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INTERVIEWS

The Median Man 02.02.24

 The Median Man, USA

https://www.themedianman.com/interview-with-sanity/

Interview 

with Julius Albe at 02.Feb.2024

What inspired the name of the band? What are your influences and are they the same as when you started out?

The Band name originated in Berlin in the nineties, a time in which the insanity of the cold war was just over, but still in everyone’s heads. So it is fitting to have our bands name juxtapose that with a sane, healthy minded sentiment. As for influences, we are all rooted in metal but come from different corners. Florian and Philipp are influenced by black and death metal, while Silas comes from black and symphonic metal. I (Julius) have my roots in progressive and thrash metal. My biggest influences are Dream Theater, Megadeth and Death.

How do you approach songwriting and why?

When writing songs I usually start with the music. Most of the times I’ll have a riff, or an intro that I enjoy and I would write the rest of the song around it. As for lyrics, we usually write them onto the musical piece, after the piece is composed.

Our recent releases deal with the themes of the apocalypse of John. So when writing the songs we take the passages from scripture and turn them into lyrics. Sometimes we can take the literal text but most of the time, we will abridge the passages and write lyrics, that  encompass the theme of a passage in a song. All in all our writing is very close to the literal text of scripture, though.

We want to write great music, that we are happy with and that sounds good. That’s why you’ll find the complex blend of symphonic and metal elements in our music. We want to create beautiful soundscapes while staying true to the aggressive nature of meta, that we all love. At the end of the day it is just that, we write what we love. If you want an example of that, check out our official music videos for “Seals” and “Throne”:

Seals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9adVATPq-yA

Throne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x4RdpaD9Ho

Live?

For most of our recent concerts we played the whole revelation cycle, consisting of ‘Revelation’ (2023), ‘The Beast’ (upcoming 2024) and the finisher, set to release in 2025. All those songs are thematically connected and tied to the Book of Revelation, so we played them in order and not much thinking had to go into the setlist. On our upcoming concerts, we’ll incorporate old Sanity material as well as new, unreleased songs, so we spiced up the setlist, took out some songs from the revelation cycle and mixed it up a bit. 

The symphonic nature of the songs forces us to have a backing track with all the choirs and the orchestra (since we cant have that live, yet) to which we’ll play in a live setting, so that’s how we manage to transpose our songs into a live setting.

What plans do you have for the future?

We want to write and release more music. And of course we want to play live to audiences who enjoy our music. We have another album coming in 2025 (after we release ‘The Beast’ on March 2nd this year). 

To stay in touch you can find us online: 

Web: https://www.sanity.berlinYouTube

https://www.youtube.com/@sanity.berlinInstagram

https://www.instagram.com/sanity.berlinBandcamp

https://sanityberlin.bandcamp.comFacebook

https://www.facebook.com/sanity.berlinX

https://twitter.com/SanityBerlin

Streaming Site Links:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/intl-de/artist/0bhXlkSU7XN56kBuUuvXXa?si=ki9IcUitQNyodBXyrq_B5Q

Amazon Music: https://amazon.de/music/player/artists/B0CHHW97WL/sanity?marketplaceId=A1PA6795UKMFR9&musicTerritory=DE&ref=dm_sh_PidIrR7CbqZCj4mwIPm5zpymv

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sanity/1546091708

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCsYZJ2WYArtoGXgBOc-jVNw?si=OmjURhgpG_wSbCHN

Anker Rock Hard Italy 24.2.24

Translation of the above quote:

"When the things happening around us take a certain course, our music can help to get an understanding of what is truly happening. It will thus be easy to comprehend the meaning of God's word regarding the future and to find the path to salvation."

Philipp Weishaupt

Anker Metalized 19.2.24

Metalized, Denmark

https://www.metalized.dk/

Interview

Review EP Revelation

Pete`s Rock News and Views 24.01.24

 Pete's Rock News and Views

https://petesrocknewsandviews.com/sanity-interview

Interview 

from Pete Devine at 24. Januar 2024

Interview with Julius Albe, guitar player with Sanity and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

JA: What connects us as a band is our love for metal and our faith in Jesus. And both of that shows in our art: the heavy music drawing from many metal subgenres and the biblical lyrics. This bonds us beyond just the music: we are friends making music together and we are brothers in Christ serving our king – using the power of metal.

 

PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

JA: So, we are all from Germany; from Berlin and its vicinity. The older among us have still experienced a divided Germany and of course musical influences that reach further back. I myself grew up in a Brandenburgian village in a united Germany. I make music because I started learning classical guitar when I was 14 and naturally was interested in guitar driven music – and I grew to love the distorted guitar sounds of metal.. the heavy riffs, the blisering solos. That’s what I love most and that’s what I want to create when I play.

 

PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

JA: Playing guitar was something I could identify with in my angsty teenage years. So, there is always something of that inspiring me to play, you know, that feeling of nailing a hard part, even making it look easy, that feeling of superiority is ecstatic to me. Musically, our influences are quite diverse. Florian and Philipp are deeply rooted in black and death metal, Silas in black and symphonic metal. I come from progressive and thrash metal, my biggest influences being Dream Theater and Megadeth. But being in Sanity made me fall in love with death metal, too, and I am very grateful for that.. Death is a personal favourite of Flo, Philipp and me.

I already mentioned that we have biblical lyrics, and our latest releases are all based around the apocalyptic messages of the Revelation by John. We love to write about those nasty passages because they are so fitting to the music we love.

 

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

JA: We want to write and produce great music, music that we are happy with, that sounds good and that is respected in the metal community. And we want to play live to people who enjoy or music. We are aspiring to enhance both of that: write more and better music and play more live to more people. We are hungry for more. If I had to pinpoint a certain aspiration, I would say playing in front of 1000 people as a small aspiration and playing a tour as a support act for a bigger band or even a tour of our own is a big dream of ours. Me personally I aspire to becoming a better guitarist and musician. I want to write good songs and I want my guitar to sound great.

 

PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

JA: That has to be the Nuremberg ‘Kirchentag’ (=day of Church) 2023 at which we played for hundreds of people and had a great time as Sanity and with the people at the two shows we played. This ties in with our aspirations.

 

PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

JA: So far, so good. As we released new music last year, we started promoting that music. So far, we have spread our name in metal magazines and online radio. At the moment it feels like throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks … exciting but uncertain.

 

PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

JA: On March the 2nd we will release our upcoming EP ‘The Beast’ and we will play a record release gig in Berlin, see our website https://www.sanity.berlin/en for details.

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

JA: The age of Internet music brings with itself possibilities and challenges. I think it’s great, that you can listen to any music you want within seconds and don’t have to spend fortunes on music. As with anything digital, this tends to make music more short lived, more of a quick consummation than a lasting enjoyment but still that’s in the hands (or ears) of the consumer. I myself enjoy my CDs, but the majority of the music I listen to is digital downloads. But I can still enjoy that, nonetheless. None of that beats going to a live show for me though, that’s a musical experience that no recorded medium has reached (yet? We’ll see what the future holds).

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

JA: I wish I had written ‘Octavarium’ (Dream Theater). It’s their Magnum Opus (in my opinion) and is a song that overwhelmed me from the day I discovered it and still does. It keeps me on the edge for its entire 20+ minutes of runtime and it’s such a rewarding listen. Writing a song like that must be magical, writing the individual parts and tying them together in a meaningful manner so it’s a coherent song and not an amalgamation of different songs frankensteined into one long song.

 

PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

JA: I have very little experience in the industry, so my take is a bit vague. To me it seems very hard to get a foothold in the industry as an upcoming band. I understand many of the reasons for that, but if I could change that I would. I bet there is a lot of people who would love our music but might never hear about us. Similarly, I would probably love a lot of bands, that I’ll just never get the chance of listening to. It’s tragic but what can you do?

 

PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

JA: We are working on lots of stuff. Florian and Philipp are working on re-releasing old Sanity albums from the late 90ies. We all are working on learning the songs perfectly for our live gigs. And I personally love to work on new songs for the next albums and EPs we’ll release. I, actually, have two in the works right now and I’ll even give you the working title of one: its ‘Burial Refused’ and visitors of our live show on March 2ndmay or may not have the chance to hear it there for the first time.

 

PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online? 

JA: The official music videos for “Seals” and “Throne” were just released. Check them out on YouTube.

Seals: https://youtu.be/9adVATPq-yA?si=LqeNQOXj5AbLFrmR

Throne: https://youtu.be/5x4RdpaD9Ho?si=7bslQlebrJMniV8g

 

And this is how you find us online:

Web: https://www.sanity.berlin

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@sanity.berlin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanity.berlin

Bandcamp: https://sanityberlin.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanity.berlin

X: https://twitter.com/SanityBerlin

 

Streaming Site Links

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/intl-de/artist/0bhXlkSU7XN56kBuUuvXXa?si=ki9IcUitQNyodBXyrq_B5Q

Amazon Music: https://amazon.de/music/player/artists/B0CHHW97WL/sanity?marketplaceId=A1PA6795UKMFR9&musicTerritory=DE&ref=dm_sh_PidIrR7CbqZCj4mwIPm5zpymv

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sanity/1546091708

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCsYZJ2WYArtoGXgBOc-jVNw?si=OmjURhgpG_wSbCHN

Anker Ever Metal 8.1.24
EMQ’s With Sanity

January 2024

 

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with German Symphonic Metal band, Sanity. Huge thanks to them for taking part. 

 

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

 

Sanity is a Symphonic Metal band from Germany. The compositions have their roots in Black and Death Metal but are enriched with massive arrangements of choirs and symphonic instruments. There is an abundance of lead guitars and melodic riffing, the songs feature low growling vocals, intense shouting and screaming but also beautiful clean vocals, from heroic Viking chants to high-pitched Power Metal voices. The drumming ranges from fast-paced blasts with double bass drumming to intense Progressive Metal rhythms.

