How is everything going on your end? I hope all is well for you and the others.
Hey Apoch, thanks…we are fine. The production of our current album “Obscurity” went well and also the time we spent with Kampfar, Helrunar and Velnias during our last tour around europe was awesome. A new year has begun and weÂ´re ready for the next “metal-year”!
You guys have been around since 1997 with the name Obscurity. Looking around the net I see a couple others using that name in Germany. Would you say this may have benefitted you guys, or perhaps hurt you in some way?
Really? I donÂ´t know anything about a second band named Obscurity in germany right now? We know that some bands over the world are named “Obscurity”, but this is not a problem for us and we hope they feel the same about it. Our bandname was created in a time when the internet was not a daily-thing. It was hard to find out if there was a band with the same name.
I’m not too familiar with copyight and trademark laws, but with how many other Obscurity bands that are out there, has there ever been any kind of legal dispute over the name? If so, mind giving some details?
Some years ago there was a band here in germany which wanted to forbid us to use the name “Obscurity”. They started the fight, but we proved that we did gigs and demos earlier than they did, so they lost. They changed their name and as far as I know they split up some time after that. Sad thing, because sometimes itÂ´s better to keep your mouth shut, keep calm and try to coexist.
You guys named your album Obscurity as well, and have a song on here with that name. Is this album actually a self-titled effort, or are you using it as a title track? Either way, why did you decide to go this route for the album title?
In 2012 we celebrated our fifteenÂ´s band-anniversary and we knew that we wanted to release an album this year. So there was no title that fitted any better than “Obscurity”! During the songwriting process we decided that we need a song called “Obscurity” as well. It should be some kind of an anthem, a song to summarize our last fifteen years in four minutes, and we knew we did it!
Obscurity has been signed with Trollzorn Music now for quite a while. How did it come to be that you made a deal with the label in the first place, and given how many releases you two entities have put out together, is there a multi-record contract in effect?
We met these guys a couple of years ago at a festival. After some conversations and many emails we met them again in a small pup in a small town, that was the place where we signed our first deal with Trollzorn. A few months later the production of VÃ¡rar, the first album via Trollzorn, began… Kai and Stefan are always with us, they understand our way to work and our musical direction, so we feel safe and free to do what we want. He, he…no, there was and is no “multi-record contract”! Every new album needs a lot of beer and some conversations with Trollzorn.
Was Obscurity recorded before it was presented to Trollzorn Music, or did they help fund it or try to change or enhance the music in any way, such as the studio, producer, post-production, etc.?
We were always free in our musical decisions, we chose the studio and the producer we liked to work with. The same goes for for the album cover, the layout and of course our merchandise. This is an important thing for the band “Obscurity”, weÂ´ve always worked this way and this won’t change in the future. Trollzorn always got the albums after the final mix and mastering, they believe in what we do and we trust them too!
About how long did it take the band to record the album, and were there any problems in the studio that may have impacted the final
Mhh…normally we need 6-8 months to create and arrange the songs and lyrics for a new album. Our working process seems to be nearly oldschool these days, because we still create the songs in our rehersalroom together, except for the lyrics. Sometimes we need two months to finish one song, but on the other hand there are times when we arrange one and a half songs in one rehersal. Problems in the studio? No, not during the records of our last three albums! Our choice, the 4CN-Studio, near our hometown, is the best place for us to work without stress and any problems. Tim Schuldt, the owner of the studio, is professional, calm and he knows what we want. In the recording days We can focus our energy only on what we want to do!
Looking back on the past few albums, would you say this is the most matured recording you guys have done? Or do you look back at this release and think that you could have done more with it and there’s still plenty of room to expand?
Maybe, the album has many Obscurity-trademarks, it seems that we tried to summarize all the stuff we did before in this record. But there are of course some new elements in it. Some people, me included, probably were suprised after the first complete listening. Until now I listened to “Obscurity” so many times and I dont get bored or ever thought this part/song is bad or whatever… which is a good sign, because as a musican listening to your own music, this is not a usual thing.
He, he, we hope that there is much room left to expand! The intention to write new songs, try other sounds or to work on the mix is always the wish to do it better than all the stuff you did before. This is important and the energy for a band, otherwise itÂ´s a dead band.
There’s a good mix of hook-driven tracks and faster songs, but I picked up on some strong blatent Black Metal riffs on some tracks like “Obscurity” and “Fimbulwinter.” Will we be seeing more of this on future albums instead of some of the Viking Metal hooks that adorn many of the songs here?
A good question… I dont know!? In the past the first song we wrote after a record always totally differt from the sound of the former album. If you listen to our last albums, I think you can say: “This is Obscurity”, but for us it is always some kind of a new journey, like a new chapter with new elements and different sounds. We will never change the fact that we are Obscurity, but maybe the next album will be mostly influenced by pure black or death metal?!
Speaking of the Blacker material, the closing track “So Endet Meine Zeit” sounds radically different and rather out of place. Is there a specific meaning or concept behind this track compared to the rest of the album?
I wonÂ´t call it specific meaning or concept, but we wanted to try out something totally different. The intention was to create a song to close this album with a bit “bombast” and in a way that we never did before. We searched for a guy who can do all this orchestral parts and Bony, our producer, knew a guy near our hometown. We started to wrote the song and gave him the pre-production we already did in our rehersal-room. After some weeks we got his stuff back and we were really excited to hear the finshed studio version…after the mixing-process we agreed that this song is a perfect song to close this album.
Obviously Trollzorn Music doesn’t really reach North America. Has there ever been a discussion with the label or other interested parties in overxeas distribution? Oe are you guys happy with what reach the label has at this time?
You have to know that Trollzorn is not one of the big agencys and I think it is hard to build up a buisness in the states *wink*. For us it would be very interesting to find out what happens if there would be a big interest in what we do. The work here in germany and europe is very good and our fanbase grew up with every album we did. But when I take a look to transactions we do in our online shop I see that we have fans in the states or in south america too. A lot of merch and CDÂ´s go over the “big sea” *wink*! So let us see what happens in the future, we hope itÂ´ll grow!?
Has there ever been talk about bringing Obscurity out to other countries to tour, or is the possibility of heading here to North America just something that is too far out of the question right now?
Of course we talk with our booking agency, making plans for the future. The main booking of course is here in germany and some countries in europe, but it would be great to play some shows in the states. But right now, there are no plans in this direction. Is it too far?…yeah maybe, because we couldnÂ´t do it alone, like a headliner-tour. If there would be a tour with a band which is big in the states and we do the support, yes of course, why not!?
Is there anything else you would like to mention before I let you go?
Thanks a lot for the interview and your well chosen questions, I hope we see us soon in the states.
Interview conducted thanks to Trollzorn Records via Metal Message PR.