The German band To Resist Fatality has been around in the underground for many years, devoted to the do-it-yourself method. They released two albums that were produced in this manner, their debut “Called to Create” in autumn 2006, their second CD “IANUS” came out in spring 2008, with support of a label (STF). Is this now a turning point for the band? High time to ask the guys a few questions.
Who are you? Where are you from? Please introduce all band members with all their characteristics, spleens etc.
TO RESIST FATALITY was founded in 2004 in German Göttingen. The microphone-job is handled by Andreas who studies Linguistics and English and just got his degree. He is full of energy but at the same time also the couch potato in the band. Nilz is responsible for guitar and clean vocals and is in the packaging business. He handles our internet presentation and our entertainment. Nick is the drummer who also studies economics and helps Nilz with the net. He is the rational mind in TRF. Mate plays Bass and attempts to be a professional musician, if he´s not too busy with hanging out & getting drunk with various orchestras. And me, Kai, I play guitar and I am the “grey eminence” for organisational matters. When I´m not struggling with band issues, I am working as archaeologist. And then there are of course those helpers in the background, like Mimi and Valeska, who handle artwork, merch and the like and should also be mentioned here. Working besides making music is unfortunately a necessity, as the band has to be financed by the band members. But this has partly to do with our standards…
Is there a particular story behind the band name? A band philosophy?
The band name TO RESIST FATALITY is naturally a paradox, because who can defy fate? And if you could, it would not be your fate. The band name expresses the ever-lasting battle with your own values and opinions and how to follow them, without getting assimilated or suppressed. This is our band philosophy. We are a critically thinking band with political and social statements and definitely not into this “go-with-the-flow” attitude. Against looking-away, life as consumer-product, misuse of power. We are for a better, more social cooperation, for a better world that doesn´t judge people according to their economical “value” but for who they are.
What kind of music do you play?
That is difficult… style definitions are rather restrictive. But when people ask us, like you now, I´d say: We play a progressive-influenced mix of Death and Blackmetal, and recently we added a dose of Doom, whereas the Deathmetal-ingredience lessened. We tend to write long songs and try to create melodies and comprehensible structures.
Who do you want to reach, or what do you want to achieve with your music?
Naturally it would be great to reach as many people as possible, who also want to ponder on the content. Inour opinion it´s better to have only one intense listener and thinker than 10 superficial listeners. And it´s great that Metalheads usually are independent personalities. And we want to get around a bit, seeing new countries and meeting new people. For us personally music is also an outlet for bad energy, caused by personal stress or what happens in the world around us.
How did it all begin?
It began in April 2004, when our old band was buried, where Nick, Nilz and I had been playing together. We wanted something new, something serious, something to identify with. Before that we had been in the Punk scene for some years and we played extremely fast, slightly Metallic Melodiccore, in the style that came out of Scandinavia in the mid-90s. After founding TRF we were looking for a singer via small wanted ads and recorded our first demo only after a few months. Looking back, it happened pretty quickly: Called to Create was released 2005 as Demo album and was sent to several labels in Germany. The resonance was positive, and we decided on a cooperation with STF-Records (www.stf-records.de), because everything is on a smaller familial scale but still very professional. In the meantime we had to replace the Bass player, as he began to study in another town. In 2007 we finished the second album “Ianus” that was also well-received, and in 2008 we had our first tour in Germany and Poland, with Polish Power Metalers PRIVATEER from Krakow
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences?
We don´t really have idols… but surely everybody of us has his personal “heroes” that are not to be copied. In my case it´s for example guitarist John Petrucci (Dream Theater) as song writer, Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) for his technique or Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) for his sound and feeling. The band is influenced by the Scandinavian Death- and late 90s Blackmetal: DIMMU BORGIR, DISSECTION, HYPOCRISY, IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILITY, ENSLAVED… And there are those bands we admire for being unique, having found their own style: CULT OF LUNA, DREAM THEATER, SWALLOW THE SUN, CHILDREN OF BODOM… Old heroes like IRON MAIDEN, CELTIC FROST, SLAYER… But I cannot speak for the whole band here.
Who writes the music /lyrics, or are all in the band responsible?
Many riffs and ideas are mine or our singer´s. But we are a very democratic band and everybody is involved in song writing. All arrangements are created by rehearsing and jamming. When somebody has a good riff, it doesn´t matter who has the idea. Even our drummer Nick sometimes hums part of a song to us, if he has an idea. The lyrics are mostly written by singer Andreas, but sometimes also I write stuff if we need something urgently or if I need to get rid off something.
Would you sell your soul to the devil to become famous? Or is your motto “do it yourself – forever”?
