with "M.D." (drummer)
Questions by: Twilightheart / translation by Rolf
Information: This interview was recorded spontaneously at the Summerbreeze Festival on August 20th 2005 (sorry for the late publishing! No one had time for typing it down) so please don't expect deep philosophical questions, it was nothing more but a spontaneous chat, because the promoters of the festival didn't manage to inform the press people about possibilities for interviews, so even Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy) hang around on the interview couch from time to time and had nothing to do... and since the guys from Endstille sat there answering questions by a lady from "Konzertnews"(?), which will never be printed anyway, I thought I'll just ask whether one of them has some time and feels like unveiling some personal secrets for "Sheol". At least M.D. had some time... well... T (= Twilightheart) > Okay, what's your personal opinion about your show today? There's been an enormously great atmosphere in the first rows, as I've seen.
M.D.> For sure there was a giganticly good mood. Well, I'm personally unsatisfied with myself at the drums, because I think, I drank too much yesterday.
T > The red-haired guy ((sorry, didn't know at that time that his name was Lars, but M.D. patiently corrected me whenever I called him "the red-haired guy" again)) was quite messed up, wasn't he?
M.D. > Yes, he's always drunk.
T > I had the impression, he's already staggering on stage.
M.D. > He's always staggering, because he's about to become a complete alcoholic here ... and also some other drugs... and, yes... and I've been really crappy behind the drums.
T > Lars jumped into the fan crowd right after the show. Does he often do such things?
M.D. > I think he did it for the first time.
T > Luckily the fans caught him! Imagine they had dropped him on the ground...
M.D.> I already went back, I didn`t see it.
T > You played some songs from the new album today...
M.D. > Yes, 3 of them. "Navigator", "Bastard"... what else did we play? "I bless you God".
T > Can't get rid of the feeling that the new album is heavier than the last one...
M.D.> No, it's rather more extreme. Not heavier. More extreme- slow, more extreme- fast, more melodious, more monotonous... so it really was extended into all directions. "Dominanz" was rather a very dominant album, it was very fast, very sinister and very evil. The new disc is a little more varied, partially even slower. There even are a few midtempo songs on it, not only pure smashing... it just developed like this, and I consider it to be a little more balanced concerning the sound.
T > You've become a little more popular in the past few weeks... you're present on every festival and on a lot of samplers.
M.D.> Well, THREE festivals... on Wacken, Summerbreeze and Kaltenbach...
T > Well, these are three of the most widely known festivals, though...
M.D.> Yes, if they want us... and if the conditions are ok and all, then we'll come and play. There has been a great leap in development, that's for sure.
T > Are there any songs in German language on the new album?
M.D.> No, we always sing in English. Some songs do have German titles, but we sing them in English. Only the very last song provides German lyrics, but that's only about 4 lines, it's a very short text.
T > And why don't you actually sing in German?
M.D.> Nooo, I don't want to hear that. Well, I think the German language when it is sung... is not that great considered from an esthetic point of view. I'm not sure, but if he ((Iblis)) should write German lyrics, then he's probably going to sing it.
T > And why do you have a German band name?
M.D.> Well, we've got a German band name, because... that's a band name you can pronounce everywhere in the world. Whether it's "Endshtille" or "Eends-tileeeee", like the Swedish people pronounce it, they always have complete hilarious pronounciations for such words. But in my opinion it's a good word-construction and it fits quite well...
T > Or do you sing in English in order to be more successful on an international level?
M.D.> No, there's no connection between those two things. No, if I`d write lyrics, I'd always write them in English. I don't know why, I'd just do it. I don't have to sing in German, because you can express yourself more elegantly in English.
T > Do you participate in the writing of the lyrics?
M.D.> The lyrics are mainly written by our singer, Iblis, and a few are also written by our bass player, most of them cover the subject of war, these lyrics are also published. Our singer's lyrics are not published, that's a thing too personal for him.
