Metal Maniac

An Interview with Germ…



Greetings and thank you very much for taking your time to answer this small conversation/ interview. I deeply appreciate your attitude, of being a very famous and respected musician and don’t let it go to your head. Please, introduce yourself to our readers.


Tim: Not so sure about famous and respected haha… But yes thanks for the interview! Introducing myself, readers would probably know me best from Austere, Germ, Grey Waters, Woods of Desolation’s Torn Beyond Reason, Nazxul’s Iconoclast, etc.


Well, since you’ve release na album last year, in my humble opinion, one of the best in 2013, things should be calmer for you when it comes to Germ. Or not? Please, let us know what is going on with Germ right now, are you already working or, at least visioning the new album?


Tim: Things are kind of never calm for me haha! As far as Germ goes, I’ve just signed a new long term deal with Prophecy Productions, and I’m currently writing for what will become the next album, the first for Prophecy. I’m hoping I can record this during the second half of the year, and release it early next year. Musically, I think it’s already a huge step forward, and I’m hoping to try some new things during the recording process, too.


I love your best black metal vocals. Does it come naturally is it the result of practicing for a long time? And, I’d like to ask you if you have any advice for someone that wants to have a powerful black metal vocal?


Tim: Practicing vocals?? Haha fuck! I’ve never practiced BM vocals. I just do what comes naturally to me. That’s also the best advice I can give, don’t try to copy someone else’s style, do what feels natural to you.


Well, I, being the guy that said on Youtube that your music is too mainstream, would like to ask you… No, no, I’m just joking, I have no idea who this guy is, I’m just joking around. Back to the interview, what helps creating this sound of loneliness, grief, sadness, depression… what are the main influences to your music and your lyrics? And still on the subjects of your music, have you even known or have you ever experienced the clinical depression? It’s indeed a terrible state. Unfortunately I know well.


Haha yes, very funny! The main influences for my music and lyrics are just the feelings and emotions I have inside me. Unfortunately, I too know well about these things, having suffered from mental illness for many years. It’s not something I like to make public, and I don’t want people to go “oh he’s just saying that so he doesn’t seem fake”, so I won’t go into it any more than that. But yes, it’s because of my personal life that the lyrics are what they are.


You also have other projects, Autumn’s Dawn being one of them. The band has just released the début EP also named Autumn’s Dawn. Could you tell us a little about this band and release?


Tim: Autumn’s Dawn was formed when a friend of mine and I got together last year and showed each other some music we had written that didn’t fit our main projects. Actually, this guy, Anguish, is the live session guitarist for Germ. Anyway, we found that within 48 hours we had half an hour of material ready to go. We recorded it very quickly in a rehearsal space, and that’s what you hear on the EP! We’re currently in the middle of recording the debut full length album, this one is a bit different to the EP, but more on that later…


Germ is now playing live. As far as I’m concerned, the band played its first live show on November, 2013, supporting Enslaved. Quite an impressive start. So far, what were the best and worst experiences you had playing live and how has the fans reacted to the gigs until now.


Tim: The worst experience is playing live to people that don’t “get” it. I mean, Germ is hardly headbanging, fist pumping music. We’ve been pretty lucky that at every show so far, there’s been a decent number of people who are already fans, so to speak. So there has always been a good response from at least part of the crowd haha. This is also the best part, I’ve seen some people get quite emotional during Germ shows, and it’s good to see that people are feeling something from the music.


Connected to the previous question, what are your feelings and thoughts when playing the gigs and you see other people playing your music, as Germ is a one man band. And how do you choose the ones that you believe that fits better the band?


Tim: You know, sometimes it’s a bit hard. Sometimes I think “what am I doing? This is too personal to be doing this!” But that’s the thing, it’s not just strangers playing in the Germ live band. Not only are they all great musicians, but these guys are all friends of mine, and most of them I’ve worked with before inviting them into the live band. I don’t think it could ever work with strangers, you know, people who don’t know me, or don’t understand what I’m doing, no matter how good a musician they are.


You’ve signed with Prophecy Productions, one of the best labels out there, that in my modest view, of course. How was this deal worked and reached? Also, do you believe that we might see some re-releases of your albums with different versions?