My brother and me are old hands in the Heavy Metal business and have been living it actively with Sanity for almost 30 years now. Sanity was founded 1994, initially as a Grunge Rock band with only one guitar, a bass and drums. Over the first year the band’s musical focus shifted to Death and then to Black Metal.

By 1996 we had released our first three track demo and by 1998 our first full length album “Sinister Reflections”. 1999 came “Nocturnal Poems” our second album, where we journeyed into the realm of symphonic black metal. With faster paced drums, intricate guitar riffing, and much more advanced orchestra arrangements we released “Schattensymphonie” in 2001. What a great album, the sound still holds up today and the songs speak of an almost forgotten rawness and hardness that we had back in the days. The band went on hiatus in 2002, all the while we continued to compose songs for the next album. Around 2014 we called the band back together to start practicing the new songs. And this time I aimed at creating a masterpiece. I wanted it all, clean vocals, shouting, well arranged rhythm guitar riffing, lead guitars, fast drums, realistically sounding orchestra and choir. And we took our time. The EP “Revelation was released” on 11 March 2023.

 

How did you come up with your band name?

 

Look, we founded the band in the early nineties when we listened to bands such as Death, Megadeth and Metallica, schoolmates wore band shirts from Fear Factory, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Paradise Lost, … you name it. Metal band names had to have some meaning, most of them invoking some dreadful message that went along with their kick-ass music. I won’t tell you all of the names we came up with, I mean, we were teenagers after all, so, yes, we had some cheesy ideas like “Brothers of Destruction” and so on, but luckily, we did not go for that (ha ha ha). 

After the initial hype of finding a suitable name we became reasonable and figured that we needed a name that went along with the music we intended to write and that expressed how we felt about us and saw ourselves in the world. With all the insanity that we witnessed around us in a world that was turned upside down after the cold war had ended and Berlin was a free town again, we needed to set an example and call us sane, being of healthy mind, reasonable and balanced. Our initial music experience (especially on the first album) was not about mosh pit, pogo dance and riot, it was actually pretty avant-garde and surely not easy to digest. And that’s where the name “Sanity” originates from.

 

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

 

We are all based around Berlin, Germany, most of us living in the small towns in the surrounding region. Berlin is very rich in music culture and features hundreds of artists every week on the stages of the clubs. We have been part of the Heavy Metal culture in Berlin since the early nineties and have played with a lot of local bands. The Metal scene is not limited to Berlin but is also very much alive in smaller clubs and bars around Berlin. Many of the famous Metal bands play shows in Berlin, but I personally prefer to attend shows in the smaller clubs, where underground bands play their concerts. You always know someone in the crowd and see familiar faces, that’s what I like about it.

 

What is your latest release?

 

The new EP “Revelation” is our fourth release and is created as a concept album. The central narrative is what is commonly known as “apocalypse” or “Armageddon”, originating from the last book in the bible, the book of “Revelation”. The EP features five majestic songs that take you through the terrible events depicted in that book. This is a metal album. You will find influences from Black and Death Metal, intense shouting, growling and screaming but also Power Metal-esque clean vocals and a plethora of melodies, played by guitar, choir or classical instruments. The heavy guitar riffing is embedded in elaborate orchestra arrangements and sophisticated black / death metal drumming. Expect a journey through extravagant harmonic textures, melodic riffs and fast-paced drumming with a solid punch of black metal.

The official music videos for “Seals” and “Throne” were just released. Check them out on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/9adVATPq-yA?si=LqeNQOXj5AbLFrmR https://youtu.be/5x4RdpaD9Ho?si=7bslQlebrJMniV8g 

 

Who have been your greatest influences?

 

Listening to the five tracks on our EP you will find influences from 90’s Black Metal bands like Emperor, Ancient and Bloodthorn, but also Death Metal bands like Orphanage, Gorefest, and Death. Even Metallica plays a role. Gothic Metal bands like Cemetary or Dark Wave artists like Eros Necropsique and Elend were also a resource of inspiration. The way we composed the orchestra parts was definitely formed by us listening to music from Ludwig van Beethoven, Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel. I’d say, if you’re into bands like Arcturus, Obtained Enslavement, Throes Of Dawn or Rhapsody, you know what to appreciate when combining Orchestral and Metal arrangements.

 

What first got you into music?

 

I was growing up in a strange type of musical home. My parents being born during World War II and having suffered bomb raids, displacement and separation from their families longed for a peaceful and silent haven to build a family. Imagine an austere Bauhaus-type house, filled with collector’s pieces and antiques, silent in its core, with classical music the only kind to fill the white painted halls every other fortnight or so. We did not have any TV, nor was there any radio culture. I was a clean slate when it came to popular music. First mixtapes from classmates featuring the classic eighties quickly lead to discovering Rock music and I was already playing in a cover band at the age of thirteen.

After having seen The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” on MTV during a family vacation in the United States I was hooked. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of “Sanity” and it was 1994. And it was not enough. Not nearly enough.

We were eager to experiment with creating songs ourselves. I wanted to find out how song writing actually works. Can I do it? How do I express what I musically enjoy? How does it sound if I compose these chords for guitar, the harmonic 3rd in bass and a Progressive drumming underneath it? I was overflowing with creativity.

I got pretty quickly into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, starting with AC/DC and G’n’R. But then somebody had me listen to Metallica, my first real Heavy Metal experience. There was a music show on the public broadcast channel “FAB – Fernsehen aus Berlin” which featured a documentary about “Death Metal”. Imagine, a teenager in a classical music-home (we had bought a (small) TV in the meantime) watching in all earnestness an educational television program about Death Metal – and the next thing I know, I went to a music store to buy my first Death Metal CD. Funny but true, the shop clerk was totally lost when I asked him about Death Metal, so we both went to the “D” section and found a CD from a band called Death and he sold it to me. Luckily, it was Death Metal and that sealed my fate and the direction our band would be taking from now on.

 

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

 

When Rage released their “Lingua Mortis” album, I was blown away by the fusion of Metal and Classical music. Remember, Classical music was a big influence in my childhood. To combine this with my passion for Heavy Metal had always been my dream. Already on our first album we composed quite intricate synthesizer arrangements, these played a vital role in creating the somber atmosphere of “Sinister Reflections”. 

On “Nocturnal Poems” we took it a step further, you clearly hear the Classical influences in many songs, but it was still a synthesizer that provided the sounds. We briefly toyed with the idea to ask the school orchestra from a school in our neighborhood to partner with us, but it never came to being. I believe also because we still had so much creativity that needed to be put into new songs. So, we went forward with the next album. In 2001 Dimmu Borgir released “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia” and I was blown away. This was obviously an outstanding production with real orchestra, something we could only dream of. 

Fast forward to 2018 and suddenly I had a powerful new studio software in my hands with real orchestra samples. We finally could forge an album that combined Metal and Classical music! And that’s what we did. I reworked the synthesizer arrangements into sophisticated orchestra arrangements just like I had dreamed of for twenty plus years and now I hold it in my hands, a beautiful symbiosis between the two musical genres I love the most. Imagine now, if we would be offered to perform a live show or even a short tour together with a live orchestra and choir, this would be the dream of my dreams. There you have it.

 

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

 

Wacken Open Air in Germany 🙂 it’s just legendary. 

 

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

 

Ha ha ha, you’re out for some juicy stories, are you? We all had our share of rock and roll life and some of the concerts and after-show parties were crazy wild. Funnily enough, our fans have always been pretty decent folks, so I might have to take a rain check on that.

 

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

 

Take our message seriously. In the end, when the last days truly begin our music may help people to understand the events that are happening around them. It may allow people to hear about what God’s word reveals about the future and how this God provides a way out. Make peace with God.

 

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

 

Chuck Schuldiner.

 

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

 

Time in the studio is just plain awesome. We kicked of the recordings for the Revelation trilogy in 2016 with a week in the studio to lay the groundwork and then decided to have a studio day once per month, since we were all full-time working and had families. We ended up with over a hundred audio tracks total, quadruple tracked rhythm guitars for maximum heaviness, countless lead guitars, up to twenty vocal tracks, thirty or more orchestra tracks per song. It’s massive. And we took our time, 7 years to be exact, that includes songs for the upcoming EPs of the “Revelation” project as well. But no regrets, frankly speaking, I am already missing the Saturdays in the studio, man did we have a good time. It was once a month a vacation from the life I am living now, like being back in university, no obligations, single-minded and focused on music, hanging out with my band as if there was no tomorrow.

I hate listening to “final mixes” of our songs before they go into production. The concentration needed to meticulously listen again and again to the same song, to focus your attention to all the different aspects of the compositions is excruciating. I am able to do these things by sheer force of will, but it does not come without cost. Usually after that I am so run-down, and I need to recharge in my arcade. If you think about it, it’s actually not to bad, oscillating from my primary vocation – being a musician – to my primary passion – arcade games and pinball machines.

 

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

 

I really miss the good old vinyl and compact disk days when not everything was instantly available on YouTube or Spotify. I remember dearly flipping through underground mail order catalogs like Last Episode and Nuclear Blast (when they were still black & white prints), reading about the new releases and making a conscious choice which CD’s to order from my scarce budget. When the package arrived days later, you were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of creativity creeping out of the speakers of your stereo. Waiting and anticipation was a wholesome part of the experience. Also, back then we always listened to complete albums, a trait I preserved myself until today. It’s a totally different approach to music nowadays with the advent of the Instant Society. In my personal life I try to set an example, not losing sight of my values in spite of the world turning ever faster around us.

 

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

 

Arcturus – “Aspera Hiems Symfonia”.

 

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

 

I love the vintage aspect about vinyl, I own hundreds of CD’s, so my biggest collection is in CD’s. I love listing to music on YouTube, because there are some many great bands and musicians out there that I would never have found otherwise.

