– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with DEADLOCK?
John: Fine so far – just watched the final version of our new video – which is already online when the interview will be released. During the last 8 weeks we were pretty busy with the promotion for the new album and we are still impressed how much feedback we’ve already got. Hopefully it will continue this way.
– You will soon release your new album, entitled «The Arsonist». What are your expectations on it?
John: Expactations…well I guess the highest pressure is created in our own minds. We had high pressure during the production process. Not only because of the lack of time – every part, every vocal line and each and every played note had to live up to the expectations of all band members. In the end the first reactions from the press and from our label were pretty awesome, so we’re looking forward how the fans react to the album.
– After giving the record some spins I could say this is your most melodic and easy-listening effort to date, with strong structures and catchy choruses. Was this how you envisioned the opus since the beginning? Do you think this approach will help you opening to a broader audience?
John: Thank you for the feedback – we really appreciate it! That is exactly what Deadlock is. There is no purpose to have our songs catchy to enlarge our fanbase. The combination of hard stuff and pop elements is just the way we did it in the past and we’ll do in furture. For “The Arsonist” we just wanted the hard and heavy parts to be harder and the soft parts even softer, while making the catchy parts catchier than ever – to see where it will lead us. I think we pushed ourselves on a new level as musicians when we wrote the new album.
– It’s also a really solid release in general. Could you say «The Arsonist» shows us the actual and current DEDLOCK’s personality? That shows us DEADLOCK more consolidated than ever?
John: Absolutely – “The Arsonist” is 100% DEADLOCK in 2013. The new line up exists since 2 years and we spent countless nights in our rehearsal room and studio to create that sound. That also connected us personally. We think that we have the strongest foundation since the very beginning of the band.
– This has been your first CD without the male singer Johannes Prem. What were the main reasons behind his departure? And do you think this affected the band in any way?
John: The reason why Johannes left DEADLOCK is pretty simple – he wants to focus on his job and family. It is always a pity to loose long-year companions,but we still see DEADLOCK as a hobby on a professional level, which takes a lot of time. When it comes to family and work the tables turn pretty quick and then you have to decide to leave something behind. And of course – a new vocalist is easier to reconceive, but when it comes to guitars or arrangements our lead guitarist – which have a much greater impact on our sound – Sebastian is responsible for the songwriting of DEADLOCK since we started with the band. His personal development as musician represents the development of the band. So the effect would have been much higher when we loose him.
– It caught the cover you have featured on BRONSKI BEAT’s «Smalltown Boy». Why did you choose this song? And what other tunes would you like to cover?
John: For us, it was obvious to do a cover song from a different genre and we all really like the original version of the song. The intention was to show a musical middle finger to all narrow-minded idiots around. Imagine – if you have a metal band with melodic pop choruses and clean vocals, even a female singer. There are always some underage purists who denote you as “untrue” or even “gay” – so why a cover song of a gay anthem to add some fuel to the trueness-fire ,-)
– This has also been your first record with Napalm Records after working with Lifeforce. How has this change been thus far?
John: I already used this in another interview in France – but It describes the situation pretty good: Napalm Records was interested in DEADLOCK for more than 2 years, but we had to fulfill our contract with Lifeforce. Don’t get this wrong – Lifeforce did a lot for DEADLOCK and we highly appreciated this, but you can compare it to the girlfriend thing – even if she’s perfect you think of somebody else…sometimes. DEADLOCK and our girlfriend Lifeforce decided to split in a good way after 8 years of relationship. Our new girl Napalm might be a bit older and speaks a horrible dialect (they are from Austria), but it has the experience and the power to push us on a new level.
– You have had an outstanding cove rartwork by DARK TRANQUILLITY’s Niklas Sundin but, how did you work on it? I mean, did you give him any guidelines?
John: No – we just gave him the time and the trust to create something unique. We know Niklas since some years when we did a tour together and of course we knowed him for his great work, so there was no need to set any limits.
– Sound-wise «The Arsonist» sounds quite clear and really powerful, in fact you teamed up with seasoned people into this field. Did you get the sound you were looking for?
John: Again – thank you for the nice words. It might be a fact, that working together with an external producer changed the sound a little. We went full speed ahead in terms of the production. Besides Sebastian Reichl, Benny Richter (e.g. CALIBAN, MOONSPELL) took his place behind the mixing console. We worked in 4 different studios at the same time – beside the main recordings in our own Slaughter’s Palace studio we produced the drums at the Chemical Burn Studios with Alexander Dietz (HEAVEN SHALL BURN). Eike Fresse (e.g. CALLEJON, OOMPH!, GAMMA RAY) mixed the new songs at the Hammer Studios in Hamburg. Finishing and mastering touches were provided by Olman Viper (CALIBAN, EMIL BULLS, ZSK) at the Hertzwerk Studios. Every person, who was involved, gave it’s very own tiny influence on the sound of the album and we definitely found the sound we were looking for.
– All this about «The Arsonist» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
John: offensive and nonconforming
– And finally; what are your near-future plans?
John: We will start with some festivals in summer and have our third headlining tour throughout Germany. There are some plan for heading over to Japan and Russia again by the end of the year and hopefully a longer European tour at the beginning of 2014. So watch your back and see you around.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
John: Thank you for your support!!!!!