1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Skoll: Since we recorded Vanitas we spend a lot of time to prepare the release - photo-, video shoots, planning the promotion etc. Unfortunately, due to the Corona pandemic, all festivals and shows for 2020 have been postponed. Regarding shows, we're just hoping for better times, crossing fingers for 2021 and waiting.
2.You have a new album coming out in October, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Skoll: I believe with Vanitas we offer a lot of facets and variety, but still managed to have a homogenous sound, upholding the fundamental vibe. It’s exciting to have such a diverse album and the feedback from fans and critics approves that. Regarding the sound, I think we found what we were aiming for.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Skoll: As diverse as songs on the album, so are the lyrics. Of course, we are dealing with transience, mortality and death, but we didn’t stop there. Further the Vanitas art is also about deliberate, reflecting your lifestyle, your present and what choices you make. So, from the kind of moral dogmas nowadays, gathered in “lifestyles”, in which each thinks it’s superior to the others, to the question of who is in charge of your knowledge, point of view on things or your definition of happiness, dictatorship and unusual bonds between people, you will find a whole range of topics on Vanitas.
4.I know that the bands name means 'Night blood' in German, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
Skoll: There are several rumors out there, stating why we chose the name or what it means actually. I won’t comment on this ;-). But for sure, the name itself has something dark and sinister, so is our music.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Skoll: As the record is called Vanitas and deals with aspects of this art, it was obvious to include the Vanitas-still-life-art at our artwork for the album. Inspired by the paintings of the 16th and 17th century you will notice certain symbols on the cover. They are not randomly chosen. Every object has a symbolic meaning. It’s like a code, which gives you a detailed picture of the thoughts of the artist, or the issues addressed. What the several objects are representing, is to figure out by everyone by himself. I won’t spoil this, it would take away all the fun.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Skoll: For me personally the very first show in China was a highlight. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was touched by the energy and emotions of the people. Over the last years there are many great concerts and experiences. Of course, playing Wacken for the first time is very special, so are small club shows in which the crowd goes nuts and water/sweat is dripping down the ceiling. I would say our shows are full of energy. It’s always have been part of our shows to have a lot of movement on stage and in front of it. So for example we stage dive and having moshpits with the fans. Nothing for a quiet and comfy evening.
7.Since 2012 all of your albums have been released on 'Napalm Records', do you feel they have been very supportive when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
Skoll: Yes! It’s great to be with Napalm Records, they are always supportive. You hear a lot of stories about other labels and bands not getting along. Even sometimes labels interfere into the music or artistic decision. I can’t say anything like that about Napalm, it’s always have been a cool with and never an against each other. Over the years, a certain bond manifests.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of dark metal?
Skoll: Very good, almost overwhelming. Fans as critics like the record. Of course, you will always find one that isn’t convinced or the old stuff in general is better. But for those people it doesn’t matter what you do, they will always find something to moan about. It also seems that the international interest grew compared to Apostasie. So all in all a very well-received album!
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Skoll: I don’t know. Like I said, for me we found the sound we were aiming for. Regarding songwriting, we never sat down and brainstormed like “the next record needs to be like this and this, because it’s a trend”. Things are developing naturally, call it evolution. So the direction will depend on what we are into at the very moment the songs are written. But no worries we will stay true to ourselves.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Skoll: I think every one of us listened or still listen to Rammstein and Cradle Of Filth. Also, we all enjoying Black Metal. But as we are 4 individuals everyone brings in another backstory. Speaking for myself, I don’t care too much about the label put on the music. I listen to all kinds of genres, depending on the mood. Probably if I would turn on the music right now, it would be Ghost.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Skoll: I like to do sport, like to read, mainly scientific books, or books about a certain topic. There are just a few fictional, storytelling books I really like. But to be honest, most of the time, it's about music. Drumming, bands, touring, you name it.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Skoll: Famous last word of every band in an interview - listen to our new album Vanitas, out now! Enjoy and in those times, stay safe and stay healthy. Thanks for having me, thanks for the interview!