Interview with Ben, Sonic Reign (May 10th 2007)


Hi, first off all I just want to congratulate you on your debut album “Raw dark Pure”. Are you satisfied with it?
Ben - Thank you. Indeed we are very satisfied with “Raw Dark Pure”.

How did you get your name Sonic Reign?
Ben - We changed our name from Megiddo to Sonic Reign back in 2000. In our music we try to combine a modern
approach to Black Metal with the feeling and emotional power of the early Black Metal releases of the 80s and early 90s when feeling was the essence of this music which fascinated us very much. So we wanted to reflect this combination in our name to. The word “Sonic” has a modern touch while “Reign” is a classical old-school word when it comes to Metal-lyrics. So this name was perfect to us.

In what words would you describe the music and moods of Sonic Reign for someone that has not heard you yet?
Ben - Just the way I just mentioned it: A combination of modern elements and the old-school spirit of the early days of Black Metal. That is the essence of the material on “Raw Dark Pure”.

“Raw Dark Pure” is one of the best Black Metal albums ever, in my humble opinion,
and my favourite track could very well be “Salt”. Are there any songs that are special to you?
Ben - Thank you very much. Great to see that you enjoy the album that much.
Well I really like all of the songs, though this might sound like a cliché answer to this question. So I can’t really pick out any special song. All differ and have an identity and fascination of their own. In my eyes all of them are perfect in different ways.

How do you look back at the recording period for “Raw Dark Pure”. Was everything written before entering the studio?
Ben - Most of the material was finished but for example “Salt” and “To Rebel and to Fail” were just about half finished. Many details were created just in the studio, so the ground was set, but details followed.

What are the responses until now from the audience and press?
Ben - The responses I saw so far were nothing but amazing. Of course we are doing the music for ourselves in the first place but I would lie if I said that the opinion of others is not of importance to me at all. It is always nice for a musician to see that other people enjoy what you are doing.

The internet has gotten a quite ill reputation with mp3-files available nearly everywhere. Do you see the opportunity of getting sound files of bands off the internet as a chance for bands or rather as a threat to their existence?
Ben - I’m not sure. But I think the positive aspects of this issue outline the negative ones. Many people have the opportunity to check albums they otherwise would have never checked out. But it is important that if you like an album you buy it to support the artist. For me there’s nothing to replace a released album. I want to have the booklet to support the atmosphere of the album. The whole CD is part of the art in my eyes and should be seen that way. So I would not enjoy to just have the mp3s of an album.

What music do you listen to in your spare time? And which band or bands was or were the reason to start a formation yourself?
Ben - Recently I enjoy Ihsahn, Enslaved and King Diamond albums. We were and still are fascinated by Black Metal as a whole, not just by some bands. We started the band in order to create Black Metal on our own. Of course there are bands that were always of importance to us like Emperor, Thorns, Satyricon or Darkthrone for example, but none of them was the reason why we started Sonic Reign.

The five most important metal albums of all times, please!
Ben - That changes during the years just like everything changes. But right now I would consider the following as most important albums for me:
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Darkthrone – Under a Funeral Moon
Satyricon – Nemesis Divina
Satyricon – Rebel Extravaganza

What are you doing besides Sonic Reign, job wise as well as hobbies?
Ben - I don't think our jobs are something that anyone is really interested in.
Considering hobbies: Sebastian is very keen on working in his studio. He's recording and producing other bands with a friend of ours. I'm a bit more boring, I enjoy hiking and the silence of nature.

What tasks presently lie ahead for Sonic Reign? And will you visit Denmark?
Ben - Well currently the promotion of the album is the most time consuming undertaking for us. Besides that we can't wait to do some excessive rehearsing again to work with our new ideas.If we ever play live I hope to tour Denmark too.

If you could choose freely, who is your dream band to tour with?
Ben - It would be awesome to play together with Emperor or Darkthrone.

Well, that’s it! Thanks a lot for the interview. Anything you’d like to add to our head banging
Ben - Thank you very much for the support! I hope that your readers check our site to get an impression of what we are doing. Cheers go out to our fans. We salute you!

Interviewed by Peter Laursen

Sonic Reign - Raw Dark Pure

Album available on
Metal Blade Records.

For more info on Sonic Reign - click on the album cover.