Interview with Marc Petralito, Pat Gerber and Yves Luethi  - Appearance of Nothing, January 2011

Could you please introduce the band to our readers? 

Marc Petralito: We formed the band Appearance of Nothing sometime in 2004. I saw on an internet message board that a band was looking for a keyboarder. So we began just jamming together and made our first demo 'Behind Closed Doors'. At that time we were Pat on vocals and guitar, Omar on bass, Yves on the drums and me playing the keys. After a lot of positive feedbacks we decided to do a 'real' CD in a professional environment. This effort turned out to be 'Wasted Time', our debut album. At the same time Peter joined us as a lead guitarist.

In 2008 you released your debut album 'Wasted Time'. How were the reactions on that album and what did the band do in the time between the debut and the new record?

Yves Luethi: The reactions on our first album "Wasted Time" were on the whole good till very good and few were only okay. Some have shown us our weakness on some songs and I think they were right cause we felt them too. So on our new album we tried to not do the same mistakes as you can hear. Between the debut and the new record we gave concerts and we were working on new songs for "All gods are gone".

What is the biggest difference between the debut album and the new record 'All Gods are Gone'?

Yves: The new record is much more harder and more complex then our debut album. It has a darker attitude and the song structures changed to a bit a more complex level. There isn't really much space for breathing, it just never stops. That's the biggest difference between the two records. 

How is the song writing process for a Appearance of Nothing song?

Marc: Normally I write the songs at my home studio, so that they are 80% finished. I program the instruments and do the arrangements. The other guys then say what they like or dislike and if it works for them. Like a quality control! Then I take the songs back to my place and maybe change the verse or do some other changes. But we also like to keep a song 5% unfinished, so we can still change details in the studio while recording. Especially Pat and Omar come around with a lot of cool ideas while singing in the studio.

'All Gods are Gone' is not a very positive title, what does the band want to say with this?

Pat Gerber: Well in my opinion it's always the same question about God. How can it happen, that so many things are going wrong here? If there is a real god, why doesn't he move things in the right direction? When we see how much pain exists, how many wars happen and that injustice prevails, then it's more than just a question. You could say it's the truth: All Gods are Gone

You have two lead singers in the band, why did you choose for that and what is the biggest difference in sound between Pat Gerber and Omar Cuna?

Yves: First we only had Pat Gerber as a lead singer and Omar Cuna more as a background singer. So when we gave concerts and had lots of fans telling us that Omar Cuna should be singing as much as Pat Gerber. So we kind of gave it a shot and now we have two lead singers. Pat Gerber is the one who sings the hard stuff and his voice is more darker and Omar Cuna is the softer singer, he can sing much higher. And the two voices are working so well together.

There are a lot of guest musicians on the new record. Was it difficult to contact them and to get their cooperation?

Marc: I had a contact to Devon because some good friends of mine. So I simply asked him if he liked to participate or not. Dan I just wrote an email and he is such a cool guy, he immediately said yes!

Did you actually meet all the musicians or did every musician record his part at home and send it to you?

Marc: No we wrote mails or phoned together and they would send me their stuff by email. We just send them guide tracks that were sung by Pat and Omar so they had an idea what our intention was. They are both really professional so it was no problem at all working 'virtual'.

Devon Graves in the song "Sweet Enemy" has the perfect voice for that track. How did you decide that he was the perfect singer for that song?

Marc: While writing this song I had no one specific in mind. But while thinking about bringing some guest musicians to the album, this song was just perfect because of its dark and mellow moments.

With Dan Swano you bring in some heavier parts, is that something we can expect more on the next album, the band getting heavier and trashier?

Marc: We haven't decided yet. After 'Wasted Time' we all wanted to go a step towards more aggression and more heavier music. 'Wasted Time' for us was just to soft. Especially me and Peter like the more extreme bands in heavy metal. But now that we have done that I don�t know. But I'm sure we'll keep that heavy element and because I really liked Dan's and Devon's vocals I'd appreciate if they were interested in working with us together again. 

The album is produced by Markus Teske and he did a great job. Has he worked with more bands in the metal genre and why did you choose him?

Pat: We were listening to the "Vanden Plas - Christ O" Album. We all liked the production and the sound on that album. Markus Teske was the producer. On his homepage we saw, that he is working together with many great bands like "Saga", "Dominici" "Symphony X" etc. So we decided to contact him. Markus is a really friendly and funny guy but always professional. He knows exactly how to push us forward and when to slow us down. In contrast to the production of our first album "Wasted time" we wanted a more modern sound on "All Gods are Gone". He took notice of that request and that's exactly what we have now. A Modern production, that fits perfect with our music. We are very satisfied with the result.

What do you want to express with the artwork?

Yves: Nothing, or Appearance of Nothing... no, it just looks fucking good and we wanted something surreal.  

Influences of Dream Theater, Symphony X and Vanden Plas can be found back in your music, but what other bands are you influenced by?

Marc: I listen to a lot of stuff. From the classics like Metallica to Nightwish, Dream Theater, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth to bands like The Faceless or Protest the Hero, Heaven Shall Burn... More or less every genre of metal has at least one band that I like. So in some way I guess all these bands are my influences.

What is the band going to do in 2011? Touring perhaps?

Pat: We need a lot of time to spend all the money we'll earn with our CD *laugh*. No, we all had a very turbulent time and we need a little bit time for our families. We're now rehearsing the new songs and planning a tour late summer. Of Course we're trying to play on different festivals too, but until now we haven't planned some concerts.

2010 is history, which 5 records released in that year were in your opinion the best?

Marc: I liked: Dimmu Borgir: Abrahadabra, Hell Songs - Hymns in the Key of 666, Annotations of an Autopsy - The Reign of Darkness, Heaven Shall Burn - Invictus, Barren Earth - Curse of the Red River.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Yves: To all our fans: Don't download our album for free, please buy it regular in the shop and come to our concerts. 

Pat: Do yourself a favour and buy our CD ...don't make your partner angry: buy two instead!

Appearance of Nothing - All Gods are Gone

Label: Escape Music



Pat Gerber  (Vocals/Guitar)
Omar Cuna (Vocals/Bass)
Peter Berger (Lead Guitar)
Yves Luethi (Drums)
Marc Petralito (Keyboards)                   

All Gods Are Gone (2011)
Wasted Time (2008)

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries