-How are you and the band in these shitty times?
We are doing okay. We’re busy with the live album now. It really helps us a lot to stay connected with the fans and to have something to do. It was difficult times the last weeks because of all the shows got cancelled, and then we had the idea of making this spontaneous live album to stay connected. To stay busy. And to stay in touch with the fans this way.

Yeah, it’s a very good method to kill time in these times.
Thank you yeah.

-I saw on your Instagram profile that in the beginning of the covid-19 in Europe you were in Maldivas.
Yeah, it was crazy! When we were through the holidays corona wasn’t a real threat yet. It was in between tours. Between the first leg of Europe and before the second one I had some free days and I said «yeah, these are my holidays this year». So I went on holidays and then all flights got cancelled. The corona isolated all countries. All boders were closed. So I was caught on the island and we couldn’t go home to Germany. No more flights. All the shows got cancelled. We were isolted. We couldn’t return for a while. This is the time when I thought about the live album, because we had recorded this show last summer, almost by accident. A friend had recorded it. And I said to the guys «hey, we’re fucked. The are no concerts. I’m in the Maldives and I don’t know how to get home… So why don’t we think about the live album now, in these times where the fans are at home and we all have no job?». That’s how the idea came up. It was actually me and my girlfriend and two guys from Ukraine and a couple of more people were the only ones left in the island. We all got stuck there for more than another week until we could go home.

-Yes, yes, the tour was scheduled for April but was moved to the end of the year… But one question, until it’s possible to do gigs, have you considered the idea of streaming a show? It would be killer.
This tour is scheduled now for November/December, and I think we can have shows then again because now here, in central Europe, stores are opening again, we have controls for the virus again, so I think it’s possible to have a more normal situation in some months, including concerts. Beacuase the show has to go on. Business has to go on. People have to live. People need jobs. Here in Germany a lot of stuff is opening up even, we have one of the biggest amusement parks, like Disney World, it’s called Europa-Park, and they’re opening up again next week already. With special security, special social distancing, and everything, but they’re opening up. I think this is possible… If a big park is open, where thousands of people go, it’s also possible at some point to make concerts again. It will take time and special managements, but it will happen.

-Yes, it’s the same situation in Spain. It’s the same shit.
Yeah, but Spain it’s stille more affected at the moment.

-Absolutely, last month was terrible.
And specially Spanish people you don’t like to sit home. Spanish people like to be outisde. You like to move. Spanish blood is on fire! It sucks to be home all the time. It must be terrible of course.

-Yes… Well, about the album, how has this whole situation affected you on a professional level with your new live album coming out? Because it’s been out digitally but it won’t be released on a physical format until 17th July. What’s the reason?
The reason is that we had recorded this album to come out in these times where everybody is at home and has no concerts. To produce an album in a physical way you have to print the vinyl, you have to do a certain promotion… A big label like Nuclear Blast needs four months to do all those things, so we decided to not wait four months so everybody can listen to the album, we wanted people to access fast. And this is why we made the digital format first, so everybody can already listen to the album online, and whoever likes the album and really wants it can buy it in July when it comes out in the physical format.

-Yes, it’s natural. And the release of this live album was an idea you had before isolation or did you want to release this opus to keep the band’s name alive during these times?
It was not planned. We did this spotaneously, we didn’t have a live album planned. Our plan was to go on tour this year and play live and no live album in the books. But because of the pandemic that’s basically why we did this live album.

-And this is your first live album in 11 years, right? The last live album was…
Yeah, in 2009.

-Yes, yes, 2009. «The Curse of the Antichrist: Live in Agony». This is not your first time as a four-piece, and honestly with 4 members everything sounds more polished and clear. You have also brought back a more traditional sound. What was the goal? Why did you decide to come back to the two guitarists format?
Having two guitars means more possibilities for more power on stage, more guitar in the action, more harmonies, harmony solos also. A second guitar is just much more powerful, specially live. We loved the trio, but the trio always means compromise, you can’t do everything live. You record an album and then it’s difficult sometimes to reproduce it live, because you’re only 3 people. Now with two guitars we can do everything live. We can play all the songs again that we couldn’t play before, and there’s much more power within the music with a second guitar. I mean Heavy Metal is all about guitars. It’s a nice comeback to more possibilities in the live situation.