 

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

 

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there; you would have seriously enjoyed it. In June we were booked for the German Church Day in Nuremberg. It’s basically a huge, five-day festival organized biennially by the German Protestant Church with over one hundred thousand people attending, hundreds of acts, shows, workshops, and discussions. This was a great event as we are able to present our music to a much wider audience than usual. The feedback was very positive and encouraging.

 

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

 

I don’t think there was ever a chance for us not getting into music, this is how we expressed our inner self, the emotional turmoil were we going through back in the 90’s (and maybe still today?). Some of my friends used sports to blow off steam, others created drawings and paintings to cope with their situations. Any yes, some succumbed to drugs and lost all their drive. But not us. Composing music is a cathartic experience for me, I wouldn’t have made it without music.

 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

 

Oh, nice question. How about this: My wife, my brother, Jesus, Dave Mustaine, and my friend Lonnie from Tracing Days band?

 

What’s next for the band?

 

We have already worked on songs for the second and third EP to complete the “Revelation” project and plan to release those in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This trilogy will then have a total of 14 songs. The record release concert for the second EP “The Beast” is planned for March 2nd, 2024 . There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet.

At the same time my brother and I are working on a rerelease of our second album “Nocturnal Poems” from 1999. Florian is actually composing completely new rhythm and lead guitars and I will be recording new drums for it.

From the very beginning I had envisioned Sanity to reach the English speaking audience and thus used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours. Let’s see what the future holds in store for us. 

Our YouTube channel already has a good amount of content and I would like to add more. Official videos for the songs, more vlogs on the scary exciting subject of the apocalypse that our lyrics talk about. A couple of years ago I had already started a vlog series explaining our lyrics that I would also love to continue. You see, we got our hands full with exciting subjects for many years to come.

 

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

 

Web: https://www.sanity.berlin

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@sanity.berlin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanity.berlin

Bandcamp: https://sanityberlin.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanity.berlin

X: https://twitter.com/SanityBerlin

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/intl-de/artist/0bhXlkSU7XN56kBuUuvXXa?si=ki9IcUitQNyodBXyrq_B5Q

Amazon Music: https://amazon.de/music/player/artists/B0CHHW97WL/sanity?marketplaceId=A1PA6795UKMFR9&musicTerritory=DE&ref=dm_sh_PidIrR7CbqZCj4mwIPm5zpymv

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sanity/1546091708

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCsYZJ2WYArtoGXgBOc-jVNw?si=OmjURhgpG_wSbCHN

 

Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

 

Time for a German Answer: We call it a Toastbrötchen (now print that ha ha ha!).

 

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

 

I had a lot of fun answering your questions, thank you very much, it was surely not the usual stuff, so thumbs up for the interesting and insightful questions. Cheers!

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

#EMQ's

Legacy

https://www.legacy.de/blog-home-switcher/2804-legacy-148-out-27-12-2023.html

Interview

Review EP Revelation

Song Seals on Legacy Sampler

Anker Legacy 29.12.23
GBHBL, 19.12.2023
GAMES, BRRRAAAINS & A HEAD-BANGING LIFE
Interview: Sanity (Written)

19  December 2023 Carl Fisher

 

1. Hello! Thank you for taking the time to chat to us. First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started.

Sanity was formed in 1994 in Berlin, Germany, by me, Philipp, and my twin brother Florian, initially as a grunge rock band with only one guitar, a bass and drums. Over the first years, the band’s musical focus shifted to death and then to black metal. Sanity released three full-length albums and an EP between 1998 and 2023. The first release “Sinister Reflections” – atmospheric avantgarde black / death metal, the second album “Nocturnal Poems” and the third album “Schattensymphonie” – symphonic back metal, and then for the EP “Revelation” – symphonic metal. The band went on hiatus in 2002 and re-formed in 2014, all the while the brothers Weishaupt continued to compose songs for the next album. The band re-formed in 2014 to rehearse and finalize the material that would become 2023’s “Revelation”.

2. Someone comes to you and asks you to sum up what kind of music you play – what do you tell them?

The compositions have their roots in black and death metal, but are enriched with massive arrangements of choirs and symphonic instruments. There is an abundance of lead guitars and melodic riffing, the songs feature low growling vocals, intense shouting and screaming but also beautiful clean vocals, from heroic viking chants to high-pitched power metal voices. The drumming ranges from fast-paced blasts with double bass drumming to intense progressive metal rhythms.

3. What’s currently going on in your camp? New releases? Tours? Etc.

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there, you would have seriously enjoyed it. In June we were booked for the German Church Day in Nuremberg. It’s basically a huge, five day festival organized biennially by the German Protestant Church with over one hundred thousand people attending, hundreds of acts, shows, workshops, and discussions. This was a great event as we are able to present our music to a much wider audience than usual. The feedback was very positive and encouraging. The record release concert for the second EP “The Beast” is planned for March 2024 . There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet.

From the very beginning I had envisioned Sanity to reach the English speaking audience and thus used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours. Let’s see what the future holds in store for us.

Also, I want to note that now, with the EP “Revelation” in our hands, we are finally able to actively promote it. I have a lot of ideas for that. Our YouTube channel already has a good amount of content and I would like to add more. Official videos for the songs, more vlogs on the scary exciting subject of the apocalypse that our lyrics talk about. A couple of years ago I had already started a vlog series explaining our lyrics that I would also love to continue. The official videos for “Seals” and “Throne” were just released. Check them out on YouTube.

The EP “Revelation” is available at all major online stores and streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.). And, we have released an actual CD (compact disc) which you can order on our website www.sanity.berlin.

4. What has been the most positive experience of making music to date for you?

“Revelation” was recorded at the Soundforge Studio and was produced by Sanity and Andreas Hilbert, who also recorded, mixed and mastered the album. Funny story, I met Andreas during my studies, both attending the same lectures and having an interest in death and black metal. The Berlin based death metal band Golem was founded by him. Andreas owns the Soundforge Studio and he produced our third album “Schattensymphonie” which you have to admit has a killer sound. I knew right then that I would want to produce “Revelation” with him, as well. And so we did. We kicked of the recordings in 2016 with a week in the studio to lay the groundwork and then decided to have a studio day once per month, since we were all full-time working and had families. We ended up with over a hundred audio tracks total, quadruple tracked rhythm guitars for maximum heavyness, countless lead guitars, up to twenty vocal tracks, thirty or more orchestra tracks per song. It’s massive. And we took our time, 7 years to be exact, that includes songs for the upcoming EPs of the “Revelation” project as well. But no regrets, frankly speaking, I am already missing the Saturdays in the studio, man did we have a good time. It was once a month a vacation from the life I am living now, like being back in university, no obligations, single-minded and focused on music, hanging out with my band as if there was no tomorrow.

5. Likewise, what has been some of the more challenging aspects and how have you overcome them?

Haha, I hate listening to “final mixes” of our songs before they go into production. The concentration needed to meticulously listen again and again to the same song, to focus your attention to all the different aspects of the compositions is excruciating. I am able to do these things by sheer force of will, but it does not come without cost. Usually after that I am so run-down and I need to recharge in my arcade. If you think about it, it’s actually not to bad, oscillating from my primary vocation – being a musician – to my primary passion – arcade games and pinball machines.

6. How do you handle the modern expectations of being in a band? Always online, having to put out content constantly, your success measured in likes and follows?

My brother and me are old hands in the heavy metal business and have been living it actively with Sanity for almost 30 years now. Back in the good old days we spent quite an amount of time in communicating with our fans, first via letters, then via email and later via Facebook and the likes. You cannot lose your head over this, you gotta master the challenges of live and if you are aiming at staying successful as a heavy metal band you have to get square with the new social media culture. We are not the guys who are constantly online and share every bit of our life , but then again I don’t think our heavy metal fan base expects this from us.

7. What’s something that really ‘grinds your gears’ about the industry/business these days and what would you propose is done to combat it?

I really miss the good old vinyl and compact disk days when not everything was instantly available on YouTube or Spotify. I remember dearly flipping through underground mail order catalogs like Last Episode and Nuclear Blast (when they where still black & white prints), reading about the new releases and making a conscious choice which CDs to order from my scarce budget. When the package arrived days later, you where overwhelmed by the sheer amount of creativity creeping out of the speakers of your stereo. Waiting and anticipation was a wholesome part of the experience. Also back then we always listened to complete albums, a trait I preserved myself until today. It’s a totally different approach to music nowadays with the advent of the Instant Society. In my personal life I try to set an example, not losing sight of my values in spite of the world turning ever faster around us.

8. Speaking directly to listeners – what would you ask they do to help support your music?

We have released the first EP of the “Revelation” Trilogy as CD in a small batch. The actual sales did not go too bad, but over the year we realized that we find it much more important to invest money in promotion than into actually pressing a physical copy of our next EP. Remember, we are not funded by any label, this all comes out of our own pockets. If there is interest enough though, we would love to release the upcoming EPs as CDs. So if you want to support, contact us and sign up for a physical copy.

9. Outside of the music, what’s do you do to relax?

My brother and me are really retro guys. I set up my hobby room like an eighties Arcade stuffed with games and collectibles many of us may remember from our childhood. It almost feels like a shrine with all these relics from the eighties, somehow we are stuck in that decade and this shows in our interest outside of music. We are both collecting arcade machines and eighties style gaming consoles. Let’s play some “Choplifter” or some “Ghouls N Ghosts” on my Sega Master System, what do you say? Man, I can really wind down after a stressful day by just playing those good old vintage games. 8 bit or 16 bit, simple game principles, but lots of fun and gratification. On the arcade machine “Donut Dodo” is high on my list for months now. There are only 5 levels, but I’m still trying to beat it.

10. Where can people find you?

Website | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | X | YouTube

 

Author

Carl Fisher              

Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Anker Breathing the Core 24.12.23

24. December 2023 Screamer

 

 

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Symphonic Metal band Sanity from Germany. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

 

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that? 