T > I heard he'd give them to fans if they asked personally...
M.D.> He says so, but he won't do it. I've received requests for lyrics several times but... uhm... no. Well, I know that "RockHard" Magazine wanted our lyrics, I don't know why, probably because of the interview we did... and they didn't get them either. Even the RockHard doesn't get our lyrics.
T > Do you know how many CDs you've sold so far?
M.D.> We receive a statement from "Twilight" ((www.twilight-vertrieb.de / Endstille's distributor)) monthly, where we can find the number of sold albums.
T > Okay, and is it possible for you to tell us, how many?
M.D.> From the new one?
T > For example, yes.
M.D.> Well we did a production of 3000 copies, and they were already sold out before the release. So we had to reproduce another 2000 copies. And so far, 600-700 copies are sold from these as well, I think.
T > What was going on there? The release date had been set to the beginning of August, but half a month before the release date the disc was available everywhere. What had happened?
M.D.> The problem was that our distributor "Twilight" had sent the CDs out a week before the release date to the retailers to ensure the CDs being in the shelf on August 1st. A few of the retailers didn't get that and simply put the thing into the shelves. So we quickly scheduled the release one week ahead. My lord, we already sold those disks on Kaltenbach festival, so what the heck... The disc was ready in June, then we did the promotion, and so the whole thing had to be sold. Why should it be supposed to rot in a corner? It has to be sold!
T > Because I received the promo CD at a point of time when everybody on your forum seemed to know the album already...
M.D.> Yes, the promotion started on June 17th and I was able to download it from the internet on June 20th. Thanks! Thank you very much! No more promotion! We won't do any promotion anymore!
T > Then I have to "worship" your promo disc, as it´s my first and last ever ;-)
M.D.> Well, I don't know... I received interview requests and reviews from some Metal webzines... well... at first, 30 pop-up windows appear on the screen and then I get to see a page with 3 visitors per day. Sorry, but I'm not going to send a CD for such a thing. So if I did a promotion... a promotion costs money, lots of money. I told him ((the promoter)) to send it here and there, to the real big magazines, in order to obtain something. Or to do a promotion in foreign countries. But I'm afraid lots of these strange magazines got it, for which no one seems to care. Because there are 30 millions different webzines in Germany. That's terrible.
T > We´re only running a webzine too...
M.D.> Yes, there are good Metal magazines, there are bad Metal magazines and there are a few which succeed to be on top, and I've had a look on your site, and I think it's great, looks really nice. Good pictures on it. Well, I do not seek for news on the internet, but If I wanted to look at a few photos, I can have a look on your page, there are great photos on it.
T > So it's OK for you that I've got your promo? ;-)
M.D.> Yes, of course. But I don't get the point about any people, let's say 15-year-old teenagers, making a crappy site. They're all using those free providers with 30 pop-up windows on it... I hate advertisements! And I don't want to give a CD for things like that. I think some people create such pages only to get free CDs. Well, that's OK. But at a certain point ... in my opinion there are too many internet magazines.
T > Do you have any knowledge about how the people in foreign countries respond to your music?
M.D.> Well, yes, that's a problem, since we've got a German band name and the people hear it... but I think musically they're quite positive. In France they quite like it. Austria, Switzerland too, no problem. I can't tell you how it's going on elsewhere. Also in Sweden, Regain asked us to sign a contract. But no one can outbit Twilight`s contract.
T > Is it possible that you've got the reputation to be a NSBM band in foreign countries... ?
M.D.> No idea. The Interviews are slowly coming through... well... and abroad they don't care much about that. And they don't come up with ridiculous ideas like calling us a nazi-band just because the "Bismarck" is printed on the cover of "Dominanz". They just don't come up with such ideas. It's really only in Germany where we have to justify ourselves for something all the time. It's always the same in Germany. You have to justify yourself 30 times for every single fuck. Sometimes you have to justify yourself abroad being from Germany. In my opinion I don't have that much in common with Germany. I'm from Kiel, that's in the very north, there are very few typical german things...