Who is the devil? if you mean “true or sell-out”: I don´t see a tough contrast in that,unlike other people. As long as you play and say what you like, it doesn´t really matter if you are on a mini or a major label. Just look at Rage Against The Machine: They were at a major label but never gave up their ideals. They have always been politically correct and inconvenient thinkers. But our stuff is definitely difficult to be marketed by a major label. Therefore we are rather the big fish in a small pond than the other way round. But the slogan “D.I.Y.” will remain with the band in many aspects. We would never have anybody meddling with our lyrics, music or artwork.
What would you pick if you had to choose between sex, drugs and Rock´n´Roll?
That is a difficult question… I think that music is so important in our lives so that we would pick Rock´n`Roll. Drugs have their appeal but can destroy a lot and create problems. And sex we rather have with each other, as a Prog Death/Black-Metal-band, who smells bad, is way too hairy and sweaty – so you don´t get many groupies… 😉
What is your dream, where does your motivation come from?
Having fun with music and creativity is a strong motivation. Even stronger is the urge to express oneself. And when we have to say something, too, this can also motivate a lot. When I put on the TV and watch the news, I immediately feel like writing lyrics about all the crap that happens. And when there´s stress at work, there´s the urge to play guitar. It would be great to make your living by making music, or at least finance the band and the tour bus. Another dream are playing at big festivals and a EU tour. Or writing the perfect song. Or to record a big concept album. There are many things you can still achieve. And this is again a source of motivation.
What will you do if you don´t get to have a career in music business?
I think we would still be making music. What is a career? How would it be if it became a job necessity with a lot of pressure, I don´t even want to imagine. This band is like my own child, especially for me. There is so much energy, passion, money, work and engagement behind it. .. you cannot judge it on average scale. But if someone will drop out on the way, someone else will take his place, because I still have plans for TRF. And I think my band colleagues think the same way.
You have recently toured in Poland – how come, and how was it?
This tour with PRIVATEER was a great experience. For the first time we had this famous tourbus feeling. We had some partying and goofing around. This was immensely important for us as a band and has welded us together. The contact was established by our label STF, but we organised the tour ourselves, as STF don´t have a booking company. The tour went sometimes bad, sometimes good, some shows had few attendance, some drew a lot of people. It was a pity that both the final shows in Germany and Poland had to be canceled. In Germany the Privateer singer caught a cold because of cold-drafty accommodation, and in Poland the venue burned down one day before the show. At least that is what we were told…
What was the most absurd thing that happened to you?
Continuing the previous comment – we were told that the club in Krakow burned down. So we went back home. Later we heard that the club owner had put on a show to frame the insurance company. But as the show could not be canceled in time, about 150 Metalheads appeared in the club, where the owner had initiated a Techno party instead. The Metal people were a bit pissed off so that police and security service had to intervene. Too bad we could not be there…
Poland was in general full of surprises. Once we played almost naked in front of only 2 people, another night in front of dozens of people who had never heard us but treated us like super stars. We were almost pulled off stage. A great and Metal-hungry country, and we want to go back there.
What happened during your best/your worst live show?
As mentioned, being half naked in a huge club and playing in front of 2 people and the tech guy, forced to play a full-Blackmetal-Set was an experience that we don´t want to repeat. But I think those 2 guys found it entertaining.
Which song are you most proud of, and why?
I think that “Spectacles” on the Ianus-Album is our master piece. This song lasts about 14 minutes and still doesn´t get boring, and the content is ambitious. It unites everything that TRF musically and lyrically stands for. The audience reactions and reviews mirror my opinion, too.
What do you think is cool/totally sucks about the music business?
It´s great to meet people and to get around, playing shows, having fun.
It sucks: judging art in terms of sales figures, economic dependence, superficial and egomanic people who think they can talk for a whole scene.
And extremly shitty – all this Myspace & Co-Mania that has more and more people spend time in front of a screen instead of a club or in a rehearsal room. But I don´t want to lump it together only because I am no technology fan, not everything has to be bad 😉
What do you plan in the near future?
Pretty soon we will release our first video for the song “Philosophy of Futility” which was filmed in summer. We did it on big scale, not just in the “band-in-a-factory-hall” style. There will be a story line, somewhere between Animal Farm, consumption criticism and satire. But also the band will appear… and who wants to catch a glimpse of it, visit www.toresistfatality.de and www.myspace.com/toresistfatality (SIC!) to see the trailer.
Now we are writing our third album that will be recorded next year. It will be a bit darker, more intense and heavier. We just have a blast with our new songs. And then we plan another tour in Germany and Poland, plus some gigs in Belgium and Holland. And we are still pondering over a real big thing – touring in Finland. Everybody who can arrange a show for us, WELCOME – get in contact with us!
Finally: Many thanks for this opportunity for promotion – and many thanks to everybody who spend a minute of his/her life to deal with TO RESIST FATALITY !