Interview with Thomas Herrmann (Darkseed)

Check out Steinmetal’s interview with Darkseed’s guitarist, Thomas Herrmann, as they discussed the band’s new album Poison Awaits, along with the past and future of the band.

Metal Express Radio: First, please accept congratulations on the new album, Poison Awaits!

TH: Thank you!

MER: How is Poison Awaits coming along for you guys?

TH: We are very satisfied with our newest CD. We worked hard on it to make sure that we can deliver a high quality album to our fans, after five years without any releases. Most of the reviews are quite good so far, and that keeps us smiling. 😉 But the important thing is, that we did exactly what we wanted to do — everything on our own. No external producers and recording engineers, and all instruments were recorded and mixed in our recording studio in a small village in Bavaria. So Poison Awaits is pure Darkseed.

MER: What do you think has changed between Poison Awaits in comparison to your older releases?

TH: There are a lot of things that changed in our newest release, but I think you can heart that it’s still DARKSEED. Stefan Hertrich left the band, so we lost not only our singer and lyrics writer, but we lost also the composer of most of the songs. That was a big change for us all. So, not only the vocal sound changed, but also the songs themselves. I think the new songs have a bit more positive feeling in direct comparison to Ultimate Darkness, Astral Adventures and Diving Onto Darkness. They sounded more depressive and gloomy. Also some songs have a little progressive touch like “Incinerate” (in the second song half), which is also new for Darkseed. This time more band members worked out the songs together, so it was possible to integrate more different influences.

MER: Your last album, Ultimate Darkness, was released almost five years ago. What happened in that period of time? Your vocalist left and you brought back Harald Winkler … then you guys split up, but what actually happened with Darkseed?

TH: We never really split up after Stefan left the band; we simply took a time out. Our Darkseed batteries were empty, so all of us concentrated on other things. At this period of time we did not consider the future of Darkseed. In early 2008 was the first time we thought about a new CD. But, there was a lot to do. We needed a new bass player and singer; also we had to handle the songwriting without Stefan. So it took some time to come to that point where a studio recording was possible.

MER: Why was it decided to bring back Winkler to the line-up?

TH: That was more where everything comes together from within itself. 10 years ago, Harry was drummer for Darkseed and left the band, and the contact to him was broken over the last years. In late 2007, I got a call from him and he asked if I could record the debut album of his new band Soul Sabotage in my recording studio. While the vocal recordings were in progress, I got a job to compose a title track for the computer game Going Downtown in Goth Rock Style. So, I asked Harry if he would write the text and sing this track. He did the job very well and we were on very good terms together. In early 2008 was when we started to talk about the new CD. I remembered that Harry would be a very good singer for Darkseed, so I called him and that was all.

MER: Poison Awaits changed something in the music. Did you guys soften things up in your approach?

TH: Yes, that was our decision. The main reason why Poison Awaits appears more soft is because of the vocal styles, I think. In the songwriting process we did a session with Harry to check out his different vocal styles. So, it crystallized out that Harry has very good and strong melodic clean vocals, and we decided to work mainly with clean vocal styles and to minimize the grunting parts.

MER: Did you intend for Poison Awaits to stand for something?

TH: The album title Poison Awaits stands for a poison which is waiting for you at every corner you go. We mean the mass media like television, press, and so on. They are controlled by a few people in the world, and also the economy controls the media. They tell us what to buy, how to live, and if you don’t follow them, you are not very well respected in our society. And that’s the poison surrounding us, which contaminates us very slowly. We live in a world of vanity. And that’s what the lyrics are mostly about … about people having problems with our modern society and things like that. For more detail, we’d have to ask Harald, who wrote all of the lyrics. Also, the cover artwork leans towards this theme. You have the snakes around the girl’s head … they represent the poison. The girl is crying blood and this stands for all people having problems in our society or for people who are not satisfied with their life. The cover should convey emotions like loneliness, hopelessness, mental pain … things like that.

MER: As one of the older members of the band, what causes you to be attracted to those darkened themes that make Darkseed what it is?

TH: I really do not know. Maybe if you have a difficult lifetime during your teenage years, you search for something which helps you to come through those times … a search for someone who understands you. And often those people find salvation in hard and gloomy music, where the lyrics capture your problems. And things like that in teenage years are very important because they caracterize you for your whole life. Maybe something like this happened to me to. 😉 And now I got caught up in this style of music (haha)!

MER: Is there a tour on the way? Festivals, etc.?

TH: The next step is to contact many booking agencies, because we will start to play live at the end of 2010. We don’t know if we will tour, but we will do a lot of individual gigs, that’s for sure.

MER: Do you have anything final to say for your fans and other Metalheads worldwide?

TH: Thanks to all our fans who believed in us the last few years, and I hope you enjoy Poison Awaits. We’ll be sure that it will not again take five years until the next album!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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