01 – Greetings! First I’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity. I believe that the last time I interviewed Summoning was about six years ago. I’m not sure if both of you will answer this interview or not, so, please, introduce yourself to our readers/ listeners.
silenius: yes both of us are here and ready to answer the interview. great to hear from you after such a long time again.
02 – Congratulations on the release of Old Mornings Dawn, an album which I can not get tired to listening to. I feel that this album is a darker than Oath Bound, but yet, still epic and, in a way, heroic. Could you tell us about the recording process, how was the response from the fans and how pleased you are with this release?
silenius: we are very pleased with the release. after such a long time of beeing not active for summoning at all it was not sure to find the right inspriation again to put some new magic in our songs, and at least in my case i have to go to a valley of sorrow to reactive my inspiration again. but it took me a very long time to find my way back within the world of summoning. you are right, the new album is a lot darker and has less this heroic “i want to go to a battle” feeling, but more this feeling of emptiness of coming home from a battle.
protector: i also think the new album is much darker than the ones before. i think the greater darkness comes from the deeper and more direct guitar-sound which is also more black metal styled than on the albums before. but its also more polyphonic with more details (specially in the rhythm), due to that higher complexity we also reduced the reverb in order to make the sound more clear compared to “oathbound”.
03 – I always ask about the lyrics and the music process, but a few days ago, I was re-reading an interview I did with the band Thy Catafalque and I found something really interesting there (in my humble opinion, of course). Tamás, the musician, said that, in his opinion that lyrics are a part of it all together with the music and the artwork as they walk hand by hand, that it’s all a matter of the atmosphere. How do you feel about this? And, if possible, could you tell us how you create this “Summoning atmosphere”?
silenius: to be honest when we compose music for summoning the lyrics play no role at all. normally i think about the lyrically concept when everything else is completed, but it think for us it is a bit more easy than for other bands because all our songs have to fit to the tolkien universe and so we know how the atmosphere of a song has to sound. of course for other bands with different lyrical concepts its a lot harder to compose fitting music for their concepts.
04 – Connected to the previous question, about lyrics, Summoning’s concepts or lyrics deals mostly with Tolkien works, with some exceptions, of course. You’ve mentioned that Old Morning’s Dawn is not a concept album, but still dealing with Tolkien (on the lyrics), with some of them written by you and some unknown authors. Could you talk a bit about these unknown authors as well as how was the process for you to write the lyrics losely woven to the Tolkien universe?
silenius: first of all i think its no secrete that nearly all of course lyrics are not written by ourselves, but either taken from tolkien poems directly, or we search for poems for different authors which can be connected to the middle earth concept. only the lyrics for the choirs are done by me because in this field it is important to chose the right words which fit to the melody line.
05 – Even though you’ve already stated that Summoning will be asleep again, I believe that many of us are hopeful to see a new release in the future. So, musically speaking, right now, as you feel like at the moment, I ask you to please answer this question: throughout your discography you’ve presented a very wide range of emotions from despair and sadness to the more triumphant. Do you intend to continue to interweave these various themes in your music? And so, where do you think Summoning is headed music-wise?
silenius: the musical concept for a summoning songs is basically always the same. we just make experiments with different priorities and focuses of the instruments and sounds. but of course always with an huge epic and hymn like touch; thats very important for summoning, so i think our music has a lot more in common with those classical movie scores or ambient music than with normal metal music. of course we also have other musical interests and so we have our other bands like “ice ages” or “kreuzweg ost” to sometimes break through the rules summoning composing.
06 – I’m not the right person to say this, but I think that Summoning has one of the best “contracts”, if we can use that word on the metal scene. You both entirely produced Old Mornings Dawn, meaning, to composing the tracks, then mixing and finally mastering it? And this after a seven year hiatus! First of all, how did you manage to have this total freedom being on a label and secondly, tell us the differences between these phases, how satisfying was the mixing and mastering work for you? I mean, I’m not asking if you’re pleased with your work, but with this work itself.
protector: well its simple. the less budget a band consumes for the cd production the less financial preassure the band has from the label. as we do everything on our own our costs are very low for the label and therefore we have any freedome we want to let the sound just as we think its perfect. we like to have our music totally under controll and dont want that it gets manipulated by some exernal mixer who rather would give our albums a more mainstream metal sound. the sound of the album takes for us as long as the composing and we always try to sound different.
about the phases. first we of course do the recording of all keyboards, then i think about the guitars to add, and finally we sing. once the recording is finishes we start to mix the albums. this time the mixing happened in some phases. first the albums was a bit different then silenius checked the sound in his car radio and did not like it. so we made the guitars deeper and changed other things. so this time the mixing took longer than normal and we thought more about the sound than ever before.
