- Please introduce yourself.
Hi, we’re Heretics, a five-piece Death Metal band from Paderborn, Germany. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary on stage this year and will release our debut album Via Appia on 27 September.
Answering the question is Tim Lobner.
- When your band was created?
2009 we founded the band, shortly before buying instruments to play with. Our first gig was on Halloween 2010.
- What music genre do you play?
Our music is usually described as mostly Old School Death Metal, with melodic and epic elements.
- How could you describe your music in several words?
We play Death Metal and let in any element which will improve a song. The description with „melodic and epic“ elements is certainly correct, seeing as we have integrated orchestral elements and take inspiration from other extreme metal bands on the epic side.
- What is the main theme of your lyrics?
Most of it is some form of social criticism of some sort – drone strikes, torture, religious extremism for example. We write about whatever we want though, one song is loosely based on the God of War story and another a thought experiment about what one might do to other human beings in order to survive.
- What would you like to achieve with the band activity?
Having fun is the most important part. Standing on stage in front of rows of headbanging people is exhilarating and getting positive feedback to new music after months of work is enormously satisfying.
That being said, we would like to play bigger stages more frequently, where we can move around and really make use of the energy during the set.
- How many gigs you have played so far and maybe you visit other countries with concerts?
I can’t recall the total number of gigs, but we have been out of Germany twice: Once we supported Brazilian band Lacerated and Carbonized in Prague, Czech Republic and once on our very own Carrying the Disease Tour we played in Skanderborg, Denmark.
- Is there anything very important about your band that must know fans and labels?
Labels and fans are two rather different addressees, so this is a hard one.
We give this thing our very best, for our own fun as much as yours. This only works all in, it cannot be half-assed dicking around. That being said, have patience with us – we’re learning how everything works by doing, and we have jobs to pay for our expensive gear, so we can only do so much at a time.
You can help us out making more music by asking your local promoters to book us / by signing (or otherwise working with) us.
- What the formats you would like to see your releases, CD, Vinyl, Tape…? And how do you see the future of physical releases?
CDs are a given, since selling something physical at shows is important. We are rather young for vinyls ourselves, however, if enough people want some, we can certainly see ourselves offering those in the future. I am not sure about tapes, but we don’t mind them either.
In metal at least, physical releases will stay relevant for some time to come. There are enough collectors, which can also be seen in the new rise of vinyls.
Not only are they collectors items, but also with music people are far more likely to sit down and enjoy the entire product – the music, the artwork, the lyrics – than with streaming services. That is not to say, that everyone listens exclusively to CDs, or that streaming is a bad thing per se, but physical products will stay important. After having seen a good show, you are likely to buy merch in metal, but there is only so much space in your wardrobe for yet another shirt, whereas with the CD you get the music you want to listen to anyway.
- When you will get a label deal, would you like to help the label with promotion from your side, or you want label to do all without your help?
I don’t think that it is a good idea to have the label do all the promotion without any help by the band. For one thing, artistically the label’s ideas may not match the band’s ideas. Working together would therefore more likely lead to an outcome, that both sides like. For another, why would a label sign a band that is not interested in putting themselves out there? Playing in a band is often about being seen (or at least noticed) and promotion is part of that, so I think it is always an important part for the band to do (or participate in).
However, labels can distribute promotion far wider, than bands can on their own, so this is where the label should use it’s strength: Spreading the word about what the band did. Furthermore, the more a label takes of the band’s back, the more the band can concentrate on a good product to market.
- What’s your reaction towards negative opinions about your music?
That depends on how it is expressed. Not everyone likes every type of music – not even every death metal fan likes every death metal band. Therefore, negative opinions are given and we expect them. If people are nice about it, it is perfectly fine with us. If people are trolling, we obviously just ignore it.
It is a bit harder if someone actively works against you. Ignoring would hurt you, so you have to react in some way. In that case, we have got to check if there is some point we actually need to change, because we didn’t see this before. Another way of handling it might be a discussion with the other party or in the open. This is however a rare occurrence, and we can usually concentrate on constructive feedback and positive opinions.
- And the last question, how do you like our webzine, do you have some remarks towards its look or functionality?
We only just learned about Antichrist Magazine during our promotional work for our upcoming album Via Appia. The first look leaves us with a good feeling, the website looks well structured and covers everything important. The fact, that there is a special segment for unsigned bands is obviously something we appreciate.
A somewhat problematic point for us is the query for a specific format of the audio files for review. There is only so much space you can use on your dropbox for promo work, and if different magazines and webzines all want their own format, it gets hard to get the word out. We do however get, why you would ask for a manageable size of data and since you are offering a service in the first place, we don’t want to complain too loudly.