Hello over there. I would like to, first, thank you for your time and show my appreciation for your answers. I am deeply thankful. Wolves Den released, in 2015, the band’s début album, titled Deus Vult. I highly appreciated your work and would like to know more about the band. Let’s talk about the lyrical aspects. Could you give an overall idea about the concepts or topics that you write about? What are the main aspects that the band enjoy creating lyrics about?
Helge – Hi! First of all, thank you for this interview – actually it’s very refreshing to answer questions that are not the usual copy/paste. Okay, let’s start.
The lyrics: as always during my time as a vocalist I try to tell the song’s story. Meaning: What is this song about? Okay, this approach may take some time, but in the end it all fits together. And since the Wolves Den music is quite dark the lyrics behind the songs become of the same color. I wouldn’t speak of a „concept” – but if I had to it would be named „music“. I like dark ambient lyrics, like to play with my language to tell different stories at once. Depending on how deep you dive in you will see one layer or the other. And what are the words about? Well, we don’t like religion (and here in Bavaria we have good reasons to do so). I hate hypocrites. That’s what drives me while writing my lyrics.
Still concerning the composition aspects, how does the song writing work as well as the lyrics? Do you work together or individually? How do you guys work out the ideas of each musician and how do you relate to each other? I also would like to congratulate to write your lyrics in your native language, as it’s, in my modest view, much more interesting, unique and real. Besides, the German language is amazing.
Mexx – We work individually. We do not jam or rehearse regularly (only before Gigs), but create all the stuff at home. Normally I come up with new stuff, the first step is to record the guitars and add some midi drums and simple synths. When I am satisfied with this first shot I give the whole package to Manu who works on the Drums and gives me a “good” Drumline back. Then Helge works on the Lyrics –we play Ping-pong like this a few times and go through different steps of pre-production, always adding something to the Songs until they are finished. This progress can take between some days and some years, it depends…
Connected to the previous question, I ask you to tell us what draws Wolves Den to create the music you do. What inspires you to play this musical style and impulses your creativity. And when it comes to your musical process, what influences the band?
Mexx – When I write Music it is always a reflection of the mood I am in at this moment. I could never write a somber Guitar riff while lying on the beach in the sun or something. It is more like channeling your dark/melancholic/aggressive emotions and then releasing them through the Music. I would say that the inspiration comes from within.
Talking about musical influences is a bit hard as we listen to so many different types of Music. but just to name some Bands that we all admire: Behemoth, Rotting Christ, Satyricon, Dissection…
The band has released a very interesting, a very good début album, titled “Deus Vult”. Professional, unique and creative. First, how was the response from the fans and critics? You can sense that the band members already had experience. Besides that, are you guys working on a new one? If so, do you feel any sort of pressure when it comes to a new release?
Mexx – Most of the reactions were quite positive I think. One criticism that we hear sometimes is that our Music is not really something “new”. But that’s fine, as it was never our Intention to invent a new style, we basically play what we like ourselves and that’s it. We just want to make songs that kick ass and have good emotion. And yes, we are already working on new stuff. There is of course a certain pressure… but I think the hardest pressure is always the one I put on myself. 95% of the Music I write goes into the trash anyway as I am very perfectionistic about this.
In a way related to the question above, as a musician and as a human being, what was it about metal that drew you in? What age did you get in touch with metal music and when did you decide that you would become a musician?
Mexx – I got into Metal when I was 13-14 Years old. After the typical Period of listening to some “starter Bands” like Metallica (which I still love btw., at least the “old” stuff) my taste quickly went into the Black/Death direction as I was always fascinated by the Artworks, the Lyrics and all the stuff. It just drew me in. And also I always had a big interest in occult topics, Horror movies, everything that is dark and mysterious, I took this all as one big thing. Also my parents were listening to Hard Rock themselves and that made it a bit difficult for me to find the soundtrack for my rebellion against them, so it had to be black metal, hehe. Starting a Band was just the next logical step then – I personally play in Bands for 18 Years now. But – I don’t consider myself as a typical guitarist. For me the guitar is more like a tool that I use to create this dark vibe. Meaning I would not join a blues or Jazz band just to play, I really like the whole metal thing, that’s just my fucking lifestyle.
