Interview with Sebastian Kister and Bastian Löser - Symbolic, March 2011

Can you please introduce yourself and the band shortly to our readers?

Sebastian: My name’s Sebastian Kister, in my other life I’m a music teacher, author and composer and joined the band just several weeks ago, that is why I didn’t make it in the artwork anymore because the release date was too close.

Basti: My name's Bastian Löser and in my other life I'm a superhero who saves the world from brain eating mars zombies by using my stinky socks. And the other ones are Hans and Stef on the guitars and Tobi on the drums.

Don’t you use a bass guitar? Or can’t you find someone suitable enough to be in the band with all four of you?

Sebastian: Apparently we do. 

Basti: :D yeah! Sebastian joined us a few weeks ago. He's a very good musician and we're proud that we could recruit him. It was very hard to find someone who can play the songs and fits in the band. 

What has the band been doing between the debut album ‘Enigma’ and the recording of the new album ‘Scarvest’?

Basti: We had a lot changes in the line up. First our drummer Alex left the band and after that our guitar player Moier quit. For Symbolic it was a big step backwards. So we tried to find new members and found Stef (guitar) and Tobi (drums). Then we started writing the songs for SCARVEST.

I’m not familiar with your debut album, so please could you tell me (us) what the biggest musical difference between the debut and the new album is?

Basti: SCARVEST is more brutal and faster. The biggest difference for me is that there are no clean vocals, haha, that’s much better. We tried to be slightly more progressive, but always kept in mind to create catchy songs... 

Sebastian: ... and head banger hymns.

Who is responsible for the song writing?

Basti: We're all involved in the writing process. For SCARVEST, Stef and Hans came up with some ideas most of the time and then we decided what we like most and worked it out. 

In my view you play a kind of heavier and more technical form of modern Swedish melodic death, a heavier and more brutal In Flames, Soilwork etc. do you agree with that?

Sebastian: Yes I think it fits this description. We all love to do brutal stuff and we all enjoy great melodies and cool songs. And as a musician you always want to play something that suits you, your skills and preferences. The music SYMBOLIC does is the reference of all the band members’ song writing and work as musicians. 

What are the bands main influences?

Basti: It’s hard to tell. We all like different styles of metal and listen to a lot of music. I think that’s SYMBOLIC’s goal and makes us sound like we do. 

Tobi: Mainly Jägermeister and Wodka.

Sebastian: haha!

Bastian, you use two different kind of styles, an aggressive one and a very low grunting style, is it easy for you to do both?

Basti: As a superhero it’s no big deal for me :D Seriously I only do what feels good to me. 

I don’t know the exact ages of the members, but every one of you has good musical skills, the music is sometimes rather technical, are you autodidact or did you all have a lot of music lessons?

Sebastian: I actually worked as an autodidact though I had some first impulses from a friend. 

Basti: Stef, Hans and Tobi had music lessons when they were kids.

The German press banned the new album of Danish band Pitchblack for the cruel cover artwork, your cover isn’t that bloody, but a headless man isn’t completely innocent either, what is your opinion about this censorship?

Sebastian: I am convinced that a certain possible censorship is a necessary evil in modern and democratic society but just and only for entertainment media concerning age restriction - though it just does not work the way it is because there are people responsible for it that just have no idea what they’re judging about like always if something is related to politics. Important to know is that this kind of censorship needs an appeal by someone. In case of Pitchblack’s “The Devilty” cover it was the distributors as I read. I think everyone should make his own mind on the conclusion of that fact why the own distributors do that. And aside of all that, we’ve seen a lot worse on death metal cover artworks and we see a lot worse and even real on the news. I can’t support that decision and I can’t support current censorship at all and if it would happen to our cover I’d be even more damn fucking angry with certain people.

How are the first reactions from the press on the new album?

Sebastian: We’ve received a lot of good reviews all over the world and the general opinion about SCARVEST is really great. The worst we’ve ever received was an “a lot of potential”. The biggest zines world wide are printing in two weeks, let’s hope we can sail this course a lot further.

Are there plans for a tour, or is the band just doing some single gigs in the weekends, because I think you all must have daily jobs to put bread on the table?

Basti: Tobi and I got day jobs, the other lazy asses are students and Sebastian is a teacher, haha.

Sebastian: Our tour management blocked some weeks for us this year after the festival summer and if you give us a lot of points and everyone buys the album you can be sure we will play somewhere near you. The best possible support for a band is buying the album so we can come and kick your asses, haha. The sales and offers are the indicators that will signalize our management to send us to you.

If you need to choose 2 bands you have to share the stage with, which ones will that be?

Sebastian: For me it would be Dark Tranquillity and Behemoth.

Basti: Soilwork and Darkane.

Tobi: Marianne & Michael and of course the almighty Heino.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Sebastian: Honestly, now we need the support of all of you to share our music with you guys and your friends to play kick ass concerts for you. So please, if you like it, buy it.

Basti: Züpfemaharadscha....ja genau!!!


Symbolic - Scarvest

Label: Twilight




Bastian Löser (Vocals)
Andreas Schiegl (Guitars)
Stefan Pfaffel (Guitars)
Sebastian Kister (Bass)
Tobias Schill (Drums)

Scarvest  (2011)
Enigma (2006)

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries