Deadlock: From bloodbath to blood bank

I am talking with Deadlock on their journey to “Baden in Blut“ festival (which is a pun on the ´´bloodbath´´, the ed.), where the band will play in the afternoon. The band has recently changed its label (from Lifeforce to Napalm) and released a best of album after 17 years of band history. Enough stuff to talk about. Because my original interview partner John (vocals) has to steer the
band car, he passes the phone to Sebastian (guitar).

Sebastian, let us talk about “The Re-Arrival“. What is in the age of iTunes in your opinion the sense of a best of album?
Last year we changed from Lifeforce to Napalm Records and we wanted to do a special thing for our good-bye, a best of with some new, some unreleased and some rare tracks. It is not only a best of, it is something for the fans.

You decided to re-record the songs and also to re-arrange some of them. Why did you not choose
the easy way and took the original recordings?

We thought that would have been too boring. We had some lineup changes in the past and we wanted to feature all current and past band members. In addition, we wanted to have a homogenous sound and correct some old ´´mistakes´´ we made. But there are still some original parts in the songs, so that we have an hybrid of old and new stuff.

But there is one thing missing: live recordings! Why?
We did not think of that to be quite honest. You actually need some good recordings and you also have to mix them in the studio. Well, we did not think about that, but maybe we will do it one day.

Marcus Bischoff of Heaven Shall Burn recorded some vocals for `Code of Honor`. I think that he sounds quite similar to John. So why did you choose him?
Really? When you know both of them well, it is easier to hear the differences between them. John and Ferdy are from the same region like the guys from Heaven Shall Burn. So there is a friendship for a long time, because we are hanging around and touring sometimes together and Ali has produced the album. So one thing came to another. Sabine and me, we had also a small part on “Invictus“.
So we thought it would be a cool idea to make the album even more valuable.

Deadlock have been existing for 17 years now, you released 6 albums, so you are an established
band. But can you also live from making music?

No. I guess that nowadays only the biggest bands can do so. I think this will be an unfulfilled dream. The time in which you could live from the fees and merchandise sales are over. For us, music is just a cool hobby, which takes most of our free time.

From what do you live and how can you organize all these things like profession, family, social
duties and music?

John works at a vegan mail-order as a manager and Ferdy is programmer at Skate Deluxe, an online skate shop. I work in Regensburg (Bavarian city) at a blood bank where I do things like blood analysis. Our vocalist Sabine works for the same vegan mail-order as John does, but she works in the stock department. Our new drummer works in a pharmacy. So you see, many different professions and we all work fulltime. So it is always difficult to go touring or playing some concerts.
Especially because some of us even have a family. It is always like a balancing act.

Referring to your band`s name: Where do you see a deadlock in nowadays´ Metal scene?
I think that most fans are open-minded and tolerant. So there is actually no deadlock from their side. With this musical side it is a bit difficult. Well, I would not call it a deadlock, but there is actually no new stuff. Many things are repeated and also I as a songwriter repeat myself.
Perhaps that is some sort of deadlock. It is always the struggle to come up with something new.

Normally bands are being sorted into certain genre right at the beginning of their career. Most of them will never leave their genre. You are being sorted into the Modern Metal genre. In how far is it possible for a songwriter to leave this particular genre?
I don`t care about genres! I think that you should listen to music and judge what you hear. This is what I do and this is what I hope the people do with my music. We just try to write music we like and which is unique. But I don`t care into which genre it is then sorted.

You all are living vegan, which is no secret actually, whereas the Metal scene is more or less
carnivore. To what extent have you been facing reservations towards you?

When talking to fans, it is never something to discuss. I have been a vegan for 17 years now, but – and I think I can say that for the whole band – we are quite liberal. The topic is very important for us, but we do not preach or even put somebody under pressure. We just try to be idols and it is great if somebody likes to follow us, but if not, we don`t care.

I could imagine that it could be quite difficult sometimes – for example on festivals.
We have a rider and it says what we would like to have. There are things like fruits, juice and soy milk in it. Mostly our catering is quite good, nothing to complain about.

Finally my last question: What will you do in the next 17 years?
We of course keep on rockin! Our fire still burns and we will wait and see what happens. We are working already on our next album and have already recorded some riffs and chorus parts. Details will be revealed in 2015.

Timo Pässler - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - Power, Speed, Melodic, Symphonic and Thrash Metal, sometimes also Black and Death Metal, when I am in mood for it - - - Favorite bands? - - - Blind Guardian, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Powerwolf, Kreator, Vader, Avantasia, Iced Earth, Amon Amarth and many more! - - - Other interests? - - - Music (listening + playing), sports, acting and scouts