Somber Serenity Interview

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 is  rather  new band, so please introduce your band to
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
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 is  Pornography 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 my  favorit 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 of  themes you try to
depict? Do you use them  literarally 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 freedom
Tattoo? – 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 Trash
Frost? – 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 , download our songs and get in contact with



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