AdvenA is a really cool German band that everybody should know of. Answers from Christoph Kohlmeier (Guitar, Composer) Anders Ekdahl ©2018
You have one of these names that tell me that some thought has been involved in the choice. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-Well, I’m afraid it was actually just a lucky break. When we founded the band, the only thing we already knew about the name was, that it shouldn’t be English, and it should be just one particular word. Then once in a summer night 2012 we were sitting outside on the balcony, discussing the band’s name. We ended up getting a Latin dictionary, and cause It was dark outside, we just opened up random pages one after another. With this, we found the word „Advena“ which means something like „the stranger“. Yeah what should I say, it seemed to be the perfect name for us, cause we knew that our music should be different, so why not get a name which says it’s kinda „strange“. And it sounds quite mystic, but also really catchy!
So to answer your question: It wasn’t really hard, it was just a matter of time.
The competition is a killer these days so please tell us why people should buy your latest album?
-In my opinion, we have way too much Deathcore and Metalcore bands these days. I know what I’m talking about, cause once, AdvenA was intended to be Metalcore too.
We went another way, cause of…I actually don’t know why, it has had its own volition.
It’s neither Melo Death, nor Metalcore or Death Metal. It’s a mixture of all those, with Keyboards, Ambience and lots of interesting stuff, not that pseudo-hard shit. AdvenA has both emotional passages, and hard-hitting metal riffs. We tend to be different, and we’re about to increase this value with our upcoming album! So, if you want to hear something “strange”, just come over!
Do you notice that there anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-Of course, people asked if we’re going to bring new stuff soon. But when I’m honest, I think there can’t be any big anticipation for bands like us. We’re about to start a massive advertising campaign when our new album is announced. It’s gonna be a totally different style of art, so I’m sure we’ll get lots of attention for it. But at the moment, we’re unfortunately not big enough to realize something like that within our community. It may just be the 50 biggest fans, who will anticipate our new album, and even if this is the best thing I could think of at the moment, we’re working to increase this number by far! And I bet we’ll have success with it!
When you started the band did you do so with a clear intent of what kind of music you wanted to play? How hard was it to come up with a sound all your own?
-That’s pretty interesting, cause as I just said, AdvenA was originally intended as a Metalcore project. I tried to write songs, influenced by bands like As I Lay Dying, but however I did, in the end, they sounded different. I’ve always been partial to keyboards, so maybe that was the crucial factor for the following upgrowth of our musical style. So I just wrote songs over and over again. I could feed five bands with the tabs on my hard drive, haha. The style changed quite a bit within the years, so most of the songs are kinda like useless now, but as a result of that process, I found my true style of writing songs. But I’m afraid we all have to wait for our upcoming album to hear the full amount of this truly unique sound I’m talking about! For now, it’s just a variation of Thrash and Melo Death, but to my ears, it should already be distinctive enough for you to remember our name 😀
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-It depends on your imagination of “something bigger”. There’s an adage which puts this in a nutshell: “The whole thing is bigger than the sum of its parts”. So personally, we feel as a part of an artwork, as part of a much bigger story than just a piece of paper with notes and numbers on it.
If you mean if the band itself is part of something bigger, than actually, no, I don’t think so. In this particular view, we’re just another of a few thousand Metal bands out there, but sometimes it feels like it’s all a big family. For example, when we drive 400km to play with guys we’ve never heard before, and their music sounds similar to what we’re used to know from bands in our hometown, well, then it really feels like you are a part of something bigger.
When you play the sort of music you play do you feel that you can have whatever you like as art work for the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-Music is an art, and there’s just one rule: “Free your mind!”. Of course, on the other hand, you can use green meadows with flowers and horses as an album cover, but hey, I think this won’t really convey the temper of Metal, will it? So in this particular case, I want to supplement the rule I told you from a few lines above: “Free your mind, but let your ideas fit in your message”. Metal is not mandatory gloomy, but I think it hasn’t the warmth of e.g. country or pop music.
So to me, the perfect album cover has depth in it. It hasn’t to be complicated, there’s no rule. It could be a drawing or a photo, whatever. It just needs some depth, so you can look at it, and lose yourself in the captured scene, discovering new details. I personally like the cover-styles of those modern Djent-Bands like Born Of Osiris. It’s all kinda wide and eternal, but not that menacing and evil. That’s perfect for our music, to have even the artwork to create a hypnotizing atmosphere.
I have a great fear that the change in how people consume music today will eventually kill music as we know it. What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I’m quite contrary. Why should it? Think of the digital domain, as a platform, that brings music to the consumer on a much easier way than a physical copy could ever do.
Physical copies will never die, cause there will always be hardcore music lover with a collection of their favorite CD’s (or whatever the future may bring). When I look at some festivals, CD’s are omnipresent yet. So I think the digital domain is not really an alternative, but an expansion to the physical distribution of music. Of course, times are over where people are walking through the streets with cassette- and CD-Players, but hey, I can’t see any problem in it. If anything, then it’s the illegal streaming of music, but unlike the film-industry, streaming music causes no real financial damage to the musicians. I’d go a step further and say the promotion you get from illegal streaming is much more worth than the financial damage. The biggest damage would be, when no one listens to your music, and this problem is fairly out of the way with this.
So, lets keep the change, we can’t stop it anyway, even if we wanted. I think it’s okay how it goes.
Is the era of great arena tours as thing of yester? What kind live scene is there for bands like yours? What does the touring circuit look like today?
-If your band name is Muse, Guns n’ Roses or Metallica, you can still have those big arena tours. But I truly understand what you mean. There are no real “classics” like them in modern times. Ask me this question again in, let’s say, 20 years. I fear it’ll look different then, but for now, the time is about to come to an end. That’s probably an aftereffect of the huge number of bands today. There are simply to much guys out there like us, or even bigger. But there’s nothing like THE ONE BAND, as It used to be 50 years ago with e.g. The Beatles.
Today there are nearly as many fans as musicians, it’s horrific. You drive 200 miles to play in a little pub, only to find out that there are more musicians than beer drinking fans in front of stage. There are more venues than ever, but smaller ones. On the other hand, it’s great for small bands to come up with something, but it makes touring look a little different than people may commonly think of it. Don’t get me wrong, touring is so much fun, even in the smallest venues and most fucked up hostels we ever slept, but it’s another cup of tea than 30 years before, neither positive nor negative. This may truly change by an increasing number of fans, but it’ll never be like Woodstock, if you know what I mean.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-Definitely more like a happening, but this also depends on the venue and the audience. It’s a lot of fun for us to be on stage, but for us the presentation is centric. We wanna convey our music to the people and let them be amazed. So, we’re taking this quite seriously, but overall the most important thing about is that both we and the audience have a good time together! And troubles begin, when you try to show you like what you’re doing up there, but even stay concentrated enough to fit in your role. So it’s a little bit of both happening and a party, even if the emphasis changes from time to time.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Hopefully, future will be rampant! We’re going to do our best to make great music and bring it to your all ears. Let there pass a few years and hopefully we’ll see on a big stage in front of thousands of people! Germany is the Mekka of Metal, you probably know. We have lots of festivals to play, lots of labels to be picked up by, and lots of fans to thrill! Our journey has just begun!
So whatever the future may bring, we’re ready for it, and we’re looking forward to each show we’re going to play in the next years! And hopefully, future brings us a lot more people out there, who come over to our spotify page and HIT PLAY, that would be damn amazing!