=> www.freewebs.com/twilight-metal

This is the unedited english version of the interview from the TWILIGHT-METAL WEBZINE, for the french version click the link above...

1. " First Works " is your first album, but the band was created into 1992. What is the history of the band, and what mean "felony " ?

 The story is a long one as you can imagine, but I will try to make it short for you…? As you know we started out in 1992, back then it was me and Markus Geiger, our Keyboarder, Guitarist and songwriter we’re playing with some other guys in a band. When we were thinking about a name, I was simply going through a dictionary looking for a cool word and then I saw "Felony" and thought: "this sounds nice and melodic, almost like melody..." Then I saw what it did mean and of course it wasn't something nice, it’s meaning is ‘capitol crime’ - but I thought that would be cool as a band name and it was ok also for the other guys.
We wrote our first songs then, played a few concerts and then we felt the singer at that time wasn’t good enough anymore for what we were trying to achieve, and we did fire him. Then also the guitarist left, and on top of that even the drummer. So it was just me and Markus – we then found mew members, and hat our line-up complete again in the mid 90ties. That’s when also Urs, or lead guitarist did join, and Björn our drummer. We were once again writing songs, playing concerts and recording a demo tape. In 1998 when we were about to start seriously recording an album our singer did quit, because he wanted to make music with his own band that goes more in the funk- pop-rock direction.
That’s when our ‘struggle’ to find a new lead vocalist did begin. It was very hard to find someone here in Switzerland who was able to sing that way our music needed it, and willing to work hard on it.
Then after 6 year we found Andreas Wild, he was the perfect match we were looking for and we started workingon our first CD in  2004. Andrea, the female lead vocalist did join the band after the recordings in 2005 – and here we are…:o)

2. For a first album, he is really good produced, and very elaborated, how can you explain that ? Are you a band of perfectionist persons ?

 Thanks for the compliment about the production and recording. And yes, I would agree that the term perfectionist fits especially for Markus. He recorded all the guitars, bass, most keyboards and vocals in his home-studio – and he spent countless of hours editing everything so it perfect for the mixing and mastering. He used most of his vacation time for it, and sometimes even worked through nights.

3. All members of the band have an excellent control of their instrument, how have you reach this level ?

Well thanks again for your kind words. I have to admit that we’re (not yet) playing live as perfect as we would like it, but we’re working on that… In the studio you always have multiple tries and it’s possible to edit certain things. But playing live is different, you just got that one try - we all are practicing hard to reach a certain level that allows us to play our songs as good as they should sound – sometimes we accomplish that more sometimes less

4. You play a traditional symphonic heavy metal, what do you think about all style, like metal core or extrem music ?

I’m probably the only one in the band who has a very wide taste in metal music and listens to all kind of band in that genre, also the more ‘extreme’ ones. I was very much into death metal in 1990 when he whole Swedish scene started with Entombed’s ‘Left hand path’ album for example. Nowadays I listen more to the melodic death metal bands like In Flames or Children Of Bodom. I also have CD’s from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Slayer, Trivium, Death, Cynic and many more from that genre. But with the exception of our drummer the other members aren’t into this style – well I think they are missing on some good music… ;o)

5. We don't see you as much as we hope on stage , have you any deal for open with other bands out of switzerland ?

We see ourselves not us much on stage as we would like. But for a newcomer-band like us with a smaller label this is a general problem. We simply don’t have the possibility to go on a tour, ‘cause we are not established enough, and don’t have to money to finance a tour ourselves. And since we all have our jobs that we like to keep, it’s also a matter of timing. But of course our dream would be to play also concerts in other countries and even do a tour in Europe, maybe one day this will come true…

6. Traditionnal question ! what is the principal influence for the band ?

Since Markus is our main songwriter his influences probably affect our sound the most. But for example, our singer Andy is a big Robbie Williams fan and also likes stuff like Spocks Beard and Dream     Theater. Urs our guitarist is totally into Europe and Toto and Markus  likes a lot the older Malmsteen albums, Black Sabbath with Tony Martin on vocals, Masterplan, older Gary Moore and Royal Hunt Symphony-X. And we’re also fans of 80ties pop music like Duran Duran.

7. Do you use personal feeling's for written lyrics, or is it pure fairytale and fiction ?

It’s actually a mixture of both. I mean we don’t write about dragons and knights, but some lyrics are influenced by certain experiences or things that happen around us, or that we see in the news. And others like for example ‘On lifes end’ are of course just a fictional imagination of how you could feel when your old and feeling the end is near. We don’t want to teach or preach with our lyrics – if someone wants to take an ‘advice’ from them, that’s cool – but for us they are there mainly to ‘serve’ the music.

8. What is the effect to work with a professional like Sasha Paeth, a man who is producer of
famous band like Edguy, Rhapsody and Epica for example.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you from my own experience, because I did record all my bass tracks here in Switzerland in Markus’ home-studio, so it wasn’t necessary for me to go to the Gate Studios in Wolfsburg. Only Andy, Markus & Björn went there to record the drums, a few additional vocals and all the mixing and mastering was done there. The guys told me that it was very easy going working with Sacha, that he’s such a nice and polite person who did treat them no different than the other ‘famous’ artists he worked with.

9. The two vocals man/woman is really great, but really rare, was it a volontary gait of the band to mark-down of other bands ?

We did work with a female & male singer together since the mid 90ties. I think the idea for that came from the band Ryoal Hunt – they had two female backing singers on their albums and also toured with them – and we thought it would sound great it the female voices not only would do harmonies in the background but also sing lead vocals. So we started to rearrange the vocal-parts in some songs, adding the female voice and it did grow more and more over the years. We think it sounds great that way, it gives your music an additional ‘colour’ and much more ways to express the songs.

10. Contrary of other band like Edguy or Sonata Arctica you don't release your first album very young, Do you think that it can be negative for an "explosion" of the band ?

I  have no idea, since the ‘circumstances’ kept us from releasing a cd when we were as young as the bands you did mention. Of course maybe the status of our band would be different by now when we would have released a CD a few years ago – but on the other hand, maybe it had to be this way, because the CD would have sounded different from what it is now if we recorded a few years ago – maybe people wouldn’t have liked it a the band would have quit – so I really don’t know, I’m just happy that we finally were able to release our first CD, and that I’m satisfied with it.

11. The Switzeland scene is not really known in the world ( contrary to US, German or Scandinavian Band ), Can you named few band of your scene except Celtic Frost and Samael, two legends of extrem music.

To two most known bands of Switzerland besides the ones you did mention are Krokus and Gotthard I guess. But besides those there are quite few others that can keep up with the international scene, for example Lunatica, Gurd, Shakra, Requiem, Daydreamer, Cataract, Neverland & Crystal Ball toname some.

12. Except the Z7 in Pratteln, is there other hall in switzeland, are Swiss metalhead massively present, because in france for example many concert must be cancelled because people don't moove for little bands ...

So you know the Z7, cool – have you been there? It’s really a great place for concerts here in Switzerland I think, and it’s also the place where most metal concerts take place. There are several clubs and halls in our country were there are heavy bands play like the Volkshaus, Palais-Xtra, Rohstofflager where for example bands like Machine Head, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy or Within Temptation play - and of course the big arena Hallenstadion for bands like Iron Maiden, but also stuff like Shakira o so – those places are all in the area of Zürich. There are more smaller & bigger clubs around the country where sometimes metal concert take place but noone as big as the Z7 is hosting so much metal bands.
I think for a band like us it’s important that there are also quite small clubs like the Factoryclub in Thun, the Estrich in Winistorf or Chillout-Treff in Boswil, to name just a few, who are willing to book a newcomer bands like us – they are the clubs that are the foundation of the scene and help young and upcoming bands gather their live experiences.

13. What is the place you dream to play and with which bands ?

One of places we were hoping to play we have already played, and it’s the above mentioned Z7 club. Almost exactly a year ago, we were invited to play there at the annual swiss metal attack which takes place every eastern there. It was a great feeling to play on that stage where we’ve seen many of our favourite bands play before. So our dream now is not to play in a specific place but to play one day in other countries doing a european tour with a band like Queensrÿche or Edguy or Kamelot – that would be cool. An of course we won’t say no if the people from the Wacken Open Air want us to play there on the big main stage, haha.

14. What is your playlist of the moment , are you wainting any album for the next times ?

Ok, let’s see, I can only speak for myself here, not for the rest of the band – the cds I most recently purchased are the new ones from Within Temptation, Volbeat, Pain Of Salvation, Delight, Twisted Into Form, In The Nursery, masterplan, Tristania, Sirenia & Brutal Hand. And the albums that I am looking forward to be released this year is first and foremost the new one from Nightwish – I’m a huge fan of theirs. Then I’m also curious about the new Symphony X,  Paradise Lost, Nocturnal Rites and After Forever cds. And I hope that Soilwork and Everygrey, who are currently in the studio, releasing their new albums later this year too.

15. What to you think about person who download in all illegality music ? do you think that it's a good way to be known when we are a young band ?