-Okay, and I’ve seen that the album was recorded at Party.San. What meaning does this festival hold for you that you decided to record it there? Or did you just record some tour dates and this was just the concert with the best sound and execution?
No, actually we only recorded this show because a friend of ours was there recording other bands. He didn’t need to record DESTRUCTION but he did it as a present, so he came to our dressing room after the show and said «hey guys, I’ll be recording your show. I’m here recording some other bands and I’ll give you the show and you give me some drinks now». And then we gave him some Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola and we had a little party and he gave us the recordings. But we had no need to do the recording. We we’re puting it back into our pockets and said «hey, thank you very much, great, but we don’t know what to do with this». And then we could go on tour. It was a great show, a great night. It was an awesome event. But we didn’t want to have a live album out at that point. But then corona came in, with the cancellations and everything. And then when I was on this island in the Indian ocean in the Maldives… That was the moment when I said «hey, we thave these recording from Party.San. Now all the fans are sitting home. We are sitting home. Nobody can do live shows… Let’s do the live album now». This was how the whole idea came up.

-Yes, I’ve seen Party.San’s line-up every year and it’s an awesome festival. There are very good festivals in Germany, more than in Spain or any other country.
Yeah, Germany has the most festivals in the world. There are really big events like Wacken, Party.San and Bang your Head, Summer Breeze also is very big, but you also have smaller festivals with a couple of thousands of people. So in summertime a lot of people from all around the world come to Germany for festival season. It’s like festival vacation in Germany basically. It’s great to have this. But this summer it looks like nothing will happen.

Eva Nagler Photography

-Totally. Another question about your line-up, in DESTRUCTION you also have had for two years now drummer Randy Black, from Canada. How do you rehearse and prepare the shows with Randy?
Randy moved to Germany twelve years ago. He lives in Germany. He lives in Berlin. When he joined PRIMAL FEAR he moved to Germany from Canada. He lives in Germany since a long time now. So it’s very easy to rehearse with him because he lives over here.

-Okay. You have toured with bands such as EVIL INVADERS or ENFORCER, and also with my citymates CRISIX and WARBRINGER. How do you think is the current state of the Metal scene? What are your favourite new bands?
We always try to bring bands that we like, so the bands you just mentioned are all acts that we brought on tour because we like their music, and we like their style and we like their old school approach, you know. For me it’s great to see now, in this moment, that a whole generation has raised of new bands, young bands, that play old school Heavy Metal or old school Thrash, because if you look back 20 years ago, this wasn’t there. 20 years ago there was a very small scene left of old school, everybody was playing melodic Death Metal at that time. All the young kids were playing melodic Death Metal, and there were no Thrash bands. We are happy at the moment that we have this new young generation of old school. All those bands are great. I love them. There’s a lot of stuff coming out now after all the bands you just mentioned, they’re even younger, and that’s also great.

-Yes, and you have come several times to Barcelona. Do you remember any story of my city?
All great shows in Barcelona! The first time we came to Barcelona in 1989 with MOTÖRHEAD. That was 1988… Yeah, I think it was 1988. That was a fantastic concert, and since then we have a special love for Barcelona. Every time we come there it’s a fantastic show, because of it’s crazy Metal fans. It’s always a special show Barcelona. Of course it’s with every city, but in Barcelona the Heavy Metal heart is a big one, so it’s always a highlight to come there.

-Great, perfect. So this is it, it’s been a huge pleasure to interview the frontman of one of my favourite Thrash Metal bands.
Thank you!!!

-I hope to see you in December.

-Good luck and all the best for DESTRUCTION, for friends, family and all the members in the band. And feel free to add anything else.
Thank you very much for the interview and I wish the best to all the Spanish fans in these difficult times. I think we have to stay hopeful that soon we can reunite for concerts. It will be better times coming. Thank you very much for the support and see you in December in Barcelona and in Spain.

Philip Graves

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