TODTGELICHTER might have started out as a pretty traditional black metal band but they are far from that today. With a new album out I had to get to know more about them. Answers by Floris (guitar) and Tentakel P. (drums). Anders Ekdahl ©2016
You have a new album to promote now. How does this one follow on from the previous one? How does this one differ from the previous one?
Tentakel P.: On “Rooms” we followed our stomach feelings a little more again. Personally I think this one is more diverse and unpolished that the last album. More contrast and also spontaneous moments. What we definitely kept is the more mature songwriting I guess, but the range of moods is even bigger than before.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
Floris: Actually it was not that hard to find a name, the whole concept (ghosts of the past, memories of places we have known and which changed their meanings for us, retrospective thoughts) was clear and just the name was missing. It was Tentakel P. who came out with the idea to entitle it “Rooms” and it fitted perfect to the concept and our vision of the album – so everbody agreed.
The moods that we create in our music are always connected to pictures we have in mind while writing it. So its nearly impossible for us to separate them from the orgination process of the album. Needless to say that the fact that the name has to fit to the music happens naturally.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of prog/rock/metal you play? What inspires you today?
Floris: In the band we got many different kinds of favourite music we listen to. There are a few bands we have in common, but also a lot that differ. I think for TODTGELICHTER it’s a good thing, because when it comes to songwriting, we don’t see it narrow-minded and everyone puts ingrediences in that creates a unique style.
It would be not representative to name explicit bands that inspired us, because we got inspiration from so many things – books, poetry, situations that we experience, movies – everything that affects us.
But there were a few albums that excited me lately:
CHELSEA WOLFE – “Abyss”
TRIBULATION – “The Children Of The Night”
(Saw both of them live and i was really stoked!)
Also still BEHEMOTH – “The Satanist” or DEAFHEAVEN – “New Bermuda”.
Tentakel P.: Let me just add that everything is inspiring – but nothing is influencing.
What came first; the band name or the sound? How did you settle on a sound?
Tentakel P.: The band name. We had a bunch of them before we even played the first note. But the sound – well, we listened to a lot of Black Metal back then so naturally we started off as something like this. But a conscious “settling” on a sound? If you know our discography, you will agree that is far from what we do, haha… It all comes naturally somehow.
Is digital killing the album format? Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
Floris: Hehe, the right question for me – hopefully it does NOT kill the album format. But I think Vinyl will win in the future, it already does for me. I’m a Vinyl-Collector and I think there are so many reasons to buy Vinyl. If you think about the artworks, much better and bigger presented, nice composition of gatefolds, colored or splatter Vinyls, bonustracks (in summer we will release “Rooms” on Vinyl and there also will be a special bonustrack) and for me – a much better sound. Most Vinyls already got a download code inside, so that you can have both.
These times digital is important to have and sometimes really practical so I think there will be two kinds of listeners: those who like to collect (they buy the vinyl) and those who don’t would prefer digital.
Releasing single tracks is a good appetizer for the whole album, so I think it’s a good thing, but if you want to have the whole magic – get a Vinyl.
What part does art work and lay out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
Floris: In my opinion it plays a big role, how you present your record artworkwise. Everything has to be planned meticulously, nothing happens accidentally. With “Angst” TODTGELICHTER started to use expressive symbols on the front cover, which is a tradition, we kept that also on “Rooms”. With Truls Espedal (well known for his work for ENSLAVED) we got an artist on our side who created a cover artwork that fits perfect to the mood of “Rooms”.
This time we also added the UV light to our live performance – this is a very fitting aspect you can recognize in the photos we used for the layout of the booklet.
Marta and Tentakel P. designed the whole booklet in collaboration with Truls and the photos of Marlek (Lys og Skyggen) which gave it a perfect finishing.
In general we don’t think about how we can catch peoples’ attention, we do what fits best and what we like best personally. I think if you do something with the goal to reach as many people you can reach, it can easily fail.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote a cd? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Touring, word of mouth, paper ads etc?
Tentakel P.: Definitely re-written the way music is promoted these days.. There are a lot of great bands out there who do not even release physical, to them social media is everything. But while we embrace the additional digital possibilities, we also continue with the traditional way. That is, physical release, label, promotion in print mags etc. etc. As long as it still works we’ll do it like this, but we’re also using the new possibilities.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
Floris: A really difficult question indeed. I think with “Rooms” we entered new territories, it’s kind of – we opened up a new scene. Nevertheless we got influences from a lot other genres in our music. In the existing german extreme metal scene I think we got an “exotic” status. You never know what comes next.
Tentakel P.: These days I couldn’t care less about “scene”. I don’t need the restraints and narrowmindedness I have experienced years ago while I was kind of active (whater does that mean anyway?). And with everything shifting towards Internet the lines between the old “scenes” are blurring more and more, so… I like to think of a network of people I like or respect that I have regular contact with rather than a “scene”.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Tentakel P.: Of course! It’s the best to do between albums and we’ll be quite busy with “Rooms”. Meeting with fans and playing in other cities and countries. Expect a lot more to come during 2016!
What will the future bring ?
Floris: First of all, we’ll concentrate on live appearences this year. There will be the “Wachkoma-Tour” with our mates from AGRYPNIE and ANOMALIE, the “Autumn Souls of Sofia” Festival and with our booking agency ELD EVENTS we got more in the pipeline for 2016.
Besides we slowly started to jam new riffs and slightly get into the songwriting modus for new material for the next album. A title already exists, which of course will not be revealed. Stay tuned!