T > I know about Hamburg that it is said that there are almost more Swedish people walking around than Germans. Won't be much different to Kiel?!
M.D.> No, the ferry from Göteborg arrives in the morning, all the Swedish people are seated into a bus (there really do exist taxi-companies which wait with their bus for them), are driven to Aldi- and Lidl-supermarkets where they all finally stand in a queue... ((Twilightheart can`t stop laughing...)) Yeah, you're laughing, but sometimes you have to wait at Aldi 30 minutes at the counter, just because the Swedish people want their wine in cardboard boxes... And they drink that stuff... ugh, disgusting! But well,... they don't have anything else...
T > They can buy their stuff in state-run shops...
M.D.> Yes, that's a good thing actually...
T > Did you actually booze a lot yesterday?
M.D.> The only thing I say: Nuclear-Blast stand...
T > Did they pay some drinks or what?
M.D.> Partially, yes. But I also fell over their stand by accident...
T > No joke?
M.D.> No, I stumbled over someone's feet and then I fell onto that table, and suddenly I was lying on the ground behind the stand with all the CDs on me. They were really pissed off. The first thing I did this morning was to pass around a bottle of Jägermeister as an excuse. But everything's fine again. I went to bed again afterwards.
T > Have you actually had time to see some bands here at the festival?
M.D.> Yes, for sure. Well, from the 3 bands I wanted to see... I wanted to see Skindread and I saw them; I wanted to see Opeth and quickly had a look at them, and I wanted to see The Exploited, but I'm afraid I missed them. Honestly, I didn't care much about the rest. I saw Koroded, but they're almost colleagues now.
T > Koroded? They had a show together with you in Munich, didn't they?
M.D.> Yes, right.
T > Now... to some less serious matters: Tell me the worst habits of every single band member!
M.D.> Of EACH band member? Oh oh oh... our singer complains a lot. That's bad on one side, but also good on the other side. Our bass player never complains. He actually doesn't say anything... well, he's the bass player, isn't he... you'll never make it to get him to go wild. Sometimes it's negative that he doesn't say a word. Otherwise, he doesn't care about other things either, which I think makes a lot of things easier. Lars's worst trait is being too drunk sometimes. And mine is the fact that I can't play properly when I'm drunk.
T > Have you ever had drumming lessons? Or did you learn everything by yourself?
M.D.> Yes, I learned everything by myself. I would have liked to have drumming lessons, and perhaps I will have drumming lessons, but we'll see...
T > Can you play any other instruments?
M.D.> No, really, I can only play drums.
T > What do you think about the concept of festivals like this to have completely different bands on their setlist? For example Skindread on one side and Behemoth on the other side...
M.D.> I think that's really good.
T > But half of the fans are hanging around then, being bored...
M.D.> Yes, but seriously: When I started to listen to Metal music, there was METAL, and there somehow was only ONE kind of metal, and nowadays there are more genres in Metal than beer types, and finally I don't give a fuck about that. If the music's good, I'll listen to it. It doesn't matter to me, whether it's now Skindread with its reggae influence or a fierce band like Behemoth. Everything, that is good, has to be listened to! The festival I personally like most, is the Party-San festival, since there's constantly heavy music straight into your face... well, and everything fits, because there is only the target audience, and so the fans become really fanatic... but in the end it doesn't matter.
T > You surely don't care about being an "underground" band and being as "true" and "grim" as possible, do you?
M.D.> Well, I can remember the singer of Koldbrann, who is apparently from Norway, saying about most German people, that walked around ultra-grim and ultra-necro, "They are just posers". Because, the basic idea of Black Metal is "Do, what you want!". And that's the only law! And that's what I want to do! And if I wanted to watch a freaky band, then I'll do it. I don't give a fuck about the people having a problem with it. They can go away and do something else. For me... I limit music, I limit Black Metal, because it is so important to me that I say that there shall be only real Black Metal for me, so BM in the meaning of... well, without keyboards, no brabbling, no posing... it has to sound really nice, which means really dirty and filthy. But I'll never limit my own mind in my life. I'm going to think and listen to, what I want.