Tim: I can’t really go into specifics on how the signing happened, but I think I can speak on behalf of both myself and the guys at Prophecy by saying that we’re all really glad to be working together! As for re-releases, Prophecy have already put out the Germ back catalogue digitally, and I think physical re-releases will come early next year.


If I was given the choice to bomb one musician, I’d chose Noel Gallagher, which one would you… again I’m just joking, I don’t like interviews that are too serious. Now for the question, and just for the fun. In a Seinfeld related episode the main characters were discussing about shrinkage. You know, when a man is on a pool or at the ocean. They ask each other, do women know about shrinkage and if it’s common knowledge. So, what’s your instance on that, is it a common knowledge thing? Do women know about it? 




Tim: Don’t you dare speak ill of the mighty Noel Gallagher!!! Also, THAT is the real question haha?! Especially because I live on the coast, and in winter, shrinkage is definitely a common knowledge thing haha, women all know about it, and I think they know not to judge too harshly in those circumstances! Being a surfer myself, I know about this all too well haha! Maybe instead I should say this doesn’t affect me because even with shrinkage I remain quite an impressive size hahaha


I read an interview in which you talked about Amorphis and I found it funny because the same happened exactly to me. I saved all my pennies to buy Tales from the Thousand Lakes, Elegy and Tuonela. Having that in mind, how did you get into metal and do you have any fun stories about your relation to metal? I remember that when I was a kid, I saved my bus money to buy CDs and went back home by foot, sometimes I didn’t even eat, hehe. Of course my parents didn’t know about this and they were never the type that hated metal and sometimes bought me albums, but not the amount that I wanted! Please, share some stories with us.


Tim: I got into metal very young. Probably around 9 or 10 years old I got into Metallica and Maiden from a cousin of mine, who also got me into a band who still remain top 3 for me today – Alice in Chains. Prior to this I was already very much into rock music, Guns n Roses being a favorite. When I was around 11 years old an older friend of mine leant me a dubbed tape of Bathory. Side A had Blood Fire Death, Side B was Hammerheart. This tape was like 10th generation copy, and recorded from scratched vinyls in the first place, but listening through all the fuzz and noise and tape hiss, I heard music like I’d never heard before. Still love those albums today! From there I was given a bunch more tapes (Toxik, Samson, Megadeth, and a bunch of others), but this started me on an obsessive quest to find more metal music. I got Elegy by Amorphis when it was released because I saw an ad for it in a local metal magazine and liked the cover art, along with a bunch of others. Back then I used to get an allowance from my parents for doing chores around the house etc. Anyway, every week, as soon as I had some money I would go straight to the record store and buy an album. Then I’d spend the rest of the week trying to borrow money cos I had none left after half an hour haha. But yeah, by the time I was 12 years old, I was already delving way into the underground stuff, from obscure power metal to all the amazing black metal that was coming out at the time. A funny story is I was actually pen pals with Mikael from Opeth for a while back around the time of My Arms, Your Hearse haha


People who read my interviews are already aware that this is always the part where I ask you something about your personal life. Obviously I don’t ask anything that would invades your privacy, just some general aspects about you. Tell us, please, what your favorite activities are when not playing music or working / studying. Are there any authors or books that you enjoy? Watching movies or going out for a drink? Travelling… anything that you’d like to share with us. Are you into Ozploitation movies?


Tim: Well, music is a HUGE part of my life. I don’t work a regular job or anything, I’m just consumed by music, I’m always listening to it, playing it, writing it. I also love to surf, and have been doing that since I was very young. Actually I come up with a lot of lyrical ideas while surfing alone at secluded locations with no one else around. I read a lot – non-fiction mostly. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I do follow some TV series, past and present. I also love travelling, however coming from Australia it’s hard! We are so fucking far away from everything.


Alas we reach the end of this interview. One more time I would like to thank you very much for this opportunity as well as to wish you all the best in the future. Do you have any last words for our readers?


Tim: Cheers for the interview! I’d just like to say please keep an eye on for any and all news, info, and updates!

May 16, 2014