 

Look, we founded the band in the early nineties when we listened to bands such as Death, Megadeth, and Metallica, schoolmates wore band shirts from Fear Factory, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Paradise Lost, … you name it. Metal band names had to have some meaning, most of them invoking some dreadful message that went along with their kick-ass music. I won’t tell you all of the names we came up with, I mean, we were teenagers after all, so, yes, we had some cheesy ideas like “Brothers of Destruction” and so on, but luckily we did not go for that (ha ha ha). After the initial hype of finding a suitable name, we became reasonable and figured that we needed a name that went along with the music we intended to write and that expressed how we felt about ourselves and saw ourselves in the world. With all the insanity that we witnessed around us in a world that was turned upside down after the Cold War had ended and Berlin was a free town again, we needed to set an example and call ourselves sane, of a healthy mind, reasonable, and balanced. Our initial music experience (especially on the first album) was not about mosh pit, pogo dance, and riot, it was actually pretty avant-garde and surely not easy to digest. And that’s where the name “Sanity” originates from.

 

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

 

I was growing up in a strange type of musical home. My parents being born during World War II and having suffered bomb raids, displacement and separation from their families longed for a peaceful and silent haven to build a family. Imagine an austere Bauhaus-type house, filled with collector’s pieces and antiques, silent in its core, with classical music the only kind to fill the white-painted halls every other fortnight or so. We did not have any TV, nor was there any radio culture. I was a clean slate when it came to popular music. First mixtapes from classmates featuring the classic eighties quickly led to discovering rock music and I was already playing in a cover band at the age of thirteen.

 

After having seen The Offspring’s "Come Out and Play" on MTV during a family vacation in the United States I was hooked. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of "Sanity" and it was 1994. And it was not enough. Not nearly enough.

We were eager to experiment with creating songs ourselves. I wanted to find out how songwriting actually works. Can I do it? How do I express what I musically enjoy? How does it sound if I compose these chords for guitar, the harmonic 3rd in bass, and progressive drumming underneath it? I was overflowing with creativity.

 

The early nineties in Berlin were special. You need to understand that West Berlin was completely surrounded by The Wall, part of it is adjacent to East Berlin, part of it bordering East Germany. West Berlin was a small isolated island in East Germany, an island one-third the size of London! And there was no way out without proper visa application weeks upfront. I lived a stone’s throw away from the wall, we could hear the vicious border dogs barking every day, and we saw the heavily armed border patrols on their guard towers looking straight over the wall at us playing. Sometimes menacing, sometimes cheerful. Combine that with the fact that we were an occupied city. I lived in the British sector, the barracks of the soldiers near to a playground I used to frequent. Man, did we have fights with the children of the British soldiers who took us for fair game?

 

So when the wall came down it was – overwhelming, literally. The wall was gone but the people who were now "neighbors" were so different from us. The villages and small towns just outside of where I grew up and which I was seeing for the first time in my life (!) were so bleak, gray, run-down, and depressing. In the coming years the music culture, as well, was developing very differently between Berlin and the surrounding ex-East-Germany. I got pretty quickly into hard rock and heavy metal, starting with AC/DC and G’n’R. But then somebody from the "East" (that's how we referred to anybody who was from the former German Democratic Republic) had me listen to Metallica, my first real heavy metal experience. Back then we called it "East Metal" because only people from the "East" would listen to it. It was not cool in Berlin – yet.

 

There was a music show on the public broadcast channel "FAB – Fernsehen aus Berlin" which featured a documentary about "Death Metal". Imagine, a teenager in a classical music home (we had bought a (small) TV in the meantime) watching in all earnestness an educational television program about death metal - and the next thing I know, I went to a music store to buy my first death metal CD. Funny but true, the shop clerk was totally lost when I asked him about death metal, so we both went to the "D" section and found a CD from a band called Death and he sold it to me. Luckily, it was death metal and that sealed my fate and the direction our band would be taking from now on.

 

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

 

My brother and me are old hands in the heavy metal business and have been living it actively with Sanity for almost 30 years now. We founded the band together with two high school friends that lived around the corner. The chemistry in the band is really important for us, I mean look at what happened with G’n’R after only six years of living the dream. What they created was legendary but the chemistry was not right and they split up. The line-up of Sanity has changed over the years but still today it’s people we know, we trust and we love.

 

4. Each band member's favorite band? 

 

That’s a tough one since we all listen to many genres, but if we focus only on heavy metal, it’s as follows:

Florian vocals, guitar): Arcturus

Julius (guitar): Dream Theater

Silas (bass guitar): Epica

Phil (drums): Death

 

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

 

Over the past three decades, I have come to observe that suffering is a necessary ingredient to creativity. I feel most inspired when in sorrow and distress. I also listen to my inner self and find that quite often music pushes outwards and wants to be composed. For instance, I wake up with a melody or hook line in my mind and am almost driven to sit down to write it down and record it.

 

6. Where was your last gig? 

 

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such a wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there, you would have seriously enjoyed it. In June we were booked for the German Church Day in Nuremberg. It's basically a huge, five-day festival organized biennially by the German Protestant Church with over one hundred thousand people attending, hundreds of acts, shows, workshops, and discussions. This was a great event as we could present our music to a much wider audience than usual. The feedback was very positive and encouraging. The record release concert for the second EP "The Beast" is planned for March 2024. There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet.

 

7. Where would you like to act? 

 

From the very beginning, I had envisioned Sanity to reach an English-speaking audience and thus used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours.

 

And of course, we’d love to play some big stages and are dreaming about a small tour outside Germany. Scandinavia would be awesome or the US. Our latest release is a concept album of the book of Revelation from the bible, a prophetic, dystopian book that vividly and explicitly describes the Apocalypse. A dedicated tour on that topic would be incredible. Let's see what the future holds in store for us.

 

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

 

Wolves At The Gate, Slechtvalk, and Vials Of Wrath.

 

9. Whom not? 

 

There are festivals dedicated to satanic or anti-christian bands with all kinds of weird stuff going on, I’d say we don’t have a very appreciative audience there with our biblical message.

 

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that? 

 

Yes, all of us have. And I guess that is only normal. Ask yourself why Axl Rose came so late on the stage on many shows or why alcohol and drug abuse is so prevalent among musicians. I used to play in standard rock music cover bands and that was the only time it really went down easy. The music was not complicated, the audience was usually happy and out to party. With Sanity we always push our limits about complexity, speed, and skill, that’s how we like it (at least to compose). To play live on such level is a totally different thing. For me, it’s practice, practice, practice. I need to be on top of my game to feel secure and to be able to run the show. Don’t play a show if the songs are beyond your skill level.

 

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

 

Listening to the five tracks on our EP you will find influences from nineties black metal bands like Emperor, Ancient, and Bloodthorn, but also death metal bands like Orphanage, Gorefest, and Death. Even Metallica plays a role. Gothic metal bands like Cemetary or dark wave artists like Eros Necropsique and Elend were also a resource of inspiration. The way we composed the orchestra parts was definitely formed by us listening to music from Ludwig van Beethoven, Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Georg Friedrich Händel. I’d say, if you’re into bands like Arcturus, Obtained Enslavement, Throes Of Dawn, or Rhapsody, you know what to appreciate when combining orchestra and metal arrangements.

 

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

 

Hahaha, you’re out for some juicy stories, are you? We all had our share of rock and roll live and some of the concerts and after-show parties were crazy wild. Funnily enough, our fans have always been pretty decent folks, so I might have to take a rain check on that.

 

13. What do you think of your fans? 

 

We have a fantastic relationship with our fans, but we are still small enough to be communicating with many of them personally. Back in the good old days, we spent quite an amount of time communicating via letters, then via email, and later via Facebook and the likes. These days it’s all about social media, but you cannot lose your head over this, you gotta master the challenges of life and if you are aiming at staying successful as a heavy metal band you have to get square with the new social media culture. We are not the guys who are constantly online and share every bit of our life, but then again I don’t think our heavy metal fan base expects this from us.

 

14. What do you think of our site?

 

Man, you have an awesome lot of information on your website, it’s clearly structured, has fast sub-menus, has great design, easy on the eye, if you know what I mean. I’m really wondering about the team size that is behind this good site. I am not sure if this relates to your question, but I was really amazed about the questions you prepared for the interview, I loved every sentence of it. Keep up the good work!

 

15. Something to add?

 

Check out our socials and get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you!

 

Web: https://www.sanity.berlin 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@sanity.berlin 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanity.berlin 

Bandcamp: https://sanityberlin.bandcamp.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanity.berlin 

X: https://twitter.com/SanityBerlin 

 

Streaming Site Links: 

 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/intl-de/artist/0bhXlkSU7XN56kBuUuvXXa?si=ki9IcUitQNyodBXyrq_B5Q 

Amazon Music: https://amazon.de/music/player/artists/B0CHHW97WL/sanity?marketplaceId=A1PA6795UKMFR9&musicTerritory=DE&ref=dm_sh_PidIrR7CbqZCj4mwIPm5zpymv 

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sanity/1546091708 

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCsYZJ2WYArtoGXgBOc-jVNw?si=OmjURhgpG_wSbCHN

Anker The Musical Hype 20.12.23
The Musical Hype Logo.webp

20. December 2023 Brent Faulkner

In the 395th Q&A in our Getting to Know… series, we get the inside scoop from Brandenburg symphonic metal band, Sanity.

 

The EP [Revelation] features five majestic songs that take you through the terrible events depicted in that book.” Sanity, of course, is referencing the last book of The Bible, Revelation, which their EP is based upon. The band uses this as a springboard to describe what makes them distinct, asserting, “[influentially] I had a hard time thinking about a band that incorporates so many elements from black and death metal, from progressive rock and Viking metal, from dark wave and plain simple eighties/nineties melancholy to form such a tight and aggressive, yet wistful and somber album as Revelation.” Woo! Folks, that’s only a portion of the first question from one of the most detailed band Q&As to date! We get the inside scoop on the Brandenburg symphonic metal band’s genesis, goals, musical influences, and current and future musical endeavors. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into 🎤 Getting to Know… Sanity: Interview No. 395! 