The musical business it’s indeed very hard for quite some time. It has already been stated that, in these days, people has everything in a click away and all that matters is the first thirty seconds impression. I’d like to ask you how do you feel over this and what can a band do detach itself from this problem as well as to distinguish itself from many others?
Mexx – If you ask about the feeling this gives then I can definitely say that it sucks. But these are developments that simply happen and whether you like it or not, you have to deal with it.
I mean for example there are many bands that totally go with this whole social media thing and also earn popularity with this; That is ok, everyone should do what he likes, but we decided not to do that. Or at least not to go too deep into it. We also have a Facebook page, but we don’t post Pictures of Helge taking a dump every day in order to get a few more clicks. You were mentioning this first 30 seconds that have to kick – I think that was not so different years ago when people where still going to the counter of a record shop with a bundle of new stuff to check it out before buying.
And of course all this new media makes it quite easy to promote your stuff on your own, all you need is internet access.
To distinguish from others.. I guess the best way is to do it through quality. Use the fucking new medias – but if you do it then please provide some quality content and not just your stupid gay Selfie shit.
And If you want to detach yourself from that whole thing totally then just do it, quit fucking Facebook and stop posting bullshit Videos on youtube. No one forces you to participate. I would really be interested to find out if a (good) band would find its audience without all this “new media” today… – of course also without the support of a big Record label. That would be a nice experiment! But I guess no one who has serious intentions to create something big will risk trying it that way.
I always ask a few personal questions simply to know the man behind the music better. But before, I want to point out that it’s not intrusive, as I respect people’s privacy. I simply want to ask you to share with us your favourite activities, bands, authors, movies, etc. Germany has presented us with so many interesting artists, from all forms of art, be it music, movies, literature, painting… but let’s focus on cinema, are you an admirer of the cinema created in your country? I find it fascinating. From Fassbinder to Herzog, from Murnau or Lang to Buttgereit or Wolfgang Becker. It is highly diverse and interesting.
Helge – Come on!!! German cinema? No way!!! I work in the movie industry and my point of view is: German movies suck. Of course and as usual: it’s not all the same and every couple of years one or two good German movies appear. But most of the stuff is just boring, low budget crap. Ever seen a German action movie for example? No? Well, there is a reason. Most production companies gave up on that topic. So there aren’t any. Instead we get more and more fuck-off-this-is-a-kids-movie. That was different when movies where still black ‘n white. But, damn, no one shoots in black and white anymore.
Interesting, that you mention Buttgereit. Isn’t he this splatter director? Haha, that’s the kind of movie that drove me into this business a long time ago.
Mexx – The best German Movie of all time is “Nekromantik”. Check it out!
This is quite stereotypical, but who cares… you live in an amazing city, known for its beer. Not “only” the city, but the country. Germany is great. I was in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin and I cherish these days with high regard, as I loved it. There’s something special in drinking a beer in Munich after spending the day knowing the city. Share with us some of your favourite beers specially from Munich and that many of the “outsiders” aren’t familiar with as well as the places you have to go to drink a good beer when in Munich. Of course it’s easy to google it out, but it’s always better to get this information from a local.
Helge – Okay, that is a nice question, hehe! You know, Mexx and me, we live in downtown Munich, right in the middle, in our personal Wolves Den. And, yes, we got damn good beer here in Munich. Actually, maybe a little too good, I am still hungover from last night. We do not have so many Metal Bars in Munich (actually: one), but I can recommend that place (and I wouldn’t if it was shit). So, next time stop at the Raw for a beer or ten. They serve Tegernseer Hell (yes, „Hell“, means something like „Lager“). That is a good beer. Or try Augustiner Hell, it’s at the same level. Don’t waste your money on the other big Munich breweries, rather stick to the small bottles: „Crew“ is also quite good. Oh, and skip Oktoberfest. It sucks. Instead go to any Beer garden.
What do you believe that the future holds for Wolves Den? And what do you wish that will happen in the future with the band?
Helge – We all become so damn rich that we can finally kick our boring jobs and do what we were born to do. That would be nice. But until then there’s quite some hard work and a lot of fun. And even though we play hard and dark sound – the fun that comes with this band keeps us going, continuing.
We have reached the end of this interview. I want to thank you, one more time, for your answers. I truly appreciate it. I also would like to wish you and the band all the best. And the last words are yours!
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.
A big thank you to Markus Eck of Metalmessage • Global PR for helping with this interview.December 3, 2016