– Hello, thank sfor taking the time. How is everything going right now with HERETIC? How are you doing soon after having released your newest album?
Hello Tania! Thank YOU for taking the time and effort of asking us some questions. We are more than pleased and proud with the release of the album. So far, most people understand the underdogs haha. But we don’t have time to sit down and enjoy the patting on our shoulders for doing a great job on this, because we are already in the middle of writing the next one.


– This year marks the 20th anniversary of the band. Do you have something special in store as a celebration?
No not really. 20 years of existence does not actually mean productive years, so its no accomplishment at all of which we feel the need to celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, we will take every excuse to throw a party and we will by doing a few special releaseparty’s for the album at the end of September/early October. Just a way to thank the maniacs for accepting another self-indulgent creative output from us.


– «Underdogs of the Underworld» is your first full-length album with Ván Records, with whom you’ve been working with for a few years now. How did this cooperation arise? And how is this cooperation working thus far? Ván not only seems to be a truly dedicated label, but it also puts out some of the most beautiful, well-cared packages out there.
I have known Sven for over 6 years but I guess I was always to shy or uncomfortable to simply ask him to sign us because I thought Heretic was not qualified enough to live up to his high-quality standards. When the new line-up did their first show at the Roadburn Festival and Sven was acting like a maniac in front of the stage, we saw it as a sign of approval. I don’t think the fact that Jimmy threatened to leave with Urfaust if he didn’t sign us has anything to do with it hahahaha. Ván Records is pure gold! Total dedication to the music and the artists that HERETIC 1create it and more important absolutely loyal and dedicated to its customers. I have never in my life experienced a label that has such an unorthodox view on matters, all in honour and service of the customer. That is one reason why Ván & Heretic are a great combination. We have spent hours discussing idea’s for the packaging of the album and look at the magnificent result…


– This is also your first album with both Jimmy and Tom Auf Der Axe. What could you say they have brought new to HERETIC?
Entertainment, professionalism, dedication, musical craftsmanship, big ego’s, bad jokes and a six-pack of beer.

– In fact with the addition of Jimmy you now have two bass and one guitar. What effect would you say has this had on the sound of the album?
More power and diversity. Besides that, they cover up a lot of my sloppy guitar-playing.


– What you are unleashing on «Underdogs of the Underworld» is nothing else than your Punk infused Rock n’ Roll, like mixing VENOM, MOTÖRHEAD with MISFITS, but I’ve also noticed here Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal elements as well as certain BLACK SABBATH nuances. Are you always embracing new influences to add to your own, characteristic sound?
Every single day! I can get inspiration (or shall I call it stealing?) from a wide range of styles. Some are even so far away from Metal that no one recognizes where I “borrowed” it from hahaha. The reason there is a wide variety of styles on the album is to keep it balanced and thus enjoyable. An album needs to be an experience from start to finish. You can put your IPod on shuffle but you can also put on “Underdogs” on vinyl.


– In fact every album you release, without being a departure from your signature style, manages to offer something fresh. Is it easy to remain true to your own sound without copying yourself?
Yes it seems to be very easy and I am pleased to hear we have maintained a signature sound. With every record I think we did something completely different which is experienced by an unprejudiced listener from a totally different angle. I could never write the same record twice even if I wanted to anyway.


– Could you say this is some kind of statement? As when you started playing Black Metal and a lot of bands seemed to follow a similar aesthetic or even «trend» (for some), you seemed to just raise your middle finger and went to play something more personal.
Definitely! In the 90’s I have always regarded and spoken out that Heretic is a statement on behalf of real Black Metal and a statement against the current state of the scene. That is no longer applicable for years simply because we have drifted towards different shores and I simply no longer care anymore.


– To me HERETIC is fun, a RnR attitude, with straight froward and catchy songs. What was something your purpose when you started the band? Or at least when you were evolving to this more rockier sound you are now playing?
Thank you! That’s exactly how we intent it to be! I explained my initial purpose above already but the evolution is quite simple to explain. First and foremost, the Rock N Roll element has always been present. That’s what set us apart in the first place. That element came more to the surface after our reunion in 2008 because of my involvement in a Rock N Roll band for 6 years prior to resurrecting Heretic again. Once it gets in your blood it doesn’t get out, unless you have a blood-transfusion of course.


– And what is HERETIC for you?
Besides the obvious creative output it also pleases my ego and narcissistic need for attention and admiration.

– Lyrics are also more Rock n’ Roll, it has a kind of MENTORS or DWARVES feeling to them. Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to lyrics?
For this album I have been writing lyrics together with our drummer Tom Auf Der Axe, who is a huge Dwarves fan. So I think he will be pleased with this comparison. The inspiration for this album comes from cult-movies, especially Mad Max. We wanted to tell various stories of different characters set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

– The sound is yet again quite raw and really organic. Your previous albums were produced/recorded on a DIY tradition. How was this process this time around?
We worked with the same producer who did Alive Under Satan because we were really satisfied with the results. The producer understands our music and was able to give us complete control in order to capture a certain energy in the way we like and need to do it. We need a special unclean environment that most studios don’t offer in order to be able to create what we want to bring over to the listener. And what better place than the old basement of the legendary Dynamo club right?


– In fact it even has a certain live vibe, and the raw energy on the album also has that «live» thing to me if you know what I mean. Could you say the natural environment of HERETIC is the live scenario?
Great! Purpose achieved! The stage is where everything comes together, the exchange of energy between the band and the crowd. That’s what its all about eventually.

– All this about «Underdogs of the Underworld» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Better than sexHERETIC 2


– And finally, what are now your near-future plans?
Another album is screaming to get out of my system. So is the urge to perform Underdogs live. But we don’t make any plans, we just follow whatever that drives us.


– That’s all from our side thank you so much for answering to our interview. If you now want to add some final words for our readers feel free to do it.
Thank you very much for the interest and support! Readers of Queens of Steel, do yourself a favour and download Underdogs for free and judge it for yourself instead of all the promotional bullshit I have to say about it. Delete it if you don’t like it, but if you do, have some self-respect and buy the vinyl, it will be worth it!


Tania Giménez

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