T > You don't consider yourselves as posers?
M.D.> Nooo. Well, I don't use corpse-paint myself... because... uhm... I couldn't get along with having corpse-paint in my face.
T > Has there ever been an argue (because of the corpse paint) within the band, or does everyone do it how he likes it?
M.D.> Everybody does, what he likes. That's just how everything works in our band, everybody does, what he wants to do.
T > Iblis' stage presence is breath-taking, by the way...
M.D.> Honestly... I'm really not arrogant, but we've got the most genious Black Metal singer in the world by far! Nobody else screams so terrific !
T > I especially like his mimic ...
M.D.> I'm afraid I haven't seen it yet, since I always have to watch his butt while we're playing... that's the problem.
T > Iblis is quite amusing, I've had to laugh several times at the gig because of his facial expression...
M.D.> Yes, the music we're playing is absolutely serious, but we actually also have fun with it. And that's a "don't" as a BM musician. You're never allowed to have fun... I'm fed up with playing BM, because that's the only possibility to be true. I'm really fed up with it... Sorry...
T > I read through your board a few weeks ago. Do you write with your fans from time to time?
M.D.> Well, people contacting me always receive an answer. Well, occasionally I am sometimes on the board to close a thread or to state my opinion. But mostly I only kick things out and delete them.
T > What keeps you from chatting about nonsense with fans?
M.D.> I don't know, I hardly have any time left, that's the problem. I've got a job, 3 bands, a girlfriend and a dissertation to do and have to keep up with everything.
T > What are the 2 other bands?
M.D.> One... I've got a band together with the red-haired guy ((Lars)) called "Tauthr". That was the band before Endstille. We disbanded it back then, because I moved to Kiel for my studies. Then he also moved here to study, so we founded the band again. We started in spring last year, since there are still lots of things to be done.
T > Which style is it?
M.D.> Rather Death.. Doom... Black... something. Much more mystical.
T > Which means very different from Endstille...
M.D.> Yes, of course, completely different. Certainly it's not that aggressive and not that fast. Everything's rather relaxed... Raw direction: the old Katatonia.
T > And the third band?
M.D.> That's "Overdrive Sensation". That's a Blues- / Boogie- and Rockband.
T > Really?
M.D.> Seriously, yes.
T > Also on the drums I suppose...
M.D.> Yes, it's a bit like a mixture of Motörhead and Canned Heat. And I'm really only the drummer. I know the guy at the guitar, I already studied together with him. He's my walking Rock-encyclopaedia. I also played together with him in a Rockband. We had a Stoner-Rockband. Well, he enters the room with a finished song and says: "Play it like this... or this way...", I just do that, and we rehearse three times a week, and there's no big deal, it's just a little fun. It's just fun to play something else. I can only smash and blast with Endstille. It really rocks... but I do have intentions to play something else.
T > Would you play with Endstille for free at a charity concert or at another cool gig?
M.D.> Actually, we've never played for free. Because, you always have to consider that doing a concert consumes my time... you really have to calculate 1 or 2 days, since you have to start off in the morning in order to be there by afternoon... then set up, soundcheck, gig in the evening... and the neverending drinking afterwards, and then driving back the next day. So you're really on the road with 4 to 6 people for 2 days, and that's why we've never played for free. We always said, the absolute lower end, our minimum, is money for fuel, good food, good beer, all these things have to be perfect. And then I'm glad to play for money for fuel... that's no problem then. And if the bands we're supposed to play with please me, then I'll do it. But we do not give a concert just to be playing... because... our guitar player hates being on-stage. Sometimes he enjoys it, but he mostly hates it.
