DARKNESS (EN)

– Hello, thank you so much for answeing our interview. How is the band currently doing with the release of a new EP and a compilation album?
Hi Paco. I have to thank you for the opportunity to give an interview and your interest in DARKNESS. We have just released the EP “XXIX” in May 2015 and the response for it is very good. A complete album is in progress and will be released most likely in Spring 2016.

 


– After so many years without recording, was this the main reason behind your comeback? Doing a best of and a new EP to introduce how is the band like rigt now? Tell us a little bit about how did the idea and your comeback of DARKNESS to the stages arise?
Doing a “Best Of” or something was not the reason actually. The releases that were made in the last few years were done by two labels. We co-operate with them and from time to time they release old stuff, mostly on vinyl. The decision for the so called comeback was made after the 25th “Death Squad” anniversary show in December 2013. We experienced a great response of the people after the show and we were keen to try it again as DARKNESS.

 
– The compilation if I’m not mistaken is a limited edition. How did this idea of making a limit number of copies born? And how is it working?
IMG_8287I’m not sure what compilation you mean. As I said, there have been a few releases in the last years. But I can’t tell you why these are limited. That is the decision of the labels, perhaps they do that to make the releases something very special.

 
– Nowadays thanks to technology is easier to have access to bands from the fans. Have you noticed this? Is this one of the reasons why you got back?
Maybe. I have to admit that I wasn’t aware that DARKNESS are still a band that is known in the scene until the gig at the Keep it true Festival in 2006. I really was overwhelmed when we played there, the folks were really crazy about us. Now we receive messages from the entire world. That shows me we have been known all these years. Of course it is easier to get in contact today but that makes it easier for the other bands, too. The way to keep in touch with the people is easier but that has also made the competition harder.

 

– Before dwelling into the EP, as I have the chance of interviewing you, I would like to review a little bit how was DARKNESS born and how were those first albums, as “Death Squad” and “Defenders of Justice” like.
DARKNESS was formed in December 1984 by Lacky, just after having been to a Tormentor (later Kreator) show together, and they took their first steps in songwriting and rehearsing at the famous Zeche Carl. We recorded three Demo-tapes (even though I never played a demo; I joined the band in 1986!) and then released “DeathSquad”, the debut album. To me it is the most DARKNESS-a-like album, because it is raw and angry. The second album was ‘Defenders of Justice’, the album which marked the silent demise of Darkness. Bruno (bass) had already been replaced by Thomas, who later left the band for Holy Moses. Olli (voc) had begun to go astray, he was not really interested in metal anymore but rather into early gothic acts like Fields of the Nephilim or Sisters of Mercy. Our guitarist Pierre was very disappointed with the whole situation and wanted to play more progressive music. He left the band for “Jesters March”. Despite all the personal issues of that time, ‘Defenders of Justice’ is the last real Darkness album to me.

 

– Nowadays these albums are true old school cult so, in line with the previous question about new technologis, have you noticed an interest from younger generations toward these releases?
Absolutely! I am often talking to people who definetly were not born when the first albums were released. They know the old songs, they sometimes wear our shirts and they visit the concerts. That really makes me proud and it shows me that we were not that wrong…..

 
– You are hailing from Germany, a country that have really good Thrash back in the 80’s. What are your memories from that scene? And what bands did you share shows, parties and such with?IMG_8249
Haha, crazy! People always ask us for old stories at a certain point of interviews. I’m sorry: it would fill books to tell all the stories, therefore I can’t tell you anything about that. It would be too much. The bands we met and celebrated with are many bands, too. German bands like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Assassin, Necronomicon and international bands like Testament or Death Angel. I don’t remember them all.

 
– In 1989 “Conclusion & Revival” came out, that was the last album from that decade and you then disappeared from the scene. How was that album and what happened that made you fade away?
After the second album we had a lot of differences between the band members and too many line up changes, therefore we decided to quit with DARKNESS. I can’t tell you an exact time when the band died: it was a creeping process. We played a last concert but the record company insisted on a third album and we had to record “Conclusion and Revival”. It wasn’t sold very well, the promotion for it was very bad and finally I think the music was too different to the first albums. And at least it wasn’t DARKNESS anymore, because only Lacky and me were left of the original line up. We played a tour through Europe with MUCKY PUP and we had a lot of differences, so we buried the band after that tour.

 
– A lot of years went by, there’s a live album and a demo compilation from the last decade. What happened during that time and how was that comeback like?
We all were busy in other bands and even in other styles of music with more or less success. But that didn’t satisfy us at all. In the beginning of 2004 Lacky and me were very dissappointed with our situations and we met to consider a new musical co-operation. We founded “Eure Erben” and tried to create something new in Thrash – Thrash Metal with German lyrics. But it didn’t work. Most people do not accept any other language than English in Metal. Further more we were always asked for DARKNESS. So we decided to start again with DARKNESS after many years of being “Eure Erben”, the “small brother” of DARKNESS. I think that was the right decision.

 
– And coming back to the present days, now there’s new material. Is this the ultimate reunion of the band?
Yes, it is. In June I did an interview for a German online Mag called “The Pit”. In the end of it I was asked about my wishes for DARKNESS’ future. I have to repeat what I said: this is the ultimate line up. I don’t want someone to come in or to leave the band. We work perfectly together.

 
IMG_8226– Now talking about the EP, I must admit when listening to it it seems like nothing has changed, old school sound the best way to know. Does this EP takes it where you left off?
Yes, I think so. That was not planed; I even don’t think that you can plan something like that. It just happened. In my opinion the EP transports the aggression, the spirit and the rawness of the eighties into the second decade of the 21st century. The songs are played in a new musical shape but they are what they were meant to be in 1987. At this point I have to compliment Meik because he was the technician during the recordings and he did the mix. He is oldschool to the core and you can hear it in this work.

 
– And about the new members, both Meik and Dirk provide a superb work, and overall Lee’s voice is absolute DARKNESS. How have they fitted in and how did thy join the band?
Today Meik is almost something like an original member besides Lacky and me. He is member of the band for two years now. Dirk has been our guitar and bass tech and he was substitute on stage for Speesy when Speesy played with Kreator. It was clear that none but him had to become our member after Speesy left the band. He knew all the songs and he is a great guy!
Lee was introduce by Lacky and I think Lee fits perfect! His voice is as desperate and mangy as Ollli’s voice was – that’s what people expect about DARKNESS. On stage he goes berserk.

 
– Are there plans for a full-length soon? And on a view o the future, how’s the tour or festival situation?
We are working on new songs and we are about to finish the work within 2015. Yet no Label is found for the release but we are in negotiation with some companies. This year we play six more shows, some shows for 2016 are confirmed, some more are in negotiation; hopefully we’ll play some big Festivals next year.IMG_8207

 

– That’s all from our side, it’s been a pleasure to interview you, and thanks for answering to our questions. Hope to see you soon in Spain or Europe. If you want to add any final worde, here we are. Thank you and good luck.
I have to thank you, Paco! I would like to thank all the metal maniacs in the world for keeping the spirit alive and for all the support they gave us through all these years!
Thanks to all the metalheads – in Union we stand.
You all really rule!

 

Paco Gómez
paco@queensofsteel.com

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