Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new
album “Pulse”. To new fans could your please fill us in on the
history behind it all?
Stefan - Thanks! “Pulse” is the
debut album of my new ethnic metal project “SpiRitual”: I
handled the vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards on the album,
and was supported by many musicians from all over the world, as
well as a German book author. I did another ethnic metal project
in 1999 called Betray My Secrets, so you could consider “Pulse”
as “unofficial 2nd Betray My Secrets album”.
How has your new album been received by the media?
Stefan - Surprisingly very
positive. The album is very experimental and in contrast to most
metal albums it has a positive message, so I expected media to
react hmm… not so enthusiastic. But the opposite happened. From
“SpiRitual is a new metal genre” to “this album increases your
self-awareness” every positive comment was used, and I am REALLY
happy about it! Many bands don’t talk positive about media, and
I can understand them to some extend, because reviews are often
very cynic and not objective. But in the case of SpiRitual I
must say “thumbs up!”. Apart from some exceptions all magazines
tried to review the album very objective/constructive. I also
get so many interesting interview questions etc. which showed me
that metal isn’t just a music genre but that there’s also much
room for intellectual things.
I know artists don’t like to put a label on their music - but
a spaceship from outer space has just landed in your backyard,
and is demanding an answer - so how would you describe
SpiRituals music to an alien from another galaxy?
I have no problems putting a label on my music, its ethnic metal
music. But an alien wouldn’t understand that I guess. I’d say
its music that combines the aesthetics of various cultures from
our planet. I then would tell him that the lyrics have a light
“new age” touch, and would explain that “new age” is a new
peaceful and balanced way of thinking and acting. I guess he
would laugh out loud then and tell me that it’s so old fashioned
and the last person who thought and acted “new age” died out on
his planet 1000s of years ago LOL.
If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Stefan - An energetic, constructive
Who and what inspires you when you write a song? Walk us
through the creation of a song?
Stefan - I don’t need any
inspiration, I just sit down and start writing a song, without
knowing how the song in the end will sound like. It can take 5-6
days fulltime until one song is finished. One thing I need is
the sun. I cannot write good songs in winter or autumn, or when
it rains. But when the sun is shining and the birds are singing
Which subjects do your lyrics refer to?
And what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
Stefan - I am inspired by the
content of books, for example “The Peaceful Warrior” or
“Conversations with God” as well as some good German books about
spiritual and personality improvement topics. Please don’t
understand me wrong, my lyrics are not religious. You could
describe them well as “motivation training lyrics” maybe LOL.
They are about life being a permanent battlefield and that we
must see defeats as friends who teach us lessons and give us
Who has produced and mixed the album? Are you pleased with
Stefan - I produced it by myself,
but it was mixed and recorded by my friend Tommy, guitarist of
Darkseed owning the Helion Studios in the area of Munich. It’s
so relaxed to work with him in his studio; it’s like working in
my own living room. My personal number 1 address for every kind
of recording and mixing work! Tommy doesn’t just have big ears;
he also has good ears for mixing, ha-ha. I am 100% pleased with
the sound; it’s a sound I always wanted to have. Especially the
guitar sound and how good it fits to the drum sound.
Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is
to have a great cover?
Stefan - The artwork was done by my
good Russian friend Bonez. He’s an excellent designer and also
made the website
I am very happy that he helped me so much with SpiRitual, and
the website he made is simply fantastic. He’s so busy with
designing covers for other bands that I am worrying he can do my
next cover, ha-ha. However, a good bottle of Russian vodka for
sure can change his mind, ha-ha. A great cover is so important
for me; it’s an essential arts component of my music. So I
consider the video clip guys of Deviant Creations and Bonez as
spiritual members as well.
Do you have any touring plans?
Unfortunately not, it would be too expensive to form a line-up
for touring. So many exotic instruments and vocal performances…
Apart from that I have a tough time schedule with my job (I have
a small computer gaming company with a friend) and my other
Let’s speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour
of your own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
Stefan - Hmm, I don’t have any
wishes concerning bands I would like to tour with, but some
“concert situations” that would be great. For example playing in
a desert, or in a tropical area, or in countries you usually
cannot access easily, like near/middle east etc.
How do you feel about the co-operation with your label?
Stefan - It’s a much uncomplicated
co-operation, and we’re in touch over messenger, which is better
than phone or letter. You cannot reach many labels over
messenger, but I consider it as very important. It’s a good
label that cares more about the quality of a band than about
The internet is a very important source for many metal fans –
how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and
Stefan - I indeed use internet very
much, but mainly for communicating with friends etc. It’s
necessary for bands to be represented in internet, but not 100%
necessary. Much more important is a damn good album and a good
line-up for touring.
By the way, most of the communication for SpiRitual (for example
the recording process of the female ethnic vocals) was done over
internet. Yana singing in Russia and sending them to Germany for
then writing songs.
And how do you feel about the metal scene in general at the
Stefan - Uff, I don’t know much
about the metal scene, but I know that downloading doesn’t just
destroy the sales, but also the enthusiasm of people. 10 years
ago I was happy about every single piece of metal my ears could
get. We thought long about which album to buy etc. In our days
you switch on the computer, start the file sharing program and
download 100s of albums. The scene is too big, too much like a
labyrinth, and it’s difficult to identify yourself with a
special music style. Because it’s not special anymore if you
have every album of a band etc. You can get them all for free
now, in just a couple of hours.
Which song do you consider to be the best one you have ever
I think “Symphony of Life” of the SpiRitual “Pulse” album, but
also some songs of my old band Darkseed are good, in my opinion:
“My Burden” for example, or the Betray My Secrets song “Shamanic
Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on
your life … and why?
There are so many people having a huge influence on my life. It
could be a successful book author like Dan Millman or Neale
Donald Walsch, or simply a person sitting in a wheelchair
talking to me and making me feel happy that I have feet to walk.
Sometimes also life stories of people from all over the world.
People living in warfare territory and making the best out of
their life by never giving up and always seeing the positive
aspects in everything etc.
Which music do you listen to at home?
Hmm, I don’t listen to music that much, but if I do, then I like
listening to Dead Can Dance, especially when enjoying the spring
and summer sun in my village forest. Apart from that I like all
kind of mantras (sort of meditative songs with
lyrics/vocals/music themes being repeated for many minutes,
making me feel balanced and peaceful etc.). But sometimes I also
like dark wave or metal bands, of course.
Vinyl has had a small comeback lately – do you still prefer
“the old sound” or are you a CD/DVD kind of guy?
Oh, I am a big fan of vinyl. Not because of the sound quality,
but because vinyl for me is something “handmade”. I don’t get
used to digital music sales over internet; it’s so “empty”. But
having vinyl, maybe even as limited edition, with very good
booklet design etc. yes… definitely rocks
I’d really like to do some vinyl releases in the future, so if
there’s any label being interested in publishing some “spiritual
influenced gothic / soundtrack stuff”, please let me know
I didn’t know there’s a sort of “Boom” (I don’t know much about
the scene and what’s going on there, seems like I am getting too
Last question - do you have any famous last words for our
Stefan - I don’t have any famous
last words, I just can offer my typical “famous last quote” LOL.
Last words can be so cheesy, boring and sometimes dishonest. So
let me close with a quote. Today I was talking with somebody
about the fact that the world is always a mirror of us. If we
think and feel negative, we also regard the world as negative.
If we are afraid of many things, so many fearful situations can
be found behind every corner.
There’s quote saying it so good in one single sentence:
“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.” (Anais