Questions asked by Jon Wilde, added to Rock Realms 13th August 2010.
German band The Prophecy23 have just released a new album "To The Pit" on Massacre Records.
We chatted to bassist (and provider of the band's deathly vocals) Tobias to find out more.
Hi Tobias, thanks for taking a moment to answer these questions. Hope you are well?
Tobias: We're doing very well, thanks! Yesterday we had our CD release show and it was a hot night with lots of action, fun and canned beer!
How did the various members of The Prohpecy23 end up in a band together?
Tobias: Some of us have known each other since kindergarten. Later in school, we set up our first bands. We decided to form THE PROPHECY ² ³ because we all loved thrash metal - and we still do!
Where did the name come from, and what is the significance of it?
Tobias: THE PROPHECY is influenced by the Iron Maiden song. The attached "23" has somehow crept into the band's name and no one knows what it means. Fans can submit information to solve the puzzle on our homepage. Perhaps there are some interesting notes on the new record "...To The Pit"?
Did you know what sort of music the band was going to play right from the start, or has it developed considerably over time?
Tobias: In the beginning we had three guitars, clear vocals and more melodies. Today is the sound is full of action and tough riffs. It took some time to find our unique style. It paid for itself, for it has become something that we all love: BRUTAL THRASH METAL.
Who were your early inspirations, both musical and otherwise?
Tobias: Born in the 80s we grew up with He-Man, Hulk, Spiderman, The Ninja Turtles and all those action heroes. Later we learned a lot about thrash, death, pizza and canned beer by friends and the local metal scene.
How has the music scene in Heilbronn affected your development? Are there many rock clubs there?
Tobias: Unfortunately here there are not that many rock clubs but many concerts and festivals in youth clubs and small bars. About ten years ago the metal scene began to rise rapidly. The scene is developing still and there are more and more young folks coming to concerts what makes us very happy!
How would you describe the sound of The Prohpecy23 to someone who hadn't heard you before?
Tobias: It's groovy, heavy and brutal... a death thrash melting pot. Visit the concerts to break your neck!
Watching some of your videos on YouTube, and seeing the lyrics to your songs, you don't seem to take yourselves too seriously (which is a good thing). Does having a good sense of humour make life in the modern music industry easier to take?
Tobias: Exactly! We don't want to create any dark and evil stereotypes. We do what we love. At the moment we are fortunate that people like what we do and there is a great atmosphere at all our concerts. If this situation changes in a year or so, we won`t change our style to satisfy someone. We do our own thing!
What is your view on the present musical climate, and do you think this is a good time for metal?
Tobias: It is a good time we think. The new media has some advantages for bands. You can promote your concerts a lot better and stay in contact with friends and fans. Generally metal will always have its place on the edge of society, a really big breakthrough of metal in not realistic. Being outside the mainstream has become a crucial element of metal.
When did you start work on "To The Pit", and how easily did the album come together?
Tobias: Since we often are on the road to play gigs most of the songs were written "on the road". The ideas to the songs usually come spontaneously and are finished in rehearsals. So the album came together pretty easily. However, it was a lot of work until everything was really fine.
Who did the album artwork? It's awesome!
Tobias: The album artwork is created by Marvin Clifford. He is a great illustrator and comic artist. Visit his homepage to get some impressions of his art (at http://www.marvinclifford.com/).
Does the band have one main writer, or did you all contribute towards the songs? How would a typical song be created?
Tobias: That depends. For some songs, a single band member has a vision. But most of the songs are formed in a collective creative process. For us it's very important that our songs rock the audience when playing live, that's why most of our songs spring up from a very emotional moment.
Is there an overall story behind the lyrics, or are the songs standalone entities?
Tobias: The songs are standalone entities, but the attitude behind them is the same.
Where do the lyrical ideas come from? Did you set out to make it full of humour or did it just end up that way?
Tobias: Probably the songs just ended up that way. We have serious and funny topics. Typically thrash vocals about fucking war and that shit that goes around the word.
Did the band use any special instruments or recording/mixing techniques to get the sound?
Tobias: We love it old school. A rough guitar sound with H&K tube amplifiers. Nothing unexpected but classics!
Do you have any favourite tracks on the album?
Tobias: We love all of them, of course. On stage "A backpack full of fleshsnacks", "Modification" and the title track are the real killers and a lot of fun to play.
Do you enjoy the whole studio/creative experience, or do you prefer playing on stage?
Tobias: Both are really cool, but to play live in front of an audience is the best. And you can easily drink some beers before the show. In the studio it`s better so concentrate on pizza and guitars than on liquids.
What is one of your live shows like?
Tobias: Action, moshpits, circlepits, crowdsurfers, canned beer and sometimes naked flesh.
Is there any chance of seeing you over in the UK for a few dates?
Tobias: That would be very cool to visit you in the UK. At the moment we are planning some gigs in Germany and Switzerland but in the winter we are ready to come over. Book us now!
Any question you love being asked that I've missed? If so, what's the answer?
Tobias: I really don`t think you missed any question! Now we are completely exposed...
What are you up to once you've finished answering these questions?
Tobias: Going to get some cold and tasty beer and listen to some old Slayer ;-)
Anything else you would like to mention?
Tobias: Thank you for the interview, Hope to see you soon on British stages!!!
Thanks for your time!
Thanks again to Tobias for his time. You can check out the Rock Realms review of "To The Pit" by clicking here.
Photo credit Christian Sommerfeld