine and every member adds its very own touch to the process. Its synergy in its ultimate form and meaning. In March 2014 I asked Tom to join the band, it was only after seeing us live he agreed to start rehearsing with us. I believe that the same evening the idea of Jim joining the band became a serious option. It was only a few weeks later that the four of us took the stage at Roadburn…
You also are represented by booking agency District 19 as of 2014 as well. Can we conclude that Heretic definitely is moving forwards yet still being firmly rooted in the underground? I assume working with District 19 already has paid off with some high-profile shows you have done over the last year or so?
Tom: We’re really happy to be a part of the District 19 roster and I sure hope our collaboration is going to help us move forward even more in 2015. But still, the underground is still as important as it was. Really, we love to do play in small clubs where our backdrop is soaking with sweat as much as we love doing big shows…
Compared to the early recordings you could say your music has slightly changed. Can you tell a bit more about the musical evolution of Heretic and what do you consider as your main musical influences?
Thomas: The basic fundament was and will always be VENOM! It gets mixed with a wide variety of stuff I listen to. My musical taste has expanded more and more through the years and I still keep discovering new stuff that can serve as inspiration. It’s a natural creative process that gives me fulfilment in every possible way. I am really grateful that the maniacs can appreciate all our albums, even if they have their personal favourite of course. But we only gain new maniacs and I don’t think a single one has ever turned his back on us for a musical change we did. That’s something to cherish and we do!
You recently also released a flexi disc which was available through the new German magazine Deaf Forever. Can you tell a bit more how that all got together
Tom: When the new line-up was getting more and more solid we decided it was fun to do a few covers. We recorded ‘It’s On’, a demo song by The Devil’s Blood, and it turned out pretty cool. Initially we planned to just put it online for people. When we signed with Ván Records, Sven had gotten wind of it and he decided it would be cool to release it as a flexi-single, just because he had never released a flexi before. Cool right? Things turned out even cooler because he gave a copy to one of the guys of Deaf Forever and then a couple thousand subscribers of DF got our flexi single as a token of appreciation from the editors…
Since you’ve been around for a while now I was wondering what your opinion on the (black) metal scene is these days? Have things changed a lot? Are things simply just different or do you reckon it all is mainly the same? Do you still feel affiliated with the black metal scene at all?
Thomas: I have not been active nor interested in the (Black) Metal scene since 1999. Not in any scene for that matter. I don’t like the restriction of categorizing music and I can only hope that Heretic is the embodiment of that statement.
So, what’s there to tell when it comes to future endeavours? I hear a split 7” with Sabbat is in the pipeline? Anything else you can tell? Tours, recordings, festivals?
Tom: That’s right. It’s a 7” picture disc single and it’s already out on New Era Productions. It’s limited to 666 copies. We did ‘Skulls’ (originally by The Misfits) and ‘The Law Of V.I.T.R.I.O.L.’, a previously unreleased song. Besides that, there are some tours and shows in the works and we are already working on the successor of ‘Alive Under Satan’…
All right, that’s all from my side. Anything else you’d like to add?
Tom: The more you drink, the better we sound!