Old school German death metal. Just taste that sentence. Doesn’t it taste lovely? It sure does to me. DENY THE URGE are back with a new album. Questions answered by Henrik Osterloh, guitars/vox Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-It’s wonderful to look back at more then four years of decent work! It is the first time in my life that a composition became that close to that what I favourized beforehand.
„As Darkness Falls“ was developed in a complicate process between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2017. Basicially it was a full reinvention of the band. Since I fell in love with deathmetal in the beginning of the ninties, I was dreaming of an album which represents the very essence of that, what this insane music really means to me – In 2011 I quit with the old line-up and put that plan into action! In a period of all about two years I did a lot of sound experiments, wrote three albums and the last of that row finally became “As Darkness Falls”. I preproduced all with programmed drums, hired new musicians with that and went into studio. Now we got the best album and the most professional line up this band ever had!!!
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-When the band was founded in 1998, the idea behind this name was something like “we don’t have to fulfill anyone’s expectations in any kind of way and we don’ t have to fit in any trend or ruleset anyone is enforcing on us…!!!”
If I would transcend this primordial essence to a broarder dimension, it is well fitting into the way how I shaped my personal way of thinking over the years. Basicially I’m all along in this mood and a lot of people would claim that in the same way for their own personality… – But the older I got, the more I realized how conditioned we are concerning certain off limits…
But that’s just my personal interpretation. I first joined the band in 2001. The creator of the name is our former drummer Kai Ludwig, who joined the band until the split in 2011.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-Superficially answered it surely means to us to share our music with listeners, who are interested in that kind of music, right? In a deeper context I can answer that just for my own:
All the music that DTU ever released is virtually 100 percent my creation. Even long since I wanted to push this band into a plain and unmistakable direction – but I could never effort that in our former appearence. It really wasn’t that way, that the problem was just on the other’s side… After the split in 2011 I had to consolidate myself as well. But in the end, split and following self-discovery were just right and sucessful and now I’m hell bent on the reaction in the scene. Especially the live-impact of the new line up is a thing that I just can’t await to face!
So, to be honest, releasing this album and following the reactions on that means to me first and foremost getting a long since awaited self-affirmation!!!
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-Back in the days we didn’t care much about our image. We were just a solid and technical band which combined a lot of stuff in the way of „patchworking“. But if you wanna stand out of the endless mass of underground bands in this genre, you have to gain some kind of unique favour. With „As Darkness Falls“ we consciously tried to create such an image. Surely we haeven’t found something new (…!), but we tried to reinvent a specific feeling. If you wanna label that in any kind of way, call it “pure nineties death”! The whole album is exactly designed for worshipping that decade…, and if you grew up with that shit that much, that it became a part of you, you surely know what I mean!
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Right question to continue!
Especially before we had computers and internet, the artwork was kind of the “second part” of an album. Without MP3 and other virtual sizes, minimum one of your mates had to buy an LP or CD. Then you gathered at someones home, brought some beers and listened…, while whatching the artwork for sure!!! And mostly you brought an empty cassette too, for recording, while painting the bandlogo and labeling the inlaycard with all the tracks. All in all you got much more in touch with the whole thing in comparrison of putting your memory stick into your friends computer and grabbing 20 albums with a single blow. I still have albums just on tape thats artworks are clearly stored in my mind – Some of them are still perfect today, because they realy fit into the idea of the music (!!!), but some of them were just crap!
…and exactly ’cause of that reason we consciously chose an artist who heavily represents this good old days of deathmetal and is able to create an artwork that is realy matched to our stuff. Mr. Dean Seagrave!
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-The up side of social media definitely is that you can promote your stuff easily. The problem is, everyone can do it that way and so things getting inflationary – Concerning your fanbase it’s similar. Everyone can contact you on facebook, worship your music and share your post’s or whatever. But also everyone can start any kind of shitstorm on you for no fucking reason – and there are definitely enough people who believe everything what they read in the internet…
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Definitely the deathmetal scene is a decent thing!
I used to play in different metalbands (mostly death) since I am 15 and I always identified myself quite strong with that “being a fucking deathmetal guy” – attitude. It was – and still is – just incredible for me being without a band. Most of the time I had even two or three bands in different citys… Subcultural musicstyles are always more then just music! – Imagine you’re in holiday somwhere in the middle of fucking nowhere and you met a guy with a Morbid Angel shirt – Isn’t it that way, that suddenly there is something connecting, something just you both understand…?!
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-Surely the scene is also suffering from things that are generally lacking nowadays. Solidarity and organizing-abilitys for example definitely became worse over the last decade. I know some metal-associations, where the first generation of members is still in charge of everything, just because the youngsters are resistant against all responsibilities – They’re always just on the bright side of all, forgetting that every event is provided somehow… People are complaining about entrance-prices for concerts without of even having a clue of what amount of money is needed to raise such an event.
But before I start to stuck in an “everything was better in the old days-complaining”, let’s better have a look on the reasons for all of that:
Back in the days things were definitely less taken for granted. Just that example of getting new albums, that I was dealing in question five, is enough to describe what I mean – Generally the way of getting entertained was always connected with moving your fucking ass and lower one’s sight’s somewhere else. But the more multimedia we got, the more affluence gained ground and things got more and more self-evident…
Last but not least we have this problem in almost every field of our soceity!
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-In our former appearance, before the split in 2011, we had quite a passive concept for getting shows. We did just nothing and waited for decent offers – Our most importent shows were definitely 2010 a direct support for Sepultura and 2011 a direct support for Malevolent Creation. On the other side we did a lot of crushing headlining shows in smaller venues. Festivals we did less. Mostly we did single shows at the weekend. But all of our shows were inside of germany. The conditions that time didn’t allow more and beyond that we never cared about our public image these days…
With the new album we changed that policy. The new line up is only staffed with full-time musicians and for a broarder impact we choose some external partners. The goal is to gain better conditions in dealing shows ect. and establish the band in another level, where we can do more touring. A good mix of festivals and clubshows would be perfect! But, and that’s for sure, we all live in different cities/countries (…), it would be absolute nonsense to just go on with the band like we did that back then.
What will the future bring?
-Hopefully more guy’s who ask that intelligent questions like you man!