čtvrtek 24. srpna 2017

Interview - PROFANITY - The music of Profanity has to be fast and brutal!


Interview with death metal band from Germany - PROFANITY.

Answered Tom.

Translated by Markéta, thank you!

Minirecenze/minireview - PROFANITY - Hatred Hell Within (2014)

Ave PROFANITY! I was searching for some interviews in Czech with you but there is nothing online. So I would like you to introduce PROFANITY a little bit – introduce some historic facts, please.

Hello Jakub, first of all, thank you very much for doing this interview and for giving us the chance to talk here a bit about Profanity. Oh, I think there is definitely a Profanity interview somewhere around in Czech language but I think if you want to find one, you need to go back many years, maybe around 2000, that was a quite active time for Profanity. You want me to introduce Profanity to your readers, no problem, so here we go. Profanity was founded in 1993 and back at this time, Profanity had not much to do with it as Profanity sounds like today. Of course, I always wanted to push the limits, make also no compromises what concerns the music but at this point of time it was not easy to find people for brutal and technical Death Metal. I was and still I am a big fan of bands like Monstrosity, Death, Nocturnus, Cannibal Corpse and so on…that was the sound I always wanted to go for and with the years also even a bit more further, just pushing the limits. So in the beginning days we sounded like a wired mix of different styles, this was just the result when every member throws in his personal taste. We just mixed it all up and this mix you can hear on both demos we did. So after the demos we had some line-up changes. It´s a bit hard for me to remember because it was so long ago…..After the second demo we were only two people left in Profanity, Mike, the guitar player and myself. Unfortunately Mike had also quit a few months later, so he did not record with us the first Profanity full-length “Shadows To Fall”. The first mile-stone in the history was when Martin joined Profanity. He was a bass player I was always searching for. He was just amazing, he had a great technique of playing bass and he had this Death Metal spirit, this fire inside, you know what I mean. He knew all these great Death Metal bands out there and so Martin and I moved on together. We were searching for a drummer, someone who could play fast double bass and blast beats and a friend of us told us something about a guy with the name Armin, a great Slayer fan and also a great fan of Death Metal music. So fortunately we got his phone number but at this point of time he was in the German army but after he came back, three months later we had the phone call and we arranged a first meeting in the Profanity rehearsal room. We had a shitty small drum kit but for the first meeting it was ok. So Armin came into the room, we tuned our bass and guitar and started to jam……and we are still jamming and playing our vision of extreme music, technical Death metal until today. It is a bit funny about our bass players situation….what concerns Martin, due to personal things that happened in his live, Martin had to quit in 1997. So luckily we found Daniel and with him we recorded our first CD “Shadows To Fall”. Daniel played bass in Profanity until 2000. In 2000 Martin re-joined Profanity and played with Profanity until 2013. So what do you think who joined after that, yes….Daniel re-joined Profanity again. Daniel stayed with us until the end of 2016 and due to some reasons we had to search for a new bass player. So fortunately we found a new and a very gifted guy named Lukas, and he is just a beast on the bass guitar. So at the moment the Profanity line-up consists of Armin on drums, Lukas on bass and me on guitar and vocals. 1999 we did a split 7`inch “Drowned in Dusk” with our friends from Lividity, this was also our first cooperation with the German label Cudgel Agency. 2000 we recorded at Brickhouse studio again our second full-length “Slaughtering Thoughts” also for Cudgel Agency again and we were very happy with the result at this time. We were getting even a bit closer to our vision of extreme music with that release. Around the millennium time until 2004 we played as much as possible. I think it was around 45 - 50 shows per year about for three or four years and it was definitely too much, because we felt there was almost no more time left for writing new songs. You always have to be prepared for live shows, always keeping you in good shape and of course go to work 40 hours per week. That makes it not easier. So in 2002 we recorded another 7`inch “Humade Me Flesh” because we got the great chance to support Cryptopsy and Haemorrhage on their European Tour and I can tell you, this was just a fantastic time for all members of Profanity. It was of course also very hard but this was definitely one of those so called highlights in the life cycle of a band. Some more highlights we had until now, there are so much, but to name a few….we played two times with Cannibal Corpse, which was just killer, to play two times at the awesome “Fuck The Commerce” festival in Germany was of course great too, 2004 we played in New York with Misery Index, Uphill Battle and Exhumed and some days later at the awesome Maryland Deathfest. 2015 we got the absolutely amazing possibility to play with our all-time faves Suffocation at the great Deathfeast open air in Germany which was totally insane. Luckily we had the chance to spend some time with the guys of Suffocation and I think this was the beginning of a very nice friendship that we have now. Too much great memories to mention here, I only hope that it will still continue for a while…..



