And then, you're building everything around this bassline?
Is there some kind of jamming in your practice room?
No! Everything is planned direct from the start. Only when Christoph is playing the sax, we try out different melodies. But everything else is just pure rhythm and there's no room for a bass solo or if Thorsten would play a fuss on the drums it simply wouldn't fit.
I was very surprised, when I saw you last year at the KKC, that Christoph is playing the second bass and sax...
No, no, no...I was playing the second bass!!!
Oh, you've played it!? I haven't senn it, because of the darkness on stage, while you were playing.
Yes, I've played bass and piano. But he played piano and saxophon, too. We take turns with the piano.
Another thing, which attracts my attention is the cover-artwork of the new album. In opposite to your other records, you've totally changed the cover subject. It's far away from the so-called local urban theme, that's in your case the city of Mülheim/Ruhr. What was the reason for it?
After the "Sunset Mission" cover, it was nervy,for me, that especially some of the magazines, we have done interviews with, wanted to label us as a Ruhrgebiet band as if it only is possible to play that kind of music in this area, you know ...things as the local things, worker shit and stuff like that. I mean, I'm not against it but to be honest , you can play this music everywhere else...in Munich or Norway or Spain.
I think it's a very urban sound and it fits into a every city like Paris, New York or London and so on. It's the same, as if one says you can only play the Blues in the south of the USA.
And this time we arranged the artwork into another direction.
Who's is responsible for it?
I've done the actual and all the other cover-artworks! I've send the my photos to the layouter, so that they can cut it into the needed size.
Although I'm no fan of guns, I liked the idea of the photo of the gunshop on the back of the "Sunset Mission" cover.
Yes, and we really wondered that the record label agreed with this photo.They've got the idea of putting it on the back-cover...hahaha.
When I take a look at all your covers, I think that you only wanted to capture a special atmosphere and if you were a NY-based band, than there would be pics of New York on all your covers.
At night, a lonely city is a lonely city and it doesn't matter if it is "Oberschwammel-Tupfingen"....or Oberhausen, although it's the Ruhrgebiet, too. But it's also an extinct city..hahaha. I remember that I've shot several photos of the shopping street.
Why did you name the album "Black Earth"? Did it just fit perfect to the sound?
Originally, the title was "Midnight Black Earth", but we can't use that because in the past we had "Midnight Radio", released on another label we got some trouble with.That's the reason.
Before, you were on Epistrophy...the Hardcore label. They don't want the album title?
Hmm, not really. We got trouble with them and our actual label wasn't happy with the idea of "Midnight Black Earth", because they don't want any mistake with "Midnight Radio". due to reason that maybe some stores would order the wrong album. After a time we've shown us reasonable, and so we named it "Black Earth".
It's always very funny, when I see in big record stores how BOHREN hikes through different music sub-divisions. Here at HMV some of your albums are sorted under Rock/Pop, while you find the new album under Wave/Gothic..hahaha..
In former times you've used a guitar in the sound , of course no heavy rock-guitar. Why have you decided to left this period behind?
Back in this days, I've played the guitar, but than I've lost interest in it. In older times we've played Hardcore and Metal and when we started with BOHREN, we still have got our instruments at this time. We wanted to do something different, but didn't know all about. Nobody can't play saxophon at this time, although we were really interested in it. So we bought us a cheap organ and we still had to manage with the guitar. Later we don't care, and so we saved some money and bought the instruments we wanted to have, because there was no other way to achieve the sound we have on the last two records.
But there were no changes in the line-up!?
Yes! Reiner H. left the band after "Midnight Radio", because he got a top-job and moved to another city. But it was a longer process. When we started under the name BOHREN, he moved to another town, and we slightly losed contact. He only took part at our rehearsels at times but it was no big dispute, and we still see him sometimes but in the end, it was a little bit strange. At this time BOHREN was more a three-piece, and Reiner only appeared temporarly.
How often do you rehearse?
We never rehearse! Every Thursday, we met for lunch and than we talk about everything and that's our rehearsel. We never do a real rehearsel. Only before a gig. And than we record the albums and that's the way it should be played again and again....hehehe.
You've installed your second video clip on your website, again directed by Mark Sikora. In how far were the band involved into the production?
Absolutly not! We know Mark since '87, back from the old Metal days and so he was free in his work.
Maybe none of the readers are knowing, that he has done a top cover for an old 80's Spex issue, which was about Death Metal, Crust and Grindcore.
And he has done the second Napalm Death cover! It's his head on the front, too.
He's been around for a long time...
We know each other for a very very long time and we like the same movies and so on. So we only said it should be horror-like and that's the way he done it.
I think, it's a very good clip, that totally underlines the vibe of the music! How important is the visual aspect in your sound? Ok, you don't use light-shows but do you want to transport something, as inner visuals?
That's up to everybody....I don't know. It's varying by myself. Sometimes I see zombies, which are crawling out of their graves..hahaha, or I see someone who's walking late at night through a town. Or I remember an old movie.
For me personal it seems, as if depressive emotions are one of the influences of your sound? Can you agree?
No! Nobody in the band is feeling so bad, that he's really depressive. Ok, I was unemployed, but ...
You don't sit at home with a razorblade..hahaha....
Oh no! I know people, who are really depressive but no one in our band!
I know, it's a typical cliche-question! Is it important for you to let out any feelings, comparable with a carthasis?
We don't let out anything. You can't let out aggresions with this sound. I've ever liked to listen to a record that sounds like the ones we have recorded.One one side, I would love to play a lot of different musical styles, but I'm to lazy and I can buy it somewhere on CD.
And that's the point. I think, that BOHREN is playing a very unique sound. Of course, there's a dark sounding 50's soundtrack of Miles Davis for a classic b/w French crime movie and there are elements I can find in your sound, too but due to the musical Doom influnce it's very outstanding for this times.
And this was our main thought behind the band. We have copied enough bands, soundwise, in the past and we get bored with it. So we stopped...hahaha..and decided:let's do something individual.
You use very strong songtitles. Do you write the music at first, and than comes the songtitle or exsists a short story behind every song. I remember, as Christoph introduced "Maximum Black" with the words: it's about being buried alive or is it just accidental?
There's always a thought spinning around to those song. In the end, the new album is again about murder and crime. You can exchange nearly every title on the records. I own a book, where I write down good titles and when we are looking for new titles, we have a source...hahaha.
Have you ever thought about doing a soundtrack?
Yesterday, I switched on the TV and to my surprise I saw "The Dealer", where you can listen to our music. We haven't written it excactly for this movie, they've just taken the music. And that's the way it will stay in the future. To be honest, I'm not interesting in doing a soundtrack because it's a lot of work and there's someone who wants to control your work. I can't understand, who one can be interested in doing a soundtrack, because it's an ungrateful work.
As you've said before, you would prefer it, if a film director comes to you and wants to take songs like "Midnight Prowler" or "Maximum Black" , comparable to the way in "The Dealer"...
I've got nothing against it, as long as if isn't a worse movie...