I do agree that availability of music through illegal downloads can be a good promotion for a band, especially a smaller band like us who can not afford advertisements in big magazines. But of course only if the people who download the music and like it, also go our and purchase the cd of the band. If they don’t do that it harms newcomer bands much more than for example bands like Metallica. Bands like that make more money with selling merchandise and playing concerts that with their CDs. But for us, our CD is the main ‘source’ of income to refinance all the expenses we had producing it. So there are two sides to that hole downloading issue – I like to believe that the metal-/hard rock fan is somehow different from a pop-music fan who downloads the music, keeps it and feels fine with that. I guess metal fans still want to have a booklet with lyrics and artwork to the CD, a nice looking package and not only digital-bites on their computer or plain cdr’s with no cover artwork to look at. But maybe I I am wrong and thinking too old fashioned… I do hope not.

16. How Many times spent the time per week for repetitions ?

Usually we only come together once in a week. On Monday evenings we meet at 19h and do rehearse together mostly until 22h. We play a few easier songs in the beginning  to warm up, then practice the ones that we think we should still be able to play them better. Sometimes we try out different things o older songs, and of course we are working on new songs. From time to time we also meet for a second rehearsal in a week, but then without the singers – that happens usually when we start learning new songs for the first time. And sometimes the two singers meet at Markus’ place to work on vocal-lines for themselves.

17. How do you proceed for the Devellopement and the recording of " first works " ? everybody brought idea?

Markus is our main songwriter in the band, all songs so far are written by him. Of course the other band members do contribute to the songs too, or make suggestions of how to improve them. But the main ideas for the music always comes from Markus, and then we try do develop it until everybody in the band likes it. The lyrics are written by me and Markus, but not together, each of us writes teir own, and then we see to which song they might fit. The recording process was also completely in Markus’ hands. As I did mention before, he has this little home-recording studio at his house, where we can work every time we want. And since he knows best about all the technology and hardware, it was also him choosing the sounds etc.

18. Have you a good distribution for "first work " ? have you an idea of the number of selling albums ?

I think our label Escape Music has solid and good distribution partners all over Europe. You should be able to find our CD in almost every country here. And if you don’t, there’s also the big online shops where you could order it like amazon, hmw, fnac or towerrecords to mention just a few – and tons of smaller businesses. So I hope, that everybody who’s looking for our CD is also able to get it – but the big task is to get the people to want our CD…;o)
For that we would need promotions and advertisements in many big magazines, but I do understand that our label can not spend thousands of euros for that, they would go broke in a second if they’d do that for all their bands.
So for us it’s very important that people like you give us the opportunity to present our band and music in webzines like ‘Twilight metal’ – that’s how we can reach music fans that might never heard from us! And to answer your question about the numbers of sold albums – honestly, I don’t know yet, sorry. Our CD has been released last September, and the first statement from our label is still expected to arrive. I’m really curious myself how many CDs we have sold so far.

19. On your site, you say that the band is searching a label, have you interessant answers ? what is your expectation ? Do you think that's it's hard to grow up in the world of heavy metal whith so many other bands ?

Ok, that info on the biography of our website is outdated, and it’s my fault since I am also the webmaster of it…but just now I did update that info, so thank you for pointing me to that…:o) As I told before, we have a contract with Escape Music from England for Europe and Japan. And we are also currently in negotiations with a label from South America to cover the territory there. Of course there are more bands out there to ‘compete’ for a record deal than 20 years ago, but there are also more independent companies who sign bands. That makes it hard for the magazines and webzines since they have tons of reviews to write and can not do interviews with every band who releases a CD. And also the fans have so many bands they could choose from, but only a limited amount of money to spend – and that leads now into another argument of the whole downloading issue…so again it’s two sides to the story.

20. What is the project for the band ? a new album ?

Well, we haven’t spoken about that yet in terms of setting a deadline for recordings, booking a studio or things like that. We have enough songs to fill another album, and we are still working on some of them. We have also recorded some as demos to listen to them and see what can/should be changed or improved – it’s a constant process. So I really can’t tell myself when you can expect the second album from us, I guess we start recording it this year, but I don’t think it would be ready to be released before the end of 2007. So our focus now is also to get a few more concerts to play. We played about once in a month in 2006, and we hope to play some more this year.

21. Thank you for your answer ! Last question is free ! say what you want to french fans and readers of Twilight Metal Webzine ! Hope to see you soon !

First thing, I hope there are and french fans of our music..;o) No, seriously, we have some great response especially from France, either from fans or writers like you – it feels great when you realized that there are people out there who like what you do. We even have an official French forum that your colleagues at ‘magicfiremusic’ do host for us – the link to it is: http://www.magicfiremusic.net/forum
So thanks a lot to everybody out there who bought our CD, we do appreciate it a lot!