Just recently the German Power Metal band Sinbreed released the second album. For me it is aready the best album in this year. Besides, they also added a quite well-known guitar player to complete their band line up. We talked to founder Flo Laurin.
Because Sinbreed has not been existing for so many years yet, first I´d ask you to introduce your band!
You are right! Our band is called Sinbreed and at least 4/5 of its line up exists since 2005. Marcus joined later, but I guess there will be questions concerning this later on. Besides me, there are our bass player Alex Schulz, vocalist Herbie Langhans and drummer Fredrik Ehmke, who is also part of Blind Guardian. We play German Power Metal und hope that we will have success with our second release.
Frederik, Alex and me are from Wiesbaden. Marcus lives in Krefeld and Herbie in Wolfsburg. So we are scattered in Germany a bit, but it is really helpful that 3 out of 5 have their homebase in Wiesbaden.
As you might have read in my review, I think that your sound has almost nothing in common with our Metal bands. Which other bands do you see as your biggest inspiration or influence?
I agree with you. We are playing German Power Metal, as I told you, but if you want to sort us into a certain genre, I think that US Metal would do best. We want exactly to be as you see us: we want to have a little bit more aggression and toughness in our sound. We don`t like that typical German ``lalala`` and I am happy that you and most other people from the press acknowledge this. If you want to compare us to other German bands, Mystic Prophecy would do best. Other German bands, for example Gamma Ray, are great as well, but not as heavy as we like it.
Which are the bands you like and which left an impression in your sound as well?
I am really great fan of Vicious Rumors. But I also like Judas Priest, even more than Iron Maiden. I also like Symphony X and the old Riot. I think that you can find those bands also in our sound.
Beside Frederik Ehmke, who is now part of your band for some time, a second member from Blind Guardian has joined Sinbreed: Marcus Siepen. For what reason?
Directly after the release of ``Worlds Collide``, when we played a couple of shows, we knew that we actually needed a second guitar player to play our style of music appropriately. We thought a while about candidates who would be able to play the stuff and finally Frederik arranged the contact to Marcus. He had already listened to our first album and liked it. Another advantage was that he has the same Blind Guardian schedule as Frederik, so we do not need to care about another schedule when arranging gigs for Sinbreed. We then had a rehearsal and played a couple of shows together. We immediately discovered that the chemistry between us was so great that we asked Marcus to join us and he accepted. Then we did the songwriting and the recording for the new record, it worked really well.
Weren´t you scared that the scene would regard you as a Blind Guardian clone? Especially because there are some print ads pointing out the fact that members of Blind Guardian are part of your band.
This is not a big fact in the ads. Actually it might happen that some regard us as a clone. But I think that both bands are worth existing, because the music is too different. And this is actually the way Marcus and Frederik see it. I actually agree that the membership of the two brings some extra promo power and I am, of course, thankful for it. But we are not a clone. We have been playing this style of Metal for 9 years now, so it is no simple namedropping or stuff like that. Instead, many Blind Guardian fans are happy that there is now another band playing cool music they can enjoy. And I feel very happy about those comments.
How do the rehearsals and songwriting work? I guess it is quite difficult due to Frederik`s and Marcus` full calendar.
It is correct that Blind Guardian need a lot of time when they are active. But it is not a secret that they also have breaks of 4 to 5 years between their releases and that is the time we`re gonna use with Sinbreed. We have enough time available in 2014 for future activities and we also had enough time in 2013 for songwriting. So it should be no problem at all, if we plan it well.
I understand your statement as the songwriting was done by all of you.
I wrote the first album on my own. I had many years to forge 10 songs just the way I like them. I have to say that I am not only the guitar player, but also the producer.
The first album is already 4 years old. In the last 2 years we have been working extensively on our new album. We wanted to maintain our style, but also to integrate some new influences. It is really nice that all 5 of us have written songs which made it to the final album. So I could lean back a little bit and select the ideas from the others. I am proud that we could integrate some new stuff and that ``Shadows`` can stand beside ``When Worlds Collide``.
Then let us talk about ``Shadows``! I think that it is a bit faster than its predecessor and it also has no keyboards and choirs any more. Why did you change the sound this way?
I agree. I filled a lot of sound holes on ``When Worlds Collide`` with keys. Now that Marcus joined the band, we were able to compose songs for 2 guitars from the ground up. So we were able to forget about the keyboards, especially because we wanted to be a bit heavier. But keyboards make your sound always a bit softer. So we deleted them and put therefore more riffs, solos and leads into the songs. I think this was the right decision for the album.
You have chosen `Shadows` as a title track which is quite surprising, because it is not such a typical or distinguishing song.
I sent Felipe Mercado, our drawer, a concept for the cover artwork quite early. The cover represents the lyrics, which describe the different characters which are sleeping in us. I think that the cover depicts this very well. But you are right, the title track is not that typical. But `Shadows` is actually a good example for some new influences in our sound. The song is brutal and has almost Thrash Metal riffs. We wanted to put some extra attention to this by making it the title track.
Now that we are talking about the cover artwork: both cover artworks display the same guy. Who is that?
it is actually not our Eddie, haha! We thought about it, but we do not want to establish him. But we needed a protagonist, because songs like `Bleed`, `Shadows` and `Far Too Long` are about the same person. So we thought about the guy from our first cover. But some people think that we know have the some cover twice, one in blue and one in green, haha!
You also recorded a typical music video for `Bleed`. What is the sense in your opinion for a small band like Sinbreed?
I think that videos are really important, not only for YouTube and other streaming services. A video just reflects the band and therefore I really wanted to have a performance video and not a pure story video. We are not touring that much, therefore it is important to me to show the people that we can really play what we record. So the video is our promotion tool no 1.
What are your plans for the near future?
We definitely continue in this constellation and there will be definitely a further album. We will also continue our collaboration with AFM for a longer time. The critics for ``Shadows`` are great, what makes me very happy. Now we want to see how it works in the USA, where it will be released next week. We actually have quite a good standing there. So I am optimistic that we will have a great future for at least 10 or 15 years.
You did not play a complete tour in Europe, but you were already in the US. How did that happen?
There is a small but nice festival called Prog Power. We were invited by the promoter who has been a fan of us from the first second. It was actually quite courageous from us, because we had only one album release. We really wanted to play this show and we also played a new song there for the first time, `Reborn`. You can find a video of it on our homepage.
We also played some festivals in Europe and some shows in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, but actually no full tour yet. We hope that we can change this next fall.
On your homepage are also videos from the recording sessions. It seems that you did not record ``Shadows`` all together in the same studio, right?
You are right. As the producer I supervised almost every recording. It was the decision before the recordings to make the complete album on our own. That is quite risky, because we wanted to have a state of the art sound on the final album. But a band in our position can not afford a studio for months. So we learned a lot about recordings and did them on our own, what was very difficult, especially when doing the drum recordings. So we could save our budget for the mixing and mastering, which was done by Markus Teske. All in all, I am very satisfied with our sound.
Is there anything left that you want to tell our readers?
I thank all of them for their interest and recommend our new album to all who like ass kicking Power Metal. I would be very happy if the one or the other gave us a chance and supported us!
Author: Timo Pässler, photos: Band / AFM Records Date: 2014-05-06