 

For those who may not be familiar with you, what would you say makes Sanity distinct or unique? How do you rock the audience’s socks off?

 

The new EP, Revelation, is our fourth release and is created as a concept album. The central narrative is what is commonly known as “apocalypse” or “Armageddon”, originating from the last book in the bible, the book of “Revelation”. The EP features five majestic songs that take you through the terrible events depicted in that book.

In preparation for the interview, I listened once again to the songs on the EP, especially with regard to the question what makes our band distinct. Yes indeed, I could name a few bands that shaped my musical taste, and we have definitely parts in our songs that will remind you of metal and hard rock bands of the late nineties. But I had a hard time thinking about a band that incorporates so many elements from black and death metal, from progressive rock and Viking metal, from dark wave and plain simple eighties/nineties melancholy to form such a tight and aggressive, yet wistful and somber album as Revelation.

The shouting and the clean vocals are incredibly diverse and powerful with intense shouting, growling and screaming but also power metal-esque clean vocals and a plethora of melodies, played by guitar, choir or classical instruments. The heavy guitar riffing is embedded in elaborate orchestra arrangements and sophisticated black / death metal drumming. The orchestral arrangements are intricate and majestic without stealing any power from the guitars.

Expect a journey through extravagant harmonic textures, melodic riffs and fast-paced drumming with a solid punch of black metal. With Bernd Schweda and Rüdiger Lauktien, we had two top musicians that considerably shaped the interpretation and composing of the songs on Revelation. Bernd has immeasurable experience and creativity in death metal riffing and fast-paced solo guitar play. Rüdiger is a top-notch progressive metal drummer with phenomenal energy and curiosity to learn black and death metal drumming and to combine it with his skills for sophisticated progressive metal rhythms.

 

Okay, let’s explore some juicy backstories. How did Sanity form and what were some of the goals or visions you had early on? 

 

My brother and I are old hands in the heavy metal business and have been living it actively with Sanity for almost 30 years now. Sanity was founded initially as a grunge rock band with only one guitar, a bass and drums after having seen The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” on MTV during a family vacation in the United States. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of “Sanity” and it was 1994. And it was not enough. Not nearly enough.

We were eager to experiment with creating songs ourselves. We wanted to find out how songwriting actually works. Can we do it? How do we express what we musically enjoy? How does it sound if we compose these chords for guitar, the harmonic 3rd in bass, and a progressive drumming underneath it? We were overflowing with creativity.

Over the first years, the band’s musical focus shifted to death and then to black metal. By 1996, we had released our first three track demo and by 1998 our first full length album, Sinister Reflections. Atmospheric avant-garde death / black metal is what I had called our music at the time, heavily influenced by bands like Orphanage, Death, Paradigma, and Septic Flesh. It was all about expressing ourselves. I mean, read the lyrics, there was definitely a certain cathartic element to it. We were young adults in a world turned upside down after the Cold War ended and Berlin was a free town again.

You need to understand that until 1989, West-Berlin was completely surrounded by The Wall, part of it adjacent to East-Berlin, part of it bordering East-Germany. West-Berlin was a small, isolated island in East-Germany, an island one third the size of London! And there was no way out without proper visa application weeks upfront. I lived a stone’s throw away from the wall, we could hear the vicious border dogs barking every day, we saw the heavily armed border patrols on their guard towers looking straight over the wall at us playing. Sometimes menacing, sometimes cheerful. Combine that with the fact that we were an occupied city. I lived in the British sector, the barracks of the soldiers near to a playground I used to frequent. Man, did we have fights with the children of the British soldiers who took us for fair game.

So, when the wall came down it was overwhelming, literally. The wall was gone but the people that were now “neighbors” were so different from us. The villages and small towns just outside of where I grew up and which I was seeing for the first time in my life (!) were so bleak, gray, run down and depressing.

In 1999 came Nocturnal Poems, our second album where we journeyed into the realm of symphonic black metal. We had learned a lot about composing, arranging, and were eager to add orchestra to our tracks (from a synthesizer, that is – this was how you did it back in the days). In the following years, we not only honed our composing skills but had come up with a new kind of song quality altogether. Faster paced drums, intricate guitar riffings, much more advanced orchestra arrangements and we released Schattensymphonie in 2001. What a great album, the sound still holds up today, and the songs speak of an almost forgotten rawness and hardness that we had back in the days.

Following the release of Schattensymphonie, a lot of things were happening in my private life, first employment, move to another city, marriage, kids. All this slowed down my creative process and put a halt to regular band rehearsals. Still, already in 2001, the idea was born to create a concept album about the biblical book of Revelation, a prophetic, dystopian book that vividly and explicitly describes the apocalypse. And that is what my brother and I did over the next 13 years until around 2014 we called the band back together to start practicing the new songs. And this time, I aimed at creating a masterpiece. I wanted it all – clean vocals, shouting, well arranged rhythm guitar riffings, lead guitars, fast drums, and realistically sounding orchestra and choir. And we took our time. The EP Revelation was released on 11 March 2023.

 

Let’s talk more about goals.  Have your goals or your perspectives changed since first starting out? What do your aspirations or goals look like now?

 

Some songs on Revelation originated in 2001 already, we were massively creative back then, but needed to take a break from the band because my brother and I both got scholarships to study abroad. Then, things happened which nobody could have foreseen, each of us came in contact with evangelical Christians, independent from each other, even in different countries! Their bible-based message about a living God that offers forgiveness and a place in heaven for free was so radically different from what religion all over the place teaches you. I was hooked and a couple of months later, started living with Jesus at my side. This caused an uproar in our fan base since many could not relate to my experience and despised the institution of the church. For me, there is a big difference between the God of the bible and the institution of the church. The latter one is run by men and women who all have their faults and might misuse the powers given to them. God, however, is trustworthy and offers the gift of redemption.  We managed to get into a dialogue with our fans and soon, the waves calmed a bit, but we felt it was time to take a break from the spotlight.

As already told, we continued our creative work in the background. Was there a possibility to combine my new found faith with my passion for extreme metal? There is basically only one topic in the bible that is grim enough to be shouted on top of death or black metal music: The judgment of God as told in the last book of the bible, the book of Revelation. You can find a good summary of my vision in a video on YouTube.

By setting the book of revelation to music I believe we are doing something that has never been attempted before, that is truly unique. By 2025, we will have released all three EPs that will make up the complete Revelation music project. And then you will be able to experience the events of the apocalypse by simply listening to the fourteen intensely dramatic songs that we created. This could become such a precious heritage to future generations. In the end, when the last days truly begin, our music may help people to understand the events that are happening around them. It may allow people to hear about what God’s word reveals about the future and how this God provides a way out.

 

Everybody is influenced by somebody else. Whom would you consider some of your biggest musical influences and how are they influential?

 

Listening to the five tracks on our EP, you will find influences from nineties black metal bands like Emperor, Ancient and Bloodthorn, but also death metal bands like Orphanage, Gorefest, and Death. Even Metallica plays a role. Gothic metal bands like Cemetary or dark wave artists like Eros Necropsique and Elend were also a resource of inspiration. The way we composed the orchestra parts was definitely formed by us listening to music from Ludwig van Beethoven, Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel. I’d say, if you’re into bands like Arcturus, Obtained Enslavement, Throes Of Dawn or Rhapsody, you know what to appreciate when combining orchestra and metal arrangements.

 

Ah, the fun stuff.  What’s your craziest tour story or the wackiest thing that’s happened during a performance?  Feel free to be creative.

 

Oh, we had some crazy shows back in the nineties, it was all very underground-ish, and some of the venues were really lousy, but then again, you were on the road with your best buddies, could play your music in front of a crowd that was there just for you. You can’t beat that feeling. What made some shows more memorable were often what happened after the show. The people you connect with, the absurd situations you find yourself in, at times. There was a club on the countryside, and we had no money for a hotel so we agreed to spent the night in the already crowded backstage room. You’re dead tired and totally annoyed by the unbearable situation, but you’re also young and passable, and you have your friends with you and at some point this becomes incredibly hilarious. We didn’t sleep much and one of us puked in the sink, but neither was any plumbing installed nor was there any water… it was messy and hilarious.

 

Up until this point in your career, what would you describe as your favorite song you’ve recorded or performed live? What makes that song special?

 

The song “Schattenverse” from our first album, Sinister Reflections, is probably the most authentic song and truly intense in music and lyrics. I wrote it at a very early age. “Cryonic Zombie”, also from our first album stands out since it’s a 15 minutes through-composed song with barely any repeating riffs, this is as avant-garde as it gets. My personal go-to-songs for kicking ass are “Highland Epos” and “The Linear Scaffold” from our third Album, Schattensymphonie.

“Throne”, the first song on Revelation, is probably the pinnacle of our creative work of the past 30 years. You will be greeted by a majestic choir, depicting the scores of angels singing in the antechamber of God’s throne room. Then the train hits you in full swing, massive guitars set in and a pounding, unrelenting drum rhythm framed by a cold choir and growling vocals. This is head bang material, man! I know that our fans will love the melodic solo passages in the song, the neck breaking rhythmic passages and the somber bridge that culminates in a splendor of power metal madness. I could even imagine fans pulling out their lighters and singing along during a concert, if you know what I mean. Please watch the official video of “Throne” to immerse yourself in the emotional message of the song. “Throne” is a great opening song for Revelation due to its multi-faceted arrangement.

Is there anything else awesome, cool, or left of center the world should know about you? Secret talents or surprising tidbits?