PROFANITY was founded sometime in 1993. Then 2 demo records followed and one album “Shadow to Fall” (1997) and “Slaughtering Thoughts” (2000). Then you did not released anything for long 14 years. Why was that? Or what did you do for 14 years till you released your EP “Hatred Hell Within” (2014)?



Oh, the last release before “Hatred Hell Within” was the 7´´ inch “Humade Me Flesh” which was self-released in 2002. So as I said before, it was a quite busy time for us until 2004. In 2004 we still played at the awesome Maryland Deathfest and right after we got home from this amazing trip we decided to make a break and concentrate 100% on writing new stuff. We had started writing new songs already in 2002 but the writing process was very slowly because of playing all the live shows. What we didn´t know at this time, that this break would last eight years until we get back on stage.

Until 2006 we had written eight songs with a playing time of 60 minutes and it was always planned to release these songs as “Hatred Hell Within” but just the normal life took place. We got married, children were born and we made also further educations at school. I started a further education as electrical engineer in 2006 besides my normal work. This lasted ´til 2010. In these four years I had no time for Profanity. In these four years also two of our three girls were born. Armin (drums) did also a further education from 2008 ´til 2010. 



Martin started also a new job but for us it was for sure, not to end up with Profanity. In these years we had some rehearsals but that was it. What we also knew, that we still had eight songs plus a new one “Melting” which I had written in 2010. So in 2011 we talked about, why not spend again more time for Profanity and record finally these songs. So we did it and it felt great. We all started to practice again and 2012 we had our first live show since 2004 in Swiss. This was absolutely amazing standing with my friends again on stage. Then we bought some recording equipment because for us it was sure that we will not be able to spend a week or two in a studio because of our families. We did all by ourselves at home, but this was also a very long and hard way. Every day coming back home from work, then bringing the kids to bed and then start recording again, maybe for only one or two hours. This is not so easy when you have little kids. But for us it was the only chance to get our songs recorded. Until the end of 2013 Martin had recorded three songs. “Melting”, “Hatred Hell Within” and “I Am Your Soul”, but at this time everything had changed again. Martin and his family got the opportunity to move to Australia, his wife is from there. It was a very hard decision and so they made it. We “lost” our friend and also our bass player and at this time we also had to cancel all shows which were already confirmed at this time. We didn´t know what to do, but we had great luck again. Daniel, who was already in Profanity from 1997 – 2000 was immediately ready to play the bass again in Profanity. We have never thought of this, but maybe this was destiny. We all talked about which way we shall go now. So we decided that we all wanted to play live again as fast as possible but that meant also that Daniel had to learn our live-set and we couldn´t go on with recording. This was the birth of the idea why not release these three songs which were already recorded! The cover was already done at this time and I only had still had to record some guitar parts and the vocals and then, that´s it. So “Hatred Hell Within” was released at the end of 2014 by Rising Nemesis records.

So we still had six songs from that time with a playing time of forty minutes to record. These songs you can hear on our latest release “The Art Of Sickness”, released by Apostasy records in April 2017.




Last year, I saw your concert on a great festival Nice to Eat You Deathfest 2016. You and SINISTER absolutely killed me. How did you like the Czech Republic? Have you ever played here before?

This was an absolutely awesome festival. You really can see that Vladimir of Fleshless and the whole Nice To Eat You crew are working with so much dedication for the music, for this great festival. So we were very looking forward to play at this festival because the last time we played in Czech Republic was many years ago. I can´t exactly remember all places we have played with Profanity in Czech Republic but what I still know is that we have played a few times in your beautiful country. We have already played at the Obscene Extreme festival, I guess it was in 2000. We played on a festival called Eternal Hate festival, we also played one show with the Cryptopsy, Haemorrhage Tour in 2002 in Czech Republic and we also played a few times in Pilsen. So we really hope to play as soon as possible again in your country!


This year, you played in the Czech Republic on the Metalgate Czech Death Fest. How did you enjoy it? What do you think about Czech fans and how was the festival for you?

