One of the under-estimated thrash acts is the German band Dew Scented, with their 8th album 'Invocation' they put another top release in the thrash scene. Fans of Exodus, Slayer, Kreator are should we say thrash fans in general can no longer put this band aside. We found that we couldn't do without an interview with them on our site.
'Invocation' is your 8th release, which of the first 7 is still your favourite one?
Marc: 'Invocation' is the first album I play on, so from that point of view I would say 'Invocation' is my favourite one because I really worked hard with the other band members to create the album. As a long-time fan of the band, what I surely am, I would say 'Impact' is my favourite album.
What is the biggest difference between 'Incinerate' and the new record?
M: That's difficult to answer for me because I only participated on the new album, as I said before. But I would say, that 'Invocation' sounds a lot more fresh than 'Incinerate'. We have a real good relationship in the band between all members and that wasn't so much the case during the writing-sessions for 'Incinerate', as far as I know. And I think that really is what you notice when you compare the two albums. In the 'Invocation' songs you really hear that we had lots of fun in the rehearsal-room writing them. And a good relationship between the members is really important for the creativity in a band.
Leif: Yeah, I would agree with Marc. And additionally I also think that 'Invocation' has a stronger classic Thrash vibe again, while 'Incinerate' had a lot of Death Metal brutality in it. I also think 'Invocation' offers a lot more detail in the song writing as well as more diversity, which I think make it a better album. The songs on 'Invocation' are also better suitable for our live set and it's been going great with performing them at shows so far.
Why did half of the band leave during the tour that followed the 'Incinerate' record?
M: I think the main reasons were different opinions on things, plus the three former band members didn't have so much motivation left for the band. Uwe didn't want to play in a band on that level anymore and Florian and Hendrik wanted to try something new, what they do now with their band NEMESIS LOVE CULT (by the way: excellent music!). There was and is no bad blood, but you see, for future of the band, it was better to make the split.
L: Playing in a pretty active band is a very intense thing and it involves a lot of sacrifices and struggle. You always need to compromise and make arrangements so the atmosphere remains fine for everyone. It wasn't a easy time with 'Incinerate' and therefore we needed to 're-structure' the band at some point in order to not see it fall apart completely. I think the band is better off now than 3 years ago and I truly enjoy working my ass off again for it. The new members of the band injected a huge amount of energy into Alex and me and I think it easily shows on 'Invocation' that we are hungrier and more dedicated to the music again.
Was it difficult to find new members and do you look at their musical skills, or more at the character before recruiting them?
M: I think both aspects were important for Leif and Alex when 'recruiting' us. The musical skills had to be there without any doubt, because we play the old songs live, and some of the songs are really difficult. And the live shows with the new members have to be as good as the shows with the former members, or in the best case even better. Also the fans have expectations concerning new songs which have to be fulfilled. But it's also important to get along with each other. If you take me for example, I was in the band as a session-drummer for half a year in 2004 while Uwe made his exams, I also played in a band called Obscenity with Alex from 2000 to 2006 and I know Leif for 15 years. So we knew each other and we knew what to expect from each other.
Did the new members already help with writing the new songs, or did Leif Jensen and Alex Pahl write them?
M: Yeah, we wrote the album as a whole band. Most times the guitar-players came up with riffs, and then all of us put them together to songs in the rehearsal-room. And as always, Leif came up with the lyrics, when the music was finished.
Was it difficult with the 3 new members (2 guitar players) to keep the Dew-Scented style?
M: I would say no. And we didn't even think so much about the must to write songs in the DEW-SCENTED style. It was clear, that it will be Thrash-Metal what we're playing with DEW-SCENTED concerning song writing-parameters and that was basically all. The rest came naturally, while working together on the songs.
L: Yeah, I think we got pretty lucky and after some months of getting to know each other musically, things kicked off in a very smooth and organic way with the writing of new songs. I think the high quality of musicianship brought in by the new players as well as a refreshed amount of motivation for everyone made it pretty easy to write 'Invocation'. I am extremely happy and surprised with the fact that people either see the new album as a logical and rather 'typical' DEW-SCENTED album or indeed also figure out that there are quite some new elements and a bit of a different edge to our signature sound on this new record. After the hard times we went through, I take both ways of looking at it as a compliment, by the way! DEW-SCENTED is a band that is not made for major stylistic changes we are on our 8th album and the one constant feature I can assure you of is that DEW-SCENTED will always stand for mercilessly aggressive Thrash Metal, not matter what happens inside or outside the band.