T > What would be your dream of a headliner band to play with?
M.D.> Personally, I would be happy if I could play with Björk... but from a band-technical point of view a dream would be of course Slayer - Venom - Endstille.
T > And are there any bands you would never play with?
M.D.> Yes, there are.
T > Well, and which ones?
M.D.> I'd say we won't play with a band that conveys political ideas in any form.
T > To both sides [the political ideas]?
M.D.> To both sides, yes. Well, when they think they have to yell out their political slogans, whether that's "Hail Stalin" or "Hail H..." for instance, then I don't want to be connected with them in any way. They can stay, where they are. We wouldn't play with bands like these... and neither with bands we don't like. Well, you could pay us as much money as you want, but if there are any bands we personally consider as crappy, I mean really embarrassing, then we won't play together with them.
T > Do you always have so much freedom concerning your decisions?
M.D.> I'd say, that we're asked when we're supposed to give a show somewhere. Mostly they come: "Can you play here an there?" and then I always answer: "I don't know.". Afterwards the questions about the financial aspects and the most important to me: "Who else is playing?". For example at the concert in Munich ((see "concert reports" in our magazine!)) there was not a single band raising my interest. When I heard "Graveworm" ... baaaahhhh... that's a mixture of Crematory and Hammerfall, so I think they're awful, unbelievably awful, really! We only played in Munich because we wanted to play in Munich, we wanted to play in Bavaria. Really! And the most important reason: I've never travelled by airplane before. And then I flew for the very first time to Munich... that's a nice thing! Consumed all the money, though, so we really played for plus/minus zero! But we did a gig in Munich.
T > What were your worst moments on tour?
M.D.> Well, I just played my worst concert today. Otherwise... uhm... I don't know... when things are badly organized, when the organisation is completely screwed up.
T > Such things already happened?
M.D.> Well on the last tour with Koldbrann we experienced how professional or unprofessional some guys work, I'd say. But when we for example arrived in Bad Salzungen it was written in the contract that we'll arrive by 2 o'clock. But we already arrived at 1 o'clock. Then we called the guy: "We're already here... blah blah... can someone come over to us?" and he says: "Just come in!" and then: "Could you prepare some coffee?" - "Yes, the machine is already running." You know, you arrived and the guy had everything there, a really great breakfast-buffet was built up, the coffee was being prepared... it's neat when you arrive and the coffee's ready. Then there's fun in the whole thing. You know, when you arrive somewhere and get for the fifth time the cheap china-junkfood for 5 euros, which is really the worst stuff, then you don't have ambitions to play there anymore. The whole motivation is gone then. But if you're well treated... if everything is like at home, then everything's fine.
T > If there was a good deal, where all the conditions are OK, but you would have to tour for one year, would you join in?
M.D.> No! Well, my limit is at about 3 or 4 weeks, but thats really on the edge! Because I want to see my girlfriend. And I don't earn any money as long as I'm on the road...
T > And if the money was OK and your girlfriend could travel with you?
M.D.> I'm not sure, I think, it would be too exhausting. I've got to return to my place sometimes. 3 weeks Europe, and afterwards you're really exhausted, I suppose. Then I could easily stay at home for 2 or 3 weeks... just staying there and being there.
T > OK. Well, as a final but not too serious question: What does the perfect Endstille fan look like, or what is the perfect Endstille fan like?
M.D.> The perfect Endstille-fan... well... I'd say you can't cheat him... of course he looks incredibly hot... and of course it's a "she"... haha. No idea! The perfect fan is of course someone who doesn't permit other people to control his life; who doesn't lick arse to be accepted or something like that... I hate those arse lickers. People have to be authentic, they have to be honest, that's always important.
T > Then... thank you... have a lot of fun!
M.D.> Yes, I'll go to the Nuclear Blast stand now... ;-)
...and so on and so on (...you know, all this "See you..." stuff etc.)
the Munich gig, June 26th, 2005:
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