Here I can say exactly the same like I said to NTYE festival, it was just insane. We had an absolutely amazing time there. Everything was so professional, Dan from Tortharry and all from Metalgate Czech Deathfest did an amazing job. They have also a great place for this festival, this is just beautiful with the lake and surrounded by this beautiful nature there. I can only recommend this amazing festival to every metal music loving guy. Oh, not to forget about the great food, the burgers were just awesome!!! What concerns the Czech Metal people, they are of course just awesome, no doubt! You are one of them!!!!

There are 3 people in your band which is not common in technical brutal death metal. Your music is complicated and demanding. Have you ever thought about having the second guitar? When I saw Thomas Sartor riffing and singing at the same time…it must be difficult.

Oh, we actually have tried it several times to find another guitar player but this is not easy here where we are living. There were also times when we had two guitars in Profanity. This was at the beginning of Profanity and we also had a great guitar player around 2005, 2006 but the problem at this time was that I went back to school and we were not able to play live again. So I think it was the best thing at this time for this great guitar player, his name is Johann that he went on to play with Obscura, we definitely were not able at this time to give him what he was searching for. So since 2010, we did not really go out to search another guitar player. But if someone would be there who wants to join us, which would be just great of course. Our music is always written for two guitars so that means also when we play live it just sounds a bit different then on CD, but it doesn´t matter that much I think, we have no choice anyway so we always try to give 110% on stage, even if we are only three guys and be sure you will get three guys totally dedicated to extreme music! But on the other side there are also some advantages that you have being only in a three member group. There is always more space in the car or we need less space than a five guy group and when we have to do decisions, then there is always a majority in all cases.



This year´s album “The Art of Sickness” has been in my music player for a long time now. I really like the combination of classic death metal with technical metal. The album is raw and rough at the same time but you did not forget melodies either. I think that your band went just the right direction which is interesting, different and not ordinary. Well, you work amazingly. How is this album perceived by fans and critics? How is the feedback and are you satisfied with your work?

Thank you very much Jakub for your nice words about “The Art Of Sickness”, this is of course great to hear. Since the starting of Profanity I always had this vision in my mind of how Profanity should sound and with every release we were getting closer to it. This release is the best one we have done so far I think. The music, the production, the lyrics, the artwork, everything has become as we have wished. So you can see, we are really very satisfied with “The Art Of Sickness”. The reactions so far are also very good, most of the time we get very good reviews and many people are giving us a very good feedback on this record. We were always thinking about, if there are people who like bands like Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity, Hate Eternal, Death….endless list….but are also like “newer” bands like Necrophagist, Decrepit Birth and so on, maybe they would also like our music. And if they also like music which is not ordinary, even better!!



The album has a great and downright sound. It kicks nicely, let me tell you! But still, I have to compare the album with your previous demo records and your first album “Shadows to Fall” (1997) where the sound was much dirtier. Did you change your composing process? Time and technical possibilities are different now than in the 90s.

Thanks a lot again Jakub. “The Art Of Sickness” has definitely the sound we were always searching for but until “The Art Of Sickness” unfortunately never got. I mean, we all like the sound of master pieces like “Despise The Sun” from Suffocation, “Human” from Death, “Conquering The Throne” from Hate Eternal but also great stuff like “Epitpah” from Necrophagist. So I think Christoph Brandes from Iguana Studios was and is the perfect guy for us to get our music/ sound on tape, hard disc. He is responsible for e.g. “Epitaph” from Necrophagist and he definitely knows how to handle complex and wired Death Metal music, so he was the best choice we could have done. I think the sound on “The Art Of Sickness” is very heavy and also very punchy but at the same time you can also hear every instrument out of it. We put so much hard work, time and all our love to Death Metal in these new songs, so that this issue was of course very important for us. For example what also concerns the bass sound. On many records you can see in the line-up or read in the booklet that there is a bass player but unfortunately you often can´t hear the bass, this is such a pity! We all in Profanity are bass lunatics, so I think you can really here on “The Art Of Sickness” what crazy stuff is going on, on the bass. This time I finally had also the guitar amp I always wanted to have. It is a “Herbert”, one of the monsters of Diezel guitar amplifiers. This was just so insane!!!! We put up everything for recording and Christoph placed the microphones in front of the cabinet and we just couldn´t believe it what we were hearing. It sounded so good from the very beginning on, until now this was something I have never experienced before. That was one of such moments when you just get thrilled. So what you can hear on our latest release is pretty much this guitar sound after only some minutes tweaking around with it. We didn´t find any better sound at this moment. What concerns the drums, we wanted them to sound quite natural, not to overproduced and I think Christoph just nailed it down.

