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Night In Gales

Night In Gales is een Duitse melodieuze death/thrash metal band, actief sinds de jaren negentig. Enige tijd geleden brachten zij hun zesde album ’The Last Sunsets’ uit, met als in het oog springende eigenschappen de terugkeer van eerste zanger Christian Müller en een lichtjes opgefrist geluid dat terugkeert naar hun beginperiode en roots. Gesprekstof genoeg om eens contact op te nemen met gitarist van het eerste uur Jens Basten!

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

First of all I hope that you and Adriano are recovering well from flue and fever, because last weekend bad luck stroke, isn’t it?
Yes, that was a pity as we had to cancel our first show ever due to sickness. In particular, this show was on the release-day of our new album ‘The Last Sunsets’ and the package was cool as well with Fleshcrawl headlining and Revel In Flesh as well, but there was no chance in the end to do it as Adriano and me had this terrible flue/fever combination which was going around like a disease in Europe at this time. We already set up a new “release show” that will take place coming weekend. We will be supported by mighty Dark Millennium, Selfdevoured and All Its Grace. There will be a beer flatrate included in the ticket price.

When I started to explore your excellent new album ‘The Last Sunsets’, I was quite surprised that long time vocalist Bjorn Goosses had left the band, already in 2012. Why? What happened?
Well, Björn left the band after the short tour through Romania in 2012, that was happening for our fifth album ‘Five Scars’, which was released as our first little comeback in late 2011 on Lifeforce Records. His quitting was known to us a year before and part of his plan to focus more on his graphic-job Killustrations and his other band The Very End.

And how did you come to the surprising solution by recruiting your first singer Christian Müller again? Did you stay in contact all the time or how did this come around?
As Björn left, we took the situation as a chance to set the sails back in time to continue where we stopped musically with our demo ‘Sylphlike’ and our debut album ‘Towards The Twilight’ (1997, Nuclear Blast Records). As you might have noticed, there were some changes in the general direction and style of the band after this album, and we had time enough to analyse what went wrong. We felt that there was still a need for the pure melodic death metal style we started with and we knew deeply that we lost our path way too early. So we asked Christian if he likes to do a new album with us and after some years, he agreed, haha.

Why did it take so long to come up with a successor for ‘Five Scars’ (seven years!)? What happened with the band and its members during these seven years?
It took some time, as we had another very potential and prominent singer in mind first, and we gave him the first three written tracks to record his demos for us, but after nearly two years of waiting, he told us that he wasn´t happy with his first trials and quit the idea. Around that time, Christian Müller agreed to do the album, which was the perfect solution for us. Right after his decision was clear, we started the song-writing and it never went that fast and felt so damn right.

Was there anything happening on the live front during this silent time? For instance, did you tour for ‘Five Scars’?
We did some festivals like Summer Breeze Open Air, Rage Against Racism, Dong Open Air, Evil Horde Metalfest, Metal Splash Open Air, some club shows and finally, the Romanian mini tour which were the finals with Björn. I started my classic heavy metal band Gloryful in 2010 and concentrated on that one to bring it on the map fast. We released three albums on Massacre Records between 2013-2016 and did a lot of shows and a European tour. That was and still is big fun and it was important to start something complete new for me, instead of always think of the past, the mistakes you made and how to carry on with it. It kind of was like a psycho-therapy-band to get back to strength and regain energy.

How do you look back at the writing process for the new album ‘The Last Sunsets’? When did it actually start and who were the main song writers this time?
Since we had a clear picture in mind, how the new album should sound like and as Christian was back on track, it was very easy to write those songs in a short time. The goal was to continue where we stopped in 1996/1997 and give the fans the album we felt they were still waiting for after our long lasting experimental course. I did the whole thing, songs and arrangements. There was no need to do it another way and all were happy with the result, so we did it that way.

Who did the lyrics? Why is the title ‘The Last Sunsets’? Can you go deeper into the lyrical contents of this record? Is there a common thread running through the album?
I did the lyrics as well this time. It was the first time that I did the lyrics for an album. I suddenly had that dark concept for ‘The Last Sunsets’ as a post-apocalyptic-scenery in mind as I travelled through Africa for three weeks four years ago. It´s a concept album. It follows the basic question, what humanity will have in mind as the ecological end of this planet is near. It´s about the last thoughts, the feeling of being guilty, the need to pray, the need to ask for forgiveness, and so on.

I have the impression that ‘The Last Sunsets’ is more homogeneous and up-tempo than its predecessor with its ‘close to doom’ influences, but how would you – as creators – compare the new album with ‘Five Scars’?
It´s like you say. ‘The Last Sunsets’ is way more uncompromising, more old school melodic death and more brutal. The reason for the difference is that I always have the actual singers input to come in mind when I compose. I knew that Björn later on needs those doomy passages to add his whispered and spoken parts and of course liked to have some chorus or bridges to add some clean vocals. With that reality in mind you subconsciously write somewhat more this direction. As I knew that Christian wouldn´t like to try the progressive way or clean vocals, I felt free to write a pure old school album again.

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There are three guest appearances on the album. Can you tell about your relationship with all of the three guys, how this cooperation came into being and how you realized it?
The first guest vocalist that appeared on the plan was Martin Matzak from Torchure. I was informed by the organizer of a Gloryful show in North Germany in 2014 that he would show up that night. My brother Frank bought their debut album in 1992 and we heavily celebrated this vinyl back then. The tour with Pestilence and Monstrosity was one of the first real death metal tours I went for. Pestilence had ‘Testimony Of The Ancient’ out, Monstrosity their awesome debut ‘Imperial Doom’ and Torchure was the right German enrichment to that billing. We talked a lot about the good old days and that night I saw them live in Essen, and just asked if he would like to do some guest growls on the new Night In Gales album. He agreed. It took two years to realize it, as we had to complete all recordings and vocal arrangements first. Later, another hero-of-our-youth-band, Dark Millennium, released their comeback album, and as I found out that Tobias was in contact with their guitarist Hilton for years. I was sure his voice would fit perfectly on our comeback album, so Tobias got in touch with them and shortly after that I phoned with Christian Mertens to talk about the details. We were so happy to have the second Master of the national nineties big ones on the recording schedule. As I met Marc at a Gloryful festival-show we played as support for Morgoth, I asked him as well. I wasn´t sure If he would like to do this, and he of course wanted to listen to the track before make a decision. After he listened to ‘This Mortal Soul’ he joined the club. All I can say is that we feel honoured so much that we have those three big guys and very original death metal voices on the record. We are proud to get the two generations together on one album.

You always work with eminent producer Dan Swanö and that’s a guarantee for a mighty sound, but how did you ever meet each other and ended up with him as long time producer?
The new Night In Gales record is the fourth album I did with him meanwhile, as he did the mix of the first two Gloryful albums and ‘Five Scars’ as well. We knew what to expect working with him. He offers the right mix between professionalism and fun during the whole process. He always knows what your music has to sound like and I know that it is fun for him to mix your album even if its #8765, haha. We met sometimes at festivals in our area.

And in the meantime Swanö moved from Sweden to Germany. So what differences can you mention in working with him now or the first time? (in equipment, relationship, environment, etc)
When we started to work with him, he already set over to Krefeld, a city in Germany very close to where we live, which was very surprising for us after being hardcore Edge Of Sanity fans since our childhood, haha.

Another famous guy (Costin) for the artwork. What can you tell about this guy and his result for you? Is there any symbolism we should learn from you, a link between lyrics and artwork maybe?
I found my way into the Romanian scene in 2005 as I joined German hardcore outfit Deadsoil through Florian Grigorean, which is known as vocalist of Protest Urban. He was at some shows over here back then and we do a black metal project called “The Wake” meanwhile. Check this out btw.! He is a good friend of Costin, so we met at the Gloryful Romanian mini tour some years ago. He is a cool and very down to earth guy and as he is a long time Night In Gales follower, we asked him to do the cover artwork for ‘The Last Sunsets’. We like his style a lot. To do the artwork concept, he simply asked for the possibility to have the lyrics and preproduction. We sent him the stuff and he started creating this awesome and perfect artwork.

Recently you shot a video clip for ‘The Abyss’. Can you tell a bit more about the making of and about your view on making clips?
We did this first video clip with Razvan Raduta, who is a good friend of Costin and Florian as well. He came by plane from Bucharest to record the video with us. He did the lyric video for ‘This Mortal Soul’ as well. It´s important to have videos to promote your release and it is always interesting to see what those visual artist can add to the picture. It´s another dimension. We try to do another music video for the album in the near future.

When the album was done, you had to look for a label and inked a deal with Apostasy Records. Can you tell the story of this searching for a label and ending up with Apostasy?
We had the help of an agent to get the best fitting deal inked. There was three or four offers besides Apostasy at the table. I now can say that we definitely picked the right one. Apostasy is doing the best possible job for us. We didn´t expected that there are still people out there who are believing in you and not try to fuck you up in any way. I never had such good promotion and honest relationship with a label guy.

What are the plans for the near future and your plans and hopes for playing gigs or tour?
A tour will be hard to realize because of our current job situation, though we get some interesting offers since the album is out. But we got confirmed for some cool Open Airs such as Summer Breeze, Dong Open Air, Rage Against Racism and another bigger thing to be confirmed. We will head to Spain and Portugal in January 2019. We will start with song-writing for the next album this summer. We hope to have the album out in mid 2019.

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Thank you Vera for the interview and support. Check out our merch store here to find all sort of official new and rare merch articles.

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