07 – What about the OMD sessions, with the songs that weren’t used on Old Mornings Dawn? Can you tell us a bit about it (if it will be in the like of Lost Tales or Nightshade Forests), if they’ll be released digitally or a physical EP and, more importantly (!) if you’ve already got a release date already?
silenius: we already work on the unfinished songs and i already composed some new melodie lines which i added. but everything goes on very slowely, we just take our time. hopefully we can release the songs in the end of this year. i am not sure now how many songs we will get out of the remaining material. i think 6 or 7 new songs can be possible and what is very important for me is to make the release a collectors item that stands out from a normal release and so we will release them propably only on vinyl and not on cd.
08 – Again, in my humble opinion, you have released masterpieces (well, I’m going to be honest here, I don’t really like the demos, hehe). Where would you rank Old Mornings Dawn compared to your previous releases? And if there are people that still haven’t really paid attention to your music, which Summoning album/ albums would you recommend him or her should start with?
silenius: it is far to early to make a final judgment about the new album. after all its not the band that judges an album to be masterpiece or not. thats up to the fans, and even there an albums always have to stand the test of time because shortly when an album is released there are always a lot of people who are satisfied with the result but there are also always a lot of people who criticse the album a lot because it does not sound like they would like it to sound.
protector: i guess that when most of the fans listen to our albums (or albums in general) they get used to it and already imagine inside their minds how the next one could sound, but naturally the result will always be different to their imagination, so they have to get used to the new album to be really ready to judge it. i know that many of our critics (but also fans) say that we always sound the same, but thats definitely not true. of course we always have long, melodic, epic songs based on keyboards and monumental drums, but actually we change lots of elments rather heavy on each album. and all those changes need time for the listener so that they can feel comfortable with it.
09 – I always ask a few questions to the bands I’m interview as I think many people would like to know what some of the personal views from the musicians are. The importance of music, to a lot of people, is immense. Music helps us to go on through hard times or completes us in times of joy. I have to say that, personally, 2013 was a terrible year for me, but the music from some bands (Summoning included) helped and helps me to go on, to gain more strength or simply to hang on. What are your feelings and thoughts when you get to know that your music has helped and still helps people to forget about their problems, to go through a tough phase or that simply makes them happy, even though the music itself can be quite a bit dark?
silenius: of course it a naturally thing that music can strengthen the present emotions of all different kinds of the listener. music is always a perfect friend when you go to the different stages of life with all its ups and downs. of course as i am a musical, music plays a very central role in my life. i have a kind of ritual: whenever i buy new music i listen to it the frist time when i am on a running tour through the country side of my home. thats very relaxing and new music always motivates me to have endurance while making physical training.
10 – Do you have any news concerning your other projects, like Ice Ages, Kreuzweg Ost (which released an album in 2012, I believe) and Amestigon? I love Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, could you tell us the reasons why you split-up?
protector: i will definitely make new ice ages songs, but still no new album is in sight. about dvke: as i made all music it never was a band so it could not “split up”. i just was not in the mood for any more songs in that style so far, but i never made a final decision about this project.
silenius: kreuzweg ost ist asleep in the moment. bzw oliver has emigrated to london some time ago and so it will be a little bit difficult to find new musicians to go on, but it is not impossible; i will think of it next year again. for amestigon i will do some vocals in the end of this month. their new cd will be released later this year, and beside that i also have done new vocals for an abigor single again.
11 – Austria has been the land of many well known and respected bands that have been around for decade or even decades. How do you feel about the Austrian scene nowadays, the “younger” bands, do you believe that they can represent what Austria has delivered so far? Could you recommend some to us?
silenius: yes the austrian scene is still alive but to be honest i am not to much connected with the scene. i have realised that some of the bands like “the sorrow” gained international attention. but after all thats not my world. we concentrate on our own work, thats all. but of course i am still in contact with some of the older musicians like martin from ex pungent stench or tommy from abigor and so i am not completely out of buisness whats going on nowardays.
12 – This is a question I’m pretty sure you were asked several times when The Lord of the Rings – the movie – was released. How did you feel about the two part adaptations of The Hobbit so far and the changes they made? Are you, overall, satisfied with these two movies?
silenius: yes i always liked the work of peater jackson a lot, and its not different with the hobbit. in contrary to many other tolkien fans i never compared the movies with the books as if they are in a competition. book is book and film is film and so peter jackson did it right to make some personal interpretations and to have the freedome to make his own vision out from the book.
13 – Connected to the previous question, could you tell us a bit about your hobbies and what’s the perfect evening after arriving home from a day of work? Any favorite writers, directors or bands that you’d like to share with us?
silenius: i have no special hobbies. maybe the only big hobby i have is going on mountain tours or beeing within nature as often as possible. i think i need this very much as a compensation to my normal working life in the big town of vienna.
14 – And we reach the end of this interview. Once again I’d like to thank you very much for your time and your answers. It is always a pleasure to interview the bands I admire for many years. Do you have any last words for our listeners?
silenius: thanks again to our fans it was a real pleasant feeling that so many people still awaited a new album from us after such a long time of sleep. this made us really proud. thanks a lot for the interview.April 14, 2014