Interview with Harald Winkler, vocalist - Darkseed, September 2010 

German band DARKSEED is back after five years of silence. With their rebirth they are going to new level of development. The new album "Poison Awaits" is a feast for all of their old fans.

With taking the risk to bother you I would like to ask you why you spent five yeas in silence?

Hi, I am Harry, the new singer of Darkseed. After our last release "Ultimate Darkness" in 2005 we took some time off to do other projects such as soundtracks for pc games like "Going Downtown" and side projects such as "Spi-Ritual". Stefan Hertrich, the band's former singer and mastermind, decided to leave the band and I was asked to join in 2008. I used to be the band's drummer in the 90ies. After a reunion gig in 2008 our "Darkseed batteries were charged again" and we started working on our new album. But we are certainly aware of the fact that five years are a long time in the metal business and our next album won't take that long to come out, take my word for it!

What do you think about the statement that the distinctive face of DARKSEED is overshadowed by the more conventional gothic sound? Is gothic the gender in which you want to develop yourselves in future?

I don't like to label our band's sound at all and I do not even feel we are a real Gothic band. Darkseed has so many different influences and we experiment with various styles and atmospheres. On the new album there might be more clean and low Gothic vocals due to me singing on the album. As far as the future goes - we do not plan the direction of an album and therefore I cannot tell you what the future sound of Darkseed will be. On "Poison Awaits" the songs ended up being pretty catchy and "to the point", but next time they might be a little different again. Our fans know we are creative minds who get bored doing the same stuff all over again. Every Darkseed album showed some natural progression and every new album is a bit challenging for our fans, but most of the metalheads understand what we are trying to express with our music and have fun listening to it.

Which of your previous albums is the main inspiration for DARKSEED today?

I would probably go with "Diving into Darkness" because it also had catchy songs and choruses.

We hope that you are still friends with Stefan Hertrich. Is there a chance to hear him as a guest of one of your future concerts or in a future studio track?

You can actually hear him on "No Promise in the Heavens", one of the tracks of our new album. He still is a good friend and he likes the new album. Stefan is one of the best metal singers for me, not many people have this "Hetfield vibe" in their voice, but unfortunately he does not want to sing metal anymore. He has a lot of other ethno music projects though which are worth checking out: Shiva in Exile is one of them.

Although I cannot see a great difference, in what direction your voice changes the image of the band?

Well, I have my own style, but as far as influences go, Stefan and I were influenced by the same vocalists: Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost, Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) and of course James Hetfield showed us a way of breaking out of the dull death metal growls we used on our first releases. Stefan used more aggressive vocals, grunts and screams, I also shout a little, but most of the vocals on the new album are clean. Some people miss the old, more aggressive singing, but most people don't mind and there is also a lot of young, new fans who have just discovered the band and like the new style a lot. As far as our image is concerned: maybe there is some Depeche Mode fans, Goths or "mainstream" people who didn't like us before and like us now which isn't a bad thing in my opinion.

Where was the most awesome experience during a concert? Will you please tell something entertaining to our readers!

I wasn't in the band for many years and the only gigs I played with the band were during the first years of Darkseed's existence in shitty clubs, hehe. The most awesome concerts I can still remember were in the 90ies - we toured in Poland, the organisation sucked big time but the fans went really crazy at those gigs - people were really hungry for metal back then, they hadn't seen so many foreign live bands before and there was guys in suits and ties who looked like bankers going nuts to our songs, which was awesome.

Do you plan a tour and next album?

Yes, the next album is already being planned. We are also thinking about getting a booking agency at the moment. Our first gig will be on October, 23 in Kiev. I am really looking forward to that. More gigs will follow all across Europe, please check our website to find out the latest news (Darkseed @ Facebook /!

Although we have suspects - who composes in your current line-up?

It's a question worth asking because we had more songwriters this time. Stefan, our old singer wrote most of the material together with Tommy, our studio mastermind and guitarist. This time Armin, our keyboarder, wrote 2 fantastic tracks, one of them being "Incinerate", maybe the best track on the album. Our guitarist Tom also wrote a lot of stuff, I love his feel for melodies and catchy hooks. Tommy wrote some of the "typical Darkseed songs", and he knows best what works well for our band.

Is there an idea and interest for re-releasing of your early albums?

At this time we do not plan to re-release any of the early albums. I know it's quite trendy to do that at the moment but I don't see the point of re-mastering and releasing old stuff with new covers or stupid extras anyway.

To what extent DARKSEED (in its new modification) comply with the taste of the public? Are you inspired by the big gothic festivals?

We do not even listen to a lot of Gothic music, some of our members like industrial or electronic music, some like technical metal like Cynic or even film soundtracks or ambient music - I can proudly say that we haven't thought ONCE about other Gothic acts and what they are doing at the moment when we collected ideas for "Poison Awaits". Some journalists sometimes compare us to acts I have never heard of before which is kind of funny. We are also not inspired by festivals although I hope that the new tracks will WORK at those festivals where we will definitely be able to find our audience.

Do Massacre Records support you enough in the moment? Do they wait the sales of the album to become clear for the planning of concerts?

The organisation of gigs, merchandise, video clips etc. is completely up to us. Metal nowadays means a lot of DIY-activities, hehe.

How do you feel? Give heart to your hard-boiled fans!

Iam really excited about our new album and hope that our old fans stick with us and new people give us a chance as well!

We wish you good luck!

Thanks for the interview and greetings to all of your readers!

Interviewed by Maria D. S. 

Darkseed - Poison Awaits

Album available on Massacre Records.