 

My brother and me are really retro guys. I set up my hobby room like an eighties arcade stuffed with games and collectibles many of us may remember from our childhood. It almost feels like a shrine with all these relics from the eighties, somehow, we are stuck in that decade, and this shows in our interest outside of music. We are both collecting arcade machines and eighties style gaming consoles. Let’s play some “Choplifter” or some “Ghouls N Ghosts” on my Sega Master System, what do you say? Man, I can really wind down after a stressful day by just playing those good old vintage games. 8 bit or 16 bit, simple game principles, but lots of fun and gratification. On the arcade machine,  “Donut Dodo”, is high on my list for months now. There are only 5 levels, but I’m still  trying to beat it.

 

Closing out, what is Sanity currently working on, promoting that you can share with us or want us to know about? We love secrets, but there’s no pressure. 

 

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there, you would have seriously enjoyed it.

We have already worked on songs for the second and third EP to complete the Revelation project and plan to release those in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This trilogy will then have a total of 14 songs. The record release concert for the second EP,  The Beast, is planned for March 2024 . There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet.

At the same time my brother and I are working on a rerelease of our second album, Nocturnal Poems,  from 1999. Florian is actually composing completely new rhythm and lead guitars and I will be recording new drums for it.

From the very beginning I had envisioned Sanity to reach the English speaking audience and thus, used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours. Let’s see what the future holds in store for us.

Our YouTube channel already has a good amount of content, and I would like to add more. Official videos for the songs, more vlogs on the scary exciting subject of the apocalypse that our lyrics talk about. A couple of years ago I had already started a vlog series explaining our lyrics that I would also love to continue. The official videos for Seals and Throne were just released. You see, we got our hands full with exciting subjects for many years to come.

And this is how you find us online: Instagram / Facebook / X  / Spotify / YouTube / Website / 📧: info@sanity.berlin

Thank you so much for sharing and taking the time to answer these questions, and best of luck moving forward. 

the musical hype aka Brent Faulkner has earned Bachelor and Masters degrees in music (music Education, music theory/composition respectively). A multi-instrumentalist, he plays piano, trombone, and organ among numerous other instruments. He's a certified music educator, composer, and a freelance music journalist. Faulkner cites music and writing as two of the most important parts of his life. Notably, he's blessed with a great ear, possessing perfect pitch.

Anker Drop the Spotlight 18.12.23

December 2023

Drop the Spotlight

https://dropthespotlight.com/interview-with-sanity/

 

Interview

Post author: Vic, 18-December-2023

Today, we sat down with Sanity to talk their inspiration to write music, type of music they listened to growing up, and much more.

What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your surroundings?

Over the past three decades I have come to observe that suffering is a necessary ingredient to creativity. I feel most inspired when in sorrow and distress. I also listen to my inner self and find that quite often music pushes outwards and wants to be composed. For instance, I wake up with a melody or hook line in my mind and am almost driven to sit down to write it down and record it.

 

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

I was growing up in a strange type of musical home. My parents being born during World War II and having suffered bomb raids, displacement and separation from their families longed for a peaceful and silent haven to build a family. Imagine an austere Bauhaus-type house, filled with collector’s pieces and antiques, silent in its core, with classical music the only kind to fill the white painted halls every other fortnight or so. We did not have any TV, nor was there any radio culture. I was a clean slate when it came to popular music. First mixtapes from classmates featuring the classic eighties quickly lead to discovering rock music and I was already playing in a cover band at the age of thirteen.

After having seen The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” on MTV during a family vacation in the United States I was hooked. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of  “Sanity” and it was 1994. Over the first year, the band’s musical focus shifted to death metal, heavily influenced by bands like Orphanage, Death, Paradigma and Septic Flesh. It was all about expressing ourselves. On our second and third album we journeyed into the realm of symphonic black metal, inspired by artists such as Arcturus, Obtained Enslavement, Covenant and Bloodthorn.

 

Is there someone you looked up as a hero?

I always related to the underdog type of hero. The guy who is somehow different and who tries to sort out how to fit in. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt series of a dark elf who acts against the drow stereotype, favoring friendship and peace over hatred and violence is a fantastic read. It’s a story about a moral dark elf who fights the dark traits that are inherent in the drow. I can very much relate with Drizzt, even though I know it’s only a fictional character.

If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?

I don’t think there was ever a chance for us not getting into music, this is how we expressed our inner self, the emotional turmoil were we going through back in the nineties (and maybe still today?). Some of my friends used sports to blow off steam, others created drawings and paintings to cope with their situations. Any yes, some succumbed to drugs and lost all their drive. But not us. Composing music is a cathartic experience for me, I wouldn’t have made it without music.

What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?

My advice to the the young artists: stay focused, reliable and stable. Don’t quit. You need years of playing together to become great. Two years in a band is nothing.

Vic

Editor / Writer / Producer For Drop the Spotlight

Anker Volatile Weekly 15.12.23
Interview with Sanity

15. December 2023 Jarod Smith

 

What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?

 

I was growing up in a strange type of musical home. My parents being born during World War II and having suffered bomb raids, displacement and separation from their families longed for a peaceful and silent haven to build a family. Imagine an austere Bauhaus-type house, filled with collector’s pieces and antiques, silent in its core, with classical music the only kind to fill the white painted halls every other fortnight or so. We did not have any TV, nor was there any radio culture. I was a clean slate when it came to popular music. First mixtapes from classmates featuring the classic eighties quickly lead to discovering rock music and I was already playing in a cover band at the age of thirteen.

 

After having seen The Offspring’s "Come Out and Play" on MTV during a family vacation in the United States I was hooked. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of  "Sanity" and it was 1994. And it was not enough. Not nearly enough.

 

I don’t think there was ever a chance for us not getting into music, this is how we expressed our inner self, the emotional turmoil were we going through back then (and maybe still today?). Some of my friends used sport to blow off steam, others created drawings and paintings to cope with their situations. Any yes, some succumbed to drugs and lost all their drive.

 

But not us. We were eager to experiment with creating songs ourselves. I wanted to find out how song writing actually works. Can I do it? How do I express what I musically enjoy? How does it sound if I compose these chords for guitar, the harmonic 3rd in bass and a progressive drumming underneath it? I was overflowing with creativity.

 

The early nineties in Berlin were special. You need to understand that West-Berlin was completely surrounded by The Wall, part of it adjacent to East-Berlin, part of it bordering East-Germany. West-Berlin was a small isolated island in East-Germany, an island one third the size of London! And there was no way out without proper visa application weeks upfront. I lived a stone’s throw away from the wall, we could hear the vicious border dogs barking everyday, we saw the heavily armed border patrols on their guard towers looking straight over the wall at us playing. Sometimes menacing, sometimes cheerful. Combine that with the fact that we were an occupied city. I lived in the British sector, the barracks of the soldiers near to a playground I used to frequent. Man, did we have fights with the children of the British soldiers who took us for fair game.  

 

So when the wall came down it was – overwhelming, literally. The wall was gone but the people that were now "neighbors" were so different from us. The villages and small towns just outside of where I grew up and which I was seeing for the first time in my life (!) were so bleak, gray, run down and depressing. In the coming years the music culture, as well, was developing very differently between Berlin and the surrounding ex-East-Germany.

I got pretty quickly into hard rock and heavy metal, starting with AC/DC and G’n’R. But then somebody from the "East" (that's how we referred to anybody who was from former German Democratic Republic) had me listen to Metallica, my first real heavy metal experience. Back then we called it "East Metal", because only people from the "East" would listen to it. It was not cool in Berlin – yet.

 

There was a music show on the public broadcast channel "FAB – Fernsehen aus Berlin" which featured a documentary about "Death Metal". Imagine, a teenager in a classical music-home (we had bought a (small) TV in the meantime) watching in all earnestness an educational television program about death metal -  and the next thing I know, I went to a music store to buy my first death metal CD. Funny but true, the shop clerk was totally lost when I asked him about death metal, so we both went to the "D" section and found a CD from a band called Death and he sold it to me. Luckily, it was death metal and that sealed my fate and the direction our band would be taking from now on.

 

By 1996 we had released our first three track demo and by 1998 our first full length album "Sinister Reflections". Atmospheric avantgarde death / black metal is what I had called our music at the time, heavily influenced by bands like Orphanage, Death, Paradigma and Septic Flesh. 1999 came "Nocturnal Poems" our second album where we journeyed into the realm of symphonic black metal. I had learned a lot about composing, arranging and was eager to add orchestra to our tracks (from a synthesizer, that is – this was how you did it back in the days). Both albums were produced with first generation home recording equipment since we were students and wouldn't pay for studio time. Then came the year 2000 and we had come up with a new quality kind of songs for our next album. Faster paced drums, intricate guitar riffings, much more advanced orchestra arrangements. This was the time to pay for studio recordings and we released "Schattensymphonie" in 2001. What a great album, the sound still holds up today and the songs speak of an almost forgotten rawness and hardness that we had back in the days.

 

Following the release of "Schattensymphonie" a lot of things were happening in my private live, first employment, move to another city, marriage, kids. All this slowed down my creative process and put a halt to regular band rehearsals. Still, already in 2001, the idea was born to create a concept album about the biblical book of Revelation, a prophetic, dystopian book that vividly and explicitly describes the apocalypse. And that is what my brother and I did over the next 13 years until around 2014 we called the band back together to start practicing the new songs. And this time I aimed at creating a master piece. I wanted it all, clean vocals, shouting, well arranged rhythm guitar riffings, lead guitars, fast drums, realistically sounding orchestra and choir. And we took our time. The EP Revelation was released on 11 March 2023.

 

What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?

 

My brother and me are really retro guys. I set up my hobby room like an eighties Arcade stuffed with games and collectibles many of us may remember from our childhood. It almost feels like a shrine with all these relics from the eighties, somehow we are stuck in that decade and this shows in our interest outside of music. We are both collecting arcade machines and eighties style gaming consoles. Let’s play some "Choplifter" or some "Ghouls N Ghosts" on my Sega Master System, what do you say? Man, I can really wind down after a stressful day by just playing those good old vintage games. 8 bit or 16 bit, simple game principles, but lots of fun and gratification. On the arcade machine "Donut Dodo" is high on my list for months now. There are only 5 levels, but I’m still  trying to beat it.