What concerns our first CD “Shadows To Fall” and the way of recording it, it was totally different from how it is today. For “Shadows To Fall” (1996) all was recorded still on tape and so everything was analogue, today everything is digital and makes it a lot more easier. It also saves you money because you need less time for everything. I think what concerns recording, all has changed.

   

How PROFANITY compose new songs? How is the process going when you compose new material? Who is the author of your music?

This is a very interesting question because due to the fact that I had all songs written for “The Art Of Sickness” from 2003 – 2006 and so this means, the latest Profanity song is “Melting”. This one I had written in 2010. This is just another proof that time really flies. So I am very excited about how all things will turn out for the new Profanity songs. I already have collected some ideas, and to tell the truth, whenever an idea comes into my mind, I just have to take the chance to “record” it. Sometimes it is with my phone, recording some humming of myself, or writing down some notes on paper or also using software like guitar pro. Of course the best thing is when I am just jamming around with my guitar and I can work out something right there with the guitar and this is how it all normally starts. Sometimes it also happens when we are rehearsing that a cool idea comes out, than we try also to record it and keep this in mind for a later date. Usually I try to write the notes down for a whole song for one guitar. I am always thinking about rhythms, breaks and so on and I write to the point until I get the feeling that I am satisfied, this is it. This works out pretty well for me. So after one guitar is done I mostly work out all the notes for the second guitar. And here the same, I do this until this cool feeling is there. After this I do the same for the bass guitar and then Armin our drummer gets the song. Now he is creating his drum patterns to this song. But the best thing for me here is, there are no rules how to get a song written, or how a song should sound like. You can do it however you want to do it, of course….the music of Profanity has to be fast, brutal but of course this are only terms, maybe it doesn´t matter, as far as the music of Profanity is extreme!

You have always had a great covers for your albums. Is it important for you to have a great cover for albums? Who is the author of your new album´s cover “The Art of Sickness”?

Of course it is very important for us to have a great cover. What concerns the artwork for our first release “Shadows To Fall” we are not very satisfied but back at this time 1996 there was no internet and we just didn´t have such contacts like today. It was not that easy like it is today to get in contact with such awesome people like Par Olofsson. So a friend of mine was painting the picture for “Shadows To Fall” but mmmhh…it is how it is and for “Slaughtering Thoughts” we did it by ourselves. So why I am telling this, because with “Hatred Hell Within” and also for “The Art Of Sickness” we definitely wanted an artist which is just blowing us away with his art. “Hatred Hell Within” was done by Federico Musetti from Italy and we also wanted him to do it for “The Art Of Sickness” but unfortunately we lost contact with him. So then we wrote an email to Par Olofsson and asked him if he wants to do the artwork for “The Art Of Sickness” and man, it totally came out killer. We think this artwork just fits perfect to the title and to our music.

   

Who is the author of your lyrics on the new album and what are the lyrics about? Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?

All lyrics were written by Martin, our ex bass player. He is still very important for us, he did also the whole layout for the digi pack for the “The Art Of Sickness” and we are also very happy about it that he also played bass on the song “Mouth Of Nepotism” which really means a lot for us. He is doing pretty much in the background for Profanity, so he will always be a member of Profanity, even he can´t be with us physically, but music has no boundaries! I can´t tell you much about the lyrics, but they are very personally and have something to do with some experiences Martin has made in his life and I think if someone wants to know more about it, we have also printed all the lyrics in the booklet so it is just more exciting to make your own thoughts about it.

In 2013 you celebrated 20 years in the underground. You are like a veterans now. When you compare your beginnings and now, do you think that the time has changed? I mean the attitude of fans, labels, promoters, organizers and so on? I often hear people saying “it is not the same as it used to be”. What do you think about it?

Yes, I think a lot has changed. What definitely has not changed is our love to this kind of music. Every time when I am throwing in a CD and listening to Death Metal I still have the same feeling like twenty years ago. The same when I go to show, last week I was in Munich to see Suffocation and man, this was just so awesome. Now I am forty and I think I am still the same Death Metal freak like I was twenty five years ago, and that is good. Maybe Death Metal keeps you young and fresh….

