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Interviews

Coldseed (Thomen Stauch)

by: ZOLTAN KONCSOK - 2006-9-12 19:49:59

email: zoltan(AT) metalexpressradio(DOT)com

You released the debut Savage Circus album last year. How do you view the buzz it made?

The reactions were great from both the fans and the media. They seem to enjoy what we’ve done with Savage Circus. We already started playing gigs too, which is the next step in letting people know about the band. We will play the Dong Festival in July, which is near to my hometown here in Germany. Then we’ll go out to Atlanta to play the ProgPower Festival in the United States and we’ll also play a few shows in Russia and more shows here and there that will go until the end of the year. We play a few shows every month.

Did you already start writing the new Savage Circus album?

No, we didn’t start it yet. (Laughs) Maybe Piet has started to put down some ideas, but we are all very busy at the moment. I was working on the Coldseed album, and Piet just finished writing for the new Iron Savior CD. Also the Persuader guys were really busy with their part of the new Persuader album that is also going to be released soon. I think we’ll start writing for the next Savage Circus album around November/December this year, when we finish with touring.

How do you like the new Iron Savior and Persuader albums?

It’s different stuff, but I like them a lot. Persuader’s music is what made me contact and ask these guys to play in Savage Circus. I like that a lot, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked them. (Laughs) Iron Savior is a very good band. I played on their first album. It’s totally different from what Savage Circus does. It has similarities, but Piet has changed the style of Iron Savior a lot. It’s rougher, more like really Heavy Metal while Savage Circus is more Melodic Power Metal.

How did you hook up with Björn from Soilwork for the first time?

That happened after we recorded the pre-production of the songs in my studio in Spain. We had the material, but we didn’t have a singer. We were thinking about Skin from Skunk Anansie and later of the Fear Factory singer, but then we noticed that they would not be the right ones. Then the idea of asking Björn popped up in my mind, “Hey guys, I have the right guy for this band. Let’s ask Björn Strid from Soilwork and he can sing whatever we want, I’m pretty sure about that.” Everybody was like, “Do you think so? Really?” (Laughs) They liked Soilwork, but they weren’t sure if that would work. I told them not to worry and contacted Björn right away. I called him up and he immediately agreed, because he liked the songs we had. When Björn joined we had 70% of the songs already written. Later he worked a lot on the main production together with us on the songs.

How was the idea of Coldseed born?

That basically happened when we were doing the A Night at the Opera tour with Blind Guardian. During the USA leg of our tour when we had a long trip with our nightliner to Florida, Michael Schüren, the keyboardist, came to me and asked me if I ever played something totally different from Blind Guardian? And I didn’t. I always played Melodic Power Metal. Then he revealed about his plans of putting together a band where he wanted me to be the drummer. That’s how the idea came up. We were talking about creating something totally different from Blind Guardian. That was the most important thing as we didn’t want to do something that already exists. Later as we worked on the songs we noticed that it’s not a project anymore, because everybody really put his heart and soul into this band. It’s definitely not a one-album project. We really want to continue this and record as many albums as possible, and we also want to go on stage and show our fans that we are a real band.

Who came up with the name “Coldseed”?

That was my idea. (Laughs) we were thinking about a name and it was very complicated, because there are so many bands around that it’s not easy to find a good band name anymore. We wanted something that fits the band’s music and at some point I said, “Hey, Coldseed sounds pretty cool.” We all liked it, but weren’t 100% sure, so we made a competition for our fans on my Web site and in Hammer and Rock Hard magazines in Germany. They sent us some really funny names. (Laughs) Also Nuclear Blast liked the name Coldseed and wanted to keep that for the release of the album.

At the time of the writing process, you were still living in Spain. How could you work on the songs?

