Hi Stefan! How are the things nowadays?Hi , everything’s fine with Somber Serenity! This year we had the chance to play our first two festival-gigs, at the Walpurgis Metal Days Festival and the Metallic Noise Festival. Songwriting is going on very good, and at the moment we try to find a label to support us with our upcoming album. Somber Serenity israthernew band, so please introduce your band to the audience …I wouldn’t call Somber Serenity a new band, but we aren’t very known outside of Germany, so we are really a new band for the turkish scene. Somber Serenity was founded in autumn 1995, and after two Demo-Tapes and a Split 7″ with Gone Sadness we have released our first album “Singular” in November 2001. This album was the end of the first Somber Serenity chapter, because it was the last release with Daniel Vaross on vocals and guitar. Our bass player left us also after the recording session, so we had to build up a new line-up. Since nearly two years our new line-up is: Michael Knöringer – vocals, mouthharp and flute, Stefan Botz – guitar, Christian Löbering – guitar, Max Marquardt – bass and Robert Mutzbauer – drums.You generaly employ the depiction of ‘Dark Metal’. As we all know there are some other fine examples of dark metal in the scene like Bethlehem etc. Why did you chose this definition for your music?We chose Dark Meal as a definition for our music, cause Dark Metal isn’t such a fixed definition like Black Metal or Death Metal. For us, Dark Metal is somewhere between Doom, Gothic, Death and Black Metal, and that fits very good to our sound. I think you are working on a new opus at the moment. So what can you say about the coming songs? Are there any changes in your sound character or in lyrics?Yes, you are right, we work on a new album at the moment. We have seven finished songs for our second album, and two further songs are nearly finished. Beside some songs in the typical Somber Serenity vein, we also include folkloristic elements and melodies in some of the new songs which are intesified by the use of percussion, mouthharp and flute. The new songs are more compact, shorter and a little bit faster than the songs on “Singular”. After we have found our new members it was just natural to us, that we wouldn’t continue with exact the same style. While Daniel wrote all lyrics for our first CD, we have now three persons writing lyrics. Personal subjects are still very important to us, but we combine them now with pagan themes.You have several and diverse elements in your music. I think this is a kind of clue about your own musical taste. So what are your inspirations while individualizing this dark art?I don’t try to avoid influences from other bands, cause it feels just natural to me. My musical taste isn’t very limited, and therefore I have many diverse inspirations. But the main inspirations are still from metal bands like Primordial, My dying Bride, Bathory or Immortal, and medieval/folk bands like Corvus Corax, Fiddler’s Green or The Merlons. I heard you are in to The Cure ‘s music as well! What are your fave The Cure albums? Mine isPornography and Bloodflowers…Great to hear, that you are into the Cure, too! I’m into metal since 18 years now, but there are many non-metal bands which I respect very much, and The Cure is on of them!I havn’t bought every The Cure album, but until now myfavorit is “Disintegration” with great songs like “Plainsong”, “Pictures of you” or the well known “Lullaby”.Do you like reading magazines /fanzines which is dedicated to this scene?People are not interested in such kind of stuff anymore,there are webzines bla bla, they generally chose this way…i m addicted to the smell of paper…Yes, I think I’m addicted, too! I have collected many fanzines through the years like Slayer Mag, Tales of the Macabre, Final Solution, Voices from the Darkside, Snakepit, Sin is there, Oskorei, Mørkeskye or Cothurnus. I also read webzines when it comes to reviews or news, but when it comes to reading interviews, I prefer printed fanzines. And it’s always great to thumb through some old fanzines!And what do you think about this MP3 thing?Are you getting angry when you heard of the illegal copies of Somber Serenity albums?I have only witnessed one guy from russia, who offers our first album as MP3s through his website and I try to see it as just another way to spread our name. I can understand that our CD is not available or too expensive for some fans in other countries, so it’s ok for me, when they get our music through MP3 downloads, but it should be our decision which songs we give away for free! We are very interested in licence deals in other countries where our releases aren’t available, but ripping off other people is maybe just more common in our society.Can you mention about your lyrics? What kind ofthemes you try to depict? Do you use themliterarally conceptional, or write them just to put into the booklet?As I mentioned before, our lyrics deal very often with peronal subjects, like solitude or loss. The lyrics should fit to the feeling of a song, and many Somber Serenity have a dark and melancholic atmosphere, and so are the lyrics. Some of our new songs – those with a more folkloristic touch – deal with pagan themes, cause we are very interested in nature based believes from the old celtic and germanic tribes or the american and australien natives. “…into eternity” for example is inspired by a story, told in the book “Mutant Message Down Under” from Marlo Morgan, dealing about an australien aborigine tribe who have lost their natural place of living cause of the ongoing exploitation of nature and therefore they stopped reproduction and wait until the last one of them will die.According to you, in which language it is easier to sing? I mean do you think it s better to sing in German?Our new CD will include two tracks with german lyrics written by our vocalist Michael who feels more comfortable to write in german. I think one can’t say what is easier, cause it varies from song to song, and the other lyrics written by Max, Michael and myself are in english.What are you listening nowadays? Do you have some recommends for us from Germany?My musical taste nowadays reachs from very soft emotional music up to grim Black Metal. Bands I respect very much are for example Antimatter, Anathema, Heather Nova, Darkthrone, The Crown, Promordial, Dead Soul Tribe, Immortal and My dying Bride. My current favorite albums are Lunar Aurora “Elixir of Sorrow”, Doomshine “Thy Kingdoom come” and Katatonia “Brave Murder Day”. Which german bands can I recommend? Beside the well known Lunar Aurora, Dark Fortress, Secrtes of the Moon or Morrigan I would recommend Helrunar (first album is called “Grátr”) to everyone interested in Black Metal in the vein of old Enslaved, Ulver or Borknagar! The mentioned Doomshine are a great new Doom Metal Band, sounding a little bit like Solitude Aeternus. And I’m sure that you will hear very soon something from Sycronomica (melodic Black Metal) and Equilibrium (Pagan Metal like Finntroll or Moonsorrow). These bands are from munich and will release their first albums very soon through Black Attakk. And last but not least I should mention Odem Arcarum – a Black Meal band, where I’m involved as a session guitar player.Are you into movies? I mean what kind of movies you prefer to watch? Moreover whar are your fave horrors from the recent times? Mine are The Signs and The Others…I don’t have enough time to go to the cinema or watch DVDs at home very often, but among my favorit movies from the last years are “From Hell”, “Hannibal”, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Bowling for Columbine”. I have also seen “The Others” and I prefer this kind of horror movies, cause they are way more intense than most splatter-horror movies.Can you say what do you exactly think when you heard of these;Wolf ? – natur, instinct, wilderness, lost freedomTattoo? – Something I want, but havn’t done until now…Like the Gods of the Sun? – A brilliant My dying bride album!Reich? – Sacred Reich: real Thrash / The third Reich: real TrashFrost? – everything is white and quiet, natur is sleeping Thanks Stefan for your time, what are last words to end this interview?I want to thank you, for doing this interview with us and good luck with your fanzine! To all readers: feel free to visit our website http://www.somberserenity.info , download our songs and get in contact with us!