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Heart of Steel
STALKERs Fresh Act –December 2009
Small north German city Nienburg does not have to hide when it comes to rock- culture. Inspired by the party-care with a great amount of live performances, a lot of new young bands are formed in the area day-to-day. One or the other name attracted greater attention in the past years. The offspring is actively supported by Rockinitiative Nienburg/Weser e.V. Also Heart of Steel are part of Nienburgs` offspring and seek for something greater, harder – just Metal…
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Introduce yourself, who does what in the band? Who is responsible for bringing the beer to the rehearsals?
Kevin: Moin moin, I am Kevin, play the bass and do a part of the vocals, Frank is playing guitar and does the main vocals as well as Chris, who plays guitar and participates in the vocals. Tim is the drummer and he also does the samples.
Kevin: Normally we have the problem that everyone has to drive back home by car, so that the beer is waiting itself musty on us. That`s why we most of the times have coffee which frank or Tim bring along.
Chris: It happens quite often that one of us even brings cake.
Tim: And then we watch the live recordings of the last gig.
Kevin: But there sure exists the common knock-off beer, if there are still some left from the last party in the rehearsal room.
Do you write your songs together or do you live from fertile task sharing?
K: Times this, times that I`d say.
T: We don`t have a strict structure concerning the songwriting.
K: Most of the times one of the guitarists comes along with an idea and we then work on it together. The text production we mostly do together. If this is different at times everybody gets a kind of homework to then we give the song its fine-tuning at the next rehearsals. Oftentimes there are many ideas that are put into one song and afterwards it gets presented live if everyone of us is satisfied with it.
C: Often we simply play along und keep what attracted us.
Frank: Somehow everybody puts his oar in. a rough division could be that Tim does the internet presence and the video editing and Chris does the texts and the audio recordings. Frank and Kevin care for gigs and contacts.
On your Myspace-site you call your music genre HoS Death-Metal-Music. What does this mean and did you try to define your own niche?
K: HoS-Death-Metal-Music is simply what we are doing in our songs, cause we do count our selves individually to different tastes and we don`t want to commit ourselves to one way or the other. We live from different influences. Thus a mix evolves of traditional Death Metal with new influences from Metalcore, Deathcore, NuMetal and many other styles that attract us. We found our own definition of Death Metal by keeping the growl singing out of the Death Metal but also using shouts out of the Metal/Deathcore genre and keeping the riffs as groovy and aggressive as possible. I would call it a musical steam roller.
F: To put it short it`s simply our own definition because we don`t fit in the existing drawers.
T: Our musical tastes are simply too different to concentrate on one particular style. The most important thing is that everyone of us has fun working on the songs and with this attitude we came quite far up to now. It is this way of working that motivates us.
Do you have something like a band philosophy?
K: I`d say we are a little conservative with that. We all know what we want and what needs primacy. We don`t have a philosophy like in our lives. We are very fussy with being accurate and dependable at the rehearsals, gigs and in the general management.
T: We always try to save time for our rehearsals. But we too know that sometimes rehearsals can`t take place. I personally then feel a lack in my daily routine. In contrast you can feel the high spirit whilst our discussions and the energy during our rehearsals. We are a really good working bunch of guys. That`s simply because we know each other so well.
Your band only exists since 2007 in this formation do you still feel reservation with each other o rare you feeling like a old couple already?
F: Reservation? Would be nice… sometimes *smile*
C: *laugh* Kevin and frank permanently touch each other. I stay out of this.
K: I am the newest member of the band and as well the youngest. We get along very well with each other. So to say we are the old couple, we know how everybody reacts and we also knew each other before making music together.
T: I don`t even know the feeling of reservation in this band. I`d too tend to say we`re the old couple.
Do collective live experiences bond together?
T: Of course, mainly if a gig went completely wrong. This also happens.
K: Definitely! If you go through ups and downs together like for example our winning at local heroes 2009 and in contrast gigs whose organisation makes you want to simply run away. We love playing together no matter if there`s 5 or 5000 people in the audience, if they like it we like it.
F: Of course there should already be a bond before, but collective experience is very important for the manner of the band. You live and learn.
How did you get to know to each other?
C: I knew frank and Tim for a very long time due to gigs of our former bands. And I always knew Kevin by sight. Somewhen we then joined.
K: We met at a disco in Nienburg for a gig. I then played for a different band as the support for HoS. I know frank a little longer because of the Burn Out festival, I only knew the other two by sight before. We immediately liked each other and we got very drunk together.
F: Tim and I are friends since the kindergarten. I met Chris and Tim through Rockini. So they got joined to our collective.