Yes, I was living is Spain at that point. We started writing at the end of 2003. I started writing with one of my best friends in Spain, Gonzalo López, who is one of the guitar players of Coldseed now. I asked him if he was interested in helping us out in the songwriting and maybe in joining the band. He was totally happy about the idea, so we started writing songs right away. At the same time Michael got in contact with Thorsten Praest, who’s a long time friend of him. He’s a very good all round guitar player who can play anything from Jazz to death Metal, and they started writing stuff at the same time in Michael’s studio in Germany. We exchanged ideas via emails and the Internet and it worked out well. Sometimes we met each other in Germany, and in the late summer of 2004 we met in my studio to start pre-production. Then we created 2-3 more songs together there. Later, Oliver Holzwarth also wrote one song, which is the last track on the album.

What influenced you to write this style of music?

Well, Thorsten comes more from the Jazz and Hard Rock areas, Gonzalo and me are more from the traditional Melodic Power Metal area, Michael also has a lot of Jazz influences and Björn, of course, has his roots more in Thrash and Death Metal. All of these influences combined give a very special character to our songs, and that’s what makes Coldseed sound different from other bands.

So, how would you describe the music you play?

(Laughs) We call our music Melodic Crossover.

There aren’t too many Metal drummers composing songs, but you’re one of them. Were you always able to do that?

Yeah, for me it’s a really long time thing. When I compose, I do it together with my recording program and I also have a keyboard when I can try to find the melody, and at the same time I’m also riffing on the guitar to find some basic ideas. Working a long time on these songs makes me able to give the song later to one of the guitarists and get him to play the way a guitarist should play, because I’m not good at that. I only use that to get my ideas through to the other members. For me it is five times more work than for a guitar player who used to play his instrument each day.

Were the lyrics of the songs written by Björn?

Yeah, they were all written by Björn and I cannot tell you too much about the lyrics, because I’m a musician who’s not always interested in lyrics. (Laughs) But Björn told me that he wrote about very social, realistic things, and I can tell you that the title track talks about when a person reaches out for perfection. This way you can fail very fast and this can lead you to a tragedy.

What’s your favorite song on the album?

This is very difficult to say. It really changes from day to day, but I think that’s a good sign, because it shows that the album is very strong and the songs are very different and it depends on the mood of the listener of what he prefers at that certain moment. But, I think the strongest songs on the album are “My Affliction,” the ballad “Reflection,” “Completion Makes The Tragedy,” and “Nothing But A Loser.” At least that’s how I see it now.

How did you secure the record deal with Nuclear Blast?

When Björn joined in, he talked to Nuclear Blast about this project and they got really interested in hearing it. So, he sent them two songs that they really liked. They thought it was something unique and asked Björn to tell Thomen to call them. (Laughs) I called their boss, who wanted us to visit them and talk about the deal. We went there with Michael and discussed everything. Everything seemed to be great as Nuclear Blast is a very experienced company in Metal music. They are the perfect label to promote and market Coldseed, so that’s why we signed with them.

You said that you’d like to play live with this band, but it’s not easy to arrange ...

No, it’s not easy, but I’m in daily contact with our booking agent and he said he’d see what he could do. It is difficult, because Michael and Oliver will be on tour with Blind Guardian very soon and we’ll also see if Björn can get some time off Soilwork, and we could do some festival shows. But, since the festivals are already booked, we might want to try another band that would be interested in doing some single shows together with us as a co-headliner. We want to show the fans that we are a band and we are here and with the second album we’ll be here even more.

For closing, what are your thoughts on the new Blind Guardian single?

I’ve heard it and I thought it was a really good song. But, this isn’t something I would like to do anymore. With this song they went the way that I don’t like so much anymore. But, I think that’s a professionally done song with great production. They are a professional band and they know exactly what they do and they go their way ... and that’s what I love in that band. I wish them all the best and I wish them great success with this album. I think they will have success, because Blind Guardian is a big name. It’s a name that stands by itself already. I mean they can even do a really bad album and the people will buy it, because it has Blind Guardian on it. But, I don’t think they could do 2 or 3 bad albums without losing some of their fans. However, this won’t happen, because they are a very professional band and they know what they do.

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