Interview with Olaf Lenk, At Vance (August 6th 2007)


Hi, first off all I want to congratulate you with your new album “VII”. Great album. Are you satisfied with it?


Olaf: Yes, of course. I think it came out much better then the last one. Song & Production wise.


How has your new album been received by the media?


Olaf: The reactions I’ve received so far where much better than I expected. So I’m pretty happy ‘bout that. I was a little unsure because I’ve changed the line-up again. But it still sounds like At Vance and that’s what’s most important.


Where do you see the main difference between “Chained” and “VII”?


Olaf: Well, like I said above, I think the songs are a lot better as well as think Rick’s Vocals fit much better into the whole thing. Maybe it’s because we really likes the same type of music.


In what words would you describe the music and moods of At Vance for someone that has not heard you yet?


Olaf: The music is structured pretty easy to understand but if you take a slight closer look you find many elements in there which are interesting or technically challenging without disturbing the song. The moods vary from “sad” to “ positive power ” I guess.


To what subjects do the lyrics of At Vance refer to, and who writes them?

Who writes to music?


Olaf: On the new album I’ve shared the lyrics together with Rick. Here’s a quick overview ‘bout the meanings etc.


01. Breaking the Night

Trying to fight his suicide tendencies
Finding a reason to keep breathing
There’s no glamour in death

02. Shiver

To Rick’s mother...who died far to early
It’s not up to you to decide when the grief is over, it’s
the one you mourn that has to let go!

03. Cold as Ice

Love story end’s, the woman act’s cold and don’t
want him back. She just wanna be friends, he’s
afraid of letting anyone into his life again. Bla bla bla.....

04. Victory

The believer of god preaches to the people, replied by
the skeptical.......

05. Friendly Fire

Born in a land of violence, brought up to "defend" his country
The dream of glory trough war is crushed by friendly fire and
by the rough reality of war!

06. Golden Leaves

Were all getting older, don’t be afraid, the future might hold
your dreams? The winter comes whether you like it or not!
Only your deeds will be remembered.

07. Answer Me

Love story going bad, driving his life in to chaos!

09. Truth

The lawyer who’s defending the child molester and getting him
"of the hook”, living with the knowledge that he’s out there doing
these horrible crimes again just because of him makes the lawyer
go insane!!   


Usually I do most of the writing myself.

Who has produced and mixed the album? Are you pleased with the result?


Olaf: Again that was I in both cases.


What’s the song you consider most representative of the new album and why?


Olaf: I guess that’s “Shiver” and “Cold as Ice”. These are the songs that appeal the most to me on the album regarding the mood and the overall playing.


With Rick Altzi you have a new singer in the band, why did you split with Mats Levén?


Olaf: Mats really didn’t like the music and just did it for the money, but that wasn’t what I was looking for.


Where did you find Rick?


Olaf: He contacted me via email and send me some tracks. After I’ve had a listen and talked to him I was totally convinced.


Do you feel that your sound will evolve in some different direction, in the future, or you will still follow the same path?


Olaf: Since I think that the At Vance sound is a pretty established thing it wouldn’t be a good idea to change the whole thing. I’d rather do a different project then.


How long do you need to practice to feel comfortable with your songs before you record them?


Olaf: Basically I do some takes here and there, whenever I feel the vibe for the songs, but it’s mostly the first or the second take.


The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?


Olaf: Hmmm, that’s a tough one to answer. I draw from many influences/ styles & musicians. But I could Name some of my favourite musicians:

J.S. Bach, Chopin, Edvard Grieg, Blackmore, Malmsteen, Shawn Lane, Al di Meola, Jeff Berlin, Pastorious, Buddy Rich, Bonham…. I could write on and on….


Any plans to go on tour? If so, when and where?


Olaf: At the moment it looks like we’re going on tour in autumn. Mainly in Netherlands, Belgium, France & Germany, but maybe there’s more dates.


Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover?


Olaf: This time it’s done by a Brazilian artist and I left the final decision up to AFM, but I’m pleased with the result.


Let's speculate - you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice - who would be your ideal touring partners?


Olaf: I think I’d go for Masterplan.


How do you see the future of the German metal scene and generally of the worldwide scene?


Olaf: To be honest I don’t orientate myself very much on the scene in general. I just try to do my thing as good as I can.


What are you doing besides At Vance, job wise as well as hobbies?


Olaf: I have my family with 3 wonderful kids and my boat where I go out with friends to relax.


What albums or bands do you believe have had the greatest impact on the history of metal?


Olaf: It definitely has to be Deep Purple or a Black Sabbath album. I’d pick an early one.


Thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us these last lines are entirely for you…


Olaf: I hope to please many listeners with my music and I hope to see all of them on tour.

…til then stay at vanced….


Yours Olaf.


 Interviewed by Jørgen Ditlev.
At Vance - VII

Album out on AFM Records.

For more info on At Vance - click on the album cover.