I can say that I like it very much as it is today, the whole scene in general but I also liked the times around the starting days of Profanity or even earlier. It was like a lot more of a challenge to get some new stuff for which we were all bagging for, there was no internet so you had to go to your local record shop and hopefully they would have the latest release of Death, Nocturnus or Monstrosity, if not, you had to come back some days later. Today it is so much easier, just turn on the pc or phone or whatever and after easy paying with paypal for e.g. in just one minute you can get all the latest stuff. This is so crazy but of course has unfortunately also many negative aspects as we all know. I think to get in touch with people is a lot more easier today, we were also used to send around letters and flyer and go to the post office a few times per week. I still have so many letters from this time at home and I think I still will have it for years, today everything is very fast. You see so many advertises and stuff in the internet, sometimes hard to handle but I also think social media like facebook is of course very important for all the bands. I think most of the communication goes through it. I am very excited about the future, but I think that Death Metal music will also survive the next years.

   

Thomas, you are the only original member of the group. You all grown older, the life passed and you are not the “young madmen who play death metal” anymore. I would like to know if the way you perceive music, compose and the attitude to the band had changed over the years? You have families, works, more experiences, and so on.

I don´t know if my perception of music has changed over the years. I only know that I am still loving Death Metal after so many years of listening and for me, it is still a very important thing in my life. It´s a constant in my life and hopefully it will be also the next years. I think I won´t ever stop listening to Death Metal, there is way too much good stuff out there coming out then to stop listening to it. What concerns the writing of music; I think it is quite normal that my way of writing songs has changed a bit over the years. This goes also hand in hand with all the technical progress which is going on so fast, many years ago I was using a lot a four track recording machine, that was a pain but also good at this time. Now I am using a PC and recording software.

I think the attitude to the band has not much changed. I mean, we all still love to hang out together and to rehearse and of course on top of all playing shows with Profanity. To go out with my buddies from Profanity one or two times per month is just awesome, every time we can do it and makes me always happy.

The phenomenon of today´s world is the internet. Sometimes I feel that some people live online. How about PROFANITY and downloading music? There is a lot of “fans” who just download music and they watch concerts on YouTube. They do not use any physical medium for music and it is just a thing for “old men”. What about you and this “phenomenon”?

I think it is cursing and blessing at the same time.


I often hear on concerts in the Czech Republic that there is not enough people on concerts. What about in Germany? You are a big country for us where is a lot of bands, promoters. There is a lot of bands visiting your country and they often miss our little country on their tours. Is there a lot of people on death metal concerts in Germany? Do you prefer smaller clubs or bigger festivals?

Oh yes, here in Germany are many shows. I live very close to Munich and I think it would be no problem to go at least one time per week to a Death Metal show. This is insane!! So fortunately we can see all the great bands here and don´t have to drive long ways to a show. About how many people come to show, sometimes it is full house and also sometimes you are thinking, what is going on here….xxx is here and only a few people are here, sometime I think maybe too much shows are here. What concerns Profanity, we all like both types of shows. We like to play in small clubs and we also like to play on big festivals or open airs. Every type of show has its positive aspects and for us is the main thing that we can just play our music, doesn´t matter if it is in small club or on a big stage.

What about PROFANITY´s plans for the next few months? Do you want to support your new album with some tour? And do you want to go to the Czech Republic?

We definitely want to play live and promote “The Art Of Sickness” as much as possible. So we also hope to play in Czech Republic very soon again. I think there is something planned for March next year I gues, but we will see. Of course a tour would be just awesome, but I think due to our jobs we can only do a maximum of one tour per year. So everything has to be organised very good. So if you maybe have an opportunity for Profanity to play, just feel free and get in contact with us at: Profanity@t-online.de or check out www.profanity.de

Of course the main thing besides playing shows will be to write new songs and hopefully we will be able to record a follow up release. The Death Metal spirit is still there!!! We will see what will happen……..



Thank you so much for this interview and I wish you a lot of sold music, concerts full of crazy fans and I am looking forward to meet you again!


Thank you also very much Jakub for giving us the opportunity to speak here about Profanity and our music, this is highly appreciated!!! People like you keep the scene moving on! I also hope that we will meet you soon again, somewhere….maybe in Czech Republic again? That would be just insane! Thank you very much for all your time, stay Death Metal!!!