'Graveconzernsezine' 2004– (Online-Gothic-Magazin / USA)
“Formed in 1998 & with a plethora of cameo’s in various compilations, performed with the likes of Gitane Demone, Pilori, Endless, Die Schinder, & four albums under their belt, the German outfit Felsenreich perform an amalgam of progressive gothic doom metal backed by an array of neo classical passages. The following interview was done through email with founder Mathias Sohn who gives us a brief lowdown on this mysterious entity & their most current activities. Recommended if your into bands like Lacrimosa, My Dying Bride, Love Like Blood, etc.”
Grave Concerns -Hello, how are you doing?
Mathias –“Good thank God…..we’re great but sorrowful because only two from the band can make it for this interview tonight. The other three are in the studio right now to get done with more preparation for our autumn-tour.”
Grave Concerns -Being not too familiar w/ the German language can you tell us what your band name means & where you got it from?
Mathias –“Five years ago we found our band name when we met up at our studio to brainstorm some ideas for a new name. The old name was "graves in the moonlight" which actually was to stereotype. The new name, "Felsenreich" means “empire of rocks” and this truly comes from two German words; felsen (rocks) are symbolizing strength, indestructibility, power, height, stability, and you probably know the band Rammstein. The word reich (empire) just shows our own world. Our empire of music.”
Grave Concerns -Have you guys been performing live a lot this year?
Mathias –“This year we’ve been performing at one of the most important gothic festivals in the world. “The Wave Gothic Meeting” which takes place in Leipzig / Germany every year. About 2,0000 enthusiastic fans got crazy in May this year. We didn't do too much live stage work earlier this year because finishing our new record took most of our time. Later this year we’ll make our Germany tour but doing gigs in the US some day would be fantastic too.”
Grave Concerns -Your music seems to draw from an array of influences like gothic rock, dark metal, neo classical, etc.. What type of people attend your shows & what's your fan base like?
Mathias –“Yeah truly these are influences we all really try to combine. We call our style “Mexican gothic” mainly because we include a trumpet. Almost nobody we know in this scene is actually using the outstanding performance of a trumpet. In Mexico trumpet noises are quite wide spread and commonly heard, so we thought some Mexican influence to it makes our sound a bit sharper. The scene is influenced by a lot of different styles in Germany and is always open for new and interesting effects. Our fans are mostly from the gothic scene and seems to be a real multi-layered community which means they are coming from different music styles like gothic, metal, electro, wave, as well as alternative. It’s always widely open for new attractive side effects.”
Grave Concerns -Have you received much response overseas?
Mathias –“Honestly you are the first one to ask for an interview. We haven't had much oversea response. Now this changed so maybe because our second record is distributed by an international company, “Nova Media”. Our first album was mainly for the German market but now we go more international.”
Grave Concerns -Tell us a bit about your new record "Tiefe". What does it mean & is there any certain theme involved throughout the record?
Mathias –“Our new record "Tiefe" means the depth we wanted to dive into varieties of the human soul. The theme of this record tells about different stages of the human mind and soul. In different songs we look into various human feelings. For example, the song "Am Meer" ( at the sea) discusses lost partnerships.”
Grave Concerns -Who are some of your musical influences & what have you been listening to lately?
Mathias –“In our first record "Am Ende der Zeit" ( at the end of time) we were deeply influenced by the Californian band London After Midnight, mainly the structure of the songs and the way they put it to lyrics. Our newest offering, musically, we’re even more influenced by Scandinavian bands like “The 69 Eyes", "Nightwish", and "Tiamat". The lead singer listens mostly to Philip Boa and the Voodoo Club, David Bowie, & The Cure. My ear hangs onto Enya, Lorenna Mckinett, & Lisa Gerrard , due partially to the soundtracks of the “Gladiator” and The Passion of the Christ films”. Our keyboardist & bass guitar listens to Depeche Mode & Tangerine Dream. Our guitarist likes Ozzy Osborne, Nightwish, & Therion. The drummer enjoys Sepultura & Tiamat.”
Grave Concerns -On your website, there's four of you listed as members yet in the bio I got there's five of you listed. Any reason why?
Mathias –“Our new drummer J.Meier just joined in May of this year & with all the work in the studio we just did not take the time to put him into the webpage.”
Grave Concerns -Are any of you involved in side projects currently?
Mathias –“I work funerals as a professional trumpet player to earn some extra money. I also play part time for the gothic rock band Janus on their new album "Auferstehung" & for the metal band Die Schinder. Our guitarist works as a producer at “Tyton Records” producing other bands and radio programs aswell as producing bands at our own label "Empire of Rocks”.
Grave Concerns -What other German bands do you recommend people check out?
Mathias –“Rammstein, Janus, Das Ich, Philip Boa and the Voodooclub.”
Grave Concerns -Anything else you'd like to add?
Mathias –“Thanks for this interview and greetings to the American gothic scene. Greetings also to Sean and Michael from London After Midnight (we are waiting for your new record). For our postal address please contact us under this email address: email@example.com. Our webpage is: www.felsenreich.de in case you did not already know. Thanks and be well.”