T: Actually the most interesting fact is that me and frank as the founders stole the others out of their former bands. With Chris it`s been the classic way, we asked him to come to us and play a little bit and then after a little while we convinced him to join us. Kevin had to get bottled first at Wacken before he decided to join. Not very fair but we knew what we wanted.
Your local festival the Burn Out in Nienburg – would you say i`s a playground or maybe even a springboard for young bands? How was it for you?
K: I`d say it`s a good chance for young bands to introduce themselves. But I wouldn`t name it a springboard, because you don`t really get the opportunity to repeat this. It`s a one-time festival per year at which mostly bands from Nienburg are playing but as well bands from outwards get their playing space.
C: To me it`s a highlight every year. It just feels familiar, like in your local.
F: I think it`s both. For us the festival always is a great party, cause the whole local scene from Nienburg comes together there. And also bands from outwards get the chance to present themselves.
Are there some funny burn-out anecdotes?
K: At one of the first burn outs that I played at with HoS, I accidently reached into one of the pots with fire paste and then I had to play the beginning of the next song with a burning hand. Nothing bad happened cause I managed to turnoff myself in time.
Tim once screamed at a barman after a burnout gig as he couldn`t do a Mojito for him, well it simply wasn`t on the card. Then he tilt over trying to call somebody hopelessly drunk. F: *laugh* There was some overweight guy who came on stage, showed his naked backside and then did a stagedive. Unfortunately nobody wanted or could catch him. On our video you can only see a great cloud of dust, due to the dry weather, after he disappeared in the crowd. We laughed a lot. Also a very nice moment as a woman came on stage out of the audience and asked her boyfriend to marry her.
T: Yeah, that`s right. Mainly because she suddenly simply entered the stage without us knowing about it. I have to admit it really confused me for a while after.
You are working on your fanbase very hard since you never miss a chance to play live. How important is the feedback of the fans to you?
T: I think it`s always important to reflect on honest opinions of others as a band. How could you improve without this? Some people write us comments via Myspace or Youtube and tell us what they think about us. We appreciate that enough to even answer them what unfortunately many bands don`t do nowadays. It`s very important to us to get feedback.
F: Well you want to get a feedback. The fans feedback protects a band to get routine-blinded.
K: It`s very important to us to reflect on what we are doing and to know which songs are the most attractive ones and which we should skip from our live-set. We always try to create a live-set that satisfies the fans most.
You film every one of your gigs and you created a kind of video- gig- diary on your Youtube – site. Do you think the visual aspects of a band are very important?
K: I think it`s very important to not only present your songs but also offer something visual fort he audience. So that they like to track how we behave on stage.
T: I think it`s simply fantastic. How often did you hear a CD and thought about what kind of guys are they? This way you can picture them a lot better. To me this has always been very important.
F: It`s very important. Of all live you want to be entertained and of course as well visually. I don`t know anyone who only wants to experience a band acoustically.
You even do a light and fire show as you promise on your Myspace- site. Do we have to be afraid in the first rows or do you know what you`re doing?
C: If we are allowed to do this by the organizers we don`t have problems with it. Nobody got injured exept ourselves yet.
K: It shouldn`t be dangerous as our lightshow has its own circuit and gets controlled out of the audience. The fire is not dangerous. We can only use it at open air gigs and we always take care that there is no danger for the audience.
F: Difficult to say. In principle it is dangerous. But not for the audience. The first row always has respect of fire and as well most of the organizers.
T: If we work with fire we are always prepared 100% and we sure know what we’re doing. We are interested in not coaling our audience so that they can come back next time *laugh*.
You also quite recently released your first album “Deathtiny”. What about that?
C: We wanted something that`s our own. We wanted to have our own piece of silver.
K: We released the album to have our own product to through it on the market.
F: We had our songs and if you want to get a Step further you need your own material. So we made a short work of it and went recording.
Where can we get the album?
K: You can get it at our gigs but you can also order it via mail. Simply write us at www.myspace.com/hosmetal and order it.
What are your plans fort he future, what are your most enterprising dreams?
T: I would dig to play a big tour until I`m fed up with my own songs, then go on holiday and on tour again. It also would be freaking to play as a support for slipknot. Then I wouldn`t even care about the scedule *laugh*.
C: Having a lot of fun.
K: We want to have as much fun as possible and develop and get more famous.
F: To be rich, famous and good- looking. Whereas the last mentioned already is reality *laugh*. No we`ll take it as it comes as long as its fun. And it is fun!
Your last words…
the band: Thanks to everybody who helps us at our gigs like our camerawomen from WoS (and Erik). As well as our light and photo women. And of course our fans that come to our gigs. And to everybody who support young bands for example with interviews like this. THANKS!
Author: Katrin Dietl, photos: Heart of Steel
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