 

As you can see, we preserved a playfulness in our lives that is directly connected to the way we create music. The process of composing music in itself is playful. It’s often the daring and sometimes crazy ideas that later become favorite parts in our songs.

How long has your band been around?

 

Sanity was formed in 1994 in Berlin, Germany, by me, Philipp, and my twin brother Florian, initially as a grunge rock band with only one guitar, a bass and drums. Over the first years, the band’s musical focus shifted to death and then to black metal. Sanity released three full-length albums and an EP between 1998 and 2023. The genres read as follows: The first release "Sinister Reflections" - atmospheric avantgarde black / death metal, the second album "Nocturnal Poems" and the third album "Schattensymphonie" - symphonic back metal, and then for the EP "Revelation" - symphonic metal. Initial band members included Lars Maiwald on bass guitar and one year later Benjamin Russ on the second guitar. The band went on hiatus in 2002 and re-formed in 2014, all the while the brothers Weishaupt continued to compose songs for the next album. The band re-formed in 2014 to rehearse and finalize the material that would become 2023’s "Revelation". The line-up 2014 included Bernd Schweda (ex Dawn Berlin) on one of the guitars, replacing Florian who focused on vocals from now on. Ludwig Liebsch joined as bass guitar player. Rüdiger Lauktien replaced Philipp on drums and Philipp masterminded the project while playing keyboard. After the recordings for "Revelation" had been finished the line-up changed once again with Bernd, Rüdiger and Ludwig leaving. Philipp returned to the drums, Florian picked up the guitar again and focused on clean vocals. Silas Grünitz, as well as Julius und Felix Albe joined the band, Silas on bass guitar, Julius on guitar and Felix being the new shouter. This is the current live setup.

 

Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?

 

We are all based around Berlin, most of us living in the small towns in the surrounding region. Berlin is very rich in music culture and features hundreds of artists every week on the stages of the clubs. We have been part of the heavy metal culture in Berlin since the early nineties and have played with a lot of local bands.

 

Listening to the five tracks on our EP you will find influences from nineties black metal bands we saw on stage here in Berlin, like Emperor, Ancient and Bloodthorn, but also death metal bands like Orphanage, Gorefest, and Death. Then again, even Metallica plays a role.

Gothic metal bands like Cemetary or dark wave artists like Eros Necropsique and Elend were also a resource of inspiration. There was I time I was heavily involved in the Dark Wave and Gothic scene. We had a couple of Gothic music clubs in old historic buildings or even in a citadel, this was really something, all dressed up and gathering for a dance in these surroundings.

 

Berlin also has excellent concert houses and this is how I grew up, my family regularly went to concerts of classical music. To experience the fifth symphony by Gustav Mahler in a concert hall is something totally different than just listening to it on your stereo at home. The way we composed the orchestra parts was definitely formed by us seeing and listening to music from Ludwig van Beethoven, Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel. At the same time, we learned from Arcturus, Obtained Enslavement, Throes Of Dawn or Rhapsody how to incorporate orchestra into metal arrangements.

 

How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?

 

Look, we founded the band in the early nineties when we listened to bands such as Death, Megadeth and Metallica, schoolmates wore bandshirts from Fear Factory, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Paradise Lost, … you name it. Metal band names had to have some meaning, most of them invoking some dreadful message that went along with their kick-ass music. I won’t tell you all of the names we came up with, I mean, we were teenagers after all, so, yes, we had some cheesy ideas like “Brothers of Destruction” and so on, but luckily we did not go for that (ha ha ha). After the initial hype of finding a suitable name we became reasonable and figured that we needed a name that went along with the music we intended to write and that expressed how we felt about us and saw ourselves in the world. With all the insanity that we witnessed around us in a world that was turned upside down after the cold had war ended and Berlin was a free town again, we needed to set an example and call us sane, being of healthy mind, reasonable and balanced. Our initial music experience (especially on the first album) was not about mosh pit, pogo dance and riot, it was actually pretty avantgarde and surely not easy to digest. And that’s were the name “Sanity” originates from.

 

Tell me about your most memorable shows.

 

Oh we had some crazy shows back in the nineties, it was all very underground’ish and some of the venues were really lousy, but then again you were on the road with your best buddies, could play your music in front of a crowd that was there just for you. You can’t beat that feeling. What made some shows more memorable were often what happened after the show. The people you connect with, the absurd situations you find yourself in, sometimes. There was a club on the countryside and we had no money for a hotel so we agreed to spent the night in the already crowded backstage room. You’re dead tired and totally annoyed by the unbearable situation, but you’re also young and passible, and you have your friends with you and at some point this becomes incredibly hilarious. We didn’t sleep much and one of us puked in the sink, but neither was any plumming installed nor was there any water… it was messy and hilarious.

 

What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?

 

We’d love to play some big stages of course and are dreaming about a small tour outside Germany. Scandinavia would be awesome or the US. Our latest release is a concept album of the book of Revelation from the bible, a prophetic, dystopian book that vividly and explicitly describes the apocalypse. A dedicated tour on that topic would be incredible.

If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?

Wolves At The Gate, Slechtvalk and Vials Of Wrath.

 

What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?

 

My advice to the the young artists: stay focused, reliable and stable. Don’t quit. You need years of playing together to become great. Two years in a band is nothing.

An advice to my younger self would be to take everything less serious. I was quite a perfectionist back then. Live a little.

 

If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?

 

Understand that you are truly gifted. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

 

Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?

 

“Throne”, the first song on “Revelation” is probably the pinnacle of our creative work of the past 30 years. It clearly shows off it's roots in black and death metal, but is enriched with massive arrangements of choirs and symphonic instruments. There is an abundance of lead guitars and melodic riffing, the song features low growling vocals, intense shouting and screaming but also beautiful clean vocals, from heroic viking chants to high-pitched power metal voices. The drumming ranges from fast-paced blasts with double bass drumming to intense progressive metal rhythms.

 

Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?

 

The song “Schattenverse” from our first album “Sinister Reflections” is probably the most authentic song and truly intense in music and lyrics. I wrote it at a very early age. “Cryonic Zombie”, also from our first album stands out since it’s a 15 minutes through-composed song with barely any repeating riffs, this is as avantgarde as it gets. My personal go-to-songs for kicking ass are “Highland Epos” and “The Linear Scaffold” from our third Album “Schattensymphonie”.

 

The most requested songs have always been the less avantgarde songs with passages where you could shout along during a concert, if you know what I mean: “Clone Wars” from the first album, “Die Verlorene Schlacht” from our second album “Nocturnal Poems” and “Insomnia” from our third album. “Throne” is the most requested song from our current release.

 

What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?

 

Usually the songs are written by one of us and then brought to the band rehearsal to refine. A song can take months or even years to come to maturity. Sometimes you feel inspired in a way that the complete song is finished in a matter of weeks. It all depends.

Over the past three decades I have come to observe that suffering is a necessary ingredient to creativity. I feel most inspired when in sorrow and distress. I also listen to my inner self and find that quite often music pushes outwards and wants to be composed. For instance, I wake up with a melody or hook line in my mind and am almost driven to sit down to write it down and record it.

 

What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?

 

Some songs on Revelation originated in 2001 already, we were massively creative back then, but needed to take a break from the band because my brother and me, we both got scholarships to study abroad. Then things happened which nobody could have foreseen, each of us came in contact with evangelical Christians, independent from each other, even in different countries! Their bible-based message about a living God that offers forgiveness and a place in heaven for free was so radically different from what religion all over the place teaches you. I was hooked and a couple of months later started living with Jesus at my side. This caused an uproar in our fan base since many could not relate to my experience and despised the institution of the church. For me there is a big difference between the God of the bible and the institution of the church. The latter one is run by men and women who all have their faults and might misuse the powers given to them. God, however, is trustworthy and offers the gift of redemption.  We managed to get into a dialogue with our fans and soon the waves calmed a bit, but we felt it was time to take a break from the spotlight.

As already told, we continued our creative work in the background. Was there a possibility to combine my new found faith with my passion for extreme metal? There is basically only one topic in the bible that is grim enough to be shouted on top of death or black metal music: The judgment of God told in the last book of the bible, the book of "Revelation". You can find a good summary of my vision in a video on youtube:

 

https://youtu.be/RWL6K-0DttQ?si=tRsyTDgZ5UspIgoY

 

By setting the book of revelation to music I believe we are doing something that has never been attempted before, that is truly unique. By 2025 will will have released all three EPs that will make up the complete Revelation music project. And then you will be able to experience the events of the apocalypse by simply listening to the fourteen intensely dramatic songs that we created. This could become such a precious heritage to future generations. In the end, when the last days truly begin our music may help people to understand the events that are happening around them. It may allow people to hear about what God's word reveals about the future and how this God provides a way out.

 

Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?

 

Of course we have disagreements, this is only human. The feedback we got from people that are with us for the good part of the last thirty years is that we always treat each other respectfully. You’ll not find any violent disputes, swearing, or yelling in our midst. And then there is the fact that I am the band leader, simply based on the amount of energy and hours that I have poured into this band. It all comes back to the strong vision that I have for this band which I will defend and pursue as long as God enables me to do so. With me being the undisputed band leader this also helps in solving conflicts. Bottom line is that I feel responsible for making everybody enjoy the band. At the same time I am driven to pursue the vision that I have for the band and will make decisions that not everybody will agree with.

 

What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?

 

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there, you would have seriously enjoyed it. In June we were booked for the German Church Day in Nuremberg. It's basically a huge, five day festival organized biennially by the German Protestant Church with over one hundred thousand people attending, hundreds of acts, shows, workshops, and discussions. This was a great event as we are able to present our music to a much wider audience than usual. The feedback was very positive and encouraging. The record release concert for the second EP "The Beast" is planned for March 2024 . There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet.

