Interview with Herbie Langhans: Guitar & Vocals Seventh Avenue

Seventh Avenue has just released their new record Terium. Time for Powermetal to talk things over.

Why did it take 4 years since 'Eternals' to come with a new record?

Herbie: First we really needed a long time for writing the songs and the story for the new record. Then I make a pre-production and after that we need a good year to record and mix the album. We did not have a release-date or something, we could really take all the time we needed. Because it was the first time I produced a whole album alone, I tried out a lot of things mixing the album and that takes time. The last half year we spend with checking everything with the label and watch out for a good release date. All together it really took 4 years.

Was there time for touring in the last 2 years?

Herbie: We played only single Shows, not a real Tour because it is hard to find someone who wants to pay for it! During the whole recording process we didn't do many live gigs.

The record has been recorded in your own Ave-studio and produced and mixed by yourself. Are you a control-freak?

Herbie: Not really a control freak, we didn't have any money to visit another studio or hire a producer. Nowadays you must be able to produce your own stuff, because no one wants to pay a good budget! The scene is really hard at the moment! But it was always a dream of mine to have an own studio and record and produce our stuff (like Gamma Ray or other bands). And when I have questions or need some help I can ask Sascha Paeth because his studio is only 5 minutes away from ours, and we are good friends. I often sing backingvocals for his productions (Rhapsody, Luca Turelli, Kamelot, Aine, Mob Rules).

What is in your oppinion the biggest difference between 'Eternals' and your new record?

Herbie: The songs are more melodic and have more different parts, the songs are much better to play live! There are also less fast songs on this album and the production and sound are better. Of course the concept story makes the record more interesting.

15 songs with a total playing time over 70 minutes, aren't you afraid it is going to be to much?

Herbie: Why??? Are you afraid when you buy a Porsche with 250 HP and not 200 HP? Are you afraid when you have 1000 Euro on your account instead of 500? So why should we be afraid when we have an album with more than 70 minutes and not less? We are really proud about the whole album, the songs and the story. We planned to come with a good long story with great songs and we needed 70 minutes for that. Did you prefer only 2 parts of Lord of the Rings, not 3? You also want to have the whole story then, not only the short version!

Can you tell our readers something about the conceptual story?

Herbie: It is a story about a mineral (a drug) called Terium. You can find it only on the planet Kranos. Terium can give you neverending life, there is no sickness if you take Terium. But everything gets out of control, no more marriages, free Sex (there is no Aids anymore), no one needs children because there is eternal life. There are also a few thousand people living on Nufridon, they live a life without the drug and live by the old phrophecies told. One day a man called Ratis appears, preaching against the Terium. And the fight begins... The rest of the story and all the details you have to check out yourself. I only can tell that it is a really good story with a little Hollywood Flair.

Seventh Avenue is a Christian band, do you have to be a Christian to play in the band?

Herbie: No not really, our bassplayer (Markus Beck) is also not a Christian, but he accepts in what we believe. And it has nothing to do with the music we play, it is pure Heavy Metal!

I saw in the interview we did with you in 2004 that your favorite record is "The number of the Beast". How can one be a Christian and like a record with that title?

Herbie: I don't think that Iron Maiden is a non Christian band. And of course you need influences of bands. I hear a lot Iron Maiden, Rage, Masterplan,... and a lot of these bands. If I have a good feeling in hearing this music it is o.k. for me. If Christian bands hear only other Christian bands, it would be a very boring scene!

In the review I did, I gave the record 65 out of 100 points. I think personally that the music you play is to regular. Listening to it, I keep thinking: "I have heard this all before". The band has also the typical German-style. Could you tell our readers why I am wrong!

Herbie: Maybe you didn't know to much about this music!!!! (?????)  I didn't know how I would write a review about a band like Cradle of Filth because I don't know to much about the style. For me it sounds like thousand other Death/Thrash metalbands! If someone really loves good old classic powermetal with melodies, twin guitars and rough melodic vocals, he will love this album. And if you are a fan of this kind of music, you will hear the difference! It is also good to have many different bands and styles, there is enough space in the metalscene for each personal style!

What are the plans for the near future, some festivals maybe?

Herbie: We try to play as much a possible and we just started. It is hard to get a place on big festivals! But we support some Rage shows in the next days. We play a lot of single shows in Europe and maybe we can go again to south America or something else! We are very positive about the future!

Here you can tell our readers what you want them to know about the band or yourself, which has never been asked by any interviewer.

Herbie: Maybe not to many know that besides playing in a band we have wifes, children, regular jobs etc.... but we still work hard in all the time we have left to record albums, practice for shows, go on tour. We don't get much money for playing, we still have a big Minus on our band account! But we believe so much in the music and in our way, that we didn't think about stopping with SEVENTH AVENUE! Because it's a lifework! As long as the fans are still on our side, it gives us the strenght to go on!! That's really Rock'n Roll!! Not to fly with a private jet from show to show, and throw TV's out of your Hotelroom.

In that way, thank you and....ROCK ON !! 

Seventh Avenue - Terium

Album available on Massacra Records.