Hier gehts zur deutschen Version dieses Artikels
As a part of their album showcase on Oct. 16th, I seized the opportunity to ask the guys from SOULSPLITTER some questions. What moves them? Who are their musical idols? What can they tell us about their upcoming album which will (likely) be released at the end of January 2022?
All of this – and more – can be found out by reading the interview below!
Many thanks, once again, to lightinmirror.de for the exceptional Behind-The-Scenes-Shots!
Shieldmaiden’s Voice: If you had to describe your music in three words, which would you choose?
SV: Are there songs, albums or artists that influenced you and your musical style in a significant way?
Simon: DREAM THEATER, HAKEN, OPETH, SYMPHONY X…
Fenix: EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER too…
Sami: As well as classical composers like RACHMANINOV OR TSCHAIKOWSKI.
Simon: Artists like PERIPHERY are important too.
Fenix: Especially the concept albums. All these artists have written a couple of those. Tarkus by EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER and Scenes from a Memory by DREAM THEATER were very influential to me in their ability to tell stories. In recent history, EARTHSIDE have to be named as an honorable mention!
SV: What is your music like?
Fenix: I think that the storytelling aspect is quite vital. We want to do more than just make music. We want to convey an interesting story with every song and every album. We also incorporate a lot of elements from other domains, especially from classical musik, Jazz or Pop and Electro music. There are always things that we take and try to make into our own by combining it with our sound.
Sami: That is also very much detached from time itself. We draw inspiration from old stuff as well as modern themes and try to make it relevant.
Simon: I think that we don’t really try to cater to current hypes but rather try to stay authentic and also try to establish a kind of flow through which we tell the stories we want to convey.
Felix: We also attempt to build a world through our sound design that will project a film into the listener’s mind, which is why our approach is „Cinematic“
SV: In your last album Salutogenesis you tackled themes like love, death or self-awareness. What will the new album be about?
Simon: The new album will be named Connection and it’s going to be about the connection with the self, which was heavily influenced by the pandemic. We wrote this album at home in different cities. During the writing process we really focussed on topics like insecurity, being on one’s own and the confrontation with topics you don’t want to face. At the end of the album there will be a possible solution on how to solve these problems and how to get back to a connected existence.
SV: Where did you get the inspiration or will from to write an album about this?
Fenix: I think that this kind of self-confrontation you cannot escape is something that could have been applied to a lot of people during this pandemic, and still can be. We want to give the people something to live by, a source of inspiration, a means for reflection and projection so that they will have the courage to take these themes and confrontations head on and so that they also have the trust that they will become greater because they re-integrated a part of themselves which is why it’s also quite rewarding to get deeper into these kinds of emotions.
Sami: We started writing Connection before Covid-19 was even an issue, but during quarantine and lockdowns it became apparent that these confrontations were inescapable. You are forced to deal with these topics, no matter if you want to or not.
SV: What changed in your songwriting in comparison to your last album?
Simon: It’s more Metal, I’d say. It’s also focussing more on the hooks because the songs have become shorter, just a little over 6min…
Sami: A radio edit almost!
Simon: It’s also more technical, at least for me playing the guitar.
Fenix: It’s also more reliant on the guitar, which was the instrument used to compose the songs. Salutogenesis was mostly conceived on the piano. The songwriting on Connection is more compacted and less epic. I think we stayed true to our sound core in the sense that we have a Metal sound that is enhanced by piano and classical strings and that makes it very colourful while remaining heavy at the base.
SV: You just briefly touched upon it, but maybe you can tell us more on the influence the pandemic had on the songwriting.
Felix: Most of the writing was done remotely via online communication since we only met up occasionally for intense sessions. There were exchanges in which we traded different versions of songs among us. That is very much different from working together for a month and letting the songs be created during that time. I don’t think that this is a disadvantage but it was certainly a new approach for us.
SV: What is it that you want the listeners to take from this album?
Fenix: At the end whatever they take from this album. I don’t think that high expectations in that regard are beneficial. The music should speak for itself and evoke certain reaction whatever the reaction might be.
SV: Is it better to experience live or on a recording
Fenix: Both! [all laugh] It’s a different experience. During a live concert, we can set the context in which the music can seem different but on the studio recording you can extract more finessed details. If you listen to the music repeatedly, maybe take a closer look to at the lyrics, you’ll find more nuances which is not really possible to do live. In the end, you’ll only get the full experience once you use both sides of the spectrum.
SV: What does it mean to you that you now able to bring your album to the stage for the first time?
Sami: I think we’re all pretty speechless because it’s finally ready enough to bring on stage…
Fenix: … and at the same time it’s surreal because we worked on it for two years. To be able to present it to the public doesn’t feel real yet.
Simon: I personally feel that this album showcase brings closure to a lot of things. There is an end in sight for the pandemic as well as for the production process for this album. I hope that we can open a new chapter with this album.
SV: What is your target audience?
Simon: From the classic metal fan to the instrumental nerd…
Sami:… to the progressive rocker. In the end, everything can be summed up under the album title Connection. We want to connect with people and overcome genre barriers in order to reach people with vastly different musical backgrounds. If you are good at what you do, you’ll always find someone who will like it. That is our conviction.
SV: We kind of touched upon it just now but what is something that you want to achieve with your new album Connection and your music in general?
Fenix: That’s a question that is very dependent on your perspective. On the hand, we want to reach more people, especially since the sound has changed and we think that we may cater to other people than we did with Salutogenesis. On the other hand it’s important to us to give the people the opportunity to connect with us and our music and visit our concerts, which would be a best case scenario.
SV: What is the best way to support you in the endeavor?
Felix: By listening to our music, buying our CDs…
Simon: … and to follow us on social media, to visit our concerts, to recommend us. Especially now it’s all about reaching more people.
Fenix: Spreading the word is the best you can do, in my opinion. Naturally, it’s always helpful to support us financially by buying the album and the merchandise. That helps us more than many realize since we always have to produce these things from within ourselves which is why we value it a lot!
SV: If you could tell the people out there one thing that we haven’t talked about yet, what would it be?
Fenix: The more support we get, the bigger are the projects we can realize in the future. We dream a lot and we dream big. It’s a struggle to actually implant these things but we want to further this SOULSPLITTER journey, we want to take it to the next level, tell our stories in new ways. There is a lot to be excited about!
There you have it! I think it’s worth it to monitor SOULSPLITTER closely. If you want to support them, have a look at their website and their band camp!
Sami – Vocals
Simon – Guitar
Felix – Bass
Lewin – Keys
Fenix – Drums