 

From the very beginning I had envisioned Sanity to reach the English speaking audience and thus used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours. Let's see what the future holds in store for us.

 

Also, I want to note that now, with the EP “Revelation” in our hands, we are finally able to actively promote it. I have a lot of ideas for that. Our YouTube channel already has a good amount of content and I would like to add more. Official videos for the songs, more vlogs on the scary exciting subject of the apocalypse that our lyrics talk about. A couple of years ago I had already started a vlog series explaining our lyrics that I would also love to continue.

The EP "Revelation" is available at all major online stores and streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.). And, we have released an actual CD (compact disc) which you can order on our website www.sanity.berlin.

Anker Natalies 4.12.23

04. December 2023 Natalie

Sanity Talks of Decades Long in Music Making, New Music, and More!
Julius, Philipp, Ludwig, Florian, Silas (left to right) (2).jpg

Elemental band SANITY has been around for nearly three decades now, releasing countless material, with all new working's expected soon enough. The band talks of their EP releases, newer music coming soon, and much more in-store.

 

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Sanity was formed in 1994 in Berlin, Germany, by Philipp and Florian Weishaupt, initially as a grunge rock band with only one guitar, a bass and drums. Over the first years, the band’s musical focus shifted to death and then to black metal. Sanity released three full-length albums and an EP between 1998 and 2023. The genres read as follows: The first release ‘Sinister Reflections’ - atmospheric avant-garde black / death metal, the second album ‘Nocturnal Poems’ and the third album ‘Schattensymphonie’ - symphonic back metal, and then for the EP 'Revelation' - symphonic metal. Initial band members included Lars Maiwald on bass guitar and one year later Benjamin Russ on the second guitar. The band went on hiatus in 2002 and re-formed in 2014, all the while the brothers Weishaupt continued to compose songs for the next album. The band re-formed in 2014 to rehearse and finalize the material that would become 2023’s ‘Revelation’. The line-up 2014 included Bernd Schweda (ex Dawn Berlin) on one of the guitars, replacing Florian who focused on  vocals from now on. Ludwig Liebsch joined as bass guitar player. Rüdiger Lauktien replaced Philipp on drums and Philipp masterminded the project while playing keyboard. After the recordings for ‘Revelation’ had been finished the line-up changed once again with Bernd, Rüdiger and Ludwig leaving. Philipp returned to the drums, Florian picked up the guitar again and focused on clean vocals. Silas Grünitz, as well as Julius und Felix Albe joined the band, Silas on bass guitar, Julius on guitar and Felix being the new shouter. This is the current live setup.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Look, we founded the band in the early nineties when we listened to bands such as Death, Megadeth and Metallica, schoolmates wore band shirts from Fear Factory, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Paradise Lost, you name it. Metal band names had to have some meaning, most of them invoking some dreadful message that went along with their kick-ass music. I won’t tell you all of the names we came up with, I mean, we were teenagers after all, so yes we had some cheesy ideas like “Brothers of Destruction” and so on, but luckily we did not go for that (ha ha ha). After the initial hype of finding a suitable name we became reasonable and figured that we needed a name that went along with the music we intended to write and that expressed how we felt about us and saw ourselves in the world. With all the insanity that we witnessed around us in a world that was turned upside down after the cold war ended and Berlin was a free town again, we needed to set an example and call us sane, being of healthy mind, reasonable and balanced. Our initial music experience (especially on the first album) was not about mosh pit, pogo dance and riot, it was actually pretty avant-garde and surely not easy to digest. And that’s were the name “Sanity” originated from.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are all based around Berlin, most of us living in the small towns in the surrounding region. Berlin is very rich in music culture and features hundreds of artists every week on the stages of the clubs. We have been part of the heavy metal culture in Berlin since the early nineties and have played with a lot of local bands. The metal scene is not limited to Berlin but is also very much alive in smaller clubs and bars around Berlin. Many of the famous metal bands play shows in Berlin, but I personally prefer to go to the small clubs, where underground bands play their concerts. You always know someone in the crowd and see familiar faces, that’s what I like about it. We have good relationships to Logar’s Diary and Golem. Logar’s Diary is always a great and fun experience with their fantasy-themed power metal, Golem is very technical and avant-garde death metal.

4. How would you describe your style?

We are around for nearly three decades now and even though we might have started with avant-garde black/death metal characteristics, today our music incorporates so many different elements. You find influences from black and death metal, from progressive rock and viking metal, from dark wave and plain simple eighties/nineties melancholy that ultimately form the tight and aggressive, yet wistful and somber album ‘Revelation’. The shouting and the clean vocals are incredibly divers and powerful, the orchestral arrangements are intricate and majestic without stealing any power from the guitars. With Bernd Schweda and Rüdiger Lauktien we had two top musicians that considerably shaped the interpretation and composing of the songs on ‘Revelation’. Bernd has immeasurable experience and creativity in death metal riffing and fast-paced solo guitar play. Rüdiger is a top notch progressive metal drummer with phenomenal energy and curiosity to learn black and death metal drumming and to combine it with his skills for sophisticated progressive metal rhythms. 

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Each of the four releases is a witness to our personal music development. With ‘Sinister Reflections’ we just discovered atmospheric death metal and were wildly creative to the point of experimental, avant-garde compositions that are a feast for the mind. In “Nocturnal Poems” the focus was on symphonic and melodic black metal, we composed songs filled with longing and melancholy, deeply personal lyrics that show the torn nature of our inner self. It was a true underground release and many of our fans cherish especially that album for its raw and authentic style. ‘Schattensymphonie’ was the first album recorded in a studio. The compositions are much tighter and feature intricate guitar riffing's across all songs. This is the only album with shouting vocals only. Whereas the first two albums had clean vocals in many chorus parts, ‘Schattensymphonie’ was to be much darker and more intense. I personally think that ‘Schattensymphonie’ is the heaviest release so far. The addition of new musicians to the band in 2014 influenced the style of ‘Revelation’ quite significantly. Death metal riffing and elaborate drum rhythms found their way into the songs and completed them to a degree that was not possible before. There are also some passages where you could wave your lighter and sing along during a concert, if you know what I mean. That’s a first. On ‘Revelation’ we took the time to weave a abundance of melodies into each song, either played from guitar, choir or orchestra. The sound samples of the orchestra are recordings of real instruments which makes a big difference compared to the nineties synthesizer samples we used on Schattensymphonie. Also we went back to incorporating clean vocals in many songs. All in all, ‘Revelation’ is the most mature album from Sanity.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

We have already worked on songs for the second and third EP to complete the 'Revelation' project and plan to release those in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This trilogy will then have a total of 14 songs. At the same time my brother and I are working on a re-release of our second album 'Nocturnal Poems' from 1999. Florian is actually composing completely new rhythm and lead guitars and I will be recording new drums for it. I have yet to actively promote the 2022 re-release of our first album 'Sinister Reflections' from 1998. It an old school underground release and I would love to come up with video content to help today's listeners bridge the gap to 1998 and understand our music from back in the days. You see, we got our hands full with exciting subjects for many years to come.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

In February we played our record release concert in a small club where we invited friends and fans from the past 30 years. We had a blast doing so, it was such wonderful atmosphere, connecting with our fans, some of them with us from the beginning. You really should have been there, you would have seriously enjoyed it. In June we were booked for the German Church Day in Nuremberg. It's basically a huge, five day festival organized biennially by the German Protestant Church with over one hundred thousand people attending, hundreds of acts, shows, workshops, and discussions. This was a great event as we are able to present our music to a much wider audience than usual. The feedback was very positive and encouraging. The record release concert for the second EP ‘The Beast’ is planned for March 2024 . There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete yet.  From the very beginning I had envisioned Sanity to reach the English speaking audience and thus used English lyrics. It would be pretty awesome to get in contact with metal bands from the UK or US and become their support on one of their tours, for example. Let's see what the future holds in store for us.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Oh, we are excited about the next years. Now, with the EP in our hands we will finally be able to actively promote it. I have so many ideas. Our YouTube channel already has a good amount of content and I would like to add more. Official videos for the songs, more vlogs on the scary exciting subject of the apocalypse that our lyrics talk about. A couple of years ago I had already started a vlog series explaining our lyrics that I would love to continue.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

The EP 'Revelation' is available at all major online stores and streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.). And, we have released an actual CD (compact disc) which you can order on our website www.sanity.berlin.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

When Rage released their ‘Lingua Mortis’ album, I was blown away by the fusion of metal and classical music. Classical music was a big influence in my childhood. To combine this with my passion for heavy metal had always been my dream. Already on our first album we composed quite intricate synthesizer arrangements, these played a vital role in creating the somber atmosphere of  ‘Sinister Reflections’. On ‘Nocturnal Poems’ we took it a step further, you clearly hear the classical influences in many songs, but it was still a synthesizer that provided the sounds. We briefly toyed with the idea to ask the school orchestra from a school in our neighborhood to partner with us, but it never came to being. I believe also because we still had so much creativity that needed to be put into new songs. So we went forward with the next album. In 2001 Dimmu Borgir released ‘Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia’ and I was blown away. This was obviously an outstanding production with real orchestra, something we could only dream of. Fast forward to 2018 and suddenly I had a powerful new studio software in my hands with real orchestra samples. We finally could forge an album that combined metal and classical music! And that’s what we did . I reworked the synthesizer arrangements into sophisticated orchestra arrangements just like I had dreamed of for twenty plus years and now I hold it in my hands, a beautiful symbiosis between the two musical genres I love the most. So this is the highlight for me and I hope the listener feels the same.

May 2023
Powerplay Rock & Metal Magazine UK
https://powerplaymagazine.co.uk/

Interview
"Seals" on Powerplay Sampler
Anker Powerplay UK 203
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