Interview with Mitch Koontz & Fernando Garcia, Godiva (July 6, 2005)

First of all congratulations for your new album “ Call Me Under 666”, how has it been received by the media?
Mitch: Thanks a lot! We had really good feedback from the whole international press so far. So we’re very happy that people like our new record as we do. Hope you all enjoy it and have a lot of fun with it!

Tell us some things about your history as a band.
Mitch: Godiva was founded in 2001 by Peter, Sammy and me. Later Anthony de Angelis joined us. We recorded first a 3-Track Demo by ourselves and had some really cool support gigs with Shakra, Primal Fear, Dokken, Freedom Call, etc. We decided to record a full length-album and went to Germany's best engineer for Heavy Metal, Mr. Achim Koehler. Tom Naumann (he's been a good friend of mine for the last few years) produced this debut album. We played some gigs in Switzerland and in spring of 2004 we began to write the new songs for “Call Me Under 666” and recorded it during late fall and winter of 2004 again with producer Achim Koehler in the House of Music-Studios in Winterbach (Germany).

You have just released “Call Me Under 666”; tell us a few things about it. How satisfied are you with the final result? Will it be released on vinyl?
Mitch: We’re very satisfied with that album! We think we’ve got a really good variety of songwriting and that’s the way we want going on in future. We just tried to hold the power and metalism of our precedent output and mix it up with some more melody tunes and variation in the instrumental and vocal section. We think with "Call Me Under 666" we made the right step in the direction we want to go and we’re looking forward to record the third album even if it will take some more time until we’ll re-enter the studios.

Which is the reaction you’re getting from the fans?
Mitch: Our Fans are really happy with it I think; we had only really positive reactions so far.

Do you believe that it is a step forward from your already high-acclaimed debut album?
Mitch: Without doubt. As I said before, we think we hold the power and riffing from the debut album and gave the new songs some more feeling, variation and melody. Sure, with a new singer it never sounds as usual… but in our case Fernando is a big step forward concerning vocals.

How many copies have you sold of the debut album?
Mitch: Hmmm.. I’m not absolutely sure but I think between 4 and 5000.

You have made a video for the track “When Lightning Strikes” do you think it will get any airplay? Or is it just for the fans that buy the album?
Mitch: Certainly we hope to get some airplay with the video but it’s really hard to enter the TV-stations as a metal band nowadays but first of all we wanted to make a cool bonus for our fans who buy it. Some kind of a thank you to them.

Who’s responsible for Godiva’s music? Tell us how Godiva’s compositions usually start to shape up.
Mitch: Sammy, Moses and I are the main songwriters. Fernando is responsible for the lyrics and vocal lines. Normally every one of us records his own ideas at home alone. Then we sit together and choose the best stuff for the album. Later Sammy and me, we sit again together and we start the pre-producing including the changing of arrangements and the recording of the vocal-ideas of Fernando. If this procedure is finished we enter the studio and record these songs.

What can you tell us about your lyric approach?
Fernando: It was a challenge to me to write the lyrics, they had to be somehow Godiva-style. I never did lyrics like that before, it is completely different to what I’ve done with Victory or Wicked Sensation, but I really enjoyed doing something totally new. No more Mr. nice guy …  *laugh*

How did you end up with former Victory shouter Fernando Garcia?
Mitch: We completed the whole recording during October 2004 with De Angelis. Just before we began with the final mixes, we had to make that decision to part with him due insurmountable personal and musical discrepancies. This decision was a mutual agreement. Sure De Angelis is a good singer, but his ideas didn't fit with ours anymore. So it was the best way for both of us. But enough from the past.. Let’s talk about the future… Fernando is a very great and absolutely professional vocalist. The most of you should know him from his Victory-times! He has an incomparable voice and very good ideas for melodies. He is the singer we just looked for, for a long time. He gives Godiva that independent touch we need and want. As you said it won't be the same as it was. But we are sure that all Godiva fans will love that way of singing! It gives us more professionalism.

Any tour plans yet?
Mitch: We played a few gigs in Switzerland so far. In early July we’ll play two gigs with Y&T in Germany and then are a few other Festivals and club concerts fixed right now. If we’ll do a support tour we don’t know yet, but sure we will do our best. We’d love to play in Denmark!

What do you think of the nowadays European metal scene as a whole? Do you consider it to be healthy?
Mitch: Mmmh.. hard to say.. I think it becomes better again. The nineties were very, very hard for the metal scene and metal bands. But it’s still hard to convince people of solid handmade rock music… except Gotthard… Swiss people in general rather listen to Swiss German styled music… awful…

Which bands and releases have you been listening to lately?
Mitch: Judas Priest – Angel Of Retribution, Halford – Live Insurrection,  Bruce Dickinson – Tyranny Of Souls, Fear Factory – Archetype, Rammstein – Reise, Reise, Iced Earth – The Glorious Burden…. This are the records I listen frequently in my car (I’ve got the better audio system in the car than at home, so I can turn it up louder cause there are no neighbors that are fucked up…hahahahaha)

A final message to all your fans all around the globe?
Mitch: Don’t miss listen to our new record, you won’t be disappointed! Stay metal, bang the head that doesn’t bang, drink a lot, have fun and finally let that fucking tank roll!

Big cheers from Switzerland to you all!

Thanks for your time.

Godiva - Call Me Under 666

Album out on Limb Music.

Click on the album to see more info on Godiva.