I must admit that the new record is a very good thrash album. The songs are very tight, have good riffs and are finished. What are the bands expectations, I mean you have been around for more than 15 years and musically you are on the same level with bands like Destruction and Kreator, can you close the gap with them?
M: Thanks for your nice words. What do we expect? Surely world domination! No, just kidding! First of all we hope that the DEW-SCENTED fans who liked the former albums will also be into �Invocation�. And also we hope that we can reach new listeners with the album. So it would be great to play good concerts and festival shows and maybe some good tours in order to reach as much people as possible. But regardless, I think it's not possible to close the gap to bands like DESTRUCTION and KREATOR concerning the popularity. These are too big names and they make music for a living. So they can play a lot more shows than we are able to do because we all have day jobs or study, so it's not possible for us, to invest so much time in DEW-SCENTED as these two bands can.
A band that must be liked by the same fans as Dew Scented is LOTD. How do you explain the popularity of the Dutch band Legion of the Damned in your country, when they still had the name Occult, it didn't do a thing and just by changing the name things started to happen.
M: I think when a band exists for a long time and doesn't get to the breakthrough point, it's impossible at some point to get a step further, equally how good your songs or your albums are. So from that point of view LEGION OF THE DAMNED made the right thing and changed their name to mark a new beginning. And as you see, the plan works really well.
Metal Blade is one of the bigger labels in the metal scene, how did Dew -Scented get a deal with this label? Were there more labels interested and was this one the best for the band?
M: Yes, there were more labels interested in DEW-SCENTED. In the last summer we made a pre-production of five songs, which we sent to some labels. The guys at METAL BLADE were really thrilled about the songs and made an offer. As METAL BLADE is a label with a real good reputation and made the best offer for us, our decision for them didn't take so much time.
L: We spoke with most of the other relevant companies as well, but we wanted to take a new approach to things and decided to go for licensing deals with different labels all over the world. So METAL BLADE is our new partner for Europe and then we are with PROSTHETIC in North America. WE are currently also setting up smaller sub-licenses for the album in other parts of the globe and even though it means a lot more work to do all these dealings by yourself, it feels good to be more in control of your music and all business decisions again.
In Germany you are rather popular, how is that in the rest of Europe?
M: I think it depends on factors like if we have played in the countries a lot or not. In Belgium or The Netherlands for example we are also as well-known as in Germany, I would say. In countries like maybe Serbia or Croatia for example, not so many people know us because we haven't played there.
About what subject are the lyrics of a Dew-Scented song?
L: It's several different matters really, so it will be tough to answer with one general statement. There is no main lyrical theme for 'Invocation', other than the fact that it's a pretty heavy and aggressive album, which naturally leads the lyrics to be in the same vein too in order to compliment the vibe and atmosphere of the songs. Most of the songs are inspired and triggered by the negativity and harshness of everyday life. I try to get inspired by reality only, as that's what in the end affects us all the most during out earthly stay and I also think that the style of music we are devoted to is an awesome way to vent and get rid of a lot of the anger and frustration we all carry within ourselves! So yeah, good luck reading the words and screaming along! ;-)
A nice album-cover, what does the band want to express with it?
M: Thank you! The artwork was done by our friend Bjorn Goosses of Killustrations.com. He also did the artworks for our previous three albums, so he pretty much knew what our visual look is like and what we actually want. We gave him some hints but he actually pretty much worked out this concept idea himself and we immediately liked it very much. From that point on he worked out what became the final artwork. I think the cover gives space for various interpretations. To me it shows the consequences of the acquisitiveness of business-men, who really don't care if they destroy the environment or people's lives as long as they make a big profit and so are able to continue their decadent and short-sighted life. I think the artwork shows in an exaggerated way the final step of this neo-liberal way of living, where the market is God and the needs of the people count nothing. In the background you see a destroyed and contaminated world and in the front there are managers who still continue with their sick economy-game, because there are maybe some dimes left to earn.
Are there any touring plans and if so, are there also festivals among them?